Instagram launched their story feature in 2016. Within 18 months there were 300 million daily average users. With Instagram pulling in over a billion active users every month, and with 50% of those users following brands, Instagram is the optimal place for influencers to create content in alliance with brands. Instagram stories can massively help with this.
Telling authentic stories
Instagram is the optimal place to show off your “perfect life”. The images on your timeline can be staged and edited to make sure that what is being shown looks perfect – take a look at our tips and tricks for taking high-quality Instagram shots here. Instagram stories give influencers the chance to show the more authentic parts of their lives. They can give viewers a behind the scenes look at what the influencer is doing in their day-to-day lives. This creates a more intimate relationship between influencer and viewer. It makes promotions seem more like a friendly recommendation than a forced advert.
Promoting recent posts
Instagram’s algorithm only shows your most recent Instagram post to 10% of your followers . If engagement is high amongst that 10%, then the percentage of people your image is shown to increases. This means unless followers specifically click on your profile, not all of them will have access to your recent images. However, a clever way to work around this is by using Instagram stories. There is a “swipe up” feature that allows people to swipe up on your story to view your most recent post. From here, people can like and comment on the post. However, you need to have an Instagram business account and 10,000 followers to use this feature. Failing these requirements, Instagram users are taking screenshots of their homepages to advertise the fact that they have a new picture to view. This not only drives people to like the picture, but also creates traffic to their profile.
Previously, the only place to put clickable links on Instagram was on your home page. But gone are the days of “link in bio” picture descriptions, as you can now apply links to Instagram stories. Through using the “swipe-up” feature, that can also show your recent posts, you can attach links to a story. Viewers can swipe-up and be taken directly to a tagged site hassle-free. This is incredibly helpful when working with brands. By using the “swipe-up” feature you can deliver immediate ROI and drive high volumes of sales (again, only available to business accounts).
Boomerangs are a fun feature on Instagram. They are 1-3 second videos that constantly loop to show a fluid movement. For example, if you were working with a hotel and wanted to show your hotel room via Instagram stories you could use a boomerang to show a sneak peek – maybe opening and closing the door. This is a fun way to begin your advertisement for the hotel room and will pique people’s curiosity and keep them watching your story. It is also a different way of creating a more organic and less forced advert.
Instagram Live allows users to do live broadcasts straight to their followers. They are ideal for sharing big reveals or showing viewers adverts in an organic and natural way. As viewers join the live stream, they can comment underneath and give honest reactions to what they are being shown. Every time a new comment is sent, it will pop up at the bottom of the live stream to potentially be responded to. What’s more, after the live stream has ended you can click the “share” button to ensure that your followers can still view and comment on your video 24 hours after the stream has ended. This feature is a great way to share information immediately with viewers and get their instant responses.
After creating a successful Instagram story, Instagram highlights allows you to pin the story to the top of your profile, so people can view it as many times as they want. To make it even easier for your followers to access the right content you can create various folders to put your stories in. For example, you could have a different folder for each brand you work with. This means that if you continuously work with a brand you can continue adding to that highlight folder and create an ongoing portfolio for your followers to continuously watch.
Any good influencer knows that using hashtags allows people beyond your own following to view your content. Using tags in your Instagram story does exactly the same. There are many tags you can use including location, mentions, and hashtags. By including these tags your viewers can click on them and explore the relevant pages. For example, if you are a travel blogger and you tag your location and the hotel you are staying in then your followers can see the hotel’s profile and explore the area. This is incredibly useful for driving traffic towards businesses you are collaborating with.
Similar to tags, polls are another great way to get your viewers to engage with your Instagram videos. You can ask your viewers a question and they can respond with a yes or a no. For example, if you were working on a collaboration with a hotel and you had done an Instagram video showing viewers around your suite you could follow this video up with an image of your suite and the question “would you stay here?”. You can see the percentage of people that answered yes and no to each question and this will give you an idea of how viewers are responding to the brand collaboration. Similar to comments left on Instagram live videos, Instagram polls can give you a quick response from viewers that you can use to edit the way you approach brand collaborations.
The most important thing to note when using Instagram stories is that your content is being engaged with. You can measure the engagement of your stories by using Instagram insights (only available on business accounts, but regardless of the number of followers). These insights will be able to show you how many impressions your story has as well as how many people have used the “swipe-up” feature, tapped forward, and tapped backwards. This all gives you a better insight into how your content is being shared and received by your viewers.
How can Swayy make using Instagram stories easier?
When you sign up to be an influencer on Swayy you get access to all of our best listings. Hotels will advertise for influencers and if you like the look of the hotel and the job seems right for you, you can apply. The hotel will list the extent of the content they require. This means they will tell you how many posts they need and whether they want you to use Instagram videos or not. They will even tell you what type of video they want, e.g. if they want boomerangs. Check out how to take the best Instagram shots by reading our earlier blog post.