Instagram is a social media service focused on sharing photos and video. Instagram Stories is a feature where you can tell stories by using photos and video clips. These stories automatically disappear after a period of 24 hours. What is the function of Instagram Stories, and what can you do with it in relation to Online Marketing?
Thank you, Snapchat
The former chat app for young people, Snapchat, has been extended many times over the years with features that were remarkably innovative. But you cannot copyright an idea, and competition does not stand still. The competitor using Snapchat as a lucrative grab bag of original ideas is called Facebook, and now let Instagram be owned by Facebook as well. So better good copy than bad thinking, Instagram Stories is clearly “inspired” by Snapchat Stories, an option that gave this social media service a big push in 2013. Later it would also add Facebook Stories, but more on that next time.
The timer is set!!
Like Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories also features a timer. After 24 hours the story is no longer viewable, too late is bad luck. The content of your Stories will not be shown in your profile, nor are they visible in the Instagram timeline. Instagram Stories are visible in a bar at the top of your timeline. These Stories can be shared by anyone, your friends as well as other popular Instagram accounts. As soon as a new addition is visible, a coloured ring will appear around the profile picture. By clicking or tapping on this profile picture, you can instantly view the story in full screen, with all new content from the last 24 hours in chronological order, with the oldest post first. It is not possible to Like the Instagram Stories or add public comments to them.
Create your own Instagram Story
It is very easy to get started with Instagram Stories yourself. You select the "+" icon, you then take a photo or video. You can edit the images to your liking, add text or stickers. After publishing, you can also view statistics such as the number of viewers and who viewed your Instagram Story. You can swipe up to see who viewed each photo and video. You will then see the following:
You can show part of your story in your own profile on the timeline via the upload function. You do not have to take the photos at that time, as it is also possible to add images from your photo library. The privacy settings of the Instagram Story are the same as the settings of your account, However, it is possible to limit the visibility if you want.
Adding location with Instagram Stories
If you have a shop, restaurant or other business, you can add a location. This way, you can add updates from an event live to the story, encouraging people to visit as well. You are not limited to one location per story, you can give each photo or video a unique location. Whether you should do this with all your private snapshots is debatable, but for an event it can be ideal. Also, don't forget to add hashtags for higher findability. When people search on a location or hashtag, they will come across your story, nice to pop by!
Ask questions with Instagram Stories
It certainly doesn't have to be a passive experience for the follower, as you can add an interactive poll sticker with a question. You can see the answers of friends and followers once they have answered your question. You can design the questions directly when you want to add a picture to the story. There are various options to dress up this sticker nicely for the message you want to convey. This kind of interaction is obviously ideal for online marketing. Decide what is “hot” or “not”, for example, let your audience choose what colour your fresh doughnuts in the coffee shop will be this month.
Video: how to create an Instagram story
Here's a video by Hubspot Marketing on how to create an Instagram story:
Full-screen Instagram Story
When you want to create a pleasant splash page with a photo that includes text, it is good to know that a ratio of 9:16 is used, i.e. a standard smartphone screen size.
How can you use Instagram Stories for online marketing?
If you still need some help coming up with a good application for your business, you should definitely read these Instagram Stories tips:
- Let people take a look behind the scenes of an event, for example backstage at a concert, during a sports event or a food blogger visiting a restaurant.
- You can communicate directly with your followers, ask questions and also provide answers. Thus, based on a question, you can take the next photo or video “on demand”. Thus, an Instagram Story becomes an interactive visual story in which the follower influences the outcome.
- Turn it into a step-by-step guide, this can be very interesting, for example, for a hairdresser who is creating a very complex cut in a series of images.
- Hold special promotions and offer temporary discounts via the Instagram Story that disappear after 24 hours. This is how you make ads exciting, and there is an element of urgency behind them.
- Engage influencers to share your story through their timeline, choose individuals who fit your target audience and message.
Instagram Stories are a fun and smooth way to engage your followers with you and your brand or product, don't disappoint them and tell a captivating story! Are you already using stories? Share your Instagram profile below, I like it!