Instagram is the new Facebook and Instagram Stories is the better Snapchat.
Instagram Stories have established themselves, but have not yet enjoyed the status of the Facebook News Feed, for example. That'll be over soon. Stories are not only supposed to replace the news feed , they enjoy top priority on Facebook and Instagram.
There are 15 million Instagram users in Germany and just as many companies have converted their profile into an Instagram business account .
Many companies already have reach and do marketing on Instagram. Unlike on Snapchat, there is no need to build a new account or reach. In terms of reach, there is a lot to be said for Instagram Stories for companies.
Over 400 million people use Instagram Stories every day. That means they either create their own content for Instagram Stories or they consume content from friends, influencers or Instagram Stories from companies.
How companies use Instagram Stories
Entertaining, entertaining and varied content. This is how content for stories can be described briefly and concisely. What should this corporate content look like and which features should you work with?
Stories present themselves as a very effective format for brands and companies. On August 2nd, 2018, the story format celebrated its second birthday and the numbers speak for themselves.
A third of the most viewed stories come from brands and companies. It quickly becomes clear that as a company you have to deal with stories. As prominently as the format is integrated into the app and as aggressively it is still communicated by Instagram, you now have to exhaust the possibilities. It won't get any easier in the coming months as competition in stories will increase significantly. We will be heading towards the same situation as in the Facebook News Feed and tightening the Instagram Story viewer is only a matter of time.
Another advantage for companies is that those who deal with Instagram Stories will also work better with Facebook Stories or, for example, WhatsApp Status. The stories are now almost everywhere .
In June 2017, more than 50% of companies published at least one Instagram story on Instagram. Instagram consists of the Instagram Feed ... and the Instagram Stories Feed.
What makes a good Instagram story?
What content do people want to see in companies' Instagram stories? How should they be prepared and what actions do they take after viewing a story?
Facebook carried out a survey on the use of stories and the requirements for company content. It is once again confirmed that product communication on Instagram is an important component.
51% want to see product information and offers in Instagram stories from companies. Another 44% expect announcements of new products as Instagram stories.
That doesn't mean that the products should be applauded in the story like in brochures. On the contrary. Stories have to be informative, easy to understand, companies have to present themselves in an approachable way and the story has to be authentic. People don't expect glossy productions.
Impact on buying behavior through Instagram Stories
If people look at the stories of companies in which products and offers are communicated, interest in the company increases by 62%. We have summarized for you how stories still affect purchasing behavior .
Companies have many options when creating Instagram Stories. Stories have the highest priority for Instagram and if you look at the updates, there are significantly more new features for creating Instagram stories than for the Instagram feed.
[Tweet "In June 2017, more than 50% of companies published at least one Instagram story."]
How long should an Instagram story be?
Experimenting and quickly testing new functions is always good in principle. However, Igstories.online should keep a few points in mind when it comes to Instagram Stories. A crucial point with Instagram Stories is the length and the amount of content. The same question arises with Snapchat, but Instagram is a completely different environment.
While Snapchat thrives on group messages and the Snapchat Stories, the core of Instagram is the Feed, Stories and, for some time, IGTV . As soon as the Instagram app opens, users have to make a decision.
[Tweet "1/3 of the most viewed Instagram stories come from brands and companies."]
If I look at a few Instagram stories first, do I devote my attention to the Instagram feed, or do I get involved in a new IGTV video. With over 400 million users, it should be clear to everyone that Instagram Stories are the most popular choice. The trend is rising sharply.
If users decide in favor of the stories, the order of the stories displayed is decisive, but also the length of the story. An analysis by Snapalytics has shown that Snapchat Stories with 8 contents get the best results . In other words, this is where most of the users look at the story from start to finish. This is certainly not transferable one to one to Instagram, but it is a value that you can use as a guide for your first attempts.
In another analysis by Buffer , it was found that the optimal length of an Instagram story is seven pieces of content. If there are more, the so-called drop rate increases by up to 70%.
You probably know this from very long Snapchat stories. You look at the first content and then more and more content is skipped or the story is closed. On Instagram, company stories don't just compete with other stories. You are also competing with the Instagram feed.
I'm a fan of shorter stories. Both on Instagram and Snapchat. There is no rule of thumb. Neither on Snapchat nor on Instagram. However, based on the views of your Instagram stories, you can see how long your followers have been looking at the story and when the point has been reached where attention sinks. Just as important is of course the introduction to the story, which has to convince the followers immediately.
It looks different, of course, with Instagram Live Videos . The live streams are played in the same area as Instagram Stories, but are in their own format and not part of a story.
Sound on or off on Instagram Stories?
For Facebook videos, the recommendation applies to produce content in such a way that it also works without sound. Or you should work with subtitles in order to reach everyone in a wide variety of situations.
With Instagram Stories you can observe different user behavior. According to Instagram, 60% of all published Instagram Stories are played with sound . A big advantage for companies and of course Instagram. If you rely purely on ads in Instagram Stories, the recommendation that the ad should work without sound still applies.
Why most stories are consumed with sound is due to the format on the one hand and the Instagram community on the other. A lot of videos are posted on Facebook, but most of them are not posted by friends or people. Instagram Stories are more personal and spontaneous and this leads to them getting more attention and that attention also includes tone.
Use different formats for Instagram Stories
A good mix of photos and videos is crucial. Personally, I don't like stories that consist of many short videos and thus ultimately result in a long video. Switching between photos, videos and other edited content (e.g. Boomerang) is what makes stories so attractive. They are not there to cut YouTube videos into small pieces. I would also be interested in your opinion on this.
As a company, you shouldn't make the mistake of comparing your content with the stories of Instagram influencers . It is crucial for a company to immediately grab users' attention and encourage them to look at the story. They are far more impatient with companies than when their favorite fashion blogger has created a story.
Furthermore, it is important to choose a good frequency so that your own Instagram story is displayed in one of the top positions as often as possible.
Edit content and add it to the Instagram story
Instagram Stories also support an upload from the Camera Roll. An important point. For example, content from Boomerang, Hyperlapse and Layout can be used for stories. Of course, you can also edit and save photos with VSCO or Enlight and use them for Instagram Stories. To activate the upload, you simply have to swipe down and you have access to your camera roll.
Instagram Stories have only been available for a few months and are still an integral part of the content strategy on Instagram for many companies . Since its inception, Instagram has been anything but inactive. Many new functions have already been introduced. But what exactly are they and how can you use the features in your Instagram stories?
Create Instagram Stories and use all functionsUse and link hashtags in Instagram Stories
Since May 2017 it has been possible to link hashtags in Instagram Stories . The way it works is similar to the way in which places are marked. From a company perspective, it makes sense to integrate your own hashtags into your Instagram stories. Stories are thus an additional channel to direct followers to campaign hashtags. Influencers can also place hashtags from brands and companies in their stories. This increases the attractiveness of stories for companies and influencers even more.Locations for Instagram stories
Similar to the hashtags for Instagram Stories, locations or location information can also be marked. The function is identical. If users tap on the location within the story, they land on the Explore view and can view the aggregated story for the respective location. For example for Berlin.
Instagram also combines various location information into comprehensive location stories.
So if companies integrate location information into their stories, they can not only increase the reach of their stories, but they can also address new users, who then may follow their own account.Use polls in Instagram Stories
In addition to hashtags and locations, surveys for Instagram Stories are another means of increasing engagement with the published content. Polls, such as hashtags, are added to a story. Both the question and the answer options can be edited.
In addition to calling up the story, a survey also shows what the overall results look like and which users voted for which answer. In addition to the interactions, companies receive further useful information about their community on Instagram.Tag other Instagrammers in stories
Mentions / tags in Instagram Stories are one of the newest features. Analogous to Instagram captions and Instagram comments, @username can now be used to tag other people in a story. The Instagram username is linked to this and can be opened directly from the story.
Users can tap the marker in the story and get a preview of the profile. A helpful feature. But you should always keep in mind that your followers could be distracted from your story and may not watch them until the end. As with all other tags on Instagram, the tagged account receives a notification.Links in Instagram Stories
Now it's getting exciting. Instagram tests links within Instagram Stories. The feature will initially be introduced as a test for verified accounts. The linking within a story offers many new possibilities and any number of links can be set in the stories. In the first examples you could see that the link was often inserted over the whole story.
With links in Instagram Stories, verified Instagram profiles can provide information beyond the story. If users click on "see more" they will be redirected to the corresponding page. But the same applies here: What is the goal of your Instagram story?
If your profile is verified, you can test the links in Instagram Stories from now on.Rediscover other Instagram stories
The Instagram Explore tab doesn't just provide users with new content. As a company, you can also be inspired by other content and discover trendy topics. With "Instagram Stories on Explore" you can now view a story from other companies and users, even if you are not following the Instagram accounts. Similar to how you search for photos and videos in the Explore tab, Instagram stories can now also be explored.
An experiment in the Explore area shows how important stories are for Instagram. Here Instagram is testing an identical navigation as in Stories, only for Explore content.
Ads for Instagram Stories
With 400 million users, it is clear that Facebook also uses Stories for ads. The result is Instagram Story ADs.
The specs of Instagram story ads are quickly summarized:Instagram story ads specifications
- Vertical fullscreen ads as photo or video
- Optimal resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels
- Videos with a maximum duration of 15 seconds
If you want to use story ADs, then there is a lot to be said for the use of vertical videos. The ads line up between other Instagram stories, but never appear in the first place. If users look at a large number of stories one after the other, several ads can also be displayed in one session.
As always, the decisive factor is the goal you are pursuing with the ad. In principle, Instagram story ads can be used in a variety of ways. Of course, you can increase your reach and views for content. But you can also generate traffic, conversions and mobile app installs. Story ads support links and with a swipe up, users can be directed to landing pages or app stores.
The targeting options are identical to Facebook.Colored text for Instagram stories
It was important for Instagram to launch stories as soon as possible. Some features have been omitted, such as colored texts. That has changed in the meantime. Stories work through the use of colored texts. You can not only use the predefined colors for your texts. By tapping and holding on the individual colors, these can be further individualized.Mute an Instagram story
This feature is not relevant for the creation of your stories, but you should know that users can "mute" Instagram Stories. Individual stories can be hidden by tapping and holding the profile photo. Muted stories move backwards and are not played automatically. For companies, it would be interesting for the future to see how many followers have deactivated a story.Auto Save
Creating an Instagram story takes effort. If you want to save content from your stories, this is easily possible with the Auto Save function and can be activated with a tab. Tap on the gear at the top left with the "Save shared photos" function and photos and videos will be saved automatically.Story ZOOM
The zoom also gives your story more individuality and offers you more options when creating your Instagram stories. To activate the zoom, you just have to hold down the video circle and swipe up.
More tips for your Instagram storiesBoomerang and Hyperlapse
Boomerang and Hyperlapse offer you many options and are also very suitable for Instagram stories. Unfortunately, they are still rarely used, although the integration is simple. By swiping down, you can add saved pictures or videos to the story. This means that boomerangs and hyperlapse videos can also be integrated into the Instagram story. However, only content that was saved in the last 24 hours is displayed in the Camera Roll.
You can select Boomerang directly in Instagram Stories. N just can the photos or videos. To do this, simply select the boomerang mode. If you start a recording now, a boomerang will be created automatically. Then you can share your boomerang as a story.To draw
Snapchat has spawned various Snapchat artists. The same creativity is offered by the Instagram Stories drawing tools. You have a total of three different pens available. Press on one of the colored points and you can change the pen color. The thickness of the pen can be adjusted by pressing the bubble symbol (left).Add text to Instagram Stories
You can do more with your texts than just typing them in. Texts can be rotated and resized by zooming and dragging. Also work with emojis and painted backgrounds to give your texts more impact and thus more attention.Story filter
Not only Instagram photos can be provided with a filter. Simply swipe left on your photos and videos and select the appropriate filter. Here you should follow a certain line and not switch back and forth with the filters too much.Publish Instagram Stories in your profile
Very important! If you've invested a lot of time in your story, then communicate it. Instagram stories that have already been published can easily be integrated into your own profile. To do this, click on the "..." symbol at the bottom right and select the "Share as a post" (iOS) or "Share a post" (Android) function.
Interactions and dialogue with Instagram stories
Although users cannot comment on Instagram Stories, there is still the possibility to initiate the dialogue. Instagram messages are supported and under every published content, there is a note "Send Message". For example, companies can encourage users to react to certain elements of a story by asking questions.
In addition to the news function, there is another feature that promotes interactions with company stories. Although Instagram presents the stories prominently in the app, it is still advisable to refer to your own story. You can use "normal" Instagram posts for this. But you also have the option to save content from your story and share it again in your Instagram profile. In this way you give your followers a brief insight into your story and at the same time increase the number of views. At least if the followers feel addressed by the post.
Official Instagram statistics show how well the dialogue has been received. Every fifth story is replied to with a direct message. This further strengthens relationships between companies and people on Instagram.
Broader content for new target groups
Instagram Stories are also very suitable for reaching a broader audience. By broader content, I mean photos and videos that aren't as focused on the core audience. In the USA, Instagram Stories are already part of the Instagram Explore tab. The Explore Tab is used by 100 million people every day and thus generates additional reach for stories. Companies can reach other Instagram users via the Explore tab. If the content of the story is not geared too much towards the core target group, this is a good entry option, which is not possible in this form in the feed and also not via a hashtag search.
Getting started is easier for companies with an Instagram story than it is on Snapchat. Companies know their followers, already have reach and can use stories as a supplement to the existing Instagram content. That's not to detract from the benefits of Snapchat Stories, but we'll see a lot more company stories on Instagram than on Snapchat. At least in the near future.