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8 Ways to Connect with Your Audience with Instagram Stories

With 250 million users each day, Instagram Stories is a platform that many brands will want to be on. The question is, how do you entice new followers to watch and engage with your brand’s content on the platform? To get a piece of this potentially lucrative pie, brands should have a strategy for Stories.

Try these eight ways of connecting with your audience on Instagram Stories.

Product Usage

Matt R/Flickr

Before they commit, customers like to see a product in use. And while a good old demo video is one option, a better option is something more candid. Rather than just putting up a demo video or a slick marketing video, put up a video of someone using your product or service in exactly the way it was meant to be used.

Sports apparel brands have had success showing athletes working out in their clothing. Showing your products in use lets your potential customers get a look at what they’ll be buying before they lay down their cash. Beyond Yoga, for example, does this on a regular basis.

Limited-Time Promotions

Michael Schwern/Flickr

Instagram Stories lends itself well to limited time promotions because of the whole disappearing thing. You can use it to promote something that is only available while your video is up for a nice little boost of activity. They’re also a great way to move excess product quickly and get some promotional swag out there. A limited time promotion will work better on your social media accounts than if you were to do it from Amazon or your website, because the people who follow you on social media are already interested in what you offer so they’ll be more receptive to it. Pacific Northwest Wonderland, an outdoor adventure company, puts up limited time offers on their Instagram Stories once in a while.  

Stories

wackystuff/Flickr

This one seems like a no-brainer, of course. Instagram Stories is a great way to tell a story to your audience. It’s just a matter of knowing what will resonate with them. You know your customers best (at least we hope you do), so put your thinking caps on and try to come up with something fun that will grab their attention.

You could try using animals or roleplaying a scenario that your customers face regularly. Your imagination is the only limit. Subscription dog accessory brand BarkBox created an “interview” between a pug and one of their employees. Their dog-loving audience ate it up like a dog eats homework.

News

David Michalczuk/Flickr

Don’t just limit your news sharing to what’s going on with your brand. Share news about the industry you’re in. It’ll help frame your brand as an expert in that field and demonstrate that you care about that particular industry. Your followers will appreciate that you don’t stick to constantly promoting your own brand and are willing to step out of your promotional role and into a more informative role. But, also do share your own company news, especially when you have exciting stuff happening. Clothing brand Aritzia uses Instagram Stories to highlight its own mentions in the general news.

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Games

Artotem/Flickr

Everybody loves a good game. They can stimulate interest and entertain your followers by being more immersive than a traditional post that your followers just watch. Game ideas include guessing games that involve your products or services, scavenger hunts and trivia. Travel + Leisure played a guessing game with its followers where it would post clues about where the brand was in the world and people had to guess. Don’t forget great prizes so people are motivated to play along!

Behind-the-Scenes Content

Yohanes Sanjaya/Flickr

Going behind-the-scenes at company events is a good way to give your audience a more intimate connection with your brand. The exclusivity of the content creates a stronger bond between your brand and your followers. It keeps them up-to-date with what’s going on with your company and gives them a peek behind the scenes so they can see things people outside the brand don’t normally get to see. Obviously, company events are the best time for this, especially if your employees’ day-to-day activities aren’t that exciting. But, company picnics, potlucks, awards ceremonies, charity events, trade shows, conferences, etc. are good for this exclusive content. UCLA Athletics takes their followers behind the scenes at both games and practices to give them exclusive content.

Lessons

LAKSHMAN/Flickr

People love to learn and you can use Instagram Stories to teach your followers a lesson related to your industry. Are you taking a business trip? Tell a Story about the place you’re visiting. Show people the manufacturing process behind your products or let them know it’s an important date in the history of your industry. The Outbound Collective, which helps people discover fun things to do outdoors, takes followers along on their journeys of discovery and educates their followers about the places they visit.

CTAs

Tripp/Flickr

And don’t forget your Calls to Action. Are they important? Well, according to KISSmetrics, CTAs embedded in videos generate 380% more leads than CTAs in more traditional places like a sidebar or on a website. You can use Instagram Stories to point your followers to your website, to a specific product page, or get them to use a hashtag or do something else that gets them interacting with your brand and buying your stuff. Fashion brand J. Crew uses particularly strong CTAs in their Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories are yet another way to engage with your followers on what has proven to be a popular platform. Get creative and take advantage of this fun way to connect with your audience. If you need some help, let us know and we’d be happy to chat with you about creating a video just for you. Click here to get started on planning and pricing your very own 2D animation video

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Rob loves nothing more than sitting around in his jammies all day and writing useful blog posts for WizMotions.