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A Marketers Guide on Using Instagram Stories

Social media has made its way into nearly every industry and innovative companies are taking full advantage of its popularity and reach. Instagram, in particular, has taken the world by storm with 1 billion monthly active users, and over 500 million of them using the platform every day. For marketers, this is a dream come true. With easy accessibility, cost efficiency, and a wide scope of audiences, Instagram is a fun and effective way to connect with consumers. Here we’ll demonstrate how the use of Instagram Stories can take your marketing a step further, beyond a company feed, to make it much more impactful. Highlighting how other companies are doing it right and you can too.

The traditional use of a business Instagram account involves creating a profile and sharing well thought out, edited photos to populate your feed. This is an excellent format for providing audiences a more permanent sense of your brand’s personality and aesthetic. Many popular brand’s accounts share content following a specific theme or storyline their audiences can easily identify them with. This of course is an incredibly useful tactic, and a necessary component to successful Instagram marketing. However, with Instagram Stories you have the opportunity to express your brand and product offerings in less “manufactured” and more engaging fashion. Industry experts in fact believe there is potential for 2-3 times more engagement on stories versus regular posts. Below are a few examples of our favorite features at use.

BEHIND THE SCENES

behind-the-scenes-brand-engagment-CATMEDIAAGENCYConsumers today are all about brand engagement. They want to know your brand beyond the surface level and feel assured that you too, recognize them as more than just a dollar sign. Instagram Stories are the perfect answer to this demand as they allow brands to show their personality in a more fun and relatable way. Simple snapshots of office happenings, lunch dates, company events or just your employees work stations are easy yet effective ways to humanize your brand and show off your culture.

Tarte Cosmetics is a great example of this strategy. They will post stories if it’s a new photo shoot locale or company bonding trip. Wherever the Tarte team travels their followers come with them. Lululemon is another popular account that shares how their employees live out the brands healthy image by sharing a glimpse of their workout or prepping a healthy lunch. Unlike a traditional Instagram post, these quick shares just require a relatively interesting moment and some creativity. The more natural and unplanned the story appears the more relatable your brand appears.

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It’s safe to assume your account’s followers are interested in your brand’s offerings. Recognizing their loyalty and sharing unique content via Instagram stories can give your fans a sense of inclusion. New product launches, collaborations, or other exclusive announcements are perfect for sneak peeking on Instagram Stories.

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United Airlines teased followers of a new lounge before it’s opening at the Newark, N.J. airport. Initially posting a photo to their Instagram feed, they directed followers to their story for a preview into the lounge offerings. This is a great way to build engagement with your followers and attract additional fans to some exclusive content.

INSIDER TIPS

Balancing the line between authoritative and relatable is the key to building trust in your brand. Appealing to your followers with your professional insight through Instagram Stories is a great way to show off your products and how to properly use them without the “ho-hum” stigma of a traditional how-to video.

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Healthcare brands for example can share video snippets of each step of a medical procedure utilizing their instruments. Labeling each one with a short descriptor link to featured tools. This gives healthcare professionals an interesting view of your offerings, and potential patients an inside look at what to expect from a product, depending on your content. This utilization of your Instagram Stories demonstrates your expertise and gives viewers a channel to engage you with questions.

ENGAGE VIEWERS

instagram-stories-engage-viewers-present-a-question-CATMEDIAAGENCYOne of Instagram’s many features includes polls for your story viewers. Presenting a question, whether it be opinions on product related topics, trending events, or something else, can be a quick and easy way to track engagement. This gives you an interesting look into your viewers’ engagement with your brand as well as the viewers a look at how the results on your story pan out. Polls can be an especially fun and inclusive way to decide brand relevant decisions. Including your fans in a major decision such as where to host your next event or what color to feature for a new product, gives youa better idea of what your customers want and them a sense of pride in a brand they support.

The most important trick to adding Instagram Stories to your marketing strategy is to have fun with it! Your followers are interested in the authentic side of your brand and that means creative, spontaneous, and honest shares. We recommend you explore the many features Instagram Stories have to offer, and watch your customer engagement grow!

Is your organization in need of social media management or competitive analysis? CATMEDIA is able to see what your competition is doing on social and give you assistance to help you step up your game. Give us a call today!

ABOUT CATMEDIA:

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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