Instagram Stories are an effective way to get people engaged with your brand. The idea (similar to Snapchat’s offering) of a purely visual feature that lets users peep into other people's daily life, in real-time, was a recipe for success in the increasingly voyeuristic world of social media we live in.
One of the features of Instagram stories is that they disappear after 24 hours, which explains its popularity. You can overshare without posting on your permanent photo grid, which remains reserved for curated content. But from a business point of view, it’s frustrating to see your story disappear after the effort that went into creating it.
There is a solution!
Instagram Story Highlights saves your story as a highlight. This means you can keep it on your profile for as long as you want, so you won’t have to worry about your followers missing your content.
For businesses, highlights aren’t necessarily just the best extracts from your story. If well-planned and produced, they can be so much more and become a great promotional tool for your business.
On your Instagram profile, Highlights are placed in a privileged spot – right under your bio and gathered into a small gallery. With a few small tricks (carefully-picked thumbnails and very short titles to fit the designated space), Highlights will become a clean and professional addition to your profile. They can give users a glance at your branding, reinforce your identity and expand your message further than your 150-word bio.
In short, they will act as a perfect calling card for anyone landing on your Instagram, providing information on your business and turning visitors into followers!
Let’s look at a few ideas on how to take advantage of Highlights as part of your marketing strategy.
Instagram Highlight: About
Your first Highlight thumbnail should probably be an ‘About’ one. That’s your first point of contact with your visitor and your chance to say who you are! Build eye-catching graphics and combine them with pictures or short videos of your business, products or service.
Your ‘About’ story could use clips from your most recent Company Profile video, showcasing your office, and explaining what you do and how you do it. If you want to keep it more informal and connect with your viewers on a human level; you could introduce your staff, offering a casual ‘behind-the-scenes’ look.
Be mindful of the duration of each video (15 seconds max) and the format i.e. 9:16 aspect ratio. If using a Company Profile Video, you might need to get your footage re-edited and cropped to suit, or you might need to re-shoot content with the camera turned 90° in portrait orientation.
Text is also crucial as a good amount of people will watch stories on silent, so make sure you include short and effective captions!
Instagram Highlight: Products/Collections
You can dedicate a story highlight to your current products or latest collections, always including a ‘Call to Action’ at the end so people know where to find them. If your account has 10,000+ followers you can also avail of the ‘swipe up’ option which directly opens a link to the product or service on the user’s phone, without leaving the Instagram app.
Once again, try to have good-quality images as this is your virtual window display. Take the product pictures with a DSLR if possible; you can then upload them onto your cloud or online storage to access them from your phone and add them to the story.
Instagram Highlight: Tutorials/How-to
Consider uploading a story or two with tutorials on your service or on how to use a product. Viewers will see that as something helpful you’re doing for them and they will get a positive impression of the spirit of your brand.
Instagram Highlight: Promote Other Platforms
Use Highlights stories to invite your Instagram followers to check out your latest post on Facebook, a new addition to your website, or to like your most recent video on YouTube.
Instagram Highlight: Updates
Any upcoming events, announcements or big news to share? You should pin them onto your Highlights if you want to make sure everyone sees them. This interesting article from Later shows how to use instagram Stories Highlights to impress your followers.
If it’s something temporary that you have going on, like a competition, a giveaway, an online course or a promotion, you can highlight the story for the time being and then take it down whenever it’s no longer relevant.
Instagram Highlight: Polls
Another of the perks of social media is you can use the direct contact with your audience as a tool for surveys and data collection.
On Instagram stories, you can add ‘Poll’ stickers onto your pictures/videos to get people to vote or answer a question, and then easily check your poll results on your story stats. It’s a great way to get feedback on what your followers like, plus at the same it will strengthen your connection with them by making them feel that your brand is willing to listen.
So are you ready to start telling (and sharing!) your stories?Contact one of our strategists today to start your video marketing journey.