What are Instagram stories and why are they so powerful?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - Instagram stories

The concept behind Instagram Stories is simple. The objective was to allow people to share “moments” of their day swiftly as well as with ease. These updates could be in the structure of a series of photos or, alternatively, videos. After you’ve shared everything that you put together for your Story, it will become a slideshow on Instagram which stays on your account for 24 hours and then vanishes.

The best part is that Instagram Stories are featured at the top of your followers’ home feed. When you add another element to your Story, you’re put to the front of the line. In addition, Instagram posts a little reminder in the feed about Stories which are about to expire or that have been the most popular. This means that your followers have another nudge to watch your Story before it disappears.

Stories were launched in August 2016. At the current moment, more than 500 million Instagrammers utilise stories on a daily basis. Every day, more than 200 million people view Instagram Stories. This has surpassed SnapChat, which makes Instagram one of the fastest-growing platforms in the history of social media. (Just as an aside, Snapchat’s user experience was clunky and difficult to master. This is a downfall that led to many users completely abandoning the app in favour of a platform they were comfortable using.)

What does this mean for you as well as your social media marketing? There are huge numbers of eyeballs already on the platform which means that these people will be viewing your digital marketing as well if you choose to be on the platform. If you’ve ever thought about experimenting with stories to boost the reach or engagement of your social media marketing, now is the perfect time.

Instagram stories will get you noticed

It is now possible for you to add hashtags to your IG stories. If you’re new to the world of social media marketing – and even newer to the concept of a hashtag – read this article to find out what a hashtag is and how you can benefit from it. The cool thing about this new addition is that when someone is searching through a hashtag, your Instagram stories that have this same hashtag appear at the top of their feed which makes you and your brand even more discoverable.

Instagram Stories are a valuable part of SEO

If you have over 10 000+ followers, there’s a ‘swipe up’ option inside your Instagram Stories which enables you to include an outbound link. With this feature you can, for example, send someone directly to your website, shop item or blog article. However, if your Instagram following hasn’t reached these heights yet, don’t feel disheartened because when Instagram first released this feature it was only for those with over 1 million followers and has been quickly dropping.

If you can’t add links to your Instagram stories, you can add multiple links into your Instagram bio. To determine if you have this feature available to you, there’ll be a little ‘link/paperclip’ icon at the top screen which allows you to add a URL off to another source, for example, the recipe for those delicious cupcakes you just baked!

Tag people to grow your Instagram community

Tagging other people in your Instagram Stories makes them feel that they are valued. In addition, this  strengthens your relationships with them – and even starts new ones! By showing people ‘what you’re working on’ and giving them ‘sneak peaks’ of what’s happening behind the scenes of your company gives a sense of exclusivity. Everyone loves to feel like they’re special. By doing this, you’re also creating a bit of hype behind what you’re working on.

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