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Instagram Stories: 7 Tips For Improving Viewer Retention

Since its launch this summer, social media marketers, and business owners have been boldly exploring and sharing Instagram Stories. As I explained in my previous blog post, Instagram Stories provide you with another great opportunity to engage your followers and potential customers.

But not every Story is created equal, and you want to make sure you’re fully leveraging these critical follower interactions. Here are seven tips to help you improve your follower engagement and viewer retention.

Our Instagram Stories Class a few weeks ago covered all the basics. Click here to learn more. 

#1 Mix it up

There’s nothing worse than seeing the same Story content day after day. It’s not enough to ask people to tap into your Instagram Story, you have to give them a reason to keep coming back. Brainstorm a variety of content and the different ways that it can be presented, to keep things interesting.

@ChristineDwyer, who is an amazing fitness pro/coach, does an awesome job mixing up her daily fitness routines. Her followers are not only intrigued by her different workouts but also her entertaining Instagram Story to see her new daily routine.

#2 Alternate between videos and photos

When it comes to Instagram Stories, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. In your effort to mix it up, try alternating between videos and photos. Not only will this vary the length of your shared content, but it also provides a more intriguing narrative for your followers.

One of my favorite businesses, @TheDryBar, does an awesome job using both videos and images to personalize their brand. This strategy also keeps their account from feeling overly salesy and refocuses on the content value.

A video posted by Drybar (@thedrybar) on

#3 Add text to video clips

 In addition to your typical filters, Instagram Stories also gives you some cool editing tools, like the pen. Jazz up your typical videos with some fun text. It not only makes the story more visually interesting but also helps you to get your point across. The text option in a story serves as another place available on Instagram for a call-to-action  (and we all know that’s really valuable).

Much like her Instagram bio states, @Sparkle.Society leverages fun text elements in her Instagram Stories to empower photographers in their social media strategy. Using the pen tool, she is able to carry over the same energy and cheeriness her followers expect to her Instagram Stories.

#4 Try a theme 

If there’s one thing that Instagram followers love to see in Stories, it’s most definitely themes. Using a theme in your Instagram Stories provides your followers with a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Themes are especially pertinent when you’re running a special giveaway or promotion. This is the strategy that @crazyrichardspb used when they were recently promoting their allergy awareness campaign. The company not only showed their followers the mission of the campaign but used Instagram Stories to better explain how followers could participate and show their support.

#5 Avoid repetition

It’s a common Instagram faux pas – crunched for time so you share your images or videos from your Instagram timeline in your Story. While this might save you a few minutes, it does very little to encourage your followers to tune into your story.If you want to provide greater context for your Instagram image, try using stories to walk your followers through your thought process or the steps that you take to create your product.

Crafter extraordinaire @mattcrump uses this strategy regularly to show his followers how to make his whimsical creations. His followers feel inspired to watch his Story because they know it will provide additional value.

A video posted by Matt Crump (@mattcrump) on

#6 Show exclusive content

 Followers love to feel like they’re getting the “sneak peek” on their favorite brands and personalities. This exclusivity not only demonstrates that you want to provide true value for your followers but provides another fun twist on a more typical business nudge.

@Socialbakers regularly uses this strategy to attract the attention of its social media marketing followers. With just a few taps on their Instagram Story, followers unlock valuable insights, and information about workshops, and web conferences. This not only reinforces the brands’ expertise in their field but can help to foster stronger relationships with potential customers.

A video posted by Socialbakers (@socialbakers) on

#7 Alternate angles

Finally, when in doubt – try a new angle. I can’t tell you the #ShitTon of times I’ve tapped into an Instagram Story, only to find the same go-to, straight-on camera angles. Make your images and videos more visually interesting by turning your phone and capturing your subject from a whole new perspective.

You can see a lot of inspiration in Jordan Ferney’s Instagram, better known as @ohhappyday. Jordan uses a variety of camera angles and settings to better capture the fun, vibrant vibes of her brand.

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