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Think about how you spend time on social media. If you’re anything like the rest of the world, you watch Instagram stories first (and maybe, only).

Which is to say… If you’re not on Instagram stories already, you need to start right now! (Like, RIGHT NOW, even before you listen to the “how to’s.”)

In this episode I’m detailing 3 ways Instagram stories ads work really well for our clients. HINT: These are things you can start doing today (before, during, or after your next launch) to amplify your marketing success!

(These are tiny, but mighty, tweaks, and let me tell you right now: It starts with your ORGANIC presence online.)

In this episode you’ll hear me talk about…

Why showing up on stories during a LIVE launch makes a major difference
How to create interactive stories for Instagram (especially for high-ticket sales + MLMs)
What the research says… whether Instagram Stories ads work better for opt-ins or sales pages

PLUS, I’m sharing my trick to showing up on Instagram every single day while also prioritizing screen-free time with my kids. (This is for all the mompreneurs out there!)

Take a quick listen, and then tag @emilyhirsh in your IG stories if you want me to come over and see what you’re doing!

NOTE: Listen to episode 28, “Instagram 101,” for more information about what’s working for ads on Instagram.

Key Points:
[1:46] Your ORGANIC presence online will determine your paid marketing success
[4:56] Instagram Stories HACK for high-ticket sales + MLMs
[6:11] What the research says: “Do stories ads work better for opt-ins or sales pages?”
[8:55] My TRICK for showing up daily on IG (without using my phone 24/7)

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Episode Transcripts:  

Today we’re diving into Instagram stories. So Instagram stories are doing amazing. I’ve talked about them before on the podcast. I really feel like they are one of the top ways to connect with your audience. I know I personally consume Instagram stories the most, more than scrolling Instagram or Facebook. So if that’s the case, you know, most people are probably doing that. So if you’re not on Instagram stories both organically and in paid traffic, you definitely should be.

Today I’m going to talk about some ways to use it strategically, some ways that I haven’t covered in the past. And [since] when I previously did my episode on Instagram stories, a lot has changed since then, and what’s working and what’s not. So I’m just going to give you as an update on that. So the first one actually comes more around to organic use of Instagram stories, and with all paid marketing, you know, what you do in terms of your value content and how you show up organically for your audience also supports your paid marketing.

This is a piece that my team actually threw around and mentioned, comparing it to a couple of different client launches, but that is, during a launch, a live launch, like Open and Close Cart model, one thing they noticed was the clients who stayed really present on Instagram stories during the launch, in comparison to the ones who didn’t, did better. So the ones who stayed really present did better during the launch, which means that they were on Instagram stories sharing whatever was going on with her launch, like sharing when the cart was closing, being there for questions, answering questions, doing things like the polls and countdown timers, like all those fun features that you can do organically on Instagram stories actually helped contribute to the success of their launch as a whole. Because your launch, whenever you do one is, there’s so many pieces to the puzzle that goes in there. From your organic social media and your Facebook lives to maybe your podcast to your Instagram stories to your emails, and then your paid traffic is just a piece of it, and they all work together to create the most success possible.

So don’t forget about the Instagram stories during a live launch. Also I believe you should be doing them regularly. Ideally you always have one up, you know how they last 24 hours, like you always have one up that people can watch, and I have noticed personally that when I do more Instagram stories, I get more viewers and engagement. So if I have 10 up in a day, [rather] than two, I will have increased like 30, 40 more people watching it just by having a lot, which is just because Facebook’s, I mean not Facebook, Instagram is pushing your Instagram story in front of more people, like at the beginning of their thread of Instagram stories on their app. So that’s the first one, and that’s around organic use, but it just basically, like I said, is a puzzle piece to your launch into your paid marketing strategy.

The second one is using, I touched on this a little, but using polls and the question feature, anything that somebody can interact with on your Instagram story will actually help your algorithm, both in paid ads and organic. So both Facebook and Instagram right now are super favoring any engagement. Like they want people to engage with ads, engage with posts, engage with Instagram stories, and actually engage versus just consume. So by using the polls and the questions, and the little features that people can do to engage with your Instagram story, it’s actually going to greatly help your algorithm both organically and even paid, in my opinion. So I mean, and in what we’re seeing across the board, that is true. So that is the second thing is, incorporate those organically when you’re using your Instagram stories to help your algorithm on your account as a whole.

Then the next one is a fun little hack that we’ve been doing on the paid side, which is running an Instagram story ad with the call to action for people to actually just respond to your ad, which pushes them into your direct message box. I thought that was really cool, something my team tested and was seeing success [with]. It’s great for higher ticket sales, where you’re trying to get somebody to have a conversation with you and to like, start that conversation and get them on the phone. I could also see it being great for the network marketing industry, because that’s where you’re trying to start conversations.

If you don’t want conversations started in your direct messaging box, though, don’t do this ad. Because some people don’t want to do that, and they can’t manage it, and they don’t have the team to manage it, and that’s fine, but it’s a really interesting way to connect. We always come back to that in ads. How do we connect with the audience even better? So running an Insta Story ad with the call to action, like you can even just make it on Insta Story and then download that and run that little picture or video as your ad with the call to action to just “Reply and let me know,” or “Reply and,” whatever. So then you can start conversations with people and connect with them and take them down your funnel, down your sales process if that’s what it is.

Then the final one is an interesting observation that we’ve had over the last… so we’ve been testing Insta Story ads basically since they started, and we always pretty much just test them for everything. So like, we’ll test Insta Story ads for a webinar, for an opt-in, for a challenge. We’ll also do it obviously for the sales ads. When someone has an open cart or like, two-day promotion after their webinar, we will test Insta Story images and videos.

To be honest, it varies what works best for what clients, and that’s why it’s so important to test yourself in what is going to work the best. Because you never know until you try it, and something that works for one person may not work for you. You have to try it, but. Not across the board, but I’d say a huge percentage of the finding that we had last month was that, Insta Story ads were doing better for opt-ins… so for webinars, and lead magnets, challenges, for something somebody had to sign up for… and not as well for the sales. Interesting find. It doesn’t mean don’t do them. It just means make sure that you put a good emphasis on it in your opt-ins, and you might also notice that it doesn’t do as well for your sales ads, and you don’t want to spend as much budget on Insta Story sales ads, because it’s not converting.

We noticed that across several accounts, which is always something we will then flag as something we’re seeing as a theme. So we noticed it on several accounts and several of our ads teams, and I just thought that was interesting. When you think about it, it probably makes sense. Like people don’t go from Insta Story to buying something. Maybe they don’t have, it’s like they’re just… Insta Stories are such a fast consumption that maybe they don’t have the time at that moment to go to a sales page and buy it. I don’t know. It’s interesting.

So again, it doesn’t mean don’t do it, but pay attention to those things, because wherever you can kind of slim down your budget and say, “Hey, if I take this extra $200 or $500 and instead of allocating it to sales Insta Story story ads, if I allocated it to direct on the feed Instagram ads, that I know would convert better and that’s what we should do, and that’s where we should put our budget.” Because you know, all the data that you capture from your launch now or your marketing now or your funnel now, it should be being monitored like that. Little things like that, especially as you scale and you’re trying to keep that cost down while you scale, can make such a huge difference in terms of the conversion. So those are the top things and top takeaways right now from Instagram story ads, and what is and isn’t working, and what’s important to pay attention to.

Regardless, takeaways is like, be on Instagram stories, both organically and in your paid advertising, because it’s a really huge way that people are consuming content right now, including myself. So you can always come and follow me, @emilyhirsh, on Instagram stories. I do try to be active there, and one little hack, just sidenote hack, like not even marketing hack, but I really, if you know me and you follow me, you know` I really value being unplugged with my kids, and I really make a conscious effort of doing that every day. So what I will do is put my phone in airplane mode when I’m with them, and oftentimes I won’t have my phone at all, but if there’s a time or I’m out with them and I want to actually record an Instagram story, or I just did this when I was traveling last weekend on a fun girls trip is, I would have my phone off, but I would record the stories, and then I just upload them all at one time, because it takes time to add the text and put a GIF, or the location, or whatever, in there.

So that way you’re not doing it while actually trying to be a human and live, and be in the moment, but you still capture it to put it in. Because I think that’s something people struggle with is like, I can’t remember to do Instagram stories, and it is hard and it does take consciously trying to remember it, but then also balancing that. Like how do I stay present? So that’s just a sidenote if you guys enjoy that. But you know, I’m a mom, and I’m always trying to juggle how to be present online and have that constant presence and show up, and then also be present with my kids without electronics, and so that’s a small hack that I’ve done for Instagram stories to make sure I’m still active, but still present in the moment with my kids and my family.

So, if you guys want to work with Team Hirsh, if you want to take your Instagram story to the next level with paid ads and have us test the things that we’re testing, and honestly you guys, the fact that we run ads for over 70 clients means we have instant information and access to this information that nobody else does, in terms of what is and isn’t working, and it’s like a massive shortcut for people that could take them months and months to test and figure out, that you get instantly by signing up with us. So go to HelpMyStrategy.com if you want to apply to work with our team. We do have a couple of spots open.

We do turn down a lot of people these days who aren’t ready to work with us, but that’s because, honestly when you get on my huddle and they ask you for the critical issues, which is where we flag any potential client accounts, there’s like one or two every day, easy ones, out of 70 clients, and we have over 90% retention rate because I only take people who are ready to work with us, and that’s not everyone and that’s okay. I recently talked about that. If you want to go back and listen to an episode [#52] about polarizing in your messaging, but go to HelpMyStrategy.com. Thanks so much for tuning in. Come follow me on Instagram stories if you want. They’re so much fun! And leave me a comment if you want me to come check out your Insta Story. So let’s step it up with those polls and questions, guys. Thanks for listening.