If your brand isn’t making full use of Instagram stories, you could be missing a trick. This feature enables brands and users to post images, live videos, video clips, text, polls, questions, music and much more. The only catch is that the content vanishes after a 24 hour period. Whilst this might seem counter-intuitive for brands looking to get their content in front of as many potential customers as possible, Instagram stories are actually a fantastic tool to use for your brand’s strategic growth.

Making use of Instagram stories isn’t difficult at all. The platform is incredibly user friendly, and it takes just moments to get to grips with how stories work, how they can be customised and what you need to do to make them live. However, creating stories that really grab users’ attention and keep them clicking on your profile is tougher.

Instagram is awash with different brands, all competing for users’ attention at the same time. Right now, there are 25mn brand accounts on Instagram[1], and many of those brands are already posting stories several times a day. So, to stand out from the crowd you need to be original, creative, interesting and watchable. Thankfully, we’ve got five tips to help you do just that.

Make your Instagram stories sing with our top tips, and you’ll soon be using these 24-hour clips to power engagement, improve brand awareness and boost sales.

Talk to Your Followers

Instagram isn’t a one way conversation. The beauty of the platform is its ability to provide accessible channels of communication between brands and consumers. Users love to communicate with the brands they’re following on Instagram, and are always quick to provide feedback on products and similar information. In short, it’s a goldmine of data.

Ask your followers questions, create polls and publish competitions to enable them to share their thoughts and feelings. Content like this really helps to power engagement, and can also provide your brand with valuable insights that might just help you with future product designs, marketing campaigns and promotional ideas.

Use Stories to Drive Traffic to Your Site

Brands with 10,000 followers or more can make use of a very useful addition to Instagram stories. It’s the ability to add links to stories when users swipe up. If you’ve got the required number of followers and this feature is active on your account, make sure you use it as much as possible. Whenever your stories mention a product add a link and a ‘swipe up’ icon, so users can immediately see how to access more information about the product and where they need to go to purchase it.

Get the Timing Right

No doubt you already know when your target audience is likely to be most active. Make note of these active periods and plan to post content at these times as much as possible. All content you post will remain active for 24 hours, though, so don’t worry too much if you’re a little late posting an Instagram story. Stories work best when you use them to share current content, so if it’s a choice between posting something instantly or waiting a few hours for your optimum posting time, we’d always suggest you go right ahead and make your story live.

Share Your Personality

Great branding has to be personal. But this can be tricky to achieve using traditional marketing strategies. One of the great things about social media marketing is the fact that it enables brands to inject a fun sense of personality into their content, in a very authentic way.

Instagram stories enable you to show your followers the faces behind your brand, share behind the scenes action and go live with video content from your HQ. Such content can change followers opinions of you, significantly boosting trust and loyalty.

Ensure that content is always interesting and it could also see your follower numbers go through the roof. Many small businesses do this incredibly well, but it’s a tactic that can be employed by companies of all sizes. Keep an eye out on what similar brands are doing and make sure you do it better!

Make Sure Users Can Find You

There are a few ways in which you can ensure your stories are seen by the right people, but location tools are right up there at the top of these. Using locations in your stories will enable users to discover your brand, and many of those users might never have heard of you before. Likewise, hashtags can also be used in Instagram stories to get your content seen by an audience larger than your core group of followers.

Don’t miss out on the incredible opportunities of Instagram stories. Create your own original content and make the most of the huge array of story options the platform offers. Unleash your creativity with video clips, add a sense of fun with a behind the scenes boomerang or get the conversation started by asking consumers for their valued feedback.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can use Instagram stories to power engagement, get in touch. We’ve got some great ideas up our sleeves!

[1] https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/instagram-stats/

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