Instagram Stories have become a raging phenomenon. And that’s because everyone on Instagram loves to view Stories.
Thanks to their authenticity, interactivity, creative expression, and transient nature, these Stories are highly appealing to all Instagram users.
Statistics reveal that 70% of Instagram users watch stories every day. In other words, the daily active users of IG Stories are 500 million. Staggering numbers, right?
Instagram Stories also present an excellent way for brands to engage with their users. Companies can use stories to humanize their brand, generate quality leads, and finally, turn them into potential customers.
Instagram stats reveal that 50% of IG users have visited a website or an IG profile to make a purchase after viewing it in Stories. And since the Instagram algorithm has put a curb on organic reach, an increasing number of brands are using Stories as an opportunity to boost their visibility and engagement.
But, in case you still need help understanding and making the most of your Instagram Stories, we can help.
In today’s detailed guide, we shall learn how to plan, create, and analyze Instagram Stories content for your business. This will help you enhance your brand’s marketing strategy and generate a steady string of quality leads for your business.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Instagram Stories
- Instagram Story Highlights
- Planning your Instagram Stories strategy
- Top Instagram story analytics metrics you should track
- How to track Instagram story analytics
- Creating engaging and visually appealing Instagram stories content
- 1. Try to consistently establish a powerful brand image
- 2. Choose the right font and colors
- 3. Use high-quality images in your IG Stories
- 4. Use animated elements, GIFs, and stickers to enhance your content
- 5. Design stories to engage your audience
- 6. Tell a unique story with your Instagram story designs
- Frequently Asked Questions
Understanding Instagram Stories
An Instagram Story is an in-app feature that enables users to post images or videos on their account that automatically disappears within 24 hours. These Stories are quite different from your traditional feed. They appear in a vertical format, and each photo presents itself for seven seconds by default.
Instagram Stories allow users to demonstrate their creativity through a variety of features such as music, filters, stickers, etc. Stories create a sense of urgency and exclusivity due to their ephemeral nature. Users feel compelled to view them before they disappear, resulting in higher engagement rates.
When you post a Story, a colorful ring appears around your display picture (like the image below), informing your followers that you have posted something on your Story.
Your display picture with the colorful ring moves to the top row of your follower’s feed, making it the foremost thing they see as they open Instagram.
IG stories are an outstanding way for brands to connect with their target audience. They can use their Stories feature to post everything, from behind-the-scenes footage to images of their new products, in order to spark curiosity.
Instagram Story Highlights
Instagram Story Highlights are compilations of saved IG Stories. These Stories become a permanent feature of a user’s profile and can be viewed anytime.
This is an excellent feature for brands to share user-generated content, client reviews, and even address FAQs, etc. In other words, it is a great place for anything that is not quite made for the feed but holds value for your audience.
Here’s how Instagram Story Highlights are displayed on the platform.
Planning your Instagram Stories strategy
Spontaneously creating IG Stories and sharing snippets of your brand products is a good way to develop curiosity among the audience. However, if you truly wish to grow with IG Stories and build engagement, you need to have a robust strategy.
Here are some helpful tips on how to make Instagram Stories attractive and increase engagement through them.
Define your target audience
Having an in-depth knowledge of your IG target audience is an indispensable part of a successful marketing strategy.
If you don’t know your target audience, or what motivates and intrigues them, you will seldom be able to produce content that engrosses them.
Social listening is one of the most effective ways to know your target audience. You can only engage them if you know what your target customers are talking about.
Keyhole’s social media listening tools can help to pinpoint conversations in your industry and around specific topics. This can help you better understand your target audience’s concerns.
Set goals for your IG stories content
This is a crucial step while planning your IG Stories strategy. This will ensure that you create content that is aligned with your overall marketing strategy.
There are different goals for social media marketing, including brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or boosting engagement. Now, if your primary goal is boosting engagement, you can create polls and quizzes or ask questions encouraging your audience to share their thoughts.
Similarly, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you can focus on creating how-to guides and tutorials that educate your audience and establish your reputation as a thought leader.
Create a content plan and calendar
Creating a content calendar for IG Stories can help you plan and organize your content in advance, ensure consistency, and maximize engagement with your audience.
Now, to create a content plan, you need to first categorize your content. This involves determining:
•The topics you wish to be known for
•How do you want your audience to feel and consume your content
If you are still struggling to come up with some good ideas for content categories, we suggest referring to the 4 leading goals of content marketing.
•Educate: This involves sharing your knowledge and expertise.
•Entertain: This involves content that your audience will enjoy. Such content makes your brand more relatable.
•Engage: Such content strikes conversations and encourages the audience to share their thoughts.
•Inspire: Inspiring content motivates people to take action or try harder.
Moving on, here are some different types of content that you can add to your content calendar:
•Social media tips
Once you have decided the types of content you want to post, build a calendar with at least a month’s content planned in advance. This will help you stay consistent and meet your social media marketing goals.
Create a posting schedule
When it comes to social media, consistency is key, and the IG algorithm agrees. Considering the transient nature of stories, you want to maximize the reach of that content. For that, try posting stories a couple of times a day. Additionally, find out the time when your followers are most active on the app by doing all the backend work and prioritizing that time.
The best time to post varies for every account, depending on its audience and when they are most active. But how do you do that?
Well, it’s quite simple. Go to Insights > Audience. Scroll down to see on which days of the week and the approximate time when your followers are most active.
This will help you determine the right time to share Stories based on your own audience. You can use Keyhole as well to schedule unlimited posts and find your optimal time for posting.
Top Instagram story analytics metrics you should track
Instagram Stories are a powerful tool for engaging with your audience but tracking and analyzing your performance is important to get the most out of them. Here are some key Instagram analytics to track and what they mean:
Impressions: Impressions refer to the number of times your story has been viewed. This includes multiple views from the same user, so it does not necessarily indicate unique viewers. However, tracking impressions can help you understand how many people are being exposed to your content.
Reach: Reach, on the other hand, refers to the number of unique accounts that have viewed your story. This metric can help you understand how many people are actually engaging with your content.
Replies: Replies refer to the number of direct messages sent in response to your story. This metric can help you understand how your audience responds to your content and provide valuable feedback for improving your strategy.
Taps forward/backward: The number of times someone taps to skip forward or backward to another story can indicate whether your content is holding their attention. Seeing many people skipping your stories might indicate your content needs to be more engaging.
Link clicks: If you include a link in your story, tracking the number of clicks can help you understand how many people are taking action on your content and visiting your website or other landing pages.
Shares: Shares refer to the number of times someone shared your story with their followers. This indicates that your content resonates with your audience and that they find it valuable enough to share with others.
Follows: Tracking the number of new followers gained from your stories can help you understand your content’s effectiveness at attracting new followers and growing your audience.
Profile visits: Finally, tracking the number of times someone clicked on your profile after viewing your story can help you understand how your content drives traffic to your profile and potentially increases engagement with your account.
Completion rate: The completion rate measures the percentage of people who viewed your entire story from beginning to end. A high completion rate indicates that your content is engaging and interesting to your audience.
Tracking these Instagram Story analytics can provide valuable insights into your content’s performance and help you optimize your strategy for maximum impact.
How to track Instagram story analytics
There are two ways to track Instagram story analytics. You can opt for in-app tracking or use a social media analytics tool.
Let’s first start with the in-app analytics.
- Open the Instagram app and log in to your account.
- Navigate to your Instagram profile by tapping your profile picture in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Tap on the Professional Dashboard card.
- Click on See All from the top right corner to open the Insights tab for profile overview.
- Tap on See All from the Content You’ve Shared section,
- Tap on All to select the content type. Select Stories to view Instagram story analytics.
From here, you can view your past stories’ insights. You can filter the insights by date range and also view the insights for individual stories. View the overall metrics for your Instagram Stories, including the number of impressions, reach, and exits.
You can use this information to track the performance of your Instagram Stories over time and make changes to your content strategy accordingly.
However, this process is tedious if you are managing multiple profiles. You must log in and access individual dashboards to retrieve the data points.
With Keyhole, you skip the manual grind and enjoy insights revealed that otherwise would require a long haul. Here’s how to use Keyhole to dig out Instagram story analytics:
- Go to the Keyhole website and sign in to your account.
- On the dashboard, click “Profile Analytics” and tap “+Add New Profile”.
- Enter your Instagram handle and select “Stories” as the tracking option.
- Customize your tracking options by selecting your preferred date range, location, and language.
- Keyhole will generate a dashboard that shows you the performance of your Instagram Stories. You can see metrics such as impressions, reach, and engagement.
- To view insights for individual stories, click on “Stories” in the left-hand menu and select the story you want to view. Keyhole will show you the engagement metrics for that specific story, including the number of views, likes, comments, and shares.
You can also use the “Competitors” tab to compare your Instagram Story performance to that of your competitors. Keyhole also provides an “Influencers” tab, where you can identify and track influencers who are sharing your content on their own Instagram Stories.
Keyhole also lets you find the completion rate of each story. This metric will tell whether your target audience engages with your stories. PS. It is not available in Instagram Insights. So try out Keyhole and check your Instagram stories’ completion rates immediately.
Creating engaging and visually appealing Instagram stories content
In the words of Shane Meendering, ‘Bad design shouts at you. Good design is the silent seller.’
The design of your Instagram Stories matter. It often means the difference between an engaged audience and a non-interested one.
However, creating engaging and visually appealing IG Story content isn’t always easy. Here, we will help you with some actionable tips on efficiently creating brilliant content for your IG Stories.
1. Try to consistently establish a powerful brand image
You just cannot create a robust brand identity or spark recollection without consistency.
If you check out the IG stories of any leading brand, you will find a subtle amount of consistency in all their content.
Maintaining a certain kind of look can help the audience to better recall your brand. It helps to capture more attention and build credibility.
However, this does not mean that your IG stories have to appear perfect and well-polished all the time. In fact, there must be a sweet rawness in the content that provides your brand with its own character and authenticity. All you have to do is aim for consistency.
Here, the brand ‘Death Wish Coffee’ has posted some stories. You can easily notice the understated consistency in the color theme, i.e. black and red, or the passion in expressions such as ‘hell yes’ used throughout.
2. Choose the right font and colors
In alignment with our previous point, consistency is crucial to achieving a powerful brand look. So, try to pick a good font and stick to it.
Consistently using the same font and filters helps to make your stories more recognizable, regardless of whether they are text, photo, or video-based.
Additionally, think about the colors that are most associated with your brand and use them for your simple free fonts, backgrounds, and text boxes.
Here is a brilliant example of this demonstrated by Agorapulse, whose primary brand color is orange. You can see how the brand consistently uses orange color text boxes with the Classic font in white to stay on-brand. The brand is even changing the sticker color to orange to make their stories more memorable.
3. Use high-quality images in your IG Stories
Using stunning and high-quality images in your Stories is a great way to make them pop. You can use a great mix of graphics and high-resolution images to grab your audience’s attention.
For instance, you can see how brilliantly Red Bull has used stunning imagery to enhance its Stories.
In case you don’t want to hire a professional photographer, you can simply use stock photos. Plenty of websites, such as Unsplash and Pixabay, offer high-quality royalty-free images.
4. Use animated elements, GIFs, and stickers to enhance your content
Stickers, GIFs, and animated elements are among the best features of Instagram Stories, which enables you to customize your story the way you want. They also add a fun and playful element to your stories.
Also because almost 40% of your audience watches Instagram Stories in Silent mode, adding some animated elements presents a powerful way to deliver your message. They simply help to draw the viewers in.
In one example, Starbucks leveraged user-generated content and posted it on its handle together with a quirky mix of stickers and GIFs. They used the #NationalCroissantDay hashtag to promote their follower’s content and made it even more fun with some animated elements.
5. Design stories to engage your audience
Instagram stories should make your audience feel respected and involved. And this is possible by using interactive elements such as polls or quizzes.
For example, the famous restaurant chain in America, Outback Steakhouse used images of appetizing food and polls to engage its audience via IG stories.
The restaurant showed multiple food and dessert options and asked their viewers to vote on which meal they wanted for each course. In the end, they posted a story highlighting a multicourse dinner meal deal they were offering. This series of stories helped them make the audience excited and engaged.
6. Tell a unique story with your Instagram story designs
Every brand has a story to tell. And these stories can be best communicated visually via IG Story designs.
Once you know your audience, your vision, and your mission statements, you can easily create messages that resonate with your target audience.
For instance, the Harvard Business Review often creates Stories that focus on management, career life, and profession. The stories follow a simple tone, embrace interactive elements such as quizzes, and adapt long-form content into abridged Stories.
Below is a classic demonstration of the same.
Instagram Stories, with their unique storytelling ability and powerful conversion methods, can help brands across all industries to grow and thrive. It is a strong weapon in your social media arsenal that can help you build a flourishing brand presence online.
Just make sure to post what makes your brand look authentic and relatable. Additionally, you can use Keyhole to streamline your Instagram marketing strategy.
You can obtain a comprehensive view of your brand, industry, and audiences in real-time to optimize your social interactions and grow your IG community immensely. Get its free trial and ace your gram game!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What metrics can I track for my Instagram Stories?
You can track various metrics for your Instagram Stories, including impressions, reach, exits, taps forward/backward, and engagement (such as replies, sticker taps, and shares). You can also view the number of viewers who saw your Story, as well as the demographics and locations of your audience.
2. How can I use Instagram story analytics to improve my content?
By analyzing your Instagram story analytics, you can identify what type of content performs best with your audience. For example, you may find that videos receive more engagement than photos or that certain hashtags or stickers drive more views. Use this information to create more content that resonates with your audience and experiment with new formats and features.
3. Can I track Instagram story analytics for my competitors?
Yes, you can use social media analytics tools like Keyhole to track your competitors' Instagram story analytics. This can give you valuable insights into their content strategy and help you identify opportunities for your own brand. Keep in mind, however, that you may only have access to some of your competitors' analytics data, especially if their account is private or if they use third-party tools to hide their metrics.