27 September 2016

Everything Your Brand Needs To Know About Instagram Stories

Tags : Social

By Owen Marshall

Instagram image

Are you wondering what exactly Instagram Stories are? Interested in how it works? Not sure how it can benefit your brand? Well you're in the right place.

In a bold attempt to encourage Instagram users to begin sharing content more frequently, they've recently introduced their very own 'Instagram Stories'.

Instagram Stories is a feature that allows users to be able to go on and share content with all of their followers; it will only be viewable for a total of 24 hours and once that’s gone, it’s gone! 

If you've got the feeling that you've heard this somewhere before the chances are you have, as this feature is notably very similar to that of Snapchat Stories. A feature that was first introduced back in 2013, and an enormous factor into the rapid rise of Snapchat.

Since Instagram’s initial release back in 2010, it has generally been recognised more for photographs that have been exquisitely polished off with their own editing tools and posted a while after the photo had been taken. However with the introduction of Instagram Stories we could soon find this stereotype being no more, with the launch of stories lending more immediacy to posts shared on the platform.

How Instagram Stories Work

Instagram Stories appear in a bar across the very top of your feed with the profile picture of the users you follow placed along it. Once someone has posted a new story you will notice a colourful ring around their profile picture that will highlight a new post. In order for you to view their story, you need to just tap on their profile photo. From then, their story will then appear full-screen. You will be shown all of the content that they have posted within the last 24 hours, and this will be played to you from oldest to newest.

When you’re viewing a story, you can simply tap to go back and forward (on the left or right side of the screen) or even swipe to jump to another person’s story. Unlike Instagram’s regular posts, there are no likes or public comments across their stories, but you are able to send a message as a reply. 

How To Create Your Story

1. You begin by tapping on the “+” icon that is positioned in the top-left corner of your phone screen, alternatively you can just swipe left and this will open the story camera for you.

2. Once you have the story camera open this will allow you to take a photo, or record a video. Instagram Stories also offers a cool feature that allows you to be able to upload any content within the last 24 hours from your camera roll, so if you took a picture but forgot to upload it to your story, then you still can. In order to do this you need to swipe downwards whilst you are on the stories camera. From here, you will be shown the latest content from your camera roll and you just tap on the content that you’d like to share.
3. Following this you then have an option to use a various range of different filters, add text and even draw on your content and customise it however you like. Once you have done all the customisation you need you just tap the circular icon that is located in the centre at the bottom of your phone screen. 

Once you have posted your story it will then appear on the bar at the top of your screen. 

4. After you have posted your story you can then view some very basic analytics, revealing who has seen your story. In order for you to access these details you simply just need to swipe up whilst you are watching your own story and they will appear on screen. 

What Does Instagram Stories Mean For Brands?

With the use of Instagram Stories, this could go on to provide a much higher rate of overall brand awareness and engagement amongst different brands and users on Instagram. For instance, by providing content to complement your main Instagram feed such as behind the scenes pictures, this could help you to further connect with your audience. 

The content only being accessible for a 24 hour period could also enhance more of a feeling of exclusivity to the user and may encourage more people to go looking for your stories as they don’t want to miss out.

Here are some ideas of how your brand could use Instagram Stories:

  •          Share promo codes
  •          Demo your product
  •          Q&As
  •          Exclusive content (e.g. behind the scenes)
  •          Promote events

If you would like some assistance in improving results gained by your social media accounts then please feel free to contact our team.

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