With all of the social features that are now available, how do you decide which ones your brand should be using? Through testing and learning, you’ll find that certain methods convert better for your brand than others, but Instagram Stories should arguably be part of the mix if you want to turn followers into customers.
1. Engage Your Audience
With over 400 million people viewing Instagram Stories daily, 1/3 of which are Stories posted by businesses, they’re just as important as what you’re sharing on your feed, if not more. A curated feed is fundamental, but a grid of photos can only do so much to tell a bigger story, especially with Instagram’s algorithm in play. By shifting some of your content planning to focus on Instagram Stories, you can supplement your profile content and go deeper.
Bonus: The more frequently followers view and interact with your Stories, the more likely your profile posts will show up in their feeds.
2. Humanize Your Brand
In-feed photos that include a face have been shown to increase engagement by up to 38%. If a single photo can do that, an Instagram Story with multiple photo or video slides that include people can be a powerful way to engage your audience. By showing faces and personalities, your followers will feel more connected to your brand beyond double-tapping a pretty image.
Etsy has curated their Instagram feed to include a selection of items from their platform, but their Instagram Stories go beyond the surface to celebrate their makers. The Stories give a glimpse into how sellers’ products are made, ways the products can be used, and where the featured items can be purchased through a final call-to-action to swipe up and shop.
3. Showcase The Details
Imagine looking at a Broadway playbill. While you can see photos of and background information about the actors and actresses, their character doesn’t come to life until you see them on stage.
In the same way, in-feed posts can showcase your product and a description of it, but Instagram Stories can really bring it to life. Use Stories to highlight a usage case, details that are hard to photograph, or information that’s too lengthy for a caption.
Tarte Cosmetics should take a bow for doing this well. In a recent Instagram Story, they showed off their metallic eyeshadow product, Chrome Pots, to debunk a myth and provide more information to their consumers.
Through social listening, they identified that customers thought they were receiving a faulty product because the powder was loose in the jar. In their Story, they shared that the product is meant to be loose, and they showed exactly how to use it, all while highlighting the shimmery metallic pigment that can’t fully be captured in a photo. Tarte uses the same people in their Stories often, which is a great way to establish familiarity and keep people coming back for more.
4. Highlight Your Best Features
Even though Instagram launched Stories over 2 years ago, it can still feel like creating content for a 24-hour black hole. With the introduction of Profile Highlights last year, it opened up a whole new realm of possibilities.
Through social listening, you can identify key topics to share in your highlights. From FAQs and tutorials to behind-the-scenes and insider tips, you can put this useful information at potential customers’ fingertips. When people visit your page, they can find exactly what they’re looking for because you anticipated their needs.
Just make sure to regularly update your profile and remove highlights that are no longer relevant to reduce visual clutter. And don’t forget branded highlight covers!
5. Tag Your Products
While you can only use the “swipe up” Story feature after you accumulate 10K+ followers, you can use Product Tags with e-commerce regardless of how many followers you have. This feature, introduced in October 2018, is a great way to share product details without having to distract from the more unstructured Story you’re trying to tell. With a Product Tag, viewers can tap to see the item name, price, description, and a direct link to purchase.
Killing it with Product Tags: @brandlesslife
By shifting more of your focus to Instagram Stories in 2019, you can tell more of your story — and tell it well.