Instagram Stories for business: How can they help your brand in 2021!
Instagram has truely become a hub for brands and they are leveraging every aspect of it including instagram stories for business. Through sharing unique content such as Behind the Scenes, Testimonials, User generated content, etc., in their stories, without ruining the aesthetic of their feed or over crowding it, they have sure found a way to make the best of this feature and grow their business through Instagram!
Snapchat was the first one to come up with the story feature. Instagram later decide to ride the coattail. In the initial stages, the stories feature of Instagram seemed like a Snapchat knock-off; but to everyone's surprise, within just two years, Instagram left Snapchat in its shadow by coming up with new innovative features for its stories on the platform. As per Mediakix, 52% of Instagram Influencers have switched Snapchat stories for Instagram stories.
Proper utilization of IG stories can help brands reach more people and drive more sales. According to Hootsuite,58% of people developed an interest in a product or brand after seeing it in stories. Instagram is a massive Marketplace for many brands - 90% of all users on Instagram follow at least one brand, as revealed by Hootsuite. As per Microsoft's research in 2017, a human's average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds; this is partially due to constant innovative technology improvement.
With only a 15-second video limit, IG stories are specially designed for users with a shorter attention span. Since people use their mobile more often than any other electronic device, they can post anywhere and anytime. Unlike your feed, stories disappear after 24 hours. Hence you can publish content that doesn't necessarily match the theme of your account. Hootsuite states that Brand stories have a completion rate of 86%.
Although many brands follow the best Instagram story tips for business to spark engagement, others love to buy real Instagram followers through a genuine provider to achieve the same.
Stay tuned as we explore this in great detail in this blog!
1. Importance of Instagram stories for brands
Capability to post varied content
IGstorIesare accessible to businesses to post different kinds of content without worrying about ruining the home feed's aesthetics. You can use stories to launch a new product or service, or post Behind The Scene content. You can even hand over the reigns to your Instagram story to an Influencer to promote your Brand. If you organize a contest, You can use stories to reveal the winner. People would unlikely visit the Brand's feed every day; hence stories are a great way to consistently engage with your followers and show your Audience that you exist. Bannersnack conducted a study that revealed that Carousel posts hold the highest engagement rate of 1.94%, Images have the second spot at 1.74%, followed by video posts that stand at 1.45%.
Increasing In Audience
Instagram stories have helped businesses' accounts to reach out to newer audiences and convert them into loyal followers and customers; study from sprout social revealed that since 2021 Instagram has crossed the mark of 1 billion users globally. Instagram is mainly dominated by females (34.3%) under the age of 34, as stated by IG official blog. You can use location tags; this can help increase the Brand's discoverability locally and worldwide. Tagging your stories with your country, city, or area of residence can effectively help you reach a new audience. You can boost your profile reach by including hashtags in your stories so that people searching find them.
High engagement Between Businesses and their Audience
Millennials and GenZ primarily populate Instagram. According to Sensor Tower, usersdownloaded Instagram 13 million times in Q2 2020. As a brand, It Is important to engage with your audience to stay relevant constantly. Instagram has created various features for stories that encourage user-brand interactions. You can use IG stickers for business, such as poll and question stickers. Polls are a great way to understand your followers; polls can help generate enhanced interactions and engagement from viewers. Questions are yet another way to interact with your followers; this feature works both ways – You can ask viewers questions or receive questions from your viewers. Just like a feed post and you can also tag people, influencers, or businesses in your stories. Tagging effectively increases your chances to reach more people since the people you have tagged have the option to repost your stories.
Increased Website traffic
If you own a website or an e-commerce store, you can effectively use stories to funnel your viewers to your website. A study undertaken by Facebook revealed that 1 out of 3 users are interested in a product or brand because they had seen it on Instagram stories. Recently Instagram also came out with a shopping feature for accounts, taking e-commerce one step higher. This feature allowed users to click the product in your stories and purchase it from your site. IG stickers for business helped to provide information to the Audience quickly and with precision. Next, there is also the swipe-up feature on stories. By combining the swipe-up with creative Call-To-Action can direct traffic to your website. Hootsuite has found that monthly 130 million users tap on shopping post.
2. Best practices of using Instagram stories for business
Point Followers to Stories
According to Business Instagram blog, 500 million users use stories every day - Making up 40% of the total Instagram user base. These numbers show that though popular, not all engage with it daily. It is always a good idea to let your audience know that you have post new content on stories. Stories are a crucial part of your funnel as they have the potential to redirect users to any external source to convert to your goals. You are not spammy when you tell users to check out your story. Use your post at times to remind users about your story.
Create the best of Visuals.
Stories have a timelimit of 15 sec; you have that small window to grab your viewers attention and compel them to take action. Instagram is constantly coming up with new ways to help make visually appealing IGstories for brands.
Here are some points to consider –
- Use bright colours for fonts that contrast to your background,
- Use a headshot of a person; viewers tend to connect better emotionally when they see a human face.
- Choose a striking backdrop.
Mediakix states that 70% of Instagram stories have sound.
Pay attention to the text.
According to Bloggingwizard, 84.4% of Instagram users prefer photos over videos. Make sure your text is relevant to the picture inserted. Always try out different font styles and colours to know which suits you best for your story. Your fonts should not clash with your background. Don’t make it hard for viewers to understand what you are trying to convey; people will likely skip the stories entirely if they do not find any value or just confusing. Your fonts should complement your background and vice versa.
3. Instagram story tips for business
Tutorials and How-To’s
The inherited sequential feature of stories has made it ideal for creating how-to content; they can range across a broad spectrum - cooking, cleaning, sports, technology, gadgets, etc. Stories are highly engaging with short content - content that is easy to consume by viewers. According to Hootsuite, even though it's a slight increase, Instagram stories have a completion rate of 86% that is 1% more than 2019.
Huge conglomerates worldwide have understood how to effectively utilize Instagram stories for business to interact and disseminate information to their audience. For example, A brand can break down a 'how-to video of their product into a sequence of Instagram stories and ask their viewers to share their content with a particular hashtag to get featured on their account.
Share user-generated Content
As mentioned in the above point, brand asks its audience to share content with a hashtag. Brands use stories to feature content generated by their users. For example, CONVERSE shares their follower's posts with the #FOREVERCHUCK hashtag, brands dedicate a large story slideshow to feature their followers' posts. Stories disappear after 24 hours, making it ideal for publishing User-generated content here - Especially if you do not want to populate your main feed with UGC.
The shoutouts from your followers are valuable, so make their best use by utilizing Instagram stories.
Behind the scene content
The audience loyal to a brand will significantly be interested in what is happening behind the scenes. Brands on Instagram, on average, post once per day. Brands, therefore, create stories that feature what is happening outside the normal working. For example, Sports brands often post stories that show players during training or showing up at essential award ceremonies. Companies use stories to keep their followers updated every step of the way; stories are promoted with hashtags. For example, Fc Barcelona posts stories with the #Elclassico hashtag - featuring their players arriving on the bus, going through the tunnel and practising on the pitch. Stories are the best alternative available to brands if they want to avoid cluttering their feed with posts.
Limited time offers and deals
Brands can use stories to inform users about a new product sold at a discount for a limited amount of time or inform them about a physical store sale. For Example, Amazon Fresh created a story promoting $7.40 off on $74 or more orders for a limited time. They also specified the time frame to avoid confusion. Informing people about offers through stories is a clever way to keep the audience anxious for more such deals in the future.
They are using Branded content IG stories to make followers curious about what is coming next. Such stories serve as the initial step that builds up towards something great. For example, Southwest teased its viewers with the Shark week promotion. The audience was anxious to know what is coming next. The post served to pique the audience's interest. The upcoming stories eventually revealed the promotional hashtag #SharksTakeFlight to display their shark week aeroplanes in the air.
4. Learn from Brands that use Instagram stories for business
Undoubtedly, the target audience of LEGO is children, but LEGO targets older people on Instagram. The older audience can include parents or young adults interested in the product. On Instagram, LEGO showcases art constructed from their products. According to Hootsuite, 200 million Instagram users check out at least one business profile, and since millennials dominate Instagram – LEGO product can appeal to them. LEGO utilises IG stickers for a business like polls and quizzes in their stories to engage with their followers. Once Lego replicated Harley Davidson and asked users to select the correct number of LEGO titles in the life-size model.
LEGO's is an excellent example of a Brand that design its content on the social platform to appeal another set of audience that is different from their key customer base.
Glossier produces products that target millennials and the way they structure their stories shows how well they know their customers. Glossier established themselves through social media; even before releasing their homegrown product, they command a huge following.
Glossier’s IG stickers for business primarily consist of Question & Answer, polls, tutorials, and authentic content. They want to know what piques their customer's interests, what they like/dislike and want to provide necessary information about their product usage. Stories mostly redirect viewers to videos or blogs on their website. According to Hootsuite, 50% of users have visited the website after seeing a product or service. Glossier always approached the audience as a friend, always ready to assist them. The brand comes up with new developments by considering its follower's needs.
Glossier listens to what their customers have to say – They provide means such as polls, Q &A's so that their users can convey their interest and opinions. Glossier has established a strong relationship with its followers by encouraging them to interact with the brand through their stories.
New York Times
New York Times are very creative in their stories. They use the Instagram story feature to appreciate their news article. The story summarises the full article; interested users can swipe up and see the full editorial.
New York Times takes lots of high-quality photos for their editorial piece. The brand takes full advantage of these pictures to add value to their stories. They combine text with illustrations that attract the audience to read the article. 0.96% average engagement rate of a post by Instagram business account as stated by Hootsuite. Brands that write articles or blogs can use stories to reach out to more people. How creatively you can summarise your content with exciting graphics can compel your viewers to swipe up and read.
I hope you found this as a helpful guide to using Instagram stories for your business and drive sales!
Feel free to share.