Instagram Stories enables users to post pictures and video to an album that disappears after 24 hours. At first, you might think this is an unnecessary or even useless feature. However, businesses can use Instagram Stories in their marketing to improve their engagement, visibility, and content. Here are 10 reasons why you should use Stories to market your small business.
Last August, Instagram switched the model of their feed from a linear chronological feed to an algorithmic style. This means that your feed no longer consists of every post by all of the users you follow, in reverse chronological order. Rather, your feed shows only the posts that the algorithm has determined you are most likely to be interested in, based on factors such as engagement and likes. This update meant that businesses had to change their Instagram marketing strategy. However, Stories allows for more flexibility with Instagram marketing.
The first reason to use Instagram Stories is because mind-blowing or fascinating posts aren’t the only means of increasing engagement with your followers. More “average” posts, published frequently and consistently will encourage followers to engage by checking your Instagram business profile for the latest posts and useful information. Instagram Stories allows you to continue using (or start implementing) frequent posting as an engagement strategy—instead of only “wow” posting—to stay top of mind for your audience.
It’s important to diversify your content to keep the attention of your target audience and cater to their many preferences. Oftentimes, this requires adding a new channel or social media platform to your strategy, where you will likely have to start from scratch with your profile and audience. The next reason to use Stories is because it is a new feature on an existing platform. If you already have an Instagram account and audience, you can simply diversify your content with resources you already have.
Rising marketing trends of 2017 provide yet another reason to use Instagram Stories. Stories supports the use of real time marketing, which is used to reach your target audience in the right moments. Posting live during an event or sale can encourage more people to attend, and can also help those who aren’t there to experience it feel connected to your business.
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It only takes a few taps to post pictures and photos to your Instagram Story, saving you time with your social media marketing. Also, with less concern about perfecting your posts and more freedom to experiment, you can take a break from the more detailed and planned content you publish. Instagram Stories helps you to let loose a little more and have fun with your Instagram marketing.
The photos and videos that you publish normally on Instagram get saved to your profile (unless you delete them). The photos and videos you publish to your Story, however, disappear after 24 hours.
The reason why this is beneficial is because the photos and videos in your story have real-time and contextual value, but aren’t the highest quality photos. With Stories, you can reap the benefits of real time marketing without cluttering up your profile. You can then treat your profile like a portfolio, showcasing your best and most evergreen content.
On the other hand, if you find that one of your pictures or videos from your Story is something you’d like in your profile, not to worry! Simply go to that photo or video, tap the three dots on the bottom right of your screen, and tap “Share as Post.” You can then post that picture as you would a regular Instagram post, with a caption, filter, and location. Not only is this a way to repurpose content, but it is also a way to test content before putting it into your profile.
The new algorithmic model may reduce the number of times you appear in your followers’ feeds, because your posts now only show to followers that Instagram deems will be most interested in them. This leads to another reason to use Instagram Stories.
While regular posts have to compete for a spot, the Stories of users you follow appear at the very top of your feed, with a colorful ring to indicate that a new Story has been published. This feature enables you to stay top of feed—and mind—for your followers.
Since your Story vanishes in 24 hours, there’s no point in spending time and effort on professional looking or high quality photos. The photos are meant to be raw, real, and relevant to the particular moment. The reason businesses use this type of content is because it humanizes your business and gives it transparency, which allows your target audience to connect with you on a deeper level.
One reason people might not want to use Stories is because the pictures and videos disappear after 24 hours. However, in addition to being able to save pictures and videos from Stories manually, you can also set Instagram to save all Stories content to your camera roll automatically. Now your photos and videos are saved and you have content to use later on down the line!
Unlike pictures you post to your regular Instagram profile, those you post to your Story can be decorated with drawings, emojis, and text. These markup capabilities allow you to make your content more eye-catching or more in line with your branding. You can even tag people on Instagram Stories by putting an @ symbol in front of users’ names in the post description or comments.
Instagram Stories adds more freedom and flexibility to Instagram marketing despite changes in the platform and user behavior. With so many reasons to use it, why not try an Instagram Story this week?