How to create Instagram stories for your brand
Want to do more with Instagram Stories? Looking for a useful guide to help you design and create Instagram Stories?
In this article, you will learn how to design, create, optimize and plan Instagram Stories content for your business thanks to tips from Social Media Examiner.
Tips for creating Instagram Stories for your brand
# 1: Establish a theme and style for your Instagram Stories content
As with most of your online marketing efforts, your Instagram Stories should have a consistent style that makes them uniquely yours. The content is visual and fast moving, so it should appeal both your audience and reflect your brand and style.
When creating your Instagram Stories, we recommend that you try to use the same fonts, colors and filters.
Think about which colors are most associated with your brand. Consider using these colors as fonts, text boxes or background colors.
Agorapulse, whose brand color is orange, also uses the color and style of the characters in their stories. They use the classic blank font with an orange text box to stay on branding with their color scheme. Or when they use stickers, they change the color of the sticker to orange.
Take your brand personality into consideration
It is also advisable to consider the personality of your brand. Is it more feminine? Some colors, fonts, and filters are better suited to that style. If your brand is all about strength and power, the selection of Classic or Strong fonts might suit you better. A classic or vintage, or perhaps even literary, brand might love the Typewriter font. Pick the one that best aligns with your brand personality and make your font choice prominent for consistency.
In addition to creating your own stories, if someone tags you in a story, you also have the option to share that post in your story sequence. In keeping with your brand style, however, consider adding your own personal touch to the reshare, using your own font choices or filters. Or if you have a good selection of tagged stories to choose from. , select the ones that best align with your brand’s style and personality.
Owen Video does this when speaking at conferences, choosing to reshare posts in line with his personality and story style, while adding his own stickers, emojis and text to personalize them.
# 2: Design the content of your Instagram story
Now that you know how your content should look and feel, you’re ready to start designing content ideas for your Stories! It is important to first understand the goal you want to achieve when you go to create Instagram stories.
- Are you looking to generate sales?
- Are you thinking about generating brand awareness?
- Do you want to increase Instagram followers or generate more engagement?
Knowing why you’re using Instagram, and Instagram Stories in particular, will ensure you create content that best meets those goals.
For example, include a call to action (CTA) in a story sequence can be an effective way to generate results; however, it is important to know which CTA to use. A brand with growing sales, such as Sugar & Cloth, will focus more on CTAs that encourage purchases. On the other hand, a brand focused on brand awareness could use a CTA that drives traffic to an IGTV video tutorial.
Pro tip: don’t always leave your CTA at the last post in the sequence. If you’re using a six-post sequence, for example, enter the CTA in the fourth or fifth post. Retention decreases the longer your story continues, and leaving your CTA to the end means fewer people will see it.
Determines the post frequency of the Instagram story
Instagram Stories are fun, casual content, but still require significant time and planning. Don’t commit to creating a seven-post story sequence 7 days a week if you don’t have the time or resources to follow.
Be realistic about the time you have, the team members available, and the resources you need to create to create content. Plan your story schedule around that availability.
Unlike regular Instagram feed posts where a post sits on its own, Instagram Stories are designed to be in a sequence of multiple posts. Although you can post a single photo or videos in your Stories, viewers are conditioned to look through multiple posts.
The ideal sequence length is three to seven posts. Most people lose interest after seven posts. Depending on the combination of photos and videos you use, seven stories can range from 35 seconds to almost 2 minutes.
Offer a variety of different content
Of course, companies want to use “push” content to include a CTA that will generate traffic, leads or sales. But if your stories are always pushing things on your audience, they won’t stick around for long. You have to give them a variety of content including those they want too! This can include things like:
- Entertainment such as bloopers or funny videos
- Personal posts that show the human side of your brand
- Behind the scenes of your business
- Tips or tutorials that help your customers
- Answers to the most frequently asked questions in your industry or company
Since you’re determining the type of content you want to share with your Stories, it’s also important to plan for that content. It is called “history” and therefore ideally it should flow through a beginning, a middle and an end.
Decide when to post your stories on Instagram
Now that you understand the types and number of posts you want to share with your Instagram Stories, you need to determine when to post them. There is no secret recipe to choose the right time to share stories. Sometimes you turn to your audience when they’re most likely to be involved. Other times it boils down to when you have the content to post.
It’s important to remember that stories only live on your profile for 24 hours; therefore, it is important to pay attention to posting times and days of the week to maximize reach, opinion and engagement. If you know from your intuitions that your audience is most active on weekends, it would most likely be better to post your stories Friday through Sunday rather than Monday or Tuesday.
If you post a sequence of stories with all posts shared at the same time, we recommend that you choose an ideal time of day. In these situations, the story is meant to flow as a consecutive sequence with each post based on the previous one. You created the content before uploading it and you want it to be available all at once.
To learn more about when to post Instagram stories you can read: The best time to post on Instagram in 2019, based on 12 million posts
# 3: Create your own Instagram Stories content
Let’s take a look at some of the various features you can incorporate into your stories and the creative ways you can produce fun content. Instagram Stories offer many opportunities for creativity and what you decide to do is limited only by your imagination.
Note: Instagram Stories are formatted with a 9:16 vertical aspect ratio or a dimension of 1080 width x 1920 pixels high.
Photo vs. video vs. text stories
Stories are designed as short format content where a photo post will play for 6 seconds and a video will play for up to 15 seconds, depending on the recorded length. You can also create text-based Instagram Stories where you use a specific background color option and start the story with a text placement. These also last 6 seconds.
When it comes to stories, there is no preferred type of content to create. It depends on how you best serve your audience and how you can create quality content that gets your message across. This often includes a combination of photos, videos and even text posts within a sequence of stories.
Tools to create better stories
While you can create Instagram Stories directly in the Instagram app (take photos or videos or create text posts), you can also create your own posts with external tools or software and simply upload the file of photos or videos in your Instagram Stories.
A great tool for this is Canva (with a free plan available and additional features offered for $ 12.95 per team member per month). You can choose from a wide variety of templates (formatted for 9:16 images) where you can change photos, edit text and customize templates to suit your brand. They are quick and easy to use to create beautiful images for stories.
For video templates, Wave.video is an easy-to-use tool that lets you quickly create 9:16 vertical videos. You will find a large variety of royalty-free images, videos and music for creating personalized videos that reflect your brand. A free plan is available with videos limited to 15 seconds; create up to 1 minute of video for 10 / month and add a logo and watermark for $ 49 / month.
# 4: Optimize Instagram Stories Content for Engagement
Using GIFs and stickers can make your content more fun and interesting. Stories can be much more engaging and drive more progress towards your goals when you include the right stickers and features in your Stories.
Some of the story stickers that are best suited to drive engagement include:
- Emoji Cursor
These stickers offer opportunities for direct engagement from your viewers. This keeps your content active and higher in their feeds and gives you a lot of information about your customers.
The Survey, Questions and Quiz stickers are practical tools to connect directly with your audience. Viewers can make a selection, add their feedback, ask a question, answer a question, and more. These stickers are valuable for all brands but can come in handy for B2B brands to better connect with their followers.
The sticker with the countdown allows you to set a time for an upcoming event and your followers can tap the sticker to receive a reminder when the timer expires. This is a great tool for training events, podcast releases, and other businesses you want your customers to see.
Finally, the Emoji Slider sticker is a fun and silly sticker that can be used creatively to get people to generate responses and engage.
Stickers aren’t the only way to optimize your story content for engagement, but they are powerful tools and you should find ways to incorporate them.
Some additional engagement tips to consider include:
- Keep the story post content easy to watch or read. Stories move quickly and if the content is too cluttered or busy, people may miss the message. li>
- Use bold or contrasting colors to make key messages stand out.
- Use arrow GIFs or other tactics to encourage followers to skip to the next story to learn more so they keep retention.
- Use the Scroll Up link for Stories If you are a business or creative profile with more than 10,000 followers or if you are a verified account, you have the option to add any URL to any post in the story. Even if you don’t meet these criteria, if you use IGTV videos, you can add a link to your Stories to send people to your IGTV videos.
# 5: Optimize the content of your Instagram Stories to reach it
So far we have covered many tactics and strategies to help you create Instagram Stories. But it’s also important to think about how to get more people to see those stories!
There are a few strategies you can use to optimize your Stories to increase reach and exposure on Instagram.
When it comes to existing followers, consider the following tips:
- Post on ideal dates and times for multiple views. You can review your story information to better determine the best times or days for your account.
- Reply to people who leave comments or questions on stickers or send you direct messages on Instagram in response to a story. Instagram measures this engagement and the more you keep your followers engaged with your Stories, the higher you’ll be in their position in the Stories feed.
To reach more non-followers and new Instagram users with your Stories, you can use a variety of tactics:
1.Use Instagram location tags
Location tags are one of the secrets to getting a lot of new exposure! When you add a location tag to your story, there is a chance it may appear in search results for that location and others. The key to success here is to use the smallest possible position.
2.Apply Instagram hashtags
Just as we know that hashtags are powerful for reaching feed posts, they can be very useful with Instagram Stories. There are some limitations, however, that you should be aware of. First, you can only add one hashtag sticker per story. However, each post in the sequence may have a different hashtag.
If you use the text box to add hashtags, Instagram will only count the first three you include, so it’s not worth using more than three. Also, you can’t “hide” your hashtags in your Stories. They must be clearly legible and visible or Instagram won’t render them as functional hashtags.
When using hashtags in a story post, it’s generally best to be as generic as possible . For example, it’s probably better to use #Flowers than #SummerGardenIdeas. Not that this last hashtag isn’t valuable, but stories only live for 24 hours, so you only have a small window of opportunity to appear in the search.
One caveat is that there is no guarantee that you will appear in a hashtag search. Regardless of the number of stories created with a given hashtag, Instagram limits the number of results shown to each user based on various algorithmic criteria.
Tag Instagram users
If you want more people to see your content, give more people a reason to share it. If you tag users in your Stories (assuming they’re actually part of that story post), they can share your story with theirs, giving you more exposure.
As you can see from this guide, there are many different ways to create Instagram Stories. But that’s what makes them so unique and allows you to personalize the content while staying true to your brand personality.
When you focus on creating stories that showcase your brand, connect with your audience and deliver value to them, you’ll keep them engaged and responsive. The more they view and interact with your content, the higher your placement in their story banner will be. This allows you to continue to stand in front of them and achieve the goals you set yourself to achieve.
You may also be interested in: 4 Easy Ways To Marketing With User Generated Content