Everything you need to know about Instagram Stories
Instagram (also known as Insta or IG) is one of the most popular social networks out there. It currently has more than 1 billion monthly active users—and that number continues to grow at an incredible rate. So what is an Instagram story? How can you use them? Are they a threat to Tiktok and other social media networks?
Instagram stories are a popular feature from Instagram, which launched a while back on Facebook’s most popular photo-sharing app. As more and more businesses embrace the feature, I’m sure you’re wondering what’s behind this ever-growing platform and if it is worth exploring.
How Instagram stories work
Instagram stories are a creative way to share moments with your followers, who can view your story for up to 24 hours. Stories disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or feed. You can see who’s viewed and liked your story by swiping up on your screen when viewing your own story.
To add a photo or video to your story, swipe left at the bottom of the Instagram app, then take a photo or video or choose one from your phone’s library. If you’d like to share multiple photos and videos (up to ten) in one story, tap the icon above the camera button, then select multiple photos and videos.\
How to add text or draw on your photo or video
Tap the Aa button at the top of the screen, then select a colour and write or draw on the photo or video. You can also pinch to zoom while you’re writing or drawing so you can make the text and lines larger or smaller.
5 tips for getting started with Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a great way to connect with your audience, and over 500 million people use them every day. But how do you add yours to the mix?
- Post frequently. People scroll quickly through their Stories feeds, so you want to make sure that you give your audience a reason to stop and see what you have to say.
- Be authentic. For many people, the best part of Instagram is seeing the life of someone who they admire or relate to. Share real moments from your life and business, but don’t be afraid to have some fun and show off your personality!
- Use text and stickers. Adding text or stickers can make your story more engaging and drive more attention to it than a simple photo or video might (especially if you’re posting something with minimal movement).
- Don’t be afraid of colour! The most engaging stories use bright colours and often focus on just one or two colours in their story’s design.
- Try out different kinds of content! You can post everything from videos, photos, and even polls on your story—so don’t feel like you have to stick to one type of content all the time.
Instagram’s most popular story features
To upload a photo to your Insta story, simply tap the camera button at the top left of your screen, or just swipe left from your feed. Then you can take a picture or choose one from your camera roll. You can add stickers and text to your photo before posting it.
You can record videos by tapping the camera button at the top left of your screen. You can also post videos from your phone’s library.
A way to get more clicks on your Instagram story links is by adding related hashtags. If a user taps on a hashtag in an Instagram story, they will be taken to the page for that hashtag where they can view all of the public posts with that hashtag. If someone taps on your hashtag in your Instagram story, they will see other posts that use that same hashtag, including yours! The hashtags you choose should be relevant to the content of your image or video so that people who tap on it will want to see more content from your Instagram account.
- Live Streams
You can live stream yourself by tapping the camera button and then choosing “Start Live Video” in the top right corner of the screen. When you go live, anyone who follows you will be able to see your stream. The live stream will disappear when you’re done streaming, but if someone isn’t watching while you’re streaming, they’ll get notified that they missed it—and they will be able to replay it once it’s over.
A Boomerang is a looped video that only lasts a few seconds and can be shared on an Instagram Story. Basically, it’s a short GIF-like video that plays forward and backwards. It’s fun to create and share with your friends. You can use it to show off some cool moves or just play around with it to make fun clips.
You can record a video and play it backwards using this feature. This is a unique way of sharing content on social media as it shows something from a completely different perspective.
With the Sticker feature, you can add fun, creative stickers to your Instagram Stories. You can also add music stickers that automatically play a song; or quiz stickers where people can vote on what you ask. The poll sticker is also great for asking your followers to vote on things, like if they prefer chocolate or vanilla cake.
You can even add interactive stickers that allow people to interact with you directly. For example, the question sticker lets people send in questions and answers through DM!
What are Instagram Highlights?
Instagram story highlights are the circular icons that appear right under your Instagram bio. They help you group together your Instagram stories so that you can keep them for longer than 24 hours. For instance, you might have a highlight where you just post fun and random things about your daily life!
The cool thing about Instagram story highlights is that once you add a story to a highlight, it stays there forever (or until you decide to remove it). People can click on them at any time and watch your previous Instagram stories.
Instagram story highlights are one of the most powerful features on Instagram. They allow you to repurpose content from your feed onto your profile. They also make your profile look more exciting and engaging.
What are Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels are one of the newest features added to the platform. It was launched in August 2020 as a way to compete with TikTok, another video-sharing platform.
IG reels are a fun way to create and watch short video clips on Instagram. With reels, you can record videos and edit them with a variety of creative tools and effects. You can also use Insta’s music library to add audio to your reel.
Reels can be up to 60 seconds long and can be shared in the explore feed where they have the potential to reach anyone who uses Instagram. Be sure to use trending hashtags! This will help your content get discovered in the explore feed.
What is the difference between an Instagram Reel and an Instagram story?
Well, Instagram reels are less spontaneous and more produced. They’re like an edited version of your story and must be 60 seconds or less. The content is usually humorous or entertaining and tends to include music. Stories, on the other hand, are much more casual and unedited. They are usually just moments from your day-to-day life that you want to share with your followers.
Have you ever wondered how to become an Instagram influencer?
Instagram Stories are the best way to make your Instagram more interactive and personal. Connecting with your followers on a more intimate level is guaranteed to grow your audience and create a more loyal following.
However, you can only become an Instagram Influencer if you have the right combination of skills and approach. Not everyone is cut out to be an influencer, but if you do have what it takes to become one, you need to follow the right steps.
Define Your Niche
Influencers are experts in their niche, so when choosing yours, it’s important to consider both your interests and your potential audience’s interests. Just keep in mind that choosing a niche doesn’t mean you’re limiting yourself from branching out into new areas. It simply means that you’re identifying what types of content will be most common on your page.
You can also find other influencer accounts with the same niche, follow them and engage with their stories. This can help you create relationships that could lead to collaborations.
Find Your Voice
Once you have identified your niche, start thinking about how you can differentiate yourself from other influencers in the same area. What unique abilities or experiences do you bring to the table? How can you tell a story that resonates with your audience? The answers to these questions will help shape your voice and determine how your followers perceive and react to your content.
Using Instagram Stories to grow your business
Instagram Stories lets brands and influencers connect with their audience in a new way. Unlike the Instagram feed, which is mostly curated and polished, stories can be unpolished and raw. It’s a lot more personal and a bit like a behind-the-scenes peek into the lives of your favourite people.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to grow your brand awareness, introduce yourself to new people, encourage engagement, and increase traffic to your website. Here are some fun facts about Instagram Stories:
- It only takes three seconds for someone to decide whether or not to watch an Instagram story.
- About 60% of companies use stories as part of their marketing strategy.
- Stories are searchable by location, hashtag, and account type (business or personal).
- One-third of the most viewed stories are created by businesses—and one in five stories gets a direct message from its viewers.
- More than 60% of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform, while 75% say they take action after being inspired by a post.
- Instagram is currently the third most popular social media platform behind Facebook and YouTube.
- Instagram posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without hashtags.
Instagram stories aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Producing stories is a very quick and easy way to get some extra views of your photos and increase your following. And if you’ve got the time and patience to put in the hard work, you can use the app’s features to effectively promote almost anything you want.
Whether you’re looking to make the most of your video content; or simply want to explore a new way to share your content, you’ll be joining the ranks of thousands of marketing professionals and businesses who are turning to this social media platform. So what are you waiting for?