Since the launch of the Instagram Stories back in 2016, the platform has revolutionised the way we share images, videos, and other content in real time. A whole new approach to communicating and sharing information was introduced and we haven’t looked back since.

Being able to share content on Stories has not only amplified the way content creators reach their audiences around the globe but has also changed the game when it comes to growing businesses.

Why Should Your Business Be Active on Instagram Stories?

Instagram in itself is a highly effective way to boost audience engagement and even tap into a usership you might otherwise miss through traditional media channels. It also injects a more human element into your business, engaging your customers and making your brand seem more approachable whilst maximising its digital footprint.

Instagram allows you to post frequently, with branded posts featuring logos, presets and a high production value… whereas Instagram Stories is designed with spontaneity in mind – the more adhoc, the better!

Expanding and growing your reach and engagement is one of the most significant parts of increasing your brand awareness and sales conversions, as well as boosting brand reputation, which, as we all know, is paramount to any business.

By not utilising Instagram Stories as part of your digital marketing strategy you may be missing out on a considerable amount of valuable traffic, and potential customers and sales leads for your brand to tap into.

And let’s not to forget the best part… it’s completely free to use!

 

Five Instagram Story Features You Should Be Using

 

Don’t miss out on what has the potential to be a crucial part of your social media strategy; below are some of our favourite features that can help you captivate your audience:

  1. ‘Create’ mode

As a business, ‘Create’ mode will very easily become your favourite Instagram Stories feature. It allows you to post GIFs, polls, questions, and countdowns to your heart’s content, without the necessity of having to share an image or video, instead allowing you a range of colourful gradient backgrounds to choose from.

How to use:

Access this feature by clicking the plus button in the top left-hand corner of your grid, and click ‘Create’ from the three options presented on the on the left-hand side of your stories screen.

  1. ‘Poll’ sticker

The ‘Poll’ sticker is an opportunity to create a conversation starter with your followers, get their views, opinions, and preferences – all from the tap of a button. Long gone are the days of focus groups!

Based on the questions you set out, ‘Polls’ will allow the user to vote for their favourite choice or what they resonate most with. In turn, this gives you valuable customer insight and/or useful information relating to your industry.

Instagram gathers up your responses automatically, providing you with a percentage-based set of data on the products or services your customers most value.

Not only can you publish a set of questions, you might set up ‘True or False’ trivia questions relating to your business and encourage users to try and guess the correct answer. This immediately sparks a higher level of engagement and because you’re making the most out of the products produced by Instagram, the algorithm will, as a result, favour your content as you’ll be classed as an active participant on the platform.

How to use:

Head over to the IG story button in the top left-hand corner, upload an image of your choice, tap the ‘sticker’ tab in the top navigational bar and finally select ‘poll’.

  1. ‘Question’ sticker

Engage your audience by asking them questions on Instagram Stories or offer them the opportunity to reach out to you and your business.

As with polls, you’ll be notified of any questions and answers received, and can share this content on your stories, either to feature particularly great answers or to prompt a wider conversation with your followers.

An ideal way to use this feature might be to ask your followers about the kind of content they would find particularly helpful, whether it be more information about the services you offer, your business or the products you create.

How to use:

Access your ‘Questions’ sticker by heading to your sticker list in Stories, choose an image or background, then fill in the ‘ask me a question’ section. You also have the option to access this feature using ‘Create’ mode.

  1. ‘Quiz’ Sticker

We all love a good quiz, especially in 2020! The rise of living room Zoom quizzes has taken the world by storm, but Instagram was quick off the mark and actually offered their own quiz function back in February 2019.

The ‘Quiz’ sticker allows users to create a set of custom questions, with multiple-choice answers – when a follower answers any question, they’ll be instantly notified on whether or not their answers were correct. You could even set this up as part of a competition to promote a new product launch, milestones (such as hitting 10,000 followers), or to achieve additional engagement or followers on your platform.

How to use:

Open your Instagram Stories, and click the sticker button where you will find the ‘Quiz’ feature; all that’s left is to get creative!

  1. ‘Countdown’ sticker

 Lastly, we have the ‘Countdown’ sticker… this function allows you to produce a countdown on your story to build anticipation for new products, events, webinars, announcements etc. Grab your audience’s attention and get them excited about your offering.

How to use:

Follow the same steps as you would for ‘Quiz’, however choose the ‘Countdown’ option create your countdown name and set an end date and time.

Start Using Instagram Stories Today!

 Your customer communication should never be a chore – and Instagram Stories provides the perfect opportunity to have a bit of fun and start a valuable conversation with followers.

For more information about Instagram Stories or if you think that receiving help with your Social Media Management would benefit your business, please give the KAT Marketing team a call on 01206 765544.