Creating Kickass Instagram Stories: Actionable Tips From Bizmum Pros
When Instagram introduced “Stories” in August of 2016 there was a mixed reaction. There was Team Snapchat (SC) who were all like, “Boohoo Instagram is copying Snapchat. They’ll never be as popular as SC!” Perhaps that was you!
There was also Team Insta… The ones who perhaps wondered every now and again if they should in fact get on yet another social media platform just so they can tap into that side of the market who prefers video and fun, quirky, creative content.
The thing is, 60 percent of Snapchat users are under 25 and predominantly female. So that really answered the question right there for those who had a broader target market or a more mature aged customer avatar #ISoHadFomo.
If you’re like me, you did a lil happy dance when Instagram came to the party with their second newsfeed (the horizontal feed) aka Instagram Stories.
Many Instagram influencers and brands have recognised that they have more engagement and views via their Stories than their regular posts.
I mean take a look at these stats for Stories – they’re incredible:
- Stories are used by 250 million people every single day
- 100 million more people use Instagram Stories over Snapchat
- Over 50% of businesses utilise Instagram Stories
- 1 in 5 organic stories from businesses receives a direct message
These stats prove that there is a whole segment of Insta users who simply prefer Stories. They are purely scrolling their Stories feed. They will reply back to a Story, but not comment on your post.
There’s something more human and less inhibited about Stories, and I’m just gonna keep it real here, babe, simply put – if ya not gettin' ya Story on, ya missin' out on the FUN, not to mention, traffic to your website, leads and SALES. You could seriously be making money with Instagram!
Now the thing about Stories is that you can be bold, creative, personable, and less curated… BUT like all things when it comes to Instagram content for your biz, you must always have a purpose.
I believe we are at a tipping point where we are going to see Stories getting more and more creative and funky in all sorts of ways. I love that. It pushes users to keep thinking outside of the box.
The introduction of the “Poll” feature via Instagram Stories Stickers, is just an example of how much the Stories component of Insta is developing. If you’re not up-skilling yourself on all these changes, you’re going to get left behind in Insta-land while the rest of the gang jumps onto these tools and figures them out while they’re in their infancy.
Yes! The time is now. Be brave and get on it!
Now there aren’t too many wrong ways to use Stories (well, there are a few classic no-no’s, but I’ll save that for another blog), there certainly is a better way and a way that will see you attracting a cult following.
Here are 4 kickass bizmums utilising Instagram Stories daily to connect with their target audience:
Lauren Dubois: @thudandpop
Lauren is a journalist and writer who likes to keep it real in her Stories. Random thoughts come into her head, and she literally picks up the phone and records her think-out-loud musings from that very moment.
Yep! It’s like a girlfriend calling you on the phone to tell you something that she’s thinking or something that she’s observed that is totally ludicrous, obscene or nice, but mostly #CrayCray because Lauren is HILARIOUS. #FBombsAreComplimentary
Now I love chatting with Lauren, so naturally I asked her to explain her approach to coming up with content to share on Instagram Stories because she’s so good at telling a story! She sets it up usually with a simple, “So, do you ever do/think/feel like… [insert random action/thought/emotion],” and then shares a few clips elaborating on her thoughts.
“My sense of humour is observational, so it's normally quite mundane, everyday moments that I find really funny; so if I'm pissed off at Australia Post for leaving a sneaky parcel card while I'm at home or I forget what a bowl is (both true stories), I have a little rant and press share,” Lauren said. “It's the stuff I'd be muttering to myself anyway, I just say it out loud on camera and hope no one thinks I'm insane.”
We don’t think you’re insane, Lauren. Thank you for all the LOLs and the brutal honesty!
Jade Warne: @hipster_mum
Jade is a Hipster Mum! She’s a creative photographer, influencer, content creator, and she’s also a total feminist and smartass (her words, not mine haha #MyKindaChick).
So, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jade (AKA Hipster Mum) on content creation and branded photography for Mums With Hustle… and her creativity is simply electric!
If you’ve watched her Stories in action, you’ll know what I’m referring to. She has managed to create a brand-feel in her Stories. I think that’s pretty powerful! Jade describes this best as a “signature style” and she believes that everyone should work on creating a feel and look to their Stories that is distinctly THEM. Just how you would with your other Instagram content.
“Although I’m always mixing my format up, my content always draws from a consistent set of design elements that I love and that my audience has come to associate with my posts.”
- Pink text / highlights
- Jazz music
- Camera and stars emojis
- Pink arrows / dots
You should do the same. Create a brand-feel for your Stories and see what magic happens!
Emmylou Maccarthy: @emmylou_loves
Emmylou is all kinds of creative awesome. She’s an executive producer, brains and host of Dot Com Social – LIVE. She’s an actor, MC, TV Presenter AND her Stories are often NEXT LEVEL!
Emmylou is guided by how she would like her audience to feel when they watch her Stories and also what story she's trying to tell. “My profile is all about communicating and storytelling on every platform and every aspect of my life so I really try to showcase that.”
OMG. To this day, one of my fave Stories shared by Emmylou was a life-cast (I know, they can be super boring!) but hers was super fun and energising! Set to music, using Hyperlapse and other engaging tools, Emmylou created a Story that made me FEEL pumped to be a Mum. She celebrated the day-to-day mumlife hustle, and it was EPIC.
I asked Emmylou to share some of her tools for creating powerful Stories and this is what she had to say, “I use iMovie and all the functions that are on my iPhone… Recently I have used flippergram, but you will sacrifice the quality of image when you do that, so choose wisely what you edit in that :)”
Hold the phone! Seriously.
Amber is the mama and one half of the creative genius, behind the account @summerofseventyfive. I find myself seeking out their Stories and photos even when they don’t pop up in my feed – #ItsThatBloodyGood.
Essentially, Amber, together with her hubby and two girls, are recording their Kombi travels around Australia. Stunning photography. I can’t cope. Alas! Onto their Instagram Stories.
Now, these guys are taking Stories production to a whole new level.
“It has been an interesting one seeing how the use of stories has influenced my instagram. I have seen the engagement with my stories go through the roof, and the followers increase fairly rapidly too. Also the post engagement has increased somewhat, with the use of stories, especially when they are done in conjunction. I tend to try and do a few posts that link back with the relevant story, I find it adds cohesiveness to the whole picture.”
It’s obvious that these guys are using more than just their phones to produce Stories of this quality, so I asked Amber to dish it up and tell us about the tech side of their content creation:
“There is a bit of time invested in the prep for the stories, but for us it’s a good investment, as not only does it allow us to share our journey to offer inspiration to others, but it also leaves us with a collection of fun short flicks that we love looking back on and smiling at, and it’s the perfect way to keep a visual journal of our travels,” Amber said.
“We use multiple media to capture imagery, DSLR camera, iPhone, drone, GoPro. When compiling the stories, I go through the media and select the favourites, then make a shortlist from those. This is usually way more than I end up using, but it gives me a starting point. Travelling on the road, I find it’s often easier to do most of this through my phone rather than laptop as it’s just more portable.”
When it comes to the amount of clips use to tell the story, Amber says, “I always tend to think of quality over quantity, if the quality of the media isn’t bang on, I won’t include it. And by that I mean, sharp, in focus, well-composed imagery.”
BOOM! How’s that for dedication?
Now before you head off and start kindly Insta-stalking these unicorns, please remember my key piece of advice I gave you earlier in this piece.
Your Stories MUST have a PURPOSE. They must tell a story! I always tell my Insta students that you need to get clear on what it is that you want to TEACH – SHARE – SHOW.
To get you started with confidence (and without overwhelm), use my Ultimate Instagram Stories Planner. I created it especially for the bizmum who wants to take action and leverage Insta Stories to build her biz #ChaChing!
Snag my Ultimate Instagram Stories Planner freebie – it’s epic!
If you’re after more Instagram tips and biz advice and bizmama inspo, come follow me over @mumswithhustle. Don’t be shy now, come say hi or leave a comment. I do love to get to know my tribe!
Feel free to check out the new Mums With Hustle Store that is designed to help you level up your biz! Current available products include my short, but jam-packed Instagram ebooks and Instagram Audit. Can you tell that I really love Instagram? It’s such a great place for your biz.
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As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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