Using Instagram Stories for Success

According to Statistica, there were 500 million daily active stories users worldwide in January 2019! With the Instagram Stories feature, you can easily promote products, tools and tips or pretty much share anything you want with others.

The power of Instagram Stories offers incredible potential for businesses looking to build their brand and audience.

Why should your business use Instagram Stories?

Agencies report 2-3x more engagement with Instagram Stories posts than with regular content.

With this feature, it is no secret that most people are spending a good amount of time swipping through stories as opposed to scrolling down through their feed, or going directly to the profiles of individuals or brands that they follow.

With over 25 million businesses using stories to engage with their followers, this Instagram feature has become a highly influential marketing tool. From creating fun and creative content to promoting a marketing campaign – your competitors are taking advantage of Instagram stories – why shouldn't you?

With the ability to add stickers, polls, questions, countdowns, music, stickers, GIFs, hashtags, and locations, your Instagram stories can drive engagement and just add some fun! But more importantly, in our opinion, they can help your business create transparency and build trust with your followers. 

How can your business use Instagram Stories?

Right from the app (just swipe right), you can take a photo or video, upload one from your library (swipe up), or utilize any of the following options:

  • Go live
  • Tap to write
  • Boomerang
  • Focus on a person’s face
  • Superzoom - create dramatic videos
  • Rewind - play videos in reverse
  • Hands-free - take a video without having to tap and hold.
  • Stop-motion - make a video using a series of individual photos.

You can utilize Instagram Stories for ads, as well! Instagram Stories Ads pop up between users’ stories in the same format (either a single photo or video up to 15 seconds long) and last for just 24 hours. This tool is only available to business profiles, and can be created via Facebook the same way a regular ad would be.

Check out the tips and tools below for how to make the most of your stories.

Simple Tips for Your Instagram Stories

Creative Elements:

  • Feature beautiful images and text.
  • Avoid using too much text because it can overwhelm users, prompting them to swipe away.
  • Generally speaking, you should focus on placing your text messaging toward the center and bottom of the screen.
  • While text overlay and subtitles can add clarity to your Instagram Stories, the cramming or haphazard placement of text can ruin otherwise good creatives.
  • Highlighting a special deal and using a clear call-to-action urging customers to act in some way.

What to Share:

  • Instagram Stories are a great place to showcase behind-the-scenes footage of your company, products, services, or even personal life. Although you’re allowed just 15 seconds, that’s enough space to provide an exciting sneak peek will adding a new dimension to their understanding of your products to help users feel more connected and knowledgeable. You can also show your followers what went down before a picture-perfect photo you just posted.
  • Shine a spotlight on your people. Whether it’s the business owner, company employees, your customers or your brand advocates, leverage the power of the human element to wow your audience.
  • Show them what makes you tick. Do you have a special office environment, manufacturing process or support an important social cause? Use it to show and tell how you stand out and why they should join you.
  • The more stories you post, the better. They don’t have to be as perfectly curated as a normal Instagram post. Let your audience see the humanity and authenticity behind your brand.
  • You can repurpose content from other platforms. You might turn a quote from a podcast or captioned video into a fun graphic. Or repurpose a blog post into a story that highlights the bullet points from the blog post.

When you end your story, build anticipation for what’s next and make a clear call to action that reflects what you want people to do after watching your story. For example, you can ask people to send you a direct message if they want to know more about your story topic or want to find out what happened. Or you can send them directly to your website for more details.

Another tip: Give Facebook Stories a shot. You can repurpose your Instagram Stories with ease.

Tools and Apps to Use for Your Instagram Stories

Chances are you’ve seen this very popular featured used among influencers and Instagramers of all kinds. Boomerangs can bring that chillfactor. But keep them simple and steady.

Instagram recently released the Highlights feature for Stories that allows brands to keep certain stories visible at the top of their profiles after the 24-hour window has elapsed. Highlights for Stories are a great tool if you have several posts that you want to organize for your audience.

Adobe Spark Post
Adobe Spark Post is a great design app that offers you fantastic animated effects in your photos.

Merge videos, add music, use slow-motion, apply filters, and share!

Hype Type
The app allows the addition of custom animated text over video clips and boomerangs.

Font Candy
This app comes packed with a number of interesting fun fonts and cool artworks available to play with as you add your photos.

This incredible app (mobile and desktop) offers pre-built templates to ease the design process. With extras like arrows, text headers, lines, and shapes are also accessible in the projects section.

Panoram Stories App
For those who love panoramic pictures but struggle with adding them to your Instagram Stories, the Panoram app comes in extremely handy. With this app you are able to select your panoramic picture from your photo library, choose the format – stories or pictures and then choose from 2, 3, 4 or 5 picture cutouts.

The Why Again

Instagram enables you to show off your ideas in a creative way. Document your journey with stories to make your brand approachable and REAL.

All in all, be a storyteller. Bring YOUR why to life here. Tell stories about your product and services, share your ideas with the community, discuss blog posts add tutorials on how to solve problems, or anything and everything you want to share with others.