Marketing Legends

Instagram Stories: The complete guide to creating Top-Stories & reach your audience

Hey there! Have you tried using Instagram Stories? It’s definitely one of the best parts of Instagram. It gives you a more personal and raw connection with your followers, rather than just a polished snapshot on your feed. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a powerful tool for growing your audience and increasing engagement.

Instagram can be stressful with the pressure to post perfect content, but Instagram Stories is the exact opposite. You can share whatever you want, whenever you want without worrying about it fitting your feed or posting at the perfect time. If you care about your story reach, then you will learn later in the story strategy that content and timing has still an impact but you are not forced to.

The tool is the best way to connect with your audience and drive traffic to your website or blog. With the “swipe up” feature, you can add a link to your story, which can be super effective in increasing pageviews and sales.

Did you know that over 500 million people use Stories every day? And according to a study, one in three people are more interested in a brand or product after seeing it featured in an Instagram Story. It’s a great way to reach your target audience and build relationships with them, which can lead to increased customer loyalty.

Instagram Stories were created for brands and creators to showcase what makes them unique and to give a behind-the-scenes look to their followers. People love seeing the authenticity and personal touch that Stories provide.

Here we give you an overview about the complete guide:

Table of Contents

How to post an Instagram Story

The Benefits of an Instagram Story

How to use Instagram Stories

Incorporating Stickers in Stories

Creating an Instagram Story Highlight

Displaying Shared Instagram Stories You’re Tagged In

Analyzing Instagram Story Performance

Instagram Story Expert Strategy

Content Suggestions for Instagram Story

What is an Instagram Story

What is an Instagram Story

Instagram Stories is a pretty cool feature on Instagram that allows you to share snaps and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Think of it like a story that you’re telling through pictures and videos.

With Instagram Stories, you can add text, filters, stickers, and more to make your content more fun and interactive. It’s a great way to give your followers a glimpse into your daily life and show them what you’re up to. And the best part? You don’t have to worry about it staying on your profile forever, unlike regular posts on your Instagram feed.

Instagram Stories is also a powerful tool for businesses and influencers. You can use it to promote your products, drive traffic to your website with a link click tool, and connect with your audience in a more personal way. With the “swipe up” feature, you can even add a link to your story and direct your followers to your website or other content.

If you post a story, a colored ring will appear around your profile picture. This tells your followers they can tap on your profile photo to see what you’ve just posted. Your profile gets added to the top row of your followers’ home screens, making it the first thing they see.

You can also save Instagram Stories to your highlights, so your followers can still watch them even after 24 hours. This is a great way to keep your content accessible and visible to your audience.

So, that’s what an Instagram Story is in a nutshell! It’s a fun and casual way to share your life and connect with your followers. Try it out and see how it can help you grow your following and engage with your audience.

The Benefits of an Instagram Story

have you been using Instagram Stories to your advantage? If not, you’re missing out on some amazing benefits! Here are a few reasons why utilizing Instagram Stories can take your online presence to the next level.

  1. Increased engagement: Instagram Stories allow you to connect and engage with your target audience in a more personal and authentic way, which can lead to increased customer loyalty.
  2. Boosted reach: With over 500 million people using Instagram Stories every day, your reach has the potential to skyrocket. Plus, one in three people have said they become more interested in brands and products after seeing stories about them.
  3. Improved brand recognition: Instagram Stories help you showcase your unique brand personality and give your followers a sneak peek behind the scenes, leading to improved brand recognition.
  4. Increased sales: With the “link click” feature every account can add links to their Instagram Story, driving more traffic to your website and potentially increasing sales.
  5. Fun and creative expression: Instagram Stories allow you to get creative with your content and have fun while doing it. From Boomerang videos to text stories, you have the freedom to express yourself however you’d like.

In short, utilizing Instagram Stories is a great way to grow your online presence, engage with your audience, and even increase sales.

How to post an Instagram Story

Now you know what an Instagram story is, and you also have seen the many benefits. That’s why we wanna start to create a stories. Good for you, it is really simple and we show you step by step how to do it.

Step 1: Open the Instagram camera. You can do this by swiping left from any point on your home screen or by tapping the “+” button in the top right corner and then selecting “Story.”

Step 2: Next, you’ll choose what kind of content you want to add to your Story. You can either create new content with the white circle at the bottom of the screen, or you can choose to upload a photo or video that you already have by tapping the album icon on the bottom left. If you’re uploading an existing photo, just keep in mind that the best size is 1080px by 1920px. Of course you can also take another size but the biggest reach you normally have with 1080px by 1920px. When creating new content, you can choose from options like a regular photo or video, a text story, a boomerang, a collage, or a multi-capture.

Step 3: Once you have your content, you can have fun with it! Add stickers, filters, text, and even tag people or engage with your followers through polls or quizzes. The possibilities are endless!

Incorporating Stickers in Instagram Stories

There are so many stickers to use in the stories. We have decided to show you the most powerful ones and tell you the reason why:

Poll Sticker

The Poll Sticker is a great tool for getting quick insights from your followers. And not only that, it also helps increase your reach. Pro tip: Start with an eye-catching photo or video and do a poll. People tend to spend more time on poll posts, which signals to Instagram that your content is interesting and leads to more reach among your followers.

Quiz Sticker

Quiz Sticker is a fun one – it lets you ask your followers questions and see who gets the right answer. Similar to the poll sticker it helps you keep the followers longer on the post which leads in a higher reach.

Link Click Sticker

The Link Click Sticker, formerly known as “swipe-up”, is now available to everyone, not just those with 10,000+ followers. It’s a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website and boosting sales. It’s also a popular way to promote affiliate links.

Hashtag Sticker

The Hashtag Sticker is a smart way to reach beyond your followers by using hashtags in your Stories. When you use the sticker, your content may be ranked in the highlights of that hashtag, leading to more reach for free.

Location Sticker

The Location Sticker is similar to the Hashtag Sticker in that it can help you reach a local niche. Plus, if you’re looking to promote your business or a sponsored partnership, it’s a great way to do some branding.

Music Sticker

Create emotions and use the music sticker for making your videos and pictures more appealing. With the right music you get much more story likes which boosts the engagement and your reach.

Shopping Sticker

If you have a business account, you can use the Shopping Sticker to add clickable product icons to your Story. Like this you have the chance to increase your sales.

Add Yours Sticker

The Add Yours Sticker lets you create a public thread and connect with others who have similar content. The more people that add to the thread, the more it grows. The goal is to encourage collaboration and help brands get discovered.

There are many more stickers like the «Support Small Business Sticker» which allows you to tag small businesses in your Stories and give them a shoutout. A Donation Sticker exists to encourage donations for a specific cause. People can donate directly within Instagram.

Creating an Instagram Story Highlight

Story Highlights is a super cool feature that was introduced to make sure you can keep your best moments on Instagram forever.

Instagram Story Highlights are collections of your favorite or most important Stories, which appear at the top of your profile as tappable circles. Brands use them to showcase important information like menus or product lists. And you can also save testimonials from happy customers in your Highlight Bubbles.

When your Stories disappear from your profile after 24 hours, they’re automatically saved in your Story Archive. Only you can access this archive and from there you can save your expired Stories, watch them again or add them to a Highlight. Do this within a few days as they dissappear afterwards.

Creating an Instagram Highlight is easy. Just go to your profile, tap the “New” circle below your bio, and choose some Stories from your Archive. Give your Highlight a name, and if you want, you can even edit the cover by uploading a premade cover or selecting a different Story. Then you can add up to 99 stories to one highlight button. We recommend to make per highlight one subject and only saving the most interesting and best stories.

With Instagram Story Highlights and Archive, you can have all your best moments saved on your profile for as long as you like. And if you ever want to change them, just tap and hold the Highlight on your profile.

Similar Read: Instagram Reels – The easy way to reach millions of potential customers

Displaying Shared Instagram Stories You’re Tagged In

Did you know that when someone tags you in their Instagram story, and their profile is public, you can share that post on your own stories too? This is a great way to give more authentic insights to your followers and show appreciation for those who tag you. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open your Instagram app and tap on the heart icon on the bottom right, which is where all your activity and notifications are kept.
  2. Look for “mentions” at the top and tap on it to view the stories where you’ve been tagged.
  3. At the bottom of the story, you’ll see an option that says “Add to your story”. Tap on it to add the mention to your own story.

However, what we have realised is, that posting shared stories can drastically reduce the story reach. Try to use as much as possible from the screen by enlarging the stories (take two fingers and go with them to the left and right end of the mobile phone while holding the screen).

Analyzing Instagram Story Performance

When it comes to your Instagram Stories, it’s important to measure your performance and see what’s working and what’s not. Here’s how to analyze your story performance:

  1. Check your Story Insights: Go to your Instagram profile and click on the three lines in the top right corner. Scroll down and select “Insights” then click on “Stories” to view your story performance metrics. You can see the reach, impressions, and responses for each of your stories.
  2. Analyze Reach and Impressions: Your reach shows you the number of unique accounts that saw your story, while impressions are the total number of views. If you have a low reach but a high impression number, it means that people are viewing your story multiple times. This is a great sign that your content is engaging.
  3. Evaluate Responses: Responses show you the number of interactions, such as taps, swipes, and replies, for each story. You can see which stories had the most engagement and use that information to improve future content.
  4. Keep Track of Your Top Performers: Make note of your top performing stories and try to identify what made them successful. Was it the type of content, an in-app feature or the time you posted?
  5. Experiment with Different Strategies: Try posting at different times of the day, using different in-app features, and experimenting with different types of content to see what resonates with your audience.

By analyzing your story performance, you can make informed decisions about what types of content to post and when to post it to maximize engagement and reach.

Instagram Story Expert Strategy

As we have learned Instagram story is a fun way to connect with your followers and show off snippets of your life. But to really maximize the potential of IG Stories, you’ll want to have a solid strategy in place.

Here are some tips to help you out:

Let followers subscribe to your Instagram account

Inform the followers they should click on the bell on the top right of your profile. This helps them to get notified when you make a new post. As instagram lowers the reach every year, this is a great way that your followers still seeing your valuable content.

Use content that performs

Use content that you know your audience will love. You can easily find it out if you check posts in your niche that performed good. If a post performs, similar content mostly will perform as well in your stories.

Post your stories consistently

Consistency is key on social media, and the Instagram algorithm rewards it. It’s recommended to post between one to ten stories per day to keep your audience engaged and improve your algorithmic ranking.

However, if you say that is too much, you don’t need to worry too much about this. On one of our accounts we still had a very good story reach after not posting for more than half a year.

Don’t spam your audience

Consistency doesn’t mean spamming. Choose to share content that is relevant and engaging for your audience.

Post at the right times to get a higher reach

Since stories only last for 24 hours, it’s important to post at times when your followers are most active. To give you an idea of when to post, we found that the average completion rate is highest between 7-9am, 11.30am-1.30 pm, and 4-7 pm. But remember, your audience is unique, so use analytics to determine the best posting times for your account. Also keep in mind not to post all stories at once. It’s good to post regularly during the day to get the highest reach.

Use the in-app features and tools

Take advantage of the features and tools available in the Instagram app to save time and energy when creating stories. Keep in mind that the algorithm won’t promote content from other apps, so stick with what’s native to Instagram. Use the polls to keep your followers longer on the story post and reach more of your audience.

Use Stories ads to boost reach and conversions

Stories ads can be a great way to drive traffic to your website or in-app shop. They cost less than other types of ads and take up the full screen, eliminating distractions from other brands. Use existing great performing Stories saved in your highlights, and if you have an IG shop, add product links so users can purchase directly from the ad.

Only nudge people outside of Instagram if it’s really needed

Instagram hates it when people leave their platform. Makes also sense, as they might loose ads revenue. That’s why we recommend to only post link click stories if it’s really needed. Because often you can see a huge drop in story views .

Content Suggestions for Instagram Stories

Creating content for your Instagram Stories can be a fun and creative process. Here are some suggestions to consider when planning your next story:

  1. Share Behind-the-Scenes Moments: Give your followers a sneak peek into your daily life or show them the process behind your products or services.
  2. Ask for Feedback: Ask for your followers’ opinions on a new product, design, or event. You can also run polls or quizzes to engage with them.
  3. Showcase User-Generated Content: Highlight your followers’ photos and videos related to your brand or products. This helps to foster a sense of community and show appreciation for your audience.
  4. Use Trending Topics: Take advantage of current events or popular trends to create relevant and timely content.
  5. Offer Exclusive Content: Offer your followers special discounts, sneak peeks, or early access to new products. This can help to build brand loyalty and engagement.
  6. Share Quotes or Inspirational Messages: Inspire your followers with motivational quotes or messages related to your brand or products.
  7. Demonstrate Your Expertise: Share tips and tutorials related to your products or services, or offer insights into your industry.

By incorporating these content suggestions into your Instagram Stories strategy, you can create engaging and memorable content that resonates with your audience.

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