How To Sell More Using Instagram Stories
February 13, 20238 minute read
- Social Media
You see them every single day. A new circle appears at the top of your Instagram feed, and you can quickly tap through your friends’ latest updates, see pictures of their meals, or maybe you’ll see a brand you follow post something engaging. That’s right, we’re talking about Instagram Stories.
Stories are a powerful tool that not enough businesses and brands take advantage of when it comes to marketing and sales tactics. You have the ability to place your product at the fingertips of a user, which could quickly turn into a sale and ultimately more revenue for your business.
But why use IG stories as a business?
Instagram and its more “traditional” features have been around far longer (6 years) than IG stories. But while in-feed Instagram marketing certainly has its fair share of merits, stories are also nothing to sneeze at and, as such, should be part of your marketing strategy.
Here are a few reasons IG stories can help your business grow.
- Reach an active user base.
Half a billion people use IG stories daily! That’s a lot of prospects you can reach and show off your brand. Moreover, a third of the most viewed stories are those from businesses.
- Drive more website traffic.
Combine reach with the ability to post links, and you have the perfect opportunity to drive traffic! If a viewer or follower sees an interesting post, they’ll be more likely to click your link and see more of your brand.
- Create more intimacy.
Imagine seeing a brand story immediately following a friend’s story on their beach vacation. Wouldn’t that create a sense of intimacy? You can also use the “close friends” feature for VIP customers!
- Free testing!
Because stories are disappearing, it’s an ideal ground for testing. You can do A/B testing by posting one ad first and then posting a tweaked version later to gauge which does better. Don’t post the very next day! Especially if you’ve only changed the CTA or a minor design, your followers might think they’ve already seen it.
Like most marketing strategies, it’s important to do your research before posting. Especially on social media platforms, what works on one might not necessarily work on another. Setting goals for a specific period would also be a good idea to have clear parameters when evaluating the program’s effectiveness later. If you’re still starting out or looking to up your IG story game, you need to familiarize yourself with the different strategies you can use on Instagram stories.
10 IG Story Strategies for Business Growth
Hype up new products or new campaigns.
Because of their reach, IG stories can effectively spread the word about new releases or even upcoming sales. You can build anticipation for these releases or campaigns by teasing them on your stories even before launch dates. You can use countdown timers or simply a picture.
Improve engagement through carousel stories.
The carousel format is ideal if you want to show more than one image or one video. You can post up to 10 “slides” that the user can quickly tap through. This should keep the user engaged! Need help with your carousel? Try out the following best practices:
- Use bright colors! Color psychology has been used in marketing for so long because it does affect consumer perception of you and your brand. Make them stop swiping to the next story through arresting visuals.
- Make progression posts. It gives your stories a sense of flow and can also be visually pleasing.
- Use polls or question stickers! These stickers (among others to be discussed below) allows your customers to interact with your stories.
Make it fun with IG stickers!
IG stickers are fun ways to engage with your audience. Followers can even interact with some stickers! For example, you can use question stickers to ask them questions or mention stickers to mention VIP customers! There are several types of stickers available on IG stories. Here are some of them:
Do customers prefer colorful products? Or more minimal ones? Through polls, you can easily know what your customers think.
Tip: Try to pose a question that makes the user feel compelled to respond.
Link stickers make going to your website a breeze! Use a link sticker, and interested viewers can visit your website or even product pages with a simple click.
You can shout out loyal customers or giveaway winners! This would also encourage followers to check your stories consistently.
It’s the customers’ turn to ask questions! You can choose which ones to answer and feature them in your stories too!
Add music to your stories. Music can live up your stories, just choose from IG’s list of songs.
There’s nothing like a countdown timer to ramp up anticipation! Countdown to lives, events, or launches excites people and even lets them set a reminder.
Add some more color to your stories! GIF are fun ways to spice up your stories and there’s a ton of options.
Make it easier for your customers to buy your products. A shoppable sticker will take them directly to your product page and make the purchase.
Emoji slider stickers
Have customers interact with your story! An emoji slider will allow customers to choose how much they like a product or how strong their opinions are on something.
Use link stickers on product centered-stories.
Link stickers are very useful because it helps you drive traffic. However, stories can also be useful in taking your customers to direct conversion paths. You can post pictures of a certain product, maybe followed by a quoted review, and then neatly wrap it up with a link on the last story. The link can take them directly to the product page where they can make the order.
Run polls to gauge consumer feedback.
Customer feedback is very important. Any adjustments you make need to be catered to what your customers want. Polls on IG stories are very easy, especially with poll stickers, as mentioned in number 3.
H&M, for example, used a poll sticker to ask customers what style they preferred. This example also serves as a fun game for their followers to promote some of their styles. Really, it’s a win all around.
Encourage followers to repost your story through a giveaway.
Giveaways are always a good way to encourage your followers to repost your content or to mention/ tag your brand. It enables you to reach out to new people. Plus, mentioning your brand counts as a recommendation! Your followers reposting your story can also increase engagement on your posts. Let’s say you have 1000 followers, all of which also has a thousand followers of their own. Just imagine the number of new people you can reach if even half or 25% of your followers actually repost your story. You can also have them tag their friends for more chances of winning!
A lot of the times, a simple shout out would even be greatly appreciated. In the example below, Laneige is encouraging their followers to tag them on their posts and get a chance to get featured. The tags are free promotions and you’re also strengthening your relationship with your followers.
Collaborate with relevant influencers.
Influencers dominate social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. They already have a follower base and have been pushing out content. Working with them can help you tap into that audience. However, choosing the right influencer can be difficult, especially considering the sheer number of influencers. There are approximately 37 million influencers on Instagram, and it has been growing steadily. So, how do you choose the influencers for your brand?
Here’s a short list of questions to consider when choosing influencers.
- Are you looking for reach or a specific niche? If your brand would align better with influencers with a massive reach, you might want to choose influencers with a lot of following. However, if your brand is very specific, you might be able to work with influencers with lower follower counts but with very engaged followers.
- Do their interests, values, and followers align with yours? Before choosing an influencer, you need to study their content enough to know if their brand is aligned with yours. For example, if you sell fast fashion, the influencer whose whole brand rests on sustainable and clean living will not be a good choice.
- Do their typical audience share the same qualities as your ideal customer? The whole point of working with influencers is to tap into their audience. So it only makes sense if their audience is the kind of customer you want to have.
- Do they have a good reputation? We’ve heard of brands pulling out of sponsoring celebrities due to scandal and controversies. It’s pretty similar in the influencer world. If there is a type of reputation you don’t want to get associated with, then you need to learn the reputation of the influencer you’re considering. Look for the red flags!
Incorporate Testimonials (UGC, Video, Quotes)
People trust other people. At least, when it comes to purchase decisions. Word of mouth marketing is arguably still the best way to gain new customers. While it’s true that it has transcended beyond the literal “mouth” and has since evolved due to technology, it’s no less effective. 82% of American consumers ask around before making a purchase. Likely due to the sense of trust that a person’s word can evoke. If a customer were debating between one product or another, with one having prominent reviews and the other, none, they’d probably buy the former.
There are several ways you can incorporate testimonials on your IG stories. This can be through UGC. UGC or user generated content, is content that is produced by your customers. You can scour Instagram, look for mentions or tags, and feature ones that you like! It would most likely be free since it was produced simply to express appreciation for your product. UGC also inspires more trust because it does not involve you paying the user money. Another type of testimonial is to record videos. If you have a pop-up or a physical store, you can ask loyal customers if you could record a video of them expressing their feelings about your product. If videos are too hard for you to make, you can post customer reviews through quotes or written testimonials. Simply quote the reviews left by customers, paste it on a good background with your brand, and you have a story!
Answer your customers’ FAQs
If you think there are friction points anywhere along the customer value journey, take the opportunity to address them on your stories! As mentioned, IG stories have a lot of active daily users so answering frequently asked questions on the platform will help spread the word much faster. Question stickers are very convenient ways of asking questions and getting answers. You can ask them for their feedback on the buying process, if there’s any problems or inconveniences along the way, or even ask them for recommendations on how to improve your process. They can also ask you some questions! The sticker also allows the customers to ask their questions. If one customer is wondering about something, it’s guaranteed that there’s probably more than one who has experienced the same. Answering questions and posting them on your stories will also help others without necessarily having to ask the questions themselves.
Run IG story ads for an even better reach and targeting
Most of the strategies we’ve discussed thus far can be done for free. You simply need a profile, and you can post a story! However, you can also run IG story ads. An IG story ad will appear while Instagram users watch IG stories. Normally, your organic stories would only be seen by people who follow you, but IG ads will be served to your target audience you choose. IG story ads also don’t just disappear after 24 hours, it runs as long as your campaign is running.
You do have to go through Meta ads manager to create and publish your IG ads. The feature isn’t available directly through Instagram yet. Like most Meta ads, you can set your target audience, a budget, and the schedule for running the ad. To avoid the risk of cropping your creative or having it stretched, follow the recommended dimensions and formats as recommended by Meta.
If you need any help setting up ads on IG stories, we’re here to help! We can make the ads for you and place the media buys if you need. Just schedule a free strategy session with one of our team members!
Those are 10 strategies to maximize the potential of IG story ads for your business growth! Of course, only you know your brand and audience, so it’s important to do your research and decide accordingly. However, to help you along, here are some quick tips you can keep in mind!
- Post up to six stories only
- Supplement with Instagram live
- Add central-placed text for add to cart
- Design should be aligned with your brand
- Use the “close friends” feature
- Be consistent
- Use video
- Schedule posts in advance
- Play with fonts
- Save templates for easy access
Social media platforms such as Instagram have always been easy ways to reach an audience. For free, even. But remember that if it’s accessible to you, it’s just as accessible to everyone else. It’s important that you make a social media strategy fitting for your platform of choice, in this case, Instagram. Strategizing well can give you an edge over the sea of competitors you’ll face on the platform. Get to know your audience. And lastly, have fun! IG stories can be such a good outlet for creativity. There are a ton of tools you can use and endless creative possibilities.
Digital Marketing, Instagram, Social Media, TikTok