An Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories for Business

Loads of businesses are now capitalizing on Instagram Stories as a digital marketing platform.

So what is this "Instagram Stories"? And how can you make sure you don't miss out on this marketing opportunity?

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories can be a collection of photos, video/s, or a mixture of effective digital media (text-based images with a link, hashtag or mentions of other users). If it's a photo, it shows up for about 5 seconds; if it's a video, it'll show for a maximum of 15 seconds. These stories stay viewable for only 24 hours unless “highlighted” (old stories are pushed into an archive).

Instagram Stories allows you to really show your creative flair and be a little more imaginative than traditional Instagram post. You can apply filters, texts, stickers, GIFs, polls, freehand drawings and so, so much more! #InstaStories allow you to personalize and customize your stories and stamp your companies branding and personality all over it. 

How do you post an Instagram Story?

Tap the https://scontent.fmnl3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t39.2365-6/29797302_1232494603519753_9009952487691517952_n.png?_nc_cat=101&oh=2cff9c2967ac5229dcf4d3a3243ae98e&oe=5C5E8098icon or your profile picture in the top left corner of your screen, or swipe right from anywhere in the feed.

At the bottom, you'll see options such as:

  • Type - to create a text-based image
  • Live - to share a replay of your live video
  • Normal - to capture a raw photo or video
  • Boomerang – to capture a quick burst of video that plays on repeat
  • Superzoom - zoom in on your subject
  • Rewind - play a video in reverse
  • Hands-free – let’s you take  a video without having to press and hold

Above this, you'll see options to upload from the camera roll, turn on the flash, a button to record (tap once for a photo or hold for video), a front or rear camera switch button and filters [fun filters - everyone’s saving grace right?]

TIP: Be creative and play around with filters and effects. Engage with your followers by asking questions, posting polls and other activities that will create hype, contravesy or engagement.

Always keep your branding consistent, but don’t worry too much if posts are raw and don’t always perfectly compliment your profiles’ theme. Engagement and authenticity are the goal. Note: posts vanish into thin air after 24hrs!

My Instagram Story is a “keeper”! How can I keep my story for more than 24 hours?

Love your story so much that you don’t want to let it go that easy? The best thing is that Instagram just added two new features – Stories Archives and Highlights! ♥

Wondering where your vanished stories went to after 24Hrs? Well, they can now be seen and will remain safely on your archives. Archives are only viewable by you! You can re-share them whenever you want to. Hooray!

Story Highlights

To highlight a story, just click the New+ icon below your profile picture. Scroll through your archives that you want to highlight. Choose a cover image for this Highlight, give it a name, and boom - you’re done!

Automatically, Highlights will be seen on your profile for your followers to view and enjoy. Highlights are a great way to showcase the moments and events that are most important to you, your business and brand.

Why should you use Instagram Stories for Business?

As of September 2018, there are just 1 Billion monthly active Instagram users;

  • More than 200 million of those users visit a business profile at least once a day
  • 400 Million+ uses Instagram Stories
  • 45% of most viewed stories are from businesses
  • 20% of Stories posted by businesses result in direct messages!

This illustrates a great willingness from users to engage with business profiles on Instagram.  People are now using Instagram to be learn about a business. Searching for information like location, opening hours and to communicate with them directly.

Stories have many advantages for businesses such as:

  • Appearing at the top of your follower’s feeds which is simple and assessable which increases exposure and widens reach
  • Stories disappear after 24hrs which evokes a sense of immediacy making them perfect for sharing spontaneous or time-sensitive content
  • Optimize the following objectives :
    • Reach
    • Video Views
    • Brand Awareness
    • Traffic
    • Conversions
    • Lead Generation
    • App Installs

[Bonus: Try Call to Actions “CTA’s” such as: Apply Now, Book Now, Buy Tickets, Contact Us, Download, Learn More, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch More…]

How to make the most of Instagram Stories for Business?

  1. Promote flash sales, deals, offers & coupons
  2. Announcement
  3. Silly “blooper” behind-the-scene moments
  4. Giveaways, promotions or contests
  5. Teasers of blog content (add a link)
  6. Promote branded hashtags
  7. Give product demos
  8. Live events

With all that’s said and done, if your business is on Instagram, you NEED to be using Instagram Stories for Business!

If you’re running on empty and need a team to help you to create unique, engaging content to posts on your Instagram account contact Elephant in the Boardroom for a free consultation:

Email: [email protected]

Visit Us: Ground Floor, 555 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Call: +61 418 967 352 or (03) 7018 7620

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