INSTAGRAM STORY BASICS AND HOW TO MAKE THEM WORK FOR YOU IN 2022
There’s never been a better time for you to hop onto Instagram stories, and if I'm being completely honest, you may be late to the party; but nothing I can't help you fix.
Instagram is always adding new fun tools and features to make Stories more interactive and engaging, which are just what you need - a simple way to connect with your audience. The thing about these short-form Stories that has everyone loving them, is how they disappear after 24hrs, making it a safe space for people to show up in a real, not-so-curated way.
Over 400 million people use Stories every day, and this is not by accident.
Business insights show that 80% of people forward tap through Instagram Stories rather than exit - meaning that more often than not, people tap through to the next Story if they aren't interested. Viewers tend to watch stories, including ads, for longer. This is why it’s the perfect place for you or your brand to be.
Not only are stories fun to watch, but they are also great for driving traffic, increasing engagement, and even making sales; with linking to your shop, products or website being just a "swipe up" away.
If you’ve ever considered using Instagram Stories, now is the time! If you don’t know where to start, no worries. I'm going to break down how to shape a successful strategy for creating Stories that get your brand noticed.
What To Post
As mentioned above, Stories are great for storytelling, and we all know there’s nothing people love more than a good story. So next time you want to share a picture or post from your feed in your stories, consider how you can share a series of images or videos that tell a story instead and include or build up to you sharing your post, to make things a bit more interesting for your audience.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy, you can just speak to the camera sharing a bit about yourself, product or service with people.
For example, you could share your product’s production process, tutorials showing how people can use your product or book your new service, or maybe share a series of before and after posts from clients and then share how people can book their session with you.
The ideal sequence length is three to seven posts. So keep in mind that if the sequence is too long, most people tend to lose interest.
I recommend you try out different styles (video, photo's, boomerangs, etc.) and stickers to find which you enjoy most and which get your audience reacting and responding to what you share. Monitor your insights and do more of that which gets you the most engagement.
Establish a theme and style for your Instagram story content
If you want your brand to be instantly recognized by your audience, it’s essential to stick to your brand’s look and feel when sharing in your Stories too - this includes your fonts, color and general topics of content you will share consistently.
Developing a framework to make simplify you having to figure out what to share each week and templates can make the content creation process easier, by allowing you to just edit when necessary versus creating something new from scratch.
Being consistent with your style allows your customers to familiarize themselves with your brand, which works to increase your brand awareness.
Here are a few things to pay attention to when sticking to your brands theme:
Style of videos and pictures
Your colour palette
Your brand’s overall mood
Build a one-on-one relationship with your audience
Stories provide a great platform to grow your relationship with your audience. You can use the features and stickers available in Stories to:
Ask your audience for feedback using the polls sticker.
Learn more about your audience or answer their questions with the question sticker.
Build anticipation for a launch or big reveal with a countdown sticker.
Share customer feedback or testimonials to show people what others think about you, to show new or potential customers and build trust.
Share posts or content by others [that align with you or your brand] and tag them to give them some exposure and show others the love you hope to receive.
Posting stories at optimal times
Stories are only visible for 24hrs, so what time you share your Stories is important, because that works to ensure they are seen by most people or align to the series of events you have planned.
The best advise for what time to post is when your audience is most active.
Your insights can tell you when this is, or you can experiment with different times to see which times get the most engagement. Keep in mind the best time to post will vary for different people or different types of accounts. It’s important not to overlook this step to ensure you get the most out of your content.
Scheduling them beforehand is a great way to ensure that your stories are go live at the right time.
Instagram Story highlights
With Stories disappearing after 24hrs, highlights are a great way to allow your Stories content to live longer and enable your audience to watch valuable and insightful stories again and again.
Highlights are pinned under your Instagram profile, bbefore your post feed; and you can curate them by topic or theme.
For example, you could have highlights for your products, show people how to order, show them the behind-the-scenes of how your products are made and customer testimonials. They can be used to broadcast your most important announcements, promotions, and any other information.
Keep testing and trying new things
Instagram is always introducing new tools and features, so keeping an open mind and trying out new stickers and features when they ae introduced is necessary. Reviewing and adapting your strategy once or twice a year to accomodate any new features that help you better engage with your audience will serve you well.
Note: you don't have to adopt every new sticker or tool into your strategy.
Here are 4 stickers and tips for creating engaging Instagram stories:
1. Interactive stickers
The polls sticker, emoji slider sticker, quiz sticker and question stickers are some of the interactive stickers that can help you get your audience engaged and connect with them.
2. Shoppable tags
Make shopping your products easier for your audience by adding them to your Facebook shop and linking them to your Instagram page, which will allow you to tag your products products in your stories [and posts].
Tagging your products will enable people to tap the tag for the product description, price and to link through to your website to complete their purchase - a simple way to drive traffic from your Instagram page to your shopping website.
3. Location Sticker
Not only will your audience see where you are, but it gives your content a chance to be seen by a larger audience who may be looking for stories in that location from the explore tab.
4. Hashtags Stickers
Like the location sticker, it allows your story to be discovered by people viewing that hashtags content or those following the hashtags.
Instagram Stories are one of the easiest ways to connect with your audience and increase your engagement. We have seen video content become more and more popular over the last couple of years and the versatility Instagram stories offer mean they probably won't be going anywhere anytime soon!
If you’re ready to get strategic with how you show up in your stories and start using them to grow on the 'gram then sign up for our new 7 Day Story Post Challenge to help boost your engagement>>>