IF YOU HAVE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT USING INSTAGRAM STORIES FOR BUSINESS, OR ARE CURRENTLY USING IT FOR YOUR BRAND BUT DON’T REALLY KNOW THE FULL IMPACT THEY CAN HAVE, THEN NOW IS THE TIME TO GET THIS ON TRACK. INSTAGRAM STORIES ARE FUN AND CREATIVE, BUT THEY ARE A GREAT TOOL FOR GROWING ENGAGEMENT, BUILDING BRAND AWARENESS, DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE AND MAKING SALES!

Instagram Story Strategy

Instagram stories have definitely moved on in the last year or so and this function is still growing. With millions of people using them every day, it’s important to have your own strategy in place for how you intend to share content. Stories have become so successful that it simply isn’t enough to just be showing images or video clips of your lunch anymore and real thought and planning is needed. I advise having a micro strategy for stories within your main Instagram strategy. This will ensure you know what direction to go with, what content you will be sharing and when.

Top tip: Create something unique for your brand that you do consistently, so your audience knows what to expect and gets excited for it. This could be a Q&A each week or a style feature on one of your products each week. Just have something that is yours and own it!

IF YOU HAVE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT USING INSTAGRAM STORIES FOR BUSINESS, OR ARE CURRENTLY USING IT FOR YOUR BRAND BUT DON’T REALLY KNOW THE FULL IMPACT THEY CAN HAVE, THEN NOW IS THE TIME TO GET THIS ON TRACK. INSTAGRAM STORIES ARE FUN AND CREATIVE, BUT THEY ARE A GREAT TOOL FOR GROWING ENGAGEMENT, BUILDING BRAND AWARENESS, DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE AND MAKING SALES!

Instagram Story Strategy

Instagram stories have definitely moved on in the last year or so and this function is still growing. With millions of people using them every day, it’s important to have your own strategy in place for how you intend to share content. Stories have become so successful that it simply isn’t enough to just be showing images or video clips of your lunch anymore and real thought and planning is needed. I advise having a micro strategy for stories within your main Instagram strategy. This will ensure you know what direction to go with, what content you will be sharing and when.

Top tip: Create something unique for your brand that you do consistently, so your audience knows what to expect and gets excited for it. This could be a Q&A each week or a style feature on one of your products each week. Just have something that is yours and own it!

New research

There was a recent survey carried out by Buffer where they researched 15,000 instagram stories from 200 of the top brands. This is a very insightful bit of research and lots to take away. It’s a great guide to start testing some elements but I do think you need to test your own data and find what works for you. You need a balance between keeping content coming through enough to keep your audience engaged and what you are actually capable of. Let’s face it, if you are small fashion brand owner, your time can’t be spent on insta stories 24/7!

You can read the full report here but here are the top things I took away from it:

  • One to seven stories is optimal posting length, average story lengths for brands is 7.3

  • The best times to post stories is outside of work hours to maximise your reach, there is a lot of competition out there so help increase your chances of getting seen by posting when your audience are most active

  • Brand accounts are posting the least amount of days- 8.7 days a month, (after sports, media and entertainment accounts), so we are still not at a point where brands are posting daily- but how quickly will this change in the need to keep up?

Ideas to post on stories for fashion brands

Stories are a unique opportunity to capture audience and customers attention. Now is the time to experiment with your content and test what works. Use your story highlights to categorise and organise your story content. Story highlights are a great way to build trust and credibility by showcasing a variety of content that is difficult to portray in the feed. Treat them like a book or a micro blog where your audience is so engage they want to keep tapping through.

  • Behind the scenes- show your audience what a typical day looks like, how you put an event together, take them on a photo shoot, or take them on a journey of a product from design concept to production. Give them access to what happens in your life. Show them personality and show them you and your team!

  • Highlight particular products and give them a story each. This work wells if you have a launch as you can really hone in on all the details. Talk and showcase features of the products.

  • Personal stories- Use a story highlight for a ‘about the brand’ section, if you have a small team, do one on them too. Or share a story about how you got inspiration on a particular design, product etc. People want brands to talk to them like real people, speak their language and engage with them so by letting them in certain elements of the brand they will connect with you on a deeper level.

  • Take over- Ask customers or influencers to take over your stories for a day. Not only does this give you time off from making content, but it also opens up your audience to their audience! They can talk about your product and highlight how they use and style your products in their own way.

  • Get your audience involved by asking them questions, make them feel they are part of a decision making process or simply find out their opinion on something.

  • Create highlights on topic ideas your audience will be interested in. People want brands to represent a culture, community and lifestyle so use stories to help do this.

  • Styling tips and tricks. How can your audience wear your products and how do they fit into their lives/wardrobes!

Don’t miss some of the basics with stories either, such as cross promoting your feed posts on stories incase the algorithm hasn’t shown your post to your audience there and create a conversation there as well. Also share the things you love when you are scrolling, quotes, images and videos from your audience and followers will help build a connection. Stories are a great place to share user generated content! All these are things you don’t need to create but you know are great things to share.

3 best practices you can start now

  1. Post your best story content first. More people exit on the 1st frame so you need to hook them in right away. Create a catchy title, only show them half an image or hide some the image so they have to tap through to reveal more.

  2. Post consistently. This is the perfect time to start experimenting and be ready for 2019 with what works and what doesn’t. Post daily if possible, just don’t post a sequence of stories one day and then leave your audience hanging for a week. Your audience wants to know what to expect.

  3. Calculate your own data regularly to see if you are improving. Check your completion rates, when are people exiting out of your stories, when are the best times for you to posts and what are your reach rates?

Remember, stories still don’t need to be professional filmed videos and images. Audiences want real but engaging, interactive content. Use simple graphics and branded templates that are in line with your brand identity. Use techniques, use gifs, location tags and hashtags (you can hide them but they will reach more people) in your stories to help with reach rates, questions and polls to have your audience hooked!

Did you find this useful, do you have any other tips you would like to share or have any questions for me? Post them below!

New research

There was a recent survey carried out by Buffer where they researched 15,000 instagram stories from 200 of the top brands. This is a very insightful bit of research and lots to take away. It’s a great guide to start testing some elements but I do think you need to test your own data and find what works for you. You need a balance between keeping content coming through enough to keep your audience engaged and what you are actually capable of. Let’s face it, if you are small fashion brand owner, your time can’t be spent on insta stories 24/7!

You can read the full report here but here are the top things I took away from it:

  • One to seven stories is optimal posting length, average story lengths for brands is 7.3

  • The best times to post stories is outside of work hours to maximise your reach, there is a lot of competition out there so help increase your chances of getting seen by posting when your audience are most active

  • Brand accounts are posting the least amount of days- 8.7 days a month, (after sports, media and entertainment accounts), so we are still not at a point where brands are posting daily- but how quickly will this change in the need to keep up?

Ideas to post on stories for fashion brands

Stories are a unique opportunity to capture audience and customers attention. Now is the time to experiment with your content and test what works. Use your story highlights to categorise and organise your story content. Story highlights are a great way to build trust and credibility by showcasing a variety of content that is difficult to portray in the feed. Treat them like a book or a micro blog where your audience is so engage they want to keep tapping through.

  • Behind the scenes- show your audience what a typical day looks like, how you put an event together, take them on a photo shoot, or take them on a journey of a product from design concept to production. Give them access to what happens in your life. Show them personality and show them you and your team!

  • Highlight particular products and give them a story each. This work wells if you have a launch as you can really hone in on all the details. Talk and showcase features of the products.

  • Personal stories- Use a story highlight for a ‘about the brand’ section, if you have a small team, do one on them too. Or share a story about how you got inspiration on a particular design, product etc. People want brands to talk to them like real people, speak their language and engage with them so by letting them in certain elements of the brand they will connect with you on a deeper level.

  • Take over- Ask customers or influencers to take over your stories for a day. Not only does this give you time off from making content, but it also opens up your audience to their audience! They can talk about your product and highlight how they use and style your products in their own way.

  • Get your audience involved by asking them questions, make them feel they are part of a decision making process or simply find out their opinion on something.

  • Create highlights on topic ideas your audience will be interested in. People want brands to represent a culture, community and lifestyle so use stories to help do this.

  • Styling tips and tricks. How can your audience wear your products and how do they fit into their lives/wardrobes!

Don’t miss some of the basics with stories either, such as cross promoting your feed posts on stories incase the algorithm hasn’t shown your post to your audience there and create a conversation there as well. Also share the things you love when you are scrolling, quotes, images and videos from your audience and followers will help build a connection. Stories are a great place to share user generated content! All these are things you don’t need to create but you know are great things to share.

3 best practices you can start now

  1. Post your best story content first. More people exit on the 1st frame so you need to hook them in right away. Create a catchy title, only show them half an image or hide some the image so they have to tap through to reveal more.

  2. Post consistently. This is the perfect time to start experimenting and be ready for 2019 with what works and what doesn’t. Post daily if possible, just don’t post a sequence of stories one day and then leave your audience hanging for a week. Your audience wants to know what to expect.

  3. Calculate your own data regularly to see if you are improving. Check your completion rates, when are people exiting out of your stories, when are the best times for you to posts and what are your reach rates?

Remember, stories still don’t need to be professional filmed videos and images. Audiences want real but engaging, interactive content. Use simple graphics and branded templates that are in line with your brand identity. Use techniques, use gifs, location tags and hashtags (you can hide them but they will reach more people) in your stories to help with reach rates, questions and polls to have your audience hooked!

Did you find this useful, do you have any other tips you would like to share or have any questions for me? Post them below!