Are you using Instagram Stories for your brand? If not, you should be! And if you’re wondering how to get started, our latest #ContentWritingChat is perfect for you. If you missed out, dive into the recap below, which is filled with awesome tips brands can use to impress on Instagram Stories.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Instagram Stories for Business with Sue B. Zimmerman

Our guest host this week was the Instagram Expert herself, Sue B. Zimmerman. Sue is no stranger to posting content on Instagram Stories, so she shared her tips on how we can all be using it to connect with our audience and grow our online presence.

Q1: Is it important for a brand to be present on Instagram Stories? How can it help your brand?

Is it really necessary for a brand to be using Instagram Stories? And how exactly can this Instagram feature help a brand’s online presence? Find out what our chat participants think about it below:

Sue feels Instagram Stories can be great for brands if they have a strategy their audience would be interested in watching. After all, it comes down to having interesting content that your target audience would want to tune into.

Varun knows that millennials and many others connect with real, human stories. Instagram Stories provides a great way for you to share that with your audience.

It’s a great way to personalize your brand and allow your followers to get to know you. When they get to see who you are and what you’re all about, they’ll form a stronger connection with your brand.

You can easily bring your audience up close and personal with your brand through your Stories content.

Q2: How do you know if Instagram Stories is right for your audience? Should you also be using Snapchat or stick to just one?

Before you begin using Instagram Stories, it’s important that you consider if it’s right for your brand and your audience. While it may work for someone else, it might not be the ideal move for you, so you have to think about it first. Check out this advice on how to know if it’s right for you and if you should also use Snapchat:

Sue said Instagram Stories can work for any business, as long as it aligns with your core business values.

When choosing between Instagram Stories and Snapchat, you want to consider where your audience is. Use the platform that they’re actively using so you stand a better chance at getting seen.

Take the time to do your research before investing the effort into another platform. Ask yourself if your customers are spending time on Instagram Stories. Are your competitors doing well there? These are important things to consider before diving in.

If your audience likes your content on Instagram Stories, Snapchat may work for you as well. If you want to find out, the best way is to just give it a go and see what happens.

Lucy also recommends testing to see which platform is ideal for your brand and audience. Try sharing content to each and see which one gets the most engagement.

As Mallie said, it’s important that you don’t share the same content on both channels. If you have people following you on Instagram Stories and Snapchat, it’ll be repetitive. Find ways to change it up so that it stays fresh and interesting.

Q3: What kind of content should you create and post to your Instagram Stories?

Once you’ve made the decision to commit to Instagram Stories, you need to decide what you’ll post there. After all, you can’t just post any old thing. It has to be relevant and appealing to your audience. Here’s some helpful advice so you can create amazing content for Stories:

Sue recommends sharing exclusive content to your Stories. This gives people a reason to come back and watch more every time they see you have new content. She said to share a glimpse into your business, which is an amazing way to give a behind-the-scenes look.

Remember that when creating content for any social media platform, it all goes back to your audience. You should find a way to serve them and deliver the content they need.

Julia’s advice is to get creative with the content you share on your Instagram Stories. It’s the best way to captivate and engage your audience, so make sure it’s original and interesting.

Keep it engaging and entertaining! Ask yourself what you would want to see and what your audience would really be interested in.

You can easily give people an inside look into what your business does. Your audience will love the behind-the-scenes look into what you do and it’ll help form an even stronger connection with them.

Sara suggests showing people what a day in your life is like. This gives you an opportunity to share the content you wouldn’t post anywhere else.

No matter what, make it personal and valuable for those who will be watching it. You want to make sure you’re giving them something they’d be interested in watching.

Q4: What makes an incredible, captivating Instagram story that your audience will love?

What’s the secret to creating amazing Instagram Stories content? Check out these tips:

Sue’s advice is to create content that entertains, educates, inspires, or makes someone laugh.

Personality is key when sharing to something like Instagram Stories. People want to see you’re human and get to know you.

Content that is relevant, captivating, timely, and appeals to their emotions is the winning formula.

Make your audience feel like you’re speaking directly to them by delivering what they want.

Have a purpose to everything you share and provide value to your audience. Encourage them to interact with you.

Julia mentioned that she loves the “truth bombs” and inspirational rants that Gary Vaynerchuk shares on Instagram Stories. He knows this is the type of content that will resonate with his audience, so he makes sure to share it often.

Q5: For those who are camera shy, discuss ways to help get more comfortable being on screen.

Many of us feel a little nervous appearing in front of the camera. It can be intimidating and we often worry about what others will think or say. To help you get over being camera shy, keep this advice in mind:

Sue’s advice is to speak to the camera as if you were talking to one person.

The best way to become comfortable in front of the camera is to be in front of the camera. The more you practice, the better you will be at it.

Jot down a few talking points before you go live to help you stay on track. Be confident in yourself and know that you’re doing great.

When you speak the camera as if you were talking to a friend, it’s so much easier to be on camera.

People who are tuning into your Stories aren’t looking for perfection, so don’t obsess over making things perfect. Be authentic and people will resonate with that.

Julia agrees that authenticity is more important than perfection.

The best thing you can do? Just do it!

Q6: In what ways can you increase ROI by using Instagram Stories? How can you get a viewer to take the next step with your brand?

Because you want to make sure your viewers take action after viewing your Instagram Stories, you need to know how to actually make it happen. These tips will help you increase your ROI:

Sue knows including a call to action is essential to getting people to take that next step. She also said to provide clear, concise information so people will want to take action.

It really is as simple as including a call to action within your story. Tell people what they should do next.

Mallie said to make sure the steps are clear and provide people with a call to action on what to do next.

Jeremy also knows how important a call to action is, but he also said to to engage in conversations. It’s so important to begin making connections with your audience.

Tell people to click the link in your bio, give them sneak peeks on your blog posts so they’ll want to read it when it’s live, and tag people in your posts. If you have the ability to use the “Swipe Up” feature, then use it!

If you’re working on a new product, Emily suggests telling people when it’ll be available. You can also share sneak peeks to build hype.

Q7: How can you know if your Instagram Stories are a success? Are there key metrics to track?

Once you’re posting on Instagram Stories, it’s important to see if your content is actually a success. If it is, you know you’re on the right track. If not, you have to figure out where you can make changes. Take a look at the following advice so you can know if your stories are a hit and which metrics you should track:

Sue said to see who is viewing your stories and watching until the end. It gives you a good idea of how interested people are in your content.

Are people watching your Stories and actually watching them all the way through? Or are you seeing drop-offs in view count? You want to see that people are staying tuned in.

Julia takes it a step further and reaches out to viewers of her story. It’s a great way to make a connection with your audience.

Jeff also agrees in tracking how long people are tuning in. It shows you who your top advocates are and which stories are the most engaging.

Engagement is a great one to track because you want to see that your content is resonating with people.

In the end, the success of your Stories goes back to your specific goals. Know what you’re trying to achieve with your posts and measure results accordingly.

Q8: Which brands are killing it at Instagram Stories these days? Tag them!

Which brands do an amazing job at their Stories content? Check out these awesome people and get some inspiration from them:

Sue loves watching posts from Drybar, Benefit, Lilly Pulitzer, and Chase Jarvis.

Sarah thinks Barbox is doing a great job with their Stories.

Julia is a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and our guest host, Sue B. Zimmerman.

Buffer’s Brian Peters does a fantastic job at sharing valuable content.

Join our Twitter chat every Tuesday! Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on the conversation.


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