With over 1 billion users, Instagram is the place to be in 2021 if you want to get your business noticed.
Want to interact more with your followers, engage in conversation with them and create content they engage with? Then you need to use Instagram Stories.
Instagram Stories are videos or photos you post to your account that disappear after 24 hours. The story doesn’t appear in your main grid but at the top of your followers’ news feeds.
Stories are great because they create a sense of urgency and are also more visible to your followers. They don’t get hidden or lost in the depths of the algorithm.
Over 500 million people use Stories every day. That’s a huge potential audience!
Want to know how to use Instagram Stories to engage followers and boost your brand’s reputation? Keep on reading to learn our top 7 tips on using Stories like a pro.
1. Create Tutorials and How-To Content
Want people to engage with your content and come back for more? Then create something genuinely useful.
It’s all very well snapping a pic of your lunch or a cute spot you’re hanging out at, but is this relevant to your business? Instead, tell people how you made your lunch, share the location of your lunch spot. Give them something they can use.
If you can save people time researching for information, they’ll love you for it!
You can create an easy how to cheat sheet using the ‘create’ option on Instagram Stories. Here’s how:
- Swipe to the right from your home page
- On the left, you’ll see a list of options
- Select create
- This will give you a blank screen where you can start typing
- You can change the colours and fonts using the options at the top
If you create a simple recipe card, for example, people will be able to screenshot it. They will now keep your business in mind every time they want this type of content.
2. Use Quizzes and Polls
Want some personal communication with your followers? Use the sticker options to create quizzes and polls. For example, you could create a quick quiz about your brand to see how much people know.
Thinking of launching a new product? Run a quick poll to see which option your followers would prefer. This is a simple, effective way to receive quick feedback from your audience.
When you are in create mode of Stories, swipe along the bottom, and you will find all the features to create a quiz or poll. In addition, you can edit the boxes to be relevant to your brand identity.
3. Ask Me Anything
Another effective way to get to know your customers better and create a dialogue via Instagram Stories is to ask them to ask you a question.
It may sound confusing, but it’s simple! Also, it’s a perfect strategy if you are lost for ideas for story content for the day. Get your followers to do the work of deciding what you post!
If you post an ask me anything box in your story, you will receive the answers in your direct messages. You will then see an option to share this question in your Stories.
Then you decide how you would like to reply. It may be via video or with a written answer. All your other followers will be able to see, so it’s a great way to mass respond to some frequently asked questions!
4. Use a Countdown Timer
Got a big launch or event coming up? Create some excitement for it using your Stories. There’s a handy countdown sticker in the create section of your Stories editor.
You can also tease new products using Stories. Cover a photo with a block colour, and then use the eraser to delete part of it. Your followers will only be able to see a tiny section of the photo.
If you talk about a launch for a few weeks before it happens on your Instagram Stories, people will get hyped up for it. By the time it happens, you will have built momentum, and customers will be excited to buy.
You can also use the countdown timer to create a sense of urgency amongst your customers. Maybe you have a big sale that’s only on for 12 more hours. Use the countdown to remind them they don’t have long left to shop.
5. Use an Influencer Marketing Campaign
Influencers have become brands’ go-to marketing strategy over the past few years. Why? Because influencer marketing works!
Working with an influencer can help boost your brand identity, generate awareness for your brand and drive sales. After all, people prefer to interact with people rather than companies.
Not sure where to find a suitable influencer for your brand? Use an influencer agency to help you. An agency will help you decide which type of influencer is best for your brand and show who has an audience that will be beneficial for your growth.
The great thing about influencers is that they will create content for you. They are the creatives, and you don’t need to spend ages coming up with a concept.
Influencers have already built up an audience who trusts them to promote products and services in an authentic way.
6. Go Live
Want to share something useful but find that the quick story videos aren’t enough? Try Instagram Live. Maybe you want to do a live Q&A, interview an expert in your industry or do a live workout or event.
Whatever your reason for going live, it’s an effective way to engage your audience. 80% of audiences would rather watch a live stream than read a blog post.
How about combining your influencer marketing strategy with an Instagram live event?
7. Schedule Instagram Stories
Creating Instagram Stories every day can get time-consuming. How about batch creating your Stories in advance?
That way, you can plan out your content for the month and make sure it fits your overall social media marketing strategy.
You can’t schedule Stories that will auto-post directly to Instagram, but there are many tools you can use to schedule your posts and then post manually at the right time.
If you batch create your Stories, you can use templates and creative designs to make sure they stand out and entice your followers to engage.
Bonus Tips on How to Use Instagram Stories
Just because you’re great, here are a couple of bonus tips. If you want to master the use of Instagram Stories, it’s more than creating awesome content; you need some strategy too.
Sporadically posting here and there just won’t cut it. If you want to win at Stories, it’s all about consistent posting.
Be thoughtful about what you post too. Don’t just post for the sake of it.
If you publish often, people will start to look forward to viewing your stories, as they want to hear what you have to say. You’ll become part of their daily check-in!
Make Use of Analytics
Check your analytics to see how much engagement you are getting. What time of day are your followers online? Try posting at that time to boost the number of people viewing and interacting with your stories.
You can also view how many people viewed your story in the bottom right-hand corner of a story.
Save to Highlights
Got some epic story content that you would be sad to see go after a short 24 hours? Then save your Stories to your profile highlights.
That way, when people visit your profile, they’ll be able to get a feel for your brand and content.
You can categorize your old stories at the top of your profile too. This will make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. For example, if you have how-to videos, create a section for how-to videos. Got a bunch of movie recommendations? Create a story highlight dedicated to this.
Why are you using Instagram? Most likely because you want potential customers to visit your website, read a blog post or buy something from you.
Make that easy for them! If you have more than 10,000 followers, you can add swipe-up links to your story. Still not reached 10k? You can add links to your Instagram live videos.
You should now have plenty of ideas about how to use Instagram Stories to create impactful and engaging stories that your followers will love!
Whether it’s video content, an influencer marketing campaign or an awesome quiz, get creative and get your brand’s voice out there.
Ready to get started but not sure how to? The expert advice of an influencer agency like Wear Cape can help you take your strategy to the next level. Get in touch. We’d love to chat.