With Instagram being a fundamental social media platform for any brand or influencer, it is essential to frequently use its many features to encourage interaction with followers. A simple yet engaging way for marketers to offer a variety of content to their audience is through Instagram Stories. While Instagram was late to the party in terms of Stories, it doesn’t disregard the fact that the feature has rapidly become immensely successful since launching in 2016. With over 500 million daily users, you might be thinking of more ways you can use the feature to increase your brand’s engagement, awareness and customer loyalty.
Although it might be apparent to some, you may be wondering what distinguishes a Story from a traditional post. What kind of content should you be posting? And, what will engage followers the most? While there is no concrete answer, there is certain content that works better on your Story due to it being temporary. Where an Instagram post is shown amongst your main content and is permanent unless deleted, a Story allows users to capture a ‘moment’ and lasts only 24 hours.
With Stories being in real-time, followers may feel more engaged where they get to see your brand from a different perspective. Many traditional posts are polished to perfection, with high amounts of editing to ensure a product, service or person is illustrated in a particular way. Instagram Stories, however, provide a sense of authenticity that brings followers closer to your brand. Where many influencers and marketers like to keep their main feed professional and refined through editing and a theme, Instagram Stories allow you to add elements such as music, filters, GIFs and fun graphics. This gives you the tools to truly show your brand’s personality while offering an educational, friendly and personal tone.
With the variety of features available to use and a long list of creative choices to be made, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. To give you a creative boost, five types of content for your Story have been listed below.
Although your followers can interact with your main posts through likes, comments and shares, Q&A’s on your Story directly encourage interaction. The Stories sticker icon allows you to select ‘Questions’, permitting your followers to ask away. By having the option to share your responses, it acts as an educational tool to inform others about uncertainties they may have about a new product or service, for example.
As mentioned earlier, posts on a brand’s main feed are likely to be highly edited and align with the brand’s Instagram theme. Due to Stories being ‘in the moment’, they can bring followers closer to a brand through filming an event from behind the scenes. This offers something new and exciting, where your followers get an insight into an event, such as a launch party or conference.
‘How To’ tutorials are a great way to engage and educate your followers through step-by-step guides or video tutorials, offering something different from your usual posts. While a tutorial may take a little more preparation, it means that viewers are also receiving value from your brand by learning something. Many fitness brands, for example, post tutorials showing different exercises to try, meaning followers are more likely to stay loyal because they are getting something in return. Tutorials also allow brands to show their personality through the tone of voice used.
Due to the reach from Stories, giveaways are a great way to increase brand loyalty and improve communication by allowing your followers to win a prize. How often have you engaged with a post because you might get something physical in return? While you might inform your followers about the giveaway on your main feed, linking the post in your Story directly guides users to it, increasing the number of people that enter. For the followers that win, it makes them more likely to talk about your brand positively, improving the communication of your brand.
Sharing UGC to your main feed may not align with your theme and create discontinuity amongst your posts. Therefore, you should share UGC on your Story to show your appreciation to your dedicated followers, while also creating a sense of community. How do you feel when your favourite brand’s share content featuring their followers? And does this perhaps make you feel more included in their online community? Sharing UGC also gives your fans an incentive to tag your brand and use relevant hashtags in the hope to get their content shared.
Be sure to give the above methods a try when using the Story feature and see how you can engage your audience!