Instagram Stories for business: a complete guide

Only a lazy businessperson wouldn’t take advantage of Instagram Stories

instagram stories

Instagram stories for business: a complete guide. Source: unsplash.com

Instagram draws in over 1 billion active users each month being one of the most popular social networks globally. The platform’s main feature – Stories – allows posting fleeting photos and videos that stay up for brief 24 hours. Despite their short-term nature, Stories are not only for posting food, pets, the seaside, or silly selfies. They are actually highly influential. Consider that in January 2019, the famous photo-sharing platform reported 500 million daily active Stories users worldwide. Only a lazy businessperson wouldn’t take advantage of that.

Benefits of using Instagram Stories for business goals

Due to the visual nature of the platform, Instagram is a perfect opportunity for brands and retailers to display their products in a flattering way. Moreover, you can see a direct result of your shared story accessing the performance statistics in the insights section of your business profile on the app, within Ads Manager and Power Editor.

The power of the hashtag used in stories gives Instagram business users a secret weapon for organic growth and improved engagement. When you post an Instagram story, add a generic hashtag to it and lay it over the post. The broader the notion is, the better. This way, you get the chance to reach a wide audience which will otherwise be unaffected. When combined with an engaging story, the right hashtag can generate extra traffic and followers.

instagram stories

The reshare feature offers a variety of ways to enhance your content strategy for Instagram Stories. Source: pexels.com

The reshare feature offers a variety of ways to enhance your content strategy for Instagram Stories. You can:

  • Illustrate how your customers use your product or service by sharing their posts.
  • Highlight local events or venues near your business or mention the initiatives of your business partners.
  • Share educational tips from industry leaders that underpin your value statements, mission, and goals.
  • Excite your followers’ attention by breaking news or updates related to your industry or audience. Show business growth in the dynamics of a certain business segment.

Instagram Stories also have a nice interactive poll sticker that lets your customers and followers vote. It can be useful for deciding on some future marketing strategies, new products, locations and designs, as well as checking the customer satisfaction levels.

Once you’ve chosen the content for your story, select the “poll” sticker from the relevant menu. Write a question and customize the poll choices. Post your story and the poll answers will come immediately.

Basic instructions

The Stories toolbar is situated at the top of the feed in all Instagram accounts. The new posts in a given account are highlighted with a colorful ring around the profile photo. Tap an icon at the top left-hand corner or swipe left to reveal the story camera. Now you can take a photo or record a video, just as you would normally do on Instagram.

instagram stories

The Stories toolbar is situated at the top of the feed in all Instagram accounts. Source: pixabay.com

The latest snapshots from your camera roll will also appear at the bottom of the screen and can be chosen. Hence, the content shouldn’t necessarily be immediate. You can prepare the visuals beforehand (within up to 24 hours) to post them later. It is especially important for marketing images that need to be selected carefully. When you make instant photos, you lose attention to detail. You can also take advantage of filters for your story content, add relevant text and drawings.

A particular part of your story may get posted on your profile to remain permanently within the feed. To enable this function, tap the upload button. The opposite option is available too. You can share an Instagram post (from the regular feed) to your own Instagram story. Choose any post that you want to share. Tap the Send To button and choose Add Post to Your Story.

Instagram Stories stickers add extra context to your content. They are available behind a smiley face in the top right of the screen. Except for emoticons, you can find customizable stickers for the weather, the current time, and location there. Those are nice to post while announcing public events.

What can you post?

instagram stories

Who doesn’t like exclusive stories of the backstage business processes? Source: shutterstock.com

You can experiment with the content, adapting it to the needs and preferences of your specific target audience. Some successful strategies include:

  • Behind-the-scenes content

Who doesn’t like exclusive stories of the backstage business processes? You can share some funny moments from the campaign photoshoots (especially those featuring celebrities), record CEOs describing the ideas behind a public event, showcase the process of selecting materials for your production or some part of the production itself, briefly film chefs cooking new dishes at the restaurant or musicians preparing for a concert. Snaps from your ordinary business routine that show your corporate office from an insider’s point-of-view will also liven your content and add a human touch to your regular product or service info.

  • One-on-one communication

Stories can be interactive. Brands can engage in special Q&A sessions with their customers. In this case, followers send questions via Instagram Direct and the brand representative answers them within their story. Stories can be used to send personal video messages to followers as a reaction to their comments, feedback, or complaints.

  • Live events

The inability of a follower to be physically present at one of your events, conferences, or training shouldn’t leave them completely out of this experience. Live videos convey the event’s atmosphere, highlight important insights from the guest speakers, and raise public awareness about the brand activities.

instagram stories

Live videos convey the event’s atmosphere. Source: unsplash.com

  • Simple advertising

While all the abovementioned content types may be exciting, many people don’t have time or the desire to look through the videos. Simple advertising posters with short descriptions, information about discounts or event announcements reinforce your brand presence too. They also have more chances to be seen, so mix your content.

  • Polls

It’s important to give all stakeholders a chance to get involved in a creative process. Customers love to see that their opinions matter. Ask them what benefits they prefer or which design is better. Find out a little more about their social and personal lives to understand them better (but don’t pry too much). Stimulate their active participation by interesting questions.

  • Educational moments

Some brands successfully share parts of their professional knowledge via Stories. For instance, they could show make-up tutorials, give psychological advice, assist with stylish clothing combinations, give health and nutrition tips, explain some confusing industry terms, answer FAQs in a creative way, show step-by-step instructions, examples of effective gym exercises, etc.

Tips & Tricks

instagram stories

Consider these facts before creating your Stories. Source: pixabay.com

According to the statistic data gathered by Delmondo, some posts are more likely to be viewed than others. Consider these facts before creating your Stories.

  • 1-to-7 Stories during 24 hours are more than enough. It is the optimal posting length. More posts may get boring. After seven Stories, the completion rate drops to below 70%.
  • Post timing plays an important role in the success of your content. There are four distinct spikes to a viewers’ attention to stories – in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings – outside of the regular working schedule. In other words, those are the times when people relax by browsing social media. If you post during leisure hours, your stories are less likely to be overshadowed by other content.
  • The first impression is the most important one. Place your best daily story in your initial post. People will not continue watching your storyline if the first one is boring.
  • Completion rates are well above 50% for those brands that share stories consistently, as loyal users consume their content on a daily basis.
  • 60% of users discover new products on Instagram and 75% of all story viewers proceed to check the corporate website or product catalog. Feel free to advertise.

SEE ALSO: How to set up a Facebook business page

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