Instagram stories… heard of it yet?

If you haven’t, it’s a new feature on Instagram that lets you share moments of your day. Your story is only live for 24hrs and is kept separate from your feed, but does give you the option to share your story to your feed.

As you share your photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format. Your Story.

If you love Instagram, but aren’t sure whether you should be using Instagram stories as part of your marketing strategy, check out my top 5 reasons why you should be using it. Plus I show you how to get started using it.

 

I’d been wanting to be more socially visible in my business, via video’s, but I really didn’t want to be on another social media account. Not when I already spend a lot of my time managing my Pinterest + Instagram accounts.

As I’m already using Instagram as part of my marketing strategy, Instagram stories intrigued me. So I thought I’d give it a go, see if it worked for my type of small business.

And I have to say so far it’s been really great at helping me be more visible and grow my community.

 

If you’ve been wondering whether you should use Instagram stories for your business

 

Here’s 5 reasons why I think you should give it a try:

 

1.If you’re a little shy about being on video but you know it’s something you want to do for your business, then this is a great way to ease yourself into it. I can get really tongue tied when you put a camera in my face.

So I’m using Instagram stories to get use to speaking into a camera and building up my confidence.

2. Your story isn’t shown on your Instagram feed. For those who worry about using photos or videos that aren’t in alignment with their branding, your story isn’t seen on your feed, so won’t mess up all that hard work you’ve been putting in.

As you can see from the ‘how to’ images below, my current stories are all sorts of colours and not in alignment with my branding.

3. If you want to up your engagement with your community. Using Instagram stories is a great way to be more visible in your business.

It helps to build up trust with your readers and audience, ultimately making it easier to sell your products to your fans, because they already know and trust you.

4. You can use it as a tool to attract your ideal audience. You probably have a big following on Instagram, but not all of them are going to buy from you.

By showing your community your beliefs, what you value and how you work in your business, you’ll attract the type of customers you’d love to work with. The ones who do want to pay for what you create.

5. The story is only live for 24hrs and then it deletes itself. This allows you to use the element of scarcity. You know when you decide to cut out chocolate for a week and all you want is chocolate, scarcity.

If you have a new product launch, limited-time-only offer or a sale coming up, you can tie in a post or two from your feed with a story to let people know something is only going to be available for a short period of time. Getting your customers to take action now and buy your products.

6. Bonus: you can use it as a tool to announce something you’re working on. Really start to build some hype around a launch coming up.

If I’ve convinced you to give it a go, here’s a quick ‘how to’ to get you up and running:

Note: You can only create a story with photos and videos from the last 24hrs.

 

1. Start by clicking on the + in the top left hand corner.

It’ll take you to a screen where you can take a photo or a video. You can:

  • Flip your camera around
  • Check the settings
  • Turn on flash / timer

Instagram stories how to

 

2. If you want to use photos or videos you’ve already taken

Swipe downwards and the photos and videos from the last 24 hours will appear. Slide across and choose the image you want to use.

Instagram stories how to

 

3. You can change the colour of the image or video by swiping left or right.

Or adjust your colours in an app like VSCO before uploading.

Instagram stories how to

 

4. Add in some text

Change the text size, position, rotate the text and add in some colour or shapes

  • To move the text – hold on the text and move it to where you want it
  • To change the size – using two fingers make it smaller or bigger
  • To rotate – using two finger, rotate the text

Get your text to where you want it first before colouring over it.

Instagram stories how to

Instagram stories how to

 

5. Once you’re happy with your image add it to your story or save it.

Every time you add a new photo or video, so you’ll start to create a slide show.

Instagram stories how to

 

6. You can check who’s viewed your story.

Plus you can save it, or upload it to your feed, or delete it.

People can also comment on your story. The message will go into your private messages folder.

Instagram stories how to

 

And that’s it. It’s really simple to use.

 

If you already use Instagram as part of your marketing strategy, then give Instagram stories a try and watch as it helps to grow your community, attract your ideal customer and help you sell more of your gorgeous products.

 

Tell me in the comments below, do you use Instagram stories? If so, is it helping grow your business?