Instagram stories have only been around for a few years, however they have become a much-loved part of platform. In August 2016 Instagram started allowing people to upload stories to their accounts.
An Instagram story is when a user uploads a photo or video for a limited time (24 hours). After this time, the ‘story’ will disappear. Stories can be viewed by everyone who follows the user, however there are settings that allow only certain people to view it.
These are called private stories; however, they are not very useful when it comes to promoting a brand. The key benefit of Instagram stories to brands and businesses is that there is no limit to how many can be posted and they don’t save to your account.
Stories are easy to make and have some great features included in the settings that are great for brands and product promotion, these include tagging certain products, hash tagging and also adding a ‘DM me’ button, to allow people to message you about your brand.
If your Instagram account is public (ideal for a brand) anyone using the app can search your username and see the story that you have posted. This means that people can also share your story with others, either by direct message, or if they were tagged they can share it by adding it to their accounts story.
This will then inform you that they have shared it to their story too and are promoting your brand. The benefit of this is that the person who has used your story then shares it with all of their followers allowing for it to reach a wider platform and they can be viewed by a lot more people.
Being tagged in Instagram stories is a great way to gain more followers as people often click on the nametags that are on the story. These tags link back to your page so people have a quick way of getting straight to you and your products / service.
Amazing Instagram story features and how they can help
When posting an Instagram story, you get the option to add a hyperlink. If you choose to add this it could be a great way to promote a product. For example, while talking about a new range of smoothie, linking the website where it can be brought is a great use of the hyperlink feature.
People are more likely to swipe up and buy it right there and then, than remember the specific name and go onto the website later to purchase it.
It also means that while discussing a topic there can be other links to different social media platforms such as YouTube or Facebook where users can find similar information linked to the topic without clicking off Instagram.
An entertaining Instagram story is more likely to get noticed than a posed video on the explore page. This is because stories are short and sweet, which entices people to listen to them.
Also, a recorded story has an extra wow factor as there are lots of funny and interesting effects and sounds you can add to a story to get the audience involved, such as polls and questions. Therefore, if you are trying to sell a product, promoting it on a story would be more beneficial than doing it on a post.
Great ways to boost your brand!
Some of the great things on Instagram stories can really help brands understand what they need to improve on such as polls. These are little questions that you can put on your Instagram story, to let people pick one of the available options given to them.
A great way a brand could utilise this is to ask questions about what products the customers would like to see next season, what they think was the best product, or what they would change.
They are a great way to get feedback and a good sense of what the users would like to see potentially helping the brand know where it needs to change or improve from an easy online quiz poll.
Other features that brands need to use are the hashtag and location icons. The hashtags allow the story to be seen by anyone who searches that hashtag.
A good example of this could be if a brand was promoting a new flavour chocolate bar they would hashtag; chocolate, chocolate bar and confectionary as these would all be words to help get the story to the right place on Instagram, so that it would show for the right audience.
The location icon is useful for small brands as it shows where you are operating. This is really helpful for businesses like hairdressers or nail technicians, as they require a local fan base to gain clients and grow as a brand.
Instagram stories also a has a function where by people can send you direct messages based on the topic you choose, after you’ve posted the question on your story people can start replying. It is the easiest way for a customer to contact a brand as it only takes a few seconds.
Once someone has sent either an answer to your question or another question, there is a button that allows you to add what they have said onto your story. This helps so other people can see you are active at replying and also because it stops people asking the same questions.
Posting a story everyday is a great way to improve the interaction on your page. The more stories you post the more likely your followers are to see it. This is certainly true of many celebrities such as Robbie Williams.
Robbie regularly posts on his stories to keep his fans up to date. This helps to keep his fan base engaged and entertained, as well as ensuring they are the first to know, when any news or big announcements are made.
If you think that Instagram stories could benefits your brand and help you market your brand take a look at our guide to help you make it on Instagram!
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