What are Instagram Stories and why should you use them?

Those circles at the top of your Instagram feed are full of fun – Instagram Stories fun! If you haven’t explored them yet, or if you enjoy watching other people’s Stories but haven’t tried yourself yet, read on and see why Instagram Stories might be a great addition to your social media strategy.


What are Instagram Stories like?


Instagram introduced Stories back in 2016, about the time Snapchat becomes really popular. It turns out people love ephemeral content – posts that are only there for a short time. In the case of Instagram Stories, your stories are only visible for 24 hours, although you can save them to be viewed permanently in your Highlights bar if you choose.


There are many types of Instagram Stories – still pictures, video, live video and special effects videos like Boomerangs, and all of these can be decorated with the various “Stickers” Instagram Stories offers. The emphasis is usually on being fun and engaging, often with a personal slant.


Why should you use Instagram Stories?


Your Stories will be seen largely by people who already follow you, so they are a great way to connect with your existing followers and build a deeper relationship. Stories are ideal for “behind the scenes” photos and videos, for example of you making a product you sell, and for helping people get to know you as a person – since people are more likely to buy if they like you!


While your main Instagram feed photos will likely be high quality images with well thought out captions and hashtags, on Stories you can let your guard down and have more fun.


What are the benefits and challenges of Instagram Stories?


The main benefit of Instagram Stories is the closer connection you can build with your followers, although by using hashtags you will also have the chance to reach a new audience, too. You can also use them to promote events and products effectively, especially if you use a great template to produce a series of images that tell a cohesive Story. And above all – they can be really fun to do!


The main challenge is that you have to weigh up the investment of your time against the potential outcomes. Without a strategy, using Instagram Stories can become one of those marketing activities that make you feel like you’re being productive when you should be doing something else! Keep reviewing the results of using Instagram Stories and adjust your strategy if it’s not working.

If you are new to Instagram stories and would like to learn how to use them, jump into our Growth Quarters Growing Program  where we have a 5 day instagram stories challenge.