When Instagram stories were first introduced in 2016, most users didn’t even give it much attention. They thought of it as a “copycat” of Snapchat. After all, Snapchat came up with the idea first, right? It was a bold, unthinkable move… or so we thought.
Over the years, Instagram stories have continually evolved, introducing new features that businesses can take advantage of to engage with their audience. Eventually, it has leapfrogged its competitors and actually became a better version of Snapchat.
Instagram stories are something you should consider incorporating into your social media marketing strategy. Here are 8 reasons you should give it a try.
Preserve a high-quality business profile
Normally, the content you publish on Instagram gets saved on your profile. But with stories, the content you share disappears after 24 hours. That means you can share as much as you want throughout the day without cluttering your profile with less-than-perfect images.
Now, you can treat your profile as a portfolio, showcasing only your best and evergreen content.
Stay on top of mind
Instagram puts stories at the top of your feed, marked with a purple ring. This indicates that there is a new story published. This feature enables you to stay top of the feed – and mind – of your followers. With stories, you no longer have to compete for a spot in your follower’s feeds.
Have some fun with your audience
Instagram stories have tons of features that encourage audience engagement – using stickers, taking polls, asking questions, linking music, and so much more. Dressing up your content with these features can work wonders for driving more audience interaction.
With stories, you have the freedom to let loose and have some fun with your audience. You can experiment with different types of content and test out what works. Plus, you don’t have to worry about making each post so polished. In fact, more and more consumers find unpolished and goofy content increasingly endearing.
Show another side to your brand
It can be difficult to show the fun side of your brand on Instagram since you want to maintain the quality of your feed, but stories allow you to show another side to your brand.
Instagram stories let you humanize your brand. It enables you to add a personal touch to how you engage with your audience and showcase your products and services in exciting ways.
You can use stories to share your ideas with the community, ask them questions, or share some out-of-the-box content. You can also try showing some behind-the-scenes videos, feature people who are working behind your brand or share photos and videos from team events. Light-hearted, humorous posts also work well in helping you build rapport with your audience.
Grow your audience
Instagram Stories are discoverable. Meaning, even non-followers can see your stories. This provides an excellent opportunity to reach a wider audience. If your content is interesting and engaging enough, this could lead people to check out your profile and follow you.
Instagram stories are usually real-time, which makes them feel more human and authentic, and people like that.
Instagram Live is a growing trend, and for good reasons. Live videos allow followers to see you face-to-face and take a peek as to what happens behind the scenes. Here, you’re developing real conversation, and people appreciate it when you’re genuine with them.
Going live can also be a great strategy if you’re looking for an instant engagement boost. It triggers a notification to followers who are using the app at that moment. You can live stream events, host Q&A sessions, or just to speak directly to your audience.
You won’t be bombarding your audience
Being active on Instagram is good, but you don’t want to annoy your followers either. This is where Instagram stories come in handy.
With stories, you can post as much as you want without being intrusive. The stories appear on top of a user’s Instagram feed and it’s highlighted when there’s a new post. Users can watch them at their convenience or choose not to view them at all.
Create buzz around a deal
These short, immersive clips are visually impactful and come with a range of features that are sure to capture the attention of your audience. The temporary 24-hour time frame is a great way to create a buzz around a deal or event.
When used appropriately, Instagram stories can help you promote discounts, deals, and events, and even urge people to take decisive action quickly.
More than half a billion people consume Instagram stories on a daily basis. It’s a great opportunity to open new pathways to increase engagement and brand awareness. If you’re not using stories to your advantage, then you should be.