Using IG Stories to Introduce Your Brand, New Product, New Features, etc.
There are a lot of ways to drive engagement and share your story on social media. As your community, or social media audience, is growing and evolving, how do you introduce, or reintroduce, yourself - your company, product, and features, to your audience?
On Instagram, story highlights are a great way to direct followers to specific content that can help them better understand the value of your product or service in their life - and the unique features and benefits your company provides. This doesn’t just apply to Instagram Highlights of course. You could think about this type of content and storytelling process in all of your social media channels, on your website, and of course via your email marketing campaigns.
What are Instagram Stories?
Stories are short, 15-second vertical photos or videos that are “live” for 24-hours. You can extend the life of your Stories content by using Highlights, or saved “folders” that followers can revisit by navigating through your profile. There are a lot of different features within the Stories functionality. You can add stickers, text, question bubbles, layer images - the options are pretty incredible.
Why use Instagram Stories?
While many brands choose to curate their Instagram Feed, or the static posts that live in your grid, Stories are a creative way to capture and engage with your community - sharing information, timely updates, and casual content and is intended to be fleeting. Feed content is great for reaching new audiences - it’s easily shareable and scannable. Stories, on the other hand, are most effective for building engagement and connecting with your community. TechCrunch, for example, said that for every 1 in 5 Stories a brand posts, they receive a direct reply - giving you and your brand a direct connection to your followers and (potential) customers.
Why use an Instagram Highlight?
Your Instagram profile is primarily your bio details and your grid posts - but between the two is the prime real estate of IG Highlights. You can customize your Highlight titles and cover images to show off your branding, support your visual identity, or communicate information about your company more clearly. By saving a Highlight that introduces your brand, a product, or a specific benefit or feature, you’re able to help your audience easily find the information and context they may be looking for about your brand. The easier it is for your audience to trust and understand your company’s potential value, the easier it is to drive conversion, or revenue. Highlights give your audience the information they are looking for, easily and quickly. Plus, it’s an easy way to point new faces to your FAQs.
Now that you have a basic understanding of Instagram stories, let’s get into the Mini-Drill.
Explore some examples
There are A LOT of examples of brands who have used Instagram Stories and Highlights to introduce themselves - from mission to product to vision - the options are endless.
WHOOP U - Company Overview Stories Highlight
An example of a company that uses a lot of different Highlights to share its brand and vision is WHOOP, the athletic wearables brand.
WHOOP uses custom icon title pages and title descriptions to introduce the different topics. You can see that as of the time of the screenshot, they had less than 500 total posts in their grid, but a quick scroll through their saved Highlights shows that there are hundreds of additional posts that give followers and profile visitors insight into their company and product, and provide existing users with support resources.
Notion for Designers - Use Case/Target Audience Stories Highlight
When your product has a wide potential user base, it can be helpful to create specific, focused content that speaks to a specific user audience. Notion uses this approach in their Notion for Designers Stories Highlight - showcasing the specific features and benefits of using Notion as a Designer. In their Saved Highlights, they also have a specific resource for using Notion for time management. You’ll notice that these two use cases, designers and people seeking time management support may not be directly connected, but it's probably the case that their marketing team is creating content based on popular use cases, or targeted audiences, and has some customer research to back up their content decisions.
Planoly Sellit - New Feature Release Stories Highlight
Planoly took a different approach, using their Stories to promote and tease a new product feature release and then digging into the feature benefits and details. A Planoly team member is introducing the “why” behind the feature’s development - and how it is designed to support its users in better selling their products. The Stories Highlight also includes a question and answer box and details about the feature once it has launched. To wrap up the series, Planoly also tells stories from makers in their community, highlighting the makers, the digital storefronts (newly released feature), and unique challenges.
Other examples of Stories Highlights for inspiration include:
- Summer Fridays Cleanser (New Product)
- Firelight Yoga FLY TV (New Product)
- Fireclay Tile Desert Brick (New Product)
- Omsom Behind the Scenes (Company Information)
How to build your Stories Introduction
Estimated time: 30 min - 1 hour, depending on the number of Story tiles you create
Before you open Instagram and start creating content, start by choosing what your goal is and what kind of content you want to create. Think about your content in three segments - the three E’s: educate, entertain, and engage. This is not an overt sales driver - you don’t need to push your viewers to a checkout cart here - you’re sharing information and building your relationship with your audience.
1. Choose your goal
- Share company information
- Highlight a new feature
- Announce a new product
2. Outline your story
Some sample questions and prompts to get you started
Introduce your company - Sample Questions
Sample post prompts to guide you through building your Company Introduction Stories Highlight.
- What does your company do?
- How does your company do those things?
- Why does your company do those things?
- Define any industry-specific lingo you might have just used
- What are some commonly asked questions about your company?
- How did you choose your name?
- How can someone get more information about your company or product?
- How do you use your product?
- Do you have any other content on your website that you can point to?
- Share customer testimonial or user story
Highlight a new feature/Announce a new product - Sample Questions
- Promote a new feature/product coming soon
- Tease the new feature/product with what-if statements that point to the problem you are solving
- Share the name of a new feature/product
- Describe the new feature/product
- Introduce why the feature/product will be valuable for the user
- Tell a behind the scenes story or piece of information about developing the feature/product
- Showcase users who are actively using the feature/product
- Open the door for questions about the feature/product from your community
- Show the feature/product being used by your target audience - before & after’s can be a fun way to highlight the specific achievement or advancement
- Direct the viewer to where they can find more information about the feature/product
3. Gather your creative assets and start building
You don’t have to have every post outlined and designed the first day you start publishing. You can add to your Stories Highlights over time, but you should start with the key information and visuals that will describe your product and company. Consider breaking your outline into sections like a Russian doll if you’re planning to introduce content in stages. Broadest information first, then getting into more and more detail as you go.
4. Proofread your posts
Check for spelling, grammar, and review your Margo marketing content checklist for any brand, voice, or company-specific training content reviews.