Instagram Stories: take advantage of Stories for your Social Media Marketing strategy

If you work in the digital marketing or even if you are simply a lover of social networks, you will know very well that Instagram is one of the most used and preferred social networks, and not only by the youngest.

According to recent data, the application has approximately one billion active users worldwide , and nearly 60% of brand uses it to communicate with their fans.

But the element that in recent months has given the turbo to Instagram, are precisely the Stories or Instagram Stories.

What are Instagram Stories

Instagram describes Stories as something that allows you to “share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile”.

The feature allows you to share multiple photos and videos, which appear together in a “slideshow format”. These photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours.

Inspired by “Snapchattiana”, these fast, fresh and expiring contents have in fact led to an increase in the permanence of users on the social network.

The same Instagram stated that the Stories encourage users not only to stay on the platform longer, but in particular to visit it more frequently: users under 25 years spend a total of more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram, while the remainder spends more than 24 minutes a day.

Ultimately, every day Instagram Stories reach 500,000 to 650,000 people .

What do all these numbers mean for you as a web marketing professional?

That you can no longer ignore Instagram Stories, and that you must immediately start thinking about the strategy to include them in your communication and digital marketing plan.

How to publish Instagram Stories? Simple, go to your profile and click on the profile picture where you see the blue symbol with the +. This way you open the camera and decide what to post, photos or videos. You can edit what you capture, for example with stickers, emojis, filters, text and other features that can help you improve the content.

Isn’t that your goal?

If you are not yet convinced that it is a useful tool for you or your business, or if you simply would like to use them but have no idea how to do it, then I invite you to continue reading , you will discover all the potential hidden behind Instagram Stories, how to exploit them for your business, but above all how to measure the performance of your business.

Why are IG Stories-so-liked?

The great advantage of using Instagram Stories is of course both to have an additional space on the same platform to communicate with your fans, and to be clearly visible in the navigation bar at the top with your profile photo inside the famous colored circle.

But what are the elements that characterize the Stories, so much so that they are loved not only by younger users but above all by brands? To answer this question we can recognize 3 great characteristics:

Spontaneity and speed

Stories are born to immortalize moments in a fast and fun way, with a vertical format, just like we normally hold our smartphone, with stickers, special effects, many brushes and a wide range of colors to choose from.

If we reflect for a moment, this spontaneity and speed is also a bit in contrast with the traditional publishing method which involves the choice of a filter, the right retouching of luci and the careful choice of hashtag to gain exposure.

The world of Stories is natural, less artificial, but above all fun. And this is precisely the expectation that users have every time they access Instagram Stories; and it is this curiosity that brands try to satisfy, proposing new contents, which on other channels would not be suitable, and showing their fun, pop, original and trendy side of the company.

Business accounts that have understood the potential of Instagram Stories offer their fans fun and engaging content in a quick and easy way to consume.

Duration to expiration

Ephemeral content has a special character. It is perceived as more credible, spontaneous, and authentic.

In this case, Instagram plays with the concept of scarcity, something that you can miss, that you can no longer have the opportunity to see. And we all know how fear, the anxiety of losing an opportunity can play on the minds of fans, and therefore that of consumers.

Furthermore, precisely because they are “expiring” content, the creation of these requires much less effort, time and dedication than posts that remain on our account for a long time.

But that doesn’t mean you can afford to propose anything. First because remember that there are always screenshots, and some apps that allow Stories to be saved; second, because managing the communication of social channels of companies or personal businesses is not a child’s play in which you can improvise.

Indeed, as we will see shortly, it is the result of an accurate analysis and definition of the web communication strategy.

Continuous evolution

Since the stories were included in the functions of Instagram, they have never stopped in their evolution. They are constantly changing, new features are being released, or existing ones are enhanced. This allows the Stories themselves to be dynamic, never boring and static over time, creating curiosity and expectations in users who can’t wait to test new features.

instagram stories: utenti attivi giornalieri How to exploit the stories Instagram in your digital marketing plan?

By their nature, stories are well suited to two great communication strategies, which of course are not mutually exclusive, but simply start from different needs and tend towards equally different objectives.

1) Experiment

Due to the fact that the Stories have a duration of 24 hours, they lend themselves well to being used for rehearsing and testing ideas quickly, but above all with low consequences if the idea were unwelcome.

You can then test new colors, products, and why not even analyze the perception of your brand to evaluate a rebranding using the interactive polls feature introduced last October.

These polls are indeed a fun and alternative way to engage your audience and get fast, direct feedback, both for you and your audience.

But beware, the possibility of being able to experiment does not mean publishing without knowledge of the facts “just to try”.

As in all web marketing activities, even the tests must be the result of a strategic planning, which includes an action plan, a time plan, a analysis and evaluation phase.

How to develop an idea experimentation process

Un processo che prende ispirazione dal metodo di validazione delle idee nel mondo delle startup Brainstorming Idea . Develop the idea you want to test, the goal you want to achieve and also make a projection of the result you expect, or which can be decisive for considering the idea valid or to be discarded. Content Development and Publishing . This is the phase in which there is the creation of the Story and the publication on Instagram. Of course it is important to take advantage of all the tools available on the platform.

  • Data analysis . This is one of the most important steps: analyzing and reading the metrics you have collected. On the analysis of the metrics you can read in the following paragraphs.
  • Evaluation . Now is the time to take stock, or to evaluate whether or not your story has met your expectations and goals in terms of performance. And if the idea you have experienced can be integrated into your communication activities or product / service offering.
  • And then you start all over again with a new idea to develop.

    2) Storytelling – Brand Storytelling

    Whether you sell shoes, t-shirts or services, what is the real difference between you and your competitor?

    Knowing how to tell and show the broad context within which your product is born and sold, which are precisely the daily life of the company, the people who work there, and the idea that the brand manages to arouse. That is to focus on Brand Storytelling.

    Imagine your Instagram Stories are a TV show. Your goal in this case is to tell the brand in a way that is not possible through other channels, but above all to create loyalty and expectation in your fans.

    Do you remember when you were little and you knew perfectly well what time and on which channel your favorite cartoon was broadcast? Think if you could achieve the same result with your Instagram channel.

    It means creating and nurturing a community of loyalists who know and appreciate you not only for your products but for the soul of your brand.

    Now that you know the strategy, here are some practical tips to make the most of Instagram Stories.

    Adding photos and videos from your album

    Do you know what the basic feature of Instagram Stories is? The volatility of the content, you have to take the picture and you have to share it. Then it will disappear after 24 hours. The same goes for videos. But you can load into the story something you already have in your camera roll. Just go to the home of the Instagram app and click on the camera icon at the top left or swipe from the left.

    That way you land on the Instagram Stories camera. At the bottom left is the roll of what you have taken or filmed with your smartphone to upload older images to the stories. Or graphics you created with Canva. In short, you can prepare the right content and insert it in Instagram stories in a reasoned way. This is how social media marketing professionals move.

    To learn more: how to become famous on Instagram

    Save Camera Roll over 24 hours

    There is always the problem of forced expiration, photos and videos disappear after 24 hours . What if you want to keep the story for longer? Go to settings and click on Save shared photos and videos . This way you put this content on your phone, you can have with you what you have published without time limits.

    Create polls on Instagram Stories

    One of the coolest features of Instagram Stories: the ability to create polls, then engage your followers with questions related to a topic they might be interested in. Watching the interactions live. How are polls done on Instagram Stories? The answer is simple: you can launch an interactive sticker .

    Come si fanno i sondaggi su Instagram Stories? Puoi lanciare uno sticker interattivo.
    How do you survey Instagram Stories? You can launch an interactive sticker.

    Create your visual content , choose the opportunity to create a survey, add the sticker wherever you like and start monitoring it what happens.

    Of course, polls and results disappear after 24 hours, just like everything in Instagram Stories. This way you are ready to question the people following the updates.

    Use the place to be found by the public

    A good way to create a successful Instagram story: adding the place tag , two elements that allow your business to be found in users’ favorite streams.

    Most of the attention is given to particularly visited and famous locations, such as large cities, event areas and naturalistic paradises.

    All this without forgetting the importance of hashtags, always decisive on Instagram. To learn more, read this article dedicated to the importance of hashtags in social media marketing.

    Create a colorful background on Instagram

    One of the most useful solutions for those who work with content. Do you want to create a colorful background in the images you post on Instagram Stories?

    You have to use the pen tool: it can be used to write, to create a base on which to publish writings or to give a homogeneous background to the visual. How?

    Choose a brush, then the color and hold on the screen for 3 seconds. If the color is not yet compact keep the tap for another 3 seconds. In this way the result is guaranteed. The solution is essential to combine copywriting and good use of the visual, inserting writings on a background is useful.

    Selfie Sticker function for stories

    With Instagram Stories you can easily take a self-timer, just click on the icon to flip the camera to have this function. But you can also create a sticker with the selfie: tap the smiley after the self-timer, the camera icon will allow you to create a sticker with your face to insert anywhere.

    Pin stickers and emojis in motion

    Do you want to ensure that boomerang videos and photos are always pinned down? A good solution is the Sticker Pinning which stops your choice on a specific point of a video: move the sticker where you prefer and then confirm by choosing Fixed. Same thing you can do with emojis: insert them and hold them down with your finger.

    Adding these elements to a video can be the right solution to characterize your visual, to create fun and personalized content. The real difference when it comes to Instagram Stories and visual storytelling lies in being able to do something that stands out from what has already been seen.

    Must read: how to use Instagram like a pro

    How to tell your brand with IG Stories and build loyalty in your community

    How did you decide to tell the brand with Instagram Stories ? This is an important decision because it represents the starting point for your visual storytelling business. You cannot ignore the passage that I am indicating to you: the narrative of your brand is central in this case.

    Why am I saying this? Simple, Instagram stories on the one hand represent one of the most effective channels of social communication. On the other hand, they are not very relevant in terms of increase in site visits , just as happens with the photos you upload to the official profile. You can’t put clickable links, so content can and should be used to tell your values.

    Why use these visual storytelling channels just to spam photos when you may be lucky enough to address the topic in terms of storytelling? Here are some tips to tell the brand with Instagram Stories and collect good results. Even if you can’t link.

    Identify a common thread of the story

    What is the point that characterizes a story? I have as reference the fil rouge , that element that is found with constancy every single episode of the narration. The publications must be functional to the marketing objectives: you cannot propose simple reinterpretations.

    Instead, create specific visuals, perhaps with the help of Canva or Buffer’s excellent tool to create templates on Instagram Stories. But at the base there must be a shared narrative: identify and promote your strengths, but above all the values ​​ that have always characterized your brand.

    What to read: how to use Instagram Stories in your strategy

    Highlight certain content

    True, Instagram Stories have a limited time. But you can bring out the highlights of your narrative. If you want to make some episodes of your storytelling always available, you have the possibility to add post containers in the profile header. They are featured content and are perfect for giving your followers the option to remember your best narratives.

    What are the posts you need to highlight ? Many use this feature to generate a collection of publications related to products or services. Work on brand values. If you want to use stories to activate a visual storytelling work, don’t be satisfied with creating a catalog.

    Identify steady pace of publication

    One of the typical doubts of those who want to exploit Instagram Stories: how to communicate? The very nature of the instrument leads to the definition of a continuous work pace , capable of managing a constant flow. In other words, stories need content to form narrative.

    What are the characteristics of this structure? Some useful information can be found in this Buffer article, such as the importance of the first frame . If it doesn’t catch attention right away, the risk is that people will leave the content. So make sure the attack is engaging.

    instagram stories

    The cliffhangers – or suspended ending – is a narrative device that is used in different contexts, from cinema to literature, to keep the attention high. It can be understood as an interruption designed in such a way as to leave the user the need to continue enjoying the story even after the detachment. This increases the chances of having a constant and loyal audience.

    Send specific content to your followers

    Did you know that there is the possibility of sending exclusive posts to close friends? Select the most loyal users and reward them with exclusive stories, perhaps containing coupons and discount codes. This possibility is offered in the sharing phase of the visual, by clicking on that green icon with a star.

    This solution is very interesting to strengthen loyalty with a specific audience that has already shown a particular interest in your work. And your content.

    Interaction with people who follow you

    Telling the brand with Instagram Stories does not only mean pouring content on the public , but you can try the path of interaction. Indeed, this is the ideal solution to obtain good results. And retain those who follow you to make your brand awareness work effective.

    instagram stories
    Create interaction with Instagram Stories.

    Where to start? How to improve the narrative channel to harmonize the relationship with the audience? First, you can take advantage of Instagram Stories polls: these possibilities allow you to bring out a real relationship with the public . You can ask questions and retrieve the data of those who have left their opinion on this social network in order to have news.

    But that’s not the only point. Asking people for a contribution means showing care towards those who follow you: followers need this relationship, they seek the attention of the brand and are happy to create a stable relationship with those who communicate.

    In addition to the stories there is more: the Live video!

    Once you are familiar with Instagram Stories, and your audience is used to seeing your content, then you can feel safe and go live streaming with videos Live from Instagram.

    Just because it is a direct and you have no possibility to edit, improve the lighting, or cancel if the result is not satisfactory, it is important that everything is well planned.

    The great advantage of going Live is that your fans receive a notification as soon as you go on the air, reaching your entire audience in one fell swoop and for free. Furthermore, once the live broadcast is over, you can upload the video to your Story feed, so even those who failed to be present have 24 hours to review the video.

    You can use Instagram Live to cover an event, a special moment, or for an official announcement. Or even to interview a famous guest, or have a question session.

    Featured stories: what they are and how to use them

    Here’s one of the latest and most significant news regarding Instagram Stories: Featured Stories.

    From now on you can create permanent Stories, always visible on your profile, exactly under your bio and just before your feed.

    Unlike normal stories that disappear after 24 hours, these are content specifically designed to be published and grouped together, which have the characteristic of lasting until you delete them yourself.

    This new feature is extremely valuable for profiles, especially business ones, who want to easily offer and display certain content that they want users to see first.

    The big brands, but not only, are already experimenting with the featured Stories. Everyone finding the strategy for their own goal, but above all using the imagination and experimenting with an alternative way, but known because it works in the creation and use like normal Stories, to express themselves, show products and guide navigation by creating categories.

    Here are some examples of use.

    come usare storie in evidenza instagram
    Featured stories

    The Instagram account decides to be consistent with the description in the bio, that is “discover and tell stories from the world” and use the featured stories to show original and surprising content generated by Instgram users all over the world.

    The very famous Danish fashion store Tiger instead uses Fixed Stories to create product categories, almost as if it were an e-commerce.

    BBC News in turn decides to use the featured strip to offer unpublished content that aims to engage users via a facts of the week quiz, and to show trending news.

    Tool to program Instagram stories

    What are the best tools for scheduling Instagram stories ? This is the question that many social media managers ask themselves when they have to organize their business on this social network.

    Because the truth is simple: no matter how effective they can be, you can’t do everything with the mobile app. Especially if you want to operate like a professional in the sector.

    You need social media marketing tools that can post from desktop to Instagram, monitor competitors and edit photos to make your publications more interesting.

    Without forgetting the videos. But the real revolution is this: scheduling Instagram Stories in order to organize a good social editorial calendar. What are the tools to score?

    Onlypult, tool for scheduling stories and posts

    The first tool I want to mention is this: I have had the opportunity to use it myself for some projects and I am very happy with it. Because Onlypult not only allows you to publish from desktop (PC and Mac) profile posts: you can also schedule your own content. This applies to both the base stream and the Instagram Stories. How to move to schedule the various contents?

    tool per programmare le storie di Instagram amp ; drop file.

  • Schedule stories to post at the best time.
  • Monitor stats to manage performance.
  • Especially Later is perfect for who has as objective a meticulous management of the Instagram profile through analytics . Here you can observe with extreme precision visits and engagement for 3 months: this makes it easy to understand what is most successful.

    Storrito, to schedule Instagram Stories

    One of the problems with Instagram Stories planning tools: you can only insert simple, basic images. Without the various customizations that instead characterize the editor that is in the mobile app . You can upload graphics and videos that you get thanks to various editing programs like the aforementioned Canva or Lumen5. How do you put official polls and stickers?

    Storrito, per schedulare le Instagram Stories SMM . If you are going to customize your work you need to use the app’s web editor to build your Instagram stories. You can add the stickers, emojis, custom fonts and photos found in the basic stock of the utility. Then there’s the feature you’re most interested in: Publish Now or Software.

    How to measure the performance of Instagram Stories?

    Whether you are using Instagram Stories as a tool to experiment with some ideas, or as a channel to tell your brand and engage your fans, it is essential to measure results achieved.

    Reading and analyzing the performance data of your Stories allows you to evaluate whether your strategy is working or not.

    While you will never have all the data you can get from sponsoring, there are some metrics that are definitely useful for evaluating the performance of your Instagram Stories.

    Unique views

    Indicates the number of people who have viewed your Story, and is directly related to the size of your followers, so it reflects how much your brand attracts your fans. But in addition to the number of people, Instagram insights allow you to see who, or which account, has viewed your content.

    Completion rate

    If the Story as a whole is made up of multiple videos or photos, you will certainly have noticed that the first clip has more views than the last.

    Having the ability to see the exact number of views of each clip, you can safely calculate the dropout rate from one content to another and evaluate what works best for your audience, and what not.

    This metric is to be taken into consideration in the development of future strategies, thus choosing the right order of presentation, also creating hooks, anticipations, or call to action is usually used to encourage you to continue viewing until the last clip.

    Public Report

    Another useful data to monitor is the percentage of your fans who watch the stories.

    According to the latest data collected, the average percentage of fans involved in the stories of international brand accounts is around 3.7% of the total number of followers.

    To calculate the average percentage of your fans who follow your stories over a week, calculate the average number of users who viewed your stories in a specific week, and calculate the ratio on the total number of your followers.

    And you might want to keep this metric as a goal to beat in the next few weeks.

    Replies to messages

    Direct messages are clear evidence of your audience engagement.

    Especially if you have created a Call to action, asking to comment or respond to a request, and you receive many messages, it means that your story works well, and you have done a good job!

    Ready-to-use-stories in your communication strategy?

    Now that you know why it’s important to include Instagram Stories as a tool for your communication strategy, and you’ve also learned how to do it, are you ready to put it into practice?

    Write below if you have any suggestions or concerns 😉

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