Is your brand present on Instagram? Are you actively using it for the advantage of your brand? If not, then it’s time you get your hands on it! Instagram is turning out to be the next big social media platform for brands to engage with the end consumer. It is no more an option but has become a marketing necessity. Instagram provides the flexibility of easily discovering what other brands and people are talking about. The social media platform is constantly evolving everyday with new features and updates. One of its biggest features that has taken the world by storm is Instagram stories!
Instagram stories, a feature that was introduced last December in India, is gaining momentum and brands are using it actively to run campaigns. It’s a feature that closely resembles Snapchat’s stories function. However, Instagram stories makes sharing our lives more in the moment. It is almost similar to scrapbooking where you just put together content to tell a story in a creative manner.
These days, most brands want to be seen as warm, people friendly & this new feature allow the brand to bring out that candid side. It offers an opportunity to share behind-the-scenes moments.
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How it works?
To begin your story, click on the camera icon on the upper left corner of the main page. Once you’re in, tap the shutter button to snap a photo, or hold your finger down to record a video, just lift your finger to stop. You can also check out the hands-free mode for more convenience! You can even post photos and videos that have been taken in the last 24 hours. Just swipe down to see recent images.
But the tough part is to develop a story! You need to develop a thread that keeps people engaged in your story from the start to finish. You can either collect moments through the day to tell one solid story or maybe take your viewers along with you to let them know your whereabouts—who are you with, what are you doing, where are you, when is this happening, why are you doing this?
Why Instagram stories is a must for your brand?
- First, Instagram stories direct followers to your actual Instagram feed, where your posts are always available. Hence, you have a higher chance of being seen.
- Second, stories that are entertaining and engaging give your followers a quick and easy way to consume your content.
- Lastly, because Instagram stories boost engagement with your Instagram posts, they improve your chances of showing up at the top of people’s news feeds.
Tools to create engaging content on Stories
ZOOM: You can zoom within Instagram stories. Tap and hold one finger on the circle shutter button to start recording, and slide up or down with the same finger to zoom.
BOOMERANG: You can create captivating mini videos that loop back & forth using Boomerang. However, in Instagram stories, it’s possible to record a boomerang video directly in the app!
STICKERS, TEXT and DRAWINGS: After you capture a photo or video, it’s time to jazz it up! Swipe left or right to add a filter. Add stickers, like your location or the time and temperature, or pick from hundreds of emojis. You can easily rotate and resize objects. With the text tool, choose a color and the font size, and add headlines and captions as you wish. The drawing tool has more to it. There’s a marker, chisel-tip or neon brush to draw circles, arrows, and other designs, or write freehand text on screen.
MENTIONS: You can mention up to 10 friends using the “@” symbol, followed by their Instagram handles, which provides a direct link to their profiles. You may have seen some accounts adding a hyperlink to their stories. Currently, this feature is only allowed for verified accounts, but there might be an update on this soon!
INSTAGRAM LIVE: Another fun feature of Instagram stories is the Instagram live. Followers can join in while you’re livestreaming. When you start recording, your followers get a notification that you’re going live, and you can see who’s watching and also receive comments while you livestream, so it’s a neat way to interact with your network. A latest update to this feature is that you can save your live videos without worrying about it to be gone!
With emphasis on real-time sharing, Instagram continues to focus on upgrades to stories.
Tips to slay the game
- Post regularly to stay current in feeds. Focus on driving content that will build brand awareness and make your followers happy. If you’ve already got users following you, the last thing you want to do is annoy them.
- Posting too much content can also go wrong! Curbing your Instagram content between the regular feed and stories will help you get shares and mentions where it is needed most without seeming overly promotional.
- Understanding the psychology of your users is necessary. Users are likely moving through the content at a blinding speed, so it’s best to avoid overthinking your content strategy. Also, users will be more likely to view your content when they know it’s specifically catered to them.
- Use the new feature to post behind-the-scenes content of your business. Your videos can highlight employees, your office or the work that goes into your product or service. Talk about things that people don’t see every day. Aim to create a buzz and drive some word of mouth marketing.
- Remember what you have posted previously, and consider what you might post next. Offer a variety of shots to avoid repetition.
Instagram Stories is a great feature to boost your presence on the social media platform. It truly can increase brand awareness and drive more users to your brand to make a purchase. It’s a fun way to connect with your network and embrace a new form of storytelling. So start telling your story on Instagram today!
This article was written by Nimisha Goenka, Social Media Rockstar @ echoVME.