As I’ve mentioned before, IG Stories brings fun back to Instagram. It’s a way to use the platform in a spontaneous and not-so-planned way. Video content is here to stay, as users have gotten used to seeing what’s going on with brands and the people behind the brands. You don’t need tons of curation, new lay-flat photo shoots or pretty stock images, though. Heck, you don’t even have to produce that much new content because you can repurpose videos and photos from other platforms and your camera roll. Only about 20% of IG users are posting a few times a day to Instagram Stories, so there’s plenty of room for you to join in and showcase your brand! Do you want more reasons? Instagram is pushing video hardcore and showcasing Instagram Stories in their Explore section, which gets about 100 million user hits daily. The bottom line is, it’s very easy to use and your audience is already on Instagram. And the question of the day is, why don’t you reach them by going the extra pleasant mile and embracing IG Stories as a powerful marketing tool for your business?

#1. Get noticed by influencers. One feature of Instagram Stories that I love is that you can now tag accounts, and the account owner in turn will get a notification that they’ve been mentioned in a video. This leaves room to start a dialogue with major influencers, as many of them will reply when they see the notification. Remember, if you compliment someone online, they can’t ignore you. So if you use software, an app, or love a product or service, give them a shout out! You never know what that can lead to. I love the aspect of creating one-on-one conversations and bringing back the element of humanity, as some days, being part of the giant ocean of social media leaves us feeling like just a tiny fish.

#2.Feature your blog posts. I so love the new workflow I have in regards to my blogging and how I share it online. First, I promote my new posts using CoSchedule to share them to Twitter, Gplus, and Facebook Business. Then, I share it with any FB groups that have promo days, but what I am really loving is sharing it on IG Stories. I do a video scrolling showing I have a new blog post up, and I add the URL text. Later, I can talk about one of my points and also point back to my blog post. So I break down the post by giving them a sneak-peek taste.

#3. Do an Instagram Hop. Many folks are raving about Instagram Pods, but I much prefer doing an Instagram story hop. This works very similar to a Pass the Cast on Periscope, but instead, you are tagging the next person to watch their stories. This is great for home tours, bloggers discussing points on a specific topic or doing a loop giveaway. You can have a number of people to follow and have instructions for them, then establish the rules. This will help you get new followers and also help you collaborate with creatives that inspire you.

#4. Grow your email list. Recently someone shared with a group that they started a new podcast and they have a big following on social media, but they have no email list. I believe Instagram Stories would be a great asset for them, as they can use it to grow their list and remind folks of their freebies, opt-ins and goodies. The email list is what will allow you to sell your products and services plus offer extra value to your ideal audience. So, if you don’t have an email list yet, please start now! Any time you are posting on IG Stories, make sure to send folks back to your blog or freebie opt in. You should be stating how users can connect with you on a daily basis, but don’t forget about your email list.

Bonus tip: If you are a designer or you sell products, use Instagram Stories to share the design process. You can ask for feedback on materials, ideas, suggestions or have your audience vote for what you should produce next. This will get your audience excited and make them feel like they are a part of the process, and that if they purchase from you, they’re not just buying a product, they have become a part of something beautiful.

My 2017 word of the year is efficiency, and I want to be as productive as possible, which means—cut the crap. This also means scheduling everything and sticking to the plan. So, I am scheduling IG Stories content along with my other marketing editorial calendar items, and I suggest you do the same. Which of these will you try out first? If you need more help with Instagram Stories content or on how to use Instagram stories for your business marketing, check out this freebie mini guide.
Instagram Stories Mini Workbook with 50 post ideas.