To reach a target audience with a compelling message, the power of a story cannot be understated. If your brand builds a narrative using Instagram and Facebook stories, it can be a great way to engage with your followers and fans and convince them to click and convert.
The Stories feature has seen many evolutions since its debut in 2016. Sharing these temporary posts via Instagram and Facebook today can help businesses drive traffic by directing their Instagram fans to their company websites and other social media accounts, bringing them closer to making a purchase.
Here, the members of Forbes Agency Council share ways to ensure your branded stories have the desired effect. Read their insights below to learn about the latest best practices and enjoy the many benefits stories can offer your brand.
1. Catch The Viewer’s Eye With The Right Creative And Offer
When stories have the right creative content, an enticing call to action and a sticker link to an offer, they can be very successful. We hit over 300 million eyes per week on our owned Instagram pages, so the right offer (preferably with video content) explodes, but the offer that doesn’t catch the eye of the viewer will fail quickly. – Sherri Nourse, Ambition Media
2. Use Features To Boost Organic Search Results
Brands can utilize features in stories such as stickers, music, hashtags and location tags, all of which can make your content organically appear on search and discover pages. The best feature is the link sticker, which gives users with over 10,000 fans the ability to include a link to a URL in their stories that users can reach by tapping on a sticker. Accounts with smaller audiences can promote their stories using the Ads Manager, which also accomplishes the goal of driving site traffic. – Nathan Miller, Miller Ink, Inc.
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3. Work Toward Getting Access To The Link Sticker Option
Work toward getting access to the link sticker option in your Facebook and Instagram stories, which allows users to tap on a sticker in your story to reach an external link you’ve added. Stories accompanied by “Link in Bio” GIFs drive hardly any traffic to the website. Plus, their recall value is too low to have any significant branding impact. To get the sticker link option, create a business Instagram account and run ads with the aim of reaching 10,000 followers, as this feature is only available to verified accounts that have at least that many followers. – Ajay Prasad, GMR Web Team
4. Reserve Some Story Content For Ads And Product Links
Focus most of your stories’ content on sharing the authentic, behind-the-scenes side of your brand, but reserve some story content for ads and product links. More than 500 million people use Instagram stories every day, and 58% say they are more interested in a brand after seeing it in Stories. Even better, half say they’ve visited a website to buy a product or service after seeing it in Stories. – Samantha Reynolds, ECHO Storytelling Agency
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5. Test Overlay Features And Multiple Story Ads
Since stories were introduced, Instagram users spend even more time—20-plus minutes, on average, according to various sources—on the platform each day, which means it’s an efficient way to get in front of and engage new customers. To stand out from the crowd and encourage engagement, test overlay features such as polls and stickers. And to ensure that your stories drive traffic, test multiple story ads and (if you have access to it) provide a direct link using the link sticker feature so users can easily click through to your site. – Donna Robinson, Collective Measures
6. Think Of Stories As A Sneak Peek
Let your audience get a glimpse at the offer and give them a reason to continue to your website. Don’t give everything away immediately, but rather provide a direct link to the page so they’re more likely to visit. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions
7. Create A Sense Of Urgency Around Business Initiatives
You must view the power of stories quite differently from the capabilities of regular posts. Stories offer temporary snapshots in time and can create a sense of urgency around any business initiative that’s limited in nature, such as giveaways, events or contests. Using these methods will encourage your followers to pay more attention to your content and participate in the call to action. – Albert Moufarrij, MACH9
8. Use Behind-The-Scenes Story Content
Statistics show 50% of Instagram users have visited a site to buy an item after seeing it in Stories. Using behind-the-scenes content can bring viewers’ interest to your products and services by giving your audience a glimpse behind the curtain. By doing this, you pique their interest and curiosity, and you can stoke their desire to know more about the product or service through a call to action. – Lisa Montenegro, Digital Marketing Experts – DMX
9. Highlight ‘Secret Story’ Discount Codes
Use your stories to highlight “Secret Story” discount codes that people can only retrieve when viewing your stories. These gifts will encourage them to come back for more. It also pays to stay consistent with your stories and update and upload them regularly. Stories are critical for providing timely content that followers can act on in the moment. – Bernard May, National Positions
10. Help Viewers Visualize How They Would Use The Product
Facebook and Instagram stories featuring real people using your product or time-lapsed demos in various exotic settings allow a viewer’s mind to start visualizing how they would personally use the product. If you have access to the link sticker feature, make sure to always incorporate a sticker with a call to action to “read more” or “see more.” Tapping this sticker redirects the viewer to your website for more information and leads them toward customer conversion. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC
11. Be Real About Who You Are
With the rise of social media, people are becoming sick of both the curated lives that it portrays and brands with generic feeds. Provide authentic, behind-the-scenes glimpses into the company and the people who make up your business. Profiling your staff’s stories regularly and engaging with your audience will help strengthen consumers’ connection with your company. – Adrian Falk, Believe Advertising & PR
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Author: Expert Panel®, Forbes Councils Member