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Instagram Features: IGTV, Instagram Stories, Instagram Highlights

Let’s talk about Instagram features! There’s a LOT but which ones are the hottest and most important right now:

  • Instagram Stories
  • IGTV
  • Instagram Highlights

Now let’s dive into how using these can help you grow your business online and why you need to be using them more regularly!

I did an entire training on these features inside of my Facebook group so if you prefer to watch and learn you can click here: Part 1, Part 2.

But if you’re like and you just want a list to follow with short and sweet reasons why you should or shouldn’t be doing something… then read on my fellow Type A personality. :)

Are you new here? You should join my EXCLUSIVE Facebook community "Social Media Training and Strategy for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs" by clicking here!

Using Instagram Stories to grow your business:

Instagram Stories is typically the first place that people go when they open their Instagram app now. It’s conveniently placed at the top of the app in your news feed tab. They’ve set it up so that the people you interact with the most show up for you first. And it’s quick content to consume so people are attracted to it more so than the news feed.

Best practices for using Instagram Stories:

  • Get straight to the point in what you're posting about.
  • Use video, and add a text overlay to “caption” what you’re saying
  • Use the different features Instagram provides with stickers, time stamp, temperature, GIFs, and more
  • Upload photos from your own album or content you created using Canva’s Instagram Story Templates (or ones you’ve created on your own)
  • Post multiple times throughout the day (morning, noon and night)
  • Use Hashtags & Tag other people

What to avoid with using Instagram Stories:

  • Video clips you upload will only show the first minute of the video, so keep your video message short and sweet, to the point.
  • Talk to one person, not a group of people. (Say YOU instead of YOU GUYS/ALL) Only one person is watching your video when it shows up in their Stories feed.
  • Bad lighting or loud sound quality
  • Uploading a picture without explaining what it is
  • Instagram Stories ideas for your business:
  • Talk about your business story, products/services.
  • Go behind the scenes in your business.
  • Share your daily schedule
  • Do a quick tutorial, each step = One 15 sec clip
  • Upload Canva created images promoting your business

Here’s my favorite thing about Instagram Stories, they disappear within 24 hours!
Oh and my other favorite thing... Just like all things on Social Media, if you post & make a mistake and need to start over, you can delete it and try again!
Why do I like that? Because it removes the excuse of being afraid to try it and mess it up.

So your homework, that is due in the next 5 minutes? GO CREATE AN INSTAGRAM STORY POST and @ tag me so I can see that you did it! @danielle.bridgecd #InstagramStoryOhMy

Now… if you’re thinking, “Wait, it goes away within 24 hours? But I worked so hard on what I created and I don’t want to lose it!” Fear not my friend… there’s a setting inside your Instagram that allows you to archive all stories, so you can turn around and make them Instagram Highlights! Which brings me to my next point…

How to Use Instagram Highlights to Grow Your Business:

The Instagram Highlights are the little bubbles on people’s profiles that look like category buttons. When you click on them it shows you Story Posts from the past that are being saved under that specific Highlight. So like on my page, I use “Webinar” “Free Trainings” “This is Me” and others.

When I create a story and post it, it gets the option of also posting it to a Highlight!

Badda bing Badda BOOM! Easy as 1 2 3.

This is such a COOL feature for businesses because it can be like a Table of Contents and a Highlight Reel of your Products/Services, Behind the Scenes Videos in your Business, Testimonial Videos from Clients, Etc. It is usually one of the first things I like to look at one someone’s profile when I first follow them.

Again, just create a highlight and try it out! It’s a very effective and great organizational feature on Instagram.

Creating Instagram Highlight Buttons:

  • I use CANVA for literally everything. Including making Instagram Highlight Buttons.
  • They have some really great ready to go templates in their library, or you can just choose the template dimensions and start from scratch!
  • Once you have it created, download it to your computer/phone and then go to your IG profile.
  • From there you can create a Highlight, add the stories from your archive, and then it will ask you to name the highlight and put a cover photo!

Again… Badda Bing, Badda Boom!

It’s that simple!

So we’ve talked about Instagram Stories, Instagram Highlights now let’s go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room… IGTV - OH MY!!!

Using IGTV to Grow Your Business

As stated on Wikipedia, “IGTV is a standalone video application by Instagram for Android and iOS smartphones. It allows for longer videos compared to Instagram feeds.”

Things to know about IGTV

  • It accepts videos in both vertical and horizontal formats. THIS IS GOOD because you can repurpose content on multiple platforms and not have to spend a lot of time recreating the same content many times just to fit certain upload criteria.
  • Right now (Instagram says this will change) videos can be up to 10 minutes long and up to 1 hour on larger accounts. Eventually, it's been said there will be no limitations.
  • A strong headline, description, and hashtags will greatly impact your visibility. So take the time to be strategic and intentional
  • Use captions when you are able to! I use to create videos and it will do a Video Transcript for me. It’s about 80% accurate on the transcription.
  • You can create video series within IGTV.

IGTV Post Ideas - Anything and everything you could make a video for… DO IT!

  • Tutorials
  • Transformation video
  • Photo collage videos
  • Interviews/Testimonials.
  • Product Promotion
  • Company Updates
  • Community Updates

According to HubSpot, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands that they support. Imagine that… if over half of your regular customers told you they'd have a greater experience with your brand if they saw more video content from you, wouldn’t you do whatever you could to create more videos? I hope your answer was yes to that…

Let’s bring this to a close…

Instagram Story, Highlights, and IGTV aren’t that scary after all… are they?
They can seem intimidating if you continue to just let them sit there and you don’t use them.

So, again… you have HOMEWORK.

Go create a Story Post, Then Make a Highlight Post and finally, record a video of yourself talking about your business and post all of those to The Gram! Tag me @danielle.bridgecd and #InstagramOhMy so I can see that you turn in your assignment.

Until next time friends!

In summary, to create Facebook Content that Converts you need to have more appealing and dynamic visual content, copy that is short sweet and to the point, a call to action with an irresistible incentive for taking that action, strategic targeting with your timing and messaging and the willingness to invest in a broader reach of people seeing your post!

Hi! I’m Danielle and I’m from the Land of Oz, a.k.a. Kansas! I’m a mom of 2, married to an awesomely funny dude, I have owned a Toto dog in my lifetime, and in case you’re wondering… yes I’ve walked the yellow brick road.

I am also a seasoned social media and digital marketing coach for local small businesses and I have a passion for empowering and educating people to take more ownership of the marketing efforts for their business.

Make sure you join my Free Facebook Community for live trainings on topics like this and how to best utilize social media to grow your business!

Connect with me on Instagram and Facebook here!


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