Using Instagram Stories to boost your brand

The Instagram Stories feature is a fresh new vehicle to promote your business. Here are 5 ways to do so.
9 August 2018

Is your business taking advantage of Instagram Stories? Source: Shutterstock

Within just two months after its launch, Instagrams “Story” feature reached around 100 million daily active users, becoming an instant hit with users.

Much like Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows users to collate pictures and video footage into short slideshows – which can be overlaid with text, graphics, and emojis – with the content disappearing after 24 hours.

Instagrammers everwhere are using the feature to document their eggs and avocado breakfast, stream a daily rant to their followers, and post a poll on which shoes they should pair with their outfit.

But aside from this, how can Stories benefit a business? Here are five ways you can use this Instagram as a fresh new vehicle in which to promote your brand and connect with your audience.

1. Your business behind closed doors

It may not seem something that people are interested in, but people want to know whats going on behind the brand. We’re in an age where consumers crave authenticity from businesses, as demonstrated by the wild success of influencer marketing as of late.

Give a tour of your office, share fun facts about your employees, show your audience glimpses of the production line, take them with you on work events, host a question and answer session.

Peeling back the layers and allowing your audience to share part of your business journey will make them feel more connected with your brand.

2. A new way to display your blog content

Instagram Stories is a great way to promote your longer-form editorial content. It allows you to re-use this content, sharing it in a bite-sized, digestible format.

Head over to your blog content and find a topic that you can break down into a few slides. Choose interesting facts or points from the blog and display them in a visually-engaging way on the Stories feature.

Include a cover page introducing the topic and a conclusion image with a call to action and a URL which users can follow to read the full blog post.

This is a fantastic way to re-purpose content in order to engage users and promote your brand.

3. Showcase your products with how-to videos

Instagram stories present you with a great way to market your products. You can give your audience engaging ideas for using your product. For example, if you’re a fashion apparel company, you can demonstrate different ways of styling an item.

Demonstrate to customers how they can use your products. Source: Shutterstock

Many bigger brands are also allowing influencers to “takeover” their Instagram account as a way to cross-promote content and reach new audiences.

This allows you to create hype around a product launch, bring a new voice to your brand, and show authenticity.

4. Promote flash sales and limited offers

Since stories only last 24 hours, it provides a great opportunity for you to run a flash sale to your followers.

This can be an exclusive offer to your loyal followers as a sign of gratitude, or you may simply use Instagram as another channel to promote an existing promotion.

You could even try using different promo codes to see where your customers are coming from. These insights can inform you about which platforms may be more successful for future campaigns.

5. Encourage user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is an incredibly effective way to grow your business without having to put in too much work. Why not let your customers promote your products for you?

Your brand’s biggest fans are posting photos, writing reviews, and publishing blog posts about your products, often without any prompting!

Leveraging UGC will not only save your business both money, time, and effort, but it has also been shown to a much more effective method of promotion.

People of all ages and demographics simply trust UGC more, with the customers’ opinions being seen and unbiased and authentic.

Why not let your customers promote your products? Source: Shutterstock

The numbers speak for themselves.

According to research, almost half (47 percent) of millennials, and 36 percent of baby boomers trust UGC, whereas only 25 percent of both demographics reported trusted branded content.

Furthermore, 72 percent of shoppers are influenced by Instagram photos of a product, and UGC on YouTube garners 10 times more views than branded content.

Content from real customers increases your brands’ credibility, serving as excellent social proof.