Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms at the moment and is only set to break even more records as time goes on. How? Let’s pause to consider a few numbers which can give you some perspective to Instagram’s unbroken spell over the majority of the current populace.
- 1 billion accounts logging in monthly
- 500 million people logging in every day
- 7 out of every 10 hashtags are brand hashtags
- 83% of Instagrammers discover new products and services
- 1 hashtag can get you 12.6% more engagement
As you can see from the above numbers, Instagram can be a force multiplier for your business and help you go toe-to-toe against bigger competitors. Several smaller brands have been propelled into the limelight on the strength of their Instagram campaigns alone.
Businesses and Instagram
Over the years, a lot of businesses have been turning to the power of social media to supplement and sometimes replace traditional marketing techniques. And of the clutch of social media platforms available today, Instagram has shown it is the fastest growing social media platform for business. Brands big and small have been using Instagram as a powerful method to get to the public eye. And they have been massively successful with it as well.
And in the thick of it all has been Instagram Stories, which brands have used to great effect.
What is Instagram Stories?
Simply put, Stories are a temporary collection of pictures and videos you can put up from your Instagram account. It isn’t completely new — Snapchat already had a version of the same feature when this was released on Instagram. In fact, this was Snapchat’s entire model when it first started off — 24-hour disappearing photos and videos.
But on Instagram, it grew by leaps and bounds until it reached a stage where most brands on Instagram were heavily dependent on Stories for content at their end. It works like a reel or a carousel of images, where you can swipe left or right for more images. The notable feature of Stories is the lifespan — unless you save the Story to your profile, it only lasts for 24 hours. This would encourage people to check it out before the content disappeared.
How Can Instagram Stories Help Small Businesses?
Stories has been one of the most important features that Instagram has rolled out for businesses. Using Stories, brands have been able to establish authentic lines of communication between themselves and their users to great effect.
The results have been better engagement and improved conversions regardless of the niche of the brand. Studies show that people are able to relate better to Stories and their temporary nature gets people interested. Here are some reasons why we think if you’re a small brand, investing in Instagram Stories for business is a worthwhile idea.
Strength Of Numbers
There are statistics that prove the fact that over 50% of all Instagram users consume Stories on a regular basis. This is a huge pool of 500 million people. Considering the fact that it doesn’t cost a penny while offering this kind of customer base, this is by far the best advertising platform to use for smaller brands.
The internet has almost unanimously declared that video is the future of content marketing. Publications like Inc. claim that video will account for 80% of internet traffic by 2019. This means that you need the right vehicle to market your brand. Instagram Stories are much more popular than most of the other video content brands in its genre for business. It has already beaten Snapchat and now has its sights set on YouTube.
Market research is extremely important whether you’re a brand that’s just starting out or has established itself over the years. Instagram has improved its analytics suite over the years and now is much more comprehensive, which means even more conclusive data for marketers. So Instagram analytics can give you important insights about your business that most other social media platforms don’t have. Small brands getting on Instagram makes a lot of sense for their growth in the long run.
Instagram has made significant changes to its algorithm, which make it an even more attractive proposition for small businesses, especially when using Stories. The changes include more visibility for high-quality business content. You can easily and freely switch over from your personal Instagram account to a business account which unlocks the full potential of Instagram branding tools and analytics for your business.
Active user base
Instagram users are a very active bunch and are looking to follow their brands and interests. One-third of the most-viewed Stories on Instagram are from businesses. Another fact is that Instagram Stories boast incredibly high engagement rates with brands big and small. There is no fixed number for engagement rates — it depends on several factors like niche, number of followers, and location.
Improved brand recall
One of the goals of marketing is to make sure that people remember your brand or product. To this end, video marketing improves people’s ability to recall brands by up to 80%. This is a huge step in the right direction, as no amount of marketing dollars spent can be salvaged if the audience doesn’t recollect the brand.
Maximizing your Instagram Stories experience
Instagram Stories are a great way to get your brand into the limelight. We have highlighted a few things that you can do to further improve the exposure that you get out of your marketing campaign on Instagram.
You need to make sure that your followers get your content right at the top of their timeline. So post it just before they wake up to check their Instagram.
- Entertain — don’t just promote! When posting Stories as a brand, you need to make sure that you include content that is entertaining and lighthearted. People don’t want to look through promos every time.
- Geotag your posts. To establish relevance, make sure that you tag stories with location-based stickers or hashtags when it seems apt.
- Use the links. If you have a business account with more than 10k followers, people can swipe up on your Story and be redirected to a link of your choosing.
- Poll your followers. You have the option of polls on Instagram Stories, meaning people can get to vote on a relevant topic on your Story. The right topic can interest a lot of people and subsequently increase engagement.
As you can see, Instagram Stories offers great leverage for your marketing efforts. A lot of brands use it to great effect and leave behind lasting memories among people. If you haven’t focused on Stories for your brand, you need to get on it as quickly as possible. With Instagram, you get close to a billion people to whom you can pitch your ideas. It works out to considerably less per dollar spent, and there are chances that you might even go viral on social media. All things considered, we hope this gave you a good look into what to do when you opt for Instagram Stories as a means to elevate your brand’s visibility.
Do let us know if you have experiences to share about your Instagram Stories, and feel free to do so in the comments!