When we think of IG Stories, the first thought comes to mind is a Social Influencer highlighting their day or weekend. However, with more than 400 million daily users, more and more brands are using Stories each day.
This is Part 2 of the Instagram blog series. In Blog: Part 1, I touched base on using Instagram Stories to help boost your appearance on your users’ feeds. Here, I wanted to deep dive further into some of the strategies for Instagram Stories that will help your brand drive ecommerce.
As I iterated in the previous blog, the IG algorithm uses time spent and interactions as a factor in determining popularity. The more engagement and interactions users have, the more likely your posts will show up in their feed.
There are many ways to use Stories as part of your marketing efforts. In this article I want to highlight a few of them that will help go a long way in building your ecommerce experience:
1. Shoppable Tags
2. Engage Fans with Polls/Questions
3. Carousel Ads
4. Storytelling Your Product
5.Call to Actions (CTA)
As I highlighted in my previous blog post, Shopping Tags are a way to connect your ecommerce efforts to your IG profile. When someone taps a product tag on your post or a product sticker in your story, they’ll be taken to a product description page where they will see:
- An image of the product from your post
- A description of the product
- How much the product costs
- A link that takes them directly to your website, where they can purchase the product
There are 2 ways to utilize them: IG Stories and IG posts.
IG Stories: According to Instagram, a third of the most viewed Stories on its platform are by businesses. Naturally the next step for them is to include product stickers in their stories. This allows shoppers to quickly access product information and shop seamlessly.
IG Posts: Through your organic posts you can tags products in your images. Depending on your image, I would suggest that you limit how many items you tag in a post to avoid the clutter (around 2-3 tags). These tags are great to showcase new product arrivals or items on sale! This way, customers will be linked right back to your website.
Shopping Tags are highly recommended if you are selling a consumer good(s). This is an opportunity to not only showcase your latest arrivals or push certain products, but also create a mini ecommerce store right within your Instagram profile.
Engage Fans with Polls/Questions
Audiences do not want to see a brand constantly pushing posts about product sales and promos. Rather, they want to be engaged with and become loyal to brands they can relate to. One way to engage with fans is through Polls/Questions. These ask the audience to respond to your stories and posts. Polls/Questions are also a great way to get insight on your existing and potential customers by asking what they think of a new product launch or something about your business.
If you are unfamiliar with carousel ads, they are multi image ads that you can flip through in an IG post. They were the best converting ads during my time at Best Buy as you can either tell a story or post a line up of various products your audience can browse. From my experience, there tends be a higher conversion rate with this feature when used to portray multi products.
Storytelling Your Product
As part of your strategy to engage with your audiences, storytelling is a key element. Not only does it strengthen your brand’s reputation, but also showcase product lines and arrivals as well. Leveraging the carousel feature, you can create a story for your product. For example, you could give customers a behind the scenes look at a product’s conception and invite them to partake in said product’s story. You can then curate these stories and pin it as a Highlight. They can be used to advertise a sale, show product features, or even update followers with new content.
Call To Actions (CTA)
CTA’s are important to drive traffic to your website and products. If you don’t have a clear CTA, the user may just keep on scrolling through your stories. One approach is to call out back to the link in your bio or present an offer and tell them to “swipe up”.
Its best practice to post as often as possible to your stories. I would suggest everyday or other day to keep your audiences engaged and informed as they do disappear within 24 hours. The stories don’t always need to be professional looking images or videos. Audiences love brands that are authentic and relatable, sometimes showing a grittier side to themselves. That being said, keep in mind with the above mentioned of storytelling, each story or series of stories still need to have some thought and planning. Make sure to consider how you want to keep your audiences tuned in and engaged, while seeking out more content from you.
Instagram Stories aren’t as exposed as Instagram posts, so this is a perfect opportunity to test ideas. If it’s successful then you can always duplicate it as a post. They are an important piece of the ecommerce puzzle as they can help get more exposure for your posts and ease the path to purchase through brand loyalty.
What’s your experience using Instagram Stories? Do you have a favorite tool that has worked? We’d love to hear from you!