7 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Your Business
At the beginning of 2016 Snapchat was the VIP of social networks. Celebrities, brands, publications, specialists and everybody boarded the Snaptrain and started rolling out their game with Snapchat.
Many publications I follow on Twitter (they must have found a strategy to get some ROI from Twitter), changed their profile picture with the little ghost QR code. Some brands began practicing influencer marketing on Snapchat and bought some geofilters to advertise their brand on the app.
But when Instagram Launched the Stories feature in August, everybody started questioning Snapchat in the social media stratosphere. Will Instagram kill Snapchat? Is this war between Facebook and Snapchat? Is this happening because Snapchat refused Facebook’s offer of $3 Billion?
Here we are, after a few months of InstaStories and Snapchat is still around. It seems that there is enough space for both networks. For now.
That means that we can take great benefits from Instagram Stories and from Snapchat.
I found myself using Instagram Stories more than Snapchat, but that’s only because I’m an Instagram enthusiast and I love this tool from the moment when they started rolling out on Android (I used to own and Android phone, so you ccan figure out how happy I was).
Because I’m a marketer, I also look at Instagram Stories as a new way to communicate with the audiences so I’m trying to find out new ideas, tactics and strategies to help other marketers get the best out of the Facebook owned app.
In this article I want to share with you The Marketer’s Guide To Daily Publishing on Instagram Stories.
This will help you have a better view of Instagram, save time and also start an a/b testing experiment on which strategy is better for you.
But before we delve into this topic we should know why we want to be on Instagram Stories and how we’ll be doing that.
Why do you want to start using Instagram Stories? Maybe because it’s trendy or maybe because you read it in this article? I don’t know your purpose and I don’t know your business but I could only help you with the first step.
Ask yourself — Why do I want to start using Instagram Stories?
And maybe it’s a cliche question but it will make you have a more clear understanding of your next steps in your social media strategy.
Many marketers think that they should start using Instagram Stories because they’ve heard that this is the last hot stuff. And this is wrong.
For example, even if YouTube is so big and I believe that video content on YouTube is a great way to connect with a broad audience, I’m not using it. Why? Because I don’t have a clear purpose on why should I use it and also I want to be the best at a few social networks, not to be only average on all social networks.
So think about this.
What do you want from Instagram Stories? Do you want to engage more with the people that already follow you on Instagram? Do you want to sell more of your product/service? Do you want to be the thought leader of your industry?
These are just a few question that poped-up in my mind, but that only depends on you.
So figure them out and then move to the next step.
Start doing this by posting Photos, Videos, Boomerangs, Hyperlapses, dedicated visuals and other types of content that you can make on Stories.
It doesn’t matter the type of content you upload there, it only matters how you do it and what results you get.
But what should you do when you don’t know what to post on Instagram Stories? Or when to post?
This is why I will share with you a 7 days content journey on Instagram Stories that can help you save more time, have a clear target and also create a better calendar of your social media presence.
I noted the days with Day 1 — Day 2 — Day 3 — Day 4 — Day 5 — Day 6 — Day 7 because I don’t want to get very exclusive with the days, but only to help you have a better editorial content for Instagram Stories.
It’s up to you on what day of the week you begin posting on InstaStories.
Day 1 — News in your industry
They can share the news in their industry and let their community know what’s going on in their world.
For some brands, this is a great way to leverage web traffic and also to engage with their community.
Because when you tell them what’s going on in your industry, you also remember them that you are in that industry and whenever they need a helping hand, you, as a brand, are there for them and can help them.
For example, let’s say that you are a sport clothing store, so you could easily share the news that the NBA season is now open and let people know who will play the first game. In this case, the basketball fans will get a positive reaction to your Instagram Stories and you can also get a deeper knowledge about your audience.
Ask them who will win the first game and let them send you their prognostics via Direct Message.
Instagram Stories shouldn’t be only about you and your brand.
You can easily talk about your industry, your audience, your market — everything that revolves around your brand.
Day 2 — Limited Sales
Instagram Stories are a great way to promote your limited sales.
Why? Because the content that you upload over there lasts only 24h so you don’t have to go back and delete the content or have different chats with your clients about it being a limited sale.
How should you promote your limited sales?
You could easily create a piece content (photo or video) upload it on Instagram and let your community know that you have something special for them on your Stories.
You can also make it more engaging and start creating a flow of videos where you show them the products for which one you have a sale and just tell them that they can ask for the product via Direct Message.
Day 3 — Q&A with your team
Everybody wants to know about the people behind a brand. I bet that there are people and customers who are curious about the marketing team from Apple or about the PR team from Nike.
People want to engage with people. People buy from People.
So this can be the day in which you announce a short Q&A with somebody from your team. In this way, you can present your team behind the product and let the audience ask them via comments about the content you uploaded on Instagram or just send them their question via Direct Message.
Do you see how important is now the DM feature from Instagram?
In this way you can have a bigger and better engagement with your audience.
Day 4 — How to Do
What if I told you a secret about a specific product? People love to know tips and tricks and how to use a product/service to make their lives easier. So why not using Instagram Stories in order to show your community the best practices with your tool?
For example, if you are a brand that sells office tools you could easily show them how to organize their desk to make their work more productive. Or if you are an SaaS brand, you could easily show them step-by-step guides on how to use your tool in a specific moment.
This is the moment when you talk about your brand in a different way.
You’re not only selling your product, you showcase it and people will see how it’s working.
Day 5 — Something Entertainment
Why not be the brand that makes your followers laugh about something or just relax.
Who said that brands should only sell on social media? For example, if we look at the Will it Blend project from BlendTec you will see that they use their products in a different but funny way.
Or just see how Oldspice promotes their product: funny and entertainment.
So let’s have a little fun. Maybe you have somebody from your team who could easily tell a good joke. Record him on video and let him tell the joke. Also, ask your audience to send you their jokes and let them know that the funniest ones will be promoted on Instagram Stories.
Day 6 — TakeOvers
Do you practice influencer marketing?
Or do you have any connection with a few influencers around you? If yes, then just let them take over your brand’s account and let them do their magic.
But don’t forget to ask them to share on their platform that they are taking over your brand’s Instagram Stories.
Influencer marketing is not a new strategy but many marketers are afraid of it because they can’t control it.
But there were many cases in which this tactic was a great way to connect with a bigger audience.
Day 7 — UGC (User Generated Content)
How to make the user look once again at your Instagram Stories? How to make followers connect with you and also make them share your content? Engage with them.
It’s not only about the brand, about the product, about the industry or about the market. It’s also about the community. So why not make the user create content for your brand?
User Generated Content (UGC) can be a great way to connect with your user. Ask them to share with a photo or video about a specific topic with you.
For example, let them share a photo about a specific color, specific season or just a random thought they have. Every photo you receive, you upload on Instagram Stories and let your community know who is behind that photo.
It’s a win-win-win situation :) win for you as a brand because you have fresh content and you connect with the user, win for your user because you promote their content and also their Instagram account with your community.
So here you go the marketer’s guide to daily publishing on Instagram Stories
You can take all of them or you can take some of them. But don’t forget that everything starts with the right purpose of your brand.
And how do you know the right purpose? After you develop an A/B test and see which is going well and which doesn’t. Simple :)
Now back to you, let me know in the comment section below which one of these types of content is leveraging you the best engagement and why you believe that it’s a great strategy for your Instagram Stories!
Originally published at www.robertkatai.com on November 15, 2016.