Instagram stories were introduced in August 2016 as a response to the social messaging app Snapchat. Since then, they have significantly changed the way people use Instagram. It is estimated that about 300 million people view Instagram Stories every day.

One-third of the most-viewed stories on Instagram were created by businesses. Stories are a great way to keep your followers entertained and engaged. There are a number of reasons why you should use Instagram stories for your business.

Instagram stories are:

  • Quick to create

Due to their short-term nature, not a lot of effort is needed to create stories. All you need is a good idea.

  • Perfect for testing ideas

Since Instagram Stories do not get as much exposure as regular Instagram posts, this makes them perfect for testing out ideas. If a story performs exceptionally well, you can then repost it as a regular post.

  • Drive traffic and sales

You can add links to your stories or use Shopping with Instagram to drive more traffic and sales.

  • Gain more Instagram exposure

You can add hashtags and geotags to your Instagram stories and get discovered by more people who might decide to become your followers.

I have outlined 12 different ways how you can use Instagram Stories for marketing below.

Add links to your stories

If you have more than 10,000 followers, Instagram offers the ability to add links to your stories and point them to your website or product.

Take advantage of product stickers

Once you get your account approved for Shopping for Instagram, you can add product stickers to your stories. When users tap on a sticker, they are able to learn more about your product. They can then tap again to purchase the product directly.

Use geotags

Tagging your location in stories can help get your business discovered by people who are checking out that area on Instagram.

Point users to your Instagram bio

You can also use stories to point users to your Instagram bio, where you can feature a special offer, coupon code, or a link to your product.

Combine stories into Highlights

You can combine similar stories into Highlights that can be pinned to your profile. You can use these to promote different products, sales, or introduce people to your brand.

Use polls to find out what your followers want

You can use poll stickers in your Stories and ask users what kind of content they would like to see or how you can improve your products or offering.

Try Instagram Takeovers

Let one of your employees or even better – an influencer, take over your Instagram account for 24 hours. This is a fun way to provide your followers with something different while allowing you to gain more exposure by getting noticed by the followers of the person taking over your account.

Use Story Ads

You can use Story Ads to promote your business. There are two types of ads that you can use: photo ads and video ads. Photo ads last 10 seconds while video ads last 15 seconds.

Since these are so short, you need to make sure to capture users’ attention quickly. Use a clear message and a call-to-action to point users to perform the desired action.

Let people find out more about you through question stickers

Use question stickers in your stories to let your followers ask questions about your brand. Let them know more about you and develop rapport.

Go live

Stream live content in your stories to increase engagement and connect with your followers. Interact with users and answer their questions during the live stream.

Showcase user-generated content

Do you have fans or influencers posting content about your products on Instagram? Showcase their posts in your stories and give them more exposure.

Promote contests

Do you create Instagram contests for your followers? Promote these in your stories for additional exposure.

Instagram stories can expand your reach, grow brand awareness, and drive traffic. There is really no reason why you shouldn’t use them. Take time to incorporate these 12 story tips into your Instagram marketing strategy and you’ll surely get more followers and sales for your business.

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