What are Stories?
Instagram Stories are a feature of the popular photo sharing app which allows you to post photos and videos that are only available for 24 hours. Stories appear when the profile image of an account is tapped and they take up the whole screen meaning that, generally, people post videos or photos taken in portrait.
Features within stories include the ability to tag your location and add a hashtag to the post. The location feature means that your post may end up on the group story dedicated to a certain area, therefore exposing your posts and account to a much wider local audience.
As well as these features, in Stories, you can also take Boomerangs, make Stop Motion videos, add emoji ‘stickers’ to your pst and use a ‘Superzoom’ feature that zooms in to a subject’s face. Recent features added to Stories include a gif library, which allows you to add moving gifs to your posts. Much like you can add still stickers, various fonts are also now available and a ‘text only’ option, which allows you to post text to your story on a plain background without the need for an image or video.
What are highlights?
Highlights are aspects of a Story that have been saved and added to a group of curated clips which don’t vanish after 24 hours. Story highlights appear on your profile, underneath your bio and you can choose the posts that appear in each highlight. You can add posts to a Highlight by adding it directly from your Story, or you can add an old post through the Stories Archive features. You can also customise Highlights by editing their Title and Cover Image.
How to set up a Stories Highlight
To set up a Stories highlight, there are three main steps:
1. Set up Archive.
- Go into Edit Profile
- Head to Story Settings
- Scroll down to the ‘Saving’ subsection and turn on the ‘Save to archive’ option
2. Create the Story
Press the circle with the plus sign featured inside that should have appeared under your bio on your Instagram profile when you ran the recent update, which included all of these new features. Here you can create a story using images from your current or archived Stories.
Alternatively, if you already have a post on your Story, press the heart within a circle icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to add it to a Highlight, then create one following the steps it gives.
Press your new Highlight and press the ellipsis icon at the bottom right corner, press Edit Highlight and customise your Highlights title and its cover image, which you can choose from posts featured in the Highlight or from posts in your Story Archive.
Using Highlights for business
There are as many different ways to use Highlights for your business as there are types of businesses. Utilising Highlights for business is beneficial as it helps draw a potential customer or clients attention to products, services or aspects of your business you think are key in a visual and interesting way.
Add teaser images to your Story/Highlight, featuring a release date or even a promotional code for clients. You could also include video demos of your products, including information such as how to use it, what its features are and who its target audience is.
Include customers in your story. If you sell a product, encourage customers to post images on their own Instagram accounts of them using the product, then repost those images as examples of how many people enjoy the product and what said product looks/works like when used by real-life customers. This both makes current customers feel valued and heard if their posts are re-used (with their permission and credit given) and lets potential customers see how the product works in a real-life setting/scenario.
If you don’t sell a product, but a service, make short video testimonies of your customers and create a testimony-specific Highlight, so that everyone who visits your page can hear who your service is well received by your clients.
How-to videos and images are often associated more with businesses that sell products. However, if you are a B2B business, you can easily create a how-to variation that works for your own business.
If your business utilises content marketing, transfer any content (such as blogs) that includes tips and tricks, into small videos that explain how to execute each ‘tip/trick’. This works to promote your pre-existing content, to help your followers understand how to execute the advice your content gives, and to engage with them in a slightly more creative way.
Break down your business
Make several Highlights, each dedicated to aspects of your business. For example, if your company produces regular blog posts, have a Highlight specifically posting excerpts from your blogs. If your company also manufactures a product, have a Highlight dedicated to documenting snaps from where the products are made, maybe even producing a small step-by-step video of the production process too.
If you or your business is often on the go and has a regular presence at networking events, make a Highlight to inform people of where you’ll next be and when. Alternatively, you could make a Highlight for each event you regularly attend and document the occurrences at each meeting or event with every passing week/fortnight/however often the events are run. This lets people know where they can find you and can act as a recruitment tool on behalf of the events or networking groups you’re involved in.
Highlights based on sole events also act as a good source for those who may have missed your posts at the time you were at the event and for those who couldn’t attend.
Have you started using Story Highlights yet? What are your thoughts? Let us know on Twitter @Plus24Marketing.