Today, social media platforms are all about documenting memories, learning about and exploring new things, and advertising yourself and your business. At the center of these networks is certainly Instagram. Which places you visit, what you eat or drink, who you go out with, and other memorable things. There are the typical posts you see on Instagram Stories — short glimpses of people’s lives that stay on Instagram for only 24 hours.
This photo and video-sharing social network has quickly become popular among internet users. In fact, one billion people use Instagram every month. Out of this number, around 63% check their feed at least once per day. What does that mean for your business? It means that it’s high time for you to create an account on Instagram, especially if you run a video-oriented business.
In other words, video content is enormously popular on Instagram. But we don’t even need to tell you this. If you’re not using this app, it’s highly likely that someone has shared a viral video with you from it. That’s why we’ve decided to take a look at Instagram Stories in this article. We want to help you and your business make one like a pro!
Below, you’ll find a guide informing you what this Story feature is, how to share it, and what to add to it so that it is exactly what your audience wants to see. Get ready to take Instagram by storm!
Instagram Stories were launched in 2016, and they have become the favorite feature among Instagram users. Indeed, 500 million people use them every day. This is because they can take photos and videos, and add filters and effects. As you know, the story you post disappears after 24 hours. It’s visible to your followers and, well, to everyone if your profile is public (which we presume it is if you’re running a business account).
What’s more, your Story is published and shown separately from your other posts. However, it doesn’t need to completely vanish after one day. You can now add a Story to Highlights that appear on your profile. In a nutshell, Highlights are those Stories you decide to feature on your account permanently.
We’ve all been there. Sometimes a Story is so darn good that it would be a pity to have it vanish after 24 hours. In particular, we’re referring to those showing your company culture and employees.
This all sounds good so far, but are Instagram Stories really that powerful like people make them out to be? Yes, they are. And here’s why.
Instagram Stories can drive and encourage a lot of engagement if you’re using them correctly. They have so many eye-catching features like stickers and polls that grab users’ attention. As we said, 500 million people share disappearing content today. This has certainly contributed to the increase in daily time spent on Instagram. Nowadays, people spend an average of 53 minutes on this app every day.
Furthermore, Instagram Direct has probably benefited the most from Instagram Stories. Since the release of this feature, 375 million users have started to send messages via Instagram Direct. Therefore, if this feature can affect messaging this much, imagine what it can do for your business!
Additionally, a lot of brands have already reported success after publishing video content on this platform. Whether you want to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to videos outside of Instagram, expand your reach, you should flock to Instagram to publish this fun disappearing content. It will help you define and maintain brand voice while keeping the attention of your customers.
Instagram reports that 90% of people follow a business account on this app. So, it’s obvious that customers aren’t tired of seeing their favorite brands share Stories, photos, and more. Quite the contrary, they want to look at your Stories. TechCrunch writes that one in five Instagram Stories posted by businesses get a reply. If you want to directly communicate with your customers, it’s obvious what you need to do.
We believe we’ve succeeded at showing you just how powerful this feature is. Don’t let your competitors have a share of the Instagram pie — get in on the action as well!
As you know, Instagram Stories are available for 24 hours on your profile. If you get attached to one of your Story, you can always add it to your Story Highlights and ensure your followers never forget it. Now, let’s talk about the length of videos you post on Stories.
Each video can last for 15 seconds before being replaced with another piece of content. So, whichever video you add, it’ll play for 15 seconds, regardless of the length of the original video. Despite this runtime limit, you can still play longer videos in your Stories. For instance, let’s say that you have a 45-second long video. Instagram will split that video into three 15-second segments. Of course, each segment will play one after another which allows you to show the full content to your followers.
Instagram Stories appear in the top left corner of your screen when you open the app. As you can see, they are often the first content you see on this network. That’s why they are effective at driving trafficking and increasing engagement. You can even use them to advertise your photos and videos from your Instagram feed. Here’s where they appear on the app:
If you’re new to this, we’ll also go over the following steps to help you navigate through Stories on your homepage:
We hope the above steps will be useful if you haven’t seen this feature before!
You can make your own Instagram Stories successful. However, you need to learn a few more hacks to take them to the next level. But we’ll go over those hacks later. For now, let’s mention the basics of sharing a Story:
Now, we’ll delve deeper in the step number three because you have numerous options there.
As we said, you can capture photos or videos directly on Instagram. In this case, the app will show you different options. Choose the one that fits your needs most. For the sake of this article, we’ll mention the four most popular options:
If you choose the “Live” option, you’ll start broadcasting live on this app. As soon as you do, your followers will be notified and encouraged to start watching. Customers can leave comments or send reactions in real-time which works great for engagement. After you’re done, you can choose to remove, save, or share the video for an additional 24 hours.
This one is pretty straightforward. You need to tap once if you want to capture a photo. On the other hand, for videos, make sure to hold down the screen. Remember to film a video in stints if it’s going to be longer than 15 seconds.
The “Boomerang” mode is used for looping GIFs that are three-second long.
Last but certainly not least is the “Hands-free” option. If you frequently record videos on Instagram, you know you have to hold your thumb against the button for as long as you’re recording. But you don’t need to do this anymore. With this hands-free mode, you can set up your camera to record for you. Don’t forget — put it somewhere stable before yelling “Action.”
Most businesses use Instagram Stories today. However, you don’t need to fear any competition if you use filters, stickers, and more for your Stories. To help you see what can make you stand out from the crowd, we’ve prepared a few hacks. Let’s start!
Less is more when it comes to Instagram Stories. This is at least according to the Guardian. Users love less polished videos. In fact, quick explainer videos are more popular than heavily produced videos. To prove this, the average completion rate for this video type is 45%.
Creating a photo or video to post is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s time to add a personal touch that will engage and amuse your followers. We’re talking about stickers which have become popular among Instagram users. Access these by clicking on the smiling sticker icon once you upload a video or photo. Here’s a sticker we put on our Story:
What’s more, you can even change the size of your selected sticker. Just pinch the sticker to increase or decrease its size. Another thing you can do is change its position on the screen. We suggest that you experiment and find new stickers every day.
Increase the engagement of your Instagram Stories even more by adding a location:
Type in your location and you’ll be able to place a geographically-specific sticker.
We highly recommend adding hashtags to your Story. If you do, then your Story will appear in searches relating to that hashtag. This means that your post can reach a wider audience on Instagram.
Want to see what your customers think about a certain topic or product? You can now add a two-option poll and ask them to vote. The poll is customizable, so you can change the answers — they don’t need to be “Yes” or “No.” We recommend this option to see whether your customers are engaging with and paying attention to your content.
We hope that this article has helped you learn a thing or two about Instagram Stories. As you saw, this feature is quite popular among internet users and it would be a shame not to use it in your advantage. So, explore the Story feature, experiment with filters, hashtags, stickers, and start increasing your number of followers!