17 Fantastic Ways To Use Instagram Stories For Perfect Marketing

Use Instagram Stories for Perfect Marketing

 

In August 2016, Instagram introduced the “story” feature to its standalone application which allows users to capture and post images and video content in a slideshow format. The story feature makes it possible for users to show more content to their friends and families without publishing excessive posts on their Instagram page.

Instagram’s team stated in an interview: “With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to be worried about publishing excessive content. It’s quite the opposite, you can share all you want throughout the day and also be as creative as you’d like”.

The introduction of the stories feature has proved to be a strong element for companies and brands. A startup to the well-established company, both can leverage the feature to promote their products or services in depth while maintaining the main page of Instagram account. Story feature also built up the direct connection between the viewers and creators/marketers.

Instagram also enable their users to adjust the privacy settings for their stories, they can choose who and who cannot view their stories. The settings of the Instagram stories are set to public by default,  but users can switch their profiles to private account and allow only permitted followers to view their content. They can also opt for the option where they can select which follower can see their stories among all of the present followers.

At the initial time, Instagram stories were criticized for being similar to the Snapchat’s My Story feature. In both the applications, the content vanishes after 24 hours from the time it gets posted. But unlike Snapchat, Instagram users can start live videos and save the entire video.

However, there are some advanced features of “Instagram story” you should know to make its best use including-

  • How to view stories
  • How to post your own stories
  • Instagram Stories views: How to check who saw your story
  • How to add content from your Camera Roll
  • Adding text or drawings
  • Face filters
  • Stickers
  • Type
  • Live on Instagram
  • Boomerangs
  • Superzoom
  • Focus
  • Rewind
  • Android versus iOS

1. View Instagram stories:

View Instagram stories

The first step of using Instagram stories is to know how to view them. You can see a person’s story on your Instagram feed, the stories are denoted by a row of circular icons (present at the top of your screen). You can tap on the watch all button above the circular icons to see every ones’ story in a sequence or simply scroll through the icons and find the user’s story you want to view. The red outline surrounding the user’s profile picture is an indication that the story has not been viewed by you.  Once you view a person’s Instagram story, the red outline turns into grey.

Instagram Stories displayed on the top left corner of the screen, where a bar at the top of the page indicates the length of the story, and if there are multiple stories, the bar divides into equal parts according to the number of stories posted. You can also tap on the left or the right side of the story to see the next or the previous person’s story. You can also reply to the person’s Instagram story by writing a message in the text field at the bottom and further click on the paper airplane icon.

“If you come across a story that violates Instagram’s policies, you can report it using the overflow button inside of the text field.”

If someone you follow has posted a story, you can see it by doing any of the following options:

  • Tap their profile picture at the top of the feed.
  • Go to their profile and tap their profile picture.
  • Tap their profile picture next to a post they’ve shared in Feed.
  • Tap their profile picture in Direct inbox or in a thread.

2. Post Your Own Stories:

It seems like viewing someone’s story is an effortless task to do. Now let’s see “how to post stories of your own?”.

To create a story on Instagram, you have to swipe left on the main screen to access the “story camera,” or you can simply tap on the “+” icon located at the top left corner of the screen. Once the “story camera” is open,  you can record or take a photo using the camera or click on a circular icon present on the extreme left corner to choose photos or videos for your Instagram story. You can also add a variety of filters and text with the options present once you select content for your Instagram story.

There are also a few shooting modes present on the “story camera” including Type, Live, Boomerang, Superzoom, Focus, Rewind, and, Hands-free as well as a shortcut to your story settings in the upper left corner.

3. Check Who’s Seen Your Story:

If you have recently created a story, you can check the number of views and the people who viewed your story. You can do this by going to your story and swiping up on the screen.  There you will see the number as well as usernames of the people who have seen each photo or video in your story.

4. Add Content From Your Camera Roll:

There is an Instagram story feature that enables you to upload pictures or videos created within 24 hours from your smartphone’s camera. You just have to swipe up on the stories camera, there you will see all the latest content from your camera roll. From there, you can also select the desired content you like to post on your Instagram Stories.

5. Adding Text Or Drawings:

If you are posting a story for the first time or after a long time, you may want to give it an elegant look. You can add texts to your stories by tapping anywhere on the screen. The stories section also provide various options like add color, resize, and modification in the format of your text through the attached tools.

Moreover, you can also tag your friends in your stories by typing {@ person’s name} in your stories. This option will notify them about the post.

You can also draw anything you want to on your story with the help of marker icon present at the upper right corner of the screen. The story section also has the option where you can select different brush tips including a marker, glowing ink, a highlighter, chalk, as well as an eraser and undo button to fix small mistakes.

6. Face Filters:

Face Filters

The face filters are the best tools through which you can add style to your images. The filters react accordingly with different animations and effects. The amazing thing with the face filters is that they are capable of detecting certain face movements like nodding of the head, the opening of the mouth, and eyebrows movement.

To add a face filter, tap on the camera icon located in the top left of the screen. Further, swipe right on your news feed and click on face option. There select a filter you want to choose from the bottom of your screen. Now, tap on the screen to take a photo or tap and hold to make a video. While using the front camera, the filter you choose will automatically appear on your face.

7. Stickers:

Stickers

The addition of stickers to Instagram stories has been the most popular and effectual element. Though, the feature was initially introduced by Snapchat but Instagram has taken it to a different level.

Stickers allow you to add expression or emotion to your content along with permitting the followers to provide personalized reactions to your stories. The feature has not only gained popularity among frequent users, but businesses are also making the best use of stickers to drive more social engagement and attention.

To add stickers to your stories, check out the following steps-

  • Tap the icon located next to the text option.
  • Tap on marker icons located at the top right corner of the “Story Camera.”

Once you tap on the required options, dozens of stickers including all the emojis supported on the device will be displayed on your screen.

And the best part is you can also add your location, time, temperature, and different hashtags with stickers to increase the visibility of your stories.

Instagram is working on quiz stickers that will help brands to increase engagement with their stories.”

8. Type:

Type

The “Type” feature allows you to publish stories only with texts. It is the most powerful feature in making impactful stories without any photos or videos on it.

You can also add an image, but Instagram will still apply its inclined filter, making the text easier to read. Type feature can be found at the bottom of the Stories camera, alongside options like Boomerang and Rewind.

9. Live On Instagram:

Similar to live videos on Facebook, YouTube, and periscope Instagram live videos allow you to broadcast yourself live. To access the live feature go to the “story camera” and then tap on the live button next to the “Type” option. Further, click on the “Go Live” button to start the live streaming.

“Instagram’s live broadcast is limited to one hour, which is similar to Facebook Live.”

Once you start the live streaming, Instagram sends a push notification to some of your followers notifying them with the message “you started a live video check it before it ends.” Your viewers can interact with you in real time by leaving comments on your live videos. Additionally, you can also add a second person from the list of viewers watching your live stream through “add icon” located at the bottom right corner of your screen.

After ending your live stream by tapping on the “End” button at the top right corner of your screen, you can choose between options to save the video to your camera roll or to share it as your Instagram story.

10. Boomerangs:

Boomerangs

Boomerang is an Instagram story feature that lets you post visual content in a stylish way. The feature makes your content different from a regular photo or video. The Boomerang feature takes burst photos and combines them into one fluid image by creating a looping Boomerang video (rapid to-and-fro movements of the burst photos).

To create a Boomerang, click on the ring at the bottom of your screen. Tap and hold the circle to control the length of your video and let go to stop the recording. To choose between your rear and front camera, click on and then tap to share your Boomerang video to Instagram. You can also click for additional options. Click on the “Save” option from the top right corner of your screen to save the video to your camera roll.

11. Superzoom:

Superzoom

The “Superzoom” feature is located inside the camera on the Instagram app. This feature is used in zooming videos with dramatic sound effects. The feature can be accessed by swiping along the bottom of the screen among the stories camera options.

On switching to the Superzoom mode, you will see a box denoting where the camera will zoom. There the camera will rapidly start to detect a face to zoom and if none is found it will zoom to the center of the frame by default.

12. Focus:

Using Instagram’s Focus feature, you can click portrait mode selfies and pictures by blurring the background and keeping the person in focus. This trick provides a noticeable look to the photo. Whether you are using the front or the back camera, the feature blurs the background to give a striking look to your Instagram shot.

“The Focus feature also works while taking videos.”

To access the Focus feature, open your Instagram app’s camera and click on the “Focus” button next to the Superzoom option below the record button.

13. Rewind:

The Rewind feature enables you to play videos in reverse, like other Instagram story tools, it has been an excellent option. This feature is generally used in creating a bit more unique and stylized content.

To play videos in reverse, open the “story camera” and swipe through the options present at the bottom of the screen. There, you will see the “Rewind” options along with the “Live,” “Normal,” “Boomerang,” and “Hands-Free” options.

14. Hands-Free Stories:

The Hands-free video feature gives you an opportunity to record a video with a single tap. With this fantastic feature, you don’t have to hold the shutter button in the normal shooting mode. To use the Hands-free video feature, slide through the options present at the bottom of your Instagram story’s camera. Further, tap on the Hands-free button next to the Rewind option to start recording your video.

15. Stories Functioning on Android versus iOS:

iOS devices continue to outstand Android devices in terms of advanced features. The same goes with few Instagram Stories’ features, that can only be accessed on iOS phones.  Instagram provides magnetic guidelines to perfectly line up the texts to the iOS users, however on Android you can only straighten your text but cannot attach it to any particular part of the image. Aligning images also work differently on both the platforms, in iOS the aligning images and videos either shrink to fill the screen horizontally or expand to fill the screen vertically. On Android, you need to touch and zoom the size of the image according to your requirement.

16. Some Benefits Of Implementing Instagram Stories To Your Business Strategies:

Instagram is the best place for business to share photos and whereabouts of their daily life. Instagram provides a user-friendly and elegant looking interface which is one of the major reasons behind the app popularity. Users are posting more on Instagram nowadays, and it makes sense for businesses to market their resources on the same platform. Implementing Instagram stories to your business strategies is a good move for brands as the Instagram stories have been non-problematic as compared to the Snapchat’s latest issues. Instagram is implementing regular changes and adding new features to its stories section to make it more user-friendly. Some more benefits of using Instagram stories to market your brand are mentioned below-

  • Over 200 million stories are posted on Instagram per day which is quite a huge number.
  • If you have a private account, then Instagram post will only be viewed by the people who are under your friend’s list, but your stories are discoverable to all the users who visit your account.
  • You can make use of hashtags for the stories section to increase the visibility of your If someone searches for hashtags similar to the one you added to your story, then it will appear on the top of the hashtag page.
  • Most of Instagram’s users prefer watching stories more than the endless “scroll” of their feed. Posting useless content doesn’t help in the growth of your Instagram business account, on the contrary, it may lead to the downfall in the number of your existing followers.
  • If you have over 10,000 followers, you can use the ‘swipe-up’ option inside your Instagram stories where you can include an outbound link and direct your followers to your official websites.

17. The Latest Instagram Update Hides Your Stories’ Viewer List After 24 Hours:

The Instagram application gives power to its users to check who has viewed their story. Users can also preserve their stories and viewer’s list with the help of Instagram’s story highlights feature.

But these viewers are unavailable in Instagram’s latest update, users can’t see who viewed their story on their archived stories as well as on the story highlights.

On 6th February Instagram made a tweet, “we’re going to take away your viewer lists off your stories after 24 hours instead of giving everyone chronological order like we’re constantly asked for Tweet.” 

Users have made tweets to criticize the update for not letting them see who viewed their stories.  Answering to these tweets, Instagram’s spokesperson said, “We’re always working to provide a simple and consistent experience for our community,” an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement. “Stories last for 24 hours, and this change brings the same functionality to your story viewers list” he added.

All of us are familiar with the fact that Instagram stories are growing in popularity at a rapid pace. The platform is constantly adding updates to its stories like the story highlights, mid feed navigation panel, polls stickers, etc. Most of the business pages are already leveraging advantages of this feature by posting content about their new launch, and upcoming products. In the above article, we tried to cover major factor from the most common to the rarest things (including how to view an Instagram story to the Instagram latest updates).  Next time when you make use of Instagram Stories to promote or advertise your brand/products, make use of all these features to boost your reach and business growth.

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