Instagram stories: what it is and how to use it in business

Instagram stories are a separate content format that Runet users have long been accustomed to and actively use. Businesses use stories to promote their products and services, and subscribers convert into customers faster when they get to know a product in a more “live” format than hackneyed advertising posts.

This article tells you how to turn Instagram story viewer into a tool to promote your business.

Stories in your business account

Stories are a modern and almost free tool for developing your business account. You don’t need an advertising budget or go through moderation to publish them. The only cost is time to create content (and a budget for content if you approach the creation of Stories professionally – editing videos, preparing design, etc.).

The key to success is consistency

In 2020, stories overtook feed publications in terms of popularity. The format of stories is more “alive” than text publications with a picture. The limited lifespan of stories on Instagram highlights viewer effects on engagement. Users are more active in viewing stories to avoid missing anything important or interesting (in the case of posts, there is no such incentive – the publication is saved in the account and can always be viewed later).

Moreover, the format of stories allows you to publish several of them daily, and it will look organic. At the same time, posts should be posted once every 1-2 days.

Several stories daily is a common practice not only for personal but also for commercial accounts. Several stories daily is a common practice not only for personal but also for commercial accounts. Publishing stories regularly gives you these benefits:

  1. You appear more often in your subscribers’ info field (and new subscribers or those who interact with your targeted ads see that your account is active);
  2. Your brand becomes more recognizable, and a group of loyal users (those who are interested in your content) is formed;
  3. Stories work as a reminder for those who wanted to place an order but got distracted and forgot about correspondence with you;
  4. You can increase subscriber engagement by using interactivity in your stories.

You shouldn’t make your stories exclusively promotional and aggressively promote your product. Such publications will quickly bore subscribers, and there will be few views. The Instagram audience* expects “live” and interesting content from your stories – so try to make stories so that they are awaited and viewed with interest.

Instagram stories
Instagram stories

Plan your posts

Stories can be done differently: publish text on a colored background or post a professional video with special effects. However, it is not necessary to prepare expensive and professional content so that subscribers willingly watch the story. The main thing is that they were interesting. This means it is important to constantly have a stock of fresh ideas. This is where many people start to have problems – after a few weeks of actively publishing stories, it seems that all the infoprovods have been exhausted.

To ensure you don’t have trouble coming up with ideas, make a content plan a few weeks or even a month in advance. When creating your plan, take into account:

  • seasonal activity in your business;
  • upcoming events in the market and your company;
  • Questions about your product from subscribers and customers.

Examples of planned stories

Prepare a basic content plan ahead of time. That way, you don’t have to develop story topics from scratch daily. And you’ll be able to add new content to your plan as relevant newsworthy topics emerge.

Different types of content will help make your stories more interesting and engaging.

Here are the basic types that will work for almost every niche:

  • informational – stories about news in your business/company, announcement of upcoming events, announcement of new publications in the feed;
  • educational – detailed information about your product (instructions, practical advice, fly hacks);
  • engaging – games, raffles, quizzes, polls and other engaging mechanics;
  • promotional – direct advertising of your products, announcement of promotions and sales, publication of product reviews.

Optimally, you should use all types of content and alternate them. This way, the content will always be diverse and not bore your subscribers.

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