In August 2016, Instagram launched their Stories feature. Made up of individual segments of images and 15-second long videos, this powerful tool allows people to share insights into their lives and businesses which are then deleted 24 hours later. They are both ephemeral and tangible; allowing you a brief glimpse into the world of the posting user and then disappearing forever.
Here is a quick guide to everything that you as an affiliate may need to know if you want to create and master this type of content.
Traffic & Engagement
Unlike the previous competitor Snapchat, who only let you view the stories of your friends, Instagram allows you to see the stories of anyone with a public account. This means that the estimated 200 million people who use Instagram Stories may come across your Story and may choose to interact with either the Story or your page.
While pages can be very curated to fit the brand, stories can be used to show a little more of the everyday life behind the business. Shots around the office during a function or quick product demos, or quick polls are all great ways to show a more human side of your brand while actively encouraging engagement with those following you.
Thanks to the inclusion of a Q&A feature in July 2018, members of the public are now able to ask questions to brands directly. Regularly including Q&A sessions in your social media strategies is a great way to land some key engagement with your followers.
If you own an Instagram business account with a minimum of 10,000 followers, you will get access to the powerful “Swipe Up” feature. This allows you to link a web page to your Instagram Story. The potential for this tool for affiliates is massive. You will be able to link to any other web page you choose, driving engagement through your Stories and out into the wider web.
Maintenance of the Page
In addition to regularly posting Stories, you also need to ensure that you are maintaining your main page. You need to make it an inviting place for potential followers to visit with engaging and interesting posts which will encourage users to interact with you.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to create a theme. Choose a handful of complimentary colours (for example blue, white, and grey), or a particular filter, and make sure to use them on every single one of your posts. This will create a beautiful and mesmerising page for users to enjoy. Regularly interacting with commenters is also a brilliant way to drive up interactions between yourself and users.
All of this is important as the Stories of the brands a user most often interacts with will appear first on their homepage. You cannot risk your Stories being pushed to the end of the list. Create an engaging environment and people will want to be a part of it.
Hashtags are one of the most important tools for navigating Instagram and you should be using them with every post. As you would with any other aspect of marketing, make sure you are using ones relevant to your industry. A little research will tell you which ones are trending and which ones are best for your gap in the market. Combining both will give you some brilliant exposure and will help people to discover you and your page. You can even add hashtags to your Instagram Stories; giving them more chance to be viewed by people looking for that precise hashtag.
The world of Instagram can be intimidating and even a bit confusing but the general navigation is simpler than you think. Join our next Affiliate Bootcamp to learn how to master the art of social influence and build your brand reach across a multitude of social channels.