How to use Instagram Stories to grow your Brand’s Engagement

Instagram is a popular social media platform that serves as a medium for brands, especially nowadays, to express themselves to potential customers. Owing to the popularity of instagram (1.074 billion users), brands have set up pages to promote themselves and their products to the large audience on social media. With the right marketing strategy, brands can establish themselves, get engagements, promote their services, and increase sales using instagram. Keeping this in mind, Instagram has also launched a variety of features on its platform to help brands bring more engagements. And one such feature is Instagram Stories. 

Stories were launched in 2016, and now more than 500 million instagrammers use stories daily. It is one of Instagram’s most popular features and has attracted many brands to exploit it. “Small businesses should leverage Instagram Stories to market their products and services, getting their messages to followers that otherwise might not see regular Instagram posts in their feed because of the latest updates to the algorithm,” said Laura Kenat, content coordinator at Jo Chicago. 

Instagram Stories are fun to watch. It’s free and it’s one of the most effective ways to engage with the audience, even if the audience isn’t viewing your posts in their feed. In today’s world, which is filled with enthusiastic marketing and brand competition, brands need to think more about their present and future performance like comments, saves, shares, Instagram Stories, views, and even DMs to understand how the brand is growing and performing. Here are a few ways to use Instagram stories to its fullest potential and find out if it’s increasing your brand’s engagement with the audience.

One of the most important things to consider is to know what your audience needs or wants from the brand. What do your Instagram followers want to see you as? What do your Instagram followers expect from you? By asking such questions, the brand can focus on posting stories with content that will answer these questions. Make sure whatever content is added, has to be real and fresh and that’s what makes people more likely to be comfortable responding to your Instagram stories and posts. The brand must never ignore any comments from their followers. Instead, they must be addressed in the brand’s Instagram story. By serving your followers exactly the way they want to be served in terms of engagement, they will be more engaged with the brand and will continue to have conversations with the brand. 

In today’s world, Social media is one of the most important platforms to showcase a brand’s creativity. Instagram being one of the strongest platforms for brands to market their product, it is important for brands to be more creative. Brands need to experiment with various options such as different fonts , different GIFs, background music, and more. Also, make sure that your app is consistently up to date so you can be among the first to discover and also use new features that Instagram updates.

Hashtags are the most powerful tool to use, especially Instagram Hashtags. They are one of the main tools used to increase the number of views and attract new people. The brand can double their viewers simply by using hashtags. All a brand needs to do while uploading stories on Instagram is to create and experiment with new Instagram Hashtags and see what happens. Meanwhile, it’s also important to keep track of the results to make sure it is working for your brand and content.

Stories are nothing but casual regular posts. They don’t really need a lot of detailing and editing. That’s not what Instagram stories are meant for. However, that doesn’t mean a brand should post Instagram stories randomly. Do not forget the fact that brands need their Instagram followers to watch their Stories and to know what to expect from the brand. 

Sharing other people’s stories or posting it  is a great way to build a network, build new relationships, and grow your traffic and engagement a lot faster. Once the person knows that you’ve shared the post or story, they can repost it and their audience, who are not aware of your Instagram account, might view your account and may also end up following it.

On instagram stories, brands can post photos, videos, boomerangs, live videos, text, music, etc. They can also add stickers such as location, temperature, tags, hashtags and many more. There are many other features like polls, questions, sliding bar features to get feedback from users. Also, there is an ask me anything feature which allows interaction between the brand and the users to meet brand’s expectations and customer satisfaction. Additionally, they can save stories in Story Highlights which allows them to save the story even after 24 hours. So the new users can go through the old stories in the highlights section and they will not miss the previous updates posted by the brands on their stories. There are many other unique ways using which brands can grow their engagement via Instagram Stories, some of the ideas are listed below:

 

  • Use a storyboard to create a structure: Brands can portray their idea in the form of a story. They can divide the content they wish to put into small parts and put them in consecutive stories rather than putting all of them in one. This way users will get a clear picture of what the brand is trying to showcase and what are their motives. With a proper beginning, middle and end to your story posts, your viewers will be more likely to stay engaged till the very end. 

 

  • Understanding what content is best suitable for stories: Engagements can come from various sources such as stories, posts, hashtags, etc. Brands need to find out which content is best suitable to put up in stories that can bring more engagement. 

 

  • Designing stories that matches brand’s vision: Creating and putting stories that matches what the brand stands for is as important as the content. 

 

  • Replying to story DMs: When you engage and reply to your DMs, you’re not only sending a message to your followers that there’s a real person behind the account and that you’re listening to their feedback, but also improving your Instagram Stories engagement in the long run.

 

  • Repost your feed posts in instagram stories: Another popular way to bring engagements. Reposting your feed posts of stories acts as a clickable link to your feed. Brands can also use different templates for the same content they post on their feed as well as in their stories. 

 

  • Using the countdown sticker: Countdown stickers can be very exciting for the users as it keeps them engaged with the brand. Brands can use it to disclose surprises, offers, contest winners etc.

 

  • Doing live sessions regularly: People feel engaged when they can interact with the person, rather than always being in touch with the “Brand”. One on one live sessions can connect the users with the brand on a more personal level and can spark a sense of connectivity with the brand. 

 

There are some more ideas such as adding some fun elements in the stories, posting multiple stories a day to keep the users engaged, maintaining a schedule, using branded hashtags, sticking with one instagram filter, etc. Plus, there are tons of creative things that a brand can portray using their stories to bring more engagement. For that purpose, a brand needs a strong Creative team with advanced technology and knowledge of what is trending currently and can keep up with the constant new trends in social media. One of the main reasons why brands should use instagram stories is, that since Instagram updated the feed to be algorithmic in June of 2016, having stories always appear at the top of a follower’s feed helps your brand remain at a top-of-the-mind recall. Popular Stories also appear at the top of the explore page, which helps gain an even wider reach. While almost all brands use instagram stories to bring engagements, here are some of the brands that use instagram stories to the best of their advantage:

  • Everlane
  • Glossier 
  • Bon appetit
  • Article
  • The New York Times
  • Aritzia
  • Converse
  • Minimalist Baker
  • Buffer 
  • Madewell

 

The more you post stories on Instagram, the more your posts will show up in the feed.Instagram is one of the best places to market your brand online, gain a loyal following, and build a community that supports your business and your brand values. It’s already a highly engaging channel, capable of obtaining high results at low costs. Instagram enables brands to show off their products in the most creative way they can without any barrier. Thus, the best prevails, while the rest remains.

Always remember that content is king. But, the content you post on your story must always focus on personalisation. Always be real and fresh with your Instagram stories, and let your audience feel comfortable with the brand and engage with the brand.