Instagram Stories has Leveled Up! The latest updates across stories
Instagram “Stories” and “Live” have really brought the company to the higher echelons of digital marketing. With the changes in the algorithm, Instagram Stories has become a much more reliable way of engaging with the audience in your instagram marketing strategy.
The sheer number of improvements made to the Instagram Stories feature in 2018 has been staggering. They range from the aesthetic to the functional and they give Instagram users all kinds of new ways to create new stories.
Instagram is trying its best to reward accounts with the best content and they claim that this premise is what their algorithm is based on, but Instagram Stories has evolved on its own and needs to be considered separately while planning an Instagram campaign. The main focus should still be to create great content but Instagram Stories has all the tools necessary to engage with the audience on multiple levels.
With 300 million daily users and a new analytics feature for business accounts, Instagram Stories, or Stories as we will refer to it henceforth, gives users much more control over their reach and their audience interaction.
These are just some of the major changes to Stories that can benefit a business.
New Creative Features
Since the very beginning of 2018, Stories has received updates such as stickers, GIFs, location tags and hashtags, which have all been included to boost audience interactions.
A brand must use as many features as possible to connect with audiences (without overdoing it!) to get the audience to respond somehow whether it is a like, a comment or share. A simple example of this is the Instagram poll function, the simple “Yes” “No” poll encourages an action that counts towards your interaction numbers.
Users can now be tagged with @mentions in Instagram Stories and user-generated content that contains the @ sticker can be shared by a business account as well.
This is one new avenue to work on audience engagement and it will become commonplace very soon. Stories that are mentions can be resized and since you can share @mention story replies, you can add someone else’s story to your own.
This is yet another avenue to encourage user engagement and build a personal rapport with some members of your audience.
The Power of Music
Licensed Music is now available for stories and some of the biggest artists in the world can featured now. This sticker feature has not yet arrived to all markets but expect movement from this very soon. When it does, it will quickly become a very popular feature since obtaining popular music rights is out of the questions for many brands.
For now, sharing a Spotify list or song in Stories is possible and it is a good idea to do this as this gives the brand a more relatable personality.
Shoppable Tags are Now a Part of Stories
Shoppable tags are a direct route to converting Instagram interactions into sales.
This powerful tool used to be available only with regular/static posts that lead to links in the bio and customers had not yet adopted it in large numbers. Stories can now really boost the nature of your products/services, it will depend on how a business portrays their activities.
Businesses with cohesive identity and branding can create content that has the context and value necessary to influence potential customers to make a decision. Instead of leading them through a trail of links, the shoppable tag can be placed directly in a story, which leaves the customer with an easy decision to make.
Create the content that will raise a purchase decision and if a compelling case has been made to buy a product or service, there is a sale waiting to be made.
A New Search Page
Users can now see what the Instagram algorithm has recommended for them in the new “Recommended For You” section. Stories and content are now also represented in various content buckets such as “Fashion”, “Sports” and so on.
Upon clicking one of the sections, a large number of hashtags appears at the top of the page, these are the new follow hashtags. Instagram users can follow their favourite hashtags and this is also a good way for brands and businesses to connect directly with their audience.
Stories Analytics Provides More Data
Some businesses cannot get enough of analytics and these folks will be grateful for the new Stories Analytics section for Instagram Business. The truth is this new analytics platform will be a bonus for all users as it gives businesses insight into what is working and what is not.
In case you missed our previous blog on Instagram’s biggest updates, read more about it here. Use all this wealth of new information and insight to take your Instagram game to another level and keep striving to stay ahead of the competition because all signs point to Instagram becoming a social media network with great potential for immediately converting great content into great results with social media marketing.