Less than six months after its debut in August 2016, the Instagram Stories feature had reached 150 million active users per day. Snapchat didn’t hit those numbers for six years!
One-third of the total stories watched on the social networking platform are those being published by business accounts. Your business can not afford to let its brand fall behind on the social scene by not using Instagram for all it is worth. Use the Instagram Stories feature to really establish your brand and connect with its followers within the social community.
- Give your followers behind the scenes access
Show off all the hard work that goes into maintaining your brand and providing the very best to its customers. Let your brand’s Instagram community follow along behind the scenes as you set up for a photo shoot, put up a new store display, or choose what products to feature in the next marketing campaign. Let them see the creative process and all that goes into your brand putting out its best work.
- Allow people to get a sneak peek of what goes on at the office
A sure way to create brand identity in the minds of your followers is to let them see the real-life faces of the people behind the brand. With Instagram Stories, give an office tour or let followers in on an in-house celebration or event. It will give your brand a more human quality and make it generally more personable and relatable.
- Use influencer marketing to your advantage
The abilities to help boost your brand identity that the Instagram Stories feature gives social influencers is arguably unmatched in the world of social media. Your brand can either itself post content to its Stories that include an influencer (such as featuring them in a product photo shoot or video) or allow the influencer to do an Instagram “takeover” for you. Social media also offers many avenues to showcase your products, build a positive image of your brand, offer more value to your customers, and gradually cement your reputation in the industry.
Allowing a social media influencer to take over your brand’s Instagram account for a period of time lets them give a fresh spin to your content. Your followers get to engage with someone they recognize and better remember your brand and its identity through the fun content the influencer creates and posts. Either way though, whether doing a “takeover” or posting yourself, the sight of a familiar face that is not normally associated with your brand will catch the attention of your social community and draw them into your content. It will also portray more of your brand identity. In which influencer your brand chooses to represent it, your brand shows who it thinks relates well to it and its message.
- Put your less polished side on display
An Instagram Story does not call for the same level of content (in regards to its aesthetic and amount of editing) as an Instagram post. Stories can be posted in the moment and multiple times per day without flooding a user’s feed, unlike your standard Instagram post that must be perfectly curated and uploaded at just the right time in order to gain much attention or interest.
- Interact with your followers
Use your Instagram Stories to prompt followers to interact with your brand. When you show your product in use, encourage followers to Direct Message you how they use that same product in their day-to-day life or what their favorite feature of it is. If you release a brand new recipe or how-to, ask followers to let you know if they have tried it out yet and how it went.
Your brand can also use its Instagram Stories to encourage its followers to interact with you on other digital platforms. Through the content of your Stories, you can direct followers to go to your Facebook page through a link you include or to click on your domain name to go check something out on your brand’s website. Interact with your followers and call them to the action of engaging with even more of your online brand outside your Instagram Stories.
- Make how-tos and “Did you know?” more exciting
With Instagram Stories, your brand can take topics relevant to its target market that would normally be written out on its website or in a blog post and use them to make short, interactive clips. Rather than writing out a lengthy article on how to use your product and hoping consumers will take the time to read it, break it down into pieces of an Instagram Story. With visual elements and the quick “taps” that take the user from Story piece to Story piece, the material becomes much more interesting and engaging.
Take lifestyle magazine Real Simple for example. The brand takes easy DIYs and broadcasts them as Instagram Stories to engage their social media followers, giving them what they need and want to know more quickly and in a more interactive way.
- Demonstrate your product being used in real life
Use Instagram Stories to showcase what your brand has to offer! Sure, you can stage it perfectly with posed models or planned backdrops in the photos you post to your Instagram feed, but consumers know that’s not real life. They want to see how they could use your product.
Include video clips in your Instagram Stories of your products in action. To be effective in using your social media to really engage your followers and allow them to establish an identity for your brand in their minds, you need to show them how you can add value to their own lives. Rather than just selling to them, approach them with the mindset of trying to speak directly to them and their needs.
By producing content that relates to your target market through visual elements and a less polished, more real feel, your brand can use Instagram Stories to gain traction with its followers. Done right, your Stories will promote your brand and its identity, as well as engage the community to convert users to loyal customers who know and love you.