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Instagram Stories

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are defined by a feature that allows users to share ephemeral moments of their day, appearing together in a slideshow format to create a visual story.

It’s ephemeral content and they only last 24 hours. The content disappears after this timeframe and it’s mostly just photos and videos from that day.

Now, if we look at Instagram Stories as opposed to the regular grid, you would know that Instagram Stories are way more authentic and behind the scenes. You can post a photo, videos, boomerangs, and so on, and you can also now include content from your camera roll. They’re a great way to be top of mind to your users because you’ll always be at the top of their feed if you keep constantly creating Instagram Stories. Also, you can view who is looking at your stories, so you can measure drop off rates and engagement.

Components of fully optimized Instagram Stories

When you make an Instagram story, you want to include a lot of these components to be effective and fully optimized:

  • Show an authentic side to your brand: Share behind-the-scenes content, interviews, and photos that aren’t Instagram worthy.
  • Use social influencers: Have them create Instagram Story takeovers so you can use them to their fullest capabilities to grab users’ attentions and share messaging points.
  • Include different elements: On Instagram Stories, you can include boomerangs, video, super zoom, focus, live, rewind, hands free, stop motion, and type to create an engaging story.
  • Use the native tools: You can use these to add elements to your content – these include photo filters, GIFs, geolocation tags, polls, time, weather, typing, and drawing.
  • Create Instagram-centric content: Don’t just use Snapchat content. Create content for the channel. People will know when it’s Snapchat because of the native tools associated with the platform. Use the native tools to add elements to your content. Instagram Stories provides drawing and text tools to spice up the content, too.
  • Add @mentions that notify and highlight targeted users: This will bring more engagement to your channel and direct traffic to their page.
  • Include a “See more” link: This directs people to web content. This is a perfect way to drive users to websites. At the time, you will need over 10,000 followers to be able to have that See More capability.
  • Have a clear narrative: Talk about the events you’re promoting. For one-off events, make sure your community knows what’s happening in the events that are taking place through you Instagram story narrative.
  • Include a call-to-action: At the end, you want followers to take action that results in a direct result. For example, a promo code or go to a website.

Creating a Story

To create an Instagram Story follow these steps:

  1. Swipe right on the Instagram News Feed.
  2. Choose if you want to take a normal photo/video/boomerang/superzoom/focus/rewind/handsfree/stop motion.
  3. Tap or hold down on the circle, or swipe down and upload a photo or video in your camera roll.
  4. Add text, drawings, emojis, handles, polls, or filters.
  5. Click Next and post to ‘Your Story’.
  6. View the users viewing your content by swiping up your story.
  7. You can hide content from users by clicking on the ‘x’ on their account.
  8. To save content for the future, click on the … on the lower right-hand side and click ‘Save Photo’.

Search and Explore

Within the Search and Explore feature, Instagram also allows you to see location-based Instagram Stories as well as influencer Instagram Stories.

Geo-located stories help you see what’s actually happening where you are. You can always be a part of this if you include the geolocation within your own story and hopefully be part of the larger Instagram story of where you’re at.

And with influencers, you can always learn best practices within your niche and learn how to execute and produce an Instagram story.

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Kate Talbot

Kate Talbot is a Growth Marketing consultant at Vidder Inc., best-selling author of "Oh Snap! You can use Snapchat for Business" and regular contributor to online publications such as Social Media Examiner, Engadget and KISSmetrics. Passionate about building brands through demand generation and strategic partnerships, Kate's expertise in social apps are unrivaled. 

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