Best Practices for Creating Instagram Stories
Learn how to create compelling Instagram stories that engage your audience
Instagram Stories allows users to post disappearing photos and videos in a slideshow format reminiscent of Snapchat. Posts to Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, so your content will always stay fresh, and because stories appear in a separate section of the app, your posts won’t show up in your main Instagram profile, or bother your followers by cluttering their newsfeeds.
Engagement rates for Stories are high, and over one third of the most viewed Instagram Stories come from businesses. Top performing content includes How To’s, Behind the Scenes, Lists, Influencer Takeovers, and Announcements.
In the home feed you can post to your own story, or swipe and click to view the stories of others. Photos and videos up to 15 seconds long can be posted to your story. From the camera view, you can take a photo or video, or upload existing media. Stories supports several video types, including short looping videos called Boomerangs, Live Video, and Hands-Free Video–which allows you to record a clip without having to keep your finger on the record button. As with Snapchat, a vertical format works best for the content you’re sharing.
Stories has fun editing features, like text, drawing, and stickers to enhance your post. Edits can be quickly removed by dragging them to the bottom of the screen.
Your media can be saved to your device’s camera roll by tapping the arrow in the bottom left corner, or posted to your story by tapping the plus button. Since Stories disappear after 24 hours, we recommend businesses save their stories to keep a record of the content being shared.
Instagram Stories also offers features that set Instagram apart from Snapchat, and that are especially valuable for driving traffic to other web properties.
Mentions allow you to link to other Instagram accounts within a story post. This is a great way to share user generated content within your instagram stories, particularly when working with Influencers or Advocates. When someone is mentioned in a story, they’ll be alerted via direct message, and viewers of the story will be able to click on the username to view the user’s Instagram profile.
Links allows verified Instagram Accounts to drive traffic to a website by including a link in their story, which viewers can access by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. For example, you might repurpose a blog post about 10 Great Travel Tips into a Story with images and short captions, with the final image providing a link to the full blog post.
If you’re hosting an event, broadcast live to your stories by selecting the live option from the main capture screen. Live Stories are prioritized among the available stories in your follower’s feeds, and followers also get a notification when your broadcast begins. It’s also a great way to engage with your online audience, as viewers can comment and like content throughout the broadcast in real time. Broadcasts can run for up to one hour, with the option to save the finished video to your phone’s camera roll once complete.
Business accounts can also view Insights about their Stories’ performance. This is a great way to track important metrics such as reach, impressions, replies, and exits.