When Instagram Stories first landed on our screens, there were a long list of critics slamming the new integration as a copy of Snapchat and claiming that it would never take off.
Well who is smiling now?
At the time of writing this, 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day.
500 Million and Instagram is still one of the fastest growing platforms out there.
Bragging over 1 billion users, Instagram recently released stats that 90% of their accounts follow at least one business account, and to top that 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from, yes you’ve guessed it, business accounts!
As we have seen, businesses are making the most of the power of Instagram Stories, so the question is, have you added Instagram Stories to your marketing strategy?
What’s it all about?
Stories fill the whole mobile screen, giving you as a business an awesome space to play with. These organic stories are seen by people who follow you, and also show up as suggestions to people who follow similar accounts, in the explore area. These stories disappear after 24 hours, unless you save them in a highlight folder, which sit in roundels, on your news feed page.
Highlight folders are a great to show off your brand and you can use the folders to promote products, services, tips, and events. You can get creative by branding them with icons, or brand colours fonts.
Let’s get started!
To access stories after you have opened the app, you can swipe right anywhere in your feed. Alternatively, hit the profile roundel in the top-left of your screen.
Oow I’m in the stories section, what next?
At the bottom of the screen you have a carousel menu. Move from left to right to view options.
LIVE – If you want to go live to your customers, Instagram will do all the marketing for you, and notify your followers that you have gone live! A word of caution, be prepared, know what you are going to say/do. Be organised, but don’t be boring!
CREATE – This option allows you to create visuals using a coloured background and then add stickers, gifs or text.
NORMAL – This enables you to use the camera directly and add super fun filters from their latest collection.
BOOMERANG – This is an ultra-short, looped video which repeats for 4 seconds. This is so much fun – have a go and get creative!
LAYOUTS – This is an amazing grid layout, which allows you to take multiple pictures and frame them in one story.
SUPERZOOM – Allows you to take an image, with the benefit of added amateur dramatics! There are a great variety of scene filters, and zoom options. This enables you to reflect the mood of the moment.
HANDSFREE – Here you can record video without holding down the record button. Simply hit record, and start filming without getting thumb ache – a big collective yay!
Our tips and tricks!
Be a fast mover
The human attention span is short, which makes stories ideal as they are fast. Hit your users with fast paced gifs, attention-grabbing headlines, flashing elements, and quick messages.
Don’t forget, people love to know the personality behind the brand, so don’t be afraid to speak in your videos! Also, life is better with music, so why not use music as a backing track? Many people quote songs in everyday life if its relevant. For instance, if you are posting on a Sunday morning, you could use “easy like Sunday morning”. Simply use Instagram’s music sticker to add the relevant track to your story.
Be like Stan Lee!
Don’t try and cram every detail into one story, break your story down over several slides. Write a script for it! Use an app like Canva to create your story slide-by-slide. Imagine someone is reading it like a comic strip.
What can I share?
Your story content should be in line with your marketing objectives. Write a content calendar and fill it with key industry events, seasonal promotions, launches and sales. Then you can then add in extras such as top tips, product advice, engaging questions, polls, behind-the-scenes or sneak peeks!
Our main piece of advice is to have fun with stories! Don’t be boring, get creative, and show off your brand to its fullest potential. Happy storying everyone!