Earlier this year on the #Strella blog, I shared tips to help business owners and marketers who are newbies to Instagram Stories.
Recently, I talked with my creative team to gain additional insight into the importance of Stories and how to create content that attracts and resonates with Instagram users.
According to Ella Gunnell, our creative lead, Stories allow businesses to connect with their followers on a more personal level — with relatable content and interactive features. Moreover, the time-sensitive nature of Stories heightens urgency and interest.
“With all the changes happening on Instagram recently, Stories are more important than ever! Since the Instagram algorithm decides what people see in their feeds, Stories are sometimes the only way your followers can interact with you on a daily basis.”
A recent article by Lisa Montenegro in Forbes supports Ella’s observations. “Instagram’s algorithm is no easy conundrum to solve, and it can leave much of your content, no matter how great, missed by users. With Stories, you can skip the queue and place yourself right in front of your audience’s attention.”
Our Instagram expert, Laney Goff, agrees, “Instagram Stories are my favorite form of content on social media because they are the best way to build community and engagement with your followers. It is the easiest content to make because it doesn’t have to be as polished and can showcase what your brand truly stands for, which helps build authority in your niche.”
Three Ways to Rock Instagram Stories
1. Make Them Interactive.
Take advantage of Instagram features like polls, questions, emojis, and quizzes to get people to interact with your Stories. The many in-app features on Instagram make it simple and quick to create compelling content.
Here are two examples of how BYUtv is using Stories to get fans engaged in their content:
2. Keep Them Raw and Real.
Sometimes, immaculately designed and precisely executed content can appear forced and inauthentic. Strive to be real — that will help capture and keep your audience's attention. It is okay for your Stories to look less-than-polished!
Here’s how a BYUtv program is rocking its social media presence with carefully thought out, but minimally fine-tuned Story content.
3. Create Story Threads to Build Audience Intrigue.
One way to build suspense and keep your audience’s attention is by creating a string of Stories that encourages your audience to spend more time interacting with you.
When you have a series of Stories that progressively communicates a message (i.e., tells a story), it makes people want to stay tuned in to watch your content to the end. Many examples of captivating Story threads are out there, and many creative ideas exist for developing threads.
Here’s one by the Southern Tioga School District, which guides followers through a series of Stories about one of the District’s guiding principles. Notice how it incorporates interactive elements to keep the audience engaged through the entire thread.
Another thread tip: By adding Instagram’s “Add Yours” sticker to a Story, you can even invite followers to join — or create — a Story thread by responding to your Story with their own Stories.
Get the Full Story!
I will share lots of Story tips on my social media channels this week. Follow me on Instagram at @strellasocialmedia for inspirational ways to tell your brand story!