Today we explore how to make the most of Instagram stories.
As Instagram continues to invest in the platform, Instagram Stories will become even more essential to your Instagram marketing strategy.
More and more brands are seeing the value in creating shortlived video content, whether it’s fun and lighthearted or more results-focused. But it also has to do with the number of great features and capabilities that were added to Instagram Stories the last two years.
From geo-stickers to clickable links and GIFs, Instagram invested heavily in stories and it’s really paying off!
You can see insights for your Instagram story by simply heading to your profile and select the Insights icon in the top right corner.
When you open your business profile, impressions, reach and other metrics related to your stories will be included in your Instagram Insights under the Content heading.
I use an ‘IG Story curve’ – so first story to tel them what I”m going to tell them (referring to blog), second to tell them why they need the help using pain points, then I tell them what I want to tell them (the contents of the blog), then I quickly cover what I told them (summary of blog) and provide the link to click and read more on the subject. This technique has improved my blog read stats by (on average) 250%!
Instagram Stories for Discovery
When Instagram added the suggested Stories section to the top of the Explore page last year, they introduced a new way for people to discover content on Instagram (which means it’s essential to optimise your stories).
In the last 8 months, Instagram has added new functionalities to stickers, such as the ability to see location-based stories on the Explore page, and the ability to search for stories by location and hashtag.
How can you make ‘Instagram stories’ work for you?
The positive of this is that Instagram is already one of the main channels for bloggers worldwide – so you can easily reach your followers in a more personal and ‘behind the scenes’ way. Especially if your Snapchat count is still slowly increasing, you have another opportunity to get up-close and personal with your audience.
Remember a ‘story’ disappears for good after 24 hours – unless you decide to save them in your highlights.
When it comes to the stories, you have more filter options (hooray!) and there are also more options with the drawing tools – you can make your drawings look like neon lights – which does have its appeal, let’s be honest.
You can click on the little bubbles at the top of your app, or even access stories through a user profile. You can also add links to specific stories – it goes without saying that the ability to send your followers to specific landing pages from your stories is incredibly useful.
Four Top Instagram Stories Features:
- Links: Any Instagram business account with 10,000 or more followers can add links to their Instagram Stories. It’s no surprise that tons of businesses have been quick to adopt this feature. The ability to add links to your Instagram Stories has totally changed the game for brands. Whereas you only had one hyperlink to work with on Instagram before, with Instagram Stories you can easily drive traffic back to your website or blog.
- Highlights: this feature was only added in December 2017, but they’ve already made a big impact for brands. Unlike regular Instagram Stories that vanish after 24 hours, Instagram Stories Highlights are curated clips grouped together by you and live permanently on your profile until you delete them. They appear directly under your bio and above your Instagram feed and will play as a stand-alone story when someone taps on it. The feature is literally front and center on your profile. Instagram Stories Highlights are an extremely valuable addition to an Instagram business profile because they allow brands to easily curate and showcase the content they want users to see first.
- Locations & Hashtags: When Instagram first introduced stickers to Instagram Stories in 2017, they were more fun than useful. But since that time, Instagram has added a ton of new functionalities to location and hashtag stickers – allowing them to be a real game-changer when it comes to people discovering and interacting with your account.
- Stickers and GIFS: In the past year, Instagram has added a ton of new capabilities to Instagram Stories via “stickers.” Today, you can share poll stickers and emoji sliders to your Instagram Stories, question stickers, music stickers, countdown stickers, and even shopping stickers! Not only can stickers add a ton of personality to your Instagram Stories, but when used properly, they can also help increase the amount of engagement you get.
Creative Ways to use Instagram Stories
Using Highlights and links
- Share a brand new announcement
- This is perfect for products, blogposts, projects or launches
- All you have to do is fill up your story with photos of a single product at every angle, on different people, or in different environments, and then hit your followers with a promo code or call-to-action (CTA) at the end!
- Organise a flash giveaway or discount for your followers
- The 24h nature of Stories allows you to make the most of time-bound discounts and giveaways and really harness the power of Instagram stories by increasing sales
- Share testimonials and add a CTA at the end
- Share testimonials or quotes from your audience about a specific project, product or service
- Another great way to do this is to share before and after posts (your food, editing photos etc)
- Created creative content for partnership collaborations between brands and influencers
- Host a quick poll about upcoming content you want to post or new products
- Have you ever wanted to survey your Instagram audience about their interests, likes, dislikes, and more? Instagram recently launched new interactive poll stickers on Instagram Stories which let you ask questions and see results from your followers as they vote
- Ask questions for an upcoming live interview on your account via the Question sticker
- You can combine the Instagram live function with the ‘Ask questions’ sticker for an interactive interview
- Create a countdown to spark interest
- The new countdowns are another great way to highlight an upcoming launch, event or service.
Do you know overthink it! Sometimes the best thing you can do is simply share moments of your everyday life – from the adventures of your cat to porridge-prepping in the morning.
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My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.