As a small business, you know how important creating and implementing a marketing strategy can be to your business's growth and bottom line. Whenever a new platform/option hits the market chances are, you are going to have one of two reactions:
When it comes to showcasing your products and designs, nothing beats Instagram. It’s basically your company’s highlight reel. Sprinkle in some lifestyle shots and behind the scenes images and you’ve got the perfect recipe to help expand your brand’s reach, audience and grow your list of paying customers. (you also may want to check out this post about how to use Instagram to grow your product based business. It also includes a pretty sweet free download!)
The number of people watching and engaging with Instagram stories is quickly on the rise which means you want to hop on this bandwagon NOW because not everyone is doing it yet. You’ve got the perfect opportunity to be a step ahead of the competition.
Before we go further I’ve got a confession. I personally don’t use IG stories as often as I should, which makes it a little strange to be writing this post. I find it strange and uncomfortable to be on camera so the thought of doing it weirds me out a bit. While I personally don’t create many I watch A TON. And my favorites are almost ALL stories created by product based businesses. I’ve seen products I’ve liked and taken steps to follow a company and purchase their products. So from a consumer's perspective, I can tell you from experience that this is an A+ marketing tool.
One of the biggest challenges when creating an Instagram Story is to decide what’s worthy of including. Is it all product related? Behind the scenes shots? My cat is cute, can I include her too? Today, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite ways to use Instagram stories AND hooking you up with a list of 40 different ideas you can use to create your next IG story and strategy!
Promote a sale
Looking to move through some inventory and plan to put some products on sale? Create an Instagram post that talks about your sale and directs your customers to SEE the products over on your Instagram story.
Show your brand/business in action
Show people what you and your business are all about by highlighting what a day in the life of your biz looks like. Anything from virtual coffee chats, design work, to photo shoots or sneak peeks of products in the works will help people get to know you better.
Show how others are using your products
Nothing builds a brand’s street cred quite like having real customers share their love of your products. Invite your followers to use a brand specific tag so you can find their instagram posts easily. Screenshot and share what your customers are saying in your IG story. When others see how much your current customers are enjoying your products they are more inclined to become buyers themselves. You can say a certain product is the greatest thing since sliced bread but it takes hearing that praise from people that don’t directly benefit from your sales that will ultimately build trust for your brand.
Highlight your travels
Heading to a trade show, speaking at a conference, meeting a fellow biz owner for lunch or heading to your favorite retailer to show them your new collections? Take your followers with you!
Collaborate with other small businesses
Know someone who has a similar audience? Partner up for some cross promotion or do an Instagram takeover to help get each others goods in front of a new (but similar!) audience.
Celebrate major biz milestones + events
When something cool happens in your business give yourself permission to brag a bit and share it with your audience. Milestones like your business anniversary, being featured in a favorite magazine, getting picked up by a store or featured on a blog are just some of the fun events that are IG story worthy.
Show off your new inventory
New to the shop peeks are always so fun! I love seeing what people are bringing in to sell next. (and I usually end up making a purchase or two)
Show off your (lack of) inventory
Nothing creates a sense of urgency to buy that thing we’ve had our eye on quite like knowing that it might be gone soon. Show your followers how low your inventory is to give them a little push to buy now because you’ve only got a handful left.
Want some more ideas about what to include in your next Instagram story? Download my list of 40 content ideas!