Here’s an example of an Instagram story from my own Instagram account. I created using the suggested steps below. My story’s goal is to link to …. THIS BLOG POST 🙂
Are Instagram stories worth the bother? This is a great question that I get from a lot of my members. The truth is, is that yes, they are worth it, if you do them well.
Here are a few key steps to follow, to make your Instagram stories work for you, convert and have a great result. You ready? Here we go.
1. Set one goal
Don’t just churn out an Instagram story for content sake. Why are you doing an Instagram story? Have a reason. Is it to increase website visits, to sell a product or a service, increase Instagram followers, increase social engagement? Choose one specific goal. I know it’s tempting to check all of the above. I’m saying, pick one specific target goal and let’s move onto number two.
2. Plan out your story
Taking the time to actually plan in advance, before you whip out your phone and you start uploading your story, is going to produce so many benefits. It will be consistent, it will be beautiful, it will be thoughtful. It will intuitively resonate more with your ideal customer. Tell a story by breaking it into small bite size pieces.
For the more creative people, maybe you wanna block out a little storyboard. Personally, I sketch thoughts out on a piece of paper. I try and block them into three to five very simple little bit size pieces. Remember that a story is short, sweet, fast. We’re not doing big, elaborate projects here. We have a simple thought, broken into three to five parts. Great.
Establish your Call to Action for your Instagram Story
Determine a specific Call to Action (CTA) for your story, which is related to the goal that you set previously.
A Call to Action is a really specific instruction that you’re giving the viewer, “Do this.” If your goal is to increase website visits, you’re gonna say, “Go to this link,” and you’re gonna tell ’em to go to your website. If your goal is to sell a product, you’re going to say, “Buy this.” You’re telling your visitor to do this one thing, and you’re making it so obvious and so easy, that they will be able to understand that. They’ll be drawn to do it. Once you determine your CTA, if you have 10,000 followers or more, Instagram allows you to add a URL, an actual link to your story. If you have less than 10,000 followers, you can still promote your call-to-action graphically on the story.
3. Gather your assets: Grab your images & videos
You wanna grab your images, grab your videos, and have them all together, before you even go to design your story. One cool thing about Instagram stories is that, there is permission to be less perfect. There’s this low production value aesthetic, which is seen as kind of like, candid and raw, and even more intimate. It’s okay to not have perfect images and videos for your stories. It’s a great opportunity to take a few photos and videos on your own, to add that custom raw, candid, authentic vibe.
4. Build your story
You can use a free graphic applications, like Canva, or Snappa, now that you’ve got all your assets gathered, which make it so easy to actually build the graphics and create the visuals. Make sure that you use fonts and colors that are brand specific, so they actually look like they come from your company. Create a consistent look and feel to avoid anything that confuses or distracts the viewer. If you try and introduce some crazy, neon font that has nothing to do with your brand, it’s gonna just create this little hiccup, this distraction. You’re going to detract from your, what? Call To Action!
Little side note here: don’t go too effects crazy
Instagram offers so many filters, and so many new little tools, it’s really tempting to go effects and features crazy. Less is more. Every once in a while, as you’re building your story, just take a step back and make sure that your call-to-action is prominent, takes precedent over everything else and is clear. You might wanna show your story to somebody else on your team, before actually publishing it, to see if you’ve gotten too feature crazy.
5. Upload your story to Instagram
Now, we’re ready finally, to upload our story to Instagram. Yeah. Remember, if you have 10,000 followers on Instagram, they let you assign a URL or a link to your story. This would be the time that you would identify what that link is, if it’s to a product, a service, a blog post, your website. Make sure that we assign it to every single page of our story.
One feature of stories is that it has this fleeting, temporary feel to it. It vanishes after 24 hours. I like to assign my stories to highlights, so that they actually stick around for longer. Assign your story to a highlight, or if you don’t have them, create a new highlight. Give your highlight a consistent cover image for a professional branded look.
6. Let marinate for a day or two, then check results
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. You need to see if your goal that you set way back at the beginning, is met. Now, let’s just celebrate, if you push that rock up the hill, and it goes anywhere in the positive direction, that is a great result. If your goal isn’t met at all, if you have no positive activity, that is still incredibly helpful information. It tells you that possibly your story did not resonate with your ideal customer.
Did you learn anything that was helpful and what would you do differently for your next Instagram story?
Rinse and repeat: Consistency is the key!
Giving your followers a gentle tap on the shoulder on a regular basis is the most essential component to a successful social media strategy.
Even if followers don’t view or comment, or share, simply by showing up on a regular basis, presenting thoughtful, consistent branded material, you will plant a seed in their hearts. They will think well of you. This affinity will grow naturally over time, with sunlight and plenty of water. That goal you set way back when, will start seeing the meter move in the right direction.
I hope you found this video helpful. I’m wishing you all good things for Instagram stories in your future. Feel free to tag GPS Members and share your stories with me. I would absolutely love to read them. You might also love this post on how to make your Instagram posts shoppable!
As always, thank you for letting me be your GPS. If you haven’t joined as a member yet, you’ll definitely want to check this out here.