• Gabrielė Meškelytė

Instagram Stories In-Depth: What features can improve Engagement?

Updated: May 29

The article first appeared on Delfi.lt.


Over the last few years, ephemeral content became no less important part of social networks than feed. If you think Instagram stories work only among general users - you are wrong. According to Instagram, one-third of the most-viewed Stories are from Business accounts. Not using Instagram Stories yet? Missing out on an enormous opportunity!


Judging by the number of features within stories Instagram launched during 2019 - 2020, I expect even greater growth in usage of this content creation tool. For those who find it difficult to catch up on trends and updates, I’ve made a compiled list of Stories’ opportunities that drive engagement and, most importantly, sales!


Why is it important for a consumer to take part in content?


I strongly believe that the most important feature of Instagram Stories for business is INTERACTIVITY. With Instagram Stories in-app tools, graphic design, and general art knowledge, it’s easy to create content that the user can experience individually — become part of it. In turn, the consumer expresses their INSTANT opinion about the brand, goods and services by simply doing a few actions on the screen. For business, interactive Stories work in two ways. First, it is an ideal way to collect data on what consumers like, how they react to particular goods or services. Second, the interaction is psychologically more persuasive than usual static advertising. This increases brand awareness and sales as the consumer considers himself as part of the business.


10 agency-tested ways for engagement using Instagram Stories


As I mentioned before, Instagram developers don’t sleep and introduce new features almost monthly. During a lockdown, interactions as Challenges and Donations have emerged, now extensively used by both influencers and regular users. As a creative, in the agency, I explore various possibilities of Stories, constantly monitoring what works best for which business sector.


Top 10 Stories’ features that can enrich your business account aesthetically and bring excellent ROI


1. GIFS

Get your business featured on your followers' content with no extra effort! Share your audience with the opportunity to decorate their Stories with illustrations or animations that you can easily put onto the GIPHY.COM platform. Before creating stickers, think carefully about what aesthetics and what ideas are most appealing to your target audience. Keep in mind that jokes work best.



2. STORY TEMPLATES

Lay hands on screenshots - your business Stories can become viral content for your followers. Create and publish a branded Story template that users can screenshot and re-use in their own Stories. We recommend remaining within the field of your expertise - here's what we produced for our agency.



3. EMOJI SLIDER

Thanks to the vast selection of Emojis - with this sticker, you can collect quick reviews of your products or services on Instagram. Enhance a Story with design tools - graduate the barometer and get measured averages to any question you care about.



4. QUESTIONS

A Q&A tab can be found on almost every business website. However, not all the FAQ will fit in there - after all, every buyer has their own needs. Get to know your followers' needs directly through Instagram Stories and find out what they care about. Not to mention you can gather ideas for new products too!



5. QUIZ

In social networks, businesses often use facts and stats about their activity. The modern buyer cares about the context surrounding a company, its values, where it came from and where it will go in the future. Transfer facts to the Instagram Story in a GAME principle. Of the several possible answers, only one can be correct. Let followers guess on your services or goods, history of establishment or employees.



6. COUNTDOWN

The ideal way to notify about an important message and get consumers hooked. This sticker can be saved by any user in their account. Once the countdown ends, the user will receive a start reminder. Use this sticker to announce sales, new product release, brand renewal or opening a new store.



7. POLL

Almost the most popular way to use a POLL sticker is to get a yes-or-no answer. However, businesses can also use this sticker to collect data - creating a quick focus group from their target audience. For example, comparing the colours of two items to find out which is more appealing to followers.



8. CHALLENGES

With the virus spreading around the world, online person-to-person challenges gained popularity. Instagram, in turn, has introduced a sticker just for that. Businesses can use it to invite their followers to perform certain challenges, such as dancing or cooking. Challenge is passed to another user - place your products for challenges and let geometric progression do the rest.



9. DONATIONS

This Story feature popped during the pandemic - primarily to raise funds for hospitals. But more and more nonprofits are joining fundraising through Stories. With just a few clicks, the user can support various organisations. A brilliant way to prove social responsibility, right?



10. HASHTAGS

You can put 10 hashtags using a text tool and 1 as a sticker in any of your Stories. Hashtags are an integral part of social networks generating potential audience traffic straight to your account. You may also use Story Insights to see how many people visited your account due to a hashtag. Take a look at a few hashtag categories and choose what works best for your business.



Almost all of the above features can be “measured” through Story Insights. How many clicks the sticker received, how many people visited your account through stories, and so on. Don’t miss the opportunity to make your audience engaged - let them experience your business in the INTERACTIVE and personal way!

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