The ruling principle of marketing is to be where your audience is. And considering the raving popularity of Instagram Stories, which see 400 million daily active users, it’s no wonder that savvy businesses are finding ways to maximize the potential of this feature. Stories are a powerful marketing tool, no doubt, and with tools such as Storrito, businesses are able to perfect their Stories, making them more engaging, enticing, and representative of the brand. But they’re not just great for boosting audience engagement and building trust. With a few tricks up your sleeve, your Stories can actually start driving conversions. We’ve rounded up the 5 crucial tips to help you create Instagram stories that sell.

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1. Showcase your products in action

What’s so great about your product? Why would somebody want to buy from you and not your competitor? Show, don’t tell.

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The great thing about Stories is that they’re a rather causal medium – they’re unpolished, unpretentious, and open to spontaneity. It’s why audiences love them. It’s because of this that they make informal and unforced promotion very easy – and very effective. When you show your product being used in a Story, you can show all the best things about it plus add a couple of tips for your audience on how to use it or to make it look better. So just get it out there and entice your audience to try it out for themselves.

2. Go behind the scenes

When you let your audience have a glimpse into your world, you’re not only building trust (which is crucial to actually getting them to convert into customers). You’re giving your products a real story. They’re no longer just products from a company – they have a human element to them.

So don’t hesitate to go behind the scenes and show a regular day at your company, show your employees in spontaneous situations, or better yet, film some part of the production process.

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Be careful, however, not to mistake spontaneity for just plain old poor video quality. Especially if you’re going to film the production process, do a little bit of planning ahead or find a suitable video production agency in your area to help you. You want these Stories to be interesting, well-filmed, and to have a special quality to them that makes your product all the more desirable, so don’t rush the process and prepare them on desktop first.

3. Build hype

Keep your audience tuned in while you’re working on a new product or preparing an upcoming launch. Your followers will appreciate being in-the-know – it makes them feel involved and it makes the upcoming product or event all the more coveted. But don’t show and tell everything. Rely on little snippets to tickle their imagination – make your Stories work like teasers or trailers for movies. You can film short snippets of the work in progress or create text-only Stories which serve as announcements to build hype.

4. Use special offers

Special offers and discount codes are a smart sales tactic used by businesses on Instagram. It’s all about exclusivity – get involved, follow us, and you’ll get something exclusive. If you ever resort to this tactic (which is warmly recommended), make sure you build it into your Stories too. Otherwise it will be way less effective.

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So when you create a special offer, insert it into your Stories through an announcement. You can also make the discount code available exclusively in the Story, which will make it all the more effective because you create a sense of urgency – people will inherently be driven to act on your offer when there’s only a 24-hour window to do so. Remember, Stories are all about FOMO-the fear of missing out, so leverage it to boost sales.

5. Host takeovers

An Instagram takeover is when you swap accounts with someone for a day – for 24 hours, they manage your account and you manage theirs. Announce the takeover in your Story and make sure you both post Stories throughout the course of the takeover in order to keep your audience engaged.

Takeovers are a great tactic for a number of reasons. For one, you get a whole new audience – and if you choose your “takeover partner” well, the audience should be pretty much your target audience too. So you get a lot more exposure by taking over their account and a chance to get new followers who are interested in your brand. Your account, on the other hand, gets a fresh perspective and somewhat different content. Not only can you boost your follower count and engagement rate, but you can showcase your product in a fresh, quirky, new light to get customers through your (virtual) door.

A little tip: find someone who is relevant and influential within your niche to host your account. By pairing micro-influencer marketing with takeovers, you’ll make your products look all the more desirable.

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Although they’ve become a legitimate and serious marketing tool, Instagram Stories are still an incredibly fun medium to use. With the help of these tips and useful features which you can find on Storrito, you’ll be able to create exceptional Stories which sell. So dive right into – and happy Story-ing!

Written by Angelina Harper.