How do you make the most of Instagram stories and highlights?

28th September 2018

Contrary to popular belief, Instagram stories and story highlights are much more than just a place to publish content that isn’t deemed ‘feed post-worthy’! These features are fun and effective ways of showcasing content and keeping your business active on Instagram without the need for much time-consuming curation. Just follow our guidelines and you’ll be on your way to reaping multiple business benefits from Instagram stories and highlights…

Instagram story content for business should do one of four things:

1. Tell a story…

Sounds obvious, but they’re called ‘stories’ for a reason! Adding a narrative to your Instagram story content will keep readers entertained and boost positive sentiment. Plus, it’s much easier to do than you’d think. Simple but effective examples of IG story narratives could include:

  • ‘How it’s made’ videos
  • ‘Before’ and ‘after’ photos
  • Following a person, service, or product on its journey from idea conception right through to consumer experience.

2. Stimulate and challenge your audience…

Keeping your audience stimulated, challenged, and ultimately entertained is easier than ever thanks to fun Insta story features. Creating competitions, polls, games, and challenges on your IG Stories will give your audience the chance to interact in a way that conventional feed posts can’t recreate. Most people are naturally curious and when presented with a quiz or content, will enjoy the chance to rise to the occasion and engage with your business, especially if there’s some kind of prize incentive involved!

3. Keep your audience up-to-date (and make them feel exclusive!)

Instagram stories are a great place to share relevant business news and industry updates – this keeps your followers feeling up to date and ‘in the know’ as well as positioning your account as an expert within the field. Including any kind of authentic, raw, ‘behind the scenes’ or ‘never before seen’ style content that creates a sense of ‘exclusivity’ is also a fantastic way to use your Stories for business. Heightening a sense of exclusivity and insight will allow you to bring your audience closer to the business or brand, ultimately improving both engagement and advocacy.

4. Create an urgent call to action…

So long as you’re making sure to keep your audience entertained and up-to-date with fun and relevant IG Story content, don’t be afraid to occasionally exploit the 24-hour time limit of Insta stories for your own benefit. Create a sense of urgency around your sales messages. Combining a ‘limited time only’ offer with a ‘swipe up’ CTA drives traffic and boosts conversion rates!  

Let’s talk about Story highlights for business…

Even for the many that have already got to grips with Instagram story content, for a few people, Instagram story highlights (and how to use them) remain a bit of a mystery. It helps to think of story highlights as less permanent than feed posts. But less temporary than just stories – they’re somewhere in between. Adding IG story content to a ‘highlight’ essentially means ‘pinning’ it to your profile, making it visible for longer. This can mean great things for a business!

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when creating story highlights for business, is their location on your profile. As Insta story highlights feature at the front and centre of your profile, they’ll most likely be one of the first things new visitors discover about your business, alongside your IGTV Channel.

Their permanency and location make stories a great way to showcase specific information categories or ‘brand pillars’. Just as an example, your business profile could feature 5 story highlights, with each one covering: upcoming events, latest news, offers & sales, weekly quizzes/contests, and new products/services. This is a great way to make a good first impression on a potential new customer. 

If you need guidance or advice on Instagram stories and/or highlights, we’re here to help! Just drop us a message and we can chat about what our enthusiastic social media managers and clever content creators could do for you and your business. Our Instagram experts can even create a bespoke Instagram content strategy for your business. Complete with a unique set of story guidelines to maximise the performance of your account.