Have you ever found yourself wondering how you can maximize the effectiveness of your Instagram stories? Well, you are not alone.The popularity of Instagram stories is at an all-time high and it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the general user statistics on their use shows an estimated 300 million people using them as a source of information daily, much more than photos or the usual video content. Brands have taken notice of this and are increasingly incorporating them into their marketing strategy and connecting with new users.
However, what are some of the ways you can use them to market your business? Read on for some tips to help you become a pro at Instagram stories.
Choose natural lighting
Similar to any other videos or photos, you want to get the best quality that you can achieve – and that is usually possible with natural lighting. It is very important to recognize the important role light plays in your content creation, as it can make or break your story.
This does not mean you must hire the services of a professional studio and break your wallet trying to get the perfect picture. The best timing would be before the sun rises fully and just before it sets, which is also known as the ‘golden hour’ because pictures taken at this time have a golden glow to them. Natural light is also more flattering for all skin tones, and it casts less harsh shadows.
If you spend most of your time indoors, then set up your picture area next to a big window that lets in plenty of light, or other bright areas.
Using the camera of your phone
Just like using natural light, you do not need to use expensive cameras to get the best quality. Because smartphones exist, they allow you to create great content that gives you auto Instagram likes from your audience.
Just make sure to use the native camera app in your phone, not the one within the Instagram app (they tend to have lower resolution and less editing options). However, if you have the money, you can invest it in a good camera such as a DSLR (digital single reflex lens). These will give you very high quality of images while it records, and it does not apply compression (therefore no losses in quality).
Mind the length of the video and editing process
The length of an Instagram story is usually up to 15 seconds, so you need to keep things short. You can shoot them in either landscape or portrait mode, although it is better to use the latter because Instagram users view stories vertically.
The best way to find something that sticks to the limit while delivering the information you want is using editing software. There are apps such as Magisto (this is a good one for beginners), Quik (allows the compilation of different videos or pictures into one video), FilmoraGo (allows you to add filters, subtitles and music) and Adobe Premiere Clip, and so on.
The tips above are more of the foundational elements of making a good story, but there are those that help you maximize the features you have on Instagram.
First is creating a brand identity and sticking to it. Similar to keep the same logo on all the merchandise and other materials you have such as your website, it is very important to let the same consistency shine on your Instagram account.
Consider aspects such as the color palettes you are using, whether you want to use products or people as your main images, the filters and effects that you use on all your images, and so on. The Instagram stories you create should bear this consistency. In addition, keep in mind the audience you are targeting, their dislikes and likes and their expectations.
The branding consistency is important because it helps your customers remember what your brand looks like, and avoid confusion. You want to maintain that consistency regardless of the platform your customer is on.
The use of suitable hashtags and geotags
This is a great and easy way to maximize the exposure your posts attract without the inconvenience of using paid ads and other paid tools. When you use them in your Instagram stories, they can boost your account immensely because of the many users that prefer watching stories, even those that do not follow you. To be honest, this is why Instagram is beating Snapchat at the game of creating and promoting stories.
In case you reach a point when you cannot think of hashtags anymore, you can do an easy search on the platform ad see the ideas you can implement. The easiest way is starting with words you know your target audience is looking for, then you will see the most popular hashtags and the posts tagged under them.
Another strategy is observing the hashtags your competitors are using to post their content. Try to avoid general hashtags like #travel or #photography, and instead go for something more specific like the destinations you want to market or the photography type you like doing – always keep in mind that hashtags and geotags can be as competitive as keywords.
Locations are also important because they help you get discovered by users living near you when they decide to do a location search.
This is a very interesting way to add coolness to your stories and immediately makes you stand out. You can also use various tools to help you make animated videos, such as Adobe Spark, which you can download to your computer or phone. Since it has a wide variety of colors and editing options available, you can easily get one that matches your brand.
In addition, GIFs are an excellent addition to your stories, because they add a lot of fun and are easy to use.
Using Instagram stories is a great way to draw attention to your brand, but you need to maximize them in the best ways you can. Thanks to the different strategies you can use, you can use them to enhance your story.