Another way to tell your story

Instagram Stories blah blah blah blah…. I’m betting you’ve already seen a million and one articles about Instagram’s answer to the Snapchat ‘threat’.

As always though with the average blog post in the IM on online marketing niche, there’s not much content in them i.e. I had trouble finding one which clearly showed you how to use Instagram stories, which buttons to push etc.

So if you are like I was and just wanting to know HOW to put together a story on Instagram’s new tool, you’re in the right place.

What are Instagram Stories?

If you’re reading this and have been living under a rock then there’s a chance you’ve managed to miss out on the IG stories phenomenon.

You can post a whole bunch of photos during the day and even them string them together so they make a story. The great thing about this is that you can get away from having to choose really carefully selected pics without messing up your timeline on iG.

We’ll go through how you can leverage stories a little later.

You can see everyone’s stories at the top of your insta page. Just click on anyone you want to check out and you’ll automatically be taken through the photo (or video) reel. Some will have one shot, others three, four, six……

instagram stories

How to Use IG Stories- Step-by-Step

One: Make your first story

One: You can start your very own story by clicking the plus sign in the top right corner.

Two: Add a picture or video (or a lot)

Next you need to take the picture- you can hit the selfie mode button in the bottom right corner if you want. To take a photo just hit the big white button, to make it a vid (up to 15 secs) just keep pressing.

If you get haters then you can click the top left hand icon to control who can view the story. The default setting allows any body who lands on your page to see it and it will also appear at the top of relevant accounts screens, Powerful stuff.

Three: Adding a saved image or vid.

If you want to use an image or video that’s saved on your phone, you can just swipe up on your screen and you’ll see all the available images at the top of your screen. Just click the one you want.

You’ll notice that you can only use images captured in the last 24 hours- this is to keep only fresh content going into your stories. However, you can get round this by re-uploading a pic/vid.

Four: Editing Your Image and adding it to your story

Once you have your picture selected, you have three choices: hit the bottom middle button to add the image to your Instagram story, hit the bottom right to save the image to use it later, or go to the top left where you can add some colour and text to your image.

If you decide to hit the text button you get an option to change the colour, or you can hit the brush option to add some bright strokes.

You can alter the filter by swiping left.

Five: Adding to Your Story

Once you have finished your image editing and it looks all good, you click the tick button in the bottom middle and it adds it to your story.

You are taken to you account home page. If you want to add more images to your story sequence then just click the plus circle at the top right and you can repeat the process above til you’ve added how many pics as you need to tell your ‘story’.

If you want to see what you story looks like, then just click the circle with your profile pic in it.

You’ll notice that the bars at the top show you which image of the story you are up to. To delete the image, just go to the bottom right button and it will give you the option to do that.

Finally: Find out who’s showing you love

Because it’s brand new, the engagement is super high on stories right now. Though you can’t comment or like stories you can send a direct message to the person who created the story.

Of course, engagement’s not much use if you can’t track it. Instagram stories has a great answer to this.

When you check out your story you’ll notice a little white arrow the bottom of your screen. If you swipe up it will bring up an screen that tells you all the people who have watched or looked at your story.

I don’t need to tell you the possibilities this function presents in terms of targeting potential prospects if you’re using IG for marketing your business.

Should I be Using Instagram Stories??

It of course depends on the nature of your business but if you have found IG to be a good hunting ground for you, then story is a great option to check out.

If you are looking to brand yourself as an IM trainer or consultant then the story format is a great way to show a “peek in my life” view of you as a human being.

For those of you with physical products, the photo/video line up style of stories is perfect to show “behind the scenes” and allow you customers to see just how much work goes into putting your stuff together.

If you are launching a new line or product then you can make great stories to support your main launch posts on the main feed.

As with all these things, you will have to play around with Instagram stories to see how it best suits your needs, but no doubt it can be a great string in your bow.