Instagram Stories: Everything Businesses and Influencers Need To Know

2018 was the year of Instagram Stories. Influencers and businesses adopted Instagram Stories to reveal behind the scenes, with photos and videos that felt more real. Usually Instagram is a highlight reel, but Instagram Stories makes everyone a little more down to earth.

Originally launched as a Snapchat copycat, Instagram Stories has grown to more than 300 million users every day.

As Instagram Stories has grown and upgraded, we’ve put together everything businesses and influencers need to know.

With the new algorithm update, it is growing harder to get your content in front of your followers.

But thanks to Instagram Stories, we can reach more of your beloved fans.

Read on for more tips on Instagram Stories, and start using this tool like a pro today!

Instagram Story Tools You Should Be Using:

As a business or influencer on Instagram, it’s important to use Instagram Stories in a trendy way. If used correctly, these tips will help you appeal to your target audience and increase engagement.

Instagram Story Views

Take note of the users who are viewing your story. Analyzing who is viewing your Instagram Story will help you understand the demographic of your followers.

It isn’t just important to note who is watching your Insta story, but also how many people are viewing your Instagram story. Take note if the amount of viewers increases or decreases. Notice if users are swiping through, or skipping your story.

It’s important to analyze the analytics associated with your Instagram Story, so you know how to tweak your strategy.

Stickers

Use Instagram’s “Stickers” tool in your Instagram Stories. Stickers are useful because they give you additional tools to be creative and add content to your photos. With stickers, you can make boring content fun, trendy and relevant.

For example, if you need content for a specific holiday, you can use a normal product shot, and add a sticker with the holiday on it. Stickers make your content holiday ready, funny and eye-catching in seconds.

To find stickers in a certain category, simply search for the type of sticker you want.

The selection of stickers for Instagram StoriesWhat GIF's you can choose for Instagram Stories

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Location

Adding location to your Instagram Stories expands the reach of your posts. People looking at posts in the location you have tagged will be able to see your post in the discover section.

Location Tag feature on an Instagram Story

Hashtags (invisible ones too!)

We all know the importance of hashtags, and if you don’t, check out one of our recent blog posts.

As we’ve mentioned before, hashtags are extremely important to help your content reach more people.

With Instagram Stories, you can now add hashtags to your stories. If you don’t like the look of the hashtag on your story, you can make the hashtag invisible.

To make the hashtags on your Instagram story invisible, follow these steps.

A hashtag on an Instagram Story photo

Close Friends List

This tip is great for smaller businesses and influencers—share content to your closest followers. You can create different close friends lists, and give these followers an exclusive “backstage pass” type feel. Or, maybe these followers could be a part of an elite group who get to see products before they’ve launched. The close friends group is also great for sharing content you don’t want everyone to see.

Instagram's Close Friends feature on Instagram Stories

Music

Now you can add music to your Instagram Story. This tool is relatively new, and Instagram is improving it every day.

Adding music to your post gives you another tool to express the voice of your brand.

Share new music, add theme songs to your content or tell a story using the thousands of songs that Instagram now has available.

💡 Related Post: How to increase your impression with Instagram ads

Share Feed Posts (and Reposting!)

Last year, Instagram added a feature that allows you to share posts to your story. This repost feature helps users share your content across the platform.

This feature is great for engaging with your customers and fans. It also helps brands engage with other brands by sharing content to their story.

Adding a regular Instagram Post to your instagram Story

Shoppable Posts

Just like other Instagram Shoppable posts, you can now tag the products in your Instagram Story. This feature works a lot like tagging a person in your post. All you do is select the item and choose one of your products from your catalog.

In order to use this function, you have to first connect your catalog to your Instagram. Once you’ve done this, you can tag the items in your story. For step by step directions, read on here.

Shoppable posts are great for business profiles because it takes your customer straight to the product. This gives the customer a clear path to complete the purchase of your product.

💡 Related Post: marketing trends that are taking over the Instagram app

Instagram Stories and Paid ads 

Paid content is becoming more and more important to reach more Instagram users. Instagram prioritizes friends and family in your feed, instead of businesses. If you want to reach more people, you have to put ad spend behind your content.

Using Facebook’s Ad Manager, you can create specific content for paid Instagram Stories.

PRO TIP: When you create your Instagram Story ads, design the ad to look like something that would naturally live in your Instagram feed.

Content Ideas For Instagram Stories

Now that you know the all the hottest new tricks of Instagram stories, here are some specific content ideas for you as an influencer or a business.

Business Ideas:

  1. Product teasers: Instagram stories are a great place for product teasers. Not only does it make your followers feel like they are a part of the “cool kids club”, but it will also keep your audience engaged. If you can keep your audience wondering what you will reveal next, they will constantly check up on your story.
  2. Customer feedback: Using the repost to stories feature, you can post customer feedback on your story. If you want to gain more customer feedback, try using the “poll” function within Instagram stories to ask your customers what they want to see more of.
  3. Contests: Instagram stories disappear within 24 hours, which is the perfect amount of time for a contest. Plus, if your followers know you post contests on your story, they will stay engaged and constantly check to see when they can enter to win.

💡 Related Post: Guide To Creating Branded Instagram Highlight Covers

Influencer Content ideas on Instagram Stories:

If you’re a fashion, beauty or mommy blogger, Instagram stories is the best place for you to be. Here are some ideas to keep your content fresh and trendy:

  1. Product reviews: Instagram stories is a great place for product reviews. If you’re a beauty or fashion blogger, you can use Instagram Stories for shopping try on sessions. The more relatable you are to your audience, the more people will want to follow you.
  2. Lifestyle shots: Showcasing your everyday life Instagram Stories is a great place for lifestyle photos and videos. Use stickers, polls, and locations to make your content stand out.
  3. Recipes: Try out new recipes, meal plans and food subscription services on Instagram stories. Not only does this give you another way to connect to your audience, but you can also tag the different services, creating another online connection.

No matter what content you choose to share on Instagram Stories, and how you choose to use it, make sure to show off your style. You can also check out this post that describes how to save Instagram stories to a computer.

If your business doesn’t already have brand guidelines or a stylebook, it’s a good idea to create one before creating wild Instagram Stories. This will make sure you show your flare, while still staying true to your brand and tone.

Instagram Stories are crucial to every Instagram strategy. If you’re still looking to expand the reach of your posts, gain more followers and enhance your Instagram account—we’re here for you. Contact us today and get connected with an account manager who is ready to help your brand grow.

 

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By Selah Shepherd

A digital marketing freelancer specializing in social media, Instagram and Facebook paid and organic content.

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