With businesses becoming more and more aware of the profiting potential of social media marketing, they might be looking at Instagram next. Why? Because with so many brands using these platform giants for business – and with 90% of Instagram users following at least one business – companies not using it might be missing out on huge marketing opportunities.
This not only includes influencer marketing, but also Instagram’s insane rate of growth since 2017, growing from 700 million to 1 billion active monthly users, and 1.60% median engagement across industries.
Instagram Stories aren’t just fun and creative, they’re also:
- Ideal for growing your engagement
- Great for building brand awareness
- An attractive way to drive sales
So, want to get started with Instagram Stories? Then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll introduce eight of the best ways to create the Instagram Stories that are not only appealing to customers but will also appeal to users looking for fun and creativity.
1. Use Multiple Fast-Paced Scenes
“Normally, images on Stories are shown for 5 seconds, and videos can last up to 15,” says Dakota Rix, a lifestyle blogger at Australian help and Paper fellows. “Though, you shouldn’t bore your audience with only one scene in your individual Stories. Instead, use more than one scene in your Stories, especially in your Stories ads.”
Here are some of the many ways you can show off fast-paced scenes in Stories:
- Change the angle on a product shot
- Change the background color
- See how your favorite music videos (or similar videos) create their fast-paced scenes
“As you create your scenes, remember to keep them snappy,” adds Rix. “Top-performing Stories normally have an average scene length of 2.8 seconds.”
2. Promote Facebook Live Videos and Events
Nowadays, many businesses will utilize Facebook Live to engage with their audiences and sell their products and/or services. With that said, why not use Facebook Live in conjunction with Instagram Stories?
All you have to do is post an Instagram Story, letting your viewers know that you’ll be broadcasting a live video on Facebook. To promote your videos through Stories, create a brief teaser story that gives people a preview of what the Facebook Live event will be like, while including a URL. The URL should be short since users can’t click on a long URL on an Instagram Story.
Some other things to think about when promoting your Facebook Live event:
- Use slanted text to place at whatever angle you choose
- Use appealing text with appropriate font size
- Talk about any relevant previous posts that people might be interested in
3. Showcase Blog Posts in Bite Sizes
Does your business have a website? Does your business run a blog? If so, then show off your editorial content on Stories. With Stories, you can put together short articles (for example, how-to articles) on just about any topic that your website or blog has live.
Here are some good examples on how to implement bite-sized Stories about your blog or site posts:
- If users are looking to research a certain topic, and your blog revolves around informative content, then you can display this in Stories.
- For example, if your business is a bakery, for Instagram users looking for cooking and decorating ideas, you can share your own blog posts related to those topics, and show off your great and relevant ideas.
- For Instagram users wanting to learn more about personal topics and you who may relate to your business, your blog post Stories can be there to share your advice.
Once you choose topics relevant to your business’ blog, you can create a Story that might include a cover page with an engaging image (which has an effective call-to-action message and a URL that people can visit for more information). Or, you can create a Story that allows images and videos to tell the preview for you.
Either way, make sure that you’re either using the proper graphic design software for it, or using the Instagram Stories tools that are already at hand (i.e. stickers, polls, drawings, etc.).
As you promote your blog posts with Stories, keep the following objectives in mind:
- Keep the information in an interesting, digestible format by breaking it down into only a few slides to display visually.
- Engage your audience from start to finish. That means grabbing their attention at first, and then closing with a directive that leads your followers to visit your blog and read your article.
- Display content however you want, just as long as it’s creative and attractive to users.
4. Visualize Your Brand
Stories are meant to be a visual experience that is not only full-screen, but also immersive for viewers. That means that all of your visuals have to be on-point for your brand.
First, focus on maintaining a consistent visual identity, which affects Instagram’s ranking algorithms – this is extremely important. This means using consistent colors, fonts, approved gifs, trending hashtags and Instagram Stories templates to get the job done.
Then, nurturing a relationship with your audience is important. In other words, users should recognize your style before they read your username.
All of these things can be achieved, regardless if you have a design team at hand, or doing the visual grunt work on your own. Also, there are many Stories-focused design apps to help you pull off the right look on Instagram.
5. Go Behind the Scenes
Want to take your viewers on a “backstage tour” of your business? You can do that, too, with Stories!
Whether you display it in photos, or videos, or both, it’s now more fun than ever to take your viewers behind the scenes. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to go into full-blown production, when going behind the scenes. All you have to do is put in enough effort, and show your viewers a unique view of the day-to-day happenings at your business.
Another thing to consider is timing. You have to be quick and spontaneous, especially when it comes to your videos on Stories. Even a simple snippet of daily life at your office or studio can be very effective when promoting your brand.
6. Celebrate Major Milestones
All companies will celebrate several milestones during their lifetime. Milestones are occasions to tell success stories. So why not share these accomplishments with your viewers? Your viewers may congratulate you and celebrate with you!
The process is simple, and can be done in multiple ways:
- Interview your staff (and have staff interview you)
- Create a timeline that leads up to the special occasion
- Look back at your accomplishments
- Interview customers (these will be your testimonials)
As you celebrate milestones with Stories, be sure to stay on brand. This means sticking with the right colors and tones of your brand, and reminding your employees who appear in your video that they’re acting as the face of the company. As such, you’re creating and maintaining brand personality on Instagram; and pretty soon, users will begin to notice.
7. Tell Stories
“Everyone loves a good story, especially on Instagram,” says Gabriella Wolff, a business writer at State of writing and Boom essays. “And, with Stories, you can take storytelling to the next level by engaging your viewers’ emotions, ranging from curiosity, to excitement, to empathy, and so on.”
Here are some ideas for content that may engage your audience with storytelling:
- Tell your official brand story
- Expand your promotional content with mini-documentaries
- Produce short skits
“As you tell your story with Stories, be sure to brainstorm ideas, and tie them to your goals for your overall Instagram strategy,” adds Wolff. “Afterwards, you may want to storyboard your Story to figure out the best way to tell it.”
8. Be Creative
Nowadays, people often go to Instagram to see and share anything and everything that is funny, authentic, or even raw. As for brands, the keyword is “authentic” – in other words, they want to express authenticity, when it comes to posts on social media, including Instagram. Regardless, creativity is – and should be – essential for businesses on Instagram.
Here are two basic ways in which you can approach creative content in Stories:
- There’s always the traditional studio route, which gives you a highly polished, expensively shot aesthetic. This route has a 97% chance of lifting brand awareness, versus a more organic DIY route, which has only a 63% chance of driving conversions.
- On the other hand, there’s the humble, mobile-shot DIY aesthetic. Although higher conversions tend to vary, since there’s not a lot of professional production if you go this route, this method could be combined with the use of:
o Camera effects (i.e. boomerang, hyper-lapse, etc.)
Regardless of which method you use, keep in mind: be authentic. That means experimenting more, tracking performance and learning, and figuring out what works best.
So, now that you’ve been introduced to eight ways that Instagram Stories can be incorporated into your business model, are you ready to take the next step to attract more viewers and customers?
With many brands and businesses now seeing the potential of gaining more customers from social media sites like Instagram, this is something that you, as a business, shouldn’t pass up any longer.
By using Instagram Stories for your business, you can grow your customer base and brand awareness by making the right content available to the right people