Instagram Stories took the world by storm when they launched in the summer of 2016. Of course, they were already a tested formula on Snapchat and proved themselves popular, but I'm not pointing any fingers here, that's not the point of this article.
Today, I'd like to show you how you can use Instagram Stories to your advantage. That means I'll show you working strategies that will help you increase your followers organically and boost your engagement ratio.
One more thing, I'll assume in this article that you are already somewhat familiar with Instagram Stories (you know how to post, apply filters, watch stories, etc.).
To start, it's worth noting that the main goal of Instagram Stories (and any new feature Instagram introduces) is keeping users as engaged and involved as possible. The more time you spend on Instagram, the more they make from ad revenue, simple as that. However, it goes without saying that for users to stay on Insta, they must have a good time. So, Instagram's main goal is providing a quality user experience and finding new ways to entertain their users. The reason I mention this is for you to understand that your Instagram Stories should persuade the user to browse more and more of your profile and keep him engaged with your content as much as possible. So here are some tips for Instagram Stories.
1. Utilize the Highlight Reel
As you know, Instagram Stories are available for 24 hours after which they disappear permanently, or you can add them to your Highlight Reel, located right under your profile.
The point of the Highlight Reel is to group Stories by topical relevance and make them easily accessible for future users. The addition of Highlight Reels gives you further motivation to work on your Stories, as great stories are not going to waste after 24h. Of course, there are different types of Stories and not all of them require high-quality images or videos and editing, but it's good to know you have a place for them now.
Make sure you "archive" your best Stories by adding them to the Reel, so your future followers can easily see that they can expect only top-notch content from you and so that you give them an introduction to your profile.
2. Post regularly, but don't overdo it
Usually, users browse Stories by clicking the first Story on the homepage and then just tapping through their Story feed. If you have an overwhelming number of stories(15+) users, tend to skip your stories completely. Because of that, my recommendation is to have no more than 10 active Stories at a time. I find that any more than that, users start losing patience and skipping my Stories.
3. Tell a Story with Instagram Stories
Just as with Highlight Reels, try to have a theme for your active Stories. This way, when someone sees your Story for the first time, they are tempted to watch through all of them to find out more. You need to spark emotion with all of your content and Stories are no different. Whether it's love, joy, curiosity (popular) or hate (very difficult and not advised for beginner marketers, can backfire easily), your followers need to feel something when they see your content. Whenever you post Stories, think about how they look as a whole when browsed, not just the latest one by itself. Remember to utilize captions, to guide your followers through the stories.
Essentially, it comes down to your niche which path you choose, but whatever you do, make sure that your Stories contribute to a general theme you set. Of course, there's always room for random Stories in the mix, but don't overdo it.
4. Use Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
CTAs are an important ingredient in any marketing endeavor, and Instagram Stories are no different. Of course, not all Stories require you to use CTAs, but they are important to implement when possible and applicable. You can ask different things from your followers such as asking them to engage with your new post, vote on a Story Poll, follow some other account, etc.
The point of CTAs is convincing your followers to do the action you want them to.
If you publish a new Story with the caption "New Post" and a blurred image, you can be damn sure they will go to your profile and check it out (and hopefully like or comment on it). I can go on and on with different examples, but hopefully, you get my point. However, I will talk in greater detail about one CTA.
Dreams had come true for Instagram marketers when Instagram decided to release the Swipe Up function.
Before it was released, the ONLY way to get someone to click your link is to invite them to check out your bio. However, this required users to click on your profile and then on your bio. While this may not seem like a big deal, Instagram is an impulsive network, and an added step such as this means far fewer clicks. But, all that changed with Swipe Up.
You get to put links in your Instagram Stories, and your followers only need to "Swipe Up" to access it through the browser. There are two requirements to getting this feature on your account:
1. Having 10.000 followers
2. Having a business account
I can not begin to explain how important this function is for Instagram marketing. If you don't meet the requirements, I highly suggest you either work hard to get there or hire an expert to do it for you.
With the Swipe Up function, all you need to do is create attractive Stories that spark emotion (like I said earlier) and sure enough, your users WILL click through to your link. If you are serious about Instagram, this function is a must and is a good early goal for a new account.
If you follow these Instagram Stories tips I laid out for you, I guarantee more engagement on your regular posts.
Stories are a fun and dynamic way to interact with your followers and make sure they always check out what's on your profile. Furthermore, if you follow my advice and set the Swipe Up function as a primary goal for your account(s), I can guarantee that your Instagram Marketing game will be changed forever and you won't be able to imagine life without it.