Have you noticed a drop in your Instagram Stories views recently? Looking to get more views on your Instagram Stories so that you can reach more people?
With over 70% of US businesses using Instagram, it’s essential to keep your audience engaged. Brands are constantly competing for users’ attention. And Instagram Stories can be one of the best ways to get more eyes on your content.
But as Stories already get fewer views than feed posts, how do you make sure you get eyeballs on your content?
And how do you get your audience to stick around to the end of each Story?
In this article, you’ll discover why Instagram Stories are essential for brands, 3 examples of brands with near-perfect Instagram Stories, plus 10 ways you can get more views on your Instagram Stories.
Let’s dive in.
Table of contents
What are Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories are disappearing content pieces, having a life span of 24 hours. If you want to have a Story for more than 24 hours, include them in the “Highlights” of your profile. You can share multiple pictures and videos in a day, up to the maximum limit of 100.
Instagram Stories were modeled after Snapchat and soon became an essential feature of Instagram. By January 2019, it was reported that 500 million people used Instagram Stories daily:
And in a Facebook-commissioned survey, 58% of people said that they became more interested in a brand through Stories.
Why are Instagram Stories important?
With the number of people engaged in Stories every day, your business needs to include Instagram Stories in your social media strategy. In fact, one-third of the top viewed Instagram Stories come from a business.
So, while feed posts have a higher reach rate, Stories are still significant for your business. For instance, they help you:
1. Keep your audience engaged
There’s no better way to understand how your audience is feeling than to ask them directly. And Stories put you in touch with your audience without anything in between.
With engagement features such as polls, questions, and quizzes, you can make sure you are always aware of your audience’s sentiments.
2. Get instant feedback
If you have an idea for a new series, a product, or anything else that would require your audience’s opinion, you don’t have to wait till the launch to get their response.
With Instagram Stories, you can give them a snippet and get instant feedback to verify your idea and provide clarity on your next steps.
3. Become more reachable and transparent
Brands often struggle to access their audience. But with regular interactions, people become more comfortable reaching out to you with any query instead of switching to a competitor.
The more interactive you are, the more human your brand becomes.
You can also use Stories to make your audience feel included in your work process. Give them sneak peeks or take them behind the scenes to increase brand transparency and build trust.
4. Increase overall engagement
Every Instagram user has a different feed because they are highly personalized, and they get to see their “favorite” creators first. Recently, Instagram added the “most shown in feed” metric that confirms these speculations.
Users’ interactions are considered as “signals.” And Instagram ranks content based on these “signals.”
If you have an engaged audience, chances are, the reach of your posts and reels will increase as well. According to research, posting more content leads to an increased median reach and impressions.
Examples of brands using Instagram Stories
Many brands have figured out how to use Stories to keep their audience engaged. Here are three of them:
Glossier is a makeup and skincare brand that started on social media and has an active and engaged Instagram following of 2.7 million. According to founder Emily Weiss, 70% of their online sales and traffic comes through peer-to-peer referrals, proving the strong community they’ve developed.
To keep such a large, engaged community, they’ve mastered Instagram Stories. With creative and interactive posts, they make sure they’re on the top of the mind of their customers. From using stickers to posting playlists, they use their Stories to link to their website, where they post more in-depth content.
2. The New York Times
The New York Times shows how brands in any niche can take advantage of Instagram. They use the “go where your customer is” concept accurately.
With creatives threaded together by a central concept, they link to their popular articles on Stories. They also make use of stickers and strong hooks to keep their audience reading to the end.
The third example will come as no surprise since Starbucks has been successful with its Instagram strategy for a long time now. With over 17 million followers, they have a large audience to keep engaged.
They use Instagram Stories to showcase new products, raise awareness on a particular issue, or just repost content posted by their customers (i.e. reposting user-generated content). With a well-structured narrative in every Story, they play quizzes and use slider stickers with basic questions like, “How important is coffee to you?”
By turning the attention to their customers and asking about them, they ensure the engagement rate is high.
10 ways to get more views on Instagram Stories
There are many methods you can use to increase your Story views. However, there are also some “popular but dodgy” ways that you must avoid at all costs, like using bots, apps, engagement pods, or groups.
So, how can you increase your reach organically?
Here are ten ways to help you increase your Story views:
1. Tell a story
Humans love a well-structured narrative. Just like any other good book or movie, try to create your Instagram Stories in a way that tells a story. It should have a:
Structured Stories will keep your audience engaged and lower the early exit rate (i.e. the number of users who leave your Story).
Instagram wants you to use as many features as possible when creating your Stories. So make use of every available format, such as photos, videos, boomerangs, text, and GIFs, to achieve a good mix of content.
A simple way to form structured narratives is to use a storyboard. It lets you create an outline of your narrative frame-by-frame. Think of it as a rough sketch of individual Stories that you’ll post.
Your Stories should not only be consistent conceptually but also design-wise. Make sure your Stories’ graphics resonate with your page theme and brand aesthetic.
With the help of a storyboard, you can try different themes, fonts, and colors to decide on the best option so that every Story frame doesn’t look out of place. You can use apps like Crello to make the process faster and easier. Crello has templates specific to Instagram Stories that will give you inspiration and creation.
2. Caption your Stories
Whenever you’re filming face-to-camera videos, make sure you add captions.
A lot of people swipe through Stories with no volume or their phone on silent. Without subtitles, you’re missing out on this segment of your audience. Plus, Stories with subtitles ensure your content is more accessible to more people.
Instagram has made adding captions as easy as adding a “Captions” sticker, which will help you increase your reach.
If you don’t want to caption every single word, you can add a summary of your Stories at the end. The idea is to give context to the audience and communicate your message with them even if they’re not paying active attention.
3. Use hashtags
Just as hashtags increase the reach and visibility of feed posts, they can do the same for Stories. While feed posts allow 30 hashtags, Stories are limited to ten hashtags per frame.
But how can you find the right hashtags?
The concept remains the same as that for grid posts. Think about who your target audience is and search for the popular hashtags. After that, choose a mix of hashtags containing both popular hashtags and the not-so-popular ones. And don’t forget to include your custom brand hashtag like Nike’s #JustDoIt.
Note: If you feel you’ll be spamming your audience with hashtags, hide them with a sticker. Just add your hashtags, decrease their size, and put a sticker over them.
4. Keep your audience engaged
With Stories being posted on the go, you might be tempted to post anything and everything. But you have to remember to post content consistently that’s relevant to your audience. If they can’t connect with the content, they won’t be coming back.
To create a stronger connection, use Instagram stickers to keep the interaction going.
There are lots of stickers you can choose from. But only use them when relevant:
a) Quiz sticker:
Add a quiz sticker to let your audience choose from multiple options. Let’s take the example of Amazon Prime Video:
You can include a maximum of four options when using a quiz sticker:
b) Question sticker:
Add a question sticker to ask them questions. For example, Starbucks used a question sticker to ask their audience about the menu items they’d like to learn in American Sign Language and created videos with employees showing the signs.
c) Poll sticker:
Add a poll sticker to know their opinion on something or play a game with them. For example, Netflix uses the sticker to engage their audience in games like “Never Have I Ever:”
d) Emoji slider:
Add an emoji slider sticker to have them rate something. Let’s look at some of the brands like Netflix, Starbucks, and ASOS leveraging this sticker:
e) Countdown sticker:
Add a countdown sticker for an upcoming sale or an event.
f) Hashtag sticker:
Add a hashtag sticker either of your brand or a popular topic to make sure you’re posting content that’s relevant to your audience. Using brand hashtags also encourages your audience to use them when posting about you:
To boost engagement with stickers, keep two things in mind:
- Ask questions about your audience. Instead of spamming them with “Rate our Stories” or “What do you think about our posts?” ask them about their day or goals for the month.
- Ask questions that everyone can participate in. You want to get as many people engaged as possible. So, ask simple questions.
When several people engage with these stickers, Instagram gets to know that your Stories are engaging. As a result, it pushes your content to more people.
And as mentioned earlier, Instagram loves when you use all their features.
5. Reply to messages
Whenever you receive a reply to your Story, you have to make sure you respond to it. Remember, the reason to be on Stories in the first place is that you can interact and build connections. Plus, it’ll encourage your audience to send more replies, which leads to more engagement.
6. Give shoutouts
If you have customers regularly sharing content about your brand or tagging you in posts, reshare their content on your Story. You can also share the content of your peers.
Giving such shoutouts leads to reshares of your Story. Although it might not increase your views for every Story, it’ll put you in front of a new audience. And if you do this regularly, you’ll reach more people and increase your following.
You’ll also encourage your audience to post content about you this way and build social proof for you.
7. Begin with a strong “hook”
Make the beginning slide of your Story juicy. Most people are swiping through Instagram passively, which means they’re not paying much attention to the content.
If you want your audience to take note of your Stories, grab their attention right from the beginning. You could:
- Ask a question
- Include a controversial statement
- Use an interactive sticker
These tactics will help you get people’s buy-in early on. And they’ll be more likely to stick around.
8. Use location tags
Like hashtags, location tags give you visibility to new audiences, who will also find your content relevant. A location tag might also be a great way to attract attention to your business if it’s location-dependent.
Whenever someone checks a geotag, there’s a high chance they will see your Story in the Stories section of that specific location.
9. Be consistent
Building engagement on Stories is rarely possible with one-off Story posts. Since Stories are available for only 24 hours, it’s all the more important to be consistent with them.
You can define your own level of consistency – be it one Story a day or one Story every 3 hours. The key is to stick to it.
It’s worth scheduling Stories in advance to avoid inconsistencies. Plus, it’ll also help you create a consistent storyboard with a clear call to action.
But here’s the catch – how do you schedule Stories?
10. Use Instagram analytics
Once you start using the correct methods to get more Instagram Story views, you’ll have to keep reviewing Instagram analytics to gain deeper insights.
Instagram Insights and Facebook Business Suite give you some key information that you can use to improve your content and double down on what your audience already likes. For example, you get to know:
- Number of impressions on a Story
- Number of shares
- Clicks on an added link
- Replies received
- Number of exits (number of people who skipped to the next Story)
- Number of forward taps (next Story slide)
- Number of backward taps (number of people who went to the previous Story again)
These Instagram Insights can help you pinpoint when your audience is losing attention so that you can address that particular issue.
Note: Facebook Business Suite is the new analytics tool that lets you manage all of your connected business accounts across Facebook and Instagram in one place. Instagram Insights is available within the mobile app but only if you have a business account. You can convert to an Instagram Business account by following this quick tutorial.
Boost your views on Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories allow your brand to stay connected with your audience. They increase your overall Instagram engagement by giving you more visibility and getting instant feedback from your customers.
Avoid using shady tactics such as bots or engagement pods, as they put you at risk of getting shadowbanned by Instagram. Instead, nurture your community by creating and posting Stories the right way.