7 Influencer Instagram Story Tips & Tricks
Follow these influencer Instagram story tips & tricks today and reap the results. Instagram is exceptionally valuable as a marketing platform. As valuable as Instagram is, however, it’s also exceptionally competitive.
One of the best strategies you can use is to share more Instagram Stories. Stories can give you the edge you need to increase your reach, connect better with your audience, and even drive off-platform traffic.
Why Do I Need Instagram Stories?
Why use Instagram Stories, you ask? Because users are paying attention. Case studies of Story Ads found that the campaigns increased ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase intent.
Combine this with the incredible engagement options like poll stickers and the fact that one out of five Stories results in at least one DM from a customer, and it’s clear why you can’t afford to skip over them.
Stories can help you beat declining reach. Not only are they not subject to the traditional algorithm, but they can also be found by users who aren’t even following you. This is significant and can help you connect with new potential followers.
The biggest reason why all businesses and brands need Stories is that users love them. Only a little under half of all daily users are checking Stories daily, amounting to 400 billion daily active users.
7 Ways to Use Instagram Stories to Get Real Results
Using these Instagram story tips is a great step to getting more results and connecting with your audience on the platform, but just uploading content to the Stories feed isn’t enough on its own.
When used correctly, these Instagram story tips can do so much more than just improve brand awareness (which they can also rock, by the way); they can actively yield results like driving traffic, increasing brand recognition, building engagement, and more.
Remember that statistic about 20% of all stories resulting in a direct message? That’s just the beginning of it.
Let’s take a look at 7 distinct ways to get real results with Instagram Stories, both on and off the platform.
1. Make Stories Interactive for Increased Engagement
Engagement options have grown significantly when it comes to Stories, and many can be used to leverage social proof on the platform, too.
There are two main ways to drive actual engagement on your Stories.
The first is by using live video, which is hosted through the Stories feature. As you go live, people can comment on your Story in real time. This opens up a great opportunity for Q&As and actual back-and-forth interaction with your followers.
It feels transparent, and since some of your followers will even get notifications that you’ve gone live, this is a great way to get views and engagement all at once.
The other great way to get more engagement is through stickers. Every few months, Instagram is dropping new kinds of engagement-oriented stickers. Right now we have the following:
- Polls stickers, which allow us to ask questions and give users a choice between two answers. People can click on the answer of their choice, which will be made available for viewing in real time.
- Questions stickers, where we can ask users to ask us questions and then answer the best ones.
- Emoji slider stickers, which allow us to ask a question that users answer by moving the emoji of your choice up and down a sliding scale.
Take advantage of these stickers to get engagement and social proof, which helps to establish trust and brand awareness.
2. Make a Bigger Impact with Video
If you’re only using images in Stories, you’re missing out. Video can yield a ton of results in the Stories platform, even if they’re only 10 seconds long.
Video, after all, is inherently dynamic. The movement alone captivates user attention and can get someone to pause long enough to pay attention.
Since Stories take up a user’s entire mobile screen, that’s a big opportunity you don’t want to pass up.
One thing that you want to watch for when using video in your Stories is to not rely on sound. If users have sound enabled, after all, that’s great– but many don’t.
As a result, if voiceover narration is the crucial element to your Story and you don’t have any closed captions attached, you could see significantly less impact from it than you could have otherwise.
Video can be particularly beneficial when you want to get users to “Swipe Up” to head to a landing page off-platform. The video content will give you enough time to explain where users are going and why they should take that action.
If you need help creating videos for Stories, there are a few tools that can help. These include:
- StoriesAds, which has video templates and helps you to create edited, high-quality Stories videos for your feeds or Stories Ads in about two minutes or less.
- Fastory, another video-creation tool for Stories that comes with customizable video templates and incredible features like animated headlines and advanced graphic effects.
- Storyheap, which in addition to analytics, also has outstanding scheduling and creation tools for Stories. They also have fantastic templates and customizable designs that you can use on your desktop to create mind-blowing Stories that make you look like a pro.
3. Use Stories As a Networking Tool
Sometimes one of the best ways to increase your reach is by expanding your network, especially to prominent influencers who might share your content later on.
The Mention sticker is a great asset for brands who want to use Stories as a networking tool.
Tagging influencers that are relevant to your business will put you on their radar, and it might even encourage them to share your Story as a response.
If they do share your story, it automatically tags you back, sending an abundance of interested and relevant new users your way.
Make sure that you’re only tagging influencers in Stories that are relevant to them. Otherwise, you’ll frustrate them instead of building relationships and engagement. A few options for this include:
- Featuring a quote they’ve said and then tagging them for attribution
- Sharing one of their own Stories or viral posts and giving them a shoutout
- Thanking them for their review or UGC that they’ve created for your business and sharing it to your Story.
In addition to providing a valuable networking opportunity, this also gives you more content to post and less to create. Win-win.
4. Create Lasting Impressions By Telling Actual Stories
Stories are great, even when they’re used as brief snapshots and small creative canvases for brands to express themselves with.
If you really want to get the most out of these Instagram story tips, however, you’ll use them to actually tell legitimate stories.
Storytelling is a powerful marketing force. Not only will it keep your viewers engaged, but it will be more memorable, and you can create an emotional bond with your audience.
This is particularly true when you’re using behind-the-scenes footage of yourself and your business in action, capitalizing on the current demand for transparency and authenticity.
What we recommend doing is creating a one-minute video that tells a full story, beginning to end, and break it up into 4 different Stories using tools like CutStory or Story Slicer, which break up one long video into smaller chunks.
This keeps the content digestible while also maintaining high engagement and viewer completion rates. Remember to keep it at 15 seconds or less.
Get creative here. Use story effects like Boomerang and Stop Motion to draw the eye in. Going live is also a good option because you can tell your story face-to-face to a large audience who can ask you questions about it in the process.
Combine the appeal and emotional impact of storytelling with other engagement-oriented strategies.
You could, for example, create a video tutorial demonstrating how to make the Best Pizza Ever. Break it down into multiple Stories that each feature an individual step using CutStory to keep it digestible.
Then, end the Story by either asking which pizza topping users like best, using a hashtag or link to drive traffic to see the recipes or other tutorials, or a mention sticker to the user who gave you the idea.
5. Build Anticipation
Stories can do a lot to help you build anticipation. They’re 10 to 15 seconds long, so they’re the perfect format and take up the full screen, so a quick “Can you guess what’s coming next?” can be shockingly effective.
Creating Stories as countdowns is an exceptional use for this purpose. Telling users, there is only 10 days before a big event or one day before you release a new single will be sure to get their attention.
You can do this manually with text, but there are animated GIFs you can use to help you get your point across, including a “countdown to a new product” and “coming soon” stickers.
One of our very favorite Stories strategies is to use the feature to warm up our followers, getting them excited for events, announcements, contests, or anything else we have coming up in the pipeline.
We’ll post an initial message teasing an update or having a countdown to a big event, and we keep it going until it’s time for the real thing.
This works best when posted immediately before or after the actual post containing the announcement so that users are immediately interested and can learn more to keep the hype going before their attention span weans.
Make sure to mention when and where people can learn more so that they’ll actually tune in.
That intrigue is enough to get people interested and wondering what could possibly be coming next. That mystery combined with a massive dose of FOMO (or “the fear of missing out,” for non-Millennials) is enough to keep them checking your posts.
6. Drive Traffic Where You Want It
For the longest time, the only way to place links on Instagram was either in your bio or to run Instagram Ads. That’s no longer the case, as all business accounts with more than 10,000 followers can add links to their Stories.
You can use that “Swipe Up to Learn More” link to send users to specific landing pages that are immediately relevant to the Story they’re placed in. Each Story could have a link to the product page it promoted.
For example, or you could send users to your event pages and your web home page. Just make sure that those links make sense and send users to exactly where they need to go.
Adding these stories to your Highlights is an excellent move because it might be the first thing that users see when they come to your profile bio and it adds longevity to the content.
If driving traffic to specific pages if your ultimate goal, leverage Highlights to help with this. Continually create new and relevant Highlights so you can prioritize the most recent and relevant links and Stories in your archive.
This will help you get clicks long after the 24 hours are up and help direct traffic from users who are visiting your profile bio.
NOTE: Show an image of adding to highlights with swipe up links here, ghostwriting doesn’t allow me to do this.
For best results, your Highlights should be organized into relevant topics that both established followers and new users will be interested in.
“About Us” is always a good option.
You can include Stories with links to learn more about your business or specific products. Since they’ve clicked to learn more about your brand in Stories form, this indicates interest and can help funnel clicks more successfully.
7. Leverage Hashtags & See Post Stickers To Your Benefit
We’ve already talked about how to use stickers to get more engagement, and now we’re going to take a look at how they can help you increase your local reach.
Location stickers, however, are the golden ticket for this purpose. When you use these stickers to tag a nearby location, it activates geotagging and may increase the likelihood of your Story appearing in more local users’ explore Story lineups.
Then, when they click on your location sticker, they’ll be taken to the location’s feed on Instagram. If that location just happens to be your business, they’ll likely see an entire stream of UGC from when customers visited you and checked in.
We’ve already talked about how to drive traffic off-platform, but if you want to dictate where traffic is headed on Instagram, the hashtag sticker is another good option.
By featuring your own branded hashtag in a hashtag sticker, you could be in good standing. When users click, they’ll be taken to your hashtag’s feed.
There, they’ll likely see a mix of content published by you and by your fans when they’ve created user-generated content (UGC) and used the hashtag to share it.
Since UGC is one of the most powerful trust-building mediums any brand can have, this is an immense benefit that you should take advantage of.
When using hashtags in Stories, you can choose any terms that you want in order to increase engagement, reach, or a mix of the two. You do, however, need to keep it to 5 hashtags or less per Story.
If you use any more than that, there’s a clear drop off in engagement, so you end up hindering your campaigns instead of helping them.
TrackMaven plots it nicely in this chart above.
If you don’t have a list of phrases you want to target, try a tool like Hashtagify. If you type in a phrase, they’ll show you related keywords, and how popular an individual hashtag is with usage and estimated impressions.
Stories Analytics: How to Track Their Performance
Once you’re posting your Stories and utilizing these Instagram story tips, it’s essential to track their performance. You can do this with Instagram’s native analytics platform, but third-party tools will be more beneficial.
Third party analytics software like Stori, Snaplytics, and Storyheap (pictured below) will provide you with significantly more data than Instagram’s native Insights, and they’ll often provide this information for significantly longer, too.
Instagram’s native analytics only offer Stories insight for 14 days, while other options can provide the information for up to a year on their dashboard and give you the option to download reports into a .CSV file.
Most of these platforms will offer insights into metrics like:
- Exit rates
- Story completion rates
- Messages sent in response
- Forwards/backwards swiping
Keeping track of your Stories performance will help you assess what content your audience is responding to and why. This will allow you to create more relevant content moving forward, getting better results long-term.
When you’re looking at the analytics, you don’t just want to look at the metrics on their own and take them at face value.
They’re going to give you the most insight when you actually implement big-picture thinking, looking at how the metrics interact with each other.
You might notice, for example, that a surge of impressions could indicate discoverable content or that you’ve found the perfect time of day to post. That’s excellent.
But if the overall engagement rates or view completion rates are particularly low on those posts, you’ll know to use them carefully and to include other types of content into the rotation, too.
Though they can help you reach larger audiences, the lower engagement could indicate that the content isn’t relevant to them.
Taking The Benefits Off-Platform: Broadcast Your Stories On Your Site
The last step you need to maximize the potential reach and ROI of your Instagram Stories is to broadcast them as far and wide as possible. That means that they shouldn’t only be existing on your Instagram, even with Highlights adding longevity.
The Fastory Stories Widget makes it easy to place your Stories on your website. This will make your site more dynamic because the Stories are always changing.
It also gives your Stories a whole new audience and can help you build your following on Instagram thanks to it’s clickable “Follow Us” CTA in the top right-hand corner.
The more followers you have on Instagram, the more who will see your Stories moving forward.
Instagram Stories will not only set you apart from your competition, but they’ll also help you to better connect with your audience while you build brand awareness, on-platform engagement, social proof, and site traffic.
Being strategic about your Stories– just as you would with any other aspect of social media marketing– will be key to truly outshine your competitors and getting the results you’re looking for.
As long as you combine that strategy with a lot of consistency and a little creativity, you’ll be well on your way to getting more reach and more results all at once.
Want to grow your follower count on Instagram but still not sure where to get started? Get in touch with us and see how we can help you rock your Instagram marketing.
What do you think? How do you use Instagram Stories to build brand awareness and make your Instagram marketing more impactful? Which of these strategies do you use? Let us know in the comments section below.