Instagram Stories certainly aren’t the new kid on the block, but in the three years since they were introduced they’ve made a massive impact on how we consume social media on our phones, and they’ve also provided us with another amazing avenue for digital advertising! Stories utilise the whole screen and allow the use of still images, video and audio – it’s the perfect canvas for conveying your message.  

Yes, Stories can be time-consuming to create and yes they disappear in 24 hours; however, there’s an audience of 500 million who spend an average of 28 minutes a day flicking through Instagram content, and this is a segment of the market that you don’t want to be missing out on! 

Instagram Stories are the most popular form of social media for teenagers, so they’re a must if that’s part of your target market. When it comes to marketing, 62% of people say they’ve become more interested in a product after seeing it featured in Stories, so they’re a great place to put your ads.  

Although you don’t have to post every day, it’s important to keep up your presence on Stories, posting two to three times per week would be fine, and ideally more than one Story at a time. There are so many options for adding an interactive element by enabling people to book, buy and follow links away from Instagram. Using hashtags, you can make your content more discoverable, and like with everything on social media, the more engagement you can attract, the greater organic reach your Stories will have! 

If you’re particularly proud of some content you’ve created, or if you think it will not date too quickly, you can ‘highlight’ it, and people will be able to view it after it has expired.  

So how might you use the 15 seconds allotted to each story?

We’d recommend cutting to the point. What do we mean by that? The very nature of Instagram Stories sets it up for people to mindlessly scroll through. There’s so much content out there, and you have a very short amount of time to grab a user’s attention. Use a combination of music, video and graphics to stand out and don’t take too long to get to your key messaging. Using the inbuilt analytics you can see insights from the last fourteen days including impressions, reach, sticker taps, taps forward and back (the number of times people look at previous stories or skip to the next one), replies and swipe aways (people leaving your content completely – not a good metric!!). Using this information, you should be able to adapt your content to keep people watching it to the end, and ideally again, and again…!  

Many people, especially among younger generations, have resorted to solely viewing Stories and neglecting the main Instagram feed in its entirety. If there’s a post you might want people to take a closer look at on your profile, then you can draw attention to it in your Stories to drive traffic towards it. How else can you use Stories to your advantage? Well, you could host a takeover, handing over the reins of your account to someone else and showing off a day in their life (this could be a customer, a member of your team or an influencer). You could also go live and field some questions and, unlike on other platforms, once you stop broadcasting your live video isn’t saved so it can make the host feel more comfortable and also create a state of urgency in viewers who won’t want to miss out.  

Overall Instagram Stories are just one of many amazing tools at your disposal when it comes to marketing yourself or your business. If you need help getting your voice heard then get in touch, and we’ll tell you more about how we can help you make the most of all of that social media has to offer your business. 

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