12 Ways Instagram Stories Can Boost Your Brand

Instagram stories can be an incredibly effective way for brands to increase authenticity, engagement, and sales. Stories are short and disappear after 24 hours, but they allow shoppers to interact with brands on a more personal, human level. Brands can also curate story “highlights” to ensure that the best and brightest content gets saved and seen again and again.

Guru Club offers a seamless way for brands to take advantage of the valuable benefits offered by Instagram stories. Even better, our Shopify app allows brands to source creative content directly from their shoppers – content that will be seen by their shoppers’ Instagram followers, and that brands can own and leverage however they want.

This kind of authentic peer-to-peer marketing is incredibly valuable. According to Nielsen’s report, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over ANY other type of advertising. When your shoppers share an Instagram story about you, every view they get is an extremely qualified prospective shopper for you. That means authentic growth in brand awareness, huge potential for increased sales, and more!

Getting mentioned in your shoppers’ Instagram stories is hugely beneficial. Through Guru Club, it comes with another perk: you get to own and leverage that user-generated content (UGC) however you want. Besides our 6 ideas for how to use UGC, here are 12 ways you can boost your brand directly through Instagram stories using your shoppers’ content.

  1. Repost to your story

As we mentioned, many studies have shown that shoppers find UGC more trustworthy than brand-created content. Their unique, creative content is as authentic as it gets! You can very simply repost your shoppers’ content – no extra comments needed – to build trust in your brand and show real evidence that real shoppers love you.

  1. Build up your Story Highlights

Keep UGC featured on your profile to get increase engagement and conversions. Did you know UGC gets 28% higher engagement than brand content? Using UGC builds trust and grows your community. It’s also worth noting that a staggering  93% of customers find UGC very helpful when making a purchasing decision.

  1. Take your shoppers behind the scenes

Remind your shoppers that there are real people behind your brand who love seeing shoppers enjoy their products and services. Share the experience of filling orders or your reaction when a shopper mentions you in their story. This will help strengthen the bond between you and your customers, and give you more credibility and approachability.

  1. Spread the word with shareable content

A fun, recent trend has been to post a template sharing answers to questions such as “My Favorite Things”. Users answer prompts on a template using GIFs, emojis, text, or by drawing on their screens. Here’s an idea: when a shopper shares a photo of your products, send them a branded template they can fill out and share, such as “My Favorite YourStore Products” or “YourStore Flavors I’ve Tried”. Fun, interactive, and easy!

  1. Learn shopper preferences with polls

Instagram polls allow you to start conversations with your shoppers about your products, services, or shared interests. For example, if your shopper shares a story of one of your products in two flavors or colors, ask your audience which one they should try first!

  1. Use emoji sliders to understand shoppers better

Emoji sliders provide a great opportunity to understand how your shoppers feel about a product, topic, or even your brand in general. These scales are surprisingly versatile due to the large variety of usable emojis. Brands have also begun creatively manipulating the scale to provide polls with more than two options. Use sliders when you repost your shoppers to gain some valuable insights.

  1. Invite questions and feedback with the Q&A sticker

Listening to shopper feedback is crucial to your success as a Shopify brand. If a shopper posts with a question, chances are other shoppers might have similar questions! Repost their story with the Q&A sticker and answer them all. Here’s a tip: if you’re using this sticker, make sure to be timely in acknowledging submissions and posting responses.

  1. Share fun facts or general information with mini-quizzes

Mini-quizzes on Instagram stories provide 4 customizable answer options with one “right” option. You can use this feature to share fun facts about your brand or the products your shoppers feature.

  1. Directly tag related accounts to amplify your reach

Reposting your shoppers introduces you to their followers through a trusted mutual contact. Similarly, reposting and tagging related accounts – such as partner brands or other shoppers – will boost your reach even further.

  1. Include hashtags and location tags to reach the right people in Discover feeds

Repost your shopper with some hashtags or location tags to show up in Discover feeds. Potential shoppers will discover you and see that you’re using great content directly from your shoppers, giving you a stamp of approval right away. When using hashtags in story reposts, consider hashtag relevancy and popularity. You can add one clickable hashtag sticker and up to ten text hashtags to each story you post.

Design tip: if you’re worried these tags will interfere with the look of your stories, you can adjust them! Hide tags by placing a GIF or sticker on top, or pinch to shrink their size. You can also change the color of your text hashtags to match your background and “hide” them in plain sight.

  1. Include Swipe Up links to drive traffic to your site, specific products, or other URLs

While your shoppers can’t link to your website, you can! Repost them with a link to drive traffic to your Shopify site. For those with over 10,000 followers, this is easy: simply include the Swipe Up function to link your story to a specific page. Even if you haven’t unlocked the Swipe Up function, you can direct people to the shop link in your Instagram bio. You can even turn your one link into a branded landing page with multiple links using Linktree, Lnk.Bio, and more.

  1. Add product stickers to promote specific products

As a Shopify brand on Instagram, you can link your online store to your account and add clickable product stickers to encourage sales. These simple stickers create a streamlined shopping process that lets your shopper make purchases from your store without even having to leave the Instagram app. When reposting your shopper, make sure to include a link or sticker so other shoppers can purchase from your brand too.

What innovative Instagram stories have you been seeing success with? Let us know!

Join Guru Club to take advantage of the amazing benefits of Instagram Stories

Already part of Guru Club? Promote our partnership with our Co-Marketing Resources, or check out your shoppers’ content in the Guru Club Shopify app