What exactly is Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories is the photo and video sharing app’s disappearing content offering, which allows users to share photos and videos in slideshow format. Separate from users’ carefully curetted profiles, it’s intended as a space for more raw, real-time sharing. Stories go beyond the usual filter options—though those are there too—offering text, drawing, stickers, and other features for creativity. In short it’s a cleverly addictive and infinitely powerful marketing tool for business.

Here are 5 examples of how you can use Instagram Stories for your business.

Humanize your business by showing a “Day in the Life of”

Using both photos and video to create your Instagram story allows you unlimited flexibility as well as the forgiveness of on the fly videos which are often unplanned and less “slick” then your daily Instagram offerings. 

Doing this allows your fans a peek behind the curtain so to speak. By giving them the gritty street view of your business you allow them become part of the process, which in turn leads them to advocate for your business.

Example:

2 New York City restaurant Union Fare uses Instagram Stories to share video from their restaurant’s operations using informal captions. The videos give viewers an inside look at the restaurant and some of the delicious food on their menu. If a hungry viewer happens upon these videos at lunchtime, you better believe they’ll think about heading there for some grub.

Repurpose that content!

You know that blog that you spend time and money on, only to see it ignored? Watch it rack up the view when you add live video, quippy copy and funky stills. Adding your personal touch gives your audience a chance to see the quirky side of your business that is infinitely relatable to them personally.

Example

1 The popular lifestyle magazine Real Simple, publishes condensed simplified versions of their online content with using no more then 3 slides and a 30 second selfievideo which they then post on Instagram Stories. These are easy to put together and can be done with an infinite variety of topics

Tease them

A long time marketing tool is the teaser. Instagram Stories has re-imagined this marketing tool with it’s ability to “live broadcast. One of the most effective ways we have seen this used it in tandem with Facebook’s Live.  Post an Instagram story to notify people about a Facebook Live broadcast to pique people interest and to drive more traffic to your Live video broadcast. The bottom line is that if people like your Instagram content, they’ll probably like your Facebook content as well. Use one platform to promote the other and get more engagement on both sides.

Example

3 Food Network uses Instagram to promote their Facebook Live video at Amorino USA which showed viewers how to make gelato roses. They posted a simple, one-slide story with brief text and a drawing embellishment on it to direct their Instagram followers to their Facebook page.

Go from static to electric

This is an amazing tool for showing your product in action with out all the weight of marketing hanging on it. This light weight agile way to demo your product allows your  viewers to see the product in action and get a novel idea for how to use it.

Example

2Vitamix, a popular blender brand, uses Instagram Stories to show their blender in action. This video shows a pumpkin-inspired, blended dessert being created from start to finish in their test kitchen.

Celebrate your successes

Instagram Stories is an awesome way to showcase your company’s milestones, events and successes without sounding overtly promotional or boastful. You are inviting viewers to celebrate your success alongside you. This goes back to humanizing your business. Your successful and you should be proud of that. Sharing them as exciting events you invites your customers connect with what you do and be excited too.

 

Example

3 Southwest Airlines created a lengthy Instagram story to describe the retirement of their 737-500 planes. They used a short video to explain the purpose of the Instagram story and then continued to add a mix of content related to the 737-500s.

 

Examples sourced

*1 http://simplymeasured.com/

**2 https://business.instagram.com

***3 http://www.socialmediatoday.com