By: Sarah Tomes

For many brands, Instagram stories are an afterthought in their marketing strategy.  They shouldn’t be! Here’s why: Instagram has seen a significant decline in engagement rate for regular posts while story engagement has stayed high.

Instagram stories are a MUST for every brand’s marketing in 2021 and onward. Now that we’ve made this clear, let’s talk about what you’re doing wrong, and how to make Instagram stories a strategic part of your marketing plan (while keeping it fairly easy).

Here is what we want you to STOP doing with your IG stories:

  1. 🛑 using stories as a “camera dump” for your brand. We often see stories with cobbled together rough video, memes that are irrelevant to your brand, bad motivational quotes, and kids pics that are cute but #srsly who wants to see that?
  2. 🛑 being so formal and professional. Instagram stories need to be a raw and human picture of your business.
  3. 🛑 making your stories all about you and your business. Stories are a place to share and give love to other businesses.
  4. 🛑 being afraid to SELL your products and services on stories.
  5. 🛑 shying away from video content. Video is the #1 way to connect with your audience.

Ok, now that we’ve sufficiently called you out, let’s talk about what we want you to START doing with your IG stories:

  1. 🏃‍♀️ getting consistent with your branding on your IG stories. Stop creating a hodgepodge of random IG story content by maintaining these branding elements in all of your Instagram stories: brand colors, fonts, filters, and brand messaging.
  2. 🏃‍♀️ getting real and show your brand personality. Take your followers to work with you. Give a behind-the-scenes tour of your brand, fun facts about your team, share accomplishments and testimonials from users who have been transformed by your brand.
  3. 🏃‍♀️ shouting out other businesses. It’s a great way to build meaningful relationships with people and businesses you like and who share similar content with you. If you’re consistent with sharing love to other businesses, you’ll find you’ll get the same in return and grow your following faster.
  4. 🏃‍♀️ SELLING your products and services on IG stories. Now, selling all the time can become tiresome to your audience, but stories is a place to showcase what you have to offer. Demonstrate your products and be very clear about the value and benefit of the service.
  5. 🏃‍♀️ using video in your stories. To get people excited about your stories, you need to post exciting stories. This starts with video.  Learn to do some light editing (there are great apps to help) and add music.

If you’re currently facepalm-ing and thinking “why didn’t I know this??!?!?”, don’t worry! There’s no time like the present to start taking your Instagram stories more seriously. Implementing a few changes could help take your IG stories from “meh” to “WOW” in the eyes of your audience.

Here at Novella, we develop content strategies for clients to create content that is on-brand and part of your marketing toolbox. Call us for a free consultation to determine how to better utilize IG in your marketing.