How to Use Instagram Stories to Promote Your Products – 5 Power Tips
You already know a lot about Instagram Stories, but you may be struggling with how to use Instagram Stories as a promotional tool. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today.
Let’s bring some strategy to your Instagram Story’s game, starting with these five tips. And be sure to stick around till the end, because I’ll be sharing the most common mistakes that I see businesses making on Instagram.
-So, my first tip is to use the Countdown Feature on Instagram Stories which you’ll find on the top right-hand side of the screen, under the Stickers tab. The Countdown feature can be used in two different ways, you can either use it to count down to a special launch whether that’s a promotion of a new product, or maybe a special offer that you may have. Or you can use it while the launch is actually live and count down the number of hours that are remaining. This is really powerful, because it allows your audience the choice to tap on the countdown itself, and subscribe to know when the countdown has finished. Not only is this brilliant, because it notifies them, but it also creates a sense of urgency which us marketers know is a super powerful marketing tactic.
– Tip number two. You probably already using your highlight section, but do you switch it up during your promotion? Your highlight section on your page is prime real estate. And especially over a promotion, you’re going to be getting a ton of new views on your profile. Consider using the highlight section to educate your customer about your promotion, share customer feedback, and drive sales. And yes, those are separate highlight. I don’t want you putting this all into one highlight. It should feel really easy for them to just click on something, get a quick rehearse of exactly what they thought they were going to look at, and then move on to the next. I want to share some highlight topic recommendations with you, but keep in mind that these do vary, depending on which industry you’re in and what business you have. The first example of a highlight that every business should have, is an About Us section. This should tell you everything about who you are what you do, who you serve and how you serve. The second one I highly recommend are Testimonials. Testimonials are a great way to have social proof and anyone visiting your profile will get an immediate impression of the type of work that you do.
– The third one that I recommend is to have a Location highlight. If you have a physical location, this is so helpful, because people want to know how to find you and where you are, where to park, things of that nature. If you have an online business then even having something that shows, you know, how can I work with you, where do I have to go online. Making it clear and straight forward as to how they can get what they’re looking for. Another great example is to have a Portfolio section. So, whatever it is that you sell, having it there so that people can visually see exactly what it is that they’re going to get, is always going to be helpful with sales. Another thing that you can do with your highlights, is have a section specifically devoted to your IGTV channel. In case you didn’t know, there is a way, regardless of how many followers you have, to swipe up on your stories and let people go and watch your IGTV video. If you want to learn more about that, you can do so by clicking the link over here. Essentially what you’re going to do is, you’re going to take those stories where you’re prompting people to swipe up to your IGTV channel, and you’re going to put them all into one highlight, so that people can very quickly and easily just browse through your stories to see which IGTV video they’d like to go and see, and they can swipe up to be taken directly to that video.
Last but not least, having a highlight that talks all about your promotion, and very clearly explains what the promotion is, what they get, is there a discount, how long does it last. The third tip is all about creating Social Proof using Instagram Stories. What I want you to do, is host a giveaway. Encourage your customers to post a testimonial to their Instagram Stories where they tag you and in return, they are entered to a one-hundred-dollar Amazon gift card. What this is going to result in, is tons of your customers actually creating stories where they are talking about why they love your product, and in return you’re then able to repost those stories to your story, which generates more excitement and more momentum during your promotion.
-My fourth tip is for those viewers who are selling a limited number? of your product or service. What I’m going to ask you to do, is to go on Instagram Stories and essentially, you’re going to post a grid from one to 20 if you’re selling 20. And let your audience know that every few hours, you’re going to be updating them, letting them know how many have sold. Let’s say that you sold 15 in the first hour, you’re going to mark out all 15, to signify to them that 15 have been sold. This creates a sense of urgency, it creates a sense of scarcity, and it also creates a sense of social proof.
-My fifth tip is to go live during your promotion. I want you to use the Stickers feature on Instagram Stories, which you can find on the top right-hand side of the screen. Tap on Questions. And what I want you to do, is prompt your audience to ask you a question about your promotion. From there you’re going to leave it for up to 24 hours. What you’re going to do then is, you’re going to go live, and when you go live, the bottom right-hand side of the screen, you’re going to see a little Questions box. You tap on the Question box. What’s going to happen, is that all of the questions your audience has asked you in that question sticker, are going to populate the bottom of your screen. You’re going to select the question that you want to reply, it’s then going to pup-up on all of your viewers Instagram live interface, giving you the opportunity to answer everyone’s question so that they are then closer to the sale. If you wait more than 24 hours from your original post, and then go live to try and answer those questions, they will not be available for you. If you want to watch me walk you through this, step-by-step, and also if you want to get a ton of other Instagram story tips and tricks, then go and check out the video up here in the corner.
The next step I want to share with you are the common business mistakes. Guys, you better not be making any of these. The first one is a lack of context. I hate looking at a business’s Instagram story and they’re sharing something that clearly mean something to them, but they give zero context. And it’s like, “What am I looking at? I have no idea.” So, try to remember that your audience many times, they’re not watching everything that you do. They don’t always know who you are, they may have followed you on a whim one day. You want to make sure that you’re bringing them along telling a story and keeping everything in context.
The second common mistake that I see businesses making is that they are not personal enough. They’re keeping everything so formal. We definitely do want to let people in to who we are, what we do as a team, as a business and you know those corky little personal details are often what makes people want to keep following along with the story, so do not shy away from those more personal shares.
Another common mistake business make on their stories, is that they are too self-promotional. You want to have content in there that’s valuable, that people are actually walking away with the mean like, “Wow, I learned something.” Or this was beneficial, or educational, funny, inspiring. Do not always be promoting all of the great things that have happened or testimonials. Switch it up, a good ratio is like 80 to 20. 80% high value content and 20% promotional, because trust me, the last thing that you want to do, is train your audience to swipe every single time they see your stories.
The fourth mistake businesses are making on Instagram Stories is that they are not putting themselves in the shoes of their audience, they are not thinking about how their viewers are consuming their content. Are your viewers listening on silence? If they are, then you should consider captioning. Lots of people are just tapping through, they’re not really looking at what’s happening. So how do you create something that’s visually appealing, that’s going to get people to stop and actually want to consume the content? Is it possible for you to maybe even mix up the content that you’re creating, whether it’s images and videos and chives and just trying to make it as varied as possible? To increase the likelihood that your audience is actually going to engage with your content.
And the last mistake is seeing businesses making, is that they are not listening to what their audience wants. You need to learn how to navigate your insights and get feedback from your customers so that you know exactly what it is that they’re looking for.