Instagram Stories: Five Things Marketers Need to Know

We’ve been using Instagram Stories from the moment it was released, and from our own experience we put together this list of the top 5 things you need to know about the new feature.


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Here’s what you need to know to start successfully using Instagram Stories today:

1. Keep story length short

While it's tempting to document your entire day, it's far better to keep it short. We found that viewers tended to drop off after 4 seconds. Keep this in mind when posting stories that are intended to promote a special offer, event, or redirect viewers to your website. You'll want to upload these clips last so your audience sees them first.


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2. Use Stories to communicate more with your audience 


It's extremely easy for viewers to respond to your stories - an easy way to get instant feedback from your audience.Our inbox was filled with positive messages from our supporters after we published our "Tips for Instagram Stories" story. We were surprised to find how common it was for people to utilize the messaging feature. Getting quick input from your community will help you create better story streams in the future. 

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Tip: Don't forget to respond to your audience's comments! They took the trouble of writing to you, and the least you can do is to write back.

3. Add individual Stories to your Instagram profile grid

Once your story is published, it will be up for just 24 hours. During that time you have the opportunity to post images or videos from your story to your Instagram profile. This is your chance to repurpose great content. If a piece of your story is receiving a lot of views and messages, you can can add it to your profile grid to generate even more interactions which you can actually track with a social media analytics tool like Socialbakers Solutions.

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Tip: Don’t give in to the temptation to treat Instagram Stories purely as a no-filter, behind-the-scenes look at your company. Make sure at least a good part of your story clips are visually appealing - you may end up adding these visuals to your profile!

4. Stories attract attention and redirect viewers to your profile


We found that posting stories had a positive effect on our overall Instagram performance. Fans that were happy with our stories paid our Instagram profile a visit and started liking posts from the past, helping our overall Instagram engagement rise. We recommend you post stories daily and indirectly drive traffic to your company page (a hidden bonus!).


5. The potential of targeting options


The most unique aspect of Instagram Stories is the option to hide your Stories from individual users. While this is most beneficial for users with personal accounts, it has tremendous targeting potential for companies in the future. According to Ad Age, alcohol brands are already taking advantage of this - sharing content only with groups that are above the legal U.S. drinking age of 21. If these targeting options become more advanced, marketers will be able to create strategic visual campaigns geared toward specific audiences (think Facebook Ads).

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