Do you want your business to reach a wider audience?
Of course, you do!
Here at Zen Media, our goal is to help our clients take their businesses to the next level – and one of the major ways that is accomplished is through digital marketing strategies that help build brand identity and create engagement.
A large part of becoming a leader in your respective field is establishing a robust presence on social media channels like Instagram, the popular photo editing and sharing social network.
As we’ve mentioned before, using Instagram for marketing and the increased importance of mobile marketing, in general, should play into your social media marketing strategies and tactics.
Why, you ask?
Because Instagram offers roughly 10 times more engagement than Facebook and over 83 times more engagement than Twitter!
And with more than 500 million monthly active users and 80 million photos posted per day, Instagram is truly one of the most powerful and effective platforms to market your business.
To make things more interesting, recently, Instagram released a new “Stories” feature that will give you a new and exciting way to connect and engage with your target audience.
What is Instagram Stories?
Stories is a brand new Instagram feature that allows users to create images and short video recordings to capture and share brief moments of their everyday life.
This functions similarly to Snapchat, another popular mobile app that allows users to record quick (and often playful) video content that can be enhanced using filters, special effects, and text/drawing tools, like this:
As multiple photos and/or videos are created, a slideshow of that content is generated, forming a personal “story” for each user.
Stories also provide a solution to the issue of overposting by allowing users to avoid the clutter of photos and videos on their (and other’s) personal feeds.
Just like with Snapchat’s short-life content design, users of Instagram Stories can create as much content as they want – and then it simply disappears after 24 hours.
There are already several ways to market your business using Instagram, including:
- Behind-the-scenes shots
- Timely topical posts
- Hyperlapse and GIFs
- Contests and giveaways
And with Instagram Stories, you have another powerful tool to help you market your business and reach a larger audience.
Simple, right? Now here’s how you can use this to market your business.
How to use Instagram Stories to Market your Business
1) Learn the basics
Before you begin creating stories for your business, it helps to learn the ins and outs of all the features’ various functions.
Let’s start with how to create a story:
- After opening the Instagram app, tap the plus button located on the upper left-hand side of your home screen.
- Hit the round button at the bottom of the screen once to take a photo or hold the button down to record a short video.
- Edit your photo or video by adding text captions or using the filter/drawing tools.
- Tap the checkmark button to add your new content and share your story.
Once you’re more familiar with how to create a story, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
2) Create a variety of content
Instagram is a highly visual social media platform, so in order to keep your audience engaged, you’ll want to consistently post appealing and creative content.
What appeals to Instagram users? Variety.
To attract an engaged Instagram audience you’ll need a wide variety of content in order to stand out, so try to include:
- Photos enhanced with attractive filters, emojis, and text
- Selfie/group shots of yourself or your company team
- Humorous and/or informative video footage of your company
- Selfie videos discussing timely topics
By sharing different types of content, you’ll be able to capture a wider and more engaged audience.
Helpful tip: Keep your videos short. Consumers receive and process information quickly, so shorter videos tend to get more engagement.
3) Ask your team for help
Trying to come up with a variety of creative and engaging content for your Instagram Story can be challenging and time-consuming, especially if you’re doing it by yourself.
To help you alleviate some of that pressure, look to your team to find some new ideas.
Here are some great ways to get your team involved:
Show off your team. Send out an email to your team asking for volunteers to be featured on Instagram. This will give you a list of people you can feature on your story, while also building your brand.
Take a silly photo of them and ask them interview-style questions like their favorite food, movies, music, or what they would bring to a deserted island, and add that to your story post.
This will allow your audience to get a behind-the-scenes look at your company culture, while creating more engagement for your business.
Have a contest. You can also ask them to submit ideas on what they think should be implemented on your company’s Instagram account, and award any winning ideas with a prize (like a gift card).
Ask your team what they like. Ask your team about the brands and companies they enjoy engaging with and why they find them appealing.
By involving the other members of your company, you can create stories that give your audience some insight about your company culture, while helping you find some great content.
4) Don’t be a perfectionist
This one may be a tough pill to swallow for some content creators used to catering to Instagram’s highly visual nature, but unlike the standard Instagram post, your stories should be quick and unpolished.
The stories you create that are candid and silly can often drive higher engagement than the posts you spend significant time on with editing and production.
Chances are, you’re not a professional photographer or videographer, and you don’t have to be in order to promote your business with Instagram.
You should focus on capturing appealing and authentic moments to share on your stories because your audience will find your company more approachable and relatable.
So, try not to overthink it!
The Final Word
Social media offers you countless opportunities to promote your business, and Instagram’s new Stories feature gives you one more incredible tool to build your brand and engage with your audience.
With a network of over 500 million active users on Instagram, there’s literally a whole world out there you can market your business to.
When used properly, this new and versatile tool can give you the power to share images and videos with an enormous and engaged audience in a unique way.
So, if you have or are looking to develop an engaged audience on Instagram, you should definitely use Stories to help you promote your business.