Why Instagram Stories Are Every Startup’s Secret Weapon

Published on:

This will not come to a surprise to anyone, but Instagram is still one of the kings of social media for small and big brands alike - although I’ll say it now: look out for Pinterest, as it’s fast coming up trying to snag the crown off the so-affectionately called “Gram”.

A new report from parent company Facebook provides insight into what users are looking for from brands on Instagram – as well as some juicy data to prove its efficiency.

Instagram is always looking for new ways to help small brands and startups grow, and stories are definitely what Instagram is laying its focus on. Since content creators and influencers have been shown to use to monetize their Instagram – with a staggering 80% of surveyed influencers from my research (Make an Impact, Amazon) – it’s clear that influencers and tastemakers have been early adopters.

Instagram Stories, originally launched in August 2016, just this week hit a new milestone of 500 million daily users.

“When we asked people what they associated with Instagram, some of their top responses were that the platform allows interaction with celebrities and influencers. Additionally, 2 in 3 respondents (66%) told us that Instagram is a platform that allows interaction with brands. These interactions might take the form of a snack company using polls in Instagram Stories to let fans vote on a new chip flavor, or a fashion brand reposting photos of chic #OOTD posts.”

Let’s say you already started engaging with stories on your Instagram, and are yet to create a full strategy for them. In order to get started with stories for business, I recommend you outlining a beginning, middle, and end to your story – so that you can make sure to cover all the important points, while still making sure everything flows naturally.

When asking one member of our community about how stories have helped HER personally, she replied: “I use an ‘IG Story curve’ – so first story to tell them what I’m going to tell them (referring to blog), second to tell them why they need the help using pain points, then I tell them what I want to tell them (the contents of the blog), then I quickly cover what I told them (summary of blog) and provide the link to click and read more on the subject. This technique has improved my blog read stats by (on average) 250%” (HBC Magazine)

However, if you are wondering how to optimize your stories for sales and engagement, here are a few key ways to turn stories into your secret weapon.

Instagram Stories For Sales

One of my favorite ways to drive sales and engagement at the same time is using pools and question stickers. Have you ever wanted to survey your Instagram audience about their interests, likes, dislikes, and more? Well, now you can!

Instagram’s interactive poll stickers and questions on Instagram Stories let you ask questions and see results from your followers as they vote. Using them for market research, as well as allowing your audience to let you know their preference on an imminent launch is a great way to engage with them more efficiently.

Whether you want to collect feedback on your products or crowdsource ideas, questions stickers offer a new way to engage with your Instagram audience.

As well as engaging, you can now tie in an upcoming in-store sale, product launch, or event with a sticker that counts down to a date and time that you set. This is another perfect way to increase demand and ultimately conversions.

Another way to encourage people to follow and engage is to create highlights for your Stories.

By treating your profile like a landing page, you can create Instagram Stories Highlights that share your most important information with your audience.

Highlights allow you to save some of your top stories for people to access after the 24h window. Whether you collect testimonials, product sneak-peeks or event replays, highlights can be a game changer, and because your highlights are up indefinitely, you can continue to drive traffic and sales with your stories!

Another way to drive clear conversions is to tap into promoted stories. Promoted stories are a very interesting way to boost promotions, discounts or releases of new products. Instagram is currently giving more users access to its Promote option for Stories.

The Promote tool, available via the ‘More’ menu at the bottom right of your Stories frame, will allow users to either drive traffic to their website, Instagram profile or to prompt viewers to send them a message – which can be great for product feedback and engagement.

Instagram Stories For Followers And Engagement

With over 1 billion monthly users, an ultra-smart algorithm, and tons of clever, creative brands on Instagram, it’s a competitive place if you want to grow your account and boost your following.

Driving traffic back to your Stories via other networks – or even via your website or e-mail newsletter – could be hugely beneficial for brands looking to grow their engagement and following using the stories.

Did you know that you can already share IGTV and Instagram posts in Stories too?

With more and more users shifting their attention to Instagram Stories, users have been using stories to cross-promote their posts and IGTV videos.

Instead of including a screenshot of their feed to stories, users can easily share the post with the new re-share feature.

As part of one of its latest releases, looks like Instagram will be rolling out a new option which would enable users to share a direct link back to an Instagram Story, providing a new way to boost Stories’ awareness and engagement (Social Media Today)

How are you looking to use Instagram stories for your business?




Sharing is caring!