How to use Instagram Stories or Highlights for Online Marketing

For many involved in online marketing, Instagram is a kingpin of their social media marketing strategy. Instagram stories or Highlights are an often-forgotten tool in your marketing bag that can be used creatively and effectively to boost the appeal of your social media activities on the platform. Today the Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency team brings you some smart ways to leverage this tool to build your brand better than ever. 

Best Practices when Using Instagram Stories / Highlights

Of course, unless it’s smartly integrated into your wider digital marketing plan, you won’t be able to maximize those results. So here’s some things to keep in mind. 

Instagram displays only 4 highlights at a time. To see more, users have to actively engage and swipe. So while you can create as many highlights as you’d like, it’s best to focus on the top 4 and what they bring you- or plan to rotate them regularly to keep them relevant and fresh. Instagram allows you up to 100 stories, but most marketers won’t need that many. Instagram automatically displays your highlights in chronological order, with older stories appearing first. So it’s smart to remove those that you no longer want to have top priority, through accessing the three-dot menu and removing them from the highlight spot.

New highlights are created from your Instagram profile. Tap the ‘new’ button under your bio, select the stories you want to highlight, name them, and finish. You can also use the edit highlight from this menu. You can do the same for archived stories, too. It’s smart to use categories to better sort this data (more on this in a moment) for more effect.

You can (and should) create a custom cover for your highlight. You can, of course, simply repurpose something compelling from the stories included in the highlight. However, it’s smart to ensure a smooth and appealing cover with custom graphics that keep your brand personality consistent and recognisable. These will be saved to the device gallery. 

Get Creative With Instagram Highlights

Obviously, there’s a myriad of ways you can make this highlight feature work for your brand. One of the most obvious is as a tool to bring attention to time-sensitive content, like new features, deals, discounts, or product highlights. This allows you to showcase non-evergreen content for longer than the 24 hour story limit. From new deals to upcoming events or conferences, it’s a great way to manage specific campaigns and their prominence.

Another great use, and one which can do a lot to help position you as an expert partner to your clients, is using a highlight to walk them through a specific goal with your product. Perhaps teach them how to set up a smart home with your devices, or how to coordinate their wardrobe with your pieces. They’re fantastic at creating pooled resources and guides, and are great for sets of frequently asked questions, too! They can also be used to walk customers through your sales funnel in a similar way, perhaps towards signing up for a course or free trial.

Highlights can also be leveraged to help promote your blog content, as they allow link stickers from the story itself. Combining your blogging effort with Instagram has been a thorn for a while, as it’s a primarily visual-based platform, so this is a great work-around. Of course, you can showcase user-generated content, reviews, and customer stories the same way. 

Humanize your brand with a series of behind-the-scenes content without allowing this to clog up your more direct marketing efforts. Introduce new team members, or walk followers through the back end of your business. You can similarly use them to showcase specific missions or brand values.

Highlights are a great way to ensure your best story content and your current activities and marketing goals get the prominence they deserve on your Instagram profile. If you’re not sure where to begin leveraging this useful online marketing tool for your brand, reach out to the Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency team today, and make Instagram Highlights work for you.