When Instagram first announced it’s new Stories feature in August of 2016, the world let out a universal deep sigh and collectively rolled their eyes.
Much of the initial pushback on the new feature was because, well-- Snapchat was already doing that… get a life, Instagram, stop playing.
However -- in true Alpha fashion, Insta-stories quickly surpassed SnapChat’s daily active users, and has continued to beef up the in-app offerings with exciting new features.
Face filters aside, many of these new features happen to be really great for businesses, allowing for easier discovery and putting you + your product or service directly in front of potential customers.
If you haven't currently found a way to add Instagram Stories into your overall marketing strategy, it’s probably time to start.
Here are 4 ways that your business can take advantage of this exciting feature and reach the masses, right now!
No. 1 : USE HASHTAG / LOCATION STICKERS
By adding hashtag and locations into your story content, you allow Instagram to scoop it up and place it into their new Hashtag + Location Stories.
This is an excellent strategy for discovery, since users can search a location or hashtag and then scroll through the story of various user's content.
Tag your business location in your stories or use your location when traveling, or at a specific event.
Also, taking advantage of #nationalwhateverdays and other popular event + community hashtags can allow your content to be seen by way more folks than just your followers.
No. 2 : ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT WITH A CTA
As with regular feed content, it’s important to ask your followers / viewers to engage with your content or take action depending on your desired result.
So, think about what your goal is for sharing the story.
Are you trying to get DM responses + comments?
Do you want people to click away to watch a video or read a blog post?
Do you want them to screenshot something? Sign up for your email list? Buy a product?
Decide what you want your audience to do + then add that Call To Action into your story to encourage more engagement.
NOTE: Business accounts with 10k or more followers can now add URL links directly within a post. Because of this, you might want to add a CTA that says “Swipe Up to Read” or something similar to encourage more action.
No. 3 : POST CONSISTENTLY / POST MORE OFTEN
Because of the nature of how stories are viewed, you can’t really over-post like you can on the regular feed.
In fact, since story content disappears after 24 hours, you’re free to post more often, ensuring that you’re always in front of your audience.
Now, that’s not to say that you should post story content for the sake of posting often--you should always try to create content for your business with purpose and intention.
(Want to learn how to create strategic Instagram stories with purpose? Check out my ebook Tell Your Insta Story!)
If you’re too busy or forgetful to post everyday (like me) you could still create more consistency in your posting schedule by hosting a weekly segment or series-- something that your followers can always look forward to or expect.
You can also create content for stories in advance. This way you can post consistently, even when you don’t have time to create something new.
No. 4: USE STORY CONTENT ELSEWHERE
It's sort of sad that we spend so much time planning and creating story content only to have it gone 24 hours later.
Luckily Instagram allows you save your entire story -- which means that you can use the content elsewhere. You can choose to post it to your regular Instagram feed, or you can add it to Facebook, Youtube, share it on your blog, etc.
Don’t let good content die after 24 hours.
Reuse. Repurpose. Recycle.
So-- are you planning to use Instagram Stories as part of your business' marketing strategy?
Or, are you already using stories to build your business?
Let me know what's working for you + what you think about Instagram stories in the comments below!