Marketing on Instagram is now more sophisticated than it used to be a few years ago. In addition to many different formats (image carousels, video, IGTV, now reels), you can now use scheduling tools, advanced analytics, and even ads.
But we see one feature consistently outperform all other ones. It is Instagram stories.
At first, I was not sure about Instagram Stories, but we continued to test them for ourselves and our clients. Stories consistently deliver great results (especially, with the Business profiles).
Benefits of Instagram Stories
Fun Fact: Every 5th Instagram Story triggers a Direct Message from the viewer. Even if you do not have a large Instagram following, you are striking conversations with your fans.
People seem more authentic and interesting, even if these are used in the ads. These ads appear between the Stories of accounts that users already follow and look very natural.
Instagram ads look a lot LIKE organic stories, making people more likely to engage.
Read on to find out!
1 – Be Purposeful: Grab attention within the First Second
Understand what you are trying to do: Relate, engage, strike a conversation. Make sure your message is consistent with that rather than selling.
Use a photo ad or a video ad. The key is to capture the attention of your target audience in under a second. That’s right: your first second matters the most.
Most people go from story to story tapping “next” in their feed, rarely watching the entirety of anything. If your advertisement grabs attention people will stay longer.
Do whatever it takes (within reason) to keep their attention.
2 – Make it Relevant and Strike a Conversation
Social media is a two-way street. Stories are a great way to have a conversation. Ask questions, use built-in polls, and stickers, ask for direct feedback or voting.
The more relevant and interesting your story is, the more engagement you will see.
Imagine sitting down for a cup of tea with your best friend:
What would you tell her?
What questions would you ask?
Are there specific parts of your business that need feedback?
Piece together parts of this conversation, add visuals and stickers and you are ready to post your Instagram story.
3 – Invite Viewers on an Adventure
People love to live vicariously through you – stories give them a preview of your side. Share the fun, light, interesting (and relevant to your brand) parts of your life.
If it is a new collection launch, share behind-the-scenes ideas, the creative process, the designs in the making.
If it is a new informational product, talk about the journey to get to the final stage. Use it as an opportunity to get feedback on your messages, benefits, even parts of your training.
Do not be afraid to share struggles – people what to see the “real you”.
4 – Ensure that your Branding is Obvious
It’s a lot harder to use subtle storytelling in an Instagram Stories ad. You’ll have to be very direct and make sure people know who you are.
1 – Overlay your logos in a way that your brand name is unmistakable.
2 – Start your story ad by making the product your primary focus.
3 – Finally, one more thing people try, use a simple font and minimal styling to make sure viewers’ eyes are drawn to your brand name.
5 – Use Music and Visual Elements to your Advantage
Avoid being repetitive and boring.
Combine visuals with sound. The right choice of music can entice people to keep watching.
Of course, the music you choose will depend on the type of ad you’re trying to create. Some brands choose energetic music to go with their product demonstration. Others choose soothing background music and highlight their logos instead.
Integrate stickers, experiment with fonts, try new features (e.g. boomerang).
6- Have a Clear Structure
If you want to stand out with your Instagram Stories, be purposeful about the structure. In addition to a captivating opening and compelling content, always “wrap it up”.
Give people closure, let them know what is going to come next. And do not be afraid to add a Call to Action. Be specific in what you want them to do (but not pushy).
The secret of creating an Instagram story that people crave is to balance value with entertainment and a clear call to action.
Experiment with different formats and once you found the “winner”, stick with it.
Also, remember to add most-viewed stories to your highlights and share them on Facebook.
PRO TIP: Reach both potential and current customers
Instagram’s feed is based on algorithms.
Brands have to learn how they work to get engagement. This is true for Instagram Stories as well. To reach a highly-targeted audience, you may need to advertise.
Start your ad campaign by choosing your audience carefully so you can generate high-quality leads rather than just anyone. Time your posts at the right time and ensure that your content meets a need. If you’re retargeting, try to ensure that the product that they were considering is the one that shows up on their feed.
With the help of Ads, you can make sure that your new products and promotions reach both your potential and current customers. That way, your current customers aren’t forgotten yet you’re still making efforts to expand your customer base.
Instagram gave you another amazing tool: Instagram Stories, highly relevant, engaging, and effective ways to engage your customers. BUT…Your audience wants to receive content that is interesting to them. If it doesn’t appeal to them, why would they bother to engage?
Make sure your story itself is interesting and helpful before they tapped “next”…