Instagram stories have been catching up fast since their launch in August 2016. Instagram is no longer only used by millennials to post updates on their personal and social. Brands too, are increasingly relying on this dynamic platform to reach out to their target audience.
So, if you are thinking of experimenting with Instagram stories to increase your reach, then you are on the right track. It is one of the most successful social platforms to drive reach. What’s more, as Instagram evolves, it offers handy tools and options that make it even better for brands to reach out to their target viewers with specialized content.
The Instagram algorithm is determined by the number of followers your stories generate. The algorithm identifies the relevant, new and best content for each follower. Based on this algorithm, the content is delivered to the follower.
Thus, it is important to get people to watch your Instagram story till the end. Technically, you don’t need to reach out to everyone; but you need to reach out to the people who might be interested in your work. This means that you must tailor your content to meet their very specific requirements. Below are some of the tips that would help you increase your reach.
The Instagram story should have a beginning, middle, and end
Before, people didn’t give this much thought. It was more for the younger generation, or just a collection of images that could be considered as a good base for the main feed. However, now stories are expected to overtake the main feed and have become the primary way of sharing Instagram story ideas. Drafting quality content for Instagram stories is important. Therefore, you should take time to plan the content for your Instagram story.
While constructing Instagram story ideas you should be clear about the beginning, middle, and end. You should share the message you want to convey to your audience through the story. Then, think about what images and content you can use to communicate your message effectively. Below are some of the ways in which you can share your business stories:
- Highlight your customer stories
- Show customer testimonials
- Create a story showcasing a typical day in the life of your staff
- Share special announcements with viewers through Instagram
- Show unseen or exclusive content from your events or trips
- Focus on your community services that helps to express your brand values
Include various types of videos in your Instagram stories
Photos are one of the easiest ways to post on Instagram, but videos or stories catch the viewer’s attention better than any other form of content. Thus, Instagram helps to drive online video traffic and a majority of the viewers are engaged with the brand after watching the video. Some of the ways in which you can incorporate videos in your content are:
- GIFs help turn a still picture into moving and funny clips that help keep the Instagram story engaging.
- Boomerang helps to create a fast burst of photos together in a mini video.
- Hands-free recording, as Instagram helps to record 15-second videos to your stories, to which you can add music, illustration, texts, etc.
- You can add face filters that make it fun to watch for the followers.
Consider the Instagram stories viewers as your family and friends
Instagram is a great platform to connect with viewers. Thus, moving out of the comfort zone of Instagram stories is a perfect option to build trust among the audience and increase the reach of your Instagram stories. You should upload content that is meaningful and familiar, as Instagram is flooded with brands and influencers. The posts that have faces are popular on Instagram. Thus, to increase your Instagram story ideas you should include a face that viewers can relate to.
Add elements to the stories to hold the viewer’s attention
Instagram users are very fast and active. This means that if the content does not engage them, they quickly move to the next. Thus, you need to plan the story ideas so that viewers can watch it until the end. Some of the elements that can help you catch viewer’s interest are:
- Use text prompts to make it clear what you’re posting and why it is worth watching.
- A majority of the stories on Instagram are watched with sound on; thus, you should add music or voice overs to your story.
- Make use of numbers or letters, and share the sequence of your content that is worth watching.
- Use interactive stickers to engage the viewers in your story and get them to participate by answering the questions.
How to make Instagram stories?
- In the Instagram app, click of the ‘+’ icon at the top of the screen
- Then choose STORY from the menu
- Select the front camera or selfie camera mode
- Tap on the white circle at the bottom of the mobile screen and take a picture or shoot the story
- For a video, you need to press and hold the white circle
- To select pre-existing photos or videos you need to swipe up and upload the photo or video as a story
Some of the additional strategies that can help to optimize the reach of your Instagram stories are:
- Shoot vertically – You will get better results if you plan and shoot your stories. Stories recorded with the use of a mobile device are more likely to be accepted by viewers than those shot on any other device.
- Define the brand’s identity – Consistent visuals in the story would help to create a relationship with the audience. The sooner they recognize your style without checking the name, the better it will be for you and your brand. A style guide would help you to create your brand identity.
- Use quick cuts to keep the attention of the audience – On social media platforms, a video usually lasts for 15 seconds and an image, for 5 seconds. Thus, for the stories with an average scene length of around 2.8 seconds, you can use quick cuts to keep the story dynamic.
- Use the first three seconds of the story well – The first three seconds of the story are the most effective to grab your audience. Thus, try to convey your message in the first few seconds of the story. This strategy will give you enough time to get to the point.
- Schedule posting of the stories in advance – Posting Instagram stories on a regular basis keeps the audience engaged. The stories can complement the other posts and integrate them with other ongoing campaigns.
- Include CTA (call-to-action) in your stories that would help the audience to know what to do next.