With over 400 million daily active users, roughly half of total users on the platform, Instagram Stories are a wildly popular aspect of the service. Instagrammers are drawn to these shared, 15 second-at-a-time glimpses into other people’s lives. This, in itself, represents a real game changer to any prospective marketer looking to grow their brand or promote a product. Now that you have the ability to embed a link directly into your stories, the service has become an indispensible part of your social media marketing plan. Having your audience on Instagram swipe up during your story to access your link opens up all sorts of possibilities. It can drive significant website traffic by giving users more value through your link destinations. You want to promote a new product, then immediately give your audience the opportunity to click through to a purchase? Letting them swipe up on Instagram is a fantastic way to do it. Do you want to introduce your audience to your brand story, then have them continue their brand journey on your blog? This is the feature is the best way to do it.
Testing Call-to-Action Messaging
No matter what you’re marketing, there are multiple ways to get that all-important Instagram swipe up. But the best way to start is to learn with organic stories before you move on to paid ads. Learn what works for your brand, and what doesn’t, before you start spending. This is where you should experiment with which call-to-actions work best for you, and what generates the most swipe ups. Remember to keep track of the feedback you generate, they are invaluable in helping you formulate your marketing strategy. Once you develop a foundational brand strategy, you can begin to move into paid ads.
Differences Between Instagram Stories and Normal Video
Now before we move forward, it’s a good time to review what sets Stories apart from regular web videos. First of all, Instagram stories are optimized for mobile users. The swipes, taps, and slides your audience uses to interact with them are tailored to mobile devices. This also means that videos and photos are viewed vertically. The advantage of this is it fills the screen, and consequently your audience’s view. The vertical format also lends itself well to framing faces and tall subjects such as buildings. Keep this in mind when framing your shots. Stories are also quick. The 15 second limit makes for quick viewing, so make sure you are concise with what you want to say. You can also use those 15 second videos as vignettes that add up into a larger story. Compounding those clips into an episodic format also helps build suspense, and teases the next slides. Furthermore, unless you pin them, your stories also last only 24 hours. This can create a sense of urgency in your audience, making them anticipate your stories. These constraints may seem limiting to some, but they actually present opportunities for developing compelling content native to mobile devices.
The Importance of Messaging Consistency
It can take time for you to build a solid following for your brand. Don’t worry! This is normal. Brand recognition doesn’t happen overnight. There are, however, ways you can speed this process up. A great way to achieve brand recognition is through consistency. Utilizing the same set of colors, fonts, filters, and graphics across your story and regular posts will give your brand a highly visible and recognizable presence on the platform. It’s also a good idea to have a regular content calendar for posting new material. Don’t be a flake, post often and let your audience know when. Keeping your brand in their consciousness will help pave the way to building a meaningful relationship with them. And like any relationship, communication is the key. When people tag you, message you, or mention you in their stories reply right away. Let them know you appreciate them and are available to help.
It also matters what your audience gets linked to once they swipe up on Instagram stories. Their action should ideally generate value for both of you. One way to do this is by having their Instagram swipe up link them to your newsletter sign up page. Having a real cool visual showing them why they should subscribe accompanied by a direct link to let them do just that is a brilliant tactic to get people on board. If you have a brand blog, Stories can help drive traffic to it. Blogs can really bring potential customers deeper into your brand’s world, so promoting a new article in your Story post while providing a direct link is a good move. Does your business have a YouTube channel? Then you should 100% be promoting it through your Stories (and if it doesn’t, what are you waiting for?). With some of the highest engagement rates of any platform, YouTube is the perfect swipe up link on Instagram. Make sure to get them to subscribe to your channel as well!
There are countless ways the new swipe up feature on Instagram stories can help you market your brand or product. A little creativity, some great call-to-action, and a lot of value for your fans will go a long way to building a meaningful connection with them. Good luck!