7 Newest Instagram Stories Features Boost Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Instagram stories are the most popular feature among the other features of this social networking platform, Do you know that this feature can be a great medium of attracting business for the brand, want to know more about it? Dive in
Instagram Stories Features:- Gone are the days, when marketing was limited to billboards, newspaper, or television advertisements. Now digitization and high competition have made marketing an essential way to create leads and convert them into loyal customers.
Brands are now focusing their marketing strategies on engaging with the right audience and promise an impeccable customer experience.
Social media is one of the most popular platforms that digital marketers prefer now. With around 4.33 billion global social media users at the start of 2021, social media marketing remains one of the top priorities for digital marketers around the world.
Of the various social media sites, Instagram has the second-highest potential advertising reach of over a 1.87billion. Launched in 2010, Instagram has now evolved from a mobile photo-sharing platform to a feature-rich social media place. It has gained a prominent place in the digital marketing strategies of companies across the globe.
Just like any other social media platform, it comes in with an algorithm that keeps marketers on their toes to create a prolific Instagram presence that boosts the overall profits by leaps and bounds.
This article dives into the most used feature of this social media application- Instagram Stories and describes how you can leverage seven of its latest features to create a unique brand identity as a marketer.
Table of contents
- Why use Instagram Stories?
- How to use Instagram Story?
- 7 of the Best Instagram Stories Features
- Final Thoughts
Why use Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories or Insta Stories as they are profoundly known, is one of the powerful tools that marketers depend on to create a profiteering online brand. Instagram Stories allow users to share photos and videos which are ephemeral. This means it vanishes within 24hours of posting.
It is estimated that almost 400 million people watch Instagram Stories every day. Therefore, as a marketer you already have easy access to reach your audience. Instagram Stories are the gold mine of engagement and value, all you need is a well-chalked out marketing strategy.
Some of the prominent reasons why you must include Instagram Stories as a staple diet in your content marketing strategy are:
It helps you understand your audience’s likes
You can create a poll or start a Q&A forum through Stories and interact with your customers better. It helps you understand how your products will be or have been received by the consumers. It also helps you to think around a strategy that compliments well with the likes of your intended audience.
Creatively experiment with your marketing gimmicks
Instagram Stories have a lot of features to offer. You can play around with them and let your creative minds let loose in crafting out the best content for the instant Stories. It is a great way to show your brand’s fun side while promoting a particular product or service.
You can grab the attention without spamming your customers
Instagram Stories let you publish many posts without reflecting them in your main feed. The customers are therefore saved from the bombardment of content. It means you can freely promote your brand without the guilt of spamming your targeted audience.
How to use Instagram Story?
You may be a social media wizard, one that knows the technical nuances of Instagram features. However, knowing how and what to post are both tactically quite different. First, you need to have a clear vision of how your audience would perceive your brand.
Second, you need to understand who your target audience is- What will grab their interest and persuade them to invest their time and money in you? Being the tricky part, mastering it implies you are halfway through creating an exemplary content strategy for your Instagram Stories.
Several popular brands like Teen Vogue, Insider, Converse are crushing their social media game using various features of Instagram Stories in the most amazing ways. While Teen Vogue leverages Instagram Stories to drive in more subscriptions for their newsletters, National Geographic took to Instagram Stories to share educational content that the brand is quite known for.
How you use the platform depends on what you want your brand to be. It all boils down to your content marketing strategies, quality, and relatable content is the key. Converse, for example, creates insta Stories that perfectly sync in with their main feed.
Insta Stories is also the best way to promote your company’s events. Sharing glimpses of what goes behind the scenes of building a product generates curiosity and interest in your targeted customers. It is also a great medium to let your customers know of the empathic side of your company.
You can use the various features and play around with them to know what works for you the best. Here we have listed seven of the latest additions to the same.
7 of the Best Instagram Stories Features
Instagram Polls to Get Feedback
As per a research report by Hubspot, polls are one of the most used features of Instagram Stories. It is an interactive sticker you can use to ask your audience questions with an option to vote. It could also be in a quiz format.
It is a great way to get feedback and know your products/services from a customer’s point of view. You can ask your audience anything and see their responses in real-time. It can boost your engagement rates on Instagram like none other, as it induces an urgency to answer the poll questions.
It also helps you build a trustworthy relationship with your customers. It aids in gauging your follower’s interest and is an effective alternative to the mostly skipped long-form surveys.
Geo-Tagging to Address the Stories
Geo-tagging stickers are effective in getting location-based exposure for your company. If you own a brick-and-mortar store, it is a great way to attract local customers. This feature makes you more discoverable based on interest and location.
One example of a brand that makes use of this feature is Carrigan Farms. Their insta Stories are filled with videos and pictures of the fun and frolic activities of their visitors. It often showcases its property and guest activities with a geo-tagging sticker that amplifies its existence on social media.
There are two types of geo-tagging stickers. One where you tag an address to the story, irrespective of you being physically present there. The other one is auto-generated and is city-specific, one that pops up based on your current location.
These stickers are clickable and pull up your story to the explore page along with similar location Stories, thus increasing the views and exposure.
Hashtags are hands-down the secret sauce that determines the success of your insta Stories. These help your content to get noticed by your target audience and become highly discoverable.
For Instagram Stories, you can use up to 3 hashtags( 1 hashtag sticker or 3 in a text box), and therefore you must make the best choice.
The best way to make your content get the maximum number of views is to use broad hashtags instead of hyper-specific ones. It helps your content reach more people before the story vanishes within 24 hours.
You need to ensure the hashtags are related to the video/photo you are posting. The hashtags must also invite the interests of your targeted audience.
Game of Thrones is one such brand that popularised its merchandise through a clever hashtag#reptherealm. Their Insta Stories hit the right chord with their audience, who were already swooning over this popular series.
Countdown Sticker to Set Reminders
The countdown sticker is a great way to set reminders for your audience about an upcoming event. It is also the best option to promote time-sensitive offers on Instagram. You can combine the countdown sticker with other elements of Instagram like: buy tickets or book your slots, to create an effective CTA.
The sticker comes along with a popup that asks your audience to set a reminder for your event. You will get notified when someone taps on the popup. This way, you get an idea of how many people are interested in your offer or are interested to attend your events.
You could use some attention-grabbing, curiosity-generating content along with the stickers to make your story more popular.
Start AMA with Create Mode
Another lucrative insta-Stories feature is the create mode. It combines various interactive stickers, drawings, and texts without the need to add photos or videos. Content creators and influencers use this feature to build authority as a brand.
You can start an Ask-Me-Anything(AMA) session, where audiences can type in the space provided and ask you questions relevant to the topic of discussion. It helps in interacting with your audience effectively and understanding them. You can use this to curate a marketing and business strategy that focuses on enhancing the overall customer experience.
Starbucks recently used the create mode to start an AMA session with their followers and asked them to speak their minds about what they think will come back. It received an appreciable response, and the coffee chain also could gauge what their customers want.
Marketers have long been using Instagram Stories to shop, but now these are not limited to just “Swipe up to shop” features. One of the latest additions to the insta Stories is the shoppable tag, where marketers can use the “product” sticker to the Instagram Stories.
You can create an intriguing post with a lucrative product image and use this sticker with a CTA to urge your customers to swipe up the story to view the product details. It is one of the most effective ways to boost your sales organically.
However, to be able to use this feature, you need to fit the criteria. You have to be among the selected 46 countries where this tag is allowed. You need to have a business account, and you must sell the physical goods in compliance with Instagram’s merchant and commerce policies.
Instagram Stories Highlights to Reflect Stories
Instagram Stories Highlights are one of the potent tools to wow your customers and remain relevant even with the changing dynamics of Instagram algorithms. This feature allows you to highlight some of your best insta Stories.
These highlights are reflected right above your posts on your profile and do not vanish after 24 hours, rather are live for as long as you want them to be.
These are, therefore, perfect to showcase what you have to offer as a company or a brand to your customers who visit your page for the first time. Like how Kithwomen, a New York-based streetwear brand, uses insta Stories to showcase its new products, offers, and much more.
Leveraging the power of Instagram Stories is undoubtedly one of the wisest choices you can make as a digital marketer. Instagram Stories have helped many companies gain tremendous exposure and enjoy a boost in their profits.
It is estimated that around 81% of the Instagram savvy people use the platform to search for products and services. As a marketer, it is the perfect time to curate content strategies, making the best use of Instagram Stories features, and help your company gain stellar brand visibility.
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