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The influence that social media has in today’s society is undeniable. Life is now about documenting every experience, whether it’s a trip to a new country or what you ate for dinner. Instagram Stories allows Instagram users to share multiple experiences through images and videos for a 24-hour period until they disappear (very much like a Snapchat story).
As Instagram Stories has grown to be more popular, it is becoming an important tool to help businesses increase brand awareness and engage with their customers. But first thing’s first – how do you create Stories, and why should you use them?
How To Create An Instagram Story
Although Instagram Stories has existed since 2016, here is a brief tutorial to get you started:
- Open your store’s Instagram account and tap either the camera icon or your store’s logo in the upper right-hand corner.
- Next, either:
- Take a picture or video, or
- Choose an existing picture or video from your phone’s gallery.
- Upload your picture/video to your Story by tapping “Your Story” in the bottom left corner.
Once uploaded, your image will remain on your Story for 24 hours.
Why Use Instagram Stories?
Over 400 million people use Instagram Stories. That’s a lot of people, and it’s more than double the number of Snapchat users! One huge benefit of using Stories is that because you can add public hashtags to your Stories, even users who do not follow your business can discover your content.
Besides making your business more discoverable, Instagram Stories now allows the use of outbound links, meaning you can include links to your website or blog. Stories is also an excellent way to build your business’ community by tagging partners and brand influencers.
Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Your Business
As you’ve now learned, Instagram Stories is a great way to reach your target audience, no matter what industry you are in. In fact, agencies report 2-3 times more engagement with Stories than with regular content. With a plethora of features just one tap away, Instagram Stories can be a valuable part of any small business marketing strategy. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
- Use location tags to inform users where your store is located
- Start a poll to get valuable customer feedback
- Use Stories to highlight product teasers
- Use the tagging feature to give partner and/or customer shout outs
- Leverage the “Swipe Up to Read” feature (if you qualify) to give quick access to your website or blog
- Post motivational quotes
- Share client success stories
If you’re looking for even more inspiration, click here to learn about eight content tricks used by top brands, from sharing an experience to focusing on seasonal content.
How One Fashion Store Made the Most of Instagram Stories
Utilizing online marketing to drive in-store sales is a huge part of the omnichannel retail experience, and Instagram Stories is a great place to do just that. For example, one footwear and fashion company which recently opened retail stores hoped to raise brand awareness among young women, its target audience. The company created eye-catching Stories video ads, and the Insta-effort really paid off: the ads boosted brand awareness by 11 points among young women! Click here to learn more about how the store leveraged Instagram Stories, or click here for even more Stories ideas.
Good luck and happy “storytelling!”
Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.