Think Outside the Squares: How to Use Instagram Stories to Grow Your Brand

How to use Instagram Stories for Marketing

The days of Instagram solely being a photo and video sharing platform are long gone. With the everchanging climate of digital marketing and social media, relying on static posts isn’t enough for a brand to stay fresh and competitive. Instagram Stories, a feature that allows users to post photos or videos for only 24 hours, can transform your digital presence with its creative versatility and interactive assets.

How Powerful is Instagram Stories?

Instagram has more than 500 million daily users worldwide and its Stories feature engages more than 400 million of those users every day. Additionally, 80 percent of these Instagrammers follow a business account. The userbase is expected to expand even more in 2019, which makes understanding and utilizing every tool on the platform crucial for growth and audience engagement.

How Do Instagram Stories Work?

Since its introduction in 2016, Instagram Stories has developed its assets to have more than just filter, text and drawing options. As of January 2019, with a quick swipe, you can choose and do the following and use Instagram Stories for business:

  • Type: Communicate eye-catching message with this colorful screen option that’s soley dedicated for typing text.
  • Music: Add personality and fun to your photos or videos with this new asset that allows users to attach songs to each Story.
  • Live: Live videos have countless benefits, since followers are notified and can interact with users when they choose to record themselves in real time. Live videos can be up to 60 minutes long, and just like all other Instagram Stories, they have the option to be saved and reposted.
  • Normal: You can take photos and short videos directly from the app instead of adding footage from your camera roll, making it the fastest and simplest way for you to post.
  • Boomerang: Add movement and fun to your Stories with these one-second, looped animations, which are created by stitching together a burst of pictures.
  • Superzoom: This zooming video option incorporates filters and sound effects, which add a light-hearted, personal flair to Stories.
  • Focus: Increase the quality of your photos with this focus feature. It sharpens subjects and blurs backgrounds to give a professional feel to your Stories.
  • Video Rewind: Record a short video and add an interesting perspective by rewinding it.
  • Hands-free: There’s no need to hold your phone and record short videos with this easy option. This tool is particularly great for showing demonstrations.

In addition to knowing how to use Instagram Stories for business, you can customize each story by adding:

  • GIFs and Stickers: Show your brand’s personal style with these fun assets.
  • Hashtags: Generate more reach and have your followers track major trends related to your industry.
  • Mention Accounts: You can tag other accounts with the “@” feature, and each public or mutually followed account will be notified of the Story mention.
  • Polls, Question Asking and Reaction Options: In addition to the direct message feature on Instagram, adding these features opens up more interaction with your followers, making it easier to better understand what they’re thinking and feeling.
  • Reposts: Add photos or videos from the feed of yours or other users’ accounts. Each repost relinks back to the original account.
  • Shop: Showcase your products and allow your followers to instantly shop for merchandise. A simple tap on a shopping sticker will lead followers to a product details page where they will have a chance to see more product images or make a purchase from your mobile site.
  • Swipe Up: Have followers visit a specific website and add a direct link to your Stories.
  • Story Highlights: Choose and save certain Stories onto your profile page. This way, Instagram users, whether they’re following you or not, can quickly view your best content.

How to Use Instagram Stories for Marketing

The features on Instagram Stories have made it easier for businesses to demonstrate tutorials, directly sell products, share industry knowledge and more. This tool has created a space for followers to be completely immersed in your brand. Since this marketing medium is powerful, your followers should gain a deeper understanding of who you are as a brand beyond your square feed. Additionally, you should also make the constant effort to do the same to your followers.

By using the features and understanding the components of Instagram Stories for business, you can maintain a positive and interactive relationship with your followers. This will help you grow as a brand and ultimately keep them coming back to your profile for more.

How Do You Make the Most Out of Instagram Stories?

Since Instagram Stories are known for vanishing 24 hours after they’ve been posted, it’s crucial to know how to use Instagram Story and make what you post count. Memorable posts can include unveiling new products, showcasing different aspects of your company culture, sharing behind-the-scenes creative processes and more. Additionally, though Instagram Stories allows users the opportunity to capture day-to-day life in real time, planning content ahead of time helps with posting consistently and staying relevant.

You ultimately want to find innovative ways to connect and interact with your followers, but truly knowing exactly what to do, as well as how and when to do it, may be tricky. Luckily, there are social media experts that work with Instagram Stories’ quick, 24-hour time frame to efficiently execute these tasks. Whether its through the use of interactive polls or knowing the art of telling a captivating story, an experienced digital marketing agency knows exactly how to communicate your brand’s values and message through social media.

Let us help you further connect with your Instagram audience. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service digital marketing and advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to deliver custom content, persuasive online ads and expertly crafted campaigns. By implementing valuable and shareable digital content strategies, Appleton can create the perfect social and digital marketing experience for your brand and audience. Your Internet advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or

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