Did you know that some companies have an employee dedicated to just producing Instagram stories? Yes that’s right, their full -time role is just to focus on providing content for this feature in Instagram. This, in addition to the fact the Instagram Stories usage has now overtaken SnapChat usage, tells us that Instagram Stories is going to be big.
Here’s the lowdown on what Instagram Stories are exactly, and how you can use these as an effective marketing tool.
A quick rundown on Instagram stories
The concept of Instagram Stories is similar to that of Snapchat. It’s producing ‘disposable’ raw style content that disappears from your account. The feature allows you to add images and videos in a chronological succession to create a “story” which will disappear after 24-hours. These stories do not appear on your main Instagram feed/grid where you usually post your images, but rather feature at the top of your main feed.
These stories also appear in chronological order, so the most recent stories will be at the front. For business use, this is a very important factor as this tells us that timing is absolutely crucial. If you post stories when your viewers aren’t online, your followers may not see it as other stories will be newer and appear first. So, optimise your stories to this timing and post stories at the best possible posting time when your audience is online.
With stories, you can add text, icons, emojis or even filters to your images and videos so you can get quite creative with your story. You could post 5 stories at a time, or one every hour throughout the day.
One of the features of Instagram Stories is Instagram Live. This allows you to record a video live – there is no editing and no second take. Something to remember with these is, firstly to make sure you want the video to go out to your audience – ensure it is nothing that can harm your reputation as a brand.
Secondly, don’t film for too short a time as people may take a few minutes to join the live video stream. At the moment, these live videos also disappear immediately after your broadcast ends so you don’t receive views on your Live Stories after the broadcast, as you do with Facebook Live. If you are planning to film an Live Story try promoting it first in both your Instagram feed and stories to let people know when you will be live – and give them a reason to join the Live broadcast.
Instagram stories are fast becoming a key contributor to social media, and specifically for business.
Here are a few ways to use Instagram Stories to get you started:
Allow your audience get to know you
Checking in, chatting or even doing a Q&A session with your audience will allow them to build a relationship with you and find out who the faces are behind the brand. This allows you to build trust through this interaction. Although it may seem daunting to have yourself filmed, the impact it creates is huge.
Document your day
One of the most commonly used strategies on Stories at the moment is documenting. Show what you do and a few snippets of behind the scenes to allow for people to see the hard work that goes into what you do. Remember that your profession may seem obvious to you, but to others, it is a completely new world. An appreciation of what you do is built through this.
Share some exclusive access or ‘teasers’ to a promotion, new product or event you have coming up. You can also create teasers for other content you have created, such as a blog or video to give it some extra promotion. If you have a blog, send out email newsletters or have tips for your Instagram audience, put snippets of these up on stories to give your audience a quick reminder to read them.
Themes are very popular on Instagram Stories as they allow you to create some level of anticipation with your audience. Maybe it’s a daily motivational quote, tip, tutorial video or weekly wrap. Consider what kind of themes you can execute and what’s relevant and of interest to your audience.
Get creative, and have fun
Every now and then show your fun side of the brand. Showing your office space or team building event will showcase a side of your brand that potential clients may be able to relate to. Depending on your brand image, this should not be overused and rather done occasionally. If it’s relative to the brand, then give it a go.
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Chronicle Republic Communications is a boutique Sydney marketing consultancy for real estate, property and interiors professionals. We specialise in social media, content marketing, email marketing, blogging, search engine optimisation, social media advertising and much more!
We help our clients tell their brand’s story through engaging and meaningful marketing that captures attention.