Put Engagement on the Fast Track with Instagram Stories
By Corey C. Walker
Instagram Stories are one of the best ways to have a direct connection with your audience on Instagram. Over 500 million users are on Instagram Stories daily watching and interacting with the content there. Although I personally love Reels, there are many reasons you shouldn’t sleep on Stories. How Instagram Stories Fit in Your Sales Funnel
In past articles, I’ve discussed how the different areas of Instagram can be used like a sales funnel. If you are new to the sales funnel concept, the top is broad like your audience, and then slowly narrows down to your niche target audience (your buyers!). On Instagram, the funnel goes like this:
Top of Funnel: Reels (reaches a very wide audience, many of which are not your target)
Middle of Funnel: Main Feed Posts (reaches a narrower audience, getting closer to your target)
Lower Middle of Funnel: Stories (even narrower audience, key target audience which is getting to know you better personally)
Bottom of Funnel: Lives (your audience is now primed to buy and is very niche)
Why Instagram Stories are Important
Since Instagram Stories are lower in the funnel, your audience has been warmed up by your other pieces of content. Stories are a place where you can let your true self shine. Do you watch your kids play soccer on the weekends? Post a Story about it! Do you love watching true crime documentaries? Share your favorite show and ask other people what their favorite documentary is. This type of content lets your followers see you as a real person, not just the brand or product you sell.
7 Instagram Story Ideas to Drive Engagement
Share your content from your feed posts or Reels over to Stories. This one should be automatic for you. Anytime you post content, re-share it to your Stories. It’s a super easy way to get more mileage out of the content you already posted. I will often have different people watch my Stories vs. content in my feed, so I’m covering all the areas with just a click or two.
Share a limited-time (24 hour) promo code only on Stories. Encourage urgency by sharing some promo codes only on Stories that go away as soon as the Story expires. Don’t forget the link sticker to the sales page so people don’t have to jump through too many hoops before purchasing.
Record a video story of yourself talking about something that just happened, or giving your opinion on a hot topic. One of the best ways to increase your Know, Like, and Trust Factor is by showing up personally in your Stories. If you’re funny, show that side. If you have thoughts about something, share it! Your connection will grow because people will feel like they know you. Bonus: use the captions sticker for people who watch without sound, or have hearing loss.
Re-post other people’s shout-outs to you. If someone shares your content to one of their Stories, or tags you somewhere, share it on your Story. It’s a free testimonial showing that other people enjoy your products, services, or opinions.
Start a challenge using the Add Yours sticker. Ask your followers to showcase something related to your brand using the Add Yours sticker. For example, if you’re a chef, ask your followers to share their favorite dinner photo.
Host an Instagram Story takeover. Let someone from your team (if you have one), a super fan, or your best customer takeover your Stories for a day. Pro-tip: have your takeover person send you the content so you can post it. That way you can make sure it’s on brand, and you’re not giving account access to someone else.
Share an Ask Me Anything. Use the questions sticker stating you’re open for a Q&A. Followers can ask a question, then you can re-post the question in another Story with your answer.
Don’t forget, Instagram Stories expire in 24 hours. You can be a little looser with what you share because it’s only a brief window of time. Sharing 3-5 Stories a day is optimal, and it’s not really that hard to do if you simply note and share what’s going on in your day.
If you’d like more information about Instagram Stories, the latest edition of Instagram for Dummies I co-authored is available now. There are two chapters devoted to creating a wide variety of fun Stories. You can find the book, and many more blog posts about Instagram at www.themarketingspecialist.com.