INSTAGRAM STORIES: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
Instagram is all about engaging with your audience and showcasing your best content that are on-brand and relevant in today’s society. Incorporating Instagram Stories into your strategy will ultimately boost your engagement and create many new leads and customers for your business.
Instagram Stories are extremely important to utilise and because of that, we have created a guide for you in order to get a better understanding of what they are, how to gain more views, read your analytics and so much more.
We’ll be covering:
- What are Instagram Stories?
- Why are Instagram Stories useful?
- Using Instagram Stories to drive sales
- How to gain more views on Instagram Stories
- Designing your own Instagram Stories
- Utilising Instagram’s highlight reel
- Choosing who can view your Instagram Stories
- Understanding Instagram Stories analytics
What Are Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories is a feature that Instagram launched in 2016, allowing accounts to post photos and videos that stay on their profile for 24 hours.
Over 500 million users use Instagram Stories on a daily basis.
So, if you haven’t been using Stories at all, or not enough, now is the time to get cracking with it.
There are many ways to make your Instagram Stories fun and engaging. Keep on reading below to learn about all the tricks of the trade.
Why Are Instagram Stories Useful?
A lot more individuals view Instagram Stories over posts. In fact, 500 million use Instagram Stories everyday!
Just this fact alone indicates that Stories are a great way to reach new accounts. Not only that, but you can also create a closer connection with your current followers too.
Instagram Stories are useful as they also aid your brand in gaining quick and timely feedback from your audience. They show content for such a short space of time that if your audience really enjoys your content, as soon as they see a story from your account appear, they’ll click on it straight away and possibly share it too.
Using Instagram Stories To Drive Sales
There are a few ways to drive sales from your Stories, such as:
- Product Stickers
- Links (‘Swipe Up’)
Whether you have 10k followers or not, you are able to add product stickers to your Instagram Stories which is awesome for small businesses especially.
Your audience taps on the sticker and they’re directed straight to the product!
Accounts with a minimum of 10k followers are able to add a link within their story, that when their audience swipes up, they are taken to that landing page.
Insert a fun GIF or Sticker to encourage your followers to swipe up. Remember, you’re asking individuals to leave Instagram and go to another platform, you need to give them a valid reason to do so, so make it fun and interesting for them.
If you’re unable to add a link, then direct your audience to click the link in your bio.
In order to reach a whole new audience to drive sales, consider Instagram Stories Ads.
Create a monthly budget and invest in some ads for promoting your products and services. You are able to promote these ads to a very specific audience by tailoring the ad to their location, demographics, interests, behaviours etc, so it’s pretty much handing you new customers on a silver platter.
Using the countdown sticker is a clever and fun way to engage your audience.
If you have an upcoming sale or product release, you can include a countdown sticker and encourage your audience to tap the sticker which will send them a reminder when the countdown finishes.
How To Gain More Views On Instagram Stories
The main tip on gaining more views on your Stories is to include hashtags as well as a location tag.
Viewers may search for one of the hashtags or the location you use and come across your post in the search page. If they like your content, they may stay and hit that follow button.
Remember to insert hashtags and a location that is relevant to your story. Also, don’t make them too small as Instagram won’t be able to identify them and therefore they won’t put your post on the search page at all.
A clever tip: if you want to add hashtags but don’t want your audience to physically see them, cover the hashtags with a GIF or Sticker.
Try post on Instagram Stories as consistently as possible as that’ll bump your Stories to the front of your audiences home page. This is because they’ll be viewing your Stories and as often as they do so, Instagram will realise that you’re receiving a lot of engagement and therefore will boost your content.
Designing Your Own Instagram Stories
Making your Instagram Stories appealing is a great way to get your audience to come back and view more.
You can use Instagram’s built-in tools or design your own.
Instagram has some fun tools and features that you can use when designing your Stories. If you haven’t yet seen it, Instagram has incorporated a layout tab where you can create collages of photos.
You can also make use of the filters available to design your Stories and make them aesthetically pleasing.
Another great built-in feature is the ‘Create’ mode where you can find GIFs that will enlarge on your screen, templates to fill in and so much more!
Utilise Instagram’s Boomerang feature too!
Within these apps (and many others) you can let your creative juices go wild by using ready-made templates and the other tools given. You can add motions as well and really design to your brand’s aesthetic.
Utilising Instagram’s Highlight Reel
If you’re posting a lot of relevant and important content to your Stories, consider creating a highlight reel to add your Stories to.
Again. Your Instagram Stories are only viewable for 24hrs, so adding them to a highlight will keep the content on your page for as long as you choose to.
Create highlight covers that are appealing and part of your brand aesthetic, and regularly keep them updated.
Your most updated highlight always gets bumped to the front which allows viewers to notice it and click it straight away.
Choosing Who Can View Your Instagram Stories
Instagram gives you the option to decide who can see your Instagram Stories and who can’t via the ‘Close Friends’ feature. Even if someone is following you, you can rule them out of viewing your Stories.
Head over to the menu in the top right-hand corner of your profile, click on ‘Close Friends’ and select who you want to add. Once you are about to upload a story, instead of clicking ‘Your Story’ at the bottom left, click on ‘Close Friends’ instead.
You’ll notice that you are part of someone’s close friends list if their story is highlighted in green.
Understanding Instagram Stories Analytics
If you have an Instagram business profile, you can view your insights for both your posts and stories.
Head over to the menu on the top right-hand corner of your profile, click ‘Insights’ then ‘Content’ and scroll where it says ‘Stories’ and click ‘See All’.
You can also swipe up on the actual story to view your insights.
Use this data to analyse what is working, what your audience enjoys the most, and what they aren’t engaging in so you can filter your content accordingly.
Inspired to get started with or improve your Instagram Stories? Let us know in the comments below which option helped you the most. We love hearing your feedback!