7 Great Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business in 2021
When Instagram Stories first appeared in 2016, their role in the world of business was still undefined and questionable. How can this short-term content make a lasting impact on users?
Fast forward a few years later and Stories are a powerful tool for winning over customers. With half a billion people using Instagram Stories daily, you shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity to grow your business.
If you don't have the time to read this complete blog, here's a quick graphic:
Let’s dive deeper into the subject of Instagram Stories and reveal 7 great ways of putting them to use.
The Benefits of Using Instagram Stories
Yes, Stories are popular. Yes, many brands use them. But do you know why Instagram Stories can be a valuable asset to your social media strategy?
To demystify the potential that Instagram Stories have for business-purposes, here are important benefits of using this feature:
- Add variety to your Instagram content – Be a brand that keeps up with content trends.
- Boost your engagement – Stories are the perfect tool for engaging your followers.
- Express your creativity – This short format allows you to play around with stickers, videos, photos, and text.
- Evoke urgency – The 24-hour duration is what provokes the users to check your Story content.
- Put your content in a favorable position – Your feed content may get lost among many other posts, but Stories appear at the top bar in the app. The first thing that followers see when they open the app is the Stories.
- Publish more casual content – Connect with followers on a more personal level through a casual content format that Stories encourage.
- Make your brand discoverable – Users who don’t follow you on Instagram can still come across your Stories. Hashtags and location tags can further contribute to Stories’ discoverability.
Let's quickly recap the benefits of Instagram stories.
Instagram Stories can bring variety to your existing social media content. They provide you with yet another path to customers’ hearts.
If you are curious about how you to use Instagram Stories for your business, here are a few ideas for inspiration.
Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business in 2021
1. Give Free Tips to Build Authority
Add a useful character to your Story content with simple and useful tips. Create easy and useful tutorials, DIYs, or “how to’s" to establish your credibility with users. Take on the role of an educator and trusted helper.
You can come up with content within your niche that your followers would care about. The tips you share can also help customers realize the value of your products.
Let's say that you are a business that sells face creams. Use Stories to publish a "5 tips for perfect skin" list that features using face cream daily.
Be the brand that shares its expertise. Earn followers’ trust through short, engaging, and informative tips. That trust can encourage them to give your product a try.
Earn followers’ trust through short, engaging, and informative tips.
2. Publish Behind-the-Scenes Content to Humanize Your Brand
The professional, polished, and arranged content you post on your account can’t reflect the real face of your business. Stories can help you get honest and vulnerable with your followers. That kind of transparency will humanize your brand.
Let the followers feel and experience what lies behind your company logo. What you share is:
- How you celebrate big milestones (e.g. shipping your 10.000th order)
- Short introductions of your team
- Sneak peek of your events
- A glimpse into your workspace
- Snippets of your production process
Help your followers see that are real people who run your brand. If they can see the faces that put effort into creating these amazing products, it will be easier for them to create a connection.
Help your followers see that are real people who run your brand.
3. Organize a Takeover to Raise Brand Awareness
As the name suggests, “a takeover” is when a person (who isn’t in charge of running the account) gets to take over your Instagram profile. Stories are the best choice for takeovers. The fun and casual content that comes out of it won’t stay on your account forever.
Typically, the “hijackers” who take over brands’ accounts are influencers. Brands go in this direction to spread their follower base. Since the influencer post on the personal account about the “takeover,” his or her followers get acquainted with their brand.
However, the influence takeover isn’t the only option. Why not give it a twist? Let a customer or employee be in charge of the Stories for a day. This can give your followers and other Instagram users a fresh perspective on your brand.
Let a customer or employee be in charge of the Stories for a day.
4. Create Polls and Questions to Collect Customer Feedback
Getting your customer to fill out a survey isn’t always a big success. Customers aren’t always willing to spend their time filling out a boring-old survey.
Do you know what can be useful in your feedback pursuit? Instagram Stories.
Among many Story stickers, there are “Questions” and “Poll” options. Use these stickers to ask your customers what you want to know.
Linda Ferguson, the CEO of Subjecto shared why “Questions” and “Poll” are a good idea:
“The interactive and engaging form of Story’s questions and polls will get your followers to open up. You can collect valuable information while engaging your followers at the same time.”
Talk about a win-win situation.
The interactive and engaging form of Story’s questions and polls will get your followers to open up
5. Put Up Reminders to Drive Sales
Overwhelming marketing promotions are the thing of the past. If you want to raise your sales rate without irritating the customers, turn to Stories.
Stories format isn’t as aggressive as sales-y posts because they disappear after 24-hours. You get to encourage shopping without a string of posts that scream “BUY THIS.”
Remind your customers about a sale, current discounts, or special promotions. Use Stories to flip the urgency switch that will get the customers to rush to your website.
Use Stories to flip the urgency switch that will get the customers to rush to your website.
6. Add Links to Grow Your Email List
Connecting Instagram Stories and email strategy probably wasn’t your first thought. However, Stories can truly help you grow your list of email subscribers.
In case you didn’t know, Instagram allows you to add a link to a Story when you reach 10K followers. Create enticing Story content and use the link feature to lead your followers to the sign-up page.
Instagram allows you to add a link to a Story when you reach 10K followers
7. Share User-Generate Content to Build Trust
Show your followers that you are a customer-oriented business. Repost your customers’ content on your Stories.
User-generated content (UGC) can benefit you in more than one way. Stories featuring UGC can show your customers that you care. Encourage their loyalty with customer-appreciation Stories
Another benefit of UGC stories is social proof. Let your followers see the impressions of your happy customers. Testimonials are always welcome for building trust.
Stories featuring UGC can show your customers that you care.
Now that you know why Instagram Stories are useful and how you can use them, are you ready for the next step? It's time to turn theory into practice and give Stories a try.
Go for Story ideas that suit your brand best. You can express your uniqueness and achieve different business goals through fun, engaging, and short-lived content.
And if you're looking for templates and inspiration, don't forget to check out how to create awesome Instagram Stories for your business with Picmaker's Instagram Story Maker.
Moreover, don't forget to read post on how to come up with the best Instagram post ideas. Some of these are common, yet a lot of Instagrammers aren't aware of it.
Besides, if you're looking to write a guest post on our blog, visit our guidelines before you submit a draft to us.
This blog was contributed by Alison Lee, a copywriter, and editor at Subjecto, a directory of written assignments for most levels and niches.