Instagram stories are the best way to promote your brand, product, or business on Instagram, regardless of whether you’re doing it on your own or try an Instagram scheduler app like the one we offer.
They are also great at creating an engaged audience. Over 500 million users view Instagram stories daily. And, one in every three Instagram stories posted daily is from a business.
That should tell you how powerful Instagram stories are, and in this post, we will teach you everything you need to know about using them.
Instagram stories: What are they?
Launched in August of 2016, Instagram stories allow you to share videos or photos that disappear after 24 hours in a slideshow. The feature lets users post all the content they want without cluttering up their feeds or messing up their profile grid.
Since their launch, Instagram stories have become more than just a convenient way to share updates throughout the day. They are a powerful tool for exploring creativity, growing and engaging your audience, and driving the action you want.
Instagram stories from accounts you follow are at the top of your feed. A colorful purple-orange ring appears around the profile pic every time a user adds something new to their story.
How to use your Instagram stories
Making an Instagram story is quick and easy. Follow the steps below to see how you do it, and then we will get into the strategies you can use the most of your stories.
Click on the plus icon on top of your feed.
Select story from the menu
If it is your first time using Instagram stories, you will need to grant Instagram the necessary permissions to continue.
Once you have granted the permissions, you can have fun exploring the formats, filters, and all the tools you get.
You can swipe left on your feed or click “Your Story” at the top of your feed to access your Instagram stories faster.
To save, delete, share or see who viewed your story, click on your story icon. From there, you can also turn your Instagram story into a highlight and keep it displayed on your profile.
IG Highlights, unlike stories, do not disappear after 24 hours and can live on your profile permanently.
The best Instagram story strategies in 2022
Now that you know what Instagram stories are, we can get into the strategies you should use to make the most of them.
Engage your audience with Polls, Quizzes, and Surveys
Instagram stories are a fun way to engage your audience, and there is no better way to do it than with polls, quizzes, and surveys.
Everyone loves to have their say, polls, and the like, are a fast and easy way for them to do so.
The key is that the format is not time-consuming, and it is so simple that everyone can participate. More than just fun and games; this strategy can help you create deep and meaningful connections with your followers.
Use your Instagram story to ask about what content they want, issues they care about, and what expectations they have from following you. These types of questions can help you better understand your audience so that you both get what you want from the relationship.
Another great way to use this strategy is by asking your followers about your past posts. It will get your followers to revisit your content and immerse themselves as they look for the answers.
Tease upcoming content
Your Instagram stories are great for finding out what content your followers want, but they can also help you promote your upcoming content.
If you have been preparing content, or your followers have been begging for it, use your Instagram stories to get everyone to stop and focus on you.
Your Instagram stories can generate hype and guarantee you engagement whenever you post. Users scroll mindlessly past millions of posts daily, but if your followers expect a post from you, they will be more likely to stop for your posts.
Creating that sense of expectation and drumming up engagement for yourself will help you drive action better and faster than if you drop content unexpectedly. It will also help your content reach more people as the algorithm realizes your content draws a lot of engagement.
Tell a story
Instagram stories should be just that, but most people only use them to share disjointed pics and videos.
That is a waste, and you should use your Instagram stories better. Use them to tell stories with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Even the best Instagram influencers are guilty of sharing one-off pics. But, if you want the most impact from your Instagram stories, you should give your audience something to follow. The more context you share around your post, the more your audience can get into it and stay to see where the story is leading.
The point here is that drawn-out stories allow you to capture attention and retain it. If you only ever share pictures and tiny bits of video with no story behind them, your followers will watch them and move on. And, five stories later, they will have forgotten all about you.
Giving your followers actual stories to immerse themselves in will create a better experience for them, and you will see better results because of it.
Use prompts to lead your audience
Many marketers and brands miss out on driving action because their audience does not know what to do with the information they get. But, you can avoid that pitfall by using prompts in your Instagram stories to tell your audience what they should do.
Prompts in your stories will boost your engagement, help you retain attention, and increase the actions you drive.
You can get your followers to spend more time on your Instagram stories by using long text or captions. That will prompt them to hold to read to get through all the text before the next slide.
Another way you can prompt your customers is by using multiple slides and asking them to tap for more info to jump to the next slide. That will keep your viewers engaged instead of having them passively watch your story go.
If you have over 10 000 followers, the swipe-up feature is another way you can prompt your followers into doing what you want.
Taking the burden of thought off your followers will help them get used to you telling them what to do, so use prompts as often as you can in your Instagram stories.
Incentivize story view
Over half of Instagram users watch a story daily, but that does not mean you should take story views for granted.
Give back to the people that take time to watch your stories. You can do this by including assets your view and keep. It can be templates, quotes, tips, wallpapers, and planners your followers can screenshot and use.
Creating high-quality assets your followers can keep will keep your viewership numbers high. And if they happen to share them with their friends, family, and colleagues, it only makes growing your audience and reaching new people easier for you.
Another way to create a more engaged audience using your Instagram stories is to get your followers to DM you for assets or discount codes.
This strategy is perfect for building an email list, and asking your followers to DM you can help you gauge their interest and give you a chance to upsell one on one.
If you have discount codes, free products, or stuff to share with your followers, ask them to DM you instead of just giving it away. A simple personal touch like this can increase your sales and create a stronger connection between you and your followers.
Turn your best Instagram stories into highlights
The last strategy you can use to make the most of your stories is by turning them into highlights that stay on your profile.
As you know by now, stories disappear after 24 hours, but turning yours into highlights allows you to keep their value a lot longer than that. It is also a great way to keep people returning to your profile.
Another benefit of this is that it will help you gain followers because new visitors to your profile can see the value you offer right away.
The best stories to turn into highlights are tutorials, guides, tips, and introductory content about yourself or your brand. Making such content a permanent fixture on your profile will keep you from having to post the same stuff repeatedly and make your go-to place for your followers.
Instagram stories are a powerful tool when used correctly. And, they should be a big part of your Instagram strategy as a whole.
If you have been struggling to use yours to full effect, the strategies above are all you need to start seeing results on your Instagram brand.
All you have to do is be consistent and let your personality show, and your Instagram stories will keep you top of mind for your followers and give you the engaged audience you want.