Followers and engagement

How to Use Instagram Countdown Stickers To Drive Sales For Your Business

  • 9 Minutes
How ticking clocks make your Stories stickier

Today’s social media users are constantly bombarded with notifications. Whenever you discover a way to cut through the noise, we recommend jumping on it. 

Countdown stickers for Instagram Stories are one of those ways. When used strategically, they put your business at the top of your audience’s notification page – real estate most brands would kill for. You can even take it one step further and use countdown stickers to directly drive sales for your small business!

Needless to say, there are countless ways that Instagram Stories can be used to keep followers engaged with your business. Whether it’s promoting an upcoming event or counting down to a new product launch, combining your countdown with other Instagram features like link stickers and other action buttons can drive signups, sales and more!

Here’s quick overview of what’s inside:

How to Create a Countdown Sticker for Instagram Story (with screenshots)

To create your first Instagram Countdown Sticker, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open your Instagram app on your iOs or Android device, click the “+” button in the upper right hand corner, then click on Story from the pop-up menu to create a new Story.
Adding a story to Instagram

Alt text: how to create an Instagram Story

You can also use your finger or thumb to swipe right which will open the Instagram Story creator.

  1. Upload your media. Snap a quick pic or upload your own image or video from your camera roll using the button in the bottom left corner.
Story section in Instagram
Image editor in Instagram

Alt text: how to create an Instagram Story

  1. Next, go up to the top right-hand corner and click the sticker icon. You’ll see a wide range of stickers to choose from, including location, polls, links, and more. Scroll down until you see the Countdown Sticker.
Adding stickers to Instagram story
Instagram stickers

Alt text: where to find the Instagram countdown sticker

  1. Once you’ve clicked the Countdown sticker, Instagram will prompt you to set your countdown name and countdown end date. To set a specific time, switch off the All Day toggle and set the time that your countdown will end.
Instagram sticker with countdown timer

Alt text: how to use Countdown on Instagram Story

Customize your new countdown using the color wheel at the top of the page to change your sticker color to fit your brand colors. 

Colour wheel for changing Instagram Story stickers

Alt text: how to set up an Instagram countdown

  1. Hit Done and the sticker should show up on your Instagram Story. Move your countdown clock around on your screen to make sure it’s not blocking any important elements on your image or video.
Positioning Stickers in Instagram Story

Alt text: setting up an Instagram countdown

*Note: An alternative way to add the countdown timer to your story is to open a new story from scratch, click on the Create option from the stacked menu on the left-hand side of the screen, and scroll through the options on the bottom bar until you see the Countdown option. 

Creating Stickers in Instagram Story

Alt text: how to create an Instagram Countdown using the Create feature

While this method gets the job done, keep in mind you will have to use the gradient backgrounds that Instagram provides and won’t be able to upload your own media.

That’s it! It’s that simple. 

How the Instagram Countdown Sticker Works

Once you’ve created your Instagram countdown, anyone that comes across your story can interact with it.

Alt text: how to turn on reminders for Instagram countdowns

The countdown sticker functionality is great for a few reasons. When viewers click the arrow on the top right corner of the sticker, they can click Remind me to receive a reminder when the countdown ends. They’ll also have the option to share the countdown to their story. Your job as a marketer is to make your countdown story engaging enough to make people turn on those reminders. 

As a nice bonus, the sticker functionality also lets you see which Instagram followers turn on reminders for your countdown. This gives you insight into who’s interested in your event and which followers are most engaged with your brand. Keep these people in mind for the next section where we share how to turn countdown subscribers into new leads for your business.

Image source: Social Media Examiner

What are the benefits of doing a countdown?

Like all of Instagram’s interactive story elements, the countdown sticker is a tool you can use to increase engagement. When a follower engages with a story element like a countdown, it signals to the Instagram algorithm that they’re interested in seeing more from you. This increases your odds of showing up more frequently in both the Stories bar at the top of the screen and their Instagram feed.  

Beyond getting more face time with your audience, interactive elements like countdowns are a smart way to identify new business leads. Let’s talk about sales for a second. As we mentioned above, you can see when a viewer or Insta follower turns on reminders for your countdown. This not only indicates that these people are interested in the product or service you’re selling, but that they’ve actually gone out of their way to get notified. 

If Instagram is a key part of your sales cycle, brainstorm ways you can reach out to these leads and seal the deal. Whether it’s a special offer code, a free resource, or even just a conversation in the DMs, these are the people you want to be talking to. 

3 Ways to Use Countdown Stickers to Drive Conversions for Your Business

The countdown sticker can be used for businesses in a wide variety of ways. The more creative, the better! Here are a few of our favorite ways that we’ve seen brands utilize countdowns in their social media marketing:

  1. Build Excitement for Product Drops

​​Got a new collection dropping for fall? If you’re a small business with limited inventory, create a sense of urgency by letting people know to grab their favorite limited-edition items before they’re gone. 

Check out how Vitae Apparel incorporated the countdown sticker into their story series promoting their newest swim collection: 

Alt text: How to use countdown stickers in your story

Products don’t always have to be physical. Countdowns are also a great way to promote the launch of digital products like courses, guides or ebooks. 

If you’re using a countdown to promote your product, include sales elements like link stickers or shop tags that direct people where to buy. This not only makes your customers’ lives easier, but also increases the odds of your countdown leading to a sale.

  1. Promote Upcoming Events

If you have an upcoming event, Instagram Live Show or webinar, promote it with a countdown! Your followers lead busy lives, so a little nudge the day of the event is a great way to boost attendance and keep your event top of mind.

We love how fitness brand Bala used a countdown to promote their livestream panel for the followers who couldn’t make their event IRL:

Alt text: How to use countdown stickers in your story

To increase the likelihood of people registering, add the event registration link to your story and put it in your bio. Include details about the location and venue as part of your story set so your audience knows what to expect!

  1. Time-Sensitive Contests or Sales

Things like contests and sales typically have a set deadline or lifespan. Create a sense of urgency of time constraints with a countdown sticker. Once your offer or sale goes live, add a countdown to when the event ends. This will let people know they only have a limited time to take advantage and participate. 

This works especially well for digital products like courses. Set your countdown to end when registration closes and encourage followers to sign up before the deadline. Make sure to promote the urgency with other stories in your series explaining the details of the event and the value your audience will get by registering. 

Social media manager and coach Laura (@bsquared.social) used this tactic to promote her upcoming Reels course: 

Alt text: How to use countdown stickers in your story

Laura paired testimonials from past students with countdown and link stickers to motivate viewers to sign up before registration closed.

Sked Tip: Always share your countdown stories to a story highlight. This extends its lifespan past the usual 24 hours of a story post. As long as the countdown date hasn’t passed, your audience will be able to view it and participate.

Conclusion

While many of Instagram’s stickers are fun to use, the countdown sticker might just be one of the most valuable for businesses. It allows you to engage with your followers and even drive conversions and sales directly from Instagram. 

Your countdown sticker is most effective when it gets seen, so do your best to get it out to as many people as possible. As we mentioned, when turning on notifications for the countdown, your audience can also share the countdown to their own stories. By encouraging your audience to share your countdown with their own followers, you can create more buzz and get even more eyes on your business.

Make sure your next countdown story is ready to go with Sked Social’s all-in-one Instagram tool!

Uploading your story assets ahead of time with Sked means all you have to do is add your countdown sticker and hit send. Yes, it’s really that easy. Schedule Instagram posts alongside your stories to complete your social media marketing strategy. Include the right Instagram hashtags, and while you’re at it – post to your Facebook Page or Twitter account. Test it out for yourself with our free 7-day trial.

Photo of Photo of Kyra Goodman

Kyra is a Junior Marketing Manager and "Spicy Meme Master" at Sked Social who loves to create content. Born and raised in Hawaii, her favorite things are traveling, yoga, beaching, coffee and baseball. Connect with her on twitter at @kyra_n_goodman.

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