Instagram Stories give social media marketers a killer opportunity to reach a higher number of people. And the best part is all you have to do is take advantage of it. Instagram really is one of the fastest-growing social networks out there, so it only makes sense. Brands of all types can find success on this platform, especially with their new updates. Back in December 2017, Instagram rolled out an update to their Stories Highlights and Archives. Here’s what you get with the new updates:

Stories Highlights & Stories Archives

In order to keep your stories from disappearing forever once they expire, all Instagram Stories will now automatically save to your “Stories Archives” once 24 hours is up. This makes it a lot easier for you to check out your favorite moments down the road, or bring them back to life in a Stories Highlight.

“To access the stories in your archive, tap the Archive icon on your profile. From there, you can easily switch between your Posts Archive and your new Stories Archive. In your Stories Archive, your stories will appear in a grid with the most recent stories at the bottom. The first story from each day will show a date indicator to help you navigate your archive as you scroll.”

All you have to do is tap on any story in your archive to watch it, and from there, you can add it to your Stories. You can share it as a post or add it to a highlight on your profile. Just keep in mind that only you can see your archived stories – so no worries there. Now here comes the fun part, increasing your conversions with this new feature.

How To Use Stories Highlights To Increase Instagram Conversions

With these new features, you can re-surface the most popular parts of a past Story by showcasing it to your audience as a “new” post, with promotional links included. In fact, many brands use this new feature as a way to showcase their products or services. Influencers also use this feature as well – they’ll showcase blogging tips, photo editing tips, etc.

You can share a story from your Stories Archive in a direct message or to your Stories Highlights.

Share a story from your Stories Archive:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the ‘Archive’ (clock) icon.
  2. Select the Story you want to share.
  3. Tap ‘Share’ at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Then tap ‘Your Story’ or choose the people you want to share it with, then follow the on-screen instructions to finish sharing your Story.

You can add Stories to appear on your profile as highlights, even after they disappear. Highlights appear below your profile photo.

Add a ‘Story’ to a Highlight:

  1. Go to your profile and tap below ‘Stories Highlights’.
  2. Tap to select the Story (or Stories) you want to add to highlights, then tap ‘Next’.
  3. Choose a cover photo and enter a Story name for your highlight, then tap ‘Add’. You can add more photos or videos to your highlight at any time by tapping ‘Edit Highlight’.

You can always add more story posts to your highlights once you’ve created it. Or you can even delete specific posts from the album.

TO ADD MORE CONTENT:

  • select the Highlight
  • tap on the three-dot More button (bottom right)
  • select Edit Highlight
  • tap the Archive tab (this will let you access your story posts)

Any posts that you currently have checked, the highlight will fade and designate a selected option with a checkmark. Then you can select one or more posts to add to the highlight. Just tap done when you’re finished.

TO DELETE CONTENT:

  • select the Highlight
  • advance through to the specific post you want to delete
  • tap the three-dot More button (bottom right)
  • select Remove from Highlight and confirm to delete

THE “SWIPE UP” FEATURE

A great way to utilize this new feature is to drive traffic to your website or blog with the “Swipe Up” feature. “Swipe Up” is a tap-to-view-a-link feature that makes it easy for your visitors to head to the link whenever they swipe up on a story. However, if you’re wondering where you “Swipe Up” feature is, Instagram only gives this feature to accounts with 10,000 or more followers.

The Best Practices of Instagram Highlights

It’s totally fine to add the same story to more than one Highlight. Just make sure that the content fits into the categories you’re adding it to. So yeah, go ahead and include that awesome story in multiple Highlights – only if it works.

You also need to be wary of the chronological order of your Highlights. Whenever you create a new Highlights album, the first (or oldest) album will be to the righthand side. Therefore it’s a good idea to have a strategy for the topics (or Highlights) you plan to create. You want to make sure that the most important topics aren’t being placed at the end, way out of view. If you plan to have five or more Highlights, go ahead a create the less significant one first and your most important ones last.

The chronological upload of stories to a Highlight is also relevant to your content strategy. Your most recently uploaded story within a Highlight will be the first post that your viewers see. This is why the first post you added to a Highlight will be the last post viewed in the album. If you include tips or tutorials that you want viewers to see in chronological order, upload them in the reverse order.

Another important aspect is whenever someone views a Highlight, the name of the album will show in the top-left corner of the screen, instead of your username. It will also show the cover photo for the Highlight. Even though you only have 16 characters, this is a great opportunity to stick with your branding. So go ahead and create a strong, recognizable cover image for each Highlight.

Cool Ways To Use Highlights

  • a tips or tutorials Highlight is a great way to establish your credibility AND build trust
  • create a unique Highlight for each product or service complete with a more in-depth look
  • events or occasions with detailed information, complete with photos or videos during the event
  • add a “News” Highlight and share current information within your niche
  • collect a variety of topics that your audience enjoys and share motivational posts, weekly themed content, etc
  • share behind-the-scenes or personal stories as a way to humanize your brand

There’s a range of ways you can use these new functions, adding a whole new perspective to the increasingly popular Instagram Stories option. If you haven’t used Stories yet, it’s definitely worth looking into for 2018 – Stories use grew by some 200 million daily active users in 2017. And it’s now up to 300 million! So have you looked into the new Stories? Are you using them? What are some of the topics that you’ve highlighted? Let us know in the comments below, so we can discuss. Don’t forget to check out 5 Ways To Maximize Your Brand’s Instagram.