Instagram Stories can drive business sales, especially during the holiday season. Find out how to best plan your posts so your company will stand out from your competitors.
It is probably safe to say that 2020 has been a challenging year for businesses. However, with the holiday season coming, there is also hope. If Black Friday and Cyber Monday are any indication, consumers are ready to spend money again. In 2020 this means: mostly shopping online.
According to data gathered by Adobe, online sales on Black Friday were up 21.6% compared to last year. Cyber Monday online sales saw a year-over-year increase of 15%. For your business, this means: if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to start focusing on e-commerce.
How? By using Instagram Stories! Instagram Stories are the perfect way to engage with your audience, expand your brand’s visibility, and ultimately, boost your sales.
Instagram Stories have become increasingly popular with users. According to internal data from Instagram, more than 500 million people use Instagram Stories daily. One-third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses, and 20% of posted stories receive a direct message from viewers.
Instagram Stories not only increase engagement and visibility for brands, they also drive consumers’ purchase decisions. 62% of Instagram users say that their interest in a brand has increased after seeing it on Instagram Stories.
As a short visual story-telling format with many ways to personalize content and add interesting designs, Instagram Stories gives businesses a unique way to turn information into fun and grab the attention of their viewers. Since the Stories feature is separated from the timeline and the stories disappear after 24 hours (unless you archive them), the posts get full attention, without spamming the users’ timelines.
Instagram Stories has therefore become an important feature in the marketing strategies of brands, not only because it can reach a wide audience, but because it also yields results.
The fashion company Aritzia is one brand that has mastered the art of Instagram Stories by using the tool to create a buzz around their products, and turning it into profit. Aritzia uses a polished, glamorous look to present their clothes in their stories, often by collaborating with famous influencers. Many fashion brands do that, but Aritzia stands out because they integrate Shoppable Stories into their posts.
This ties in with the brand’s appeal of “everyday luxury”, as this luxury is easily accessible to everyone – by just a few clicks. It’s a clever strategy that allows the brand to feature their products, show their one million followers what they want, while also using Instagram Stories to drive conversion rates.
You don’t have to be a big brand, however, to benefit from Instagram Stories. Since the posts are prominently featured at the top of the screen, your followers can’t get around them. This gives your business, small or large, a great opportunity to present your brand and products to your audience. Of course, especially around the holidays, the challenge for businesses is how to stand out among the myriad of other holiday stories.
The holiday season is a busy time for everybody, so standing out with your stories during this time might be more difficult than usual. At the same time, the holidays offer many unique ways for your brand to interact with your audience. The following tips can help you maximize the output from your Instagram Stories and boost your holiday sales.
Before you start posting, familiarize yourself with Instagram Stories, if you are new to the feature. The better you understand how it works, how your audience engages with your stories, and which tools you can use, the more effective your stories will be. For instance, Instagram provides many interactive tags and stickers for stories. Use them! They are a great way to get creative and engage with your audience.
The Danish toy production company Lego is known for being one of the most creative brands on Instagram. One of the reasons its stories are so successful is because Lego is not afraid to use the possibilities of Instagram Stories to the fullest.
In one of this year’s holiday stories, Lego prominently featured its hashtag #BuildToGive by showcasing its products, while at the same time encouraging users to share their own content by spreading the hashtag.
If you are using Instagram Stories to drive your holiday sales, it makes sense to include links to your website or to specific products where viewers can buy them online.
Since most users are now looking to shop for presents, you should feature your products as gift ideas. You might also want to consider adapting the products to different budgets, so they can appeal to a variety of users. Don’t be afraid to get creative with this, and you can even look to other brands for inspiration.
Keep in mind that Instagram Stories are usually not meant to last longer than 24 hours. Use this short time frame to promote limited-time offers and deals during the holidays. As studies show, if you create a sense of urgency, your consumers are more likely to make a purchase.
Alternatively, you can also use the countdown to Christmas to create anticipation among your fans and keep them curious about your deals.
Social media users trust influencers. A research study revealed that a staggering 74% of users base their purchasing decision on the opinion of other users. Instagram is no exception, and you should harness this for your brand.
The beauty of cooperating with influencers is that it works just as well for big brands as it does for small businesses. Some smaller businesses might be hesitant to work with influencers because they are afraid of the cost. If you pick wisely though, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.
The example of Firecakes, a Chicago-based craft donut bakery, shows how even small, hyperlocal businesses can cooperate with influencers without breaking the bank. For their holiday stories this year, Firecakes delivers donuts to different local influencers, then features them in their “Donut Adventures” stories.
This strategy allows Firecakes to stay true to their local brand, collaborate with influencers to increase their reach, and also engage in a holiday theme of giving thanks to the community, which is a clever way to promote both their brand and their product.
Another way to get other people involved in your stories is to directly engage with your fans. There are many ways to promote your brand while interacting with your audience. The clothing brand American Eagle, for example, uses interactive poll stickers.
You could also ask your audience to share their gift ideas and tag you. That way you can repost their stories and spread the word about your brand even further.
For many people, finding the perfect gifts for their loved ones is time-consuming, and sometimes even stressful. Help your fans by providing them useful gift guides in your Instagram Stories. American Eagle, for example, has found a clever way to both feature their products and come up with great gift ideas for their target audience.
Your fans will appreciate the help, and when you make it easier for them to shop for your products through Instagram Stories, it will also help boost your sales.
»’Tis the season to be jolly…« for a reason! The holidays are a time to relax and celebrate. This is the perfect opportunity for you to have fun with the holidays. Don’t be afraid to use holiday-themed stickers or effects to help your customers get into the holiday spirit.
Make sure to stick with the general look of your brand, but have fun with it. The more engaging and entertaining your stories are, the better the reaction from your customers will be.
Before you get started, take the time to make a plan and figure out a holiday strategy that best fits your business and your audience, then plan your stories around it. Otherwise, even the best ideas might not yield the results you want.
When planning your holiday posts, use analytics data to help you organize your stories. If your data tells you that your customers are mostly last-minute shoppers, you can plan the bulk of your stories for the last two weeks before Christmas, and focus on displaying easy-to-shop gift ideas.
If your customers usually wait to get the best deals once Christmas is over, time your stories around their habits. You might also decide that you want to use your stories as an Advent calendar-style daily post, or focus on carefully-timed deals around the holidays.
No matter what your customers’ preferences, Instagram Stories are most successful when you cater them specifically to your audience and use all the available features creatively. Because this takes some planning, a tool like Storrito can help you and your team to better organize your holiday stories, and save time in the process.
Storrito is an easy-to-use planning tool for Instagram Stories. You can upload, edit, and plan your Instagram Stories, and even schedule them to best fit into your timeline. Storrito is also a collaborative tool, which makes it easier and more time-efficient for your team to work on the stories together.
And the best part is: using Storrito to plan your Instagram Stories for the holidays is really intuitive, and follows just four easy steps.
Storrito is a really easy and fun way to take your holiday stories to the next level on Instagram. You can even use it to cross-post your Instagram story to Facebook Stories. Read our step-by-step guide to find out how it works and our in-depth article why your business will benefit from it.
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