Stories are a fun, dynamic way for brands to connect with their followers.
Instagram has a variety of features that let you show off your creative skills and increase the chances of your social media content going viral.
But if you don’t know how to make your Instagram Stories stand out against the rest, fret no further.
Read on for some handy tips on how to make your Instagram Stories more creative.
Play Around With Instagram Stickers
Before you go looking at shiny third-party Insta apps, look a little closer to home. Instagram has dozens of great features that will give your Story a little creative pizzazz.
Last year, Instagram rolled out Story stickers. With these, users can tag locations, mention other Instagram accounts, and create cool hashtags to spice up otherwise static Stories.
Brands can also choose from polls, questions, and countdowns to create interactive Stories. Polls and questions create conversations with your followers, and countdown stickers are perfect for building hype around an event or product launch.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about GIFs. Everyone loves a GIF (although pronunciation proves more controversial), and you can choose from a dizzying array of miniature GIFs to help make your Instagram Stories more creative.
Takeaway tip: don’t shy away from Instagram’s stickers. Every business — even B2B brands — can use GIFs, emojis, countdown stickers, and more to liven up their Story. Use them sparingly and stick to one or two per story.
Embrace Everything the Swipe-Up Feature Has to Offer
It’s been a couple of years since Instagram rolled out its swipe feature for Stories. Savvy brands have used them to send their followers to everything from product pages to blog posts.
In fact, the swipe feature is ubiquitous among small ecommerce businesses looking to up their value with an Instagram sales strategy. In fact, look at the Instagram of any ecommerce startup and you’ll find the most valuable regularly use the swipe feature to drive traffic to their product pages, often with great success.
While the swipe feature is an old dog, it doesn’t mean it can’t learn some new tricks.
For example, have you ever used your Insta Story to increase your email subscriber lists? Create a series of photos or videos sharing useful or fascinating tidbits that build your customers’ interest. Once they’re hooked, end your Story with an invitation to swipe up and sign up for your email newsletter — easy.
And while Instagram’s IGTV offers hour-long video for brands, YouTube will always be top dog in the video stakes. Show your followers a short clip of your latest brand video, then get them to swipe up to direct them to your YouTube channel for the full version.
Takeaway tip: not all of your swipe-up features have to drive traffic or generate leads. Why not link your Story out to a Spotify playlist? It won’t net you sales, but it will show your followers you’re a brand with a fun side.
Create a Calendar That’s Both Fun and Functional
Every channel needs an editorial calendar, from your blog to your Facebook. You might already have one for your Instagram feed, but have you considered creating one for your Instagram Story?
While planning your Story schedule ahead of time can make it less fun and spontaneous, using a blend of scheduled and spontaneous content will keep your Story fresh.
Your scheduled content should tie in with the rest of your editorial calendar. For example, product promotions and Instagram contests all make for strong Story content that you’ll promote across other channels.
But your spontaneous content should embody the fun side of your brand. Behind-the-scenes glimpses of your office life are a staple of course. Content that addresses current events can also be part of this category.
Takeaway tip: got some great content that reflects your brand? As your Instagram account grows, you should use Highlights to show new followers exactly what you’re about by pinning the best stuff to your Insta feed. ‘Hard’ information such as your mission statement, good user-generated content, and industry event coverage can be kept as Highlights for some permanent brand showcasing.
Weave Your Brand Aesthetic Into Your Stories
You already know the value of visual brand cohesion. Your Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms all reflect your aesthetic branding. Your Instagram feed also has a visual thread linking each post with the next — but have you translated that to your Story yet?
Instagram provides comprehensive customization for your Stories. The text and draw functions let you change color, font, and brush types so you can replicate your branding right there in your Story.
Of course, if you’ve decided on a specific shade of teal, you might struggle to find the exact color that matches it on Instagram. Thankfully, Instagram’s eyedropper tool lets you choose any color from your Story to draw or write with — let’s be honest, that’s next-level.
The goal here is to let your followers know that when they look at your Story, it undoubtedly belongs to your brand.
Takeaway tip: a watermark is the universal sign of a brand with class. But beyond that, it keeps your branding consistent throughout your Stories. Invest in a watermarking app to stamp your photos and videos with your brand logo.
Instagram Stories are a staple of a successful brand’s social strategy. Make yours shine by following the tips above and you’ll be well on your way to creating Instagram Stories that your followers will love.
Do you have any tips for creating compelling Instagram Stories? Share them below!
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