Want to promote your products and services with Instagram Stories? Looking for actionable tips to create intrigue and excitement via Instagram Stories?
In this article, you'll discover how to use Instagram Stories features to create a sense of urgency and leverage scarcity for limited products or offers.
To learn how to use Instagram Stories to promote your products, read the article below for an easy-to-follow walkthrough or watch this video:
#1: Use the Instagram Stories Countdown Feature to Create a Sense of Urgency
My first tip for promoting a product or offer on Instagram is to use the Countdown feature on Instagram Stories. The countdown sticker can be effective to:
- Count down to a special launch, whether it's a promotion of a new product or a special offer.
- Count down the number of hours remaining in an active launch.
When your audience taps on the countdown sticker, they'll have the option to turn on reminders so they'll receive a notification when the countdown has finished. In addition to reminding your audience about the countdown, it also creates a sense of urgency, which is a powerful marketing tactic.
#2: Use Your Instagram Stories Highlights Strategically
You're probably already using Instagram Stories highlights but do you switch them up during your promotion? The highlights section on your Instagram business profile is prime real estate, and during a promotion, you'll be getting a ton of new views on your profile.
Consider using the Highlights section to educate customers and prospects about your promotion, share customer feedback, and drive sales. And yes, those should be separate highlights; don't put all of this into one highlight. It should be easy for people to just click on a highlight to quickly find the information they're seeking.
Now let's look at some highlight topic recommendations. Keep in mind that these will vary depending on your industry and business.
Every business should have an About Us section. It should tell people who you are, what you do, who you serve, and how you serve.
The second highlight I recommend is testimonials. Testimonials are a great way to collect social proof so anyone visiting your profile will get an immediate impression of the type of work you do.
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A location highlight is another helpful one. If you have a physical location, let people know how to find you, where to park, and so on. If you have an online business, tell people how they can work with you and where to go online. Make the information clear and straightforward so people can quickly find what they're looking for.
Depending on your business, a portfolio highlight might also be helpful. Regardless of what you're selling, letting people see what they're going to get will be helpful with sales.
Another option is to create a highlights section specifically for your IGTV channel.
In case you didn't know, you can swipe up on your Instagram stories and let people watch your IGTV videos even if you don't have 10K followers. (Read this article to learn how.) In your IGTV highlight, save all of the stories prompting people to swipe up to view your IGTV videos. By doing this, people can quickly and easily browse your videos to see which one they're interested in and swipe up to be taken directly to that video.
Last but not least, create a highlight that talks all about your promotion. It should clearly explain what the promotion is, what people get when they buy, whether there's a discount, how long the promotion lasts, and so on.
#3: Host a Giveaway to Cultivate Social Proof
Creating social proof with Instagram Stories is a great way to get more visibility for your offer. You can do this by hosting a giveaway that you share in your story. Encourage people to post a testimonial to their Instagram stories and tag you. In return, they're entered to win a prize such as a $100 Amazon gift card.
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When your customers start posting stories talking about why they love your product, you can repost them to your story to generate more excitement and momentum during your promotion.
#4: Use Instagram Stories Images to Communicate Scarcity
If you're selling limited quantities of your product or service, post a graphic on your Instagram story that conveys your limited stock.
If you're selling 20 items of a particular product, you could create a grid with 20 squares and let your audience know that every few hours, you'll be updating it to reflect how many have sold. If you sell 15 in the first hour, cross out 15 squares in your grid to signify that 15 items have sold. This tactic creates a sense of urgency, scarcity, and social proof.
#5: Go Live With a Q&A on Instagram
To generate more interest and visibility for your promotion, go live on Instagram to answer questions from your audience.
To use this tactic, first create an Instagram story post to solicit questions. Use the questions sticker to prompt your audience to ask you a question about your promotion and leave the post for up to 24 hours.
Then go live on Instagram and tap on the questions icon at the bottom of the screen. You'll see all of the questions your audience submitted via your question sticker.
Select the question you want to reply to and that question will pop up on all of your viewers' screens. This tactic gives you the opportunity to answer people's questions so they'll be closer to purchasing.
Note: If you wait more than 24 hours from your original Instagram Stories post to go live, the questions won't be available for you to answer.
You already know a lot about Instagram Stories but you may be struggling with how to use it as a promotional tool. Start with the five tips above to create a sense of urgency and leverage scarcity for your products and offers.
Additionally, here are some ways to avoid some common mistakes that businesses make on Instagram:
Provide context: Have you ever looked at a business's Instagram story where they're sharing something that clearly means something to them but they give zero context? It's like, “What am I looking at? I have no idea.” Remember that your audience isn't watching everything you do. They don't necessarily know who you are and may have followed you on a whim one day. Make sure you're bringing them along by telling a story and providing context.
Be authentic and personal: Businesses are sometimes too formal on Instagram Stories. Let people know who you are and what you do as a business. The personal details you share are often what keep people following along with your story so don't shy away from sharing them.
Don't be too self-promotional: In addition to sharing testimonials and stories about great things happening in your business, share content that's valuable, educational, funny, and inspiring. A good ratio is 80% high-value content and 20% promotional. Trust me, the last thing that you want to do is train your audience to swipe every time they see your stories.
Always keep your audience in mind: Think about how your audience consumes your content. Are they watching with the sound turned off? If so, consider captioning your story. Lots of viewers tap through stories quickly without really looking at the content. How do you create something that catches their eye? Try mixing up the type of content you're sharing, whether it's images, videos, and GIFs, to increase the likelihood that people will engage with it.
Listen to what your audience wants: Learn how to navigate your Instagram Insights and get feedback from your audience so you know exactly what they're interested in.
What do you think? Which of these Instagram Stories tactics will you try for your next promotion? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
More articles on marketing with Instagram Stories:
- Explore eight Instagram Stories hacks to give you a creative edge.
- Discover a promotional strategy for using Instagram Stories during a launch.
- Learn how to get started with Instagram Stories video for your business.
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