Instagram Stories 101

4 universal truths about Instagram Stories for brands

Instagram Stories aren’t just for influencers to post photos of their poké bowls, “unbox” #trending makeup products, or share their stunning vacation views. Brands can—and should—use them too. Now more than ever, it’s increasingly important for brands to build a presence on Instagram Stories and use it as a tool for sharing engaging content and connecting with their audience.

New features are being added to Instagram Stories every day, so there are countless ways for you to engage with your audience, using GIFs, stickers and polls, to name a few. As the methods of creating engaging, on-brand posts multiply, it’s important to stay grounded in the basics. Read on for four best practices you should adopt to your brand.

#1 Keep Your Audience’s Attention

Post different types of content in a row to keep your story interesting. Are you posting too many videos of someone talking in a row? Break it up with a poll or a mood slider asking your audience their opinion about the topic at hand. Encourage your audience to click to your next slide, and even tease the content to grab their attention. For example, once you identify a problem that your company or a piece of gated content solves, tell followers to “Tap right for a solution,” then watch engagement soar.

#2 Promote Bite-Sized Information

With any kind of story feature, you’re limited by the width of your phone screen and the span of your followers’ attention. If you’re sharing information about your product or service, break it down into three to five bullet points, and make each bullet point a new slide in your story. For visual consistency, use the same background image and design elements so that it’s clear that all your posts are related. We recommend outlining the number of slides your followers can expect at the top of the story, so if your followers aren’t interested, they can manually skip to your next piece of content instead of watching another story.

#3 Think About Your Audience

We can go on forever about why audience and platform matter, but we’ll just say it once: Create content based on what your audience wants to see. Whether it’s consulting your analytics team to find the times your audience is the most active or analyzing your followers’ reactions to past content, be sure to create with a clear demographic in mind. We recently helped The American Migraine Foundation perform an Instagram takeover @themightysite. After learning more about the audience for this takeover, we tweaked our content and voice to resonate with the viewers, all without losing our brand’s identity.

#4 Promote Instagram Posts

Given the nuances of the Instagram algorithm, it doesn’t hurt to give your content multiple chances to be found. Add a preview of your post that clicks through to the actual post by clicking the “share” button and adding the post to your story. You can also do that with your followers’ posts about your product or service to add authentic voices to the mix and show your community that you’re listening. Promoting user-generated content encourages followers to continue posting about you with a branded hashtag. It also helps cultivate community.

Now that you know how to make your Instagram Stories content stand high above the rest, it’s time to make it your own. Yakkety Yak is an expert in ensuring that content on all your platforms is working together to tell an effective, consistent story. Contact us today to see why we’re a leader in digital marketing.

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