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The Instagram Stories feature can be an important marketing tool for startup business if utilized properly.  These stories are an Instagram version of the SnapChat feature. However, the Instagram feature enjoys more users, with approximately 300 million users using it in 2018. Unlike posts, which are aesthetically prepared, Instagram Stories are real and unedited and thus, more appealing to the audience by bringing out the human element to the product you are planning to promote. Besides, it takes a shorter duration to prepare an Instagram story compared to coming up with a quality post.

Some of the ways that a startup can utilize the Instagram Stories feature to their advantage include;

  • Use Your Content to Gain New Audience
  • Share User-Generated Content
  • Get Featured on Top Live
  • Explore Ways to Beat the Instagram Algorithm
  • Continuously Engaging your Followers

Use Your Content to Gain New Audience

It is important to know more about your target audience. Then, you can easily design your content, whether if it is product-based or cultural-based, to meet the preference of your intended market. As a startup business, it is important to introduce your product or your service to as many potential clients as possible.

Instagram stories are discoverable and thus, fit this requirement. In other words, stories are visible to every Instagram user irrespective of whether they are following you or not. Therefore, this feature creates an opportunity for your business to reach more individuals with information about your brand or product.

Unlike using a normal post, sharing a short video of your product in action will attract more interest thanks to the human touch, which has been added into the feed.

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Share User-Generated Content

Engaging users in your marketing process is key to winning them over. Depending on the size of your fanbase and their loyalty, you can convince them to post on your behalf. You have an option to develop a story out of the material they have sent you and share it in the stories. Images of users using the product or incorporating brand hashtags and service mention in the stories make your presentation more effective in capturing the attention of your intended audience. Alternatively, your followers can also wholesomely develop the stories and post them for you.

Although these stories are only available within 24 hours, a new feature was introduced in 2017 to allow users to save these stories as archives in their Instagram profile. Therefore, apart from helping on the very day that you posted, you can sort out some of these stories and save them to be viewed by individuals visiting your profile. Therefore, through this user-generated content, a startup business can attract a wide client base who are appealed to by customer testimonies and contributions.

Get Featured on Top Live

Being featured on Top Live is the easiest way to increase your market outreach. Ideally, if your live videos are interesting and among the best, you have a chance to be included on the Top Live section. The “Top Live” section showcases the best Instagram live content based on the Instagram algorithm. Besides, the more you post new feeds, the easier you gain more followers for your account and hence, help drive heavy traffic to your page.

As a start-up with a new product and a new Instagram account, it may be difficult to be selected among the best posts by the Instagram Algorithm. Therefore, it is best that you acquire the service of influencers in one of your posts. Influencers will help you gain more audience by increasing the chances of your stories being mentioned in the Top Five. You can either let such an influencer name your brand or let them take over your stories. Such a move will definitely widen your market outreach and hence, increasing a chance for more followers and potential customers.

Explore Ways to Beat the Instagram Algorithm

Using stories to build your startup is one of the best ways to beat the Instagram algorithm. The feature is favored by the Instagram algorithm. The feature offers you with an opportunity to continuously promote your product on the highest level even when your story is not ranked highly among the feeds.

Besides, the more engagement you get with the customers, the more the chance to expand your outreach to your followers. Ideally, if you hit more than ten thousand followers, you can enjoy the swipe up feature which allows you to directly link your stories to your business website.  Adding hashtag captions can also help increase the number of people taking part in your posts. However, the hashtag should be crafted properly to avoid the overly used hashtags.

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Continuously Engaging your Followers

Today, Instagram users and followers play a significant role in the success of your marketing strategy. By involving your Instagram followers in your campaign, you are able to appeal to more potential clients while learning more about your target market. Posting more stories increases your engagement rate as your stories will frequently show up in the feed. By directly involving followers in your stories, you are able to introduce the human element to the marketing process and thus, appeal to the emotional side of potential buyers.

It is also advisable to utilize the additional poll feature in your stories. The use of polls is one of the simplest, and yet an effective way to engage your customers and increase your sales or product awareness. By inserting polls within the slides of your stories, you can learn more about your target client. Taking a poll can help you collect information about your product as well as customer preferences. The questions asked in the polls are also important to clients as they help guide their purchase decisions.

Parting Shot

Instagram has proven to be a great platform for marketers. The introduction of the Instagram Stories feature has further strengthened the position of Instagram as an effective marketing tool. With more than 300 million users as of 2018, Instagram stories can help develop startup businesses through product awareness and brand promotion.

Instagram stories can be used to gain a greater audience, appeal to customers through user-generated content, and increase the number of followers by getting featured in Top Live. Instagram stories are also an important tool to beat the Instagram algorithm and increase your viewership. The feature also supports customer engagements which make it appealing to most users.