The Power of Instagram Stories for Marketers

— June 6, 2017

Are you steadily getting Instagram followers with members of your target audience? That’s awesome!

As your audience grows in size you’ll be able to leverage your community to increase leads and sales for your company. You can do this by focusing on posting high quality images every day, but if you really want to ramp up results you should take a multi-touch approach.

My suggestion is to bring in new followers quickly with Instagram ads, nurture them with daily Instagram posts and stay top-of-mind with Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories is a new feature that allows people and brands to share moments throughout the day in the form of images and short video clips.

These images and clips appear together in a slideshow format creating: your story. You can draw on them, add text, tag a geolocation and so much more — and then 24 hours after they’re published they disappear.

5 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Marketing

Right now you may be thinking, “all of that sounds great, but how will it help me sell?”

I’m so glad you asked! Let’s dive into five specific ways you can use Instagram Stories in your marketing campaigns!

1. Show tips for using your product(s).

Since Instagram stories include both photos and short video clips, you can easily show off fun, innovative ways to use your product(s).

For example, the Burberry beauty team frequently shows off quick tutorials for new ways to use their makeup products.

Instagram only allows for up to 10 second video clips so you’ll need to be quick — or you’ll need to plan out how you can show a tutorial over the course of several video clips.

If there aren’t multiple ways to use your product, feel free to just showcase your merchandise being used in different settings. For example, if you sell running shoes you could showcase them in different settings: on a mountain trail, on a race track, at the beach and so on.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with Instagram stories, and definitely don’t worry about production value. Instagram stories are literally here today, gone tomorrow. As long as you’ve got some good lighting and a great idea, you have everything you need to create a clip for your story.

2. Work with influencers to spread the word.

When you want to spread the word beyond your own Instagram followers, work with influencers to expand your reach.

For Mother’s Day in the UK, Clarins sent a gift basket to the moms of several beauty influencers. Those influencers shared the products on their own Instagram stories, tagging Clarins in the process.

A tag allows a person or brand to link the photo or video clip in a story to a specific Instagram user. In this case, influencers were linking their followers to the Clarins UK Instagram account.

As a result, Clarins was able to generate brand impressions, grow their Instagram account following and achieve top-of-mind status as a great last minute mother’s day gift! That’s an Instagram story win if I ever saw one!

3. Share limited time offers and sales.

Since Instagram story clips only last for 24 hours they are the perfect way to announce a limited time sale to your followers. The WWE Shop has been taking advantage of Stories in this way since it launched with great success judging by how often they take advantage of this strategy.

If you want to run a very short lived promotion such as a one-hour flash sale or similar you could still publish the promotion to your Instagram story. You would then just need to remember to go in and delete the clip from your story when the flash sale is over so that you don’t confuse any of your followers.

The worst thing that can happen with Stories is allowing an old promotion to linger. It presents a bad customer service experience if followers click through on a story and the promotion is over.

4 . Add “swipe up for more” to your book of favorite phrases.

One of the most business-friendly aspects of Instagram story clips is that they can actually lead to a web page!

Sort of.

You need a verified Instagram account to add a link to your story clips, but once you’re verified you can link away the way Harry’s does.

To “click” the link a follower just needs to swipe up and a web page will load in the browser!

If your Instagram account isn’t verified you can learn how to get verified here. Don’t worry you don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram to get verified (in fact, it may help if you don’t).

5. Announce new products to the world.

One of the coolest ways to use Instagram Stories is to unveil a new product.

You can snap a picture or create a single video clip to launch your product, but why not flex your creative muscle and truly create a story?

When the jewelry brand, Mejuri, was ready to launch their new earrings they put up a fun photo that says says “there is a new edition” with a finger indicating that the viewer should swipe to unveil it.

The next photo is of a new earring set all packaged up really nicely. Mejuri could have ended the story there, but they added in a bonus clip!

The very next photo in their story was an idea for pairing the new earrings with some old favorites. Earring stacking is a popular trend right now so this tip is likely to be well received by most of their followers!

Don’t feel pressured into following Mejuri’s footsteps exactly. Get creative and come up with your own fun and playful story!

Getting Started

Now that you know what Instagram Stories are all about, it’s time to post your first story!

Don’t worry about getting it perfect. A story clip just needs some good lighting and an interesting angle. Put your creative hat on and have fun!

If you have any questions please leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to respond.

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Author: Jonathan Chan

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