Instagram stories are a free and easy way to relay important details to existing followers and attract new ones. The primary use for Instagram once was viewing feed posts; however, a study from eMarketer finds that 42% of Instagram users watch Instagram stories in comparison to 39% who browse Instagram for feed posts.
According to a recent study by Microsoft, the human attention span dropped to eight seconds, making short flashes of pictures and videos more enticing to viewers. Upon initial viewing, Instagram stories only last fifteen seconds yet allow more moments for interaction than an Instagram feed post. Instagram stories are a quick way to share digestible information with consumers about your company’s products and services.
But what happens when customers don’t see a current need for your services? More importantly, how do you ensure that customers will return, especially if you manage a seasonal business? This is why utilizing the Instagram story as a means to build your brand voice is essential to your Instagram marketing strategy.
This “down-time” is the perfect opportunity to educate consumers on your brand’s vision, mission, and values. Focus on helping consumers understand how your company keeps these goals in mind during daily operations. As new and existing clients view your company’s Instagram stories, your brand will remain at the forefront of consumers’ minds once a necessity for your business arises. By consistently creating and reinforcing brand awareness, you can even shorten the timeline for consumer necessity.
First Thing’s First: Build Your Instagram Account
There are a variety of ways to build your brand voice on Instagram, but the first step every business should take is to create a business account.
Creating a business account on Instagram allows you to track a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help your business gauge what Instagram stories resonate with your audience. Your dashboard lets you track story insights as far back as two years. Further, you can emulate important metrics, such as impressions, follows, website taps, shares, and story interactions. These insights will all help to determine what type of content is most effective at attracting attention to your account while filtering out low-performing posts.
Once you’ve finished setting up your Instagram business account, now is the time to experiment with different Instagram story approaches that will gradually amplify your brand’s voice. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.
1). Show Off Your Best Products
Showing how your product or service works will help you attract your ideal buyer personas. Using your product or service in real-time gives new and existing customers ideas as to how your business can improve their lives or satisfy a current need. Unfortunately, customers probably won’t recognize necessity until the instant they need help. Creating even five seconds of content that reminds consumers about the benefits your business can bring them may be all your company needs to gain an additional sale.
For example, imagine you manage a medical spa, and you share a short video of a micro-needling procedure. Your text quickly notes this service can help to promote collagen regeneration and improve skin texture. Someone viewing this story may not have considered micro-needling until your brand presented an effective solution to a common problem. You might’ve convinced an existing customer to re-examine their skin, consider your service, and visit your website to make an appointment.
The same concept applies to a product-based industry. If you run a fashion boutique, consider storying weekly outfit threads that serve a specific purpose, such as date night attire or the perfect seasonal outerwear. Some people may not have an eye for putting certain pieces together to create a great outfit, but when presented with a gorgeous look, can see themselves wearing it. During the holiday season, for instance, try creating a weekly itemized gift guide (sorted by price range) to encourage more purchases.
2). Remind Customers About Your Premium Offerings
What does your company hope to accomplish? Further, is your company managed in a way that helps you reach these goals? Vision and mission statements help consumers better understand what makes your company unique. This understanding then transforms these prospects into loyal brand advocates. Look to highlight positive changes within the company that will benefit consumers. For example, keep customers updated on important quality and management improvements to show that your company is continuously striving to become a leader in the industry.
Story a message to customers describing your company’s goals and how your company actively works to achieve them. There are hundreds of apps on the app store that can help you format these messages and add pictures to break up monotonous chunks of text. Some notable apps to help fortify the formatting of your Instagram stories are Canva, Easil, and Kapwing. Be sure to remain consistent in color scheme, messaging, and logo usage to encourage brand recognition.
3). Host an Instagram Story Takeover
Instagram story takeovers allow viewers to see your business from different perspectives depending on who records the takeover. For example, an employee takeover may highlight the attention to detail put into your company’s product or service whereas a customer takeover can show consumers the satisfaction they could gain from using your business. A diversified range of takeovers allows consumers to see a glimpse into different aspects of your business.
Posting different aspects of your business also ensures there is at least one viewpoint consumers can connect with and helps consumers see your company as an honest brand. According to a report by Label Insight, 94% of consumers would be more loyal to brands that practice transparency, and 56% of participants said brand transparency would make them “loyal for life.”
Instagram story takeovers run by influencers can even help your business garner a new target audience. If your company offers a beauty product or service that teenagers commonly use, a teen beauty influencer promoting your brand can help bring a more targeted following, increasing the likelihood of purchases. This person doesn’t have to be a celebrity or macro-influencer to get the message across either. Anyone who has a following encompassing your target buyer persona is someone worth asking to do an Instagram Story takeover.
4). Encourage Customer Feedback on Instagram Stories
Aside from analyzing Instagram story metrics, what better way is there to know what your customers want to see from your brand than to ask? Instagram stories have a few different features that will allow your brand to obtain customer feedback. Let’s examine a few in more detail.
The Question Box
Insert the question box by adding a sticker and then choosing the “question” icon. Here, you can type any question you want and then view the responses of each user.
Click on the sticker icon and then the poll icon to insert a poll. Customize the poll text to actively engage users by giving them the option to choose “this or that”. Utilize the poll to hear consumer feedback on the color options they prefer for a new product or which new product launch they prefer to see first.
The Sliding Emoji Sticker
Access the sliding emoji sticker through the sticker icon. Change the emoji to reflect what information you are looking to gain from its addition, such as how much consumers like the picture in the story.
No matter what Instagram strategy works best for your business, always encourage opportunities for consumer feedback. It can help your company understand what matters deserve the most immediate attention and help you better serve your customer base.
5). Use Instagram Stories to Share Important Reminders
When following many different Instagram accounts, it’s easy for a post to get lost in someone’s feed. Especially when posting critical updates, you want to guarantee that your most loyal followers will see it. Think of the story as an additional moment or reminder to inform customers of important information.
For shorter sales promotions, re-share your feed post about your sale to your story or create a story template for further advertisement. Reaching more customers can potentially translate to more transactions. If your company is introducing a new product or service, make sure an optimal number of followers know the launch date. Utilizing your Instagram story to post important information potentially decreases the chances your customers miss an opportunity to support your business.
Further Considerations on Instagram Stories
Keep in mind, there is not one most successful approach to effective Instagram story marketing. Each business is unique and has consumers with different wants or needs; Instagram story strategies should reflect that. A tennis club is going to have a different way of going about Instagram story marketing than a bakery would. Trial and error in addition to keeping a close eye on your account’s story metrics will help your business gauge what is best for your company’s Instagram story marketing approach.
Need help planning a content calendar for Instagram stories? Premiere Creative has you covered! Dial (973) 346-8100 to connect with our social media marketing team today!