Tips and tricks for utilizing Instagram stories as a content creator

The evolution of social media is constant, and as a content creator, staying up-to-date on new trends or features can play an important role in the success of your personal brand and marketing. Social platforms like Instagram continue to grow due to expanding features within the app. One in particular is Instagram stories.

With stories, users are able to share slideshows of photos and videos with their followers that are automatically deleted after 24 hours.

Instagram stories are typically meant to capture in-the-moment content. Unlike posts throughout your feed, stories are an opportunity to be less formal and share genuine moments that are somewhat unplanned and more creative. They can provide more insight into your life and create authentic connections with your followers.

Below are a couple examples from some of our content creators. @shantyshantz used this story to share part of her adventure during the Stance ‘Hood to Trail’ campaign. She provided a behind-the-scenes look into her experience and also left her audience with a teaser for more content to come. Stories allow you to connect with your audience on a more personal level and virtually bring them along on the adventure.

Similarly, @shivaz.life keeps her run streak alive throughout her stories and is able to include her followers along the way with motivation and consistency. Within her stories, she represents brands very naturally by showing the products in use throughout her daily routines. Unique visuals allow users to branch out from normal posts and become more engaging and creative with hashtags, mentions, locations and colorful type.

In order to utilize Instagram stories for their full potential as a content creator, here a few tips to keep in mind.

Use locations and relevant #hashtags.

Using hashtags and tagging the location throughout your stories allows your audience and those who aren’t following you to find your content more easily.

Hashtags are one of the most common ways people search for content on Instagram. Including direct, relevant hashtags in your stories will increase visibility and exposure. Choose ones that are as specific as possible to your content in order to reach a more targeted audience.

When users search a location, often a story icon will appear at the top of the search allowing users to view recent stories from public accounts that were tagged at that location. Thus, including a location in your stories will broaden your reach and help your content appear in more searches, increasing the potential to gain more followers.

Drive more engagement with polls and mentions.

Inserting polls into your stories allows you to ask questions, develop engagement and gain valuable feedback. Interact with your audience and discover more about their interests in order to help you create future content.

For example, ask your followers a questions about a recent blog post or trending topic – Do they agree with the views? Was the information helpful? This not only creates direct engagement, but provides insight into the interests of your followers and draws traffic to your blog or other content. A simple yes/no poll similar to @therunnerbeans is a direct way to create awareness for a specific topic.

Also, use an emoji poll like @joanmorera to see how interested your audience is in the specific brands or products you use and post about. Or allow for an open-ended response by using question stickers. A question as simple as @seanellison can spark engagement and draw followers into your adventures.

Mentions are another great way to boost engagement. This can help your content get noticed by a wider audience and increase shares. Mentioning someone in your story not only encourages their engagement with the content but creates an opportunity for them to share it as well, thus opening up the content to their followers as well.

Organize and save stories as highlights.

With story highlights, you’re able to create specific themes and collections of your stories and pin them permanently on your profile in order to share them with your audience for a longer period of time. Highlights can be used in a variety of ways: to market personal content, showcase brands or events, highlight product features or reviews, or drive traffic to your profile.

One of our 361° ambassadors, @st_pauli_cat, works with a variety of brands and participates in many activities. To keep her content organized, she uses highlights to separate stories into featured sections on her profile. By turning 24-hour posts into permanently curated stories, she’s able to expand her Instagram feed with more personalized and engaging content.

Analyze the performance of your stories with Instagram Analytics.

With a personal Instagram account, the only way to observe how your stories are performing is by looking at the number of views and replies. However, with a business account, you’re able to access a wider range of analytics that can provide helpful feedback into which of your stories are performing the best. View impressions, reach, and the various actions that were taken by your audience when the stories were viewed.

This information is not only helpful in discovering which stories are getting the most engagement but also insightful in seeing how long viewers spend looking through your stories. Knowing this can help you decide whether your content needs to be lengthened or shortened to maximize viewing times and interactions with each story.

Using Instagram stories as a content creator is not only helpful in gaining more insight into the performance of your content, but it is an opportunity to reach a wider audience and develop different types of content. Keeping up with new features on social media and adapting them throughout your own platforms is key to succeeding within the influencer marketing industry.


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