Live-streaming has fast become the real MVP. In a world where social media can often be curated, leaving us to question whether what we see bears any truth, live-streaming has really emerged as a game changer.

So it’s no wonder why Instagram decided to jump on the live-stream bandwagon to offer creators an opportunity to share behind-the-scenes moments; an element business to consumer platforms have used to really engage their audiences.

Instagram stories have created a new level of immediacy and authenticity for people, brands and businesses to really tap into; and it would be a travesty if you were to miss out on such a rewarding platform.

You might already know about Instagram stories, but do you know how to utilize the service and create engaging stories? Here’s how.

 

Getting Started

To begin telling your story, click on the camera icon in the upper left corner of the main page. Once you’re in, tap the shutter button to snap a photo, or hold your finger down to record a video, just lift your finger to stop.

For even more freedom, try out the hands-free mode. Photos and videos you have taken within the last 24 hours can also posted. Just swipe down in the app to see recent clips.

Instagram stories allow both photos and videos, so you can choose the right tool for the job. The tough part? Collecting moments throughout day to tell one fluid story.

Take viewers along with you. Let them in on your whereabouts—who are you with, what are you doing, where are you, when is this happening, why are you doing this?

Remember what you have posted previously, and consider what you might post next. Offer a variety of shots to avoid repetition.

 

Isn’t Instagram stories just like Snapchat Stories?

It’s no stretch of the imagination to realise that Instagram stories draw stark similarities to Snapchat.

However, there are differences. For one, the very addictive facial recognition, where you can turn yourself into a anything from a unicorn to Barack Obama, is noticeably absent from Instagram.

The major advantage for Instagram is the audience available to them. Snapchat’s 150 million daily active users is but a fraction of Instagram’s 400 million. This means Snapchat has much more ground to cover, while Instagram already has a captive audience.

Which is explanation enough to why you should be using instagram stories to connect with your audience.

One thing to note in the differences is that you can’t just spam post on Instagram Stories. Leave that to your Snapchat account.
 

 

Content To Get Them Engaged

 

Show a “Day in the Life” of Your Business

You can use both still photographs and videos to create Instagram stories. Your videos don’t have to be anything spectacular. In fact, videos can be a great way to show your audience a unique view of the day-to-day happenings at your business, or for personal profiles – lets the audience see your day-to-day routines.

One of the best things about sharing video with Instagram Stories is that you can do it quickly and spontaneously. While you can put a lot of planning into your videos, sometimes a simple snippet of daily life can be very effective in promoting your brand.

 

Turn Your Blog Content Into Mini Videos

Use Instagram Stories to put together short how-to videos on just about any topic. Many Instagram users are looking for cooking and decorating ideas and other household topics, and Instagram Stories lets you share this kind of information in an interesting, digestible format.

First take a look at the content you publish on your blog. Chances are you’ll find an article that you could easily break down into a few slides to display visually.

For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you could create how-to-dress stories for whatever occasion or weather you choose; incorporate employees wearing the merchandise, or yourself and how you dress.

GQ are constantly streaming behind the scenes looks, at their events or ones they’re invited to, of popular celebrities and stylists and what they’re wearing.

Of course, you’re creating a story like this to engage your audience, so once you have their attention, it’s important to close with a directive that lets them know what to do next. Without that step, people who might otherwise be interested in your company may leave without interacting further.

Content has come a long way and there are now multiple ways to display information beyond a simple blog post. Create fun mini-article stories out of your blog content.

Tease a Facebook Live Broadcast

Facebook Live is another social media tool that many businesses, brands and personalities use. So why not use it in conjunction with Instagram Stories? Post an Instagram story to notify people about a Facebook Live broadcast to get more viewers for your live video.

To use this cross platform tactic to promote your Facebook Live videos, create a brief teaser story that gives a taste of what the Facebook Live event will be like, and include a URL for people to attend it. Make sure to use a URL shortener like Bitly as users can’t click through a URL on an Instagram story.

If people like your Instagram content, they’ll probably like your Facebook content as well. Use one platform to promote the other and get more engagement on both sides.

 

Show Your Product In action

If you want to promote a product, Instagram stories are a great way to show viewers what that product can do. Give people ideas for using your product or show them what they can do or create with the product if they buy it.

Makeup tutorials with a specific makeup brand or tool, hair tutorials with a curling iron, and impressive skateboarding videos for a skateboard company are just a few ideas of products that you can demonstrate with Instagram Stories.

Ultimately, your content should entice people to purchase your product or service. If you can do that in an entertaining and genuine way, you’ll be able to draw more people to your website and avoid potentially annoying them with aggressive sales messages.

 

Celebrate Milestones

Combine interviews and other tactics to tell an engaging story to highlight company events and milestones.

Evoke your brand personality with the right colors and tone, and remind the employees who appear in your video that they’re acting as the face of the company.

Your business probably has more stories than you realize. Treating them like exciting events is a great way to humanize your brand and keep your customers interested in what you do.

In the end, enjoy capturing and sharing all those moments that happen in between Instagram posts through Instagram stories. It’s a fun way to connect with your network and embrace a new form of storytelling. With these tips, you’re well on your way to creating engaging content worth watching.