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The Complete Guide to Instagram Stories

You may be surprised, but stories don’t just exist to show off your meal and your friends on a night out!

With more than 500 million users on the platform, Instagram stories have become an indispensable format for social media users. Indeed, they are just as necessary for individuals as they are for your business.

Find out why it’s important to integrate them into your communication strategy and how to create them to engage your community.

What is an Instagram story?

Definition

The story is ephemeral content used on social platforms (Instagram, Facebook, etc). It’s posted for 24 hours and exists in the form of a photo or a video lasting from 5 to 15 seconds. It’s generally in line with the brand identity of the company that uses it.

History

Stories were introduced in 2016 by Snapchat. It allowed you to share ephemeral photos, videos and messages. They were taken over by Facebook and Instagram sometime later. 

Initially, Snapchat was one of the only apps that allowed you to share fairly private and ephemeral content with your loved ones. Today, stories are used mostly on Instagram and have an important place in digital marketing.

What are stories for?

Engagement 

Improve your engagement rate by using captivating and interactive stories. The most interesting way to use them is to integrate stickers such as polls or quizzes for example. 

These give your audience the opportunity to communicate more directly with your company. Whether it’s by answering a quiz, a riddle or by sending a direct message. 

It’s a great way to break the ice!

Live Story

Start a conversation with your followers using live stories. This option allows you to create a kind of live conference where you can show your behind-the-scenes, play games or broadcast a live event. 

Live stories also let you answer questions “on the fly”, which is a good way to demonstrate your transparency and accessibility.

Featured Stories on Instagram

Make every new user want to follow you or your brand by immortalizing your Instagram stories. 

Indeed, Instagram stories can be added to your profile in the highlights section. This lets you display stories indefinitely on your Instagram profile. You can edit them by selecting the stories you’ve already posted but want to keep permanently.

This is a great way to create a sort of guided tour of your business. Ideally, you’ll want to divide each highlight following a certain pattern by theme or subject for example.

Example:

stories
stories

CTA

Boost your sales with calls to action (CTA). These are often in the form of phrases or “buttons” that encourage consumption. With the call to action, you can indicate to potential customers the next steps to obtain your offer, product or service. It’s essential and should always be integrated in your stories (preferably towards the end).

You can insert a link to your website in your story. Previously reserved for those whose total subscribers exceeded 10k, every user can now insert a link to their stories. Alternatively, use the “shopping” sticker to link directly to the “store” section on your page, if you have one. Finally, the last option would be to simply insert a sentence referring to your website, or a link that would be in your biography.

Promotion / Boost

Boost your promotional stories to attract new customers. Just like posts, you can promote your stories. By selecting your budget, audience and desired broadcast duration, your story will become an advertisement.

Tips for a good Instagram story visual

With so many story design options, it’s very easy to get lost and overdo it. To avoid overloading your visual, follow these tips:

Keep your videos short:

  • The shorter the better
  • Get straight to the point
  • Focus on the most important information
  • Get your message across in the first few seconds to capture the attention

To save time:
Use Canva.

With Canva, you can easily create original and attractive stories. It’s a very simple tool to use and ideal for graphic design enthusiasts.

You don’t even need to be a professional to create a quality visual with the various images and templates available on the app. Although it is available as a free tool, the paid professional version has many advantages, including access to high-quality royalty-free images. 

How to post a story

Instagram Story 

  • Open your Instagram account 
  • Press the “+” button in the upper right corner 
  • Select “Story”.
  • Select the visual in your library or if you want to start from scratch, select the type of story you want to make (Boomerang, hands-free, etc.)
  • Click Share

Facebook Story

  • Open your Facebook account
  • Press the “+ create a story” button
  • Select the visual in your library or the type of element you want to add (text, music, Boomerang…) 
  • Click Publish

It’s up to you!

With all these tips and tricks, you can now integrate stories into your communication strategy. Discover all the secrets of the Instagram algorithm here (coming soon!).

Alexia

Marketing Assistant

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