If you still haven’t ventured into the world of Instagram highlights, you are missing out on another way to showcase specific areas of your business, like an inside view of how your business works.
When you post to your Instagram story, it only stays active and visible for 24 hours. Instagram highlights - which made their debut in 2017 - are a way for brands to categorize, organize and sustain their story content on their Instagram page permanently.
Below are the reasons why you should be using Instagram story highlights if you haven’t already!
1. Keeps your content organized: It’s easy to organize your content using the highlights feature. You can set up multiple highlight categories to showcase specific topics and only select the archived stories that match with that category to save in them.
For example, as you can see from our Instagram page below, we have highlight categories for team posts, Spotify playlist, tips and hacks, testimonials, and more. These highlights give our followers an inside look at our team, what we do for our clients, our industry knowledge, and our offerings.
2. Tells an ongoing story: If you have an active campaign, contest, product launch, or something similar, use stories to tell the story. Once the campaign or launch ends, organize your highlights so that the entire story is told within one highlight. It is a highly effective way to give potential customers an inside look at who you are and what you offer.
3. Adds relevance to your profile: Having highlights on your profile that are consistently updated adds relevance and interest to your brand. It shows that you’re aware of the features Instagram has to offer and you use them accordingly. It also shows that you’re an active and engaging profile, which makes your brand appear interesting and relevant. (Tip: use branded highlight covers that give your profile a look of cohesion and professionalism.)
4. Showcases products and services: When a new follower starts checking out your profile one of the things they may be looking for is your products and services. While you should have a link to your website or shop listed in your Instagram bio, past stories highlighting your products or services let your followers know what to expect when they visit your store. Anything relevant, important, or valuable to your brand should be highlighted and that includes what you have to offer.
5. Puts timely content in an easy-to-find place: Timely content is perfect for highlights! If you’re a public speaker with scheduled events coming up, an author with book signings, or a music artist with tour dates, having those highlighted will give your followers quick access to information they need to know sooner rather than later. Having a pop-up sale? Create a highlight showcasing what customers can expect to see there. Give your followers an easy and organized place to learn about your events, donate to your charity, etc.
6. Shows new followers old content: When new followers first start exploring your page, having some old content highlighted can give them a peek inside to what your brand is about. It allows them to enjoy something your current followers may have seen in real-time, like a 24-hour Intern Takeover or a Day In The Life of a particular staff member. One particular account we love that does takeover days in their stories is The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s official Instagram (@SabrinaNetflix). Each cast member posts to the stories for a day, talking about the show and giving behind-the-scenes footage of the trailers, hair makeup and other cool stuff for fans. But instead of this content disappearing forever after 24 hours, it lives permanently in their highlights stories, so both new and loyal fans can go back and watch anytime.
7. Creates Authenticity: Another great benefit to consider when using highlights is not just how you can share with your followers but what you can share with them. You’ll notice that we have "Our Team" and "Intern Takeover" highlighted that show off our staff and what our team does on a day-to-day basis, and other brands can do that too! As a business, you can easily add more behind-the-scenes footage, a day in the life, or a “tour of the office” space type of stories that can be stored in your highlights.
One great example is @BuzzfeedTasty. They use highlights to showcase its individual staff members and what those members contribute to stories on their designated days. Often the team goes around showing new foods in cool restaurants or sharing recipes. To easily find those stories they have them stored under the designated team member. This is also a great way to get to know Buzzfeed Tasty’s staff while being given interesting, entertaining, or educational content.
Another great use of stories comes from the clothing brand Tunnel Vision who has a story highlight of their clothing where they show how they make their clothes, where they source their materials, and more behind-the-scenes footage of the company staff so followers can get a more in-depth look at the business. For consumers who are eco-conscious and want to research their clothing before buying these stories provide great insight into a small company like Tunnel Vision, allowing followers access to important information that makes them appear transparent and candid.
These types of behind-the-scenes or meet the team stories make your brand personable, engaging, and authentic to your followers. This helps to humanize your brand and makes you far more interesting to followers who will want to engage with you.
Instagram story highlights give you the benefit of showcasing expired stories that stay on your profile permanently where followers can find valuable and timely content. It makes any stories easily accessible and easily organized. It can also add relevance to your page because your page will look active and professional, while also humanizing your brand.
Are you ready to jumpstart the conversation with your potential clients with tools like Instagram Stories? At Imagine Social Media we are experts at connecting your audience with your business through social media. If you are unsure of how to incorporate Instagram stories and other social media tools into your marketing plan, we can help. Click here to learn more about how our tailored marketing services can work for your brand.