- Marketing per ecommerce
Ig Stories were introduced in August 2016 and have since become one of the most popular features of Instagram. We can define them as a collection of photographic and video content that stimulate engagement with users. The Ig Stories view is extremely fast: the contents, in fact, appear on the screen for only a few seconds and disappear completely after 24 hours .
Instagram Stories are a separate tool from News Feed. Users choose to view them or not and, as a rule, they aim to highlight spontaneous moments, rather than studied and elaborated images. It is estimated that over 30% of the most viewed Instagram Stories come from companies: this figure underlines the importance of this tool for marketing purposes
What is an Instagram story
On Instagram, where the language is exclusively visual, the feature most appreciated by users is undoubtedly the Story .
The principle on which Ig Stories are based, first started by Snapchat and then taken over by Instagram, consists of a simple idea: the content is displayed for a few seconds and remains accessible for up to 24 hours , after which it disappears. However, an automatic backup option allows you to circumvent this constraint.
Instagram Stories differ from traditional content by their limited duration, but also by their raison d'etre. They aim to visually represent empathic narratives that:
- they play on spontaneity and authenticity, on the emotion and interest of the users;
- they are useful for stimulating creativity and interactivity (thanks to texts, drawings, stickers, etc.);
- allow you to build a more lively and dynamic image.
How Instagram Stories work
Ig Stories appear at the top of the screen, in the form of circles showing the avatars of the authors' accounts. Your account name is listed below. Only stories posted by followed accounts are accessible. To scroll through them, just move the screen to the left. Stories that have not yet been viewed are marked with a colored circle.
To view a Story, simply press the desired circle to activate the full screen view of the content. The Instagram Story unfolds by itself , lasting a few seconds. Starting in 2023, videos in Stories can be up to 60 seconds long. If you record or upload a video longer than 60 seconds, the footage will automatically be split into several different stories.
The user can:
- switch from one content to another by swiping the screen left or right,
- lock the story by holding your finger on the screen,
- navigate through a video by holding your finger and swiping it sideways,
- swipe up to return to the News Feed.
Until recently, Ig Stories , unlike normal posts, could not be appreciated with hearts, but one had to limit oneself to adding a reaction (via an emoji) or sending a message to its author (via private messaging) by swiping down the screen. Since February 2022, however, this has become possible.
A Story can contain text and mention other clickable accounts (up to ten) - a great way to bring relevant partners, influencers or simply users to the fore.
Instagram Stories can be accessed beyond the allowed 24 hours through the Stories Highlights tool: these featured stories appear in a dedicated section of the user profile, under the bio. This allows them to have permanent visibility and to acquire continuous traffic.
Creating an Ig story
Now let's see how to create a Story.
- Once in the app, tap the camera icon at the top left of the screen, right next to the Instagram logo. Or click on the round Your Story icon located to the left of Stories posted by other accounts. Another possibility is to swipe the screen to the right from the news feed.
- Then press the button to take a photo or hold it down to create a video. You can also use content stored in the gallery by pressing the dedicated icon or swiping the screen up.
- Select a function from the usage modes displayed in the lower horizontal menu and use the creativity options in the upper horizontal bar: adding stickers (location, mention, hashtag, etc.), using the brush to draw on the screen (marker, highlighter, brush neon, rubber...), etc.
- Choose who the Story will be sent to and viewed by (all or selected accounts only).
Once the Story is published, you can check the number of views . This indication is located in the lower left of the History. By scrolling up the screen, you can access the list of users who have viewed the content published with this tool. Note that these statistics are only accessible for 24 hours.
What size for Instagram Stories
The dimensions of the Instagram Story are 1080px by 1920px , which means that the image or video must be 1080px wide and 1920px high. The aspect ratio is 9:16. It's good to keep these dimensions in mind when creating your content. In fact, if you upload an image or video that does not fit within the expected dimensions, the contents will be cropped or lose quality due to excessive enlargement.
How stories can improve communication
Visual content has a very short popularity span on the internet. A few hours after they are published, photos and videos become obsolete and their impact rapidly decreases. The Ig Stories , due to their characteristics and qualities, make it possible to prolong the communicative effectiveness of this type of content.
Integrating stories into your social media marketing strategy is a good way to relaunch your content , reinvigorating your presence on the social network. Furthermore, the story within the Instagram Story is a very visual communication that arouses emotion and curiosity in the user . Stories improve interaction with your target by constituting a valuable opportunity to converse with users who may also be potential customers.
How to create impactful stories
It's not always easy to come up with ideas for social media content, especially for Ig Stories . Our first advice is to start from your usual editorial line and not to stray too far from it.
However, the strength of Stories is to show what is usually not in the public domain. For this reason, in creation one must be original, authentic and spontaneous.
A compelling story must capture the user's attention. If you are not familiar with the medium, first explore all features of Instagram stories: polls, GIFs, emojis, filters, music, mentions, hashtags, etc. All these tools allow you to highlight the content more and attract the attention of the consumer.
How to view IG stories anonymously
To view ig Stories anonymously on Android, you can use the Save Stories app. The app is free, but the removal of banner ads requires the purchase of the paid version.
For the iPhone, however, you can use the Storized for Instagram app which allows you to view ig stories anonymously . You can download this app for free from the iOS App Store, but removing ads requires a subscription.
After installing and launching Storized for Instagram on your device, search for @Username using the appropriate text field and select the profile you are interested in from the menu. Then select the Stories tab , and if there is content in that section, tap the thumbnail to view it.
Why Use Instagram Stories for Marketing?
Like any new feature, Instagram Stories have continued to evolve since their launch. While the basic premise (disappearance after 24 hours) remains the same, several new features have been added along the way.
The only aspect that remains constant is that ig stories are one of the most popular contents of the world of social networks thanks to their spontaneity and authenticity: they have always been, in fact, a way for Instagram users to go beyond the perfectly image curated and show something a little more real and less constructed.
This applies to both people and Instagram business profiles. 47% of users said Instagram Stories help them be more authentic when communicating with friends and family.
Even for companies and marketing strategies , the spontaneity of Stories can be very useful. Stories help the brand show a real side to themselves and connect with their audience in an authentic way that they value.
Besides making genuine connections with your target audience, making stories a key part of your social media marketing strategy can be beneficial for other reasons as well. Let's see which ones.
Reach more people
Every time you post a new story, your Instagram account appears above your followers' Instagram feed with a brightly colored ring around it. Followers can also receive a notification warning them of the publication: in this way, compared to posts, it is very difficult to miss a story and it is possible to reach many more people (again compared to posts).
In addition, you can publish multiple Stories in succession or at various times of the day, and further improve your reach on Instagram. Publishing up to five stories a day, in fact, guarantees a retention rate of over 70%, according to a study by SocialInsiders.
Finally, we must not forget that the stories, even if they last only 24 hours, have the potential to reach targets even outside their own follower base.
Interaction with your audience
Instagram Stories are designed to be interactive. Here are some quick ideas to solicit interaction from your followers and users who are outside the circle of those who usually follow the account.
- Propose surveys using the appropriate stickers.
- Invite followers to send direct messages in response to questions.
- Ask for feedback on a new product.
- Host questions and answers from team members using the Questions sticker or via direct messages.
The more the audience engages, the more the overall engagement rate on Instagram increases.
Attract traffic to your site
Everyone knows that you can't share clickable links on Instagram posts. You can do it instead in ig stories . Using the links each time, appropriately and relevantly, will drive traffic to your site.
Run ads on Instagram Stories
The estimated advertising reach for Instagram users is 1.22 billion. Instagram stories are, therefore, very useful for advertising campaigns. Instagram Stories ads are integrated with regular Stories which make them look like regular Stories and can be very powerful for lead generation, sales and driving traffic.
Increased follower engagement and more
Last (but not least) reason why it is important and effective to use Ig Stories for marketing is their ability to influence one of the most important metrics on Instagram: engagement. Stories are fun, interactive, and a great way to build brand awareness and build engaging online communities.
With over 500 million daily users , Instagram Stories are a great way to reach potential new customers and build a stronger connection with existing ones. IG Stories have continuously evolved over the past few years, introducing other engagement-boosting features that are great for starting conversations, humanizing brands, and getting real-time feedback directly from your target audience.
Instagram Stories are ultimately about storytelling and when thinking about how to use them for marketing, we must not forget that in any promotional tool storytelling plays a decisive role.
Great storytelling in marketing is the enemy of mediocre content that is punctually penalized by the public. To use Stories in corporate marketing, you need to be creative and not just do what everyone else is doing!
Author: Loris Modena