Instagram Stories is such an under-utilised tool when it comes to small business marketing. Here are some tips on how you can use it to engage potential customers and drive sales this season.
Don’t Miss Out!
As Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours (unless you choose to save them as a ‘highlight’ on your page), you can create a sense of urgency which can drive sales. Perhaps you can periodically run a ‘24 Hour Flash Sale’ promotion where customers can quote the code that shown on your story for money off or a freebie but they must act fast - once the code disappears the promotion is over! This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it aspect of Instagram Stories keeps your followers engaged in your page and checking back regularly which means more opportunities for you to promote your great products and services.
Instagram Stories is a great opportunity to give potential customers a behind-the-scenes ‘sneak peek’ at what you do without giving too much way. People love to see what’s ‘behind the curtain’ when it comes to industries they’re not familiar with. Perhaps show the process of what goes into decorating a party from clips of you packing the van, to creation to take down. Fun effects like Boomerang and apps like Hyperlapse (which allows you to super speed your phone videos) help to make this even more fun for your viewers.
Keep It Casual
A lot of people feel overwhelmed by the idea of maintaining Instagram Stories content as well as everything else. It’s true that the more often you post on Instagram Stories, the more followers will keep coming back to see what else you’ve shared. The great thing about Instagram Stories though is that it can be much less polished than other platforms. You don’t need to edit photos for Instagram Stories - as the Stories disappear after 24 hours, it’s generally accepted that the aesthetic here is much more relaxed. Plus there are fun filters, stickers and text that you can add to make your content more exciting. Don’t stress yourself out trying to create perfect imagery. If you can post 6 little clips from your working day just a few times a week, that’s enough to keep your audience engaged and coming back.
Promote Your Other Pages
Use Instagram Stories to drive your customers to your other platforms too. If you have an online store, don’t forget to link it on your main profile page and refer to it often so that potential customers remember that they can buy directly from you. Even if you don’t have a website, Facebook is also a great place to have potential customers following you because people can more easily ‘share’ your posts with their friends and family meaning more exposure for your business. Periodically remind your Instagram following that you’re on Facebook and perhaps even give them an incentive to go and follow you on there. This could be anything from a freebie to simply the promise of even more interesting content. In our BAPIA News post entitled Marketing Your Small Business With Facebook Posts, we talked about the importance of varying your content across platforms, so remind people of what you’re offering over on Facebook so that you can upsell to them on there too.
BAPIA members, remember to tag us in your posts using #bapiaparty so that we can see and share your great work!