What started as a direct competitor to Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows you to share multiple photos and videos that appear together on a highlight reel outside your normal Instagram profile page. Similar to Snapchat, the stories disappear after 24 hours. Recently, Instagram has added the ability to save items in their highlights so that users can access their story even after the expiration of 24 hours.
With about 500 million daily active users, Instagram Stories is a great opportunity to generate engagement for your business or brand. In fact, when they are considering buying a new product, 25% of the Millenials and Generation Z actively check Instagram stories to learn before buying. While the engagement and return on investment of Instagram Stories continue to grow, the platform constantly launches new story features so that brands get more involved with their audience.
How to use Instagram stories
- The camera icon on the top right corner is what you use to take pictures or record videos that will feature on the story.
- However, previously taken photos or videos can be uploaded once you wipe up the camera.
- Tapping anywhere on the screen of the mage or video selected gives you the opportunity to write something on the photo or video (most especially a hashtag).
- You can also click on the bottom to select/add stickers.
- Swiping left gives you the feature to add a filter
Instagram now offers its users the opportunity to interact and comment directly on their stories through their various stickers:
Instagram continues to launch new feedback channels for Instagram stories like; swipe meter, polls and more recently questions. With polls, you can easily search and get to know your audience by asking them to give their opinion. With Instagram story polls, you only have two options to formulate your answers. The use of polls is a very direct way to quickly gather ideas from your Instagram followers, which can help your team make important business decisions. For example, if your brand is thinking of exploring new product lines, you can use Instagram story polls to assess the general interest of the product or the preferences of your customers.
By moving away from the standard “yes / no” survey format, the swipe meter and questions allow followers to give more detailed answers. The swipe meter gives you a better idea of what your users like, need or want. As a salesperson, you choose the specific emoji that respondents will use to enter your answer, which means that you can actually customize the overall look of the survey by placing it in the context of the content. For example, you can use a swipe meter to measure what your audience feels about a new product or to reach people in a way that is relevant and timely.
This offers greater flexibility on how users can provide feedback by providing them with a free text box to answer their questions. Instagram question stickers will help you get to know your followers better when you start a conversation, a very important 1: 1 conversation, which is transmitted to your direct messages. If you plan to launch a product or service, you may want to receive feedback from your followers. The question stickers allow you to get this free and very detailed comment. However, the question sticker is not to be used for conversation purposes only. Instead, question stickers can be used creatively, such as a race contest, to generate excitement and commitment.
Other Instagram story features that will help improve your Instagram marketing strategy
In addition to getting feedback from your followers on the stories, there are many other ways to promote engagement and increase your brand’s ROI. And because Instagram is the kind of engagement social media platform, not investing in your Instagram strategy leaves lots of opportunities on the table.
The swipe up feature is just one of many ways that Instagram rewards users for having a large audience on their platform. For brands with more than 10,000 followers, links can be included in their stories, which users can “swipe up” to access. You can direct users to your website, to a specific product page, or maximize the potential of your link with special offers and promotions to encourage subscribers to click. You also need to combine strong calls to action with your URL in text placed on an image or video, so users know exactly what they will get by swiping.
Hashtags can be placed in stories with stickers or directly in the text. In addition, you can also tag locations using geotags on adhesive labels. Finding the right hashtag strategy for the content of your story may require you to test them. Whether you’re using hashtags for a specific campaign, using an existing hashtag consistently, or tagging all the content in your story to create a unique branding voice, hashtags are one of the most direct ways to expand your audience.
In the spring of 2018, Instagram launched a new feature to share any public publication in the story. Brands can now use Instagram Stories to drive traffic to their feeds. In addition, the ability to highlight a publication via the story provides a powerful viral discovery engine for Instagram users or influencers who can now ask fans to quickly share their posts instead of having to awkwardly screenshot and upload them. Asking your followers to share content can help you increase your reach organically.