How to Use Instagram Stories for Business

You could make Instagram Stories for business this successful too — however, it requires a few more hacks and tips to make them look like the Stories huge brands and influencers share. (Some of my favorite Instagram Stories are shared by chef Chloe Coscarelli, actress Busy Phillips, mattress brand Casper, and interior design app Hutch — and remember to check out HubSpot‘s Instagram Stories, either.)

But first, let’s review the basics of how to share an Instagram Story:

How to Make an Instagram Story

1. Open Instagram, and tap the camera icon on the top left corner.

Step 1, using the camera icon to make a story on Instagram

2. Share a photo or video you have already captured by swiping up on your screen to browse your gallery.

Disclosure: Yes, I did a photoshoot that includes my cats. Could you blame me though?

Step 2, browsing photos to make a Story on Instagram

3. Or, select a camera lens to capture a photo or video in the app.

Step 3, choosing a camera lens to make a story on Instagram

You have a few different options to select from:

1. Live

When you toggle your screen to the “Live” option, you will begin filming and broadcasting live on Instagram. Like Fb Live, friends could follow along and leave comments, and once you are done with the broadcast, you will have the option to let the video disappear, save it, or share it Instagram Stories for an additional 24 hours.

2. Normal

It means what it says: Tapping once will capture a photo, and holding down will record a video. Instagram Stories could be 15 seconds in length, so if you want to share a video that is longer, the film in 15-second stints, or use CutStory to split your longer clip into 15-second installments.

3. Boomerang

Boomerang mode films looping GIFs up to 3 seconds in length.

4. Superzoom

Superzoom is, on the surface, a video recording lens that zooms in nearer and nearer on your subject. However, turn up the volume, and you could use Superzoom to create a dramatic soundtrack to accompany your video.

As my friend Marissa put it, “It is like it’s BUILT for cats.”

Instagram Stories for Business

5. Rewind

Use the rewind lens to film a video in reverse.

6. Stop Motion

Use this lens to film cool stop-motion videos: several different still photos woven together in one seamless video. Consider it like the video version of a flipbook (like this instance below):

7. Hands-Free

Use hands-free mode if you wish to set up your camera to film a video for you. Be sure you prop it somewhere stable before you call “Action.” We will talk more about this function in a minute.

4. Once you have edited your picture or video, tap “Your Story,” or tap “Next” to share it to your Story and to other friends at the same time.

You could also save your edited picture or video to your gallery by tapping “Save” in the lower left-hand corner.

Step 4, tapping "Next" or "Your Story" to make a Story on Instagram

Understanding how to post to your Instagram Story is one thing, however, understanding what to publish is different … well, story. For companies looking to tell their Instagram stories for business, it is vital to know who your ideal followers are and what they’d be excited about seeing on Instagram. Keep in mind, Instagram is a visual platform, however, that does not mean you could not teach or promote something in the process.

Here are a few ideas for utilizing Instagram Stories for business to attract followers and build a customer base.

1. Post footage of an office event.

Sometimes, the best thing a business could do on Instagram is as human as possible. A method to do that is to publish a brief video of a company function. Whether it is an office holiday party or an award banquet, posting footage of it to your Story is simple and in-the-moment entertainment for your followers. This content also shows people you are a related and friendly voice in your market.

2. Post breaking news about your industry.

Just as you may on your firm blog, you could use your Instagram Story to report on the newest happenings in your industry. With the right design work, you could turn small news breaks — that do not merit an entire article — into a Story on your Instagram account. This keeps users coming back to you to stay abreast with market trends. You could even ask users what they think, as shown in the Instagram Story by HubSpot under. We will explain how Instagram “stickers” could help you do that in just a minute.

Instagram Stories for Business

3. Demonstrate your product.

Your product may not be the simplest or sexiest product in the eyes of the layperson. Well, your Instagram Story is the perfect format for showing potential customers how that product is used. Post a long video, segmented into 15-second clips that show users what your services or products does and how it helps your customers.

When you sell software, for instance, you may record a video of your computer screen, utilizing a recording tool such as Loom, that shows people how to log in, use the software’s dashboard, and navigate to the various functions included in the product.

Just keep in mind to modify your video’s dimensions before publishing it to your Instagram Story. Do not forget, Instagram Stories’ picture dimensions are 1920px high and 1080px wide, with an aspect ratio of 9:16.

4. Promote a company event.

Does your organization host a trade conference or attend a big one every year? Use your Instagram Story to promote the event and tell your followers to look for you there. Work with a graphic designer, or do some artwork yourself, to illustrate an event flier with all the information one would need to find you. Most of this you could do directly in Instagram. For instance, use the native text options in your Story to add:

  • The event’s name.
  • Where the event is located.
  • Dates you will be attending.
  • Your booth number.
  • The event’s official hashtag.

5. Preview one of your company’s blog posts.

Your blog posts need all of the exposure they could get. Even if social media is not your blog’s primary source of traffic, your Instagram Story could help readers discover that blog for the first time and find it later.

In the screenshot below, Google used its Instagram Story to preview an article it published on 6 extraordinary young women involved in water technology. Once you tap all the way to the end of the Story, Google prompts you to swipe up with your finger, where it then links you to the full blog post.

Instagram Stories for Business

6. Mention other companies who follow or work with you.

As your Instagram following grows, you will eventually pick up other business accounts who wish to follow you as well. Whether these accounts are your business partners or simply fans of yours, consider giving them shout-outs on your Instagram Story. It is a passive however effective method to nurture your relationships with the users that matter most to your business’s development. We will explain how to link to other accounts in an Instagram Story in the tips under.

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