There are a lot of different ways to create and use Instagram Stories. What makes them stand out is personalised content, while staying true to your brand. Here are the top tips on how to do this:
1. Establish a theme and style
Your Instagram stories should have a cohesive style that makes them uniquely yours. The content is visual and fast-moving so it should both appeal to your audience and reflect your branding and style. This includes both fonts and filters, keep them consistent, and pick the ones most associated with your brand. This way your stories will be consistent and recognisable regardless if they are text, photo or video-based. If someone tags you in a story, consider adding your own flair to the post before you re-share too.
2. Plan your content and engage your audience
Ensure you are clear about your Instagram content goals before you get started, be it more brand awareness, engagement or increasing sales, so you create content that better serves those goals. Post your CTA to the second story or middle of the sequence, never leave it to the last, as retention drops off the longer your story goes on.
To increase engagement of your story, use the tools available from Instagram: polls, question or countdown stickers, music etc.
3. Frequency, length and best time to post your stories
The ideal sequence length is three to seven posts. Most people lose interest after seven posts. Depending on which combination of photos and videos you use, seven stories can be anywhere from 35 seconds to almost 2 minutes. Those longer time frames push the boundaries of story viewers’ attention span.
Sometimes it will come down to your audience and when they are most likely to be engaged. Other times it will come down to when you have the content to publish. It is important to remember that stories are only live on your profile for 24 hours, so it is important to pay attention to posting times and days of the week to maximize your reach, views, and engagement.
4. Format of your post
Instagram Stories are formatted in a vertical 9:16 ratio or a dimension of 1080 wide x 1920 pixels high. A photo or a text-based post will play for 6 seconds and a video will play for up to 15 seconds, depending on the length recorded.
5. Keep it simple and relevant
Keep the content on the story post easy to watch or read. Stories move quickly and if the content is too cluttered or busy, people will tap through or miss the message. Use bold or contrasting colors to make key messages stand out, and use arrow GIFs to encourage followers to navigate to the next story for more so that you keep up the retention.
You can also use location tags, or tag users who are mentioned or add a hashtag. You can only add one hashtag sticker per story post.
When you focus on creating stories that show your brand, connect with your audience and provide value to them, so you keep them engaged and responsive. The more they view and engage with your content, the higher you’ll rank in their story banner placement. This allows you to continue to stay in front of them and reach those goals you set out to achieve.