As of November 2017, Instagram Stories has over 300 million daily active users. Instagram Stories can be used as a marketing tool that allows you to engage with your followers on a deeper and more personal level. It gives your followers a behind-the-scenes look into your brand. If your brand is already utilizing posting on Instagram, Instagram Stories is just another tool that can increase your overall engagement and organic reach.
Although you are able to post photos from your camera roll, Instagram Story expectations are mostly in-the-moment experiences. It gives users the opportunity to show their followers un-staged versions of their life or business. A true behind-the-scenes look of a photoshoot, dinner prep, new arrivals, office events, the list goes on. Basically, it is a true and authentic way to give your followers a look past the perfectly curated content that is normally being posted.
That’s not to say that you should post anything and everything you want on your story as your story should still remain an extension of your brand but think of your Instagram Story as the fun, easy-going younger sibling to your brand.
Instagram Stories aren’t restricted to your normal 1-2 posts per day (depending on your business) and allows you to push more content that can produce increased organic reach, sales, engagement with followers, and overall brand awareness.
Other ways you can use Instagram Stories:
Support your stories with live videos
Your followers are able to watch these videos live and interact with you in real time. There’s also an option to keep your live video up for 24 hours which allows everyone who didn’t watch it live to engage with it.
Drive Traffic to your site
If you have over 10,000 followers you are given access to the “swipe up” feature; however, even without the swipe up option, you are still able to encourage your followers to go the #LinkinBio.
Turn your past stories into highlights
These “highlights” live right underneath your bio and you have the option of putting them into categories for your followers to view after the 24-hour period that stories typically expire. For example, a graphic designer might have a story highlight dedicated to current works in progress.
Take advantage of having the business account analytics on your stories
With your Instagram business account, you have access to more analytics than just views and responses. You are able to see your overall impressions, taps back, taps forward, tap aways, and exits. These numbers can help you see what kind of content your followers are engaging with and what they might be skipping through.
Instagram Stories can add to the effectiveness of your Instagram marketing and allow your followers to get a glimpse into the personality of your brand. Stories are an evolving format and will continue to change as Instagram does, but by introducing them into your Instagram strategy they can create even more authenticity and cultivate creativity within your brand.