How to Use Instagram Stories for Business and Reach 500M Daily Users

Have you been thinking of Instagram Stories for business, of late? If yes, then this is the time. As per TechCrunch, Instagram Stories has now 500 Million daily active users. Instagram Stories are fun and creative. They are great for growing your engagement, building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and ultimately making online sales. In this post, we will cover the six most frequently asked questions about Instagram Stories for Business.

Introduction to Instagram and Instagram Stories

Instagram continues to grow as one of the most popular social media platforms across all ages, locations, and brands.  The platform now has more than 1 billion monthly active users, just as experts estimated it would be by the end of 2018. That’s more than three times the monthly active users of Twitter. Instagram is now trailing only WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

More importantly, it has not got 500 million daily active users.

Instagram Stories is a feature within the Instagram App that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours.

Ash Read (Buffer)
how to use Instagram Stories for Business
Image Courtesy: Hootsuite

The “Instagram Stories” feature, launched in August 2016, feels pretty similar to Snapchat Stories, a Snapchat feature that was introduced in 2013, and a pivotal part of the company’s growth.

And like Snapchat, the photos and videos shared in your Instagram Story are ephemeral and can’t be viewed once 24 hours have elapsed. Content shared to stories also won’t appear on your profile grid or in the main Instagram feed.

How to Make Instagram Stories?

It’s pretty easy. You can refer to the step-by-step guides by Buffer, Hootsuite or Later. In this post, we will focus on why and how you should use Instagram Stories for Business.

Is Instagram Stories Relevant for You?

This is a great question. If you are a small enterprise or startup owner, you need to evaluate the returns on investment (effort and time).

My suggestion would be if you have got any one of the following things to share, you should use Instagram Stories:

  • How To’s and Tutorials
  • User-Generated Content
  • Behind-the-Scenes Stories
  • Offers, Discounts, and Promos at Special Occasions
  • Special Announcements

6 Frequently Asked Questions About Instagram Stories for Business

Co-authored by Stefan Ateljevic

Are you still in two minds about marketing your business on Instagram Stories? Or perhaps you understand its importance but are not sure how to leverage the platform to improve your brand image and boost sales?

Or maybe you’ve already created your first business story but need help in making it more searchable?

If so, keep reading.

We’ll be answering several most common questions about Instagram Stories and its implementation in digital marketing.

1. Is Instagram Stories Useful To Businesses?

Yes, it is. Launched in 2016, Instagram Stories has shown great potential as a marketing tool used by many SMM companies.

Here are some of the main advantages of Stories for businesses.

Reach Out To 500 Million Users/Day For Free!

As of October 2018, Instagram Stories had more than 400 million daily active users. Within less than 3 months, the product has added 100 million more users, as reported by TechCrunch. So, half a billion users are on Instagram Stories every day.

Stories are growing amongst advertisers as well, with 2 million now buying Stories ads across Instagram and Facebook.

You can reach out to them without spending a single dime. How many marketing channels you can think of that can beat this?

Instagram Stories Hits 500M Daily Active Users
Image Courtesy: TechCrunch

Spread Brand Awareness

One of the best features of Stories is that its users like to hear from different businesses. That’s why one in three of the most popular Stories comes from a business. If you can create an interesting campaign, you will find many willing ears.

Engage With Viewers

Instagram Stories’ users are not only interested in watching business’ Stories but are also willing to engage with them by following their other social media accounts, downloading apps, reading blog posts, and visiting shoppable pages.

Promote Exclusivity

By showing people ‘what you’re working on’, and giving them ‘sneak peaks’ of what’s happening behind the scenes shots gives a sense of exclusivity. Everyone loves to feel like they’re special – and you’re also creating a bit of hype behind what you’re working on.

2. Which Type of Instagram Stories Do Brands Post More Often?

According to a report, product promotion Stories are put out most frequently (36%), followed by those offering an inside look (22%). Other popular business Stories are influencer takeover Stories (14%), live event Stories (10%), and how-to Stories (5%).

FAQs on Instagram Stories for Business
Image Courtesy: Buffer

3. How to Use Instagram Stories for Business Effectively

Tell a Story

Clear, simple stories activate the brain, making it easier to recall information. A good narrative also causes our brains to synthesize oxytocin, the same hormone that helps people bond.

Provide Authetic and Real Value

Authentic content is honest, both in message and execution. It’s imperfect, real. People trust real stuff.

Social media audiences want the brands they follow to provide them with information and/or entertainment.

Value is telling your followers how to do something that makes life easier or better (i.e., information). Value is making your followers feel something (i.e., entertainment).

If you can do these things, consistently, your audience will come back, spread your content, and grow.

Be Creative

Instagram Stories offer plenty of features that enable its users to look at things differently, to think differently, to be creative. Use these features fearlessly—and your audience will take notice, rewarding you with attention, engagement, and action.

how to use instagram stories for business
Image Courtesy: Likeable Mediaa

Plan Ahead

Instagram Stories allows users to post existing photos and videos from your camera roll as long as that content was created within the last 24 hours.

This functionality gives you a chance to plan your Stories ahead of time, instead of producing them on the fly—which makes it easier to create content that’s more engaging, compelling, and meaningful.

Promote Your Story

Ideally, you should spend 20% of your resources on content creation and 80% on content marketing.

Promoting, or boosting, your Story will help it get more exposure.

This strategy is especially viable if you have “must-see” content designed around a special offer, event, or branding initiative. After all, if you put more time, energy, and resources into creating a Story, it only makes sense to invest more in its dissemination.

Use Call-to-Action Buttons

A CTA, or call-to-action, is one of the most important elements of your Story because it tells people what to do next.

As a brand, the last thing you want your viewers to do is nothing. You want people to engage with your content, to like it, share it, and comment. Or, perhaps, you want people to take a more committed action, like making a purchase.

Read: Career Planning Tips for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs

4. Is It True That Stories Automatically Disappear After 24 Hours?

Yes, this is true. That said, if you want, you can keep your favorite Stories alive for much longer by showcasing their highlights just below your profile bio using the Stories Highlight feature.

Hack: You can get around this 24-hour rule by opening your content in an editing app and then re-saving it. This will make your content appear new to Instagram and, therefore, uploadable.

Eddie Shleyner (Buffer)

5. How Can I Design A More Engaging Content?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, several strategies have proved to be immensely effective, such as the following two.

Create Special Offer Campaigns

Giving customers an incentive to do something is a time-tested marketing strategy. Run a ‘special offer’ ad in your campaign every now and then to widen the customer base and generate more sales.

instagram stories hits 500 million users
Image Courtesy: Gadget Bridge

Include Video Ads In Your Stories

Are you publishing your first business Story? Have you just launched a new product? Video ads are immensely useful in raising awareness about a brand or a new product.

6. How Can I Make My Stories More Search-Friendly?

One way to make your Instagram stories more searchable is by adding location and other relevant hashtags, like #GoodMorning, #Mood, #Work, etc.

Read: How to Optimize Your Content for Voice Search

If you want to find more information on how and why to use Instagram Stories to grow your business, you can check this infographic on How Businesses Use Instagram Stories.

About Stefan Ateljevic:

Stefan is a fan of social media marketing, innovation, the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and online gambling. He is the Head of Marketing at Bitfortune and also runs BitcoinPlay. You can connect with him on Twitter.

Original Source of Featured Image: Crowdfire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *