Storytelling has always been popular, particularly when it comes to marketing.
However, stories have emerged as an amazing strategy to use in conjunction with social media marketing.
If you want to attract more business with social media stories, incorporate more visuals, interact with your target market, and meet your business goals you’re about to learn how.
The Attraction of Instagram Stories
Are you having trouble figuring out why your audience is so intrigued with the more visual “social media story” sites and apps?
Does it just seem like a bunch of images without much info, to you?
Here is a brief rundown of what many audiences like about social media stories, in addition to valuable information.
- Whole stories can be consumed in seconds.
- Stories with hashtags are easy to find and access.
- Relevant stories make audiences feel more involved and important.
- Audiences like seeing the “real” you in “real life” situations. It’s more personal.
- Stories address their impulse wants, as well as here-and-now needs.
- Visual stories excite, intrigue, and empower the viewer with choices.
- Stories can provide many, highly-visual forms of info within one story.
I know you’re excited and ready to get started. Let’s begin by going over the basics of traditional storytelling.
Using Instagram Stories To Grow Your Brand
While you may be familiar with telling your story using words, when it comes to social media “stories,” you may feel a little confused at first. It happens to most of us, until we get that “lightbulb moment” when we realize the term “social media stories” doesn’t refer to traditional, written stories. These “stories” are based on visuals – images, stickers, drawings, videos, etc. Words still play an important part in social media stories; but, the focus is on the images and engagement.
You want your story to be unique and compelling to help you stand out from your competitors. The story and visuals should also be relevant to the story and appeal to your target audience on multiple levels. In short, viewers should be so interested and emotionally motivated that they immediately take the action you suggest.
Begin by telling an interesting, emotion-packed story of how your company was founded. Be sure to mention how your values and goals fit into the business. The more you have in common with your target market, the easier it will be to attract their attention, earn their respect, and gain their trust. This enables you to connect with your niche audience on a deeper level.
The key to fostering deeper connection hinges on knowing your audience very well. In particular, you want to show them that you “one of them.” Show the audience what you have in common with them, how you understand their values, identify with their emotional motivations, and support similar causes, which are near and dear to your hearts. This helps them to see your business as an extension of you, the person.
Products and services also have stories. In general, you want to tell the background story of how and why you created a product or service. You also want to share info about the problems it solves, as well as how it benefits your audience.
Your storytelling doesn’t stop there. You can tell stories about anything that is on topic and is relevant to your audience. However, you also want to use social media stories to help you meet your business goals, which likely include brand building, revenue generation, and/or list building.
Try to incorporate as many of these elements and strategies as possible in your social media stories. Now, let’s go over why and how you can accomplish all of this with visually appealing social media stories, aimed directly at your target market.
Meet Goals and Benefit With Instagram Stories
Social Media Stories can benefit every type of business, regardless of the niche or the age-range of the target market. This is partially because images and videos have such a wide appeal across the board.
While social media stories can benefit your business in multiple ways, the top-3 social media benefits, reported by marketers in the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner, were increased exposure, traffic, and generated leads. In addition, the report verifies that Facebook and Instagram are firmly leading the social media pack with these 5K + marketers.
Brand Building Stories
If one of your business goals is to increase brand awareness via social media stories, here are a few things to keep in mind as you create your brand building stories.
- Use your brand/business color scheme and logo to make your social pages and content instantly identifiable. Be sure to include a small brand watermark on your images, when appropriate, such as on memes and quote images.
- Create stories that highlight the defining qualities of your business, such as emotional motivation, values, causes, etc. When your audience sees the things that matter to you also matters to them, their respect for you and your business goes up, as does your reputation. Creating multiple stories (with at least 3 images) helps to remind them of the deeper connection you share. Highlight the best of the best to keep them visible.
- Show followers the fun, light-hearted side of you, your business, your team, and even customers (with their permission.) Give viewers a laugh and an opportunity to think or say “me too.” This allows them more personal point of connection. Share a fun story (and a series of images) that allows them to see you as an imperfect and real person.
“Candid” morning photos of “Before & After coffee” or similar insider glimpses are bound to endear you to them. If possible, add a poll, to encourage topic related engagement. This helps to build trust and transparency, which ultimately leads to more enjoyment, engagement, and sales.
Revenue Generating Instagram Stories
When you create stories for the goal of generating revenue, it’s important that your visuals and words grab the viewer’s attention. However, unless the story contains highly compelling elements and linked calls-to-action, your efforts won’t be very effective. Here are a few ideas and tips to consider as you create your story.
- Use direct links and tags in your product/service story where possible. Create a special hashtag that includes the item’s topic category. This will help you attract more attention from prospects and potential buyers.
- Hold wacky theme contests related to a product’s topic, before you add the sale story. Challenge different groups such as affiliates, team members, customers, etc., to accomplish a specific task such as, draw a picture of themselves showing why they really need to win. Use a topic hashtag to build anticipation for the next sale item, which will be on the same topic as this contest.
- Showcase each product or service with its own story. Use a product-demo teaser to create interest and list the top 2-3 benefits of the item. Link to the sales page, where you have a longer video as well as a transcript.
- Keep viewers on their toes by creating an exclusive upsell offer or bundle deal. You can include a poll, contest, or another type of engaging activity to encourage sharing and more interaction. Adding a special offer here that you would normally offer within the shopping cart, adds an element of surprise and urgency.
Engagement and List Building Instagram Stories
As you design and create stories that prompt viewers to sign up for your mailing list, keep these tips and ideas in mind.
- In your story, be sure to use images that directly relate to the optin offer’s “problem” and embed links that lead to the solution or info on the opt-in offer page, where they can learn more and of course, optin to get access. Make the offer image stand out, visually but don’t make it so busy that your CTA gets lost.
- Build your social following to build your mailing list. Engaging and interacting with followers in fun and informative ways builds your initial relationship. The more they enjoy interacting with you, your stories, and your activities, the more they will want to hear from you. Give them what they want and need but always leave them wanting more from you.
- Incorporate polls into your list building stories, for example create a poll asking which of 2 topics they want to know more about. Depending on what they choose, you can send them to a related optin where they can learn more.
- Since social media stories have a heavy visual focus, choose your words carefully to add clarity, details, and purpose to your stories. The images and videos should be self-explanatory but when in doubt, use a well positioned label or headline.
- Bring more attention to a slow-moving list magnet optin by doing a live Q & A broadcast on the topic that references and links to that free resource.
- As mentioned earlier, fans of “Stories” like visuals, including emoji. When engaging with viewers, give them an idea about what you’re thinking, your mood or emotion, and the tone of voice by using emoji. This also helps to clarify the meaning behind comments or information.
Regardless of which social-media story platform you use, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with all of the tools. Each tool provides a way to make your stories attractive to your target audience. However, make sure that you know your audience well, since you’ll need to use the tools that make the most impact with your people. Test and track the results of each story to discover what works best for everyone involved.