Instagram Stories: Features You Need to Make Use of

With the growth of Instagram over the past few years, more and more businesses are making use of the platform to market their products and services. Its increasing popularity has resulted in Instagram putting out new features regularly to keep users interested in the platform and give them something new to experiment with.

Instagram Stories is one such feature of Instagram that can fetch you more Instagram followers and push business growth through the numerous possibilities it offers.

With over 800 million daily viewers of Instagram Stories, you’re seriously missing out if you aren’t already using Instagram Stories for your business. The fun, compelling, and engaging Instagram Stories capability can expand your interactions with your Instagram followers and enable you to get even more traffic to your posts.

Here’s a breakdown of Instagram Stories features that you may include in your Instagram marketing strategy to get more Instagram likes and promote business growth.

Create mode and customization

Instagram’s Create Mode allows you to share content created without needing to post any photos or videos. You can post text-based content for your brand and get a little help from the addition of stickers, GIFs, polls, and emoji sliders. You can also include countdowns to events and invite questions from your Instagram followers to boost engagement on the platform. Queries can be used for an “Ask me anything” style of an interview or even to invite your Instagram followers to share their thoughts on your latest offering.

With location stickers, you get to add a location to your story, making it possible to attach it to Instagram’s very own location story. In this way, you can reach out to a wider audience and end up on the Explore feed of users. The same is true for hashtag stickers added to Stories.

The wider reach made possible by such features means that you have the opportunity to see a growth in the number of Instagram followers you have. You can even add more spark and personality to your Instagram Stories by making use of GIFs.

Polls are another great addition by which you can gather relevant information about your real Instagram followers that can be useful when it comes to making business decisions. The Create mode feature also has an upgrade with the addition of an “On This Day” button that you can use for your brand to create “throwback” posts of past events and milestones.

You can even customize your Instagram Stories with drawing and writing features and add a distinct color to the background of your Stories to represent your brand identity. In addition, it’s possible to create a peek-a-boo effect for your Instagram followers through a solid background and the eraser tool.

Donation button

With a growth in the number of socially and environmentally conscious customers, Instagram’s Donation button serves as the perfect addition to its Stories, allowing for fundraising efforts to be undertaken with direct funds transfer into the accounts of NGOs. Instagram even covers the credit card and processing fees for it.

If you’re an NGO or looking to donate to an NGO, you can exploit Instagram’s Donation button in your Stories to drive fundraising efforts and promote brand image. Furthermore, influencer marketing can help you collect more funds from your Instagram followers and generate more Instagram likes for your brand’s content through improved brand image.

Close friends list

With a close friends list, feel free to add close friends to your list, and Stories will be visible only to those on the list. These Stories are also available for 24 hours but typically appear at the beginning of the Stories queue with a green circle around them.

You can make use of Instagram’s Close Friends List to connect with VIP customers or even brand ambassadors to offer them exclusive content such as sneak peeks, behind the scenes, special discounts, exclusive interviews, and product updates.

Utilizing the Close Friends List, you can also list out those attending your business’ physical events and share content leading up to the event or even during the event. Also, provide locally relevant content for your Instagram followers of a specific geographic area or collect feedback through questions, polls, or emoji sliders from your real Instagram followers by creating a Close Friends List of your top customers.

You can also boost business growth through the creation of a separate list for collaborators/influencers with whom you can share details of upcoming products, campaigns, or other promotions you would like them to make.

Music stickers

The music feature on Instagram Stories is the latest addition that has been picking up pace in terms of its use across different regions. With Instagram’s music stickers, you can add music to the background of your Instagram Stories and boost engagement with your Instagram followers.

Choose the song section you want to be played on your Story and even post the lyrics for the part selected with the new music feature for Instagram Stories. While this may not directly contribute to greater conversion rates, it is helpful in getting your Instagram followers to connect with you more easily and engage in your content, which can boost growth in the long run.

On top of this, the music feature of Instagram Stories is quite helpful when it comes to running a play on words, which makes your brand’s message clearer. Remember to select songs that your target audience is likely to resonate with.

Different video styles

You can make use of a variety of video styles in your Instagram Stories to post content and boost engagement with your Instagram followers.

  • Normal – can be used for taking a standard image or video
  • Boomerang – creates a moving image through a burst of photos taken.
  • Hands-free – with the hands-free video style, you don’t have to hold onto the record button, especially crucial if you want to post tutorials for makeup, or you’re demonstrating an exercise or sign language that requires the use of your hands.
  • Superzoom – zoom in on a focus point of your subject and create a dramatic and humorous impact through the use of accompanying music.
  • Rewind – can play your uploaded video in reverse.
  • Stop motion – plays a sequence of images and creates a video through an animation of your images.

Shoppable tags

With Instagram Shoppable Tags available in Instagram Stories, your Instagram followers can shop directly from your profile and view product catalogues, with the tagging of 5 products allowed on an image post and 20 on a carousel post. With this powerful addition, you can reach out to your real Instagram followers and see higher conversion rates from your Instagram marketing efforts.

Be sure to pick influencers with meaningful engagement to their audience and those who resonate with your brand, as Instagram followers are quick to spot the difference between a genuine product appeal and a paid one. You should also make it a point to utilise pricing psychology so that your price labels attract your Instagram followers more easily and help to boost business growth through more sales.

You can add links directly for your Instagram followers to access by the “swipe up” feature (if you have more than 10,000 followers) or use product tags directly in your Instagram Stories (if you have lesser than 10,000 Instagram followers).

AR filters

The addition of Augmented Reality (AR) filters on Instagram for its users can help you connect with your Instagram followers more quickly, especially with Gen Z and millennials. With Instagram’s AR filters, you can let your customers try on a product before they actually buy it. You also encourage content sharing by your audience using a custom AR filter and generate buzz regarding your brand, thus boosting engagement with a filter celebrating a new product release.

Reels

Reels mode on Instagram allows for the sharing of 15 seconds set to music video clips that can also go viral on the “Top Reels” category of the Explore page. Engaging content can be shared through Stories thanks to uninterrupted scene transitions made possible by a music database, numerous editing options, playback speeds, and ghosting.

Although the feature is only available in Brazil at present, it’s expected to be introduced in other markets soon. Using it, you can benefit from greater self-expression, engagement driven by experience, as well as more creativity so that your Instagram followers have access to quality content.

Instagram Story Highlights

The Highlights feature for Instagram Stories makes it possible to keep your content on your profile even after the 24-hour-period that Instagram Stories stay for. You can pin your Stories to existing highlights or create new highlights to inform your Instagram followers of details that you don’t want to have to keep posting.

Updates, promotions, and stories with shoppable tags can be added to Instagram Story Highlights so that your audience has access to the necessary information beyond the 24 hours lifespan of Instagram Stories. Highlights will play in the same order as the Stories appear, and you’ll need to keep your Stories for the full duration of 24 hours to ensure it gets added to the Highlights on your profile.