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Instagram stories! Yes. Everyone is talking about it. You have shared some photos and videos but have no idea how to market your business.
You see them. You think you should be doing them, but it feels silly and you have no idea if it’s a distraction or a real business growth activity.
To be honest with you, Instagram Stories is Instagram’s best asset yet. Stories it’s a format that Instagram copied from Snapchat with no regret or shame.
Instagram Stories has 500 million users each day, so it’s clearly making some people happy, but, does this help small business owners? The answer is yes!
Instagram Stories are fun and creative. It requires creativity and some graphic design skills to market like a pro. I have no doubt that you have them both!
We just need to provide you with some tools to make it consistent, and some ninja strategies to reach your targeted people and drive traffic to your website, and even making ecommerce sales!
How To Create An Instagram Marketing Strategy
Let’s assume you are launching a new product or have some exciting news to share and want to spread your news using Instagram.
Great opportunities to plan your Instagram marketing strategy:
✔️New product launch
✔️Looking for models or volunteers
You want your audience to hear all about it. Of course, you want them to consider your offer and either, share it with their friends, or buy from you. The obvious next question is: do you have an audience?
Start with audience targeting
If you haven’t accessed Facebook’s best tool to find your target audience, you’re about to find gold!
Facebook audience insights is where you start. Think about your future buyers. Don’t limit to their demographics. Instead, expand your audience to include their digital behavior. Some examples of digital behaviors to explore:
✔️ Pages they follow and like.
✔️ Websites where they shop online.
✔️ The food they like.
✔️ Books they read.
✔️Frequency of activities (do they share content, do they engage in ads, watch videos?)
Next: Strategize Your Engagement For Every Post And Story
Notice that I mentioned posts and stories – both. Some basic rules to follow:
✔️ Image first. You don’t have to be a master photographer to build a successful Instagram following, but it doesn’t hurt to learn some photography basics. The stronger your image is, the more it will stand out in users’ newsfeeds, and the more they’re going to engage with it. It helps if your image is dominated by a single color (or group of colors), and if your subject matter is clear and in focus.
✔️ Keep it light. Again, Instagram isn’t the place for extended or heavy engagements. In your image, posts, and comments, your goal should be to keep things as concise and light as possible. Get in and get out.
Rules for content: captions: no more than 4 paragraphs, 2 sentences each. If you’re leaving a comment, use at least 4 words.
How many hashtags should your post have? Hashtags: 30 is the maximum (heavy). 17 is optimal. 5 is the minimum.
✔️ Always have a call to action. It’s nice to make your followers happy and keep your audience large, but if your followers aren’t actively doing something, you aren’t going to make your campaign profitable. Every post you make should have some kind of call to action, whether it’s leading people back to your site or having them compete in a contest.
✔️ Reward your followers. If you want your audience of followers to stick around, you need to make it worth their while. Reward your followers by giving them exclusive content, discounts, or freebies on occasion. Even a simple thank-you message can be enough to keep users around.
✔️ Outbound marketing. Instagram isn’t just about posting content using hashtags and pray for someone to see it. You will need a solid outbound marketing plan that includes: direct messages, thoughtful comments, and genuine conversations.
Instagram swipe up (more engagement on Instagram stories)
I’m sure you’ve seen stories with a call to action that says “swipe up” and when you do it, it takes you to a website. Your Instagram marketing strategy must have the goal of reaching the 10,000 followers benchmark so you can have a link added to every story.
If you don’t have the 10,000 followers, you still can have a swipe up. Read my article How To Add A Link To Instagram Story (Swipe Up) Without 10,000 Followers.
Know Your Numbers
Truly understanding how your content performs – by tracking key Instagram metrics over time – is the key to developing a content strategy that works for your business!
To get a deeper look into your Instagram Stories analytics, open your story and swipe up for a full list of insights. This will pull up a number of important metrics that can help you measure the success of your Instagram Stories:
Having a business profile gives you access to a variety of tools and functionality, including analytics on your posts and stories, additional calls-to-action and buttons you can put on your profile, and third-party integrations. Take advantage!
I want to share with you my favorite Instagram Stories Templates to help you to storyboard your story, stand out, and attract more views and engagement.
Creative Templates For Your Instagram Stories
Audiences (especially millennials) expect brands to share their values, such as sustainability, giving back to the community, and honesty.
Polls are one way to engage with your audience and listen to their opinion.
Use the “Ask Me” story and design your Instagram Story using a poll format.
Show off your product catalog
“Show, don’t tell” is an essential rule in storytelling, and for good reason. Why tell audiences about all the amazing products you offer when showing them off makes a bigger impact?
IKEA USA used Polls to show followers their range of kitchen options and asked them to vote for their favorites. This approach can work for all kinds of products, whether you make dog-patterned sweaters or sweaters for dogs (as long as you have at least two products to compare).
This template is great also to get your audience’s attention during pre launch.
We’re all intrigued by fun, but can it lead to more business? If you read the statistics on how many hours people spend playing games, with every subsequent generation spending more time and money, then you’d say it makes a lot of sense.
Millennials spend 1.47 hours a day playing games, according to the Wall Street Journal. 1.47 hours!
How about designing a Bingo game using Canva? Mix the fun with business by adding your products and services into the mix. For example, one Bingo spot will be “take a selfie wearing our XY Glasses”.
Recognition has a profound effect on the workplace, encouraging more prosocial behavior. The Positive Psychology Program defines “prosocial” as “promoting others’ wellbeing, usually through altruistic acts.” This attitude in the workplace generates more teamwork, more productivity, and more communication between teams. In fact, a simple “thank you” will help give your organization the advantage to outperform your competition more than you think.
Make your brand look great by sharing stories about your great people. This is a template from Canva. For a more exclusive look, you can try Envato.
Invisible Hashtags: How To Add Invisible Hashtags To Your Instagram Story
Do you want more people to see your stories, Instagram profile and all the hard work you put in? OH YASS you do, that is the whole point, right? Then you need to learn how to add invisible hashtags to your Instagram story.
There is a way to put your favorite #hashtags to an Instagram story. There is also a way to make them invisible so no one else will find out your secret hashtags, or even that you use them at all!
When you have written your hashtag, simply tap the pen. We love this pen since it can match the text to any color visible in the photo.
Drag the pen across the screen (to the background of the text) until the hashtag matches the background.
Don’t know how to edit colors or want to try something else? You can also hide your hashtags with a sticker!
Why put #Hashtags in your Instagram Story?
When people search on hashtags there’s a story-section! This means that your story is visible to everyone who watches your hashtag’s story!
OVER TO YOU!
What Instagram Stories Template do you like the most? Do you have any other tips? Make sure you explore our Forensic Social Media Marketing Strategies and Services.