Social Media Management Agency / Marketing Specialists

IBSM BLOG

By: Chris | August 26, 2020

How to Use Instagram Stories to Promote Your Business.

Want to promote your products and services with Instagram Stories? Looking for actionable tips to create intrigue and excitement via Instagram Stories?

In this article, you’ll discover how to use Instagram Stories features to create a sense of urgency and leverage scarcity for limited products or offers.

#1: Use the Instagram Stories Countdown Feature to Create a Sense of Urgency

My first tip for promoting a product or offer on Instagram is to use the countdown feature on Instagram stories. The countdown sticker can be effective to:

  • Countdown to a special launch, whether it’s a promotion of a new product or a special offer.
  • Count down the number of hours remaining in an active launch.
When your audience taps on the countdown sticker, they’ll have the option to turn on reminders so they’ll receive a notification when the countdown has finished. In addition to reminding your audience about the countdown, it also creates a sense of urgency, which is a powerful marketing tactic.


#2: Use Your Instagram Stories Highlights Strategically

You’re probably already using Instagram stories highlights but do you switch them up during your promotion? The highlights section on your Instagram business profile is prime real estate, and during a promotion, you’ll be getting a ton of new views on your profile.

Consider using the Highlights section to educate customers and prospects about your promotion, share customer feedback, and drive sales. And yes, those should be separate highlights; don’t put all of this into one highlight. It should be easy for people to just click on a highlight to quickly find the information they’re seeking.


#3: Host a Giveaway to Cultivate Social Proof

Creating social proof with Instagram Stories is a great way to get more visibility for your offer. You can do this by hosting a giveaway that you share in your story. Encourage people to post a testimonial to their Instagram stories and tag you. In return, they’re entered to win a prize such as a $100 Amazon gift card.

When your customers start posting stories talking about why they love your product, you can repost them them to your story to generate more excitement and momentum during your promotion.


#4: Use Instagram Stories Images to Communicate Scarcity

If you’re selling limited quantities of your product or service, post a graphic on your Instagram story that conveys your limited stock.

If you’re selling 20 items of a particular product, you could create a grid with 20 squares and let your audience know that every few hours, you’ll be updating it to reflect how many have sold. If you sell 15 in the first hour, cross out 15 squares in your grid to signify that 15 items have sold. This tactic creates a sense of urgency, scarcity, and social proof.

#5: Go Live With a Q&A on Instagram

To generate more interest and visibility for your promotion, go live on Instagram to answer questions from your audience.

To use this tactic, first create an Instagram story post to solicit questions. Use the questions sticker to prompt your audience to ask you a question about your promotion and leave the post for up to 24 hours.


Then go live on Instagram and tap on the questions icon at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see all of the questions your audience submitted via your question sticker.

Select the question you want to reply to and that question will pop up on all of your viewers’ screens. This tactic gives you the opportunity to answer people’s questions so they’ll be closer to purchasing.

Conclusion

You already know a lot about Instagram Stories but you may be struggling with how to use it as a promotional tool. Start with the five tips above to create a sense of urgency and leverage scarcity for your products and offers.


What do you think? Which of these Instagram Stories tactics will you try for your next promotion? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Category: Instagram 

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By: Chris | August 13, 2020

Could Instagram be fantastic for your business?

There are three common beliefs that stop businesses from jumping in.


Here's what's NOT required to improve your Instagram marketing:

1. You do NOT need influences.

Everyone knows that influences are paid to smile and say nice things about you.


2. You do NOT need stunning photography.

Photo perfection won't improve your marketing. Raw and authentic is the new beautiful.


3. You do NOT need to camp out on Instagram.

Instagram marketing done right doesn't need to be a huge commitment of time.


You simply need smart strategies. And that's where we can help.


LEARN MORE


Category: Instagram 

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By: Chris | March 28, 2020

How to Use Instagram Customer Reviews for Maximum Impact

Are you taking full advantage of glowing reviews from your best customers? Looking for actionable ways to increase your social proof on Instagram?

In this article, you’ll learn how to leverage customer testimonials in your Instagram feed, in Stories, and on IGTV.

Why Promote Customer Reviews and Testimonials on Instagram?

With more than 1 billion monthly active users, 83% of whom use the platform for product discovery, Instagram has great sales potential for brands of all sizes and niches. However, it’s nearly impossible to convince your Instagram followers to buy from you unless you provide them with social proof.

Here are four ways to leverage customer testimonials and reviews for the Instagram feed, Instagram Stories, and IGTV.

#1: Set Up an Instagram Account to Feature Customer Content

If you use customer testimonials on Instagram, consider setting up a second Instagram account only for that content. Because customer reviews come in a variety of formats, it can be difficult to make them fit with the style of your Instagram account. If you have a separate account for customer reviews, you can provide followers and visitors with social proof without affecting your Instagram aesthetics.

SneakerNation2 knows the importance of customer testimonials. They didn’t want to clog their Instagram feed with reviews, though, so they created two Instagram profiles. The main account publishes product photos and the other account shares customer reviews.

Here’s how they promote the customer reviews account on the main account.


When users tap on the tagged profile in the bio of the main account, Instagram redirects them to the profile focused on customer reviews. The company uses the bio section to tell more about the purpose of this account.


#2: Collect and Repurpose Customer Reviews for Instagram Stories

Over the last few years, Instagram Stories has changed the way people use the platform. With a lifespan of only 24 hours, stories create a FOMO (fear of missing out) effect that encourages users to watch the short-lived content.

If you use customer testimonials in your marketing, it’s important to share them via stories as well.

Budget travel solution Airy Indonesia shares guest reviews in their Instagram stories and includes a swipeable link that allows interested users to learn more about the featured apartments.


Create a Story Highlights Album to Give Customer Reviews a Longer Life

To get more out of the customer testimonials you share in your stories, save them to an Instagram highlights album. This not only allows you to save testimonial-related story content to your profile permanently but also makes it easy for people to find it.

#3: Publish Video Testimonials and Product Reviews to IGTV

Many customers watch product review videos on social media before making a purchase decision. According to Wyzowl State of Video Marketing Survey, 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service and 86% want to see more videos from brands in 2020.

With the popularity of video content, consider sharing video testimonials and product reviews from your happy customers. For people who are visual learners, video testimonials can be more engaging and convincing than print testimonials.

IGTV is an excellent platform for sharing your customer videos because you can upload longer video, up to 1 hour in length.

To create testimonial videos for your Instagram account, reach out to your loyal customers and ask them to record a video sharing their thoughts about your product or service.

Once you’ve received a video from your customer, make sure you optimize it for your IGTV channel before uploading it. Here are Instagram’s video upload requirements for IGTV:

  • Format: MP4
  • Minimum frame rate: 30 FPS (frames per second)
  • Minimum resolution: 720 pixels
  • Orientation: vertical or horizontal
  • Video length: minimum 1 minute; maximum 10–60 minutes, depending on account size
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16 for vertical video and 16:9 for horizontal video
  • Maximum file size: from 650MB (videos up to 10 minutes) to 3.6GB (videos up to 1 hour)

#4: Highlight Customer Quotes in Text Graphics

Customer quotes are one of the most popular forms of testimonials and the easiest ones to acquire. Sharing a short quote from a satisfied buyer explaining how your product or service has helped them is a great way to showcase your brand’s value in the Instagram feed.

Mattress and bedding brand Tuft and Needles Instagram bio invites customers to share their T&N experience with the hashtag #myTNstory. They share some of those testimonials on their profile in quote testimonials.


Conclusion

Customer testimonials come in various forms—customer quotes, case studies, reviews, and video testimonials, among others. When used properly, customer testimonials on Instagram can provide social proof and give your visitors and followers a solid reason to trust your brand.

What do you think? Have you used customer testimonials on Instagram? If so, what kinds of testimonials have worked best for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Category: Instagram 

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By: Chris | October 22, 2019

5 Ways to Measure Your Instagram Marketing Results

Do you need a better way to report on your Instagram marketing results? Are you looking for ways to measure your Instagram posts and stories?

#1: Compare Your Instagram Engagement Rate to Your Competitors’

Using Instagram Insights, you can see post engagement broken down by these metrics: Likes. Comments. Shares. Saves.

Note that you need to have an Instagram business account to access Instagram Insights.

To begin exploring the analytics for a specific post, open the post and tap on View Insights under the post.

For a great piece of content, you’ll see a variety of likes, comments, shares, and saves, making it easy to identify which posts resonated best with your audience (and possibly what to create more of in the future).


Before you start tracking your engagement rate, do some research to find out the average engagement rate of your competitors. Knowing your competitors’ engagement rate will help you gauge your engagement to see how you’re performing.


Influencer Marketing Hub has a free Influencer Earnings Calculator that will quickly tell you the engagement rate of an account, based upon the last 12 posts. You can use this calculator to check your account against your competition to see how you compare.

#2: See Which Instagram Hashtags Improve Impressions

Using the right hashtags on Instagram will help you reach a wider audience and put your content in front of the right people. However, knowing which hashtags to use can feel like a bit of a mystery if you aren’t tracking performance.

Plus, if you’re using the maximum of 30 hashtags per post, you might wonder how you can tell which ones are maximizing your impressions and which aren’t working for you.

Instagram Insights is a great place to start measuring your hashtags for your business account. Start by viewing the insights for an individual post. Under the Discovery section, you’ll see impressions broken down into several categories, including From Hashtags.

This metric tells you how many impressions your post received from the hashtags you used and can help you understand whether those hashtags are performing well.

Ideally, you want to use a variety of hashtags on each post to test them against one another. Doing so will help you spot patterns within your insights. Specific sets of hashtags may perform better than others, and if that’s the case, you’ll know what hashtags you should be using more often.

#3: Discover Which Instagram Posts Perform Well and Drive Traffic

Creating content for social media doesn’t need to be exhausting. Tracking your popular content will help you develop future content because you’ll know exactly what your audience wants to see.

There are a couple of different ways to reveal your highest-performing content on Instagram.

The first way is to use Instagram Insights to filter popular content for your account. To do this, tap on the three lines in the top-right corner of your business profile and then tap Insights. On the Content tab, scroll down to the Posts section and tap See All. By default, Instagram brings up your posts within the last year, sorted by engagement. You can change the time frame, metrics, and type of media by tapping the top of the screen.


To determine what content was popular with your audience, make a note of these metrics: Comments, Follows, Engagement, Likes, Saved and Shares.

Once you know which posts were popular with your audience, go back to see what made those posts loveable so you can replicate that success for future posts.

#4: Assess Instagram Stories Performance

Instagram Stories is used by 500 million people daily. If you haven’t started tracking the metrics for your Instagram stories, now’s the time to start.

Not only is Instagram Stories a popular place to hang out but the metrics available within Instagram Insights are also incredible for detailing your audience’s behavior. This data can help you better understand how your audience interacts with your content.

To access your Instagram story metrics, tap on the three lines in the top-right corner of your profile (as you did earlier to access the insights for your posts) and select Insights.

Then scroll down to the Stories section and tap See All.

Your stories insights are only available for 14 days so this is a metric you’ll want to track regularly. As you were able to view an abundance of information for your posts, you have access to similar data for your stories.

#5: Track Instagram Follower Growth

It goes without saying that if you’re trying to grow your account, you should track follower growth. Once you begin to tailor your content toward the preferences of your audience, you’ll want to see if those efforts affect your following.

To manually track your growth, take your follower count at the end of the week and subtract the number of followers you had at the start of the week. Then divide this number by your follower count at the start of the week. Finally, multiply that by 100 to get your growth expressed as a percentage.

Conclusion

There are countless tactics for growing your Instagram account. With an Instagram business account, you get access to great analytics right in the app, and other free tools can help you dig deeper.

Diving into your Instagram analytics will offer your business a view into what your audience likes, doesn’t like, and wants to see more of from your account. Once you understand your audience’s preferences, you’ll be able to create share worthy content that will appeal to your followers and help grow your account.

What do you think? How do you measure your Instagram marketing results? What tools do you use to track key metrics? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Category: Instagram 

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By: Chris | July 01, 2019

8 Ways to Share Links on Instagram

Looking for ways to drive more website traffic from Instagram? Wondering how to share links in more places on Instagram?
In this article, you’ll find eight distinct ways to share links on your Instagram profile and posts.

#1: Add a Link to Your Instagram Bio

Let’s start with the first and simplest way to place a link on Instagram. The Instagram bio is the only place where anyone, including private personal accounts, can share a clickable link.

Think of this as your “home” link. While there are other ways to share clickable links (which we’ll discuss in a moment), those routes are targeted for more specific audiences. The link in your bio is there for anyone who happens to visit your profile.

Opinions differ on the best strategy for this link. Some brands link to their mobile website and leave it at that. Others update their bio link regularly, and direct users to the content from their posts.
But there’s a snag with changing the link frequently. How do you manage your old posts? What if someone finds an intriguing post from six months ago, goes to your bio to learn more, and finds a different link?

Instead, I recommend sharing more transient links in your stories. If you want to keep that content available, you can save the stories as permanent highlights with clickable links.


#2: Use a Link Service to Showoff Multiple Links

When Instagram first became popular with marketers, link services were widely used—then their popularity dipped. Now they’re back with more design capabilities and a smoother user experience.

You can choose from a few different formats. The classic link service looks something like Linktree, where you present followers with a list of clickable buttons. The Workspace For Children uses Linktree to direct users to their latest blog posts, activities, and Amazon shop.


Choose a style and colorway that matches the aesthetic in your Instagram posts and stories. If users click through and find something that looks very different, they’ll lose trust in your brand.


#3: Share Short Links or Directions to Landing Pages in Your Instagram Post Captions

You can’t include clickable links in the captions of normal Instagram photo posts, but that doesn’t mean that post captions are useless! You can still use them to get users’ attention, share extracts from your content, and extend your reach with carefully selected hashtags.

If you want to make the most of your post captions for links on Instagram, I recommend these two strategies.

Share a Short Link

Use a link-shortening service like Bitly so the link is easy for users to copy or remember—bonus points if you customize the link for your brand and content. This approach requires a bit more effort from your followers, so save it for your top content or links where you only want to convert a small, targeted group of people.

Write Crystal-Clear Directions to Live Links

Whether you’re using a link in your bio or in stories, make it obvious. One tactic we use in posts is to share directions to a live link and include a shortened link that people can copy if they choose. In the post below, we directed users to check out our story. Alternatively, they could copy the short link in the post caption to their browser.

#4: Add Swipe-Up Links to Your Instagram Stories

Some brands can include links in their Instagram Stories. Because stories are so ephemeral, they’re a great way to share links to new or time-sensitive content. Think flash sales, limited-time promotions and giveaways, seasonal events, or weekly Q&A sessions with your followers.

Alternatively, you can save stories with swipe-up links in the highlights section on your profile. These stories will stay pinned between your bio and photo grid. Use highlights as a library for evergreen content: essential FAQs, top-selling products, and past events to show new followers what they’ve missed.

#5: Create Links in Instagram Shoppable Posts and Stories

Shoppable posts are another example of highly specific links. Each shopping tag links to one product only (and it has to be a physical product, sold in one of a select group of countries). Shopping tags are the most targeted conversion possible.

To use shopping tags, start by creating a product catalogue on Facebook. Once you have a full range of products uploaded—with shopping links, images, and descriptions—you can start adding shopping tags to your Instagram posts.

You’ll also see a Shopping tab appear on your profile. The Shopping tab appears next to the standard tabs of your profile grid, individual photos, and tagged photos. Clicking this tab shows off your full product catalog.

#6: Pay to Promote Links in Instagram Posts and Stories

With an Instagram business profile, you can pay to promote posts and stories. Not only does this help you segment your audience, but you can also add clickable links to the captions of promoted posts. That’s right: Instagram lets you share links in post captions as long as you pay for them.

#7: Add Links In Instagram Direct Messages

Instagram DMs are an underused feature by many brands. You should be monitoring your inbox daily for message requests, customer service questions, and stories that mention your brand. Respond, reshare, and build customer relationships.

You can also use direct messaging as a more active tool. Because messages on Instagram are private, they’re a more personal form of communication. If you reach out to followers in their DMs, they’ll appreciate you treating them as individuals.


#8: Share Links in Your IGTV Descriptions

Instagram—and the Facebook family in general—is still obsessed with video content. So as an incentive, the platform offers more link capabilities on IGTV than for video posts on your feed.
You can include clickable links in the description of each IGTV post. To see the description, users have to tap on the arrow icon next to the post title. Because users have to actively expand the description to see any links, make sure you tell them about the link during your IGTV video.

Unlike story links, IGTV links are available to any account, whether or not they’ve reached 10,000 followers. But you need to think about the trade-offs here.

Will your IGTV links be worth the cost of planning and producing original video content? If IGTV posts will cost more than the revenue you derive from those links, you’re better off using other link strategies.


Conclusion

Right now, Instagram marketing feels like driving an incredible sports car while someone else is changing the tires, testing the brakes, replacing the steering wheel, and fiddling with the wing mirrors. Instagram is an incredibly powerful platform with a growing audience, but it’s also changing constantly.

One of the biggest challenges that marketers face is sharing links on Instagram. New methods are being tested, added, and depreciated all the time.


What do you think? Which of these tactics do you use to share links on Instagram? Do you have any more secrets to linking on Instagram?  Share your thoughts and tips in the comments.

Category: Instagram 

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