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On Shopify? 10 Marketing Tips for Showcasing Your Brand on Instagram Stories

June 2021
group of young people using smartphones and sitting on a bench

Instagram Stories have become incredibly powerful marketing tools as they have gained popularity among Instagram users. Stories have the unique feature that they disappear after 24 hours, giving them an air of exclusivity to those who happen to catch them before they're gone. 

Since so many people are using Instagram Stories to share their content, the social media giant has rolled out a lot of features that help brands share their products and further engage their followers. From polls to Q&As to live streams, it is overwhelming how much you can currently do with Instagram stories. If you are on Shopify, Instagram stories are an excellent place to begin a Shopify marketing strategy for your business. In this article, we’ll show you how to use the tools on Instagram Stories to engage your audience and increase your click through rate. 

   1. Use Themed Stories To Create a Narrative

Just getting started with Shopify marketing? Displaying a narrative for your business is a great way to get your audience hooked

instagram story examples graphic theme animation question and answer
A strong theme can make all the difference in catching your audience’s attention. Image courtesy of Later.

Every company has a story, and there is no better way to cultivate an audience than with a compelling narrative. If you are a new company starting out, you will most likely want to tell your origin story or how your products are made. Detailing your process is an excellent idea that will translate well to Instagram Stories. To tell your story, and up your Shopify marketing game, select short simple blocks of text that concisely get your point across. Then you want to pair it with something visually compelling so your audience has something more to enjoy other than straight-up text. When creating a compelling narrative it is good to pair it with images, so your audience isn’t overwhelmed by copy. For example, you could use candid photographs or early product photos to get your point across.

   2. Create a Sense of  Mystery With Teasers on Your IG Stories

Keep your audience engaged and guessing with every post

young woman looking off into distance questioning on cell phone purple background
Give your audience just enough to grab their attention.

When you are organizing your newest Shopify marketing campaign, it is tempting to get as much information to your followers as possible. However, this is not always the best way to introduce a new product or a new initiative. Sometimes, it is more beneficial to leave some information out of your initial campaign to build some hype. Usually these posts are highly stylised, visually appealing, and up for interpretation. Obviously at some point you have to give your audience information about the launch, but it doesn’t have to be right away. Simply start the conversation through your Instagram Stories and let your audience’s curiosity do the rest.

   3. Use Polls to Boost Your Audience Engagement

Polls encourage people to share their voice and sound off about your brand

instagram story example donut with plain or without sprinkles
By creating interactive experiences, your audience will want to share their experience with other potential customers. Image courtesy of

Instagram polls are an innovative way to show your audience that you care about their input. Polls allow your followers to sound off over 24 hours by voting positively or negatively on a subject. It is important to always make sure that Instagram polls always show your business in a positive light and remember you are the one in control of your digital presence. To ensure this, avoid posting polls for controversial opinions, otherwise you may end up with more negative votes than positive ones. Some great examples of poll questions include:

  • Which style of clothing do you like better? 
  • Are you a member of our mailing list already? 
  • Which flavor of ice cream should be half off next month?
  • Are you excited about our next product launch?
  • Have you visited our physical location?
  • Have you read our latest blog post?

 Beyond taking standard polls about your business or your products, polls can also be used for more creative marketing campaigns, like elaborate choose your own adventure games.

   4. Plan a Staff Member Takeover

Instagram users are always looking for that personal touch, and what’s more personal to your business than your team

young woman going live on Instagram graphic how to
By giving your staff access to Instagram Stories, you can humanize your brand. Image courtesy of Buffer.

If your Instagram Story is just pictures and text, it can start to get a bit monotonous. One of the most effective ways to separate your business from others is to add a human element. By inviting someone who is not usually active on Instagram to do a “takeover” you are making your content more diverse and personalized. Not only will your employees offer a one-of-a-kind perspective on your company, your customer base will be able to relate to them. Relatability creates a much stronger bond with your customer base than an impersonal advertising campaign.

   5. Create Quizzes on Your Instagram Stories

Everyone loves to show off their knowledge through quizzes, so put your customer’s expertise to the test

instagram story quiz dogs engagement three examples
Quizzes provide insight and engagement with minimal effort. Image courtesy of 9to5mac.

If you are running out of content for your account, have no fear. Quizzes are a great way to engage your audience even if there is nothing to promote other than your overall brand. If you already have a robust social media following, it is likely that your products have some superfans. Encourage your dedicated followers to share their smarts about your business and products. You never know, they may end up sharing their results with a new potential customer.

   6. Create Excitement By Revealing Exclusive Information on Your Stories

Gearing up for a big Shopify launch? Make sure your followers are the first to know!

shoppable Instagram story
Sales, launches, or other promotional materials can all be adapted for Stories. Image courtesy of Sellbrite.

So, your business is launching a new Shopify marketing campaign. Maybe it's for a new product, service, or a major seasonal sale. Whatever it may be, you want to make sure that your followers get the information before anyone else. This creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity among your customers. Soon, your audience will know that the only place to go for the latest updates is your Instagram Story. By sharing exclusive content and announcements, your followers will know to keep an eye on your account. It is also a great idea to reveal exclusive information during an IG live, making sure that those watching get a first look at your next big idea. With just a few graphics, you could turn a press release into an exclusive and engaging IG announcement.

   7. Organize a Good Old Fashioned Q&A

By letting your audience participate in your Stories, you can promote engagement and give your followers some insight into your company

question and answer example instagram story four panels
A question and answer session gives your business insight on the real concerns of your followers. Image courtesy of VentureBeat.

Giving your followers the opportunity to ask questions is an amazing way to let your audience know that you are paying attention. First, to execute a Q&A, you need to attach the “ask me a question” sticker to your IG post. Next, you should schedule a time for the Q&A to take place and begin promoting that time to your followers on all platforms. You should also set a time limit, usually an ½ an hour or an hour to answer the best submitted questions. When it comes time to begin the Q&A, answer any and all questions that you think could benefit your audience. Extra points if you combine Q&A with an employee takeover!

    8. Find New Ways to Visually Share Your Content

Blog posts and announcements should be shared as more than just text

instagram story new blog post example navy blue promotional post
Any form of content, even blogs, can be optimized for Stories. image courtesy of LikeMind Media.

Promotional content can take all different forms, but that doesn’t mean it can't all be shared via your Instagram Story. You can promote new feed posts, advertisements, photoshoots, and blog posts all on your Instagram Story. Since Instagram Stories are usually about 15 seconds long, you should choose only the most relevant and eye-catching content to present in the Story. Then, you should create a visually stimulating background for the post that enhances the promotional content. If you are able to use the swipe up feature on your Instagram account, this is an excellent time to include a link to the new promotional media.

   9. Take Your Audience’s Temperature With a Reaction Slider 

Using the Instagram slider sticker is a great way to get consumer feedback, and it’s fun for the audience too

lush cosmetics example for instagram reaction slider how to grow your following
Let your audience sound off! Image courtesy of Later.

Much like the Q&A sticker feature, there is also an option for you to interact with your followers through the reaction slider sticker. The reaction slider allows you to present new ideas and gauge your audience’s reaction. Your audience displays their reaction on a scale using an emoji of your choice. For example, you can start out with either the “shocked face” or “heart eyes” to gauge your audience’s reaction to a new announcement. For the slider, it is best to present some ideas that will create a more positive audience reaction, that way other people will see the you’ audience’s excitement when they visit the post. The reaction slider is also a great, low commitment way to increase your engagement and promote yourself to the algorithm. The more clicks, the more your page will be recommended to new users. 

  10. Go Live!

Plan an Instagram live event and engage your followers directly, just make sure you prepare

young couple live streaming in their kitchen baking
Show off the behind the scenes of your everyday workplace.

Much like the other forms of personalized engagement we’ve discussed, going live is an excellent way to engage your followers on a personal level. This can also go with an employee takeover, if one of your employees is willing to go live and talk to your followers. Going live on Instagram is an excellent way to increase engagement because Instagram will send notifications to your followers that you are currently live. 

Simply by clicking on the notification, your followers can access a more personal connection with your brand, since they are witnessing a real person go live. Your IG Live will also appear first on the Stories section of the application, so when users go to watch other Stories, yours will appear first. With all of the stylized content currently on social media, it can pay off to add some humanity to your brand.

All of these tips are helpful to grow your business, but it is most important to establish a real connection to your audience. There is no more powerful Shopify marketing tool than brand loyalty fostered by unique and personalized social media interactions. Once your audience is checking for your next post, you know you have done a great job of conveying your product on Instagram. 

If you are looking to up your Shopify marketing game on Instagram or need help growing your brand, you can reach out to a member of our top marketing agency for more information about how Responsival can help you.

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