February 12, 2018 | By:

How to Use Instagram Stories to Promote Your Business

We all know that establishing a solid social media presence is essential for businesses in order to stay relevant in today’s digital age. With so many social media platforms available at our disposal, social media marketers often overlook some of the non-core features of a platform.

Instagram, in particular, is mainly known as an avenue to post photos and short videos, but it takes more than just merely posting photos of your business to maximize the full marketing potential of Instagram. Instagram Stories is a fairly new feature on Instagram that has been proven to be an effective marketing tool for businesses. With over 300 million daily active Instagram Stories users worldwide, it has great potential in reaching your target audience.

However, not all marketers are familiar with Instagram Stories and how it can be used for your business. To help you get started, here are tips on how to use Instagram Stories to effectively market and promote your business.

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are photos or videos that disappear from your profile and Instagram Feed after 24 hours, unless you add it as a highlight.

Highlights, on the other hand, are Instagram Stories that you choose to appear on your profile permanently until you take them down.

Here are the basic steps on how to post photos or videos to your Instagram Story:

  1. Tap the  button at the top left corner of your screen. You can also swipe right from anywhere on your Instagram Feed.
  2. Tap  at the bottom of the screen to take a photo, or tap and hold to record a video. You can also choose a photo from your phone’s gallery. Just swipe up anywhere on the screen.
  3. Tap  or  to draw, add text or a sticker to your photo or video, respectively.
  4. When you’re done, tap Add to your story to share to your story.
Tips on how to effectively use Instagram Stories for your business

Instagram Stories, with its ephemeral appeal, offer great opportunities for you to promote your business in ways that are different from posting more permanent content to your Instagram Profile. Here are tips on how to effectively harness the power of Instagram Stories for your business:

1. Offer flash promotions

Since the content that you post on Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, it’s a great place for you to run flash promotions for your followers. This technique provides a sense of urgency and a feeling of exclusivity, which will more likely prompt your followers to be more loyal to your brand.

2. Launch new products

You can use Instagram Stories to introduce new products to your followers. You can also provide teaser content or a sneak preview of a product launch to add more excitement and hype. This will further encourage your followers to stay connected with your brand, knowing that they will get instant and exclusive access to your latest updates.

3. Post behind-the-scenes content

What customers love more than ever is to feel connected with your brand, and the best way to achieve this is to show them the people behind your business. You can post behind-the-scenes content on your Instagram Stories, such as a work-in-progress update of your blog post, a video on how some of your products are made, or daily events in your physical store or office. Whatever you choose to post, however, be sure that you’re comfortable sharing it to the general public and to potential competitors.

4. Include links and a call-to-action to your Story

If your Business Instagram account has over 10,000 followers, you can add links to your Instagram Stories. Adding links, coupled with a call-to-action, can help you effectively drive traffic to your website, blog, or landing page, and increase your CTR and conversion rates too.  Here’s how to add links to your Story:

  1. Take a photo or video for your Instagram Story as you normally would.
  2. Click on the link button at the top, which is just beside the button.
  3. Enter and paste the link

Your followers will then get to see your link when they’re prompted to swipe up.

Invest in paid Instagram Stories ads

Instagram Stories ads function the same way as a normal story, but it offers more targeted ways to reach audiences who aren’t necessarily your followers. Instagram Stories ads are full-screen, vertical-format ads in both photo and video (maximum 15 seconds in length) formats. This can be created using Facebook’s Power Editor or Ads Manager.

For a step-by-step guide on how to create ads on Instagram, refer to our article How to Effectively Advertise Your Business on Instagram. A key thing to remember with Instagram Stories ads, however, is to choose Reach as your objective, which is currently the only objective enabled for Instagram Stories ads.

Instagram Stories are just one of the many free tools Instagram has to offer for businesses. If Instagram is one of the social media platforms your brand is focusing on, it’s high time to include Instagram Stories to your social media marketing strategy, if you haven’t already.

If you want to know more about promoting your business using Instagram Stories, or if you’re interested in working with Ilfusion for your social media marketing needs, give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email at creative@ilfusion.com.

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