Consider these six new ideas to spice up your Instagram Stories and use them in a way your competitors haven’t thought of yet.
If you’re a regular user of Instagram who spends your days devising instagram growth strategies, researching hashtags and making content marketing plans, time flies quickly. There are new features almost every month and keeping up with trends is a real challenge.
Instagram stories are on the radar of many brands for good reason. Over 300 million views of Instagram Stories every day and a third of the most viewed stories come from businesses. It is no longer a question of whether you should use Stories in your Instagram strategy, but how you should do it.
1. Use Story Highlights to Introduce Your Brand
When new users land on your Instagram profile, they probably don’t know who you are ( not yet ). Most accounts usually rely just a short bio to make that first impression – you’ve heard a million times how important it is to have an optimized instagram bio that grabs attention, quickly explain what it does your business and get new visitors to click the follow button.
However, with the addition of the Highlights feature your bio is no longer the only place you can tell your brand story. Think of instagram highlights as a short trailer of your profile and suddenly it becomes a perfect opportunity to show what you are into and give an idea of what you offer.
Example : Do you know Tyler J. McCall , an Instagram marketing expert? Well, if you click on the highlights “ Hey there ”you will find out a lot about him. Often, a simple “ Hi, my name is X, I do Y and I love Z, take a look at my account ” is the only introduction you need. It works because it’s simple.
2. Use polls to improve your content
While polls are a great tool for engaging your audience , you can also use them strategically to create better content that is specific for your followers. Instead of asking questions for entertainment purposes only, find out what kind of content your audience wants to see.
For example, if yours is a travel account, show a city you think your audience wants to see and find out if your followers are interested in it. The answer may surprise you . Either way, you’ll understand if you should make more fuss about that city or not.
When you run out of ideas, your audience can be a great source of inspiration. You just have to ask for their opinion.
3. Custom GIFs, fonts and stickers
The world rejoiced when Instagram introduced GIFs to stories, but the joy didn’t last long. After five weeks, Instagram removed the Giphy integration due to a racist GIF that made its way into the stories . Giphy, however, has cleaned up his content, and is back on the stories.
Now, if you want to be a trendsetter, follow in the steps of Gary Vaynerchuk you have a personal brand ), which constantly creates GIFs with its own face that no one else can have:
Also, don’t forget to customize fonts and stickers. Although Instagram offers a good choice of stickers, it doesn’t update them often . To stand out from the crowd, you can turn to apps like A Color Story ‘s Design Kit, which offers over 30 modern fonts, over 120 designs and a ton of stikcers to help your brand be unique and, in ultimately, to get more followers.
4. Shoutout to your comptitors
Instagram is a highly competitive and constantly growing platform, it was advertised as “ community centered “, but the harsh reality was that few people really wanted to group with someone else. Brands that want to be featured have to pay for every single mention, every single shoutout.
Instagram’s algorithm has made it difficult for people to succeed and create united communities. Mentioning other accounts in your own stories to invite your followers to follow someone else might seem like suicide , but the truth is that it builds communities: shoutout to someone in your own niche, hoping to get them back , not only offers you free content for stories, but you can also build relationships with him and maybe collaborations, helping each other to create a large community interested in your niche.
5. Mini video
One of my favorite instagram story trends is a sequence of seamlessly cropped videos that together form a longer video that would otherwise be impossible to post on Stories due to the 15 second restriction.
You can use Storeo, a free iOS app. You can upload your long video and split it into smaller parts, keeping the flow and transitions as smooth as possible.
6. Unique templates
Last, but not least: use questionnaire templates . They’re great for standing out from the crowd, great for engaging the audience and giving them something new. They are quite easy to create online (check Easil, for example ). However, it’s even better to create your own templates and let your followers take a screenshot to share.
Here’s a custom template created by @ thesundaychapter to inspire you: >
Quizzes and questionnaires are great for entertaining your followers, but if offer them a custom template to use, it’s even better.
As Instagram’s algorithm is continually being optimized, growing your followers remains a constant challenge , whether you are an established brand or a newbie on Instagram. If you’re looking to expand your reach, Stories are an absolute must.