Find the true power of stories – Instagram Stories explained

Communication Marketing

Find the true power of stories - Instagram Stories explained

They say that actions can speak a thousand words, but sometimes, just a good story is enough. People all over the world have indulged in different forms of self-expression, for centuries on end, and the only difference now is that the medium is online or digital. Digital markets are playgrounds where people can share their stories in multiple ways and forms, and there’s also a large enough audience who receives them.

Hence, the world of social media today thrives on the exchange of art, expression, words, and stories. And it probably fits that Instagram decided to name one of its number one features “Instagram Stories.”

What is Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are 24-hour, disappearing pictures, and videos.  They don’t stay on someone’s feed but are somewhat visible on the person’s profile for a limited time. One can add as many stories as they want to.

Doesn’t this concept seem familiar?

To refresh your memory, Snapchat is another popular app that was built on and still operates with the 24-hour disappearing feature. Since then, however, they’ve added many other features. But how different are Insta Stories? And what is the need for them?

The need for Instagram Stories

Insta Stories gives users the freedom to create exciting new ways to express themselves, a tad different from creating regular stories. There are several reasons why they’ve worked so well with the audience so far.

  • Over 500 million active users either view or post stories every day. That’s a significant user base for brands and influencers to work with.
  • Even if you don’t want to curate posts for every idea or campaign, creating fun trailers and sneak peeks, and posting them on Stories, is easy.
  • There are tons of features on Instagram that are exclusive only to Stories, and these are quite interesting to explore and use while creating content for your followers.
  • Did you know? You can also run promoted or sponsored ads on Instagram Stories, and drive traffic towards your campaigns, Instagram profile, website, e-commerce site, and so much more.
  • Just like regular posts, Stories also allow you to tag people, use hashtags, use geotags, and become easier to discover for potential followers.
  • With Stories, you can also create multiple “highlights” on your profile, which add on to its aesthetic appeal and make your profile more informative and attractive.

Instagram Stories are critical for engagement, and big brands on the platform use it to good effect. You can learn more about Stories from iDigic’s The Only Guide You Need To Know How Instagram Stories Work page. It gives in-depth information about how to leverage the power of Stories for your brand.

Steps to post an Instagram Story

Posting an Instagram Story is quite simple really and works the same way for both private and business accounts.

1. Open the Home Page and click on the camera icon on the top left corner

2. This will open your phone’s camera, through which you can click a picture

3. You can either click on the spot or swipe up and choose an image/video from your gallery

4. Once selected, there are three icons on the top right corner – Filters, Add a link, Save the photo/video, Stickers, Drawing Tool, and Typing Tool.

Let’s understand how these features work.

1. Filters – Just like the face filters that Snapchat offers, Instagram has its own set of filters that can make your story more innovative and exciting. You can even turn on the filter and then click a video or picture through the camera and post.

2. Add a Link – This is referred to as a ‘Swipe Up’ link. Business profiles with over 10K followers can add a link to their story, which users can swipe up to visit. This link can be a profile link, a web link, a page link, and much more.

3. Save story – The saving option lets you save the photo or video to your gallery, just in case you want to store it for later.

4. Stickers – Now, the stickers feature has multiple tabs within itself:

  • Adding a geotag/location
  • Mentioning another profile with the ‘@’ symbol
  • Adding a hashtag/multiple hashtags
  • Putting a time stamp on the story
  • Engaging users through a poll, where you have 2 options to modify to your liking
  • Adding a Gif from the list of Gifs available, which can be searched using keywords
  • Another engaging tool called “Questions” where users can ask you questions, and you have the option to reply either via stories or directly through DMs
  • A countdown timer which others can also view
  • A “Like Bar” or slider where users can show how much they like the story, represented by an emoji
  • A Quiz option, so people get to know more about you/your brand
  • A link to “Join a Chat” where anyone can click on the tab and become a part of a group chat
  • A temperature stamp
  • And below these features are several of Instagram’s own stickers that you can play around with and add on to your story to make it more engaging and interactive.

5. Once the story is ready, you can post it to “Your Story.”

6. An additional feature allows you to create a list of “Close Friends.” If you want only a specific group of people to be able to view a story, you can post using the “close friends” button.

7. At any point, once a story is published, you also have the option to delete it.

8. All stories that are posted are saved in the “Stories Archive,” which can be accessed through your profile page. Simply click on the clock icon which is at the menu represented by three lines, at the top right corner of your profile.

How Story Highlights work

Highlights allow you to categorize stories and group them under a single tab, which will then be visible on your profile until you delete it.

For many brands, highlights are a great way to let people know about important events, view stories from the past, and also keep increasing views on previous stories.

From your Stories Archive, you can select as many stories as you want and add it under a Highlight. You can then name this Highlight and also give it a unique picture to represent it. Adding an existing story by clicking on your profile’s icon in your Home Page and choosing the “Highlight” option (denoted by a heart icon) is also possible.

Creating Instagram Story ads

Instagram Stories can be promoted and turned into ads just like a regular post.

How does this work?

1. Go to a Story and click on the three dots at the bottom right corner, which will open up a pop-up menu.

2. Click on the last option, “Promote.”

3. Only posts which don’t have any tappable elements, i.e., mentions, geotags can be promoted.

4. Next, you’ll be shown several options to filter out things like age, location, interests, and so on, and narrow down the target audience that will view your story ad.

5. Finally, you can select the duration of your ad, where it will take the audience, and make the payment.

Understanding Instagram Story analytics

To be able to make the most of Instagram’s Story Analytics, having a business profile is an absolute must. There are several things the insights will let you see, which can be accessed by swiping up on a posted story. The “eye” icon only shows you how many people have viewed it, but the adjacent insights icon (which looks like a bar graph) shows you many things like:

  • Replies
  • Profile Visits
  • Sticker Taps
  • Impressions
  • Number of accounts reached
  • Follows through the story
  • Exits
  • Forwards and next taps

Going ahead with great Stories

Stories on Instagram have rapidly become a popular feature. In the future, the app is expected to add many more features and functionalities to Stories and probably integrating it with other marketing aspects as well.

For businesses, Stories present a unique opportunity to showcase content that is different, exciting, and also engaging at the same time. If appropriately used, brands and Influencers can create successful Instagram campaigns using Stories, and the future looks brighter than ever!

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