Instagram stories are an incredibly important asset to your Instagram strategy. They may feel like an afterthought, but they shouldn’t.
Your stories are the ultimate place to show your community who you truly are, captivate a truly engaged audience, get feedback on what your audience truly wants, foster 1-1 connection and make sales!
Once you get in the flow of consistently creating quality stories that your audience looks forward to watching, you will have a valuable tool for connecting with your audience (and potential customers!) on a deeper level.
If you’re convinced you need to start committing to stories but don’t know how to make quality stories, this is the post for you.
Here are eight ways to create better Instagram Stories:
- Tell a story.
I’m sure you’re reading this thinking, “Duh, Amber…” but it’s true! Just like a fiction book or an old tale told around the campfire, your stories need to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If your stories are completely random and don’t really go together, your audience won’t be convinced to follow along.
- Show your personality (and your face!).
Your stories are the ultimate way to show who you are, and why someone would want to work with or buy from you. I know it can be uncomfortable, but you’ve got to show your face on your stories! Showing your face and personality is what takes someone from viewing you as just a business they follow to viewing you as a friend they want to support!
- Avoid over-curating.
Your stories do not have to (nor should they) be perfect. Stumble over your words in a video? Keep it anyway. Messy hair? Take that selfie! Had a bad day? Tell your people!
No one is perfect, so if your content is perfect, no one will relate to it. Poll over poll has shown that people respond much better to a simple story photo or video created in Instagram rather than a story graphic created in Canva or Photoshop. Leave your idea of perfect at the door and show up as your real self!
- Use the new features.
Spruce up your stories with the fun features they offer! A few ways you could do this are by using the different text fonts, drawing a little squiggle background, and adding a cute sticker or GIF!
If you implement engagement stickers onto your story such as a poll, quiz, or rating meter, this will actually help your stories and your posts get more reach!
Also, the more recently added the feature, the better a chance you’ll have of increasing your story views. A few of these new features are the Layout feature, PhotoBooth or Superzoom, but there are others you can try as well.
- Caption your videos.
I cannot stress this enough. The majority of Instagram users watch Stories without sound so if you don’t add text captions to your video, you are missing out on a huge part of your audience (not to mention excluding our deaf and hard of hearing friends).
- Show up consistently (every day).
You heard me. If you show up just here and there, your audience isn’t in the routine of watching your stories every day, nor will the algorithm know that your audience wants to see your story. Show up every day (but of course take a day of rest if you need it). At least five stories every day would be ideal, but first start with what you can consistently handle (the next point will help with this).
- Create repeatable content.
The key to consistent stories is to figure out what content is easily recreatable for you. To figure out what content you can make a repeatable staple in your stories, think about what you do every day, what your audience would like to see, and what you enjoy sharing. For instance, most days I share my to-do list and a cup of coffee. For you, it could be a picture of your pet, a gratitude in the morning, or a page of your devotional. Once you get in the habit of creating your repeatable content, other content will naturally build from there.
- Have decent audio & lighting.
Like I said in #3, don’t over-curate, but it’s important that your stories are still easy to follow and appealing to your viewer. Good lighting and audio is a part of this! You don’t need to be a professional producer to create good stories, though. Just face a window or another source of natural light, be sure your surroundings aren’t too noisy, and be close enough to your phone that your audio can be picked up clearly.
Now you are eight steps closer to becoming an Instagram Stories master! I can’t wait for you to apply these and see how connected you become with your audience, how many more DMs you’ll have every day, and how much your business grows!