Instagram Story Highlights are a great way to optimize your business page and make it stand out from the crowd. In this article, we provide a few tips for getting the most out of this space.
The best way to maximize your organic reach on Instagram is to use all of the platform’s functionality. The company wants you to be a power user – keep your followers on the platform, soaking up the content in all of its various forms. That includes Posts, Stories, Reels, and IGTV. Stories is an easy “next step” to experimenting with content outside of regular in-feed posts.
Stories disappear after 24 hours unless you choose to add them to your Highlights area. The highlights area is found on your account profile page under your website link and above any call-to-action (CTA) buttons. [See Image Below]
Use this real estate wisely. Visitors who view your profile will likely use this area to binge-watch your content and determine if you are worth following. Here’s how to make sure you’re dressed to impress.
Tips for Using Instagram Story Highlights for Business
Be Strategic with Your Content.
I’ve seen accounts that have one “highlights” category that is essentially a bucket for all Stories they want to live forever. That might work if you have a handful of assets. It gets tricky when the bucket becomes a dumping ground for everything – relevant quotes, team photos, information about an upcoming event, and a free download. Too many messages will leave the visitor confused and they won’t take the action you want.
Instead, create a different category for each topic. Here are a few ideas for how you can organize your content in the Story Highlights area: key offerings or services, action or activities (shop, read, watch, download), company structure, or business units.
Choose a Max of Five Categories
Five categories of Story Highlights display when someone visits your profile. What is the most important information for a visitor to access? Remember that this is likely someone who is getting to know you, so do not bombard them with sales messages. Educate them.
If you’re a financial services provider, why is your approach unique? If you’re in the home services industry, could you create a testimonials category where your customers are doing the selling for you? What about transformation photos (before and after) if you’re an interior designer? Think of ways to sell your work without being pushy. If the visitor is impressed, they’ll take the next step and hit the “follow” button.
Focus on Evergreen Content
I recommend you approach this area with the mindset that this content should be evergreen because it’s less maintenance for you and better for your brand image. Evergreen content are things that need to be updated every once in a while but aren’t time sensitive.
Imagine a visitor browsing your Highlights and seeing “free webinar 6/4/2020.” They might think that everything is dated in your Highlights area and start to question if they should continue browsing.
An exception could be if you create a Story Highlight specifically for an event as a promotion. Then you could delete the entire Highlight after the event has occurred.
Create Custom Cover Images
It’s easy to create beautiful cover images that match your brand using a program like Canva. I tend to start with a 2000×2000 square canvas, then change the background color to fit the brand identity and type a short category title using the brand font. If there’s a pattern or visual asset that is large enough to be recognized in such a small space, I will then add it to the image.
You may choose to use a visual icon instead of text. The category does display underneath the cover image; however, I’ve found that people are more likely to click if they read the image instead of having to decipher an icon and then read the text beneath the image. (Plus, the text underneath can become cramped which makes it difficult to read.)
Instagram Story Highlights is valuable real estate on your business page. Maximize your presence on this platform by using it to encourage visitors to get to know you. Be strategic with the categories you choose and pick five of them as your main focus. Add stories to these highlights regularly and use evergreen content so that you don’t have to constantly review and edit them. Custom cover images are easy to create in Canva. They’re a great way to show off your brand and bring more life to your page.
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