Are you ready to take your B2B social media marketing to the next level? With the help of Instagram’s newly launched feature called Instagram Stories, now you can!
What is Instagram Stories?
A Snapchat-inspired feature that strings together a slideshow of your photos or videos that “tells a story”. This allows you to share more posts, more frequently, without overwhelming your followers’ news feeds because the stories will disappear in one day. In addition to its 24-hour disappearing trick, it does not allow your viewers to “like” or comment, which might encourage you to post more immediate, less-stylized posts that reflect more authenticity without the fear of over-scrutiny or public judgment.
How do I use Instagram Stories?
It’s not rocket-science, especially if you already know how to use Instagram or Snapchat. However, if you happen to be social-media challenged or just too busy growing your B2B company to find the time to learn how to use another app feature, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out. If your business is not on Instagram at all you may get started by reading our blog post: Instagram 101 For Business
How can Instagram Stories help market my B2B company?
Do you have new services, products or features that you want to introduce? Posting short videos or photos through Instagram Stories will give your customers quick glimpses of your product and can create some anticipation and excitement about what’s to come. It’s also a great way to market upcoming events, post reminders or enhance your existing content.
Connect with your customers
A great way to connect with your customers is to give them off-the-cuff, unstaged or behind-the-scenes snapshots of your business. This is an authentic way of showing them the personality of your brand and helps to build a more “personal” connection with your customers. Personal connections are a great way to create customer trust and loyalty!
More posts = more exposure = more potential business leads. Using Instagram Stories is an easy way for you to be consistent and persistent with exposing your brand. The key is to keep your product fresh on followers’ minds and there’s no better way of doing this, than to remind them with quick snippets of your business through your Instagram Stories. And with Instagram’s built-in discoverability features that include hashtags and geotags, potential new followers can easily search and find your posts.
How is Instagram Stories different from Snapchat Stories?
At first glance, Instagram Stories looks like an exact knock-off of Snapchat’s story feature. They’re both called “stories”, they both allow the user to create a compilation of photos and videos to post on their profile feeds, and they both disappear after 24 hours. Although Snapchat has some better user options, such as stickers and the ever-popular selfie lenses, the filters, emojis and drawing tools are very similar.
When looking at the similarities, why would any existing Snapchat user feel compelled to switch platforms?
For mainly social users, the following reasons may not matter as much. However, if you are looking for the better platform to market your B2B company, two major differences should convince you that Instagram Stories has a definite edge over Snapchat:
In 2016, Snapchat claims to have 150 million active daily users, while Instagram claims to have 300 million. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out who wins the popularity contest in this race. Twice the user base means a much larger built-in audience for your B2B marketing campaign.
Instagram stories are placed at the top of main feeds, which ensures more visibility. On the other hand, Snapchat’s stories are on a separate screen, so unless the user opens that specific screen, stories may never get seen before they disappear. And, unlike Snapchat, which only allows your existing network of followers to view your stories, anyone can view the stories you post on Instagram, as long as they’re public. This gives Instagram Stories major points in discoverability compared to Snapchat.
If you already use Instagram and have an active network of followers, start posting those stories to take advantage of expanding your B2B marketing efforts to a built-in audience. Social media is the fastest, farthest-reaching trend in business communication. If you haven’t made the leap to using a social media platform in your marketing campaign, Instagram Stories is a great place to start.