Want to better use Instagram stories to increase engagement and ticket sales for your organization?
Instagram stories are the perfect medium to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your organization, tell longer stories to engage your audience over time and post cool things that may not be just right for your feed. In this post, you’ll learn how to plan, create and execute and optimize Instagram stories for your business.
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR CONTENT STYLE AND GOALS
As with all of your marketing efforts, it’s important to understand your “why.” Goals for your Instagram stories should be intimately tied into your other marketing and organization-wide goals. Think about what you’re hoping to do with your stories. A good tactic is to choose a goal that complements what you are already working on, either with your Instagram feed, other social media or in other campaigns. Another option is to choose what you are missing, instead. Pick a goal that you are not yet hitting with your other initiatives.
– Are you looking to generate ticket sales?
– Are you hoping to pull in more engagement?
– Are you hoping to increase followers and brand awareness?
Choosing a goal is important. It will help you create content that is better suited for your initiatives and will help in measuring your success. For example, if you’re looking to generate sales, you probably want to create content that drives people back to your website, but if you are looking for engagement, you will want to encourage people to spend more time on your Instagram page.
Use this goal to decide which types of content are best for your stories. We suggest choosing 3-4 different types to focus on as you get started. Remember, content can be anything that is useful or engaging to your audience. Some examples of content types are: Behind the scenes shots, client or customer features, interviews, photos or stories from events, photos of food or animals, promos and deals, how-tos, etc.
STEP 2: DECIDE WHAT AND WHEN TO PUBLISH
Now that you’ve gone through your “why,” it’s time to decide on your “what.” This means determining a schedule and taking note of your assets. A common mistake we see with Instagram stories is that people believe that their posts must all be in-the-moment content.
While live footage can make for great content, what’s most important is the commitment to a consistent cadence of content. Whether this means a weekly series, creating a content calendar around product or ticket releases or simply scheduling time to come up with posts, it is important to schedule posts to supplement your more spontaneous content. AKA, you need to create a plan just like you would create for your regular feed.
If you are serious about creating an Instagram Story strategy, we recommend posting at least 2-3 times a week. Unlike feed posts that usually stand on their own, stories are designed to be a series of posts. You could post something on its own, but it is much more likely to see users post a combination of photos, text, and videos that work together to entertain and convey information. Think of it as your own mini TV show or presentation!
CREATE AND POST YOUR STORIES
Instagram stories are known for all the options they offer to get truly creative. With Instagram Stories, your posts can be as funky (or not) as you want them to be!
When it comes to stories, your content should be all about your brand. Because the options are endless (draw here, add music, link to another user’s work), it can be easy to get lost in the sauce. Just like anything else you create, your stories should be representative of your organization. We recommend sticking to your brand colors, deciding on a font or two and selecting a filter to use across the board. Your followers should know it’s you when they view your story without ever seeing your name.
We recommend checking out these design apps to help you get just the right look!
– Over: For really great story design templates.
– Canva: A great tool to create stories. Use video with the app.
– Adobe Spark Post: Another great design tool.
Remember, Instagram stories have tricky dimensions (9:6), so taking landscape style photos and designing your graphics ahead of time is often best.
With this plan, you can focus on posting stories that create engagement and add value to your brand. Remember, the more followers view and engage with your stories, the higher you’ll place in the algorithm!