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If you’re not leveraging Instagram Stories for your business yet, there’s no time like the present. Instagram Stories provide a fun and creative way to engage your audience with interactive content. From adding shoppable stickers to directing users to your website with the swipe-up feature, there’s a lot you can do with Instagram Stories to elevate your brand storytelling.
Brand leaders and marketers focused on enhancing brand visibility should consider creating interactive content. Based on my experience as a social media marketer, I’ll share in this guide how brand leaders and marketers can use various Instagram Story features to entice more audiences and drive website traffic.
What Are Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories are an Instagram feature that allows users to share “moments” of their day. Users can post multiple photos or 15-second videos, which will come out like a slideshow. It makes a handy option for users who want to avoid overposting as the photos and videos will only appear for 24 hours. Instagram Stories also won’t show in the feed or the user’s profile grid. Users can reply to someone’s story with quick reactions or send a private message at the bottom of the screen.
Interestingly, users can also inject as much creativity as they want on said platform. They can bring their photos and videos to life with drawing tools, text, stickers and other interactive features. Let’s begin with the basics of these features and follow through with some tips for using them to boost your business.
Businesses can add shoppable stickers to showcase items up for grabs in an interactive way. Users simply need to tap on the item to view its name, description and price.
Take note that Instagram requires businesses to meet a few eligibility requirements to use this feature. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more important requirements:
• You must be in one of the countries where the feature is currently available.
• You must have an Instagram Business account connected to your Facebook catalog, Shopify or BigCommerce.
• Your products must meet the platform’s commerce eligibility requirements and various merchant agreements.
What makes this new Story feature so great is that it’s available for enterprises of all shapes and sizes. Today, even businesses with less than 10,000 followers can use shoppable stickers to drive traffic from Instagram Stories.
The Instagram poll feature debuted in October 2017 and many brands have taken advantage of its popularity since. It’s no longer surprising as it offers businesses an easy way to gather insights and feedback from their audiences. If you’re still uncertain how you could use this Instagram feature to engage your audience, here are two ideas:
• Poll Sticker: Instagram now lets retailers ask their followers to pick from two options. Think classic “this-or-that” questions like “Coffee or tea?” This seemingly faultless poll is the quickest way to understand what your audiences prefer. It can also help shape your next content and even product or service offering.
• Emoji Slider: Now, if you want to gauge how your followers feel about something, the emoji slider is your best option. By picking an emoji, you’re injecting an emotional context, helping your audience get the tone and answer accordingly. Similar to the poll sticker, you can get responses to your emoji slider as soon as it appears on your Instagram Stories.
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Polls can be a quick yet effective way to gauge your audience.
Like the shoppable stickers and polls, quizzes offer a creative way to showcase your brand differently. In quizzes, you can customize both your multiple-choice question and responses. You can add as few as two and up to four answers. Then, tap on the right answer before sharing the quiz on your Instagram Story.
Quizzes are an irresistible and fun way to interact as they combine three unique elements:
• Sense of Urgency: Since the quiz will only be available for 24 hours, it gives off that sense of urgency to users who will see it.
• Curiosity: People are naturally curious. Many people are encouraged to join in for the sake of finding out the right answer.
• Sense of Achievement: Many people are competitive. They want to know whether they can answer the quiz correctly — and will likely automatically feel a sense of achievement when they do.
Quizzes inject satisfaction and fulfillment in an interactive way, which makes them a fantastic feature for boosting brand engagement.
Adding a question sticker is simple, too. Like the quizzes, you can customize the question. The only difference is that users won’t be able to pick one answer among multiple options.
Instagram Story questions provide a convenient way to gather feedback as it doesn’t appear too intimidating or demanding. You can leverage questions to ask for a brief product review, do market research or build relationships with your followers by seeking their advice.
Instagram’s “swipe up” feature is a powerful tool to boost traffic to your website with minimal effort. It appears as interactive content that asks users to swipe up to learn more about your products, services or promotions. This Instagram Story tool, however, is only available for users who have at least 10,000 followers. Business accounts eligible for this feature can leverage it to increase their business’ visibility and traffic.
Bonus: Taking Advantage of IG Live and Carousel Posts
You can run an IG Live session to interact with your followers in real time. Retailers are using this feature for live online selling to engage with potential customers. You can also utilize IG Live to interact with your audience by responding to their comments in the chat in real time.
Another IG feature you can maximize is a carousel post. Upload multiple images in one post to break down meaty information, and add a CTA like “Swipe left to learn more.”
Given today’s competitive digital landscape, it’s wise to use a variety of interactive content to boost your brand and consequently drive business growth. These engaging IG features are worth giving a shot if you’re looking to elevate your brand storytelling.