One thing we like about Instagram is the Stories function, and how it allows you to blend still pictures, video clips, and various embellishments to present a lively, progressive episode of a day in your business’ life to viewers. Used to be you could only create a story on the fly, snap the photos and videos as events unfolded, and people had a small window of time to enjoy them. We know Instagram has competition for time spent among social media enthusiasts, though, so they’ve upped the game. Now, not only can you create stories using media saved on your phone, you can turn your stories into “highlights” that live on your profile. Viewers are now able to access them for as long as you keep them active.

Use Instagram StoriesWhat does it mean for your business or organization? You have the opportunity to group various media according to theme, presented in a larger format than photos appearing in Instagram feeds. Instagrammers can view your stories and get to know your brand, products, and/or services better.

All you need is a story to tell. Don’t worry, you have plenty. You may think at first your business isn’t suited for Instagram because it’s not “creative” enough. Who wants to look at the IG account of [insert an industry you might perceive as unpopular on the platform – we certainly aren’t going name any]? Well, stage the right photos, use effective hashtags, and add a touch of levity to your copy and you could grow a following. Regardless of your business, you don’t want to neglect Instagram when planning your social media strategy. It’s a widely-used app among mobile users under 30, and close to a billion registered users upload millions of photos daily. Instagram also works as a search engine, and if discovery of one of your posts leads to a profile view and ultimately a click through to a call to action, it will hopefully make the effort of maintaining an account worthwhile.

Now that you’re all revved up to create an Instagram story, what do you have to say? Options will vary according to your industry and objectives, but here are a few suggestions you might want to try:

Spotlight your people: Once a week, highlight somebody in your company who leaves a positive impression with co-workers and customers. Use photos and video of them in action, create “slides” the present their personal work philosophy, or favorite movies and pizza toppings. Show the human side of your business.

Showcase new products: Retailers can create stories to supplement their sales catalog. Use video to demonstrate gadgets and photos to show off model wearing your store’s newest arrivals in attire and jewelry.

Raise awareness: Nonprofits and charities can use templates to design infographics to illustrate the facts and figures behind the causes for which they raise funds. Videos may offer brief sound bites for support.

Announce good news: Why contain awesome advancements to a single Instagram post? Create a story of your new store opening, your Business of the Year award, or you app launch to a story sparkling with confetti emoji.

Once you know what to tell, it’s only a matter of designing the slides and publishing your story. We’re here to help, too. We know the value of Instagram as a marketing tool, and if your business isn’t utilizing it to grow awareness, it’s time. We’d love to talk with you more about integrating Instagram and Instagram Stories into your marketing strategy. Use the form below or call us at 757-499-1990 to schedule a meet and greet with our team.

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Kathryn has worked at Ciniva in various roles – full-time, part-time, and as an independent contractor – since 2005. Over the years, her responsibilities have ranged from improving clients’ SEO, crafting site content, and – currently – management of paid and organic social media. As new innovations in digital marketing launch, be assured she is researching how to apply it to future success stories.