If you’ve spent any time marketing your business on Instagram, you’ve likely heard the word “algorithm.”

In an over-simplified nutshell, social media algorithms are formulas that determine who wants to see your content, and then shows those people your content. This is great news for your business because every time your followers like, comment or share your posts, they are telling Instagram they want to see more of you. Over time, this trains Instagram to give your posts priority in their feeds.

So, how do you create content that resonates with your audience? We’re glad you asked!

Instagram Stories is an incredible tool to have in your social media marketing belt, and easily gives you a ton of fun, unique ways to entertain, inform and, most importantly, engage your audience. Plus, on average, stories reach more of your followers. Since stories disappear after 24 hours, this regularly frees up space for fresh, new content in the story feed, and gives you more opportunities to connect with your followers.

Here are five ways to make the most of your story content.

1. Story highlight icons: After you post a story, it disappears after 24 hours. If you want to extend the life of your story content, you can choose to highlight it at the top of your profile.  You can create groupings of stories into different categories and topics that you plan to regularly post stories about, and then “pin” those stories to a specific highlight. Consider this a showcase to your profile’s visitors and potential new customers. You can add reviews, tips, short bios about your team, tours of your business and anything else that is relevant to your business and motivates people to follow you.

2. Tell a story sequence with multiple story cards: Research varies on the ideal story sequence length, but ultimately depends on whether or not you give your followers a reason to keep tapping through to the next one. Experiment with different lengths of stories and use branded templates to showcase your brand’s unique personality. Share a series of useful tips on your subject of expertise, interview happy customers, or give an exclusive visual tour with a series of photos that will keep your audience tapping away.

3. GIFS, branding and icons: The story tray is where you can really let your creativity shine. This is where Instagram regularly rolls out fun new features that allow you to make your content stand out from others’. Use font colors and backgrounds that reflect your brand, experiment with music snippets and go crazy with GIF stickers to add interesting visual elements to your stories. Using the “questions” and “poll” features is another great way to encourage your audience to become invested in your business decisions by voting and sharing their feedback.

4. Go live: Unlike pre-recorded videos, which are important too, live video brings an element of excitement to your audience. One of the best parts about going live is that your followers will get notified the second you’re on and you can see who is watching in real time for maximum engagement. Your viewers can ask questions while they’re watching, so it’s a great opportunity to host a Q&A session about upcoming events you’re hosting, show off new products or introduce new team members. Scheduling regular live chats at the same day and time every week lets your audience anticipate your live videos, and teasing the next week’s topic as you sign off gives them a reason to come back every week.

5. Use your metrics to your benefit: There is a ton of valuable data packed into your insights dashboard that will give a peek into how your audience is responding to your content. You should regularly review how your stories are doing, and let these numbers guide your content planning. Pay close attention to how many people are exiting your stories, how many people are tapping all the way through multiple story sequences and which cards are bringing people back to your profile to get more info. These are all valuable metrics that will help you maximize your reach and put your best content forward.

Looking for more ideas to make the most out of your Instagram content? These quick tips just scratch the surface. Our team would love to help your social media content stand out! Contact us today for a quick digital assessment.

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