Instagram has always been a platform to share the priceless moments you want to remember forever. And with Instagram stories, it has become super easy to post the highlights of your life because of its tap-friendly nature.
And, if you are a business, you must know that stories have evolved as an essential strategy to showcase your product and services to a monthly active user base of 500 million.
But if you are someone still trying to figure out how to create an Instagram story and how to use its features, then here is a step-by-step guide for you.
What is an Instagram Story?
Instagram stories are a sequence of photos or videos that automatically disappear within 24 hours from your profile. It does not get posted on your traditional feed, but Insta has a separate feature and space for stores altogether. A red circle appears around your profile picture when you post a story to let your followers know that you have a new story up.
Your profile picture with the red ring around it also gets attached to the top row of your followers’ home screen. When your followers click on your story, photos remain for seven seconds by default on your screen, while the videos can be up to fifteen seconds long.
Instagram Stories do “self-destruct” after a day, but you can save your best ones as Stories Highlights if you want. It will appear on your profile right above your regular feed. Followers can reply to your stories via DMs or interactive features such as polls and stickers.
How to Post a Story on Instagram?
After having a brief idea of what an Instagram story is, here’s vivid information which will let you know how you can post your own stories. Just follow these easy steps to create and publish the best Instagram stories.
Step 1: Open your Instagram feed, swipe left for the Instagram camera feature, and select story. You can also access the Story feature by tapping the Plus sign at the upper right corner of your IG feed, followed by clicking on the Story option.
Step 2: Now, you can either click a picture or video on the spot by tapping and long-tapping respectively on the white camera button. You can upload an existing image or video from your phones’ gallery by tapping on the Gallery option at the bottom left corner.
Bonus: Instagram Story dimensions measure 1080px by 1920px.
Step 3: You can also add your desired filters or effects to your photos or videos by swiping amongst the filter options at the bottom or simply by swiping left or right over your content. Also, you can add stickers, GIFs and even texts to make it look cool.
Step 4: You can tag your friends, or followers, share the locations of the places you’ve been to, or even engage your followers through quizzes or question polls.
Step 5: Once you’ve created your desired IG story, click on the Share button to post and share it with your followers.
Instagram Story Features
Instagram stories with some eye-catching and exciting content have the power to increase followers’ engagement with your brand or content as it creates a sense of commitment and loyalty. Posting or sharing authentic and relatable content through a series of Instagram stories will attract your followers and encourage them to check up, stalk and interact with your brand over and over again, which eventually leads to conversion.
The Instagram story is doing wonders as it lets different brands or online content creators worldwide make interesting and engaging content with the help of the following features.
Stickers include cartoons, animated pictures, texts, and even GIFs, making the story even more catchy and appealing to the audience and viewers when placed over images or videos. Following are some of the most commonly used stickers by content creators:
- Story Captions Sticker: Brands can now add automated text captions by adding this sticker. Although presently, this feature is available only in English, Instagram plans to roll it out across other languages.
- Shop Sticker: This sticker lets users add clickable product icons relevant to their business on an Instagram story and increase product and brand awareness among followers.
- Support Small Businesses Sticker: It is one of the most helpful stickers for users who have started up with a small business. The main focus of the sticker is to provide support to small businesses.
- Donation Sticker: This feature serves to be a great way in helping the ones in genuine need. By tapping the sticker, people can donate to individuals or businesses in need through Instagram.
- Quiz Sticker: This sticker helps you add an interactive multiple-choice type question to your Instagram Story. You can ask your followers and audience various fun or factual questions and check which ones get the correct answer.
- Question Sticker: This sticker comes with a blank textbox where you can ask your followers to type questions for you to answer. It is an excellent way of increasing interaction with your followers as they get to know you personally.
IG Story Analytics
If you are an owner of a professional or business account, you can now access your IG story analytics to analyse the reach and engagement of your story. However, there is a difference between Profile Analytics and Story Analytics, but both have the same purpose of helping you track the performance of your posts.
You can check your story analytics by simply clicking the ‘seen by’ icon on the lower-left corner of your IG story. By this, you’ll get to know information like:
• Number of IG accounts your story has reached.
• How your followers and other Instagram users have interacted with your story.
• The number of views for each Instagram story.
• The number of users who followed you after viewing a particular Instagram Story.
IG Story Highlights
Collections of stories curated by users that appear directly below the user’s bio in the form of tappable circles are referred to as Instagram Story Highlights. Introduced in 2017, this feature help users keep their favourite or most relevant stories posted on their account for more than 24 hours.
Brands use their highlight feature to display important information about their business or products (e.g. restaurant menus, product lists, etc.) upfront. Here are some simple steps to create an Instagram highlight :
Step: 1 Go to your Instagram Profile.
Step 2: Tap on New located right underneath your bio.
Step 3: Select stories from the Archive and tap on Next at the top right corner of your screen.
Step 4: Name the highlight. Remember, the highlight’s unique and proper naming is crucial to attracting your followers.
Step 5: Edit your highlight cover by either uploading a pre-made cover from your device’s gallery or selecting any story for the Archive. However, this step is entirely optional.
After completing all these steps, the Instagram highlight get added to your profile. If you want to edit or remove any highlight, all you need to do is tap and hold that particular highlight and select the Delete Highlight option from the menu that will pop up on your screen.
IG Story Archive
Along with highlights, Instagram also introduced the unique concept of Story Archive. This feature automatically saves your stories even after it disappears from your profile. With this feature, you can save the expired stories to their device, rewatch them, or add them to your profile as a highlight.
IG Swipe Up Link
The swipe-up link feature is only available to accounts having at least 10,000 followers. You can put up a story with a swipe-up link to your website or other social media profiles with this feature. It helps generate sales or drive traffic to your website, as your followers can directly reach your product page through your story.
Best Instagram Story Practices to Follow
Creating Instagram stories and sharing a brief extract of your life with your followers is a great way to build engagement but to grow with Instagram Stories, users always need a solid strategy. Below are a few Instagram story tips to get you started,
- Be consistent and try to post at least one story every day.
- Use your imagination and be creative by using stickers, GIFs, and other Instagram features.
- Build user engagement by asking questions or creating a poll.
- Save essential and relevant stories as highlights.
- Use hashtags and location stickers to improvise on brand awareness.
Now that you are clear about Instagram stories, are you ready to start posting? What are you waiting for? Get your creative instinct flowing and remember the Instagram Story best practices enlisted above to improve your reach and engagement.