In August 2018 Instagram celebrated the second anniversary of perhaps the most beloved feature for its users – the Story! In only two years, this feature attracted as many as 400 million daily active users, thus making the number of monthly Instagram active users cross the barrier of 1 billion! And Gram Stories feature is sure to stay long with us, perhaps as long as Instagram exists, i.e. forever (at least we hope so)!
Today nearly all brands implement Stories in their Instagram marketing strategies. And if you plan to do the same, you must clearly understand that users perceive and use Stories and Feed posts in thoroughly different ways. Moreover, they are driven to both formats for different reasons, as well. Today InstaBF, a credible Instagram and IGTV provider, will reveal which is better for your brand.
Insta Feed vs Insta Stories: The Experiment Setup
To find out whether Instagram Stories are more beneficial for a social media brand or the Insta feed, first of all, you need to set up an experiment. As Gram Story, it’s possible to post a set of images, or 5-15-seconds-long videos with the best 9:16 portrait ratio. For a brand, it’s better to opt for the video format, as the Gram Stories feature allows no text or headline addition to the visuals. Videos are perhaps better at conveying information. And then you need to create two Instagram ordinary posts – one with ad text and one without it. Once all these are set, start tracking the number of leads, as well as the cost per lead that each type of your experiment methods brings. This is the major goal for any Instagram campaign, isn’t it?
Insta Feed vs Insta Stories: The Hypothesis
Depending on your Instagram business type, you may have a certain hypothesis even prior to setting up the experiment. In some cases, you might expect poor conversion rates for Stories (if you have a B2B Insta business, for instance). In other cases, you could be certain Stories would work the best (i.e. for ordinary consumer offers). But don’t hurry with the conclusions until you have facts.
Once you have certain results, you can compare them and determine which is more beneficial for particularly your business.
Insta Feed vs Insta Stories: General Takeaways
After you have carried out your experiment and found out particularly what works for you the best, most probably you will come to the following conclusions:
- Instagram feed posts accompanied by ad text will outperform Stories for pest per conversion. But if you use the same post yet without the ad text, the CPA of the Story will be higher.
- Instagram Stories bring higher CTR, yet lower CPC thus sending more traffic to a website. Perhaps the reason is that one can’t convey enough information in the Story ad.
- The choice between the Gram News Feed and the Stories mostly depends on the type of your offer. Simpler offers such as sales are better delivered through Insta Stories.
Don’t be afraid to test new things. If you haven’t yet used Gram Stories to promote your products, you risk getting caught out once this feature starts overtaking the newsfeed for organic posts. Devote at least 10% of your advertising budget to Stories and find out, what a profit it may bring to you. Just remember that this feature demands more creative resources, a unique approach to the task, as you have only up to 15 seconds to attract your audience through such a powerful tool as Instagram Story!
An Instagram Story is perhaps the most powerful feature of this social network. And its users seem to never get tired of thinking of new ways to amaze their followers. As a reputable Instagram and IGTV provider, InstaBF has already provided you with several amazing ideas on how to make some creative Instagram stories. But now we’d like to add other killing ideas from Gram leading brands. We are sure, good ideas are never enough!
Gary Vaynerchuk Recommends Creating Content Series
It’s really hard to come up with grandiose content ideas every day to post on your social media account. On the other hand, it’s impossible to create a firm connection with your audience if you are behaving inconsistently on Instagram, or there is no brand theme in your content. What to do? Start with content series! This idea was inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk. That’s how he manages to appear to his audience with fresh and quality content every day! Just have a look at Gary’s #WallPaperWednesday or the #60SecClub story series.
Condé Nast Travaler Suggests Recycling and Building on Other Content
Another creative idea is to recycle the best of other content you have, such as blog posts, images or videos and turn it into something new. Surely, you need only a small part of that content, while the thorough variant can still be used where it was planned. For this, just make certain that your Story viewers will get the value of the story without being obliged to click over the see the original content. For instance, Condé Nast Traveler is quite a success in this. Just watch the annual road trip guide of this account and get inspired how to balance fun facts and your promotional CTA.
You Can Share UGC just as Mercedes Benz Does
As an Instagram brand, you must be aware that customers can become an untapped source of wonderful content! Just ask them if you can share their posts and be certain, they will be more than simply grateful for that! This will bring them some new followers, while you will have a great idea of always fresh and authentic Instagram Story ideas! For example, Mercedes Benz shares Stories with its customers’ images on a regular basis. This way this mega-popular brand effectively promotes its cars while sharing stunning stories for its followers!
Starbucks Collaborates and Posts Interviews
Like every brand should do, Starbucks has constant interviews with its followers. The results are always awesome and can serve as a win-win content for Stories.
Recently, this famous brand cooperated with S’well and a talented artist Curtis Kulig to create a unique design for its new bottle. After this, Starbucks used its interview with this artist as an Instagram story which was a great success among its followers.
Just the same way, you can showcase someone’s thoughts behind your new product release if you are running a business on Instagram.
Go Behind the Scenes with Aritzia
Every business has much more than it meets the eye. So does your Instagram business! What else if not some grandiose behind-the-scenes content can make highly compelling Instagram stories! Every fan loves to see and learn how his favorite product comes together, so why not show that to them?! If you are a fashionista, most probably you are familiar with a fashion boutique Aritzia. Quite lately, the official Instagram account if this boutique revealed how they created the design of their new window display using 3D printing. So can you do. Whether you have a big business or just sell handmade things through your Instagram account, the stuff behind the scenes will always be attractive to your followers. Use this idea from time to time.
Instagram is quite often compared to a powerhouse. It supplies over a milliard people with energy every month and keeps on enlarging its power day by day. And what makes this social network a hit among users is its stories! Since their creation, Instagram Stories have been the most loved feature of Gram users. People strive to appear more creative, more attractive and impressive from every Story they make. And this creates quite a harsh competition among all users. To stand out, it’s crucial to know all the ins and outs of this feature. And if here, at InstaBF, one of the most credible Instagram and IGTV providers, we have already spoken about how to create amazing Gram Stories or how to enhance them with GIFs, today we’ll refer to such an important aspect as the Story dimensions.
What are Gram Story Dimensions and Why Do We Need Them?
The standard dimensions of Insta Stories (1080px by 1920px) imply that the picture or video you plan to post in your Story must be 1920px in height and 1080px in width. This is equal to the ratio 9:16.
Generally, shooting a portrait photo or a video with your smartphone, you get the exact dimensions to post them on Insta Stories. There’s absolutely nothing to accommodate. However, the capabilities of your smartphone and the requirements of Story dimensions are restricted to this. If you enhance your image quality with the help of other applications such as Illustrator or Photoshop, for instance, you will have to correct the dimensions in the end. Otherwise, if you just upload an image to Insta Story, the latter will crop the image to its necessary size. This way you might lose the most important part of your image. Or, if the image is too small, it will be zoomed and result in quality loss. Who needs this? Nobody! Look at the beautiful photo of the Cornish cliffs in England.
Unfortunately, the photo has other dimensions that Insta Story accepts. Hence, once you upload it, not only the image is zoomed and the quality is dramatically lost, but also the cove’s beach is thoroughly cropped off.
To avoid such situations, stick to the set dimensions.
Insta Story Dimensions for Creating Branded Stories
Surely, Insta’s camera and editors can be used for creating some awesome content Gram stories, but it’s undeniable that those created with professional visual editors are far better. Branded contents are always more eye-catching and stunning!
Canva is one of the most widely-used free online tools. When using this application (after creating an account, of course), remember to tap the “use custom dimensions” instead of choosing a template. After this, insert Insta Story dimensions (1080 x 1920) and tap the “Design” button.
Upload Your Content Faster
The high-resolution images and videos that Instagram Story “demands” are usually larger files which not only take up much storage space in your device but also take a longer time to upload. If you get annoyed by this, there is an option to change the number of pixels (the quality of the image). But remember that the dimensions aspect ratio for an Insta Story must remain 9:16 not to affect the image negatively. Here is a small hint guide:
- 1080px x 1920px – the best resolution
- 720px x 1280px – still HD ye uploads faster
- 450px x 800px – loses quality but uploads very fast
Have you ever wondered how Instagram ranks those who view your Stories or what that order could mean? Some people think the accounts viewing the Story first appear on the top, while others are sure those who view the story more, are ranked the first. In fact, neither is true. Would you like to find the answer to this little question hidden somewhere in the depths of your mind? InstaBF, the service who is always ready to provide likes, comments, views and followers for your Instagram and IGTV accounts, is going to clarify this matter right in this post!
How Instagram Ranks Your Story Viewers
It’s a pity, but if you see someone on the top of the list who has watched your recent Story, it doesn’t mean that person has viewed your Story multiple times. In fact, Instagram never reveals the number of views per user. As stated by the product lead for Instagram Home Julia Gutman, Instagram decides which users must appear on the top of your Instagram Story viewers based on who you interact with the most. By no means accept this the other way around. This is to do more with your activity and not your followers’. The reason for this is explained this way, “Instagram thinks you would like to first find out whether the people you care about have watched your Stories or not”. Accordingly, the algorithm, ranking Instagram Stories’ viewers, works depending on your activity and the people you feel closest to on Instagram.
If the things are this way, then why every time you check in to see who has watched your Story you can see a different list? This is explained by the two factors that Instagram algorithm bases those lists on. We have already addressed to the first factor – your interaction with other accounts. The second factor, meanwhile, is how often you check in to see that list. If you check it multiple times during the day, Instagram tries to show you a new set of people – perhaps you are expecting someone else to view your story?
So, now you have a complete answer to your question and know how Instagram determines particularly which accounts are to appear on the top of your Story viewers’ list. Yet, another question may arise from this – how does Instagram algorithm know who you are engaging with the most?
User Interaction in Instagram Algorithm’s Understanding
At the beginning of this year, Instagram, at last, revealed how its algorithm works and InstaBF has already addressed to it. In fact, all that this algorithm does is helping you to see the content by those users who are closest to you (family and friends). Besides, this algorithm predicts which posts might be the most important to you based on such key factors as interest, timeliness, and relationship.
And now we shall convey another trick of the algorithm – what it understands by saying “a user’s interaction”. Such simple actions as visiting the profile of an account, making comments on feed posts and watching the account’s Stories build up Instagram interaction. So, the person you are interested in the most and keep on following every step made on Instagram will appear on the top of your Story viewers once he sees it.
There is also another factor that may affect the Story Viewers’ list, which is a theory yet. As Facebook is Instagram’s parent company, your interactions with Facebook users may influence the Insta Stories Viewers’ list, too. However, this is yet nor proved, while all the stuff you read above is pure facts!
Without any doubt, social networks have turned into one of the most efficient advertisement tools of nowadays. Still, when it comes to getting orders and process online sales, lots of companies prefer to operate their own online shops using a dedicated domain. So, establishing good redirection channels on social networks becomes crucial for proper conversion rates. Adding a link to your Instagram stories is exactly what you need to ensure the stability of the traffic from IG to your online store or personal website.
How to add a link to your Instagram stories
Please note that adding links to Stories is available only for business accounts having more than 10.000 followers. If you don’t have enough of them you can always purchase followers from InstaBF.
And if you have enough subscribers follow the instructions below.
a) Create an Instagram story
The Story can be launched in the respective section of the Instagram app (swipe up to get there and upload previously taken photos) or use the dedicated Instagram Stories application.
b) Attach the link
Tap on the link icon, the new window will appear in which you can paste/type the required URL. To complete attachment, tap on the “Done” button (if you are using iOS) or on the check mark (if you are an Android user).
Now the link icon is highlighted and your Instagram story has become an effective marketing channel for your online store.
c) Keep posting
Prepare a decent content plan for your story – there are lots of various content types available, so there is enough space for your creativity. Modify your images with filters, add some stickers and use the text as a call-to-action object. It may vary from the simple “Check our website” inscription to more complicated things like comic-style speech balloons that will reveal the main points of your story.
Be careful not to overload the story with excessive decorations. Try to keep your followers concentrated and agitated at the same time. This is the key to involve and convert as many leads as possible.
The above said is right for adding links to your stories: do not add them to every post and make sure that every link is valuable in the context of the story and in the context of your marketing strategy. Think of it like a game of chess and avoid unnecessary manipulations. Keep it rational.
How to make the links in your Instagram stories work as conversion channels
Here are a few ideas on how to integrate IG Stories and attached links with your marketing strategy. Surely, you cannot use any of these tips as a magic bullet that can be used universally. But they may give you food for thought and become a good foundation for your own techniques:
Integration with blogs
Think of your Instagram Stories as a quick way to notify your followers about the new posts appearing in your blog. By adding links to blog posts you can increase the traffic dramatically. We also recommend giving a short teaser of the content you post on your blog to get more clicks. It would be also great to make this teaser unique for Instagram.
Instructions, manuals, and tutorials
Any DIY activity may be a good example of such a trick. Just share the final results on Instagram (whether it is a wonderful dish or a project of something like DIY furniture) as a teaser and attach the link to the full instructions and the step-by-step report on your website. This will boost the traffic and increase conversion.
As you have probably noticed, the main idea is to think of your content as a good dinner; Instagram stories, in this case, should be regarded as appetizers before the main course. Make them spicy and irresistibly tempting. For example, do not hurry to post the results of a contest or a giveaway on Instagram, use the link in Stories to drive your followers to the page with the results on your website.
If you have some content time, feel free to experiment with sneak peeks or short “behind-the-scenes” videos/photos that will be published mostly on your website with short teasers on Instagram.
Product and service advertisement
Make sure that your links to products and discount notifications are not too annoying. Too often ads posting may ruin your audience and distract them from your profile. Try to arrange the ads creatively and make them as interactive as possible. Your ad should look like a piece of art or a sheet of a comic book; it may even look like a post from your everyday life with all its imperfections. But they should never look like ads or banners.
We hope that this article will help you to make your Instagram Stories more interesting to your followers and get more likes. And getting more likes and views means getting more clients for your business. So, unleash your creativity and keep posting!