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Instagram Stories: Why they are important and how to utilise them...

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

The story feature on Instagram and now Facebook has been around for quite some time, and I am sure you are all familiar with it by now. However many small business owners aren't utilising the story feature to its full capability, so we are going to give you a quick run down of the benefits utilising stories has to offer, what you should be posting and how often.

What are the benefits of utilising the story feature?

Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, and 500 million daily users, with 86.6% of Instagram accounts posting content to their stories. This goes to show that there is a huge audience out there actively using this platform, and if you aren't using the story feature, you are definitely not giving yourself a fighting chance to stand out from the crowd. Instagram is often used in the discovery stage of the sales funnel, with around 80% of users admitting to using the platform to discover new brands, research and decide whether or not to purchase a product or service. After seeing a product or service on Instagram, 79% searched for more information, 37% visited the retail store and 46% made a purchase.

1 in 4 millennials state that they use the story feature to find products and services they want to buy and 15-25% of users purchase products through the swipe up feature on Instagram. But even if you aren't an e-commerce site, or haven't reached the require 10K following to utilise the swipe-up feature on Instagram, it is still important to utilise this feature! A huge portion of users are actively watching stories and by regularly posting story content you increase your opportunity of reaching your audience and engaging with them. What should you be posting? Now this will depend on a number of factors specific to your business, but the most important thing to remember is the content should be relevant to the product you sell or service you provide. Below we will run through a whole list of tips to remember when creating your story content.

  1. Encourage Engagement: it is always beneficial to encourage your audience to interact with you, and Instagram stories has loads of features which help you to do this including questions, poll and quiz features.

  2. Ask your audience for their input: if you truly want to know what your audience wants to see from you, ask them! Use the questions feature on your story to get their opinion on what content you should be posting.

  3. Show your face and get personal: often audiences really react to seeing the faces behind small businesses, as this personalises their experience with your brand. Share tips, tutorials, updates on projects or jobs you're completing. If you are too shy to get on the camera yourself, you can always ask a colleague or friend to do this for you.

  4. Utilise the swipe-up feature: if you're lucky enough to have reached 10K following on your Instagram account, be sure to utilise this! You don't always have to link to a product or e-commerce site, you can also use this feature for other content such as linking a new blog post on your website.

  5. Create content pillars: set up a regular schedule of different content ideas to post each week, mixing up between different aspects of your business, for example Tip Tuesday or Q&A. Get creative and don't be afraid to mix it up over time, but we find this helps to generate ideas and produce more consistent content.

  6. Schedule your stories: Instagram doesn't let you auto-post stories on their platform, however utilising a platform such as Later you can schedule reminders for your stories for the week and the app will send you a notification when it is time to post! The content will automatically download to your phone for you and any links will be copied to the clipboard making posting stories a hell of a lot simpler.

  7. Paid advertising: if you're wanting to expand your audience and generate sales, paid advertising through stories is an excellent way to promote your products with easy sales conversion. If you are interested in this but aren't sure how to go about this yourself, send us a message and we would be happy to assist!

  8. Mix it up: nobody wants to see the same content posted everyday. So be sure to use a range of these tips to ensure you differentiate your content, such as by breaking up swipe-up features with interactive posts and video content to ensure you keep your audience engaged.

How often should you be posting?

Now this question once again is subjective, and the key is to find your sweet spot with the amount of content you're sharing. On average Instagram accounts post to their stories 2.3 times per week, but ideally we believe a small business should be looking to post to their stories at least 4-5 times per week.

One way to gauge what story content is effective, is to use the insights feature. You can access this by swiping up on your stories or if your story is older than 24 hours, go to your profile and click insights, then scroll down in the content tab to view your stories, you can then select an individual story and swipe up to view the analytical data. Review a range of your story content and identify the trends in the average amount of skips or next story navigation activity and see if there is any correlation with the type of content being posted, this will help you to see what content your audience is and isn't finding engaging. Although it is important to remember that some people may be skipping your story if it is too lengthy, our average rule of thumb is to keep everyday stories to a maximum of 3-4 stories, however it is acceptable to exceed this on occasion when you have important or different content that you wish to share.


We hope that helped shed some light on the story feature and how it can benefit your small business, if you are in need of any assistance with stories or anything social, we are here to help! Contact us on our socials below. We would also love to hear what you thought of our blog! Feel free to send us a message and let us know what you liked about it as well as what you would like to read about next.


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