Digital marketing has taken several turns over the years as newer technology has become available.
We’ve gone from relying on print ads and television commercials to using the internet to reach our target audiences. And as social media has become increasingly popular, we’ve shifted our focus to platforms like Instagram to connect with potential customers.
If you’re in the business of video marketing, then you know that it’s essential to be where your audience is. And these days, that means being active on Instagram.
But what if you’re not sure how to get started? Or maybe you’re already using Instagram, but you want to take your content strategy up by incorporating Instagram Stories into the mix.
In this article, we’ll give you a video marketers guide for businesses looking to build an audience, specifically using Instagram. By the end, you’ll better understand how to use this platform to reach your target customers and grow your business.
First, let’s start with the basics:
WHAT ARE INSTAGRAM STORIES?
Instagram Stories are short videos or images that disappear after 24 hours. They live at the top of your followers’ feed and can be a great way to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your business. You can also use them to promote new products, announce sales or discounts, or share fun facts about your company.
WHY SHOULD VIDEO MARKETERS CARE ABOUT INSTAGRAM?
There are a few reasons why Instagram Stories should be on your radar as a video marketer. For one, they’re incredibly popular – over 500 million people use them every day! That’s a lot of potential views for your content.
Another reason is that they’re easy to make. You don’t need fancy equipment or editing skills to create a great Story. All you need is a smartphone and a few minutes to spare.
Instagram Stories are a great way to connect with your audience more personally. Because they disappear after 24 hours, people tend to feel like they’re getting an inside look at your life or business that they wouldn’t get anywhere else. This can help build trust and loyalty between you and your followers.
A BUSINESS-FRIENDLY GUIDE TO USING INSTAGRAM STORIES EFFECTIVELY
Now that we’ve gone over why Instagram Stories are worth your time as a video marketer, let’s talk about how you can use them to effectively reach your target audience. Here are seven steps you can take to make the most out of this platform:
1. DEFINE YOUR GOALS
Before you start creating content, it’s essential to take a step back and think about what you want to achieve with your Instagram Stories. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Make more sales? Once you have a clear goal in mind, you can start planning your content strategy.
2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
As with any marketing effort, it’s important to know who you’re trying to reach with your content. What are your customer’s interests? What is your market? What other social media platforms do your customers or potential customers use? Answering these questions will help you create better content that resonates with your target audience.
Once you have a better feel for the audience you will market to, you can begin creating content for your Stories.
3. KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
Remember, Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours, so you don’t want to overwhelm your viewers with long social media videos or complex images. Keep your content concise and to the point – aim for 15 seconds or less. If you can’t say what you need to in such a short period of time, consider using multiple Stories to break up your content.
4. USE ATTRACTIVE VISUALS
Since Instagram is all about the visuals, it’s important to make sure your content looks good. This means using high-quality images and videos, and being mindful of the composition and lighting. You also want to use colors that are consistent with your brand identity. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online tutorials and resources that can help you create better visuals for your Stories.
5. THE CALL TO ACTION
If you want people to take action after watching your Story (like visiting your website or making a purchase), then you need to include a call to action. This could be as simple as adding a “swipe up” link to your website or including a discount code in your Story. A well-formatted call to action should be clear, concise, and easy to follow.
6. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FEATURES
Instagram Stories offers a few features that can help you create more engaging content. For example, you can use the “poll” or “ask me anything” stickers to interact with your audience or the “location” sticker to reach people who are near your business. There are also a number of filters and editing tools that can help you add some personality to your Story. By taking the time to explore all the features Instagram Stories has to offer, you’ll be able to create better content that stands out from the rest.
7. ANALYZE YOUR PERFORMANCE
After you’ve published a few Stories, it’s important to take some time to analyze your performance. Look at the number of views and engagement for each Story, and pay attention to which types of content seem to perform the best. This will help you fine-tune your content strategy and ensure that you’re making the most out of this platform.
HOW TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR INSTAGRAM STORIES
Now that we’ve gone over some tips for creating better content let’s talk about how you can increase engagement with your Stories.
As with any social media platform, the key to success is to be active and engaging. Here are a few things you can do to make sure people are paying attention to your Stories:
USE RELEVANT HASHTAGS
Hashtags are a great way to reach new people who might be interested in your content. When choosing hashtags, make sure they are relevant to your brand or business and that they aren’t too popular (otherwise, your Story will get lost in the shuffle). You can also use branded hashtags to increase brand awareness or run a contest or promotion.
The great thing about hashtags is that they make it easy for people to find your content, even if they don’t follow you on Instagram. So, if you want more people to see your Stories, be sure to use relevant hashtags.
Mention Other Users
Mentioning other users in your Story is a great way to get their attention and increase the reach of your content. When you mention someone, their username will be highlighted in your Story, and they will get a notification. This is a great way to start a conversation or promote collaboration. You can mention another Instagram user by typing “@” followed by their username.
Tagging locations in your Stories can help you reach people who are near your business or who have visited that location before. This is a great way to promote local businesses or events. In fact, Instagram even has a “story map” feature that lets you see all the Stories being shared from a particular location. To tag a location in your Story, simply tap on the “location” sticker and select the relevant place.
USE INTERACTIVE ELEMENTS
As we mentioned before, Instagram Stories offers a few interactive elements that can help you increase engagement with your content. While the “poll” and “ask me anything” stickers are great to use, there are other interactive elements you can take advantage of, such as the “swipe up” link. This feature allows you to add a link to your website or another piece of content in your Story. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website or blog.
RUN A CONTEST OR PROMOTION
Running a contest or promotion is a great way to increase engagement and reach new people. You can use Instagram Stories to promote your contest or giveaway as well as give people updates on the progress. Be sure to include clear instructions on how to enter the contest and what the prize is. You can also use Instagram’s “story highlights” feature to create a dedicated space for your contest or promotion.
Going live on Instagram is a great way to connect with your audience in real-time. When you go live, people will be notified, and they can join the broadcast at any time. This is a great way to answer questions, give product demonstrations, or just give people a behind-the-scenes look at your business.
START USING INSTAGRAM STORIES TODAY
Instagram Stories are a great way to reach new people and increase engagement with your content. By using relevant hashtags, tagging locations, and running contests or promotions, you can significantly grow your business. So what are you waiting for? By following these tips, you can take your Instagram Stories to the next level and start reaping the benefits of this powerful marketing tool.
About Torrey Tayenaka
Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO at Sparkhouse, a training video production agency. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations. Rather than hitting the consumer over the head with blatant ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining and useful videos that enrich the lives of his clients’ customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & Forge54.