As of November 2017, more than 300 million Instagram accounts are active on Instagram Stories every day. Users enjoy stories because they feel authentic and personal. It’s an insight into someone’s everyday life. Story examples include hanging out at a brewery, going to a concert, a dog chasing its tail, the list goes on. On the other hand, the feed is the space for more polished, curated content. This difference between stories and the feed has been noticed by Instagram users, and they are starting to prefer the relatability of stories to the buttoned-up feed.
This is the space we’re in. Now how can you make it work for your brand? The answer is to create content that feels both personal and professional.
There are two ways you can do this using Instagram Stories and we have specific examples of how we’ve done this for our clients because, sharing is caring.
Since users aren’t scrolling through their feeds as often, it’s important to announce on your stories when you have a new post on your feed. Instagram makes this oh-so easy for you. Add your post to your story and viewers can tap it, bringing them immediately to your feed post.
Let’s say you’re a tourism bureau and you’re always boasting about the amazing restaurants in your community. Let’s see it then! Snap a pic of your meal (don’t forget to tag the restaurant and include your location then add it to your story). If you don’t want it to disappear after 24 hours, create a Story Highlight so that viewers can always see it. Some accounts even create specific art for their Highlights to help create a cohesive brand (we use fun line art icons on our Instagram that are in line with our new pivot).
We branded Round Rock’s 2019 “Music on Main” event, designing everything from print ads to web banners. We created the standard designs for the Facebook page and Instagram feed (i.e banners, wall posts, etc.). But we kicked it up a notch by animating a series of playful Instagram Stories to add hype to the event. Fast-paced animation brought the stories to life and created more visual interest for users than a still image. We also included relevant information like which musicians were playing and when. Check out the project here.
Instagram Story Ads
You’ve worked hard to create your brand’s voice and (maybe) hired a design firm to help you establish this. Either way, you are in the know on your brand and we’re here to offer some tips on how to design your Story Ads to look polished, professional and fresh.
Here are the ways that we create successful, eye-catching Instagram Story Ads:
- Introduce the brand early on: Show the logo and make it very clear what the ad is going to be. Don’t beat around the bush.
- Optimize your design for mobile: That means designing vertically to adapt to a mobile device’s screen size.
- Every second counts: You only get 15 seconds to share your message. To get the most bang for your buck, use animation rather than still images. The “Music on Main” designs were bright and energetic, so we matched the animation to that. However, in the example we’re about to show you, the animation’s pacing was slower to fit the client’s brand. Since the chances your viewer will watch all 15 seconds are slim, we made sure to get the message across quickly without feeling rushed.
We created an animated Instagram Story Ad for Greene County Convention & Visitors Bureau to encourage those living in Atlanta to visit Lake Oconee (aka Greene County). Here’s how we practiced what we preached:
- Introduce the brand early on: We open with a gorgeous lake/hammock photo that slowly pans (movement = visual interest), and the Visit Lake Oconee logo is on-screen from the very start.
- Optimize your design for mobile: “Relax into vacay vibes” in large copy appears on-screen, so the users know immediately that this is about a vacation and it’s easy to read (remember, we’re designing for small phone screens here).
- Every second counts: We transition to an image saying just how close Lake Oconee is to Atlanta, and provide an immediate CTA so users can be taken to Visit Lake Oconee’s website.
One in three Instagrammers are interested in a brand after seeing it in their story, so what are you waiting for? It’s time to tell YOUR story.
Want to read more about Instagram Stories? Check out these articles below: