Have you ever wondered why most of your Instagram friends’ profile pictures appear on those circles at the top of the page, but rarely see them post on the newsfeed? Have you ever asked, “What are those circles anyway?” Those circles are called Stories, a feature in the app where you can post your photo or a short video as your most memorable for the day.
So, what’s the difference between posting through stories versus newsfeed?
Posting through newsfeed will enable all your friends to see, love, and leave a comment on your post for a more public interaction. Posting through stories, on the other hand, will allow you to have more option to make it more creative than the usual posts.
Instagram Stories offer a variety of filters and stickers, and adding them will surely make your stories way cuter and more attractive. You can also add emojis and texts with different fonts on top of the photo. And if you’re feeling extra, why not use some of the most popular features in improving your stories such as Boomerang, Superzoom and Layout. However, the downside of this is that stories only last for 24 hours, unless you save it as a Highlight in your profile.
And did we mention that you can also go Live on your story? This feature could be used as a platform, especially in promoting certain products. Automatically, Instagram would send notifications to your followers so they wouldn’t miss anything from your Live feed. As a viewer, you can still comment and react on a friend’s story, but this would now be done privately as this will be sent as a personal message.
A platform for promoting products? That sounds promising!
Yes, it is! But let’s face it, Instagram users are not much of a reader. What capture their attention first are photos and videos, not words. They rather inspect more through looking or listening, which is better for the audience because you – as the storyteller – will be able to explain the things that you want to communicate to them with the right actions and spoken words. In return, people will view this more genuinely because they have seen, and not just read, what you have meant. And you know what they say, to see is to believe.
Ok, so how do we use these Stories as a marketing strategy?
Before we tell you the how, let me tell you what first. According to research, most of the viewed stories are actually ads from businesses. This is how some of the start-ups or unknown businesses are getting recognized by the audience, and it is through Stories where they get their most interactions and demographics of potential clients or customers.
So let’s say you have a clothing brand. Customers will enjoy perusing your products through your posted photos of yourself or of a hired model wearing your items. With this, they will be easily attracted to your goods because it helps them with envisioning the products on themselves.
Now we get to the how. Instagram Stories have a wide range of usage. Here are some of them:
Ø Use it to promote your other products. You can share photos of your inventories, or some behind-the-scenes of your photo shoots to pique the interests of the customers.
Ø Feature a content and add a “Swipe Up” link. Swipe up links will improve the drive of traffic, but this feature will only be enabled for Instagram users with 10,000 followers and verified accounts. Fortunately, Preview offered hacks on how to unlock the swipe up link. Add this to your story to redirect your followers to your website so they can know more about your business.
Ø For announcements.
Ø Publish FAQs. Isn’t it tiring to read and answer the same questions over and over again? Publishing frequently asked questions will also help you save time and promote faster transaction with customers.
Ø Post your feedbacks. The most effective way of garnering more customers is through feedback because this is a testimony that people have tried your products and have loved it. Being reviewed positively will convince more people to trust you to satisfy their wants or needs as consumers. This will also help you as a seller to strive for more or change some things as you improve your business.
But Stories only last for 24 hours. People might miss it.
Yes, that’s true. Remember the Highlights that was mentioned earlier? Highlights are your saved stories which will be seen directly below your profile information. This will enable your followers to look back on what they missed from your previous stories. These highlights will also serve as your organizer in building your portfolio for your business. Check out Postcron to know more tips on how to customize your highlights.
Awesome, I now have 10,000 followers! Do I still need Instagram Story Ads?
Of course, you do. You don’t just stop the improvement there. These ads will allow you to insert your short advertisement between user’s stories to create more awareness about your business. It could be a photo or just a short video with at least 15 seconds to maintain the feel of uninterrupted stream of stories.
The good thing about Instagram Story Ads is that you have the power to select the duration of these ads and not just settle for 24 hours. Plus, these ads can also be advertised not only on Instagram, but also in Facebook and Messenger with the help of Ads Manager. Imagine the impact of your ads to other millions of users that haven’t followed your page yet.
One thing you should remember about ads is that they are easily passed over by some people who just can’t be bothered by something that is not worthy of their time. Harsh, but it’s true.
So how do you keep your stories interesting enough so people won’t skip it?
Those first few seconds of your ad are very important because this will be the deciding factor for the user whether to skip or to continue watching, so make sure that your ad is absolutely attention-grabbing. Here are some tips to make your story ads engaging:
Ø Offer your strongest visuals. Post a high quality colorful photo or exciting video accommodated with a short but strong message about your product, but remember to keep the call-to-action button visible enough so viewers won’t miss it.
Ø Create poll to spark immediate interaction wherein both options will automatically direct the user to your business’s website. Not only it is engaging, but also this proves that your power of persuasion is slowly building according to your plan.
Ø Also, don’t forget about your branding. In the event that the viewer chooses to watch your ad but ignores all your efforts to engage them in that moment, at least you have to give them something that would stick to their minds for a while. This way, people may be tempted to search for your page.
Now that you’ve learned these tools and tricks in creating these indelible stories, are you ready to fire up your business? Happy storytelling!
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