Published on January 8th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi0
Stories of Instagram: 9 Tips to Create Professional and Engaging Content Now
Stories continue to be more and more popular and even the number of companies that exploit this function of Instagram does not stop growing. In fact, for some time now, the presence on social media and especially on Instagram is fully included among the most profitable marketing tools for companies. Do you think that, on average, 300 million users publish their stories every day!
Originally this function was launched to try to steal users from Snapchat. Instead, Instagram Stories quickly surpassed its predecessor.
Stories can be exciting, engaging and create a true and personal connection with the public.
But how can you use it to market your business? How can you take advantage of all the fantastic features that many companies and influencers use every day?
At the end of this short guide, you will have learned the basics of becoming an Instagram Stories PRO.
1) Choose NATURAL lighting
Like any video or photo, lighting can create or destroy the professional nature of your Instagram Story. Now, I am not a professional photographer, but I know that this concept is as simple as it is important: light must be (as much as possible) natural.
This does not mean buying a professional lighting set and creating a fully equipped studio. In fact, the best lighting usually comes from natural light that improves the shades of each type of skin and allows you to avoid strange shadows.
The ideal time of day to get natural light is just after dawn or one hour before sunset.
The central hours of the day are NOT the best time for your shots or your videos for Instagram, because excessive light can cause overexposure and annoying shadows.
2) Take advantage of your smartphone’s camera
You do not need to shoot with a professional camera to get high quality photos and videos. The latest smartphones can make small masterpieces and the publication on Instagram Stories will be simple and fast
To get the best video footage, be sure to use your native camera and NOT the Instagram camera when shooting. Videos taken directly on Instagram have lower resolutions and limited options for editing directly in the app.
Among the many advantages, also a high image quality as it records in RAW image format (useful for obtaining files with different extensions for post-production) and does not apply any compression.
As I said, this is not a must, nor something that I would recommend to anyone especially if only now you are taking the first steps with Instagram videos, but it is always better to carry on with the work and start orienting in the right direction if you want undertake an activity linked to the world of digital marketing.
3) Monitor the duration of the video and work on editing
As you may already know, the Stories of Instagram allow you to publish videos with a duration limit of 15 seconds, so you will have to learn how to do things with a certain order and criterion.
These videos can be shot vertically or horizontally, but considering that Instagram users typically surf vertically with their phones, it’s best to stick to the first position.
An excellent way to make sure that you fit your content appropriately in a 15-second snippet and allow stories to flow nicely without having to interrupt embarrassingly during recorded history, is to use video editing software.
Software for editing
With such a tight time limit for your videos to be posted on Instagram Stories, the editing phase can be the winning solution! Luckily there are many solutions and you do not have to be a professional to use them better.
Obviously the applications on the App Store or Play Store are many, but I selected for the 4 that I think can help you immediately to change your Instagram videos in a simple and effective way:
This app is perfect for beginners thanks to its simplicity and ease of use. It gives you the ability to edit audio and video after the video has been created.
It’s the GoPro video editing app, but you do not need to own or use one. You can choose from a variety of filters and lets you bring together multiple videos in one with every change that interests you. You can also add music and transitions.
This is also an easy-to-use video editing app. You have the possibility to add music, filters, subtitles and much more. The features you have access to change depending on the free or paid version. Its free version allows you to make all the basic changes to your videos.
Adobe Premiere Clip
This is another fantastic app that will allow you to edit your video, rearrange clips in a certain order, customize speed, adjust lighting and add music. Very complete and effective application even without spending money on the premium version.
4) Keep your brand consistent
Well, after having dealt with the first 3 basic phases, we talk about the different features on Instagram and how to use them to the fullest.
If you run a website or a blog, you definitely have a style and a way of approaching that you would also propose on paper or paper, I mean well? So on Instagram, make sure you are consistent and, as the title of the paragraph, keep your brand always linear.
Think about your website: do you use multiple images of people or products? Games with special overlays on the images? What is your color palette?
Make sure that in the History of Instagram there is all the style with which you have already accustomed your audience on the net.
Consistency should also be felt in messages and content. Keep in mind your target, with particular tastes and expectations. Everything you do on Instagram (and on social media in general) should be in line with the latter.
Why is the consistency of branding on your Instagram Story important?
First of all it reinforces the appeal of the brand and does not create confusion or division among your followers. Also because I imagine you want your users to experience the same feelings and experiences with your service / product regardless of the medium with which you communicate with them.
A company that I suggest you take for example is HubSpot. In addition to being very present on social media correctly, it also takes advantage of the brand’s consistency in its Instagram Stories.
- The digital marketing team works very well because in the Stories:
- Show the faces of their employees (creating empathy and sympathy with their audience).
- Always find a way to use the orange color (which identifies the brand in question).
- Use the Stories to launch marketing and business pills to your followers.
5) Use the appropriate LOCATION tag and #Hashtag
Using the right hashtags and the exact location within your Instagram Stories, users can more easily find your content (especially those that do not follow you yet).
This is one of the main reasons why Instagram Stories continues to surpass Snapchat, so make the most of it! Remember that to increase the followers of Instagram, the correct use of hashtags is the first step to take.
If you have trouble finding the correct hashtags, I suggest you do a simple search on the platform.
Start with some keywords that your audience could search for. From there, you will see a list of the most relevant hashtags and the number of posts that have that exact hashtag. Here, for example, what if you look for marketing:
Another option to consider is to take a look at some competitors to find out which hashtags they are using.
Keep in mind that hashtags (like keywords) can become competitive.
For example, if you are a travel company, it will not make sense to simply enter the hashtag “travel”.
Think about the main destinations that people book through your company and start tagging them specifically. It’s the same concept of long- tailed keywords, keyword long tails. You must be as specific as possible. Always avoid too generic tags.
Remember to also include a tag of the place where you find it. This applies to both posts and stories.
The advantage of including the position in your story is simple. If a user searches for places, your content will appear in the search results just because you tagged there.
Imagine staying in a hotel for the holidays and posting a post on Instagram by adding the structure in the place section of the app. anyone looking for that hotel on the platform will also find your content in the results.
By the way, how many times have you seen a nice picture or a video on a friend’s Instagram Story and wondered where it was? Using localization tags answers this question and generates engagement.
6) Add animations and music to the stories
Another really interesting effect that you can add to your Stories of Instagram is animation. Excellent solution to create amazing content that attracts attention and makes your videos unique.
There are free tools that allow you to create video animations, but my favorite is Adobe Spark. A free plan is available, there is no need to spend even one euro.
You can download Adobe Spark as an app on your phone or use it on your computer. Choose an advanced model, a color palette, save your work and upload it to Instagram. Very simple and guaranteed effect.
Thanks to the wide range of predefined models and colors available, I’m sure you’ll find the one that matches the needs of your brand or business.
If you have 2 minutes (if you got to this point of the guide I think you’ll have!) Take a look at this YouTube video that offers a general overview, but specifies about Spark. It is in English:
Remaining always in the animation, you know that you can add to your Instagram Story many GIFs?
Record or upload your video, select at the top the third icon from the right relative to the “stickers” function, click on GIF and look for the one that is best suited to the story. You will find endless!
If you’re recording a story directly from the Instagram app, all you have to do is play the music on another app on your phone. In other words, if while recording a video you started a song on Spotify, this will be heard inside the recording. But of course.
If you are looking for a way to integrate music after recording a video outside the platform (which I recommend), take a look at the absolute best app: InShot, available for iOS and android.
In two words? It allows you to take advantage of the music you’ve saved on your phone or access their library.
InShot also allows you to trim tracks, select volume level, create crossfading effects and add fade-in / close-out options.
Of course, if you’re a more experienced video pro, you can always insert music using your favorite editing software, then recharge it on your phone. Otherwise I think this is the best solution ever.
7) Improve engagement through surveys and mentions
Interesting feature to increase the number of interactions with your Instagram Story is the use of surveys.
Surveys are a great way not only to engage users and bring them closer to your content, but also represent a unique opportunity to discover the real (and spontaneous) interests of your audience .
Consider asking questions that will help you create future content. In this way you should notice, over time, an increase in interactions with your posts since you will treat topics closer to the interests and needs of your followers.
Also make good use of the mentions. For example, if someone has mentioned or tagged your brand in a post, consider re- sharing it in your story and mentioning it.
8) Via with the Direct!
How many characters in the entertainment world and influencers interact with their followers through live video? Many and one reason there must be: because it works.
Going live on Instagram Stories allows you to engage your audience in real time and people love to participate in the lives of others and communicate live.
Use this feature to show the latest news and something exciting about your business or blog or to invite an expert in your industry to interact with your audience and answer questions and trivia. Exactly like a guest in a TV show.
You can also use Live as an opportunity to invite users to take a look at how you do your business.
For example, you can show the various stages of producing a product. This gives a more human element to your brand and allows people to get closer to your reality.
9) Plan your content
Just as you would schedule an editorial calendar for your blog, decide in advance what kind of content you want to produce for your story.
When you organize a strategy to program the content of your story, include carefully studied hashtags (therefore relevant and not too general as I told you before) and create CTAs (click to action i.e. calls to action) to bring as many users as possible from Instagram to your blog / website.