How to Grow Your Business Using Instagram Stories

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Some people like to criticize Instagram Stories because they are a direct imitation of Snapchat, but for smart marketers, it is always going to be a case of, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Instagram Stories has led to phenomenal growth for marketers using them, so if you have not started yet, it’s time to get organized.

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are a little content area separate to your Instagram feed. The stories only last 24 hours unless you pin them to your account. They are a way to highlight interesting content, showcase new products, and give more information about who you are as a company and what you are all about.

As the name suggests, they are also perfect for storytelling marketing, which has become a hot new trend in the last 2 years or so. Every good story has a beginning, middle and end. As children, we love storybooks with pictures. We also love TV shows/videos. Instagram allows you to incorporate all of these elements as you tell your target audience more about how your business got started, or all your new product can do for them.

Instagram Stories are a more immersive experience than just a series of unrelated posts. They have changed the way many people use the Instagram app. Instead of swiping down to see their news feed first, many go to any new story in their interface first. The app will keep showing stories until the user clicks out, so your story can be highly visible compared to a single post on the feed.

1. Behind the scenes

The whole point of social media is to get to know your audience, and for them to feel they know you. Behind the scenes about your company or product creations shows who you are and what your values are.

2. Less formal and curated content

With most news feeds and grids, marketers aim for beauty, even perfection. With stories, the content can be more off the cuff and on the fly, showing a less formal side. You can make your content even more fun with Instagram stickers.

3. Create polls

Get to know your audience better and let them have fun by creating polls. They are not anonymous, so you won’t get a huge response, but it is worth a try so you can test your ideas for new products and more. Note that it will disappear within 24 hours, and Instagram does not save any report about it, so check back before the poll is ending to see your results and note them down in a spreadsheet or other convenient place. Re-use the best ones in the future, as you add more followers to your account.

4. Going live

Going live over the phone or via video can seem pretty daunting at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it starts to feel, and the better you become at it.

5. Sharing your best content from your camera roll

You can now save your images and combine them into a story.

6. Video content and recommendations

You can film people talking about your product, using it, or discussing the problem it solves. How-to videos are hugely popular on YouTube, making up about 75% of the content searched for. Create similar content and post it as stories.

7. Time-sensitive content

Have a time-sensitive announcement like a flash sale that has just started? The story will last for only 24 hours unless you pin it. The fact that it is so prominent on the page, though, will help all your followers see it quickly.

8. Announcements

Have you posted a new article at your blog? Launched a new product? Won an award? Stories are a great place to showcase your news and announcements.