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How to Get Started with Instagram Stories for Marketing

Using Stories to entertain your friends is one thing; using it for marketing is another. I sat down with Rob McGee, the social media strategist here at Jansen Communications, to get his top tips on using Instagram Stories for marketing.

 

(Full disclosure – Stories are not my area of expertise, and I’m not afraid to admit it!)

 

Read on to learn the basics of how to get started.

 

Why Instagram Stories are awesome

 

Instagram Stories are temporary posts that disappear after a day, making it the perfect place to post something that is relevant but that you don’t want to live forever on your feed. This is actually what makes Stories so special; you can be less polished and more personal.

 

For example, let’s say you stopped to get coffee on your way to a big client meeting – and you spilled your coffee all over your meeting notes. You could post this as a behind-the-scenes “oops” photo on Stories.

 

Who should use Instagram Stories for marketing

 

Good news: Stories are not limited to B2C companies. Whether you are B2C or B2B, you need to know why you’re using it, who you are trying to reach and how to engage your audience.

 

That’s not to say that Stories are for everyone. If you are going to post a video on Stories, you need a pretty big personality to stand out. If it doesn’t work, that’s OK. Move on to the next thing or fall back on what you know already works.

 

What Stories can help you achieve

 

Stories are like the daily news – here today, gone tomorrow. The success of this feature shows that people enjoy the ephemeral nature of the content. It’s an antidote to the over-curated, over-produced feed.

 

Even though the content is not permanent, Stories can help you achieve a deeper connection with your audience. Tools like Questions or Polls are really fun and interesting ways to engage with people, allow them to participate and help you understand their needs and desires.

 

How to get started with Stories

 

First, don’t reinvent the wheel. Watch what others are doing and try to emulate them. “Others” can be competitors or brands you admire.

 

Second, get in there and poke around a bit. If you can’t figure it out, ask someone (a social media marketer, the owner of your favorite coffee shop, your 12-year old niece) for help.

 

Third, start small by sharing something easy and interesting. Do you work from home with your dog by your side? Make him the star of your first Instagram Story.

 

Fourth, feel free to experiment, and don’t be afraid to mess up a little. Remember, this is about being real.

 

How to measure success

 

View count is the number one metric we use to measure the success of Instagram Stories. Of course, any engagement is important, whether it’s a comment or a reply to one of the interactive tools.

 

Want to give Instagram Stories a try? Start with these tips, and if you get stuck, give us a shout.

 

Photo by Kate Torline on Unsplash

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