[GUEST POST] 5 Tips to Help you Harness the Power of Instagram Stories

Guest post generously contributed by Quinn Tempest, Founder of Create Your Purpose®

Instagram Stories is currently the most powerful part of Instagram, if not one of THE most powerful parts of any social media platform out there.

Are you taking advantage of it, strategically?

With over 500 million users engaging on Stories daily and one-third of the most viewed Stories coming from businesses, there is a huge opportunity for content creators, brands, and marketers to target their audience on Stories and to create long-lasting relationships with them.

In fact, Matt Holman, product designer at Instagram, told me this:

“Instagram Stories is the fastest growing tech product in the history of that world.”

Let that sink in! 

Okay, that’s long enough…. let’s get to work so you can capitalize on it. Here are 5 simple yet powerful tips to help you better take advantage of Instagram Stories.

1. Document a Story-specific Strategy

I typically see three kinds of strategies in the brands I’ve worked with:
  • Lazy Strategy: When you treat Instagram Story like a dumping ground of repurposed content from your other channels.
  • Ineffective Strategy: When you treat your Instagram 
Stories like a billboard instead of a relationship-building tool.
  • Boring Strategy: When your Stories aren’t tactfully created in order to retain audience interest or engagement.

Please do yourself a favor and document an actual strategy for Stories (and not one like listed above) and you’ll lay a strong foundation to actually see results. 

2. Build a Narrative over Segments

The individual “slides” or pieces of content in your Story – like an image, video, or boomerang – are all called segments. Multiple segments make up your Story.

Make sure you have a clear goal for your entire Story, and then build the narrative – creatively and engagingly – over segments. Resist the urge to get lazy and treat your Story like a long continuous feature film, and – instead – build it more like a slide deck with a beginning, middle, and end and a clear goal.

3. Understand your Analytics

Tapping is good! Keep your audience tapping. Forward taps mean people are engaged with your Stories and Back taps are even better. Watch out for Next Story and Exited numbers that start to creep up – that may mean you need to revisit tip #2.

4. Use Stickers to Create Engagement

This feature REALLY makes Stories stand out. You can directly interact with your audience and even gain insightful input on what content they’d like to see from you. Take advantage of all the interactive stickers Instagram provides and keep cultivating the two-way conversation with your audience to build a relationship.

5. Create a Highlight Strategy

Put some thought into what content you’d like to save on your profile and treat it like a landing page. There may be opportunities for you to create evergreen introductory content to your brand or even answer frequently asked questions. Don’t overlook a highlight strategy when following tip #1.

There are huge opportunities waiting for you on Instagram Stories, but you can’t treat it like other parts of Instagram and definitely not like other social media platforms. My gift to help you is my Instagram Story Strategy Template, which includes questions that help you think through all of these tips along with a storyboard so you can create more engaging content. Download it here and connect with me over on the Gram.

Quinn Tempest - Create Your Purpose℠Quinn Tempest is a consultant based in Phoenix, Arizona with an expertise in branding and holistic digital marketing strategy. She’s a highly-rated speaker and workshop leader at conferences and organizations around the country. She is also the founder of Create Your Purpose®, a movement and community of entrepreneurs dedicated to building their lives and businesses ON purpose and WITH purpose.