If you’ve spent any time on Instagram in the last year or so, you’ll no doubt have spent some of that time watching an Instagram Story. Ok, ok, you’ve probably spent more than just ‘some’ time watching them…one minute you’re tapping through your friend’s day out at the beach, and the next thing you know, you’re ten follow-ees later, having been sucked into Boomerangs, GIFs and doing the odd poll or two. Stories are great…


Of course, this is the beauty of an Instagram Story, isn’t it? You start watching and you keep watching. Which is excellent news for brands in terms of building loyalty and getting marketing messages across. 500 million people are watching Instagram Stories every single day and it’s fast becoming one of the best ways to engage potential new customers. If your stories are effective, of course. So how to get your story telling it as it should? Here’s how to tell your Instagram Story effectively:

Creativity is King

You’ve heard that content is king, right? Well, this is true of Instagram Stories, but with a twist. Creativity is king when it comes to Stories. It’s super important to get the content of that first frame right creatively. If you can do this, you’ll find that your followers keep on watching, rather than exiting out of your Stories.

Speed is of the Essence

Attention spans are short with Stories. Instagram has seen people shift away from scrolling through their main feed, with many people jumping straight into the Stories at the top, tapping away at lightning speed to watch what those they follow are up to. Use this to your advantage.

For example, use text strategically on your Instagram Story. Although your loyal followers may use one of their (24) fingers to hold down the story and read your social media version of War and Peace, many followers will find themselves overwhelmed by long tomes. We’d advise keeping text to a minimum and easy to read, therefore.

Oh, and don’t detract from the main visual focal point of your Story with text, as pictures definitely speak louder than words.

Optimise, Optimise, Optimise

As with anything you’re putting out into the big wide world of social media, it should always be optimised for the platform you’re using. Your Instagram Story is no exception to this. This means splitting your stories into scenes, for example. Yes, it harps back to that speed-freak thing, but making sure your posts are created in shorter, succinct forms could really help your completion rates.

Similarly, delight all the senses: visuals are key, but using sound could really help to engage your viewers, too. Voice-overs and music can really help to enhance your message.

Don’t forget to use up to 10 hashtasgs on your Story – here’s your free guide to the most popular hashtags over the past 30 days.

And don’t forget the interactive elements of Stories, either: asking your followers to take part in polls, having fun with sliders, letting them ask you questions or even giving them a little quiz to join in with can really help to drive engagement, as well as giving your followers the opportunity to get to know your brand better.

Brand Love

As with any form of marketing, your brand is key. The personal approach that can come from giving followers an insight into what makes you tick via the interactive, fun elements of your Stories can help customers to connect with you as a brand. And that really is the beauty of social media marketing.

Don’t forget to use a CTA where possible on your Instagram Story (like ‘swipe up to shop’ (additional feature available for those of you with 10,000 followers or more), and most importantly be your brand! The most effective Instagram Stories are those which are authentic, friendly and add value to the overall Instagram feed. So don’t be afraid to tell your brand’s Story. It is, after all, the reason that your followers are following YOU, in all your unique glory.

Next steps

Want to dive deeper into Instagram Stories? Book into our Instagram Stories social media training workshop, in collaboration with the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce. You’ll learn how to:

– Understand the difference between Instagram and Instagram Stories

– Know what to post and how often to post

– Learn how to use free, and low-cost tools, to create engaging Stories that keep your audience coming back for more

– Understand how to use hashtags on Instagram Stories

Find tickets for the next available workshop here or email us for more details of our social media workshops including one-to-one personalised workshops.