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If we're being real, nobody likes a basic Instagram Story. We get it that if it's not good enough to post on your grid, then you should post it on Stories, but it doesn't mean that it should also be treated as your content dumpster. (We already have a Trash folder on our computer for that.) The way you should approach your Instagram Stories strategy for your brand, be it a personal brand or if your brand is selling products to your followers, is through a KonMari-esque method - only post what brings you and your follower's joy. And that's the ethos that we want to ensure your brand can do, especially when you're showcasing and selling products on social because one thing that doesn't bring joy to anyone is the feeling that they're being sold something. With PLANOLY's newest product StoriesEdit, you can amplify your Stories to the next level by creating visually dynamic templates that will hold your audience's attention while they're scrolling through Stories on their feed. With StoriesEdit, you can also ensure that you're using the right tips to showcase your products in order to create more conversions through social! Want to know how to get started? Here's how.
Make Your Stories Something Your Audience Can Anticipate to Watch
When you are creating Stories, it's essential to follow a strategy that is not only successful, but that trains your audience to expect great content from you. With the help of StoriesEdit, you can make sure that as soon as your audience opens your Stories, they're immediately intrigued by the design of how you're displaying your Stories, just like opening a storybook. Great design is what will catch their attention, but what's important too is how you retain their focus. By planning out your Instagram Stories and storyboarding your plan of action to see where the beginning middle and end is, your Stories begin seeing more success. Once it comes to fruition and your Stories maintain the same consistent format, you will train your audience to watch all the way through from the beginning, middle, and end - further minimizing a drop off rate from them.
Don't Sell the Product, Sell the Lifestyle
The best way to approach selling products is to think of your brand as an influencer and promote products in your feed the way they do - by showcasing the products in a lifestyle setting. Ditch the lightbox to get professional close ups of all your products that end up looking like product shots on Amazon. It's important to give your audience some inspiration of how they can use the product in everyday life, and how they will look using it. It's also crucial to make sure that you genuinely understand the lifestyle that your audience embodies, so you know exactly how to tap into it without the message being disconnected. The more you're able to sell the lifestyle your brand embodies, the more your audience will invest in it by buying your products.
Show Off Your Influencer Marketing
Just as you would promote your products to sell the lifestyle, it's important also to share who's attached to sharing that lifestyle. In today's social climate, potential customers will make their purchases based on those they follow or look up to, or have some significant influence in pop culture. This has worked wonders for the beauty industry - Pat McGrath does this for any of the significant events her makeup is featured at - most recently the Grammys. By showcasing all the products that were used by stars on the red carpet and putting a 'See More' link in the Story to get the look, she made it easier for her followers to feel like they too can achieve a look that is red-carpet worthy by buying her products.
"The more you're able to sell the lifestyle your brand embodies, the more your audience will invest in it by buying your products."
Don't Invest in Highly Produced Stories; They Won't Get High Engagement
As we mentioned earlier, professional close-ups of your products won't do you any favors on Instagram. Audiences don't want to follow accounts to post content that looks like ads or photos that are too staged, even if they love the products a brand has to offer. You don't need a fancy camera, fancy light kits, or a crazy budget to shoot great photos to add into your StoriesEdit templates. As long as the photo is shot correctly and it fits your brand standards, even if it's shot on an iPhone, you're good! Don't believe it? According to The Guardian, less labor-intensive posts like simple static graphics and quick explainer video and photos outperform professionally produced videos that look more like commercials. Again, people don't want to feel like they're being sold. You can make 10x more effective content and Instagram Stories with the content you're shooting on your iPhone.
Use Call-To-Actions to Guide Your Audience
Your audience won't know what to do unless you tell them to. With StoriesEdit, you can hold their hand and place graphic elements to create buttons of where you want to place your seamless call-to-action buttons within the Instagram Stories UI. If you want them to tap 'See More' for a link to a product, make sure that you create space for it with one of the shapes on StoriesEdit to upload onto your Instagram Story. When you include call-to-actions that make your Stories even more interactive and engaging, your audience will be more willing to participate.
"You don't need a fancy camera, fancy light kits, or a crazy budget to shoot great photos to add into your StoriesEdit templates."
Keep Your Stories Short, Sweet, and Straight to the Point
There is no reason as to why you should have over 30 Stories in your feed when you're posting. If you're asking for a way to turn off your audience, then keep doing that. If you want to make sure you're getting engagement from your followers, then you have to be sure that you're keeping your Stories short, sweet, and straight to the point. According to Forbes, the sweet spot for optimal Stories that you should post at a time is one to seven. The more you go beyond that, the more you will see your audience drop off. Remember, our attention spans are much shorter on social, so the quicker that you can get your point across without overwhelming your audience with content overload, the better.
Put Your Product into Your Audience's Hands
Sure, your audience knows how your product looks, but you have to show them exactly how it works and how they can use it. With Instagram Stories, you can put the product in your audience's hands to see how it works and how it can benefit them before they buy it. A great way to show how your product works is by using StoriesEdit templates to start a series of Stories with a title page that lets your audience know what's in store in the next Stories to continue watching. You can then incorporate videos and still shots of how the product works. A great example of a brand that does this seamlessly is Glossier. They show how their products look when women of different shades and colors apply it, which allows their diverse audience to get an idea of how it will look on them. To make sure those important and informative Instagram Stories live beyond just 24 hours, make sure to set the Story as a Highlight. That way, your entire audience can come back and revisit the content before they make another purchase.
"According to Forbes, the sweet spot for optimal Instagram Stories that you should post at a time is one to seven."
Inspire Your Audience in the Different Ways That They Can Use Your Product
For those who have already bought your product, it's important to make sure that you retain them as a customer, so continue to provide content that shows them the multiple ways they can use your product, along with any hacks that could benefit them. Framebridge does a great job of showing their audience and customers how to use their frames to their utmost potential, especially with their wall hanging tutorials. On their Highlights reels, they have a full story on "Hanging Tips" and do a step-by-step guide on how one can create a perfect gallery wall with ease with their own frames. With simple Stories like this, not only are you able to show how easy your products are able to be used, but you also take away any anxiety that your customers may have about doing DIY projects using your products on their own.
Every feature Instagram offers is prime real estate for your brand to grow, so it only makes sense that you put your best foot forward when creating your Instagram Stories by using StoriesEdit. If you're on the fence about creating Stories to promote your brand and products, or need some convincing as to why it's important, rest assured that Instagram Stories will be one of your best lines of defense when attracting your audience beyond your grid. Download StoriesEdit now on your iOS or Android device!