Like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms. It is popular among those individuals who create short and quick posts that can be easily shared with friends and colleagues.
It's been ten years since Mark Zuckerberg, who owns Facebook, bought Instagram for $1 billion. The fact that a social media platform founder was interested in buying Instagram shows how effectively it influences its users.
Since people have understood that Instagram influences people's opinions and perspectives, they have started using Instagram Stories for business. They use this platform as a medium to support products, services, and brands.
In today's day and age, companies tend to do organic and paid marketing promotions on Instagram. As long as businesses use Instagram stories to support their brand message and get it through to the target audience, they use this platform to express themselves. The most effective way is to use Instagram stories for marketing your products and services.
Instagram content usually revolves around images and videos. Therefore, you must use minimum text to support your visual content. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you cannot add a link to your Instagram posts, limiting how businesses can promote their stuff on this platform.
What are Instagram Stories?
Instagram stories combine vertically taken images and videos up to 15 seconds long. Instagram stories remain published exactly after it gets posted by the user. They are not part of the news feed but stay on the Instagram user's app and must be tapped in to view.
Image taken from Instagram
Instagram stories for businesses are stories or content posted by an entrepreneur or a company to promote a particular product or a service. This approach is practical because the company that uses Instagram stories for business is probably selling this type of product consumed by the target audience. For example, a business that offers recruitment services will not deal with Instagram stories. If they are involved in social media marketing, they will promote their products on LinkedIn, a relevant promotional platform.
Using Instagram stories for business is a cost-effective marketing approach because it increases your viewership and builds brand awareness without spending any penny on paid advertisements. Hence, firms in the initial phase or having little budget prefer Instagram stories for promotional purposes.
Importance of Instagram Stories for Business
1) Announcement in Instagram Stories
Since Instagram stories have an instant nature, they can effectively share announcements and updates about your company and brand. For example, if your store comes up with a product line extension, you can announce it in your Instagram story. Similarly, you can use Instagram stories for business hiring if you have job vacancies and don't want to promote them through job portals.
Instagram stories for businesses can also be a great way to publish behind-the-scenes footage of your company. For example, you can post some video content on social media but not make it a permanent spot on your social media page.
2) Collaboration With Other Brands
Instagram stories provide an excellent opportunity to collaborate with other brands and businesses. If you are trying to build an online brand community, you can increase your members by posting about it on your Instagram story. Companies usually start a blog if they don't go for Instagram stories.
You can create a partnership with other brands to promote their services on your Instagram story and promote your services on their Instagram story. This partnership is a win-win situation for both businesses involved. You can also team up with influencers with a massive following on this platform to promote and grow your brand.
Other Benefits of Instagram Stories for Business
Instagram story is an effective way to update your followers about what your business is up to without oversharing on your news feed. For example, you may have identified a photo for the world to see, but it needs to be made a permanent post on your Instagram timeline.
Besides adding polls and countdown timers, every Instagram story lets your viewers send you a message with a small chat box at the bottom. When you interact with your viewers through stories, you create connections that go beyond sharing visual content.
Instagram stories for business enable you to boost your online presence. People who comment on your posts and start conversations will likely go through your profile and hit that follow button.
Instagram stories enable you to highlight special offers and give glimpses of new products and services. For example, you can create time-bound posts that you don't want to keep on your feed forever. The 24-hour life of an Instagram story makes curious followers return to your Instagram profile, as today's stories will disappear tomorrow.
How to Use Instagram Stories for Business?
In today's digital world, people would love to get rid of the advertisements shown to them. For example, if you are a YouTuber and want to make money through advertisements, you should be aware of the ad option provided to you on YouTube. Most viewers are annoyed by this option and tend to skip those ads after five seconds. In worst-case scenarios, their videos start after the ads are over.
Although Instagram stories are not advertisements, they are used by many businesses as their replacement. Users do not consider Instagram stories biased ads to promote a product or a service. They view Instagram stories for business as entertainment that can be shared with friends and colleagues. If business people understand how to use them, Instagram stories can effectively increase revenue. Here are how you can make your Instagram stories for business attractive:
Keep stories short and crisp: You must stick to one topic in each story and avoid rambling, so people don't click away. Furthermore, your Instagram stories for business should last up to a minute or two.
Image taken from Instagram
Creativity with visuals: The stickers and attractive features are present on your Instagram stories for a reason. Being a story creator, you must ensure that your visuals match your brand. When you upload the visual content from your camera roll, you can add a call to action (CTA) to inform your customers about what to do with your exciting content. For example, if you offer a 50% discount on your summer merchandise, you can provide a link directing them to the place you want them to go.
Use hashtags: Hashtags on Instagram stories are used to expand your viewership. It eventually helps people looking for specific hashtags to get excited about your content.
Revamp user-generated content (UFC): You can ask your followers to submit images or videos related to your brand. After getting a compilation of visual content, you can put the best content in your Instagram stories.
Save important stories: Since the stories are only published for 24 hours, you can save the ones from being featured on top of your profile. You can even create categories for your Instagram stories.
Share exclusive content: Every content creator wants to provide the audience with as much information as possible. For example, you can offer your customers a glimpse of your new products, behind-the-scenes footage, and special discounts.
Add quizzes and polls:Quizzes and polls are brilliant ways to get feedback about your products and services. They can also make improved marketing decisions, such as what content to post and when.
Run contests: Running top-drawer games in your Instagram stories for business is a fantastic way to attract your viewers. You can ask your viewers to submit visual content related to your brand or generate a new tagline or a slogan about your new products or services.
Conduct live streaming: Although videos are attractive to viewers, they are on a different level than live video streaming. Live streams enable you to connect with your viewers in real time. Once you have completed your live stream, you can save it as your story.
Integrate Instagram Stories on Your Strikingly Website
Nowadays, many individuals run their businesses through professional websites. If you have a business website to support your social media campaigns, you can integrate social media platforms into it. Adding Instagram stories to your website will enable you to drive traffic from your social media pages to your website.
If you have yet to build a professional website for your business, you can head to Strikingly and register for a free account. Strikingly is a high-quality website builder that allows you to build an exquisite website within just a few hours. After creating a quality website design, you can add your social media platforms as icons in the last part of your homepage to support your business plans. Using Instagram stories for business will only help you to add to your social media presence.
Image taken from Strikingly
Strikingly also provides users with a knowledge-based help center to interact with other users. This feature is essential in gaining user feedback and working on your weaknesses.
Since you understand how Instagram is used for business, it is necessary to get to work and consider things. When you add new features to your Instagram story, remember to stay on-brand with every story.
One of the ways of using Instagram Stories for business is by visualizing it through your website. You can build a website on Strikingly to support your Instagram stories. If you are experiencing difficulty building your website, you can submit your queries to our Happiness Officers. Using relevant strategies, Instagram stories for business will enable you to maintain your online presence.