By introducing the ability to search Instagram Stories by location or hashtag, Instagram have made it easier than ever for businesses to reach new and different audiences.
Now, by adding in location stickers and relevant hashtags into your Story content, your brand will show up in more searches – and therefore be discovered by more users outside of your current audience who are simply interested in that particular area or topic.
Instagram have not only recognized that more and more brands are using Stories to promote their content – but they’re also starting to acknowledge that the clunky business of constantly changing your bio link isn’t ideal.
Now, if you’re a verified user (and here’s our blog on some tips for earning your little blue badge you can invite your viewers to swipe up or tap ‘See more’ to take them to your landing page without having to leave the app.
So if you’re a business, the distance between where you inspire your customer about your product and where they can actually buy it has been significantly reduced.
Polling apps or features aren’t necessarily new – Snapchat’s Polly is probably the most well-known example – but Instagram have done a typically good job of integrating a familiar idea seamlessly into their Stories.
The poll sticker allows you to live survey your audience and watch in real time as the results come in.
This can be incredibly useful for businesses in a number of ways – and is the perfect qualitative complement to the data you’re already accessing through Instagram Insights.
Gathering in-the-moment feedback can give you insights on everything from product development (ask them which color they prefer for your new product) to content strategy (ask them what they’d want to see more of) to simply starting a conversation (ask them if they’re vinyl or MP3).
Understandably, as a business, the idea of investing in creative content only for it to vanish forever 24-hours later isn’t entirely comfortable.
But with Instagram’s new Archive and Highlights features, you can now preserve all your old Stories – and even sort them into themed folders on your profile page.
(Typically for Instagram, there’s also a popular third party app that’s ideal for getting the best out of this new feature – Canva, which lets you create ‘album covers’ for your Highlights collections.)
Not only does this help your content have a life beyond their 24-hours on Stories, but it helps turn your profile page into a richer and more engaging experience for users.
And with Instagram apparently testing a feature that tells you how many profile visits you have, you should be able to see what an important destination your profile page can be for new followers – and why Highlights is such a great way to tell your story to these potential new customers when they visit.