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How to Use Instagram Stories Effectively

Make no mistake about it Instagram Stories are attracting quite a bit of eyeballs. In fact, stock analysts are saying that Instagram stories might pave the way for the eventual demise of Snapchat. While it’s anybody’s guess what Snapchat’s next move is, it’s definitely on notice that Facebook, thanks to its Instagram subsidiary, is out to steal its lunch. There’s a reason why stock analysts are excited about Instagram Stories because it gets a lot of eyeballs. It gets quite a tremendous amount of attention within the Instagram traffic ecosystem.

If you want to build a solid brand and maintain a solid brand rapport with your Instagram followers, you need to supplement your Instagram content posting and marketing with Instagram Stories.

Unfortunately, just like with any newly released tool like Facebook Live, it’s too easy to think that Instagram Stories is simply one-dimensional. It’s easy to think that there’s just only one way to use it. You just string along a series of photos. That is the most common technique Instagram personalities use, and it really leaves a lot to be desired seriously. It’s as if you’ve seen one Instagram story published by a personality, and you conclude that you’ve seen them all. This really boils down to coming up with a distinct approach for your use of Instagram Stories.

Please understand that this feature enables you to create a narrative by stringing together photos and videos, and just like any tool it really boils down to the content that you’re going to stick into the tool. You’re only going to get a framework. It’s still your responsibility to come up with compelling materials that people would want to view, and I have to think that people would want to view and like.

How do you maximize your Instagram Stories so it can cement your brand’s authority and grow your brand profile on Instagram? Here are five key ideas that you should definitely pay attention to.

 

IDEA #1

Show Different Aspects of Your Business

If you’re using Instagram to drive local business or get people excited about your local brick-and-mortar business, use the story function to present different sides of your business. For example, you can show how products are being made. You can show how you prepare food. You can also show your staff getting ready for work, working and getting ready to get off work.

In other words, you get a tremendous opportunity to put a human face on your organization. You have to understand that for people of to buy from you, they must feel like they trust you. This is not rocket science. It’s actually quite obvious. You yourself probably make purchases based primarily on trust.

What a lot of marketers are completely ignorant of is the fact that trust doesn’t come out of nowhere. People have to first feel that they like you for them to trust you; and for them to like you, they must first feel that they know you. Do you see how this works?

Knowing or a sense of familiarity leads to liking. Liking in turn leads to trust. Trust then leads to conversions. That’s where money changes hands.

By using Instagram Stories, to present different aspects of your business, shown in the form of pictures and short videos, you humanize your business. It’s not just one of many. Instead, they see the attitude and the personality as well as the principles and philosophies behind your brand. You become more real to them. There’s a human face behind the business and this leads to a sense of familiarity, and if you keep publishing similar content, a sense of liking because they see that you have a different process and ultimately, this leads to trust.

Believe me when they compare your Instagram account to more static and conventional accounts maintained by your competitors, there is no comparison. You’re going to stand out as more authentic, more human and more approachable. This increases the sense of familiarity they have, and this may ultimately lead to brick -and-mortar physical-world conversions. The same principles also apply to the online world.

IDEA #2

Turn Your Online Content into Instagram Mini Articles

Whether you run a blog or a static website or even a forum, do understand that you can re-purpose your content. Sure, your content in those platforms involve text and pictures and even videos, but you can make abbreviated versions or snippets of them or snapshots of them in graphical form. If you’ve ever published an infographic, you know how this works. It’s not like you take all the text, and you just turn it into a massive graphic. There’s not enough space for you to do that.

Instead, you take the most basic points, you strip them down and compact them into really tight easy-to-understand text then you come up with a compelling graphic composition that truly highlights the most important points of a specific blog post or article’s thesis.

Well, think about Instagram Stories as a feature that involves similar infographic-building processes. It’s all about prioritizing your best and most important pieces of information, creating graphical companions for them and then composing and recomposing these pieces until every single piece can be strung along for maximum emotional and intellectual effect.

Now, this might seem pretty straightforward, but the problem is you really don’t know how your end users would respond. Accordingly, come up with different variations and see which mini-story version gets the most love from Instagram. Once you figure out which gets the most likes, you can then reverse engineer that and come up with similar themes following the same content strategy and see if you can replicate the same level of success.


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