The Right Way of Using Instagram Stories for Business

Instagram is a popular social media platform. It is popular among the youth who like to make short and quick posts that are easily shareable among their friends and peers.

In 2012, Instagram was bought over by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, for $1 billion. The sole fact that the founder of such a huge social media platform saw such value in Instagram that he took it over shows how effective and valuable Instagram is in influencing its users.

As businesses realize this value that Instagram has in influencing people’s opinions and decisions, they have started using Instagram as a medium for marketing and promoting their brands, products, and services. They have used Instagram stories for business.

Businesses can do both organic and paid promotions on Instagram. As long as the products that a business is selling apply to the general audience found on Instagram, the business is eager to have an Instagram account to showcase itself. The most convenient way to use an Instagram account to market products or brands is.

Most of the Instagram posts revolve around pictures and images. That’s why the text that you use on Instagram has to be the minimum. You can also not add a link to each of your Instagram posts, the way you can do so on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media sites. This limits the way a business can promote its stuff on Instagram. Hence, the most common way to promote something on Instagram is through Instagram stories.

What is an Instagram Story?

Instagram stories are a series of vertically taken photos or videos, which are up to 15 seconds long, and remain published for only 24 hours after they are posted. They are not displayed in the feed. They are displayed on the top of an active Instagram user’s app and need to be tapped on to view.

Instagram stories for business are such posts or stories that are posted by an individual or company intending to promote a specific product or service. They are effective because a company that uses Instagram stories for business is probably selling the kinds of products that are consumed by the audience that’s found on Instagram.

For example, a business that offers recruitment services would not use Instagram stories for business. If they are into social media marketing, they would rather promote their services on LinkedIn, because that’s a more relevant platform for them to use.

Using Instagram Stories for business is quite a cost-effective marketing strategy because it gets your view and builds your brand awareness, without having to spend any money on paid advertising. That’s why businesses that are just starting off and have a little budget available for paid advertising strategies prefer using Instagram stories for business.

A Strikingly user highlighting on his website the most suitable social media platforms to follow him on

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Let’s look into the reasons posting Instagram stories are beneficial for your business.

5 Ways in Which Instagram Stories Benefit Your Business

We are living in a world where social media users will pay a price to get rid of any advertisements shown to them. If you are a YouTuber who’s trying to make some money from ad revenue, you’d probably be aware and annoyed with the option that YouTube gives to its users to skip any ads running on your videos after 5 seconds.

In this scenario, using Instagram stories for business can be a good way out. Instagram stories are not advertisements but are used by many businesses in place of advertisements. Users do not view Instagram stories as biased ads that are pushing them to buy something. They view Instagram stories as pieces of entertainment shared by their friends, colleagues, and peers. This gives businesses an advantage, if only they know how to use Instagram stories for business.

Here are 5 effective ways in which you can use Instagram Stories for business.

1. Make Announcements in Instagram Stories

Since Instagram stories have an instant nature, they are a fantastic way to share announcements about your brand or company. If you are coming up with a product line extension, announce it in an Instagram story. If you have open job vacancies and do not want to promote them in job portals, simply use Instagram stories for business recruitment.

Using Instagram stories for business in this way is like posting behind-the-scenes footage of your company. It’s like you are posting something on social media, but not making the post occupy a permanent spot on your company’s profile or social media page.

Strikingly user's website showing social media icons linked to social media profiles

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

2. Collaborate With Other Brands

Instagram stories are a great opportunity for your business to collaborate with others. If you are looking to build an online brand community, you can promote it and increase its members by posting about it in an Instagram story. Some companies build a brand community by starting a blog, while others can do it by using Instagram stories for business.

Screenshot of a Strikingly user's website's blog section

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

You can choose to team up with another business within the same industry and promote their brand on your Instagram account for them promoting yours in theirs. This kind of collaboration is a win-win situation for both businesses involved. You can also team up with an Instagram user who has a huge following on the platform and use influencer marketing through him/her to promote and grow your brand. This is a very smart way of making use of Instagram Stories for business. You get more exposure, your content gets more reach, and you open the doors to making more sales.

3. Make Instagram Story Highlights

These have been a game-changer for businesses since December 2017, when they were first released. For regular Instagram users, Instagram story highlights are like a personal showreel, giving a quick view of their best hits. But for businesses and brands, Instagram story highlights are the stories that they pin to the top of their Instagram profile as an extension of their bio. This is a way to make your Instagram stories for business more long-lasting.

This feature allows you to tell anyone who lands on your Instagram page about your business. You can also display your product photos in these story highlights, just like you would display them on your brand website. If you use Instagram stories for business in this way, you use your Instagram stories in story highlights and create an appealing cover with them for your Instagram page, you can turn your Instagram account into an attractive brochure.

Screenshot of Strikingly user's website selling clothing

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

4. Create Polls in Instagram Stories to Collect Feedback

Businesses these days do not need to build boring customer questionnaires and struggle with the response rate to collect customer feedback. If only you know how to use Instagram stories for business, you can simply create and use polls in Instagram stories. This is a great way to excite your followers and drive interaction with them.

At Strikingly, we use our knowledge-base help centre to interact with our users. That’s another way of collecting feedback from users, which is also quite effective.

Screenshot of the Strikingly help centre

Image taken from Strikingly

Your Instagram followers can be used for finding out about their latest preferences and opinions about your brand. Instead of conducting focus groups, writing lengthy research papers, or using direct marketing tactics, why not just use Instagram stories for business?

5. Ask Questions From Your Instagram Followers

Instagram now has a sticker for questions, which makes it possible for businesses to invite their Instagram followers to ask questions that they have about the brand. The business can also ask questions from their followers. It works both ways.

This is an awesome feature for building an online community where customers can solve their queries by asking burning questions that they have about the brand’s products or services.

When you use Instagram stories for business in this way, you show your customers that you care about their opinions and are here to resolve their queries. This builds a good brand image for you, which can go a long way in helping you grow your business in the long run.

Tips to Create Great Instagram Stories for Business

Now that you know how to use Instagram stories for business, here are a few tips you can follow to create great Instagram stories so that you can get the maximum benefit out of them for your business.

  1. Decide what your goal is and create the Instagram story accordingly. For example, if you aim to collect customer feedback, you can create a poll in your Instagram story.
  2. Use motion pictures along with still images. Video marketing is more effective than merely using photographs. When you are creating Instagram stories for business, make sure you include video content in them.
  3. Create Instagram stories within the recommended dimensions. If you are making image ads, use the recommended image format (1080 x 1920 pixels). Do the same for your video ads.
  4. Set the target audience for your Instagram stories carefully. Narrow down your audience by limiting the followers that can see your ad. This can easily be done if you are running paid Instagram story ads. There are options to narrow down the targeted audience based on how each individual is connected with your brand.
  5. Create a compelling call-to-action in your Instagram stories. Whether you are running a paid Instagram story ad or just using organic marketing to promote it, you must include a call-to-action in it. This will guide your followers or viewers regarding the action they need to take if they are interested in your products.

This is how you can effectively use Instagram stories for business. If you run your business through a website, you can integrate your Instagram account with it to give your following a boost. Integrating social media with your website also helps to drive traffic from your social media pages to your website.

If you are looking to build a website, that’s easy to integrate with Instagram and other social media platforms, you can create one in Strikingly. Strikingly is a platform that enables anyone to develop a website on their own and launch it within just a few hours. We offer full-time customer support to help you resolve queries or technical issues. You can sign up for your free Strikingly account today, and get in touch with us anytime through our live chat support.