Frustrating, isn’t it?
All those potential customers who’d be a perfect fit for your business are out there on Instagram, right at your fingertips… and just out of reach.
But hey, let’s not despair — after all, many of these people follow you. That means, you can engage them with well-crafted content…
…that gets lost in their feed about 1.5 seconds after you post it.
Oh no. Well, that’s just unacceptable!
There must be some method to reach your ideal customers on IG, command their attention, and compel them to take action on your messages!
Okay, okay — you’ve seen the headline, so you already know what we’ll be talking about.
Like most social media, ye olde Insta has a problem with organic reach. And (again, like most social media) rather than solve it directly, it gives you an extra feature designed to help you access your most dedicated followers — Stories.
So today, I’m going to be showing you how to make the most of them!
In this article, I’ll share with you 5 techniques designed to help entrepreneurs like you to get more views, engagement, and conversions out of your Instagram Stories.
(By the way, this material will work wonders not only for IG, but any social media that uses Stories! Just so you know.)
We will cover:
- Why content quality is not enough to ensure engagement, and what to focus on instead
- Simple and devastatingly effective tactics to make your Stories more memorable
- The biggest reason customers get frustrated with Stories and stop watching
- How to draw people into your video Stories even if you’re “not good on camera”
And more. Let’s begin.
1. Use copywriting formulas for hit, high-converting Stories
Content structure and presentation matters just as much as content quality.
The world’s greatest direct response copywriters and marketers have known this since the 1920s (at least!). That’s why they came up with formulas and templates to help deliver their messages in a compelling way.
And guess what? Those formulas work just as beautifully with Instagram Stories! Same principles, different medium.
That’s why you’re going to steal them to make your Stories extra memorable, engaging, and high-converting!
Here are two of my favorites:
- PADS => Problem, Agitation, Discredit, Solution. Lead with a problem that resonates with your ideal customers; keep escalating the emotional and material stakes of not solving the problem; discredit alternative solutions your audience may be considering; then present your own solution as the way forward.
- The 4 Ps => Picture, Promise, Prove, Propose. Describe an outcome or result your customers desperately want to achieve; promise to help them create this desired future; prove it with evidence (success stories, selling points, etc.); and finally, invite them to take advantage of your offer.
Next time you make a Story, use one of these formulas to structure it… and you’ll be shocked at the difference it makes in your content!
2. Help your ideas “stick” with captions and visuals
Here’s one couldn’t-be-easier way to get more views on your Instagram Stories… that most entrepreneurs still ignore for some reason.
Do your Stories include you talking — or any kind of narration at all? If the answer is yes, then caption everything.
I can count at least three good reasons to do it:
- Most people watch Stories with sound off by default (says Hubspot), and the only way your message can reach them is via captions and visuals. Don’t exclude a big chunk of your audience just because you couldn’t be bothered to make captions!
- Presenting the same information in two parallel modalities (text and audio) will make your messages more memorable and “sticky.” People learn in different ways, and it’s good to have something for visual learners and auditory learners in the audience.
- Deaf and hard of hearing people are just as likely to buy from you than anyone else. So besides being the right thing to do, captioning your Stories to make them accessible is good for business.
Tip: even if you don’t need full captions, it’s a great idea to use other visuals — titles, arrows, stickers, numbers, etc. — to grab attention and emphasize key information in your Stories.
3. Keep it bite-sized and serialized for optimal engagement
Here’s a not-so-fun fact about Instagram Stories: whether it’s video, text, or an image, you only get 15 seconds per Story slide. And that’s a limit you want to take very seriously.
So make sure you deliver your content in bite-sized pieces — one key idea per slide, no more.
Now, you may ask, “But Summer, can’t my viewers just ‘pause’ the Story by holding their finger to the screen, and take it all in at their own pace?” Yes, yes they can. But most of them absolutely won’t! And even those that do will still find it awkward and annoying. Because it is.
Trust me: it’s much easier to take your customers on a storytelling journey through multiple Story slides than expect them to fiddle with their phones or become speedreaders on the spot!
Even though Instagram automatically splits video Stories into 15-second chunks, you still want to think about their structure, and contain each point you’re making within one video snippet. This will help your Story flow naturally, without those awkward stops and starts that you see all the time when converting longer videos into IG Stories.
This arbitrary limit might seem frustrating, but it’s actually a blessing in disguise. Use it to your advantage!
4. Want views and conversions? Mug for the camera!
This is going to sound like I’m messing with you, but I promise you I’m not.
One surprising secret of creating on-camera Stories that don’t get skipped and attract engagement, shares, and conversions is… turning your energy up.
No, really! It’s actually makes perfect sense when you think about it:
- Speaking on camera is inherently less expressive than doing it in person — because you’re not actually there, and all your viewers get is a lower-quality, “flattened” representation of you. Sure, it’s the next best thing… but it’s still not great.
- So if you want to convey the same energy and presence on camera that you’d have in person, you have to crank it up! Speak with more emotional weight; gesticulate more; heighten your facial expressions; that sort of thing.
People who speak on video for a living say that you should be at least 50% more intense on camera just to match your in-person energy and charisma. And your IG Stories are no exception!
Your customers will appreciate a powerful presence in their Insta feed. Emotionally charged, high-energy Stories get more views (with sound on), higher engagement, and more conversions. It’s time to bust out your charisma — it pays off, literally!
5. Increase conversions with clear, concise calls to action
As a business owner, why do you even post Instagram Stories? I’m going to make an educated guess that you’re after two things:
- Cultivating a strong relationship with customers, and
- Driving sales for your products and services.
And the thing about relationships and sales is… both of them are a two-way street. To succeed, you must take action towards your audience, and then invite them to respond.
That’s why it’s a great idea to incorporate calls to action into your IG Stories, even when making sales isn’t your immediate goal! It builds trust, it makes your audience comfortable with taking action on your content, and it can create a ton of additional value for your brand!
For example, you could:
- Gather candid customer feedback and relevant questions through Stories. Use the former to improve your business, and turn the latter into remarkable content.
- Qualify leads by asking them to DM you and start a conversation. If you rely on outbound sales, this old school strategy can fill your pipeline in no time!
- Promote your Story content by asking viewers to repost something they like. Intensely shareable content + clear CTA to repost = more shares and more leads.
- Drive top-quality traffic to your site by directing people to your link in bio, or asking them to swipe up (if your IG business account supports this feature).
Bottom line is, even outside the sales context, calls to action are essential for high-performing Stories. Don’t neglect yours!
Behind all high-converting Stories is an irresistible message
If you want to use your Instagram Stories to drive serious revenue for your business, you need a powerful statement that compels prospects to respond right now.
In other words… you need an Elevator Pitch.
An Elevator Pitch is designed to cut through all the distractions and grab your prospects’ attention as fast as possible. It’s a single, memorable statement about your business that you can deliver in 30 seconds or less. And it has ONE job — getting potential customers excited enough and curious enough to say the 3 all-important words…
“Tell me more!”
I know what you’re thinking, “There’s no way I can hook people on my business in 30 seconds!” I disagree. My team has already helped dozens of businesses formulate an irresistible Elevator Pitch — and we want to create one for you, too.
All you need is to hop on a 30-minute consultation with one of our expert copywriters here at The Draw Shop. They will help you define the problem you solve, how you solve it, and the life-changing results your customers will see from working with you.
Then we’ll transform your input into a unique Elevator Pitch for your brand — a powerful 30-second statement scientifically designed to stand out, delight, persuade… and convert.
And we’ll top it off with a one-page, one-of-a-king infographic that makes your pitch into an engaging visual story! That’s going to be a valuable marketing asset in its own right — you can…
- Share it with your team
- Feature it on your website
- Use it in your email signature
- Put it on the back of your business card
- Spread it on social media