That was the sound of cash registers everywhere raking in dollar bills.
Well, as much as online cash registers can make audible sounds (we personally have a glowing disco ball that lights up whenever we welcome new clients to the Mish Train, but we don’t want to tell your business how to live).
Anyway, the point.
Cash registers are going to be ring-a-ding-dinging with Instagram Stories’ latest update: you know that shopping tag function they have for retailers on regular posts, so that users can buy straight in the app?
Well…it’s coming to Stories.
That’s right, your Stories are going to become giant shopping baskets, and it’s going to be a real love/hate relationship for users. Love because, well, it’s gosh-darn* satisfying to be able to buy straight from the source of inspiration––which Stories have become for a lot of users. It’s real-life inspiration, unfiltered, coming in 15-second bursts.
*We cleaned this up because most of your inboxes probably have profanity filters––in all transparency, this was a little stronger before the edit.
And the hate––because the place that they love so much, that audiences have flocked to, is becoming more and more commercial. And that is a sensitive wee subject for users. It’s their space, and they protect it fiercely.
So, in that vein, here are 3 things we think will help keep your brand firmly in the ‘love’ category as Stories become shoppable:
1. Create generously
We really can’t sing this from the rooftop enough. And literally no one wants to hear us sing. But, creating generously is going to keep you so firmly in the love category with users, it’s worth hearing our tone-deaf voices sing for.
That’s because creating generously means creating for your audience, with content that resonates with them. Content that adds value to their day or week or year. Just because you might be selling something, that doesn’t mean the Stories become all about your brand––they’re still created for and about your audience.
Here’s the thing: 80% of what you should be doing on social media is probably just listening to your audience. Using data to understand what content works for them and why, using sentiment to determine what resonates the most, and then spend the remaining 20% of that time creating based on what you heard them tell you.
If they love recipe how-to food videos, create those, and let them shop the ingredients. If they love real Stories from your customers, tell those, and show how your product has helped their lives with a shop link.
3. Make them interactive
Audiences on Stories love being involved in the narrative, and we think this will only be amplified as things become shoppable. One of the most powerful things here will be involving your audience in the Stories about your products or brand––AKA user generated content (UGC). With UGC, you’re both engaging your audience by letting them tell the Stories with you, and letting them share their favorite things about your brand to their peers––so it’s them selling your product, not you.
Studies show that UGC generates up to 7x higher engagement than brand-produced content, and that millennials trust UGC 50% more than content created by brands. Which are both very powerful stats as Stories become shoppable.