Every magical fairy-tale open with the phrase ‘Once upon a time’, which itself has the gravitas to make you believe that anything is possible; the mysterious, the unknown, and the fantastic. That very phrase embodies the mere essence of what the story has in store for the readers, the magic, the love, and the happy ending.
Similarly, with the transition of our world into a digital space, social media networking websites like Instagram have become a center stage for virtual storytelling. People narrate their stories through every post or story with the necessary dash of aesthetics to attract audiences.
However, within 10 years of establishment, Instagram has massively grown into becoming one of the topmost social media networking websites available. The platform has become a medium of communication and a platform for over 800 million users now.
With saturation as high as this, Instagram has become a hub for businesses and a medium to directly interact with their customers. Although, it has gotten tough to cut through the noise and stand out.
One of the best ways to generate greater brand awareness, engagement, and conversion rate on Instagram is through the Stories feature. Stories can help you get more local, as well as global exposure for your brand.
The feature may seem very mundane as it seems to only allow users to post photos, videos, or text that last for only 24 hours after posting but in a more unconventional way, stories can be a very creative and interactive way to build an audience.
Most brands use this feature to promote themselves and reach a greater array of audiences. Although, building an audience through Instagram stories isn’t as simple as it sounds; you need to have a few tips and tricks in the bag to do so. That is where we come in.
Embrace Your True Self
People on Instagram are more likely to view your stories and engage with you than through your posts. So, if you are a business looking to expand to more audiences, express your business’ vision through the various features offered by Instagram stories. Make sure your stories capture the very essence of your business but also make them personalized and relatable.
In addition, make your stories fun by using features like boomerangs, superzoom or handsfree mode. You can also make them more creative by doodling using the drawing tool or use Instagram suggested templates or use various filters offered or insert content related GIFs and stickers that will not only enhance but make your stories pop.
Adding product-based content on your stories is essential as it will obviously attract more customers, but you can add product stickers to your stories that will direct the audience directly to the shopping cart. Apart from that, to make your stories more personalized, upload more pictures or videos of your employees or office life.
This will give the audience a “behind the scenes” sort of feel which will help them connect and relate to your brand better. Another way of making your stories more personalized is through cultural or social-based content i.e. talk about recent campaigns or protests around you or the causes you support.
Instagram stories give marketers tons of features that let them directly interact with your audiences and in turn encourage audience engagement. One of the easiest and the most efficient ways is to engage your followers with your brand by adding a poll sticker, emoji slider sticker, question sticker, quiz sticker, or join chat sticker in your stories.
Collecting customer feedback and suggestions is crucial to the development and enlargement of the business. Hence, ask relevant questions about their opinions on the new products or about the kind of content they’d like to see from your brand on social media or simply let them ask you a question about your business.
You can use these various stickers to conduct thorough market research about the information that you require in order to continue your current business campaigns or start a new one. This is an interactive and fun way to get your audience interested in the new product rollouts and get to know them better.
Additionally, it also has a two-pronged benefit; the audience not only feels valued after engaging with you, but you also get enough data to tailor content that resonates with your audience better.
What is the point of putting a gracious amount of time and effort into crafting the perfect stories for your profile if you don’t have the necessary views to back it up? We have the perfect and rather rudimentary solution for you.
Adding a hashtag or a geotag to your Story makes it far more discoverable to a wider audience, as it gets tracked by the Instagram algorithm to appear on the page of that tag. So, if a person is following a specific tag; whether a hashtag or a geotag, s/he will see your story on their main page.
However, if the person doesn’t follow the said tags, but follows pages of similar interests or is near the location, your story is more likely to pop up on their explore page.
A few things have to be kept in mind here; use the most popular hashtags on Instagram as that will give you a wider audience, use more than a few hashtags on your story but hide them behind stickers or GIFs to make your story look cluster free and lastly make sure that the content you are adding to your story defines your brand and is captivating enough to draw audiences.
Promote Upcoming Events
A simple way to build an audience and simultaneously turn your current customers to loyal customers is by engaging with your audience more. One way of doing it is by poll stickers and we have already talked about that, but another way is by organizing webinars, masterclasses, events, interviews, or even Instagram Live.
Organizing such an event would give your audience more clarity about your brand and make them feel directly connected to you. The only obstacle here is to encourage your audience to join it and find more audiences who would be interested in something like that.
Hence, the best way to promote any event is through the stories as they can reach a larger audience in a shorter span of time. You can promote these events by tweaking a few things in your story that will make them more interesting and attractive.
Use a countdown sticker available in the Story’s feature to give your event a special emphasis, use GIFs for a little pop in your stories or customize branded GIFs using your Giphy account or make a branded AR filter for the campaign itself.
Drive Traffic To Your Web Content
The more content you feed your audience, the closer they feel to your brands, whether they are existing or prospective customers. But rather than bombarding this content on their page every day, upload more stories with information about the new products launched, discounts, or special offers.
The only drawback here is that after getting said information regarding the products on the stories, the people would have to swap apps to get to your website. The effortless solution to the problem is that by adding the website link in the story itself, the people can simply swipe up and devour the products on your website.
Apart from that, you can craft a simple story with a relevant photo or video and share a link to a blog, a page on your website, a YouTube video, an e-book, and much more!
In addition, it allows brands to add links to their pictures and videos that they shared on Instagram Stories. This feature eliminates the visit to a brand’s website and facilitates the impulse buy by putting the product in front of them at the swipe of a finger. In conclusion, this is the best way to boost your sales on Instagram while simultaneously boosting your SEO.
Basic human psychology dictates that people are likely to be influenced by the decisions taken by the people around them. Businesses can leverage this and use it for their convenience.
One of the best and easiest ways of doing this is by encouraging your followers to feature your products and tag your brand in their Stories. Offering them added incentives like a chance to be featured on your Instagram page can motivate them into sharing their experiences and your products on their stories.
User-generated content is the most convenient and effortless way to promote your products without being overbearing. This not only encourages your current followers to post more about your brand but also influence your prospective target audience into buying your products after seeing the great experience your present customers have had. This is a simple tactic to humanize your brand and give it that added personal touch that resonates with potential customers better.
Your audience is likely to gush over your brand more if you bring in a brand ambassador or an influencer to promote your products. It can help you gain new followers and increase your conversion rates by allowing audiences to discover your products easily.
You use influencer marketing in three very different but simple ways: the first is that businesses build relationships with Instagram influencers by offering them a free or discounted product to use and promote on their stories, the second is that brands post about wanting brand ambassadors who will then promote their products, and lastly businesses offer a “take over” where the influencer take you through their day or some event through the brand’s stories.
These three practices are very common on Instagram now and several highly renowned brands like Maybelline, Sephora, Fashion Nova, Urban Decay and many more take parts in this.