With more than 500 million active daily users and 2 million advertisers worldwide, Instagram is a communication channel in its own right. And of all the tools made available by the platform, the story remains the most effective to date. The stories can be videos, photos, drawings and / or text, all accompanied or not by music.

Since their launch in 2016, the stories have continued to evolve and gain popularity. Their success is based in part on their “ephemeral” character (they only last 24 hours) and customizable. How to personalize and optimize your stories for maximum impact? We will explain everything to you !

1. Stories vs posts: what differences? 

Unlike standard photos, stories are not displayed on your account but in a dedicated insert at the top of your page. You can customize them by adding filters, emojis, a survey, a question …

1.1 Why choose a story rather than an ordinary post?  

Whether you are an individual, whether you manage an e-commerce or a business (B2C like B2B), know that the stories are the most engaging content on Instagram.

You will know who has seen your stories and you will be able to interact with them in private. You can even add a link that will return to your website, without leaving the application.

2. Applications & tools to create your Stories

Instagram has its limits. The following applications allow you to perfect your stories, by playing on different filters and more creative typographies, or by adding unusual drawings and stickers.

1. Canva

To create your Instagram visuals quickly and easily, Canv has varied and dynamic models to create engaging visuals. The story models are organized by theme: business, food, Christmas, travel, etc.

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An extract from the template models available on Canva

Play on filters (preset or custom) to change the contrast, saturation and / or give a particular effect to your visual. Each color is associated with an emotion : take it into account in your creations. You can also add animated elements and stickers! On Canva, each story created can be adapted to any other content format, ideal for sharing inspiration without having to worry about dimensions (width, length)!

2. InShot

InShot is a smartphone editing software, designed to easily edit your photos and videos.

  • canva, instagram, stories, inshot

    Inshot app screenshots

Creation possibilities on InShot  :

  • Crop, crop, crop or rotate visuals simply
  • Blurred background
  • Colorful border
  • Music (mp3 or other formats)
  • Text editor
  • Emojis
  • Ability to speed up or slow down the video
  • Wide variety of filters
  • Integrated compressor and converter

3. Font Candy

If typography is of particular importance in your communication, the Font Candy application is made for you! Ideal for adding quotes and titles to your photos, to stand out with your design and create more engaging posts.

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Examples of visuals made with Font Candy

4. Animoto

Animoto is especially aimed at beginners:

  • You choose a template and format for your video (YouTube, Instagram, etc.)
  • You add your blocks (text, photo, logo, video…) one after the other.
  • Everything can be edited: color, effect, music … Once you have your blockchain, Animoto automatically generates transitions and zoom effects.
  • All you have to do is export the video in full HD. This type of editor has the advantage of integrating a bank of royalty-free images and various video formats (square and vertical for Instagram).
canva, instagram stories, story, animoto

Animoto, video animation software for your stories

5. Headliner  & Splice 

Headliner looks like a standard video editor, such as Adobe Premiere or iMovie, in appearance and options. You can add multiple lines of text (titles, subtitles, paragraphs), visuals (photos and videos) and audio (voiceover, background music, sound effects).

canva, instagram, stories, story, headliner

The Headliner app allows you to add text and audio lines!

Another possibility: Splice by GoPro, a vertical video editor to simply add transitions, cut and personalize your Instagram content.

canva, instagram, stories, story, splice by go pro

The Splice application facilitates and simplifies the video editing of your stories.

6. Clipomatic

Many users see your stories without sound. This is why captions are important. With Clipomatic , you don’t have to worry about subtitles: the application transcribes everything you say… The effort is therefore elsewhere: you have to articulate and speak clearly!

canva, instagram, stories, story, clipomatic

Clipomatic app screenshots

7. Image banks

If the ideal is to take a photo or a video yourself with your smartphone, nothing prevents you from using the image banks . You will find beautiful photos (and sometimes videos) there.

 → The story is supposed to be ephemeral and spontaneous content (often live). But you can create stories in advance and schedule them with Buffer . This allows you to be regular in your publications.

canva, instagram, stories, story, buffer

canva, instagram, stories, story, buffer

3. Our advice to improve your stories

Here are our tips for arousing the curiosity of your followers and getting the most out of your stories …

3.1 Bet on the videos

The engagement generated by the videos is second to none. Consider creating videos with a maximum duration of 15 seconds, which you will share on your feed . If you have longer videos, Instagram will offer to edit and shorten the content, or chain multiple sections of videos in a row.

Take care of the first 3 seconds of your video. Capture attention from the start .

Full HD images, a concise and punchy narration, a beautiful voice over… made in quality! Without forgetting the “music”, which allows you to discover a song or bring a background sound to your story.

“Video” modes: 

  • “Live” mode : you are visible live as soon as you press this button
  • Boomerang : ideal for shooting short sequences which repeat in a loop like a GIF
  • Superzoom : a zoom effect that will highlight the person or the object of your video
  • Stop-motion : photos that come alive and form a short film
  • Rewind : reverse videos (playback begins at the end of your sequence)
  • Hands-free mode : no need to keep your thumb on the button … it turns!

3.2 Make lives

The lives Instagram achieve your live followers. You can thus broadcast a conference, a product presentation, a FAQ or a celebration. The people watching you can interact with you live.

Instagram will display a warning to all of your followers each time you start a live stream. Not bad is not it ?

3.3 Use Stories to a

By default, stories have a maximum duration of 24 hours, but it is possible to archive some of them, if you consider that they are worth keeping. They will remain on your account, displayed just below your description.

canva, instagram, stories, story, headlines

Featured stories are below your Instagram description.

 

These “in the news” stories allow you to create presentation videos that will remain at the top of your profile permanently or long-term (for example, during an autumn-winter collection or a promotional campaign) . .

Consider grouping different stories by theme. Use this tool to promote services and products, to introduce your team or to go behind the scenes of your workshop or workplace.

3.4 Treat the title and cover of your story

To organize your stories by folder, choose brief and descriptive titles, such as “Products”, “News” or “Podcast”, etc. This name helps users to quickly find the information they want. Also choose a cover image that respects your visual identity, while being faithful to the content of the file.

canva, instagram, stories, featured story, diglee

On her page, the creator Diglee presents several front stories whose images and titles clearly represent her different divisions.

4. Be creative! 

In the tories , you will find many features for editing your content. Use them to create engaging content.

Examples:

  • Make videos with Boomerang or Hyperlapse .
  • Edit your photos by adding text, filters, and emojis
  • Add music to your story

Canva makes it easy to create professional and creative Instagram posts.

5. Stand out with Instagram Ads

A third of the most viewed stories belong to advertisers. One story in five leads to a lead (the prospect sends a message to the company for a request for information or a quote).

In other words, stories are real communication and sales levers . Unlike traditional ads, sponsored content on stories is automatically displayed between the stories of your contacts. They literally blend in with the decor and are much less intrusive than traditional advertising.

canva, instagram, stories, story, ads, advertising

1/3 of story ads generate a lead.

Depending on the objective of your campaign, you can include different types of Call-to-Action (register on your site, download an application on Google Play…)

There are 3 questions to ask yourself before getting started on Instagram Ads: 

  • Who are you going to talk to? 
  • Where are you going to redirect your prospects? 
  • What will your budget be for the campaign? 

The Pluralsight platform offers, for example, to obtain information via a small form: without leaving Instagram, Internet users provide their personal data to receive more information.

6. Post regularly

A user sees only a handful of tories each time they log in. This is why you have to be prolific if you want to secure your place in the carousel.

Ideally, post a story every day of the week. If you can afford it, dedicate a full-time person to feed the feed . Choose the publication schedule with care (rather in the morning or late afternoon).

 

7. Hashtags and labels

Hashtags are often misused: some put more than twenty, others target too generic hashtags … and some never use them. Used well, the hashtag can be an effective tool to reach your audience. Choose between two and five hashtags to accurately describe your story.

→ NB: many people follow one or more hashtags and are very interested in all the stories that contain this hashtag.

Examples: #instastyle, #smoothies, #faitmaison, #world travelers, #dogs, #innovation, # sportaddict…

Equally important: labeling (@ nomducompte ). Consider labeling other Instagrammers – stakeholders in your project or simply appreciated – who in turn will share your content. This allows rapid dissemination.

Encourage your customers to post stories with your products: they label you and you can then relay the promotion. The story also makes it possible to convert your customers into ambassadors.

8. Analyze your statistics

The statistics tell you about the habits of your followers and the best time to publish a story or not.

Use Instangram’s survey tools (also called ” poll”) , which allow you to send a survey to your audience. You ask your followers a question and they can answer with “yes” or “no”. Ideal for promoting interaction and gathering general opinion!

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Example of story survey carried out on Instagram. (source: arobasenet.com)

Pay attention to the statistics of your posts and compare them with those of your stories: there is a good chance that the difference will be significant.

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Follow the impact of your stories directly on Instagram (source: arobasenet.com)

  → Do not ignore the analysis, it is the last step of the journey and allows you to identify areas for improvement for your next stories!

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