Regular use of Instagram Stories can be an important part of your social media marketing strategy because more than 300 million people view Instagram Stories every day. But how do you create Instagram Stories that people will remember? Our social media management experts thought you should know not just the basics of creating Instagram Stories, but how to make them irresistible to your fans.
As with Snapchat (which created the concept), Instagram Stories disappear within 24 hours, which may make you question the time you spend producing them. They are a huge asset to engagement, however, increasing the daily time spent by users in-app from an average of 24 minutes to 32 minutes. They also allow you to drive traffic through links, ads, and shopping on its Explore feature, as well as hashtagging and geotagging stories to help new followers find you.
What are Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories are brief videos and photos which are shot vertically, unlike the standard “square” Instagram posts. Also, unlike the single photos you post, they play like mini-movies, allowing you to tell a “story” with your photos, and various filters you can use to convey a kind of plot. They are then shared with fans and other viewers, who can even add to your Story if they request it and you allow it.
One especially useful feature for marketing purposes is the ability to allow fans to share your Story through Direct Messaging (DM), thus increasing your audience reach.
And if you prefer that your Story not vanish in 24 hours, Instagram offers methods that allow you to save them indefinitely.
What should you include?
Almost anything your fans might find interesting or amusing can be the subject of an Instagram Story. They are probably most useful if they highlight a particular aspect of your business, but they don’t have to be. As long as they’re something people would find intriguing enough to watch, anything is fair game.
You can post:
- news about your business
- news about your industry
- unusual ways to use your product
- brief testimonials about your product or service
- news about a sale
- promote an event you’re holding
- fun moments with your staff
The subjects are really only limited by your imagination and what your fans respond to. Remember that the whole point of posting Instagram Stories is to personalize you and your business, to give your fans an opportunity to feel they know you and to feel more connected to your business.
One thing you should not do is to stress over the quality of your Instagram Story. You’re not filming the next Netflix hit show. What you should aim for is original, engaging content that your fans will want to view and share. Then check the analytics (the number of viewers posted at the bottom of each portion of your Story) to decide which segments of your Story were the most successful in engaging viewers.
The ephemeral nature of Instagram Stories should help you mentally shrug off any need for perfection, with the idea that each Story will be gone in 24 hours. Then you can take what you learned from the last one and move on to the next.
How to stand out
Creativity is the secret to making your Instagram Stories memorable. While it’s not possible to achieve the face-altering effects available on Snapchat Stories, the Instagram Stories app offers many unique filters and features that Snapchat lacks, including the doodling feature and an additional five seconds of video. You can also use the Boomerang app to create three-second GIFs to incorporate into your Story.
The key is to become familiar with all the newest features Instagram Stories has been providing in order to compete with the Snapchat Stories features. Besides those already mentioned, these include:
- adding text
- live streams
- poll stickers
- selfie stickers
- “hands-free” video mode
- camera roll integration
- customizing colors and text
- and more . . .
Once you get into these various features and learn how to use them, your only problem might be spending too much time playing with them. But they will each suggest ways to make your videos unique and entertaining, helping capture attention from fans.
The overriding watchword of an Instagram Story, both for you and your fans, should be “fun.” You should have fun making them and they should have fun viewing them. Just don’t stress over them, and don’t spend your whole day making them!
To get the most out of your Instagram Stories, be sure to get in touch with our social media experts. We can show you how to take your Instagram Stories to the next level.