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Instagram Stories Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide

Instagram Stories Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide

The transition from Snapchat stories to Instagram Stories has proved effective in helping brands grow closer to their consumers. The daily number of active users alone is up to five hundred million Instagram Stories, which makes this type of short-lived media significantly enhance product displays, website visits, marketers’ promotions and involvement.

Given the highly competitive nature of social media platforms, an effective Instagram stories strategy is essential to differentiate your brand. This guide covers tips, innovative suggestions, and practical examples to help you develop an excellent marketing campaign for your brand on Instagram Story.

What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories Guide For Marketing

Instagram Stories are photo or video posts that disappear after 24 hours. They appear in a bar above your main Instagram feed when you open the app.

Users can post Stories to share moments of their day. Brands use Instagram Stories for marketing to attract new customers and authentically engage their existing audience.

Some key traits of Instagram Stories:

  • Ephemeral – They disappear after 24 hours
  • Creative – Use photos, videos, gifs, stickers, drawings and text
  • Engaging – Interact with polls, questions and emoji sliders
  • Authentic – Show behind the scenes and humanise your brand
  • Flexible – Tailor content for different audiences
  • Broad Reach – 500 million daily active users

With the right strategy, Instagram Stories provide a fresh way for all businesses to connect with their ideal customers.

Why Instagram Stories Marketing Is Important

With ever-growing competition on Instagram's main feed, more brands are succeeding in the less crowded Stories format.

Here are some key reasons why you should be marketing on Instagram Stories:

1. Huge Audience

As mentioned above, over 500 million people use Instagram Stories daily. Tapping into even a tiny fraction of an audience this size presents a massive opportunity to generate awareness and interest in your brand, products or services.

Driving new visitors from Instagram Stories to your website or online store fuels business growth. Even if you already have an established Instagram following, Stories open up access to people who still need to follow your brand.

2. Stand Out from the Packed Main Feed

The average Instagram fan follows 200 accounts. So many posts appear in their primary feeds, so it becomes pretty hard to be seen.

Only select brands post frequently on Stories, however. So you can be more visible in the Stories format. Fewer contenders can only imply more opportunities for discovery and involvement.

Bright and visually striking stories may motivate users to participate in polls, quizzes, or click links that will facilitate conversions of mere viewers into brand advocates or even paying customers.

3. improved Instagram Algorithm Placement

According to Instagram, accounts that post consistently to Stories have been shown to gain more visibility in the coveted main Instagram feed.

So dedicating effort to Stories marketing improves your entire Instagram presence. The more people engage with your brand on Stories, the better your main feed posts will rank.

4. Ad Options for Further Reach

In addition, Instagram Story ads allow you to exhibit products, advertise content and enhance organic Stories posts. Many cheap ad patterns ensure that your brand reaches the target demographic more.

When you have an ecommerce business, these ads enhance your organic marketing. By promoting posts, clickthroughs are possible straight into your online shop.

All brands should see Instagram Stories as vital to their social media plans. Let us look at creating compelling content for maximum effect.

Crafting Engaging Instagram Stories Content

Instagram Stories Template Pack Swipe Up

Just like your main Instagram feed, Stories rely on visual content. However, the 24-hour limitation brings unique creative demands for marketers.

Taking the ephemeral nature of Stories into account from the start will help you succeed with this content format.

Best Practices for Instagram Stories Marketing

Creating incredible Instagram Stories is the first step. You also need an effective overarching strategy guiding what, when and how often you post content.

Here are several proven tips for Instagram Stories marketing success:

Post Daily Stories

According to Instagram, accounts that post at least one Story daily gain the most new followers. Maintained follower growth requires regularly updated content.

Posting daily keeps your brand at the forefront of your mind while providing value and entertainment for current and potential customers.

Of course, you'll need to find the right balance for your business. Posting 20 Stories in a day risks saturating your audience. Start with a modest daily goal and increase frequency as engagement dictates.

Show Personality and Transparency

Social media creates opportunities to highlight what makes your company unique. Use Instagram Stories to showcase your team, workplace culture and brand values.

Give behind-the-scenes peeks into product development, events or customer service. These authentic stories humanise your business to foster emotional connections with your audience.

Collaborate with Influencers

Partnering with influencers on Instagram provides several benefits:

  • Reach Untapped Audiences – Influencers broaden your brand's visibility with their engaged follower base. Even micro-influencers with just a few thousand active followers can expand your potential market.
  • Enhanced Credibility – A trusted influencer vouching for your company carries more weight than corporate self-promotion.
  • Higher Engagement – When audiences see an influencer engaging with your brand, they're more likely to do the same. Creative collaborations on Stories often see engagement rates over 10%.

Select influencer partners carefully based on audience match, authenticity and creative direction alignment.

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Leverage Interactive Features

Instagram Stories come packed with fun interactive features to captivate viewers. Stand out by incorporating:

  • Polls – Pose timely questions to collect audience opinions.
  • Quizzes – Test your audience with multiple choice or true/false questions.
  • Emoji Slider – Use a customisable emoji visual to gauge reactions.
  • Q&A Sticker – Enable followers to submit their burning questions.
  • Countdown – Build anticipation for product launches, events or announcements.
  • Hashtag and Location Stickers – Encourage shares and drive traffic to your bio link.
  • Swipe Up Link – Direct viewers to products, blogs or promotions. It unlocks once you hit 10k followers.

These features boost engagement while providing valuable consumer insights you can use to refine marketing and product decisions.

Types of Content to Post on Instagram Stories

Instagram Feed Vs Instagram Stories

Check out these proven, compelling themes and content ideas you can adapt to resonate with your distinct audience:

Promote Sales, Deals and New Products

Leverage the urgency innate to the 24-hour Stories format by highlighting limited-time offers and flash sales.

Give sneak peeks of new arrivals to generate buzz before announcing them elsewhere.

Promotional content works well when paired with other Stories that convey your brand identity beyond selling. Find the ideal ratio of self-promotion balanced with value-driven content.

Share User-Generated Content

User-generated content significantly influences viewer opinions. Instead of talking about how great your company is, let happy customers do the talking!

Repost customer Stories showcasing interactions with your business. Or, proactively encourage followers to capture and tag your brand in their Stories.

Reveal Company Culture

Let viewers behind the curtain see office culture, employee events, meetings, community service and more. This adds a layer of humanity that helps bond your audience to the brand.

Host Contests and Giveaways

Run creative contests with prizes relevant to your target demographic. Sweepstakes provide incentives for engaging with and sharing your content to expand your reach further.

Answer FAQs

Educate your audience by tackling frequently asked questions about your product category, business or industry. Save these Story highlights so anyone can easily access this helpful information.

Real-World Examples of Instagram Stories Marketing Done Right

Buzzfeed Instagram Stories Marketing

Now let's look at businesses effectively leveraging various Instagram Stories techniques:

Method's Sustainability Focus Resonates

Home and personal care brand Method makes environmental sustainability a cornerstone of their social media presence.

Many Instagram Stories highlight their commitment to responsible manufacturing processes, plastic waste reduction initiatives and support for green causes. These purpose-driven stories connect with eco-minded consumers.

Goop Captivates with Astrology Content

Lifestyle brand Goop draws in their new age, wellness-focused audience with astrology-based stories.

Polls asking followers for their signs and content about full moons, Mercury retrograde, daily horoscopes, and more all perform exceptionally well.

These stories don't push products too directly but offer value to strengthen their community. Goop leverages astrology as a layered content strategy spanning informational, promotional and interactive stories.

Buzzfeed Offers Evergreen Entertainment

Buzzfeed's entertainment-focused approach constantly adapts to hold the audience's attention. They assess trending topics, internet subcultures and niche interests to develop binge-worthy content.

Fun quizzes, meme compilations, celebrity news, pop culture commentary, and more provide consistent value outside sales messaging. This strategy sustains a highly engaged following.

While evergreen, Buzzfeed makes even recycled content feel fresh and exciting by putting its unique spin on ideas.

In closing, Instagram Stories represent an underutilised avenue for fueling brand growth. As the space becomes more crowded, now is the time to start strategising or improving existing efforts.

Key Takeaways and Action Items

  • Craft stories with visually impactful images/videos optimised for mobile
  • Post at least one story per day to grow your audience
  • Balance promotional and value-driven content
  • Leverage interactive stickers and features
  • Partner with influencers to expand reach
  • Have fun getting creative! Trial and error is part of the process

Knowing where to start is the hardest step. Take ideas from leading brands, making Instagram Stories work for their business.

Then, launch your experiments: identify content themes that resonate with your customers and progress from there. Proving value, entertainment and engagement will organically attract more followers.

Let this guide equip you to build authentic connections and achieve tangible marketing results on the world's fastest-growing social media platform. The rise of Stories brings opportunities to catapult your business growth – it's time to start leveraging them!

FAQs:

What are some of the best apps for creating Instagram Stories?

Some top-rated apps for crafting high-quality Instagram Stories include Over, Storyluxe, Typorama, Canva, PicMonkey, CutStory and Tailwind. These tools help create visually stunning images, videos, animations and more custom content that looks polished and professional. Start with Canva for its simplicity and rich template library.

How much time should be spent on Instagram Stories marketing?

Dedicate at least 60-90 minutes daily to your Instagram Stories marketing. This allows you to ideate fresh content ideas, create quality images/videos, deploy interactive stickers thoughtfully, monitor engagement analytics and respond to followers.
Schedule this hour block when your audience is most active on Instagram for optimal viewership. Analyse your follower demographic analytics to identify peak usage windows.

What's better – Instagram Stories or Feed posts?

Both formats play an essential role. Feed posts establish your brand identity, showcase products, and drive lasting organic traffic through hashtags and relevance.
But Stories provide a more intimate, authentic glimpse behind the scenes to forge emotional connections with your audience. This cultivates brand loyalty so followers are receptive to purchasing from your business.
A blended approach covering both formats is essential for overall Instagram domination.

Can you schedule Instagram Stories content?

Yes. Tools like Later, Preview and Facebook Creator Studio enable you to plan your Stories content calendar.
This allows thoughtful copywriting, art direction, and workflow across teams. Scheduling also safeguards consistency if unexpected events prevent posting.
But take care to schedule wisely – the format works best for timely content tied to current events vs. evergreen content better suited for main feed posts.

What's the ideal video length for Instagram Stories?

Studies show the highest viewer retention with Instagram Story videos under 15 seconds. Ten seconds or fewer is even better.
This quick, snackable content aligns with the fast-paced Stories viewing experience most users expect. Convey your core message immediately before wandering off-topic or dragging on too long.
Of course, some videos will require an extra minute to demonstrate processes or unpack complex themes. Discern what makes sense for your goals and audience desires.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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