Ever since Facebook began prioritizing interactions from friends and family in favor of branded content, Instagram has become the go-to social media marketing and advertising platform for many companies. In fact, there currently are over 25 million global business profiles on Instagram. In the United States, over 3/4 of brands (75.3%) have an Instagram account. It’s by using Instagram for Business that companies can look forward to increasing their audience, boost engagement rates and brand awareness, build loyalty, and achieve many of their other goals and objectives as part of their digital advertising and/or marketing strategy.
There are plenty of features and tactics to use when employing Instagram for Business, meaning that it may take some trial-and-error before finding the exact recipe that works. But if implemented correctly and effectively, the results can be well worth the effort. Instagram Stories for businesses is one such feature that can provide multiple opportunities for your campaign. With over 400 million people using Instagram Stories any given day, and with Instagram marketers spending nearly a third of their ad budget on Stories, it’s no surprise that over a third of Stories are being posted by businesses. In addition, over 62% of Instagram users say that they become interested in a brand or product after seeing it in the Stories content section of their Instagram feed. This short guide to Instagram Stories for Business will help you establish a steady foothold on how to leverage this highly-engaging feature.
What’s Your Instagram Stories Content Style and Theme?
Since Instagram Stories have fleeting content that lasts for only 24 hours, they make for an excellent place for trying out new creative ideas. However, this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have a cohesive theme and style that makes your stories uniquely yours. You need to make sure that whenever your Stories pop up in users’ feeds, they will be immediately recognizable as belonging to your brand. This includes fonts, colors, filters, and all sorts of other such aesthetic elements.
To achieve this level of consistency, it’s a good idea to use a third-party tool like Canva. This platform has a wide range of features such as its Color Wheel, Font Pairing, or Magic Resize, among others, to help you create truly visually-pleasing content. You can also choose from its extensive library of Instagram Stories templates to get you started or check Canva’s Design Inspiration for various creative Instagram Stories ideas. Or, you can try out its Design School resource hub to learn the basics of branding and Instagram Stories design.
What’s Your Instagram Story Posting Frequency?
Unlike regular Instagram posts, where each one needs to be able to stand on its own, Instagram Stories should typically be designed as a sequence of posts. And while everyone is free to post a single photo or video in the Stories section of the Instagram feed, most viewers are used to seeing multiple posts, one after the other. Many experts tend to agree that the ideal sequence length is between three to seven posts. After seven, most people begin to lose interest. And depending on which combination of photos and videos you use, this sequence of stories should be anywhere between 35 seconds to nearly 2 minutes long.
But simply because Instagram Stories have a more casual type of content than traditional posts, it doesn’t mean that there is no significant time and planning required for creating them. However, this also means that you shouldn’t commit to creating seven posts per day, seven days a week if you don’t have the time and/or resources to post consistently. In fact, brands will post, on average, around 2.5 Stories per week. You need to be realistic about your situation and plan your schedule around that availability.
When to Schedule Your Instagram Stories
Once you’ve decided on the type of content and posting frequency, you also need to determine when is the best time to post. For better or worse, there is no one right time to share your Instagram Stories. Sometimes, it’s up to the content you have available to publish, like during a live event, for example. At other times, it comes down to your audience and when they are most likely to be engaged. But given the content’s fleeting nature, you will need to pay close attention to the exact posting times and days of the week to maximize your reach, views, and overall engagement. To that end, you will need to figure out when your target audience is most active on Instagram and plan your typical posting schedule around that.
To ensure continued engagement, companies will need to create a calendar and posting schedule that will provide them with a steady posting frequency that the audience will become accustomed to. Such a calendar will also prevent brands from accidentally posting duplicate content.
The eclincher auto-posting scheduler will help you keep yourself organized and remove much of the repetitive work that goes into posting Instagram Stories. If you’re posting to Instagram with a single picture or video, you can directly publish to Instagram from eclincher. In addition, the platform can also integrate with other tools, such as Canva, greatly simplifying and streamlining your content creation and publishing processes.
Instagram Stories Growth Hacks
Interactive elements, such as hashtags, location tags, @-mentions, polling stickers, or emoji sliders, used in Stories will also offer a fun way for your audience to engage with your content and each other. Both people and businesses have been using interactive stickers to engage directly with their followers. In fact, around 60% of businesses that use Instagram Stories also use at least one interactive element every month. Below are several examples of such interactive elements that will help your Instagram Stories strategy.
● Adding Hashtags and Location Tags
When it comes to organically increasing your reach, Instagram hashtags or location tags are among the most efficient ways to do it. Every time someone clicks on, follows, or searches a hashtag on Instagram, they will have access to all associated content. This makes it much easier for your content to be discovered by users that don’t already follow you. Similarly, adding location tags will help increase your reach because a lot of people search for specific locations. They’ll be able to scroll through the stories attached to those locations, giving your content an additional chance of being discovered.
Every Story allows 10 hashtags to be added. This also includes one clickable hashtag sticker. Just keep in mind that you’ll also need to know which hashtags to use and how to optimize them for maximum effectiveness. As a general rule of thumb, your hashtags need to be relevant to your content and target audience. And given the fact that stories tend to have more limited space than regular Instagram posts, you can hide your hashtags under a sticker.
● Polling Stickers and Emoji Sliders
Instagram users tend to love the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. This is why inviting them to share their thoughts can be quite helpful. Thankfully, Instagram Stories allow you to do just that by using stickers. Statistics show that Instagram Story stickers can help enhance video performance in 83% of cases. However, it’s recommended to use these stickers only when they can help communicate additional information. Otherwise, they will contribute to visual clutter, decreasing the overall effectiveness of the post.
Polling stickers are one of the easiest for your followers to interact with. This makes them a great option for quickly boosting engagement. Instagram marketers usually use polling stickers to ask their audience whether or not to buy an item or to choose between two different options. While they seem pretty basic, these simple tactics are often the most effective. They also help a great deal in creating a stronger sense of community.
Emoji slider stickers are another easy and effective way for Stories to generate more engagement. Thanks to their huge amount of emojis on offer, these emoji slider stickers provide plenty of versatility to generate quick sentiment reactions.
● Branded GIFs
Branded GIFs are a great way of adding more personality to your branded Stories. GIFs are useful when drawing attention to a particular part of your Story, but they can also be used to include CTA keywords, such as “link in bio,” “sound on,” or “swipe-up.” They make it easier to inform the audience about what to do next.
There is also a huge number of popular culture stickers and illustrations that can be added to enhance their aesthetic appeal. Similarly, you can go ahead and create your own branded GIFs through Giphy. They are easier to create than you think and are a simple way of increasing brand awareness, while also providing consistency to your posts. And while it can take a couple of weeks before your branded GIFs will be verified and approved, the time and energy spent will be well worth the effort.
Instagram Stories Analytics
I love what you’ve mentioned so far. But, there are a lot more growth hacks for IG Stories as well in addition to what you’ve mentioned. Can we add some content around the below?
Brand Announcements, Brand Collaborations & Influencer Takeovers for businesses, Highlight Reel pinned stories, Questions to spark engagement, Reaction sliders, countdowns, links, Templates designed in advance to be updated frequently to streamline efforts, NEW POST broadcast, Contests, and going LIVE on Instagram Stories.
If we add more content, we’ll be over your required word count and that may affect the rankings for this article, which is already 200 words over the recommended 1500. ‘Instagram Stories Growth Hacks’ with all the hacks could be a separate article that we can include in another cluster. what do you think?
Ok, that’s fine. Would we be able to link to it later? I totally understand that line of thinking. This ranking strategy is interesting.
With every digital content marketing strategy, you will need to make sure that everything is running smoothly and without a hitch. For this reason, you will need to keep a constant eye on your Instagram Stories analytics to track performance, identify any troubled areas, and make the necessary improvements. You will need to have an Instagram account for business before looking into the Insights section. Once here, you can track various insights, such as Instagram Story views, audience reach, likes, comments, shares, number of saves per post, or profile visits by posts, among others.
All this can, however, be a lot of hard work, particularly if you’re new to handling Instagram analytics. Fortunately, eclincher has its own Instagram analytics tool that can greatly ease up the process and provide you with many more insights than Instagram’s built-in tool. Not only can it track performance, generate reports, and benchmark competitors, but it can also track the performance of your hashtags, helping you determine which ones will work best for you.
We are an agile team that offers full 24/7 support and customer service. Our enterprise social media management solution is bundled as a suite and packaged with tremendous value so you don’t have to give up features and capabilities no matter the size of your business. As a value-rich, end-to-end social media management powerhouse, eclincher will be the central hub for your entire digital marketing strategy. It will provide you with full control of your brand reach and a bird’s eye view over all aspects of your online strategy.
eclincher will save you countless work hours, greatly increase productivity, quantify your social media ROI, and centralize your digital marketing strategy to generate success and growth for your business. Don’t hesitate to start your 14-day trial right here, right now, and for free!