How to Increase Your Instagram Stories Organic Reach
Something that is often overlooked or mentioned in passing is Instagram Stories. The full power of Instagram Stories usually go untapped. But that will no longer happen, because we are talking solely about Instagram stories and how to unlock that hidden potential. This article will share tips on how to make stories that your audience wants to see, at a time that is relevant to them.
How the Instagram Algorithm Works
The Instagram Algorithm determines what followers see your story. It tries to push the best, newest, most relevant, and most engaging content for each follower. This is why it is important to get your followers to watch your stories straight through to the end.
As marketers, we don’t need to get in front of everyone on Instagram. We just need to get in front of the people who may want to buy from you! Here are some things to consider if you want to organically reach your consumers and audience.
You should put the same amount of effort that you put into your feed into your Instagram Stories.
Make Sure your Instagram Stories have a Beginning, Middle, and End
Like any good story, your Instagram Stories should have a beginning and end. Don’t just freestyle your stories. Sometimes it is nice to see a candid story of something going on, but a lot of times if there is not something guiding people through your story to keep them entertained than you may lose viewers. If you post consistent stories that people are skipping than the algorithm will not show your stories as often to followers.
Start by thinking about the message you’d like to share. Then, think about what text, graphics, music, etc. will help to communicate that message effectively.
National Geographic, one of the most successful brands on Social media, has been sharing stories through pictures for years. They have taken that skill and apply it to Instagram stories as well. Here is a story they have put together about Rufio the skunk.
You can use a similar model to National Geographic with your own Instagram Stories:
- Highlight customer stories and testimonials.
- Feature a day in the life of your business or staff.
- Share special announcements and “see it here first” developments to make your posts super-clickable.
- Show exclusive behind-the-scenes content from events or trips.
- Spotlight community service or outreach activities you’re involved in to show what you’re all about and what your brand values are.
If your audience would welcome it, you can turn your story into a long form blog post. By going deep into topics of your brand’s industry, you can provide useful information to your audience while building trust.
Check out how MyFrugalYear did that below. As an anonymous account they rely on text entirely. There is no face to the name. So, keeping their followers engaged through visual storytelling is very important. They are able to do this while providing valuable information to their followers.
Pro Tip: It is easy to forget about posting on so many different platforms. So just like regular posts on other platforms, create a content calendar just for Instagram Stories!
Include a Variety of Video Types in Your Instagram Stories
Is it easier to just post a picture to Instagram and call it a day? Yes. Is it better than video? Maybe not. The fact is, video catches and keeps people’s attention longer than any other form of content. More than half of consumers have said they’ve engaged with a brand after watching a video on social media.
Instagram is a quick and easy way to use video to reach and entertain your followers. Here are some creative ways to incorporate video in your Instagram Stories courtesy of Social Media Examiner:
GIFs: Use GIFs to turn a still into a moving, funny, engaging Instagram story post. Use search terms in the Stories sticker box to find the right GIFs for your post.
Boomerang: Create a short, fast burst of photos stitched together to make a mini video that moves backward and forward. It’s a short, amusing Instagram staple.
Hands-free recording: Instagram lets you record a series of 15-second film clips directly to Stories. Add text, illustrations, GIFs, and music, and post your story instantly.
Face filters: Add face filters to turn a potentially boring scene into a fun and compelling one; then talk to your followers.
You don’t need tons of money to make quality content. There is so much at your disposal within your phone and tools right in the platform you are posting to. The only thing stopping you is your creativity! Try different kinds of video posts to see what resonates best with your audience.
Pro Tip: There are tons of apps available to aid you in the pursuit of video creation. Anything from creating GIFs to camera settings and filters is all available in the app store. If you are more comfortable with a video camera and a laptop, you can export for Instagram Stories’ dimensions, send to your phone, and post for your audience.
You can even use things like polls and stickers to engage your audience. WeWork did just that while showcasing their spaces around the world.
Treat your Instagram Viewers and Followers like Friends and Family
Instagram is a visual platform that connects brands and personalities to people around the world. Each profile can be made to feel any type of way. The kind of content you put out in addition to the message you want to share, determines the overall feel of your brand on Instagram.
The camera is a perfect way to build trust. Step out of your comfort zone and let your followers see who you really are. They are following because they believe you can provide something that they want to see.
As social media becomes flooded with brands and influencers, one thing that so many people want is a brand that they trust and can keep coming back to. Cook up content that makes people feel connected and apart of the family so they do not leave and forget about your business.
You don’t need to always be promoting something on your stories. In fact, you shouldn’t be promoting that much. Your content should be valuable enough to speak for itself and keep people wanting more.
Pro Tip: Using subtitles with your videos gives viewers an idea of what you’re talking about for those watching with the sound off. If someone is viewing stories with the sound off and your video has no subtitles or text, then your story is going to get skipped!
Post Instagram Stories when People are Watching
Instagram Stories last for only 24 hours. This medium is only there to share content that is current. So, if you want quick engagement then you need to post when your followers are most likely to be online.
To discover when your audience is most active on Instagram you can check your business account’s insights. This will give you basic information regarding your audience and will tell you when most of your audience is online. However, just because your audience is online does not translate to most active. You will need to experiment to see what times work the best for you. But, the insights will be a good place to start.
With business accounts getting as little as 0.9% engagement on Instagram, it is more important than ever to make your content stand out. Get your followers excited about your content with Instagram Stories. Stay relevant and personable while telling an engaging story through text, images, and video.
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