Instagram rocketed in popularity over recent years, becoming the second most visited website online, just behind Facebook. As with any new marketing space, smart businesses will seek to capitalize on the new opportunities it offers to grow their business.
We have seen a shift in the way social media is utilized. Sales are increasingly made online where customers can impulsively buy with only a few clicks and one particular Instagram tool that could be used is the Story feature, which has undeniable potential for customer conversion. So, let’s look at the subject in a little more detail.
What are Instagram Stories?
If you have even a passing familiarity with Snapchat, then you will easily understand the concept of the Instagram Story; a picture or short video that lasts 24 hours before being automatically removed. Combined with the versatile interactivity of Instagram, this offers a chance for influencer marketing unlike anywhere else on the Internet.
While I could spend all day telling you about the exciting ways that Instagram Stories are hammering home new methods of marketing, I’m sure you have other things to do. So, I will be giving you just five of the most compelling reasons why you should download Instagram right now (if you’re not already among the hundreds of millions of active users) and begin growing your business.
1. Customer Testimonials
We’ve all seen those TV adverts with supposedly real customers that the advertiser's pinky promises aren’t actors paid to praise the product. That cynicism mostly falls away when this method is used on social media because we think we know these people, we follow them, and see their posts.
If you can get them to talk about how much they love your product whilst wearing or using it in a story they have tagged your brand in, then half your work has already been done for you. It’s authentic word-of-mouth marketing that you can shape and create yourself.
Customers know that when somebody says they love your product they mean it. Because they are right there, using it.
2. Naturally Created FOMO
Temporary runs of products can create an illusion of scarcity that drives up interest in your product. When combined with the temporary nature of Stories, this turns a simple limited run into something more, an event. If the right language is used to advertise a product in a Story, then that natural urgency will draw in customers.
If you create a product for a limited run and use your Instagram Story to announce it, market it, and link to the storefront, then customers will be excited by this exclusively advertised offer and purchase. Because Stories are removed after 24 hours, there is also no risk of users coming across the story after the product is out of production and feeling resentful, as happens on sites such as YouTube.
3. Authenticity is Valuable
A typical Instagram post advertising a product is usually heavily staged, edited, and manufactured for maximum impact. In the right circumstances, these are highly effective, but Stories are an entirely different story. They are designed to be more impulsive posts and the lack of expert polish is a part of their appeal.
People are drawn to the genuine article of Stories and influencer marketing. Seeing their favorite celebrities and personalities using your product in a natural way is perceived as more enticing than a dozen artificial Instagram posts.
4. User Interaction Tools
A standard Instagram post has few options for user interaction. You can like, share, and comment on a post and nothing else. Using this feature as a primary method for brand communications can utterly alienate potential customers and leave them feeling cut off unless you plan to answer every single comment thrown your way.
When looking into the Story function on Instagram, you will be amazed by how many ways there are for users to interact with you. You can add a timer to your story, counting down to a product launch or until the end of a product line, tapping into the FOMO concept mentioned earlier.
The questions feature can offer a streamlined way for customers to ask about the product, brand, or anything else they might want to know. Each question drives engagement to your business, so encourage your customers to ask them.
There are other features, such as polls, quizzes, and more but I promised not to spend all day gushing about Instagram Stories. Instead, just start snapping and test these features out yourself.
5. Instagram Stories Ads
Despite all the creative and intuitive features of Instagrams Stories, you may be nervous about getting them out there for people to see. If you’re worried that your audience is too small to get the ball rolling, have no fear, Instagram has you covered.
By investing in Story ad space, you hugely increase your chance of bringing customers to your product. According to Instagram themselves, 75% of user engagement comes from one of these ads. Even better, with the demographic information available to Instagram, you can target your product at exactly the people that would love it.
Get Involved: Anyone Can Do It
So, you don’t need to be Kim Kardashian to grow your business through social media and you don’t need to have legions of followers to use influencer marketing. With some authenticity, imagination, and by using the tools offered by Stories you can get your brand out there, get it discussed by users, get them to start following you, and interact with your Stories.
You can turn advertising from something that has people rolling their eyes into a community-building feature that gets people raving about your products. There is no better time either, as Stories will keep on growing in use and popularity, with some experts saying that it has a very bright future in social media marketing.
So, get out there and start telling your Story. If you are unsure what strategy would work for your business, reach out to an influencer marketing agency to see how you can improve your brand's social presence.