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Influencers on Instagram have become known for using one of the newly added features of Instagram: Stories. Instagram stories were launched in August 2016 following the example of Snapchat. They invited the user to create full-screen short clips or images they would put up on their profiles for 24 hours before they disappeared unless they’re archived.
Even though Snapchat technically came up with the idea first, Instagram has double the users, and influencers report using Snapchat 33% less than Instagram. In fact, Instagram influencer stories have proven to be a key component of a successful influencer profile.
If you’re an influencer and want to know how to grow your profile keep reading to discover seven effective ways to use Instagram stories to your advantage
1. Leverage polls
Instagram stories influencers use polls to their advantage. When an influencer asks questions to their audience it engages them and makes them feel like the influencer cares about their input and opinions.
Lucy Edge, a marketing blogger at Write my essay and Grammarix adds- “Polls are also a great way to tease a collab in a genuine way, by asking users about certain topics that will involve the brand the influencer is going to collaborate with”.
New to Instagram brand deals? Check out our full guide for influencers and brands here.
2. Have Q&A sessions
Once again, Instagram stories influencers use this to engage their audience in a meaningful way, by answering their most pressing questions about themselves or others, and generally by including the audience in the conversation. An influencer can also include brand collabs seamlessly in one of these sessions if they choose to, by making a mention here or there whenever they feel like it’s relevant.
This kind of mention is not considered promotional content, but it does remind your followers about the brand you’re collabing with and it’s more likely to stick in their minds.
3. Take advantage of the “swipe up” feature
You’ve probably heard other Instagram stories influencers say the words “swipe up” many different times. Instagram has a great feature that allows you to link third-party websites directly to your story, so the user only has to literally swipe up to be taken to the website of interest. This feature is great for you to create collaborations with different brands and even other influencers, which can help you grow your own audience by attracting theirs.
4. Forget about the Instagram algorithm.
You’ve probably heard about the Instagram algorithm, that one that suggests posts to people based on their interests and who they’ve interacted with before. Well, good news to Instagram stories influencers because the story feature is not based on this algorithm. This means that whichever story you post will be shown to whoever, and it won’t pale underneath an algorithm that might diminish its outreach due to its content.
John Williams, a business writer at Dissertation service and Resumention tells us- “Brands and agencies have even found that Instagram Stories generate more high-quality leads than other social platforms. Having someone sign up from a swipe-up on an Instagram Story is worth more in lifetime value than sign-ups from people who came across an article on Facebook”.
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5. Take advantage of the authenticity factor
It’s not a surprise that certain Instagram stories influencers have in the past relied on buying followers and bots to up their subscriber count. This means that the interactivity that makes Instagram stories so unique and useful is practically thrown out the window. In fact, the authenticity factor of Instagram stories is what actually makes them so powerful. If you really think about it, your Instagram feed probably looks more like a curated magazine than it does a social media account.
On the other hand, when you talk to your followers on your story, the content is far more relaxed, less edited and generally more authentically you, which has been shown to be exactly what audiences crave, as opposed to highly edited and curated images of things or people that seem pretty unrealistic or unattainable at times.
6. Don’t forget the behind the scenes
Instagram stories influencers take advantage of the authenticity factor of Instagram stories to their advantage by taking the veil away from promotions and collaborations, offering behind the scenes moments such as seek peaks on unboxings, conversations with different brands about promotions and other content that would otherwise never be shared on the Instagram feed.
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7. Cover events
Collaborations with others don’t mean exclusively promoting a brand’s product. Instagram stories influencers can also partner up with events companies or brands that host different types of events, such as fashion weeks or sports. The influencer will then use the stories feature almost exclusively to cover the event and share a “behind the scenes” view, almost like a hidden camera sort of thing, as opposed to the highly curated promotional videos that tend to come out of these kinds of events in the end.
What’s really good about these type of promotions is that it maintains the authenticity factor whilst showing the influencer interact with others and generally be a regular human being attending an event, which makes them relatable to their audience and gain much more coverage for an event making the collaboration a win-win situation!
Authenticity is becoming a priority in social media marketing. See how the drive for authenticity affects whether you should market on TikTok or Instagram here.
Marketing campaigns aren’t just about selling, they’re about engaging an audience and keeping a product or person stuck in their brains for as long as possible. Instagram stories are fun and engaging and Instagram influencers are definitely here to stay. These three factors create the perfect mix for brand promotion, the usage of Instagram stories and influencer growth.
If you’re an influencer that wants to benefit the most from the Instagram stories feature, make sure you follow these tips to put yourself out there, grow your audience and get the best brand deals. If you’re a brand that wishes to expand its audience, be sure to reach out to Instagram stories influencers and exploit the wonders of a feature that has only been alive for the past five years but that is revolutionizing the world of marketing.
Elizabeth Hines writes about the latest tech and marketing trends, innovations and strategies. She also writes for online magazines and blogs, such as Rated writing, and others. She is a digital marketer and content writer at Student writing services and Top Canadian Writers.