As Amanda Walgrove from Sprinklr beautifully put it:
“Snapchat is Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” and Instagram Stories is Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You.” Both made an impact, but one took the original idea and brought it to an even wider audience for social engagement.”
Web stories (originally introduced by Snapchat as stated above) are Instagram's fastest-growing asset, while Instagram remains the fastest-growing social network of this day and age. That is reason enough for putting it on the tippy top of your priorities list if you’re thinking about improving your engagement and outreach on the interwebs.
Storified Catch Up
Storifyme team decided to investigate all the nooks and crannies of all things you can include in these vanishing photos or up to 15 seconds long video clips. So far, we’ve had two storified guides regarding this subject: one is composed of beginner-friendly advice and the other one has plenty of tips regarding engagement, so check those out if you’re interested in more detailed explanations. However, here’s a quick rundown of all options previously mentioned:
- Let sneak peeks & teasers do most of your product storytelling
- Include stickers (including, but not limited to: Polls, Questions, Geolocation & emoji slider)
- Use them hashtags ( for example #tbt, #tuesdaystips #love #storifyme)
- Share anything that inspires and motivates and is relevant to you
- Experiment with going live
- User-generated content IS GOLDEN
- Promote blog posts
- Show people what’s happening behind the scenes
Now that you’re all caught up with what we’ve already covered, let’s see what else you can do with this disappearing content format for your business:
Why Not Teach Your Followers Something New?
These snippets are perfect for step-by-step tutorials which people can tap through at their leisure (recipes, hair tutorials, cleaning advice, etc). If you already have the chance, use this platform to spread the knowledge you possess. Try creating a few quick and simple tutorials and how-to’s that span over a few IG stories, and see how it goes. Not only that you’ll get a wonderful chance to prove your credibility and show them something you’re good at, but you’ll get tons of views and likes when you put out this kind of bite-sized, yet still valuable content.
If you’re not sure what your audience wants to hear/see about, ask them about it (and you can use the above-mentioned sticker to do so, too).
Let Somebody Else Do It
For a day or so. It’s called a “story-takeover”, and it can be a wonderful cross-promotional tool. The "taker-over" can be an employee, a co-worker from a different part of your company, a customer, a brand ambassador, an influencer, or a completely different Instagram account. Giving somebody else a steering wheel will inevitably show your followers something new, provide an interesting change of pace, freshen up your usual content and routine. Just make sure you talk it over with everybody involved and set clear guidelines!
Show Them Your People, Places and Your Opinions
Use this corner of Instagram to show your true colors, not only behind the scenes of your production. If you have co-workers, go ahead and ask them about their day, show their tasks and contributions, and then share it with your followers.
That being said, don’t forget to bring your following along to public events or industry conferences. Even if the snapshots are blurry and imperfect, your people will forgive you, they'll appreciate being included and knowing what's going on.
Besides, use this corner of the internet to share your opinions and thoughts, if you want to start conversations, voice your “hot takes” or present yourself as trustworthy and honest.
Everybody Loves the Power of a Good Transformation
And the “tap-through nature” of Instagram web stories is perfect for showing the “great reveal” itself. Seeing dazzling “afters” following unfavorable “befores” is a fun way to show off your skills that leads directly to the customer's heart, keep that in mind. Displaying your product or service in action can seal the deal just as much as any storified landing page can, so use this to your advantage.
Keep in mind that both humans and algorithms love consistency. Create a story series, strategically plan them on a weekly (maybe even monthly) basis and try your best to stick to the schedule. You don’t have to stick to your plan religiously, however, people who are interested in you and your content will come back for regular Q & As, a daily inspirational quote, weekly discount or promotion if they know they’re a staple of your storified updates.
Instagram stories are extremely popular, and their format allows any storified ad to blend in seamlessly with just a little “sponsored” writing under your insta-name. This combination is exactly what you need: see what kind of aesthetic and call to action works for your brand, make sure your web stories remain short and effective. Instagram’s ad platform is extremely targeted, and it would be a shame not to use that to gain even more followers if you have money to invest in the endeavor that will spread awareness of your storified microstore to your demographic!
Use Highlights, Too!
In case you didn’t know, you can extend the shelf-life of the web stories by highlighting them. That means that they will be stored on your profile, in the little circles above your feed. There are a bunch of ways you can organize them, and you can even download or create cute covers for every cluster of pics and vids you choose. Just remember to keep an eye on them, update them regularly.
This evaporating feature has changed the game and shifted in people’s perception and usage of Instagram. The response to and popularity of stories has been on the rise with no signs of slowing down, so we better make most of it for the time being.
Hopefully, you’ve found all these tips, options, and ideas useful and interesting, and you have some idea where to start and how to approach your Insta stories now. In case you have any questions or need any additional info, you know who to call, right?