How to Use Instagram’s Story Feature to Market Your Business

How to Use Instagram’s Story Feature to Market Your Business

The image-scrolling platform Instagram is a uniquely powerful tool for businesses that are smart enough to recognize its value.  Though this social media giant’s concept is simple, its marketing strength is through the roof. 

In fact, according to Hootesuite, 1 billion people use the platform every month.  Not only that, but 63% of its users log on daily.  With extraordinary stats like that, businesses can’t afford to ignore the social site.

Instagram isn’t only its image scroll.  With a tool called stories, individuals and businesses alike can add photos or videos that last just 24 hours. Stories appear at the top of users’ feeds and quickly disappear.  Each story has a 15 second time limit, so it must be short and sweet.

So how can you use stories to promote your business?  It’s easy! Consider incorporating the ideas below to kickstart your use of this amazing tool.

Share User-Generated Content

Word-of-mouth may be an old-school marketing tool, but it’s still extremely powerful.  Incorporate it in a fresh and modern way by adding user-generated content (USG) in your Instagram stories - with each user’s permission of course. 

USG sounds complicated, but it simply means content generated by your fans.    Let’s say you have a handmade furniture business. If one of your customers takes a gorgeous shot of your chair in her beautifully decorated apartment and posts it on Instagram, ask her if you can share it in your stories!  Sit back and let your fans market for you.

How-to Tutorials

Use Instagram stories to create educational content.  Provide simple how-to tutorials which are easy to follow. They don’t have to be about how to use your product or service specifically, though they should be clearly related and useful for your audience. 

For the furniture-making business, for example, you could your fans how to patch a hole in a leather couch, or provide your best tips on how to lay out furniture in a  small apartment.  Stories are informal and only appear for a brief time, so you can use them to experiment with ideas like these.

Take Your Fans Backstage

Your customers want to know what goes on behind the scenes of your business.  Give them a glimpse of your warehouse, back office, design team meetings - whatever is relevant to your business.  Show them your human side! Unlike other forms of marketing, Instagram stories need not be polished and perfect. 

Collaborate with an Influencer

If there is a particular influencer who can work well with your products and business, you should try collaborating with him or her to increase your business. Make sure the style and the aesthetics of the influencer matches with that of yours.

Check out the number of followers that the influencer has, before collaborating with him or her. Contact the influencer directly instead of putting up an announcement. The best way would be to send an email if you can find the email address of the influencer.

Use Polls to Increase Interaction

You can get answers to any of your questions by including polls in your Instagram story posts. Polls are a great way to make your customers feel heard. Once they know their opinions matter, it will become easier for you to establish strong long-lasting relationships with your customers.

Your polls don’t have to be brand-focused. You can choose from any of the topics that compliment your brand. For instance, if you are into selling cars, your poll could be about favorite road trip destinations. You can use a broad range of topics to get your followers interested in your brand.

Using Instagram stories for your marketing is a creative, inexpensive, and effective way to grow your business - and it’s easier to adopt than it appears.  It’s easy to become an ACH Payment Facilitator (PayFac) too. ACH Pay Facs allow SaaS platforms to onboard clients simply and efficiently.

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