Instagram’s algorithm works in a way that the more often you engage with someone’s story and Instagram profile, the more frequently they will show up in your feed. Using Instagram’s interactive tools and features is a neat way to get more people to interact and engage with your story and is a great long-term strategy to build an engaged audience. That said, it only works if your content is good. If your content isn’t deserving of a click or if you overuse the features too frequently, people will tune out and skip the entire story. One thing that never fails to capture people’s attention is if you show them something new.
In this blog, we want to show you a few tips, tricks and techniques on how you can use the native features in Instagram Stories to show people something they haven’t seen before.
When you begin to think of the left and right side of the screen as tap back and tap forward buttons a whole new world of possibilities begin to open for interactivity within your stories. One of our favorite creative techniques is using them to view a panoramic.
First thing you need to do is take a panoramic picture on your phone like the one below. Once you’ve taken your panoramic picture, break it up into multiple slices as in the second picture. When complete you should have about 7 to 8 individual pictures to upload. Upload them in order of left to right. When complete encourage people to tap on both the left and right side of the screen for a unique IG Stories experience that can really make you feel like “you’re there”.
Panoramic in Action!
2) Split Screen Voting
Instagram’s polls feature is one of the most commonly abused interactive features.
We all know the ones… “SHOULD I EAT THIS DONUT” “YES or DOUBLE YES”
Pardon us while we swipe next.
However, when the feature is used correctly it can create an immersive interactive story experience. One way to ensure your polls are a success is to design your stories around the feature rather than the other way around. When making a poll you should design the video or picture as a split screen to give clear choices for what people are voting on. Additionally, try to stay away from “Yes or No” polls and opt to give people choices between two outcomes or activities.
Red Bull’s “Would You Rather, Strange Sports” story was a masterclass example on how to use polls to make a story.
The first frame of the story kicks off with three eye-catching videos stacked on top of each other with the question “Would You Rather” layered on top. Each frame was designed for the purpose of putting the poll feature in the middle and the last frame linked out to a longer video. Not only did every frame of the story command your attention but, if you were particularly interested in one video, the last frame of the story gave you the ability to find more information.
3) Use Color Matching
Unlike Snapchat, when you are drawing in Instagram, you are given the ability to match colors with an eyedropper tool. This neat little tool can help you touch up images, match your font to colors already in your image and, if you’re Matt Fogarty
, make mind-blowing optical illusions using only the draw tool guaranteed to get people tapping back to watch again.
For people looking for tips on how to achieve a similar look, Matt had this to say:
“My advice for anyone trying to blend or hide art in their stories is to plan out their shot, shoot the video so the start and end have similar lighting. This will help ensure all of the time-consuming color matching looks consistent throughout the shot.
Another tip is to avoid using solid black or white when drawing in Instagram Stories. Black and white aren’t often found in the real world, thus when used they sometimes spoil the aesthetic. So, If you need a bright or dark color, try color matching the dark and light colors from your original video rather than using the swatches. “
4) Get Creative With Your IG Fonts
Few things can change the visual and tonal direction of an image like the perfect font. Using the right font, or mixture of fonts, can take an ordinary image and give it life, passion and personality. And while most people are aware of Instagram’s multiple font options few brands utilize them on the scale of the UFC. Watch the UFC’s Instagram and expect each bit of text they use to have been perfectly planned to elevate the moment being showcased. Randy Faehnrich
, UFC Senior Manager of Social Media had this to say:
“For us, curation is everything. IGS in our opinion is a platform that gives the user an intimate experience with the ROS on fight night. Our UFC shows are run tight – timing is everything. From athlete arrivals, to preparation in the locker, to the walkout and eventual walk back, we have people set up in positions to capture content at the right time. To add even more pop to the :10-:15 second piece of content, we use IGS Fonts to give context in an aesthetically pleasing way – whether it’s with a specific athlete, the city or venue we’re in, etc. Mix & Match your fonts, play with shadowing effects and color schemes – anything that’s going to reflect the piece you’re portraying.”
It’s easy to get lazy, add text to a picture and not look back. However, if you spend a few extra moments to think about how the text can tell its own story, like in the images below, you’ll find your images become instantly more shareable and begging for a screenshot.
5) Get Tapping
Whether you like it or not people are tapping through your stories. However, this isn’t a bad thing. Yes, it could mean someone taps through your story without looking at it but, due to the fact that you can swipe to automatically go to the next story, there is a good chance it means they are actively watching. Research from our Instagram Stories Benchmark Study suggests that more than 70% of the people who view your stories are tapping through them. Use that guaranteed promise of physical interaction as a way to get your viewers to engage with your content in a favorable way. To take advantage of this we recommend using tapping to create a game or to view a stop-motion story. Furthermore, you can test the success of the story by seeing if the “Taps Forward” metric increased compared to other stories you have made.
Bud Light created a game on Instagram Stories using tapping to help deliver the Bud Light to your friend.
6) Hide Links In Your Stories
There is a myriad of reasons to use Instagram Stories’ tagging feature. The most popular reasons would be to either drive traffic back to your own account, by tagging yourself, or drive traffic to someone you are collaborating with. To do this, all you need to do is use the “@mention” feature in the when in Stories mode. None of this is groundbreaking, but did you know you can still click on mentions if they are behind stickers or gifs?
Next time you try tagging someone, place their username behind a sticker or gif and ask people to tap the sticker instead of username. You’ll be surprised by how many more people end up clicking through when you gamify the task. To see what we are talking about view the video below.
This same trick also works when adding IG Posts to your Instagram Story.
Instagram Stories has been incredible when it comes to adding new features. The best social media managers and content creators keep an eye out for those new tools and figure out a way to use them before anyone else. While being the first to do something is great in the world of social media, being the most creative is better.
Next time a new Instagram feature comes along we challenge you to try to use it in a way it was not intended, and when you do, let us know on Twitter, we would love to hear it. @DELMONDO