Instagram was launched in 2010, and since then this social platform, in particular, has grown astronomically! The platform went from 1 million users during the first two months on the market to over 800 million users by September 2017. Instagram stories were launched in the summer of 2016 and have seen success as a way to share short tidbits of your everyday life without posting too many pictures back to back.
Every day, over 400 million people use Instagram Stories! With those types of numbers, why wouldn’t you want to incorporate stories into your overall digital marketing strategy? Additionally, we’re beginning to see more and more financial advisors embrace social media but not so much Instagram yet. So today we’re sharing some time on how to integrate this booming platform into your overall digital marketing strategy. Ready to get started? Keep reading for some helpful tips to get you going!
Using Instagram Stories as a Financial Advisor
Before we get started, it’s important to understand the difference between Instagram Stories and Instagram posts, so what exactly is an Instagram story? Stories allow users to create a feed of content that disappears within 24 hours after it was posted. The content can either be photos or video, but can include fun engaging features such as using the “Boomerang” feature for video, which are short, action-packed video loops.
Your followers or other Instagram users can see if you have recently posted a new story as the circle around your profile photo will have a colorful orange and purple ring around it. Stories appear in a bar at the top of your Instagram feed. To view stories, you simply tap on the profile photo in the bar at the top of your feed and story content play chronologically from oldest to newest. You can tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story. Unlike regular Instagram posts, there are no likes or public comments with stories. However, you can send direct messages as a means of commenting on someone’s story but your message will not be public.
3 Best Practices for Instagram Stories
1. get the most out of your visuals
Instagram is all about the beautiful visuals, so even though they only last for 24 hours, the stories should still follow this guideline!
- Just like on your advisor website, where it’s a great idea to use “real” images that represent your employees or your business, the same goes for Instagram Stories.
- Use bright and interesting colors.
- Use interesting overlays or something that really grabs the attention of the user like GIFs and stickers.
While you still want to use this for professional purposes, Instagram is a fun platform and it can be treated as such! Don’t be afraid to try something new, as this is just another way to convey the personality of your firm and “humanize” your brand.
The example above from Tara Lucke on Instagram she uses an image of her estate planning checklist, a GIF and bold colors with a CTA that really draw her followers attention to take action.
2. direct followers to your stories
There are many people that use Instagram, but that doesn’t mean everyone follows stories regularly or pays that much attention to them. That’s okay, it just means you need to give your followers a little push in the right direction!
You can do a quick mention in one of your posts, something along the lines of: “For more information about how you can start planning for retirement today, check out our story!” As long as you don’t do this for every post, it doesn’t appear to be “spammy.”
3. pay attention to your text
Even though Instagram Stories is a tool that you can have fun with, be sure that the text you use is legible and that there aren’t any typos. It’s still a representation of your business and it’s important that you put your best foot forward and even when you’re having some fun, keep in mind that it’s a business and you want to show that you are trustworthy and professional, no matter how you are conveying your message.
5 Types of Stories to Use For Your Advisor Business
Now that you have a few pointers on best practices for stories, what are some of the stories that would benefit your business? We’ve got five ideas that can help get you started in the world of stories:
1. show “behind the scenes”
This is great for “humanizing” and giving a personal touch to your brand. Financial advisors can be seen as all business, so it’s nice to see a look into the daily life of your advisor, so you can understand more of what really goes on at the business.
If you are about to launch a new product or something along those lines, this is a great time to show what goes into kicking off something new. Show them the hard work that goes into each product at work, and build excitement as your audience anticipates more and more.
The above example from Bart Zandbergen on Instagram shares a behind the scenes look at their team prepping and recording their latest podcast. They also include a CTA “link in bio” to encourage their followers to listen in on the latest episode. Doing something similar around your everyday office life and culture is a great way to make your audience feel “in the know” and a part of your family.
2. time-sensitive offers or promotions
Just like a call to action button, where you want to create a sense of urgency and entice your visitors to click, display a time-sensitive offer in your Instagram stories, as well. When offering a promotion, at the end of the story, give your audience the opportunity to “Swipe up to find out more” or “Swipe up to receive your FREE consultation with one of our advisors.” Something along the lines where you are able to rope in your readers or offer them 25% off a product or service if they click now.
Creating a sense of urgency and making sure they understand it will only be available a little bit longer will make your audience more likely to “Swipe up” or “Link In Bio.” In the above image, Twenty Over Ten is providing followers with a FREE SEO guidebook for RIAs. Incorporating Free into anything, as well as, making it appear time-sensitive is a great way to get more engagement.
3. user-generated content
So, what is user-generated content? Simply put, it is any form of content, such as images, podcasts, videos, text or audio that have been posted by online users. If a firm reshares or posts third-party content on their story, something that someone else created, that a great way to engage with others and potentially grow your follower base. It’s exciting when somebody takes notice of what you have created, so that will create the type of friendly engagement that you need to generate with your audience!
Show them that you care about what others have to say, find other work important and are willing to reach out and engage. If your team members are this attentive on social media, then that shows how much they will get to know you and your family once you are a client!
“How-to” Guides or tutorials are a great way to promote engagement with your followers. Not only will your engagement increase when you use a tutorial, but it will position your firm as an expert in the industry and set you apart as a thought leader.
If you cater to a particular niche, then discuss a topic that your followers will most likely watch. For example, if you cater to millennials, then maybe do a quick step by step approach that shows them how to set up a 401K and the importance of doing so even at a young age!
The example above from Michelle Hung she promotes her retirement bliss quiz in her story. She encourages her followers to sign up to take the quiz by following a link in her bio.
5. special announcements
Much like promotions and giveaways, special announcements are a great way to keep your firm’s followers “In the Know” and ensure that they are finding out everything they can about what your firm has to offer. Offering something exclusive and acting as if your followers are the first to know about something going on at your business is a great way to build your brand and gain more followers by showing that your firm really puts a lot into filling in your audience.
You always hear about the big three for social media, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But Instagram is a platform taking the business world by storm. Instagram stories offer a different and engaging way for people to absorb content, and it enables businesses to get creative with such a growing platform in a way that they never have before.