How to Create a Stand Out Instagram Story

With inspiration taken from the success of Snapchat, Instagram quickly realised the potential for a similar feature on their app and released ‘Instagram Stories’ in August 2016. Stories allow users to post images and videos in a slideshow format which disappears after 24 hours.

Since its release, Instagram stories have spread like wildfire, and on June 2018, it had more than double the number of users than its rival, Snapchat. It has since introduced many features such as polls, music, questions and shoppable tags to increase the gap even more. With 500 million daily users, its clear to see the excellent opportunity this creates for businesses to reach a higher number of people and increase their engagement with followers. However, as this is a relatively new feature, it can be a bit of a minefield on knowing exactly what it is their audience wants to see, so we’ve put together a few tips on how to make your Instagram story stand out from the crowd!


Give Context


It is no good spending loads of time making your pictures or videos look all pretty if your audience doesn’t understand what you’re showing them! Brands often fall into this mistake by posting stories that don’t make any sense. Instagram allows you to write text and use their range of stickers such as location, time, hashtags and tags to give users some context into the purpose of the story. One or two lines of text per each image or video will prevent any confusion and ensure it makes sense to your audience.


Post Good Quality Content


Despite the pressure of creating a picture-perfect post no longer being as prevalent due to the time limit of stories, it is important not to be too informal as your post still needs to capture your audience’s attention. Photos should be in focus and of interest to your followers; a short amount of time spent on edits, such as cropping or colour correction, will suffice. The text should be legible and not too long, and the audio of videos should be checked over first, ensuring that nothing has been cut-off mid-sentence or noticing if there are any strange noises in the background!

Although it may be tempting to post every photo or video you take to increase the amount of time you appear on someone’s story, your overall daily duration should last no longer than 2-3 minutes. Any longer, and it is highly likely that you will get ‘swiped’.


Person taking a picture on an Iphone of an artistic background


Utilise Instagram’s Features


Make your stories more interesting by making the most out of the different features that Instagram has to offer, such as boomerangs, superzoom, video rewind, gifs, emojis and so on. This will help show a more personal and fun side to your social media which will reap benefits, as authenticity is highly regarded on this visual platform.

 You can make sure that your efforts are paying off by checking how many followers are watching your story and their demographics. Your strategy can then be adjusted accordingly until you reach your desired audience.


 Ask Questions


A great way to encourage engagement from your followers is to ask for their opinion on something. Instagram allows three different ways for this: polls, questions and sliders. The first option is to ask a question by using the poll sticker feature. Click on the poll button, write out a question and get your audience to choose between two options. Once the poll is completed, you can share the results and see which option won with the highest percentage and votes.

 Another option is to use the questions tool. This can be utilised to ask your followers something or to get them to ask you questions. These questions can then be answered in a live Q&A, or you can share the answers by taking a screenshot of the responses, but be mindful as some people may want to remain anonymous! The final option is to use the slider feature where users can drag a chosen emoji to the intensity of their response to the question that has been asked.


Question mark shown in lights at the end of a corridor


If you want to learn more about Instagram, take a look at our guide for ecommerce to make the most out of the social platform! Here at Ducard, social media plays a significant role in our marketing strategy. For more information on the services we provide, get in touch with us today.

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