When it comes to Instagram stories, a lot of times, they can be treated as an afterthought. This is one of the biggest mistakes that could be made in social media marketing. Why’s that? Stories were made to help businesses get their content in front of their target audience in an authentic manner.
Brand Visibility and Reach
One reason to use Stories is that Instagram stories help improve brand visibility and reach. The more you post to your story, the more your story will be at the top of someone’s feed and the more time they will spend digesting the content.
Think about it - every time you open Instagram, there are little circles with colorful rings around them at the top of the page, signifying who’s most recently shared a story. This is different from normal posts on your feed: the algorithm is filtering and deciding what shows where while you scroll. Stories can help your business beat the feed algorithm. By posting consistently and frequently, your business will be at the top of the audience’s screen multiple times throughout the day if you choose to post that much. But, remember, start small - a little goes a long way, and too much can be…well, too much. Once a week consistently at the same time and day goes a long way.
Transparency and Credibility
Instagram stories make it easy to post behind-the-scenes content, promote or tease products, and share user-generated content. When a target audience gets to see what happens behind the scenes of a company, they feel as though a company is being transparent. As consumers, we love transparency. When we get an inside look at the planning stage of a product, how something is produced, and how it gets to a finished product, we feel a sense of loyalty to that company for letting us in on how their product or service is made. Check out https://www.owcreatives.co/post/credibility-why-do-we-need-it to learn more about how to build this in your marketing.
As consumers, we also feel inclined to be loyal to a company when we see others sharing about it. If a business is not taking advantage of user-generated content, they are missing out on one of the best ways to build its credibility. User-generated content is content highlighting a product that a customer shares on their social media. This type of content is a unique way for a company to build confidence in their company in the eyes of a consumer. Consumers trust other consumers, so use that to your advantage.
Instagram stories are more casual and relaxed than permanent posts, which is a perk. Since it lasts 24 hours and each post is 15 seconds long (sometimes this amount of time changes - up to 1 minute - depending on when you are reading this), it caters to a short attention span. It is important to keep your stories casual and find the right balance for your business on how often to post to your stories. You don’t want to set an unrealistic goal of 25 stories every day, but you definitely don’t want to neglect it and go weeks and months without sharing stories. While Instagram stories are more casual, you do need to continue to be yourself and represent your company’s brand on your stories by being consistent with the brand through colors, tone, fonts, feel, etc. Take it as a way to interact with your audience and be a little more casual and playful.
A major plus to posting to Instagram stories is the ability to use the link sticker. Instagram does not let you have clickable links in post captions, but they will let you have clickable links on your stories by utilizing their links sticker. This is a game-changer for businesses because it allows an audience to click the link on the story and get taken directly to what the business is trying to promote or sell. By giving a means of direct access and taking out all of the steps to access your product, consumers will be more inclined to look into what you are offering, in-turn increasing traffic to your website. Additionally, stories have started showing up on the feed recently in the special stories section meaning stories are showing up in more places than just the top of the app.
Instagram stories are a feature that should be taken advantage of in your marketing and communication strategy and plan. Next time you make your content calendar for your social media platforms, be sure to include some ideas for stories to post throughout the month to let your audience in on what’s happening at your company. Ask yourself, what is your favorite type of story to see? Then, implement it into your brand!