Instagram Stories are known for being a great vector for engagement and retention. But how can you use them to convert followers into customers?
With the declining attention span of 8 seconds, it’s no surprise that ephemeral content that disappears within 24 hours is gaining in popularity among social media users.
Instagram Stories has grown 5x time over the period of three years and the number of active Instagram Story users is still growing:
Want to know the best part? Instagram Stories give you an opportunity to convert followers into customers. Moreover, social media users are ready to make purchase decisions in-app.
According to social media marketing statistics, people spend more than 2 hours on social media daily and half of social media users research new products which means customers are active social media users. This means you can convert followers into customers with Instagram Stories and if you want to understand why it’s a good idea, keep on reading.
Why Convert Followers into Customers with Instagram Stories?
As specified in Business Instagram, the community of people who use Instagram Stories has grown to 500 million people, 58% of users become more interested in a product after seeing it in Stories, and 4 million businesses use Stories ads each month.
When it comes to converting followers into customers with Instagram Stories, here are three main reasons for it.
- Stories keep the audience engaged and hooked: Being available for 24 hours, Stories create a sense of urgency that encourages users to keep on watching Stories in order not to miss out on something important. As a result, your audience is hooked and engaged.
- People make the purchase decision faster: Stories are available for a short period of time and the length of a single Instagram Story is limited to 15 seconds which means viewers have to make the purchase decision faster.
- Stories offer business features: From shoppable Story stickers that allow you to add all product information to clickable Story links that help to redirect interested viewers to the right landing page, there are many business features that help businesses interact with engaged users and convert them into customers.
Obviously, using Instagram Stories leads to Instagram growth, but if you want to get more sales in-app, check out four ways to convert followers into customers with Instagram Stories
Spark Interest in Your Brand
It’s nearly impossible to acquire new customers if they don’t know much about your company, its values, and its products or services. Since most people seek out solutions that can solve their problems, it’s important to spark customers’ interest in your brand first.
Share Lead Magnets
Not all Instagram users are ready to make the purchase decision once they discover your brand on the platform. Since modern customers get many options, it’s no wonder that they do market research before buying from you. Thus, it’s important to spark their interest in your brand and sharing lead magnets is a great way to do it.
Not only does it provide followers with useful and irresistible offers, but it also creates sales leads as a result. With the variety of lead magnet ideas, it’s easy to find free items or services that could interest your potential customers and therefore turn followers into leads first.
For example, CosaBella invites followers to sign up for their newsletter to get early access to their new collection:
Sharing valuable offers via Stories is a great way to improve lead quality as you attract potential customers who are interested in your products.
Moreover, once you get contact information from your followers, you can reach out to them on other communication channels and start a private conversation with them to promote your products and therefore turn followers into customers.
Show Off Your Product Line
If you know how to start a clothing line, that’s great. But it’s not enough to reach your potential customers and interest them in your products. That’s why you should show off your product line, too.
Uploading Instagram Stories that showcase your products is a great idea to demonstrate your collection without spamming the main feed. Not only can you , but you can also make your best Stories permanent with Instagram Story Highlights and group them into various albums to help other visitors discover relevant content when checking out your profile.
Here’s how you can show off your product line with Instagram Stories to make your followers interested:
Announce an Instagram Giveaway
Social media users are big fans of giveaways. The idea of getting something valuable for simple actions (like, comment, follow) is a great idea for many users and it’s proven that accounts that hold Instagram giveaways grow faster.
Moreover, Instagram giveaways can give you an opportunity to spark interest in your brand as you can choose brand freebies as gifts which gives your winners an opportunity to test your products. Check out an example of an Instagram giveaway from Rose INC.
There are many creative ideas on how to promote your giveaway, but reposting it to your Instagram Stories is one of the best ways to beat an Instagram algorithm and therefore reach a wider audience of potential participants who can become interested in your products.
Make In-App Shopping Easier
More and more people discover and buy new products or services on the platform, so the popularity of Instagram shopping is growing. It gives both brands and customers an opportunity to improve customer journey in-app with the usage of various Instagram features. If you know how to optimize your Instagram Stories for shopping, you’re more likely to turn your followers into customers.
Add Product Codes
If you run an ecommerce website that aims at selling products, it’s more likely you use product codes that help to identify items, discover, and track them.
No matter how many followers on Instagram you have and whether you’ve connected your account to the product catalog, every company can add product codes as text information which can help interested viewers find featured items with ease.
For example, ASOS often creates Instagram Reels that show off their products and add product codes in the description, just like in the example below:
Include Shopping Stickers
Back in 2019, when Instagram realized the growing popularity of Instagram Stories, it launched shopping stickers for IG Stories, a similar feature to the shopping posts.
Including shopping stickers is a great way to provide viewers with product information and encourage them to make the purchase decision fast.
Calvin Klein often uses shopping stickers in Instagram Stories that allow their followers to tap on the shopping bag and find product descriptions, prices, or even buy the featured product on the website. Check out the example below:
Add Clickable Story Links
Once your Instagram profile has reached 10k followers, you get an opportunity to include clickable Story links that give you a chance to add landing pages where your followers can read more about your products or even make the purchase decision without leaving the app.
Adding clickable links is a great way to redirect interested customers to the right landing page where they could find more information about your products and increase web traffic at the same time.
If you want to convert followers who have tapped on your clickable link into customers, it’s important to make sure that you’re using the right ecommerce themes that deliver the best user experience for your visitors who can become your customers.
Encourage the Decision-Making Process
Today over 70% of online shoppers discover products on Instagram which means users are ready to make the purchase decision in-app. However, more and more brands offer their products or services which makes the process harder for customers. Thus, brands should encourage the decision-making process and using Instagram Stories that are limited in their time frame is a good idea.
Promote Exclusive Sales and Deals
Practically every online shopper seeks out sales and deals during the customer journey to make the most out of it. In 2020, 92% of customers had used a coupon when making purchases.
Promoting sales and deals with ephemeral content is a great way to spark followers’ interest in your products and encourage them to buy from you without spending much time.
Here’s a good example of this strategy from Sephora:
Not only does the company include information about their discount campaign, but it also adds time limits that encourage followers to use the offer without wasting time.
Include a Time-Limited Offer
Time-limited offers force people to act right now, so it’s one of the best customer engagement strategies and many marketers agree with it. For example, Neal Taparia, who runs the classic gaming platform Solitaired, suggests using scarcity.
“We had introduced a new playing card design for our online solitaire games, and as a special promotion, also sold the physical card deck with those designs. Once we explained there were only 50 available, we sold them within hours. Consumers want something that is unique and hard to get.”
Passion Planner doesn’t add time limits, but it promotes a limited release of new products, so it also creates a sense of urgency and motivates followers to get the product in order not to miss out on an exclusive offer.
Run Instagram Story Ads
To cut through the noise and encourage people who don’t follow your brand on the platform, over 2 million advertisers run ad campaigns and the popularity of Story ads is growing in popularity, too.
Look: Instagram collects personal data, so it allows marketers to target the right audience who can show interest in your products, so you can promote the right offer to potential customers who can buy from you.
Case in point:
When Hapa Kristin decided to promote its new colored contact lenses among new customers, the company wrote about its 30% discount and included a GIF sticker to grab the audience’s attention to the clickable link.
The campaign resulted in 50% more landing page views, a 33% lower cost per landing page view, a 1.3X increase in click-through rate, and 17% more people reached.
To get similar results with eye-catching Instagram ads, you can rely on professionally-made Instagram Story templates that allow you to create beautiful visuals while customizing your ads.
Provide Followers with Social Proof
The customer journey is getting more complicated. Today, 87% of the buying decisions start with online research and people trust other people, not companies. As a result, consumers seek out social proof that comes in various forms. To ease the worried minds of potential customers and encourage followers to buy from you, it’s a good idea to provide followers with social proof via Stories.
Feature Happy Customers
People pay close attention to customer stories from other consumers as they trust their opinions and experiences. In fact, seeing happy customers on social media is one of the best ways to provide followers with social proof.
The easiest way to feature happy customers is to find user-generated content from your loyal customers and repost it to your Instagram Stories. What is more, you can make the best photos/videos permanent if you add them to Highlight albums, just like Vans in the example below:
It’s a good strategy to provide followers and visitors with social proof who browse your account as it doesn’t take much time as the album appears right below the bio section.
To get more photos or videos of your customers who are using your products or tell their positive customer experiences, it’s important to have customer loyalty programs that reward returning customers with initiatives like discounts, brand freebies, or other perks.
Publish Customer Reviews
Living in the digital age, when people can get information with ease, customers crave to hear customer stories before making a purchase. The days when brand ads could entice customers to buy from you are long gone. People want to know real experiences from real customers.
Did you know that 90% of people read customer reviews during the discovery phase?
If you receive customer reviews, that’s great. This means you can share these reviews with your Instagram followers who are doubting whether your product is worth trying or not.
Bali Body often reposts customer reviews to Instagram Stories to provide users with social proof without spamming the main feed with user content.
Obviously, it can be difficult to collect and manage all customer reviews on Instagram, so it’s important to find the right social media analytics tool just like Iconosquare that can help you keep track of customer reviews you receive in the comment section, via direct message, or when non-followers share them with your account tag.
Repost Influencers’ Content
The era of social media influencers is here. According to one report, 70% of people trust influencers’ recommendations as much as their real-world friends and 40% of people say that they have bought something after seeing it used by an influencer.
If influencers use your products or do product review in their IG Stories, it’s important to repost their content and therefore increase brand loyalty and trust.
When Cella Jane, an Instagram influencer with 613k followers, uploaded an Instagram post in JCrew items, the company reposted it to their Stories to provide followers with social proof:
The popularity of Instagram Stories is taking the world by storm. With a limited lifespan of 24 hours, Stories create a sense of urgency that encourages more and more people to watch this content daily. Today, when 500 million people create or watch Stories daily, is high time for brands of all sizes and niches to jump on the bandwagon and make Instagram Stories a part of their marketing strategy to convert followers into customers.
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