Instagram marketing platform has grown tremendously with over a billion users in the whole world. These numbers are similarly high in Singapore increasing your chances of getting your target audience. You cannot hence afford to miss out the opportunity to promote your business through Instagram. Have you used Instagram stories for business before? If you have never, now is the time.
Other than being funny and creative, Instagram stories are also effective in driving website traffic, building brand awareness, improving your customer engagement, and also generating e-commerce sales. This article goes through everything you need to know about how to use Instagram stories to promote your business in Singapore.
Why Should You Use Instagram Stories for Business?
The majority of people perceived Instagram stories as a copy of Snapchat the first time it comes out. It was viewed as an attempt to the Snapchat market share. However, even if true to some level, Instagram stories represent an improved Snapchat version. This is not only for usual social media fun, for also for business.
The same way in which Instagram was able to use video and photos, it is the same way in which it has managed to effectively use transient messaging to a useful business tool without ruining it for Instagram users. Undeniably, Instagram stories provide a unique channel that is appealing to businesses and regular users.
You will be able to do everything from sharing lighthearted content, sharing fun, promoting your marketing campaigns to driving e-commerce sales.
Ways of Using Instagram Stories for Business
Similar to the easy to use Instagram interface, it is straightforward to create Instagram stories.
Nevertheless, Instagram has released a lot of new features in previous months regarding Instagram stories. It may hence be a little hard for you to understand them all. Below are the steps you need to follow in creating Instagram stories for business.
- Login into your Instagram account. Open the Instagram camera on the left top edge or by swiping the screen right.
- You can either decide to capture a photo or record a video for a maximum of ten seconds. You will choose the type of video you want including live, type, superzoom, boomerang, hands-free or rewind video.
- By swiping up and down, you can opt to upload an existing photo or video from your camera roll
- Tap the screen to get to the next tool. One can also edit the textual color and size. Moreover, incorporating hash sing enables sharing of a hashtag while @ is useful in tagging other Instagram accounts. Instagram has now enabled searching of Instagram stories by hashtag and location.
- Choose one pen style to write or draw on your photo. Use the eraser brush to erase any drawing you add to your story.
- You can select the sticker button to add stickers to your content. Stickers of much significance include selfie, hashtag sticker, location sticker, question sticker. Emoji slider, poll sticker and more.
- Apply different filters by swiping right or left
- After you are through, share by tapping the ‘next’ button
- To follow up on the performance of your stories, you will swipe up as you view the stories. This shows names and tally of who have seen each video or photo in your story.
It is important to note that you will click on the insight icon to check the insights of your posted stories. You have to create a business Instagram profile to be able to view analytics from your Instagram stories. After opening your business profile, Instagram insights will display reach, impressions and other metrics related to your stories under the content heading.
How Do You Create Instagram Stories?
If you want to use Instagram stories for business, you need to have a good strategy in place to share your content as more people get into Instagram stories daily; a proper strategy will help you improve your Instagram engagement. Instagram introduced a section of suggested stories at the top of exploring page.
This new way of discovering content has enabled users to see feeds that they are likely to be attracted to from Instagram accounts that they don’t follow. Similar to Instagram feed algorithm, Instagram stories algorithm works on the bases of content quality and optimisation. You hence need to optimise Instagram stories correctly. Featuring on the explore page means boosted numbers of new followers and increased engagement.
How Often Should You Post on Instagram Stories for Business?
Instagram can never penalise you for uploading too many Instagram stories as it is the case with regular Instagram posts. This may have something concerning the temporary existence of Instagram stories. Instagram has no much pressure in giving priority to some Instagram stories post over others on the user’s news feed as they only exist for twenty-four hours.
Maybe this situation will vary in days to come as more Instagram profiles are getting into Instagram stories. Nevertheless, till then, know you will not be penalised by Instagram. Instagram has also introduced the ability for you to mute stories of other users. You only need to press and hold on other user’s avatar Instagram stories to mute their Instagram story.
This prevents it from auto-playing and takes it to the end of the queue. The Instagram mute tool helps users to get rid of annoying accounts. This means that if you need to consider how often to post your stories.
If you post so many Instagram stories that it takes about fifteen taps for users to get to the next story on their account, there is a higher probability that they will mute you. However, this does not mean that it is bad to post many Instagram stories.
It depends on your content and what your followers want from you. Some Instagram stories can comfortably post more than ten stories each day and work well for them while others are more affluent by posting a few stories weekly. You require a lot of time creating a many Instagram story. If you can use your time more appropriately in other things, remain to posting a limited amount of stories each week.
More so, when one start posting a load of stories consistently, the followers will expect you to remain on the same trend. This means that there is no fixed optimal frequency to post your stories. Just ensure that you post enough content per week and that users will keep seeing your posts without getting exhausted.
What Should You Post on Instagram Stories for Business?
Instagram stories provide a calm and relaxed platform where quality standards are relatively lower compared to the regular posts. You should not feel frightened to post something silly such as a short video of your team having post-work drinks. It is an excellent place to publish a blend of happy content, fun and advertising content.
The best thing about Instagram stories is that you can be as creative as you like with the adequate cool tools available. To attract user’s attention, you need to create funny and cheerful promotions stories. There are a lot of creative ways in which you can use Instagram stories for business. Below are some of the things you can do to get the most out of the promotional content on Instagram stories.
When Should You Post on Instagram Business Stories?
Normal Instagram posts are recommended to be posted when your followers are mostly online. However, this is different from Instagram stories. Instagram stories have a short-lived nature of twenty-four hours. These are twenty-four hours of being at user’s top news feed. Your followers will see your story despite the time of the day that you will post it. The main point is that as long as the content is valuable and current, you should not stress yourself about the optimal times of posting it.
Incorporation of Links
Instagram made a huge announcement recently by making it possible to put links in Instagram business stories. This is a massive pact as beginners can place a link that does not belong to their bio. You can now send your followers to a different landing page of your business from your Instagram stories. This is very useful in driving traffic to your relevant landing pages.
Use Hashtag and Location Stickers to Increase Your Discoverability
Immediately after Instagram stickers were introduced, they were mainly used for fun. However, Instagram has added the stickers functionalities. These include the aptitude to search stories by hashtag and location and power to view stories based on location on explore page. Today, anyone can see your stories as they are searchable by location and hashtag. This is different from the initial times when you would only share your stories with your followers. It is hence recommended that you ensure that you always incorporate these stickers in your Instagram stories. This way one will have more engagements and even perhaps make it on the explore page soon.
Use of Live Videos
In the previous years, live videos were not shared and replayed after they were over. Now you can share live videos or reply a feature that has made Instagram live as great as Facebook live. However, the shared replay of your live video disappears after twenty-four hours the same way photos and videos disappear.
Share Emoji Sliders and Polls in Your Instagram Stories for Business
Interactive poll stickers are a new feature on Instagram stories that was launched recently. In a bid to establish the type of content your followers are interested in, you need to survey their dislikes, likes, interests and more. This feature makes this possible by allowing you to ask questions and view your followers as they vote. This provides interaction way anew with your Instagram audience in many ways including crowdsourcing ideas, collecting feedback or entertaining followers.
Tag Other Instagram Accounts in Your Stories
Tagging other accounts is specifically more useful in influencer or takeover campaigns. It provides another way of generating traffic towards your business goal. These effective Instagram contests are essential in finding new followers and improving engagement.
Instagram has yet another feature for paid partnership. The feature has made it easy for you to tag businesses in your Instagram sponsored stories. Even though it is only some influencers, celebrities and companies, who can access this feature, for now, a more extensive scale rollout is anticipated.
12 Instagram Stories Content Ideas to Spur Engagement with Your Singapore Audience
The digital generation doesn’t’t seem to get enough of social media. More so now that the platforms have now introduced stories that have become powerful tools over the years. Today stories have become run to digital platforms for building brands through audience engagements.
Brands that have established Instagram as their primary digital platform are primarily leveraging on IG stories. In fact, according to TechCrunch, as of January this year, roughly 500 million users are posting their stories each day. This feature is not only applicable to personal profiles but also business accounts.
Though stories disappear after 24hrs, IG has introduced a feature that enables users to add their stories as highlights where they are accessible after 24hours.
Are you wondering what type of Instagram Stories content works best for you or your business?
This article will help you discover how to get started with Instagram Stories to spur engagements for your audience.
Go Live on Instagram
Going Live on Instagram can sound very intimidating, especially when you overthink what could go wrong during the live session. But worry not because there is no such thing as perfect. On the contrary, live videos are powerful because they are authentic. Your audience needs to see the real people behind your brand.
Live stories are an intelligent way to attract your audience’s attention, connect and engage with them. It makes it easier, especially because you can send notifications to your followers on Instagram live, letting them know that they can join the live session.
You can also do behind the scene videos, conduct a Q & A session, and do anything relevant to your target audience. Here is Instagram Live how-to guide.
Photo credit: hootsuite blog
Create A Plan For Several Instagram Stories To Maintain Your Brands’ Voice
Though IG stories are more casual as compared to regular posts. It is necessary to create a plan for several Instagram stories. Remember you want to build a brand that is consistent and cohesive across numerous platforms.
Pay much attention to the fonts, background, choice of music, and colors you use. Make sure they are maintained from one story to the next so that every time your audience sees and watches them, they subconsciously recognize and identify with your brand.
Photo credit: Social media examiner
Curate Highlights from Your Best Instagram Stories
Highlights appear below your bio. They are like small folders that are saved and pinned to your profile. Once you tap on a highlight, you can rewatch an expired story saved to that highlight.
These expired stories might offer pieces of valuable information that an audience could have otherwise missed.
For example, if you want your followers to keep tabs on the best locations you have visited, you can save stories under a highlight where they can easily access and view any time. If you have frequent features on articles and blog posts, you can keep screenshots saved under a highlighted folder. This type of content will help you build authority and a positive brand reputation.
The highlights folder can also contribute to lead generation as they grab users’ attention on your profile. Once on your profile, a follower quickly understands your brand and even gathers various insights and information about your brand from it.
Photo credit: word stream
To Add a Highlight on Your Bio:
- Go your Instagram profile
- Click the new plus (+) button on the top right.
- On the pop-up window, select the story highlight.
- Select stories you want to highlight, add and tap next.
- On the next screen, edit the cover for your highlight folder, e.g., tips on creating digital content.
- Please type the name of the folder, keep it short, hit done.
To Add a Story to An Existing Highlight:
- Create a story or open an existing one.
- Watch the story and click the highlights button right corner of the screen with a heart shape.
- Choose a highlights folder where you want to save the story.
Use The Instagram Stories Ads
Instagram stories ads display in the form of story format, such that they take up the entire screen. They can run up to 15seconds for videos and 5 seconds for images. Instagram allows business accounts to pay for ads between user-generated stories.
Like regular IG stories, viewers can tap on ads to get more details and information on the advertised product. For this reason, your ad story needs to capture the attention of your audience.
Ensure that you use the ad features such as asking questions, sharing polls, or displaying a quiz; this is an effective tactic to capture your audience’s attention and get them to interact with the ad. You can also help the audience get more information and details of the ad or view your profile through a swipe-up feature.
When using Instagram video ads, the first few seconds are the most crucial. Here the user can choose to ignore or decide to stick around. Brands lose 20% of their ad viewers in the second frame of their video.
Make sure your video is compelling and clear, and be sure to add a concise call to action such as “Click,”, “Buy” to spur action and drive engagement. Get started on creating your first Instagram ad here. here.
Photo credit: Instragram business
#Send Followers from Your Stories to Your Feed
While it may be normal to post content on your Instagram feed, you may also want to use your stories to send your viewers to your latest posts. How to do it; Go to the post you would like to share, tap the icon that looks like a paper airplane, on the pop-up that appears, select “Add post to your story.”
When the post appears on your story, you can play around with display options, move it around to resize or center, and you can add text, stickers, hashtags, GIFs to capture your audience’s attention and drive engagements to your posts.
Interesting to note how you can use the GIF to cover the post entirely and announce a “new post”. The audience will have to click on the photo, and IG will allow them to move directly from the stories into your feed. You can also mention people, tag location, and even add background music.
Instagram also enables you to see analytics of your stories every time a follower views. After 24 hours, you can see people who have moved from viewing your account to your actual feed posts.
Photo credit: Buffer
Use Instagram Reels
Instagram reels are short videos that are viewable on your profile for only 24 hours after which they are automatically deleted. You can create a series of videos for this Instagram feature whereby each video is independent of the other but designed to contribute positively to the marketing objective.
Brands use IG Reels to share fun videos, behind-the-scenes episodes, and a peek at your products and services. Reels are easy to create hence removing the pressure of presenting Live videos, producing and editing videos.
The advantage of using reels is that it offers editing tools, music, and visual effects to make your videos pop up. Instagram encourages its users to explore and make use of its features. Therefore, it’s only fair to maximize your reach by recording, editing, and adding special effects to make the videos stand out and capture the attention of the audience. Luckily, the effects are available in the mobile app so you can edit the video using your smartphone and publish it in just one click.
If you are looking for a source of inspiration to create a video, here is a site that will give you ideas that resonate with your target audience.
Photo credits: cnet
Use The Question Stickers
You can use question stickers on your IG stories to prompt your audience to ask you questions or give you feedback on specific topics. When the audience responds to the question you have submitted, you will get a notification about the response.
Then you can choose whether to repost these answers to your stories though anonymously. Hence, encouraging audience engagement at a deeper level.
You can use this feature for crowdsourcing ideas, gathering feedback, and learn more about your audience’s needs.
Photo credit: kicksta
Use Instagram Story Polls
An Instagram poll sticker allows you to ask your audience questions and view results as they vote. Hence, driving audience engagements as you gather insights and understand your followers’ likes and dislikes.
It is easy to create a story poll; create a story on IG, add a poll and share it with your followers. Create your questions to customize poll options.
Photo credit: Later
If you are looking forward to improving your views and increasing your opportunity to rank higher, you need to include hashtags in posts.
Adding hashtags to your content enables you to contribute to trending conversations and gives you a chance to discover new audiences. When users search for a hashtag on Instagram, they can view active and real-time stories, driving traffic and audience engagement to your post.
Your viewers are likely to double as a result of using appropriate trending and popular hashtags. Add that hashtag to your posts and see what happens!
Photo credit: hootsuite
Mention Brand or People in Your Stories
If your Instagram story content involves another person or brand, be sure to tag them by using the mention feature. Instagram will notify them about the tag, and they will be able to share the same in their stories, hence tapping into their pool followers.
Apply this to your Instagram story to help you increase your engagements and expand your reach.
Photo credit: Social media today
Make Use of The Swipe Up Feature
Instagram rewards its users for growing a wider audience by adding a “swipe up” to see more features in the accounts. Currently, the swipe-upfeature is only available to accounts that have over 10,000 followers.
Once you have this feature in your account, you can encourage your followers to swipe up to view a piece of more detailed information on a product, a service, or whatever content they are sharing.
Photo credit: Sproutsocial
Collaborate With Other Brands
Collaborations create a more excellent way to target and build new audiences and keep your followers engaged with something different besides what your brand offers daily. It is also a way to keep your audience interested in your brand.
While looking for a partner to collaborate with, keep in mind your audience. The partnership should be mutually beneficial, and whatever it’s you choose to work on should interest and engage your followers.
Photo credit: Later
Tools to Improve Creation of Instagram Stories
Boomerang app was created since the year two thousand and fifteen. It functions by snapping some photos and converts them to animations that function backward and forward. Just tap on the record button to put together a photo that will create a GIF.
Use Later Analytics to Track and Measure Performance of Your Instagram Stories
This is an Instagram tool that enables you to measure and track Instagram stories performance and analytics. It has the ability to Instagram stories of a duration of three months. This is different from the Instagram analytics that only keeps your story metrics for two weeks. Some of the parameters Later analyses include the amount of vies per users, reach, amount of replies and reach.
Storeo is a useful tool that allows you to record a single video longer than fifteen seconds and cuts it into well-ordered 15 seconds parts. After downloading the app, you can either record a new video or upload one from your device. You then press export to cut the video into sections. One can opt to publish it directly or through the Instagram app.
Canva is famous for its ability to create amazing social media graphics. Canva is now useful in designing eye-catching and appealing Instagram stories. After you have downloaded the application, you can browse its library of professionally designed prototypes to use on your Instagram stories.
Instagram has over 1 billion active accounts every month, and about 500 million people use stories every day. There is no doubt that Instagram is a powerful tool for digital marketing. If you realize that most of your target audience is on Instagram, you should make the platform your primary digital marketing place for your brand.
Posting photos on feeds may no longer be enough mainly because of the growing popularity of videos. Therefore, your brand should consistently apply creativity as they leverage Instagram story features, which provides an effortless and effective way to increase target audience, improve audience engagements, receive feedback and insights from followers, and improve brand authenticity.
Keep your Instagram app updated so that you can discover new features and be the first one to try them out!
Be consistent in creating stories for your brand daily. Every time you create a new story on your account, a red circle appears on your profile, making it easier for your followers to view your new story and interact with it instantly. Try and have a red circle on your profile every day.
Wondering if you are making the most out of your Instagram stories to drive engagements? There are no doubt stories should be the main focus for your Instagram strategy. If you have not made that yet here is a guide for Instagram for brands to ensure you are making an impact with your followers on the ‘gram
Get more exposure and engage with your audience via Instagram and other platforms by leveraging our results-oriented social media marketing package. Our team will create a custom campaign that will communicate with the target audience effectively and spark their interest in your brand.