Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Four years ago, Instagram released a new feature that would end up eclipsing Snapchat, becoming twice as popular as its predecessor. Instagram Stories was released in August 2016, and on average, it is used by more than 500 million users everyday. The feature would allow users to post updates on their accounts, and it is only available for 24 hours. Whether it is sharing pictures, or short videos, Instagram Stories allows users to give a glimpse of content to their followers, without necessarily staying on their feed.

Although with Instagram Stories, you can keep your content by saving it as a highlight on your account, in case you wish to have it visible on your account feed permanently. For some users, they take advantage of this feature by categorizing their stories under highlights, making it easier for their followers to select the content they want to view. 

Since the release of Instagram Stories, new features have been unveiled such as new fonts and new stickers to add more variety with what users can create. This is in addition to the other features already available, such as the swipe up feature, and filters which also include augmented reality designs.

With these new features, it unlocks so much potential for social media marketers to utilize them to achieve business goals. In this blog, we will explore some of the key ways you can use Instagram Stories to add a flare of creativity to your marketing campaigns.

Understand Your Audience’s Preferences

One of the starting points in creating your social media marketing campaigns is understanding who your audience is, and what their needs are. This is all part of the buyer’s journey, which we have discussed in a previous blog. By understanding what your audience is looking for, this can allow you to tailor your content to suit their interests, which could potentially lead to more sales or leads.

With Instagram Stories, you can incorporate polls or questions directed to your audience, in a fun and engaging way. For example, if you’re a bakery and you sell a variety of baked goods, you can create an Instagram Story that has a poll asking if your audience prefers cakes or cookies. Depending on the outcome, perhaps how your audience answered can shift the content you share on your Instagram page, or even adjust your product offering if your audience highly prefers one over the other. 

Show Authenticity

Authenticity is one of the most important qualities that consumers look for in a brand. According to a study conducted by Stackla, it was found that 90 percent of consumers believe that authenticity is important, and it is the deciding factor in supporting a brand. The same study indicated that 51 percent of consumers believe that less than half of brands create content that is deemed to be authentic

Given how authenticity is highly valued by consumers, your brand can take advantage of this by sharing more personal content on social media. With Instagram Stories, you can showcase content that may not always be polished and on-brand, but this is what builds your authenticity. For example, some brands like to show some behind the scenes clips to give their audience a more personal side to a brand. This could include a restaurant that shows its audience how it makes a certain dish inside the kitchen, which can certainly add more value to the content that you share.

Promote Your Offers

Since Instagram has allowed advertisers to promote content on the platform, this is the perfect opportunity to potentially find the right audience who may take interest in your content. Try to imagine Instagram Stories as an added component in your advertising strategy – while you can already post your content on your Instagram feed, posting it in your Stories can add a higher potential for your audience to see what you are offering.

On Instagram Stories, you can use this to promote any seasonal or upcoming events that are time-sensitive. For example, some businesses like to have flash sales, and you can promote this by posting it as a Story. Or, if you have an upcoming release of an exclusive item in limited quantities, you can use Instagram Stories to build up hype towards this product launch. 

Stickers available on Instagram Stories, including seasonal stickers that change depending on the occasion.

As previously mentioned, you can advertise on Instagram, and this also applies to Stories. By choosing to advertise on Instagram, and picking the audiences you want to reach, this can be helpful in potentially reaching your business goals, but doing this method will require you to pay for it.

Instagram Stories is just one of the many outlets you can use to advertise your company on social media. If you are interested in promoting your content on social media, then our team at Qode Social can help. With years of proven experience, we can help you reach the audiences you want through content planning and strategy, to meet your business goals. 

Qode Social is a Toronto-based social media marketing agency that specializes in community building, account growth, ad analysis, Facebook and Instagram support, and more. Led by experienced social media experts, Qode Social has worked with companies such as Gay Lea Foods, Days Inn Canada, TP-Link and more. Qode Social is a division of Qode Media, which is the parent company that focuses on SEO and graphic design.