Earlier this year, it was announced that the platform cracked the 1 billion monthly active users mark, officially making it one of the most widely-used social networks on the planet. What’s more remarkable is that more than 500 million of these users visit the site at least once per day.
Part of what has fueled Instagram’s meteoric rise over the past couple of years is the platform’s Stories feature. Instagram Stories first premiered in August 2016 as a response to the massive popularity attained by Snapchat’s ephemeral image and video format.
For Insta-greenhorns, Stories are 15-second photo or video collections that vanish after 24 hours. They can be shot using the Instagram app or created with images from a phone’s camera roll. Users can overlay photos or videos with text, music, emojis and other augmented components.
As it stands, more than 400 million people use Stories daily. This visual storytelling outbreak is partially the result of video’s massive influence over the digital realm and partly due to how integrated the feature has become with Instagram’s platform.
While it may not seem like it on the surface, Instagram Stories are a powerful means for eCommerce merchants to drive brand awareness and sales.
Over 80 percent of Instagram users follow a business; 200 million of these Instagrammers visit a business profile every day. No doubt, many of these visits are driven by Stories, which appear at the top of a user’s feed. However, according to Instagram:
“Two-thirds of profile visits to businesses come from people who aren’t following that business.”
This stat means that Stories are a fantastic tool for maintaining engagement and pulling in new customers. With Instagram Stories growing ever-more popular, brands should know how to use this content to drive sales.
Ready to become a social storytelling master? Here are four Instagram Stories strategies for increasing eCommerce revenue.
Include a Call-to-Action
Back in 2017, Instagram enabled verified and business accounts that tout
10,000 followers or more to add links to their Instagram Stories.
During the Story creation process, brands that meet the criteria can include a URL to direct consumers to visit. Many are familiar with this as the “swipe up” feature.
To generate the most traffic possible, be sure to include an enticing call-to-action (CTA) to get consumers to follow through at the video’s end. This CTA could be as simple as prompting them to swipe up.
Employ User-Generated Content
A variety of eCommerce brands utilize tagged images shot by their followers to create epic Stories. For instance, Converse regularly creates Stories using its #FOREVERCHUCK to place a spotlight on followers wearing their kicks.
Anthropologiedoes this same thing using #MyAnthropologie to show off fans loving the brand’s offerings.
This strategy is powerful for various reasons.
First, it enables the brand to highlight its products in an authentic way that allows potential customers to get a feel for Anthropologie’s merchandise “in the wild.” Moreover, since the company is using fan photos, the content is completely free.
Second, UGC is the type of content that garners lots of attention on Instagram. Images that are overly polished or professional just don’t resonate with the network’s audience in the same way.
Finally, these Stories give Anthropologie followers a reason to buy from the store and tag them in a post with its products, thereby increasing a brand’s public profile, consumer loyalty and revenue.
Shoppable Story Stickers
With 400 million Instagrammers using Stories each day, it was inevitable that the picture-sharing network would further monetize the feature. This notion is especially true given that brands post one-third of the most-viewed stories.
Shopping via Instagram Stories isn’t exactly a newfound sensation. As mentioned earlier, this revelation hit the platform in 2017, enabling verified accounts and brands to include URLs that allowed their followers to “shop their stories.”
However, the prominence of this trend has grown substantially. According to Instagram:
“In a recent survey, Instagrammers said they often watch stories to stay in-the-know with brands they’re interested in, get an insider view of products they like, and find out about new products that are relevant to them.”
As a result, the platform has recently introduced the ability for e-commerce brands to use the “product” sticker in Stories to tag specific items featured in the content.
What makes this such an exciting development is that small businesses with less than 10,000 followers are now able to drive traffic to their products from Instagram Stories. While such a notion was previously reserved for businessaccounts with over 10,000 followers, shoppable stickers bring a workaround to the entirety of Instagram’s eCommerce community.
These stickers largely mimic Instagram’s shoppable posts in that brands can tag products from their inventory or e-commerce platformthat are featured in a story to show the item’s name, price and description, along with a link to the product page.
Stickers can be used on both videos and images. Instagram offers retailers four types of stickers. Moreover, adding the stickers to a story is incredibly easy.
First, merchants tap the sticker button to reveal the product stickers. After selecting a design, storytellers will be prompted to choose a product from their catalog. Afterwards, the position and color of the sticker can be altered by tapping it and dragging it to the desired location.
Who would have thought that stickers could be so lucrative?
Showcase Special Offers
Instagram Stories are ideal for announcing limited-time deals and offers. Since this content vanishes after 24 hours, wise consumers will check in regularly.
Whole Foods uses this strategy in its “Delish Deals” stories in which the grocer highlights on-sale store items alongside the offer’s expiration date.
eCommerce purveyors could use Stories to run daily, weekly or monthly deals that can only be taken advantage of by Stories audiences. Retailers can display a limited-time discount code or get Instagrammers to swipe up, sending shoppers to a dedicated landing page.
Instagram Stories can be utilized in tons of creative ways to drive revenue for eCommerce brands. This feature is a goldmine for merchants as it is highly engaging, easily consumable and extremely monetizable. Moreover, Instagram Stories are a totally free marketing tool that can reach millions of potential customers.
Consider using Instagram’s shoppable posts(in all their forms) to boost your company’s brand awareness, consumer loyalty, follower count, engagement stats and sales metrics.
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