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Instagram stories evolved in imitation of Snapchat’s stories, which allow businesses to engage their customers and prospects by creating a series of images in order to tell a story.

Instagram Stories Revealed

The important thing to remember about stories is they are not permanent. The images and videos stay on your feed for only 24 hours, then vanish.

Each story you create should enhance your brand and make your value proposition clear. They should help answer the question as to why anyone should do business with you.

Getting the Most Out of Stories

Firstly, set your business goals:

* Increased brand awareness
* Subscribers
* Sales

Then decide on the images, videos and calls to action that will form a good story to entertain and inform your target audience.

Note that stories tend to filter to the top of your followers’ feeds, so creating a library of stories for your business that you can publish in rotation can gain you much greater visibility.

Watch Your Posting Times

Post your stories at a time you know is popular with your users, in order to make the most of the 24-hour cycle.

The Best Stories to Construct

There are a number of story formats that work well on Instagram. Use one or more of these and see what kind of traffic and engagement you get.

1. Product launches

Your story can give a 360-degree view of the new product and why it is exactly what your target audience needs to solve problem X. Offer it at a special low introductory price and emphasize that the clock is ticking and they have only 24 hours to take advantage of the great rate.

Once the 24-hour period is over, change the price to the regular one, and use the story again at a future date to show people all the great solutions you have to offer.

2. Special deals

Stories are ideal for special deals due to the urgency involved. Talk about the product, and post a coupon good for that promotion only. Lead them to a landing page where they can make the purchase and use the coupon. Holiday-themed promotions, Black Friday deals and so on are all great drivers of sales.

3. More information via direct message

In your stories, ask your viewers to message you to learn more about the limited time offer and how to get a coupon for it. This shows a higher level of engagement and commitment and you can start to know your best customers better. Offer real value and watch them respond.

4. Insider stories

Show off all that is going on in your company using stories. People love hints, tips, and secrets. The stories also help them feel they know you and this promotes brand loyalty. You can also ask for feedback; for example, what would they like to see in Product X in addition to what you’ve already given them a glimpse of?

5. Showcasing you and your staff

People love to hear stories about how someone got started in business, what inspired them, what obstacles they had to overcome, and so on. Get everyone in your company to tell an inspirational story, or about what motivates them to work in a company like yours.

Use Instagram stories to garner more followers, brand recognition, and sales.

Do you want to grow your followers on Instagram? I have a new, done-for-you program that will do just that. It’s working really well on my Instagram account for my jewelry business. If you’d like to learn more, you can do that here: Instagram Marketing