Adjusting posting in a business account, setting targeted advertising and being promoted by bloggers. Stories on Instagram is a particular format of content that Runet users got used to a long time ago and now are actively using it.
Businesses use Stories to promote goods and services, and followers conversion happens faster when followers are getting to know a product in a more lively format rather than when they see the jaded advertising posts.
In the article we are sharing on how to transform stories into a tool for promoting your business.
Stories in Your Own Business Account
What are Instagram stories? Stories is a modern and almost free tool for growing your business account. You do not need to have an advertising budget and pass moderation to post them. The only cost is a time for content creation (and a budget for it if you prefer professional approach to creating stories for business - editing videos, creating designs etc.).
Let us review what it needs for stories to work effectively and also how Instagram stories work.
The Key to Success Is a Constancy
In 2020 stories became more popular than the feed publications. Stories have a more “lively” format than text publications having a picture. And a limited period of stories’ live influence audience engagement - users are viewing stories more actively so that they do not miss anything important or interesting (there is no such motivation regarding publications - they are saved in the account and are always accessible for later viewing).
Moreover, the format of stories allows you to post several stories everyday which is looking organically. While it is appropriate to post publications once or twice a day.
Posting several stories everyday is a usual practice not only for personal, but also for business accounts.
Regular posting of stories for business gives you such advantages:
- you appear in followers’ information feed more often (and new followers, or those who interact with your targeted advertising, see that your account is active);
- your brand becomes more popular and a group of loyal users is formed (those who are interested in your content);
- Instagram business stories act as a reminder for those who have wanted to make an order, but got distracted and forgot about text messaging with you;
- creating interactive stories can help you increase followers’ engagement.
It is better not to make stories exclusively promotional and aggressively promote your product. Followers will quickly get tired of such publications and you will have a small number of views. The Instagram audience is waiting for a live and interesting content, so try to create stories in a way that people will be waiting to see them and will be viewing them with an interest.
Plan Your Publications in Advance
How do you use Instagram stories knowing that they have so many opportunities to create something unique? Stories can be created in different ways: have only text on a colorful background or include a professional video with special effects. But you do not have to create an expensive and professional content to make your followers willingly view them. The main thing is to make them interesting. It means you have to always have a stock of fresh ideas. This is where many people face problems: after several weeks of active posting of the stories, it seems that all the newsbreaks are exhausted.
In order to not have any troubles regarding ideas, create a content plan for a couple of weeks or a month ahead. Consider when making a plan:
- season activities in your business area;
- upcoming events on the market and in your company;
- questions about your product that your followers and clients are asking.
Examples of planned Instagram stories for business
Prepare the base content in advance. This way you will not have to come up with topics for stories every day from the very beginning. As soon as actual newsbreaks appear you could fill your plan with new content.
Post Different Types of Content so Your Followers Are Not Bored
Different types of content will help to make your stories in business more interesting and engaging.
These are the main types suitable for almost every area:
- informational - stories including information about your business/company, announcing upcoming events, announcing new feed publications
- educational - detailed information about your product (instructions, practice tips, lifehacks);
- engaging - games, giveaways, quizzes, surveys and other engaging mechanics;
- promotional - direct advertisement of your products, announces of your campaigns and sell-outs, reviews about your products.
The example above includes three types of content: engaging, advertising, educational.
So, how to use Instagram stories for business and how to do it better? Optimal way is to use all types of content and alternate them. Thereby, the content will always be diverse and will not annoy followers.
Other than with the content types, also experiment with different ways of conveying information.
For example, launch of a new product can be conveyed differently:
- post a photo of a new model adding a little caption;
- prepare some stories with detailed images of a product;
- create a little video with a review;
- show the process of designing the product and etc. in your business Instagram stories.
Use All the Accessible Tools to the Maximum
We mean built-in stories tools - there becomes more of them every year, which lets you create more interesting content and test different ways of engaging followers. The next components will help you know more about how to use IG stories.
Things you should try:
- masks and filters;
- links to external resources (a website or a blog) - if you have more than 10 thousands of followers;
- geotags (they do not influence engagement, but help to display stories, firstly, those people who are at the tagged location);
- mentions of other users or business accounts;
- questions, answers and surveys;
Text and stickers make stories more interesting and catch the attention
These are just the main tools, the full list of opportunities is much bigger - you just need to consistently test them and watch what works better with followers.
Call to Action
To post useful and engaging content is a good thing. However, to convert followers into buyers and motivate them taking different target actions that are important for your account and a business is much better:
- like and comment under your publications;
- direct message;
- tagging your account in personal stories;
- transition to the website, etc.
Call-to-action in Instagram story for business makes followers take actions
To have more target actions - use CTA (call-to-action). Although, just like with direct advertisement, you have to be careful and do not overuse it.
Save Important Information in Highlights
Another key point about how to use Instagram story for business and not to miss anything. Not all stories disappear after 24 hours. If you save it in a “Highlights” section, they will always stay accessible for viewing in the head of your profile. Highlights may be sorted by folders, this way you can create a semblance of sections with basic information, which will be helpful to new followers. Highlights are good for saving:
- stories telling about the product range;
- reviews of clients;
- prices on goods and services;
- payment, return and exchange conditions, information about delivery;
- examples of the works;
- campaigns and special offers.
This is how Highlights look in the account
To make the account look harmonious, make covers for compilations in one style. We talked more about the Highlights design here.
Targeted Advertising in Stories
Other than using Instagram stories in your account, you can use them like a placement for targeted advertising. Your advertisement will be displayed to users who view stories of several accounts. How does Instagram story work for this purpose? Below there are some recommendations that will help efficiently run advertisements and not waste the budget.
Prepare for running the advertisement: analyze target audience and plan campaign
Firstly, define the main purpose of advertisement: attracting new followers, increasing sales on the website, getting direct messages, etc.
Then build a detailed strategy:
- analyze you target audience and divide it into the main segments;
- learn the characteristics of every segment: socially-demographical, interests, behavior (this data will help to configure targeting more accurately);
- analyze what needs and pains of the target audience your product meets;
- analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the main competitors;
- prepare advertising offers for every segment of the target audience;
- define where your traffic will be (direct, website) and to what target action you will call users.
Such preparation will help structure the information about product advantages, better understand your target audience and break away from competitors. And as a result - create and run a successful advertising campaign. You might notice that business Instagram stories can be very efficient for advertisements as well.
Work out Creatives Considering Target Audience’s Needs
We already mentioned that stories are good for developing creative approaches. So how to use Instagram stories to make something creative also effective?
Creatives in targeted advertising play almost the most important role. Even when you are running an advertisement to a wide audience, if your creative perfectly fits the target segment of users, considering their reactions Facebook’s algorithms could optimize displaying of the ads and attract more target users.
Basic recommendations for working out the creatives:
- 1 creative - 1 message for one segment of the target audience. Do not try to reach all the segments with one ad. It is also useful to test several offers for every segment (doing this will help you understand what brings the more effective result).
- Make the creative attractive (to catch users’ attention so that they do not skip the stories) and understandable.
- Show your product in action.
- Make sure the wording of the offer is extremely simple and clear - from the very first seconds the user must understand the point of your offer and why it is worth paying attention to it.
- Try out videos, animation and static creatives.
Things to Remember
What are Instagram stories anyway? Using Instagram stories for business is not the same as using them in a personal account. However, they may become a helpful communication channel. If remembering:
- Focus not on the visual content but on the idea and read more about Social Media Marketing.
- Plan posting stories and publications separately, it is the different kinds of content. Now, when you know how to use stories on Instagram for different purposes, the process should be easier.
- Promote stories you selected for money, as well as the publications.
- Engage users in communication, it also includes inviting the experts and consultations.
- Combine important stories into albums, create a navigation using them.
- Create the “web”: tag users, add hashtags and geotags, make reposts, suggest tagging your account.
- Do not ignore direct messages.
- Add the game elements to your stories.
- Track the most successful stories using statistics and note for yourself what things have worked. Much depends on how you use Instagram story, even just one.
- Think through who could be the “face” of your profile and the “host” of your stories.
- It is not the polished picture that plays a role, but the idea and planning.