The Instagram Stories tool launched in 2016 and allows users to post ephemeral slideshows and videos that last only 24 hours before they disappear. Sound familiar? Some people have accused Instagram of stealing the Snap Chat marketing technique, however, even though the idea is similar, Instagram improved upon this idea and created something even more powerful for marketers to use. Stories is a place where brands can give people a sneak peek or a behind-the-scenes look at the company and its employees. It establishes authenticity and helps the customers know the company a little better.
Why businesses should not ignore using Instagram Stories
Instagram is growing at record speed and is the fastest growing social media platform with 700 million active users monthly. It’s second only to social media giant Facebook. Ignoring Instagram Stories in your marketing strategy is like wanting a cupcake instead of the whole birthday cake.
If you ignore Instagram, then you’re not reaching a huge demographic of potential customers. Instagram is most popular among those under 35. Its popularity has grown exponentially since Facebook lost some of this demographic due to privacy mishaps and controversy.
Instagram offers a fresh platform that emphasizes visual media and frankly more fun with humorous photos and videos. You might say it’s the lighthearted more uplifting side of social media.
Before Instagram Stories came out in August of 2016, Instagram users complained of how difficult it was to promote their links or websites. Basically, the only way to do that was via the link you provided in your profile or by suggesting that people visit your website.
Now, Instagram Stories provides you with a new and effective way to drive traffic back to your website or blog. Below, is a list of four ways to use Instagram to drive traffic to your brand:
Add links to your Instagram Stories
Once your Instagram account is verified, or if your Instagram business profile has reached the 10k followers threshold, using Instagram Stories to drive traffic to your site will be easy. You can add a link to an Instagram story simply by swiping up on the screen. This is even better than adding a hyperlink in a caption because this allows you to use photos or videos to attract interest in your link. Visuals can also be like a preview of what users can expect to see on your website or store.
Also, it’s a good idea to call out the call-to-action by using text or a design feature (like an arrow) because the “See More” feature is tiny and easily overlooked.
Tag your profile
If you have under 10,000 followers, you won’t be able to directly add links to your Instagram Stories. You’ll be limited to using the link in your profile bio. However, there is a way to circumvent that restriction. You can tag yourself in stories by tapping the screen while posting or recording a story. Then type the “@” symbol followed by your username. Instagram will link to your username in the story, making it a clickable link to your profile.
Using this technique, you can tease your product by following it up saying “Visit my profile link for more information.” Then you’ll want to add your “@” handle in the hopes that they will want to click it. If these followers are enticed by your story, then they will be more accepting of your product and more likely to visit your profile.
Use Instagram Highlights to keep your best posts visible
Before Instagram Stories Highlights, your story would disappear in the queue of the news feed. But now, you can highlight your best and most memorable stories below your profile and above the feed. It’s what the user will first see, so this is a great way to pique the interest of potential followers and customers.
Make live tutorials
Many users look for ways to do things better. That’s why tutorials are so popular. You save time by simply watching a video rather than thumbing through a manual or calling a customer help line.
Instagram Stories is a way to offer your followers or customers advice and how-to steps for using your products or solving an everyday problem related to your product.
There are so many ways now to use Instagram Stories to drive customers to your site and to inform them about your products. The millions of Instagram users will expand your marketing reach, so please don’t ignore this powerful marketing tool.