Instagram has fast become a noteworthy site for brands to portray their creativity. The release of Instagram Stories in 2016 nudged this creative ability further for brands and individuals alike. Instagram Stories is a tool that allows users to post photos or videos that will disappear from their account in 24 hours. This feature has slowly risen in popularity, with 500 million users using Instagram Stories daily. Furthermore, 70% of Gen Z and 59% of millennial viewers watch Instagram Stories, with 15-25% of individuals swiping up on links of branded Stories. This degree of direct engagement with consumers makes using Instagram Stories paramount to engage with and create loyal consumers. Now that we’ve established the potential of this tool, let’s get right into how you can take advantage of it!
How to Post an Instagram Story
To begin with, posting an Instagram Story can be done in 3 easy steps!
- Access Your Camera: Click the camera icon on the top left of your screen to access your camera while on Instagram. Additionally, swiping left on your feed will also open your camera on Instagram.
- Take a Photo or Video: Once your camera is open, you’re ready to take a photo or video of what you would like showcased on your Story.
- Post It: Once you have taken your photo or video, you will have the option to add any desired filters, stickers, gifs etc. Your Story is now ready to post. Click on your brand’s profile picture on the bottom left of the screen, where it says ‘Your Story,’ and it’s posted!
Alternatively, you can also post a previously taken picture or video by simply swiping up on the camera screen and selecting a picture/video from your camera roll.
How to Enhance Your Instagram Stories
Now that you know how to post Instagram Stories, we’re going to tell you how to truly take advantage of this tool!
1. Make It Visual
Making content visually engaging is always important. However, this practice requires a little more creativity when you realise that approximately 40% of users watch Instagram Stories without sound on. Hence, it is paramount that your Story’s visuals both engross consumers and clearly convey your message without relying on sound. Using Boomerangs is a great way of achieving this. Boomerangs essentially turn your Stories into a GIF of their own. These tend to be oddly mesmerizing and leave users watching your Story for far longer than usual. For instance, certain campaigns have witnessed creatives with Boomerangs garnering up to 32.7% more impressions, 35.6% more reach and 3.5 times more engagement than creatives without Boomerangs! Additionally, adding subtitles to your Story can make it more informative for users watching, sound on or off. These small visual tricks will guarantee longer watch times on your Instagram Stories.
2. Increase Your Reach
As a marketer, one of your main goals is to make your content seen and reach as many people as possible. Instagram Stories offer several ways to achieve this.
- Using hashtags and location stickers will allow users who do not follow your page to view your Story content.
- A great application of this is using community hashtags centered around your business. Community hashtags are essentially hashtags that connect individuals with similar interests together. For instance, shoe lovers often use the hashtags ‘#shoelovers’, ‘#sneakerheads’ or even ‘#shoestagram’. Thus, adapt these hashtags to ones that are related to your brand/business and when individuals search for these hashtags they will be able to view your Story. This will ensure your Story receives significantly more impressions and if people like your Story, they may even give you a follow!
- Additionally, tagging individuals and brands can also increase your reach. This will allow the tagged individuals or brands to repost your Story on their own profile, broadcasting it to larger audiences.
Increasing reach is of utmost importance and these methods are sure to help your brand do so!
3. Make It Engaging
It has been noted that up to 54% of customers believe companies need to change how they engage with consumers. Engaging content has a number of benefits, ranging from increased brand awareness to driving more traffic to one’s websites. Furthermore, successfully engaged customers represent a 23% higher share in revenue and profitability as opposed to regular customers. Hence, engaging with users through Instagram Stories is paramount to stay relevant and build relationships with higher quality customers. There are several ways to do this.
- Use interactive poll stickers or emoji sliders to allow users to vote on and engage directly with your Story. Once someone has voted, they are able to see the vote’s results. This is updated in real time, so consumers can keep coming back to see the results. Hence, many users end up re-watching a Story simply to see updated poll results.
- Another quirky function is the questions sticker, allowing direct communication with your customers, creating a deeper connection with the brand.
- Lastly, you can create events on your Story, such as a weekly quiz using the quiz sticker. This will keep users coming back to your page every week to participate in the same.
4. Build Excitement and Suspense
Suspense is often a great way of capturing an audience’s attention and building anticipation before a new product release or event.
- Adding a countdown sticker to your Stories will do just this, building hype around any new business ventures taking place.
- Using countdown stickers to signal the closing of a sale period is another great use of the tool, reinforcing urgency among consumers and thereby potentially increasing sales.
- Users will also often re-watch your Story multiple times to keep an eye on the countdown timer.
- Further, the countdown timer allows users to click a ‘Remind Me’ option. This will not only notify users when the timer runs out, but also, you will be notified of those who choose this option! This provides greater insight into which audiences/consumers are interested in your brand and products.
Hence, building suspense this way will keep users engaged with your brand for an extended period of time!
5. Create Highlights of Your Stories
Instagram has an average bounce rate of 35%. Hence, it is extremely important to have an engaging feed when users land on your page. While Stories may disappear within 24 hours, Instagram allows you to make a collection of past Stories and add them straight to your homepage! This is done through Instagram Highlights. Instagram Highlights, placed right under one’s bio, are one of the first things to catch a user’s eye. Creating Highlights will have a number of benefits.
- You can save your Stories and use them indefinitely within Highlights even after they have expired.
- New and current consumers will have immediate access to the Highlights created by your brand.
- Highlights enable you to inform individuals about your business activities/products in a creative and engaging manner.
- Highlights can be categorized to showcase individual products, brand partners, giveaways, and more.
- Curating and changing these Highlights to remain consistently relevant will ensure constant engagement with both new and current users, keeping you on top of your Instagram game!
We hope that these insights will add value to your Instagram marketing strategy. As you can see, Instagram stories are an efficient and creative way to truly engage with your consumers and reap several benefits from the same. If you wish to know more about our insights and tips regarding Instagram Reels, you can check out our post here!