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More Than Just a Post: Using Instagram Stories to Grow Your Business

David Bosley

With over a billion users and half of them using Instagram daily, it’s one of the largest and fastest-growing social platforms. Now, Instagram has upped the power of its platform considerably by introducing stories. Like Snapchat, Instagram stories are accessible to anybody who follows you for a limited period of time (24 hours).

This gives businesses an incredible opportunity to deliver quick and engaging bite-sized content to its audience on a consistent basis. By marketing with Instagram stories effectively, you’ll be able to grow your audience, maintain a relationship with them, and even increase their value. Here are five important strategies for marketing with Instagram stories effectively:

1. Consistency is Key

Marketing with Instagram stories requires dedication. Since your stories only last for a day, you can never rely on old content to pull its weight. You need to develop a constant stream of relevant, entertaining and useful stories. Any day that you don’t develop an Instagram story is a day that you’re not getting any additional exposure or engagement.

2. You Have Room to Play Around

There are benefits of Instagram stories only lasting for 24 hours, too. Not only does it ensure that users are only getting the freshest content, but it also means that if you post something that doesn’t click with your audience, it won’t hurt you for very long. Instagram stories are the perfect platform to test out different messages. Post all different types of content to see what sticks and use that information to help inform your content strategy on other platforms.

3. Give a Peek Behind the Curtain

Instagram’s snack-sized stories are perfect for giving customers a glimpse behind-the-scenes of your company. It makes your brand feel more inclusive and relatable. Show off your team’s personality or give them a quick sound bite about a new product or feature. This type of content often offers just as much value and entertainment to your audience as the most carefully crafted advertisement.

4. Enlist Others to Help

Instagram stories are the perfect way to get influencers to interact with your audience. If somebody stops by your office or works with you in a promotional effort, get them to take a minute or two to create a couple of Instagram stories. If you’re working with somebody remotely, that works, too. All they have to do is record a quick ten-second or less video, send it to you, and you can upload it right to your Instagram stories yourself.

5. Utilize the Instagram Stories Features

When you create an Instagram story, make sure to take the time to dress it up nicely. Instagram provides a handful of useful features that take your content to the next level:

  • Hashtags – using the right hashtag helps users outside of your audience find your content.
  • Location – many locations curate their own stories from content that includes nearby location tags. Simply adding a location makes your content visible to a much larger audience.
  • Polls – polls are great for collecting on-the-fly data and keeping your audience engaged.
  • Highlights – your very best content can be saved as a highlight, which will live beyond 24 hours on your brand’s Instagram profile page.