Learn how to create a new Instagram story. Using Instagram stories is a great way for markets to connect with their target audience on a more personal level.
- The stories feature in Instagram has become increasingly popular, and marketers should definitely make use of this feature as best as they can. I say as best as they can because although seemingly simple, the subtleties of Instagram stories can be a bit complicated. Easy to learn, but difficult to master. Let's start by discussing some of the basics. Instagram stories are different from regular posts because first of all, they don't show up in your regular Instagram feed. Additionally, they're only available to view for 24 hours. Stories can however be a good way to add personality to your brand on Instagram. Instagram stories show up at the top of your home screen on Instagram. So you can see right now, we only have a icon for our story at the top left, but if we had other users that we followed on Instagram who've uploaded stories, we would see their profile icons listed right next to ours, and we could tap to start viewing the stories. And the way it works is, you only view a story for 20 seconds, and then it moves on to the next story. So we would view all of our followers stories at once until we decided to exit out of story mode. To create a story, from our home page, going to tap on the camera icon at the top left of the screen. And when you're first brought to stories, you prompted to either take a photo or record a video. To take a photo from here, you can just tap on the circle button in the bottom middle. To record a video, you can tap and hold on that button. However, you can actually use images and videos that are saved to your device in stories by tapping on the gallery symbol in the bottom left. So you'll notice that when I do that, I'm now brought to my camera roll, and we can select images and videos that are already on my device. So let's go ahead and select a photo to upload. So, I'm just going to choose this kind of behind the scenes photo here. Now, to make this a true story, we need to get a little creative. Notice that we have some buttons available to us at the top right of our screen. The first button just allows us to download this story. So, like I mentioned earlier, stories are only available for 24 hours to view, but you as the creator can download it so that you can view it later on. Your viewers won't be able to see it after 24 hours but you will. The second option allows us to add some filters to our story, and this works really good if you have photos of people because I'm sure you've seen the Instagram photos with like the cat ears and the dog ears and that sort of thing. So that's what some of these are. But if you scroll over there are some other options as well, this one might work in this photo. Yeah, so you can see it adds a little bit of some sparkles to it. These are great for taking regular photos and kind of animating them a little bit to make them a little more lively. The cinema roll is kind of cool for this one, right? So you can go through these on your own time and take a look. But the third button over, and actually let me just remove this for now. But the third button over is the stickers button, and this is probably the most effective feature of stories for businesses, and what people use a lot even if they're not running a business. So this is the stickers option, and in the stickers option, we can add a number of elements to our story. So we can tag a location. We could at mention someone. We could add a hashtag, we can add music, gifs, dates. We can run polls which we're going to look at in a second. We can ask open ended questions. And then as you scroll down, you have some other options as well. You can even get donations from Instagram, but then these ones at the bottom just add a little bit of flare to your story. So for now, let's go ahead and let's choose a poll. You'll notice that now we're prompted to create a question for our poll. So we can just say, have you ever been to a photo shoot? And now this question is essentially a yes or no question, but if it wasn't we could go in here and we could tap to modify the answer. So we can say maybe. But for now, we'll just do yes and no. So once we're happy with our poll question, we can tap done at the top right. And now we can tap and hold on this element, so the question element, and we can move it around our story wherever we like. At the same time, if there are elements that we'd like to move out of our story, delete, we can tap and hold, so say on the date here, and I can drag it down to the trash can, and that will delete it from our story. The fourth option at the top right just allows us to draw on our photo, so if we tap on the squiggly line, we can then select a color at the bottom, and we can just draw on the photo if we wanted to. So, obviously you need to get really creative for that and that's not my specialty. However, you might be really good at that, so I'm just going to tap done for now. And then the final option is to add text, so if we tap on that, we can start typing some text. We can change the color of it if we wanted to. And then we could move that around our story as well. Now once we're done creating our story, if we wanted to share this as a normal story, we can just tap on the your story button at the bottom left, and now it'll be available for all of our followers to view. Alternatively, you can just send this to a particular user by tapping on the send to button at the bottom right. But as a business, generally speaking you're going to want these to be publicly accessible. So let's just tap on your story at the bottom left. And now you notice when we do that a rainbow color appears around our profile image, which means that that user, it happens to be us, has an unread story. So they have a story uploaded that we haven't viewed yet. So if we tap on our profile icon at the top, we can view our story. Now you notice the story only lasts for a certain amount of time, but if you tap and hold in the middle of the screen, it will pause it so that it doesn't just go to the next story, and now we could answer the question. We could tap on yes that we have been to a photo shoot, and you'll notice that we're starting to see the results come in there. So then we can tap to view our story again and if more people answered the question, we would then see the updated results. If we had other users that were uploading stories, instead of it taking us back to this home page after we finished watching the story, it would just move on and show the next person's story. Now I do want to just quickly mention that you can add videos to stories as well, so if we tap on the top left to add a new story, we go to our gallery, I have a video that I'd like to add. You do need to make sure that it is in portrait orientation because all stories are viewed in portrait not landscape. But if I tap to add the video, you'll notice that it shows up kind of like the photo, and we can edit all of the elements. We can add stickers, anything that we want to this story, just like we did with the first one. I'm not going to add anything for sake of time here, but I'll just tap on your story at the bottom left, and it will upload it. Now when we tap to view our story, you'll notice that if you look at the very top, there are actually two story elements. So, we already viewed the first one. So now we're viewing the second one. But if we were to go back in, and we'd view them all again, we start at the beginning. So we see the first one we uploaded, and then it moves right into the second one. So, you can add these stories together to create a story, right? That's the whole idea of this, and you can use images to create what seems like a video. When you add multiple images together and you use the filters that are available to you in stories mode, you can essentially create a video that's made up of a bunch of photos. So as you can see, there are a ton of options when it comes to creating stories, and it will take some practice to get used to all the features. But don't be afraid to try things out and be creative. You can always delete a story after creating it. I think that stories are great for showing behind the scenes footage, showing what your business looks like in action, not necessarily the final product, but the process that it takes to get to that final product. It really adds that personality to your Instagram account.