19 Dec Get Started With Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is continuing to grow in usage, now surpassing its rival Snap Chat with over 200 million users. Launched in mid-2016, as Instagram’s answer to consumers’ desire for ephemeral content, the trend of content that disappears or ‘disposable content’, was originally brought to the mainstream by Snap Chat.
Story content appears in a separate feed to traditional Instagram posts, at the top of the news feed and the search and discover tab on Instagram. The slideshow format allows users to watch Stories created by users and brands one after the other, including video content, images and graphics.
The concept of Stories was originally designed to encourage users to share moments of their day or show the behind the scenes of a process or event. Stories only last 24 hours in the feed, before completely disappearing which creates a sense of urgency for users to watch the content before it’s gone forever.
The real-time nature of this content also allows users to create content on the run and post to their users quickly and easily without needing to take the care to create and post high quality, beautifully styled imagery that we are so used to seeing in the original Instagram Feed.
This new feature has had a significant impact on the way users are interacting on Instagram with many preferring to only watch Stories and moving away from engaging with the original Instagram Feed. As a result, throughout 2017 we have seen a gradual decline in engagement on the original Instagram feed. So, it’s certainly a great time to consider how you might add Stories to your social content.
How will you integrate Stories into your strategy in 2018? We’ve put together some tips for you to get started on your Instagram Stories journey.
CONSIDER THE GOLDEN RULE OF SOCIAL MEDIA – ADD VALUE
Don’t forget when it comes to creating content you must consider what is relevant to the audience. Social media is no longer the place to broadcast your brand messages and promotions, it is a place where engagement and building a tribe of loyal followers should take centre stage.
Whether it’s to educate, entertain or inspire, consider what value your Story might add to the viewer. We have found the best interaction with Stories for brands comes from concepts that are well planned out and executed with quality.
So, whilst it might be tempting, and easy to post an unpolished video of this morning’s breakfast, is this really what your audience wants to see? And will it keep them coming back for more?
The goal is to tell a story, so create something with a beginning, a middle and an end, to get the best engagement. 3 – 4 slides per story would be a great start, try to keep your viewers watching right to the end.
ENHANCE WITH THE INSTAGRAM STORY FEATURES
Familiarise yourself with the features available on Stories and then take the time to use them to get maximum engagement. Polls, stickers, hashtags and the ability to tag people and locations in your stories, all represent a fantastic opportunity for organic reach on Instagram.
The ability for users to follow specific hashtags and geolocations used on Instagram is a recent feature released on the platform. Using a hashtag or a geolocation your story means your content will be shown to more people interested in that topic.
New features are being rolled out on a regular basis to help you increase the engagement and quality of your Stories.
Another example is alignment tools and colour pickers that now allow you to create more polished, on-brand stories. Different fonts have also been recently added, allowing users to change the font they use in their Story.
USE TOOLS TO PLAN, SCHEDULE AND DESIGN YOUR STORIES
Your Stories don’t have to be completed on the run and in the moment. In fact, with the abundance of Story content already being created in raw unpolished format, you may find polished and professional graphics and imagery may get better engagement for your Instagram page.
Canva and Adobe Spark are great design tool to try, to create graphics for your Stories and are also quite user-friendly.
Consider mapping out your Story content each month in advance and schedule it all for a set and forget approach. You can schedule them using one of the various social media scheduling platforms available, a small monthly investment might save you a lot of time and hassle.
CREATE CONTENT THEMES FOR YOUR STORIES
Identifying a number of content themes you can use to create stories will help to make your content creation a breeze. There is nothing worse than having to rack your brain, trying to think of something to post on the day it goes live.
Brainstorm 4 – 5 content themes that will bring value to your audience and be relevant to your brand. This will give you a great platform to work from.
Here are some themes you could consider including:
- Behind the scenes – show the backstage of your work or a task you complete regularly on the job
- Customer Stories – Let your customers tell a story for you. Explain the process they went through in detail, include key milestones and video testimonials
- Tutorials – A how-to guide that’s relevant to your industry
- Team member takeovers – Get your team or Directors involved, let them show a day in their lives or behind the scenes on the job for them
- Case Studies – Showcase some examples of your work with clients or projects
- Promotions for your Blog or Videos – If you are creating regular video content or blogs, promote them and drive traffic to them using the Stories feature
- Tips and tricks – A quick tip or industry secret that educates your audience
- Inspiration – Inspire with a quote, a travel destination, styling or home décor – find something relevant to your audience
- Industry Updates – Communicate key changes and events in your industry
- Coming Soon or Sneak Peeks – New products or services, properties coming to market or team member – create some excitement and anticipation
Need help with your digital marketing?
Chronicle Republic Communications is a boutique Sydney marketing consultancy for real estate, property and interiors professionals. We specialise in social media, content marketing, email marketing, blogging, search engine optimisation, social media advertising and much more!
If you are looking for social media for real estate, property or interior design our digital marketing experts can help you bring your brand’s story to life.