With the right strategy, Instagram Stories are an amazing way to increase customer engagement amongst your followers. This is thanks to the fun and interactive content they provide. If your brand is looking at ways to avoid customer acquisition costs, then you’ve come to the right place; we’ve got the low-down on exactly how to make that happen.

An example of Instagram Stories using GIFs and the location option.

What are Instagram Stories – in a nutshell?

  • You can share pictures and videos that will vanish after 24 hours.
  • You can use stickers, GIFs, hashtags and polls to increase engagement.
  • You can also utilise links in a swipe up feature.
  • Your stories will be visible to everyone.
  • You can see who and how many people have seen your Stories – plus other useful analytics.

In case you are still wondering if Instagram Stories are relevant to your business then keep in mind these facts and figures:

  • 500 million daily users. 
  • 25 million businesses are already communicating with their audience via Instagram Stories.
  • 20% of all stories get direct messages.
  • 68% of Instagram users are female.
  • 59% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram.
  • 33% of internet users between the ages of 30 and 49 use Instagram.

What are Instagram Stories’ Features?

To inject some fun, you can add the following into your images and videos:

  • Polls, emoji polls, GIFs, hashtags, stickers & locations (sticker icon):
    Want to interact with your audience by asking a question? Then a poll or emoji poll is what you need. Do you want to simply make the picture or video more visually appealing? GIFs are perfect and simple to use! Don’t forget to add a hashtag and the location (if applicable). Tip: When using polls such as the emoji poll, you can get an accurate insight into how people are interacting with you.
  • Drawings (pencil icon):
    Feeling creative? Draw some additions as seen on the cat image example on the right. Tip: You can easily combine drawings and copy to highlight a brand message or to add a splash of colour.
  • Text/Copy (Aa icon):
    There are different types of fonts; to change them, simply tap on the top centre and choose the one you like the most. In addition, you can easily add mentions. This is particularly good if you are sharing content that an influencer shared during a digital PR campaign. Simply add your copy and then tap ‘@’.

In addition, you are also able to:

  • Resize Images & Videos: Just pinch the screen & move your fingers inwards to make them smaller. You’ll then be able to see two banners, one above and one below the image, giving you the opportunity to add copy or a GIF.
  • Filters: To view the different filters, scroll to the right. This works just like the regular Instagram app.
  • Share Spotify Playlists: You can share a playlist by going into your Spotify account and clicking on ‘Share with Instagram Stories’.
  • Instagram Story Highlights: If you would like your followers to find your stories easily, you can add them to your profile just below your bio.
  • Swipe Up Link: You can place links to specific web pages (great for product or service focused marketing) which you can also monitor through Instagram’s analytics.

If you’d like to share something that is happening right now, then you can use any of the following:

  • Boomerangs: Short video clip that plays in a repetitive loop.
  • Rewind: Like boomerangs but plays a video in rewind.
  • Superzooms: Filters that can be used when recording short videos. You can add effects such as music, plus it can give an amusing angle to your videos.
  • Live Videos: Is your brand hosting an event? Share with people what’s happening as it happens with ‘Live Videos’!

How to share Instagram Stories

Simple as ABC:

  • Take a picture or record a video that you know your audience will like.
  • Choose your favourite IG feature.
  • Share away!
Explore Instagram Stories features so you choose what works best for your brand.

How To check Instagram Stories’ Analytics

No strategy is completed without the possibility of assessing if your content is performing well.

It is important to understand the difference between reach and impressions.

  • Reach is the number of unique views each slide of your IG Stories had.
  • Impressions are the total number of views of the overall IG Stories.

If you want to check if your IG Stories’ strategy is working, then assess how your reach is performing. Do you see your reach declining? It means that you may need to tweak your approach a little and try something different. Keep testing and assessing over and over. Testing and assessment is key to make any social media strategy work.

For more information on how to view Instagram Insights, check Instagram Help Centre here.

5 Ways to Step Up your Instagram Story Strategy for your business

  1. Instagram Stories = Campaigns

Think of Instagram Stories as small campaigns where videos and pictures are interconnected with your marketing strategy. Make the most of the slideshow option, upload images and videos, and share them in a way that gives your audience an inside look at your entire brand.

Tip: Have you thought about letting a blogger taking over your Instagram account? Or even providing exclusive insight to one of your photo shoots? Don’t forget to always offer exclusive content to your followers in a way that they feel really connected with your brand.

Want to know a bit more about how to build relationships with bloggers?

  1. Create your content in advance:

To help you to always have content that’s ready to be shared, you can easily create an IS calendar in advance. You can then add features, such as hashtags and locations to make them visually appealing after you’ve manually shared your videos and/or images.

Tip: Don’t’ forget to optimise! The perfect Instagram Stories’ dimensions are: 1080px by 1920px (aka 9:16)

  1. Inject your personality:

What’s your tone of voice and what demographic do you want to attract? Try to answer these questions when sharing an IG Stories. Remember that they exist to allow you to be fun and different, so don’t forget to use features we recommended above to make them more interactive and interesting.

  1. Create value for your followers:

Don’t forget that you are looking to retain your followers’ attention and to achieve this, you need to stand out from your competitors. It’s also a good idea not to share the same content you share in other social media platforms.

Tip: Just like any other content you are sharing, don’t forget the importance of adding CTA! You can easily add ‘swipe up’, ‘see more’ or ‘link in bio’ and invite your audience to check out your website by creating amazing onsite content.

Using polls and GIFs are great ways to make Instagram Stories interactive.

 

5. Add a shopping tag directly into Stories

Instagram has been testing this feature with Stories for a while and thanks to its big success, it’s been finally added as a new feature for brands to use! When promoting a product or a service, don’t forget to add the little shopping bag sticker to lead your followers to another page to potentially make a purchase.

 

Final thoughts

Still not convinced about the importance of Instagram Stories for your business? Remember: It’s cheaper to keep engaged existing customers than acquiring new ones and Instagram Stories are just the perfect platform that your business needs to retain their attention!

 

4Ps isn’t just another data-led performance marketing agency. To discuss how your business could benefit from our knowledge of social media marketing, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 or email us at [email protected] for a no-obligation coffee and chat.