What are Instagram Stories Highlights?
Instagram Stories Highlights were introduced back in December along with the Story Archives which saves your Instagram stories automatically within the app. These two features go hand in hand to increase the shelf life of stories and are great tools for brands to be able to promote and showcase their content more easily and attract new followers.
Instagram Stories Highlights are essentially curated stories grouped together that appear front and centre on your profile, just below the bio section. These Instagram Stories Highlights will appear indefinitely on your profile until you delete them, unlike regular stories which disappear after 24 hours.
This new feature acts as almost a ‘trailer’ for your Instagram account and give an glimpse into what followers can expect to see when they follow your account. The introduction of “Highlights” shows the importance of stories as a useful marketing tool and therefore calls for brands and businesses to create an Instagram Stories strategy.
How to add Instagram Stories Highlights?
So before we discuss how you can utilise Stories Highlights as part of your social media strategy, here is a brief guide on how to add highlights to your profile.
There are a few ways to create a stories highlight. The easiest way is to click the “New” circle under the bio section and select the stories that are saved in your archive.
Alternatively, you can go to the Stories Archive, tap the three dots on the upper right corner and select “Create Highlight”.
You can also highlight you current story by tapping on the heart icon on the bottom right of your story.
Once you have created a highlight you can select a cover image and choose a name. You can edit or delete the highlight by tapping on the circle and then the “More” icon on the bottom right hand side of the clip.
Why should your brand or business use Stories Highlights?
For Instagram business accounts and profiles, the Stories Highlights is a very valuable tool and gives them the opportunity to showcase products, behind the scenes videos and drive traffic. Instagram Stories Highlights also means that brands should start to invest in creating high quality stories that are worth showcasing.
Below are 8 ways that your business can use the Instagram Stories Highlights as part of a content marketing strategy.
1) Drive traffic with Links: Verified & business profiles with over 10,000 followers can make use of the “Swipe Up” feature within a highlighted story to drive traffic to and promote particular links for example to direct an audience to a blog post.
2) Social media: Brands and businesses who want to migrate their Instagram followers to their other social media accounts can use highlights to show their audience what sort of content they can find on their blog, Facebook or Youtube channel. The @Sporf account uses highlights in this way to promote their other channels.
3) Polls: Highlighting a story which uses the “Polls” feature is a great way to gather more opinions from your audience and get more responses over time.
4) Products: Using highlights to show different products is a great way to get more eyes on the products and not to mention lucrative, as you can link through to purchasing the item with the swipe up links. Some clothing brands have started to use highlights to showcase seasonal collections and new arrivals.
Boohoo have used Instagram Stories Highlights to link through to certain items whilst producing a creative story.
5) Tutorials/ How to: Using highlights for helpful tips and guides on how to use your products or services can help build credibility with your brand or business. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Instagram account has used highlights to show followers how to use their brows products in a helpful story.
6) Giveaways / campaigns: Having a story pinned to your highlights which show contests or promotions can increase the audience reach, rather than relying solely on the impressions gathered on a story that disappears after 24 hours.
7)Ad partnerships: It takes time & effort to create an engaging collaborative story with affiliate partners and having these stories highlighted will give the story more longevity. Another fantastic way to give more shelf life to your paid partnership stories is to add them to your brand’s website using the Stories Widget.
8) Events / behind the scenes: Instagram Stories are a creative way to capture special events and to show the audience behind the scenes glimpses. For example Vogue highlighted the behind the scenes of New York Fashion week 2018.
The release of Instagram Stories Highlights goes to show that Instagram will continue to innovate and add to the stories feature. This means stories should absolutely be a key part of every brand or business’s social media strategy.
Highlights are great for your Instagram profile but to let your stories live on outside of Instagram, adding stories to your website can help boost engagement whilst providing fresh new content for your site. To do this you can sign up to the Stories Widget and start getting the most out of your stories!