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Hype Your Brand on Instagram

Lesson 15 of 20

Think about Instagram Stories Differently


Hype Your Brand on Instagram

Lesson 15 of 20

Think about Instagram Stories Differently


Lesson Info

Think about Instagram Stories Differently

This is my favorite thing to talk about which is Instagram Stories, and you know, like I said earlier, Instagram is constantly updating this little app that we all love and, highlights are a new thing that were gonna be covering today. So, this is why you guys should be sticking around. So you've heard that Instagram Stories, are, you know Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, but you're not quite sure how to use it yet, okay. Or you're intimidated to be on video. I'm gonna help you guys break through 'cause as you can tell I'm a little shy. (laughter) And, you want to know more about how you can use direct messages to build those relationships, and I love Instagram direct messages and I have a lot of fun tactics and strategies that can really help you guys with your launch, strategically to engage in those conversations. And this is what I'm gonna be covering today. The best strategies that brands use to keep people tuning in to their Stories and the Live broadcast. What content you s...

hould be stick, sharing in your Stories, and why conversations in the DM are the gold. Also, I'm gonna be talking about how to make the most of your engagement opportunities by going Live. So a few of you said that you went Live here in the audience right and I talked about how I strategically go Live when we share our blog posts, but you all can also take what I've talked about earlier and bring that strategy into your launch and you know, know when you're comfortable going Live and there's opportunities where you can actually have this dual broadcast that we're going to talk about soon. So let's focus on Instagram Stories being different than the feed. Remember I talked about Instagram being a village, and there's different neighborhoods. So we talked about the feed, now we're gonna talk about Stories. So lets quickly first look at three visuals of different Stories. Back to the Drybar, they even do a great job in their Stories every time they post. So first over here I want you to notice that they did a joint partnership with the Santa Clarita Diet, which is a show that's on Netflix and they are letting their customers share in front of that mirror, because I know, I was there. They gave away free blow dries on that day and Netflix sponsored that. So there was a joint partnership and they, you know, have that unique hashtag that we talked about earlier, around a campaign which was the campaign and they're celebrating the customer that came in. So in the Stories it's not quite as polished as the feed. Imagewise, they definitely showcase a lot of their clients but, you know, the um, having the hashtags with the up and down and in the middle you don't typically see them doing that in the feed but in Stories this is where you can strategically bring those hashtags in, and have it on top of the photo. In the middle, is an article that they were written up in. So that's not something typically you would see in their feed, but it's certainly worth reading if you want to learn about the 10 best hair tools, masks, and stylers to transition from winters to spring 'cause now we're heading into spring. So notice that, that's like if your business goes from one season to another those turning points in the calendar are good things to mention in your Stories and because they have the swipe up feature you can go right to that article. Often sharing other resources in your Stories outside of your own, is a good strategy. So if I have, from TechCrunch for example, if I notice an Instagram update or news I'll share that in my Stories because I want to go, to be the go-to resource for Instagram news, and it's in my Stories and you can swipe up and you can easily find that article, especially when the article from The Verge was about the animated gifs and how we no longer have the animated gif feature. I think this is temporary, I think they'll be coming back, but I wanted to share with the audience so I put that in the story. So there's all different types of content. On the, on the right, it's all about the hot toddy, at the Drybar they do serve drinks, they serve champagne, they serve tea, you sit, you get your hair blow dry, so that's all on brand. What you typically don't see is, you know the lighting might be a little bit different in the feed or more attention to that high-level photography but it's still on brand in their Stories it still feels like the Drybar and the branding's on the glass. So all of these are different clips that I took screenshots of, different days, so you can still feel the consistency it's just a little bit different than the feed, right? Here's why Instagram Stories are important so about 60% of Instagram daily users are now viewing Instagram Stories. And there's over let's say, 300, I just recently read, 300 million people are uploading Stories every day. So when I first was on Instagram Stories it was a hundred million, so the numbers of people uploading Stories is drastically increasing, on a daily basis and we're talking March 2018, and I see these numbers, I think that these numbers are just gonna continue to go up, because of the real, the raw, the authentic experience that you get within the Stories and it's growing faster than any, any other number right now on Instagram with no signs of it slowing down. Instagram Stories have increased the amount of time spent on Instagram by 32 minutes a day. So people are there, people are watching. These Stories are only 15 second clips so you can quickly capture, if it's a video, you can quickly capture information, you can go to a photo, that stays up for four seconds, you can't adjust the amount of time that you view a photo but you can tap forward and you can tap back. So like I said, there are 300 million daily active users and when it first came out, I mean it quickly reached a million but the numbers of people viewing Stories is just, uploading and viewing, is just climbing every day. I like to say that Stories are really where you can amplify, broadcast, and promote what you're doing. Consider it your little mini TV station, if you will. Like your broadcasting channel. You can have, I call them clips, a new clip at any time, continuously. Instagram Stories are... you know it's a feature that lets users post a video and this, the video, the video vanishes in 24 hours. So each clip that you upload stays there and the story is there, and then 24 hours later, it's not there anymore. So there's a fear of missing out for people that love certain brands and want to be a part of that experience from the Stories, and like I was holding up earlier, when you see a rainbow ring around the avatar that means that there's an active Instagram Story. And when you've viewed all of the clips from that story, the rainbow ring goes away. And when someone adds a new clip, video or photo, to the story, the rainbow ring comes back. So you know what you've seen and what you've missed, and you also know that, when you see that rainbow ring, like that's a sign that there's an active story. We're gonna talk about why it's so important to stay, you know, to have your Stories as part of your campaign for search and discoverability. But much like your feed, your Stories are in the order that the moments are that you upload them. Now here's a ninja tip, if you're like me and sometimes you upload to your story and you you didn't put the right clip in and you did two more clips and you're like, "Uh, I missed that step "of what I want to talk about my launch" you can delete your Stories, save them to your camera roll, and start again. I mean you might have gotten views on that clip but you can go back and delete and edit your Stories very, very easily. You can do that with your post as well, but a lot of people feel like once it's up they can't do anything but you can always delete what you've uploaded okay. What I like to do, especially like a day like today at CreativeLive, if I have a lot of story clips and photos with you guys and it's been great, I don't have time to do my story so I'm gonna wait, I've downloaded it all to my camera roll, I'm gonna wait, and I'm gonna upload the story, add the right hashtag, add the right geotag, add the right at mentions, so that it makes sense, and it will be one cohesive story. Here is an example from Health Warrior. This is the bar we talked about earlier. And I'm showing you this because they took advantage of a trending hashtag, national puppy day. It's a thing, and national Chia day, they added that as well, I didn't know that that was a thing but anyway the chia seeds are in their bars, so that's cool right, and the blue is consistently used in their story, these are three clips one after another and they are just leading you to their giveaway and it's open on their feed now and this is what I want to talk about. Remember earlier we talked about the algorithm? You can use Instagram's Stories to drive traffic to your post, to get engagement on your post. So you want to use the right verbiage, and in this case that photo is in their feed, and if you want to enter that giveaway, go to their feed. I often strategically create Stories every time I post to get more eyeballs on the feed, to get more likes, to get more comments, to get more engagement, 'cause that's where you're trying to drive your traffic remember the Stories go away. So this is done extremely well, with a three clip story. Often people ask me, "How long should your Stories be?" Long enough to get the point across of what you need to say, what the message is. I've seen good Stories done in two clips, they did it in three. Then there's people who have a continuous story throughout the day, um, Chase Jarvis, who we mentioned earlier, typically takes you with him. On my personal account, that is what I typically do, is take you with me. I'm trying to teach you tips of being a successful business owner behind the scenes, and get a flavor of my personality, and on my business account, the Instagram expert, that's where I'm teaching you tips all the time. Okay, and you can save your Stories, we'll talk about this later, to your highlights. You can save your best clips in your Stories to your highlights. So, the difference between Stories and your feed is that Stories really allow you to share without worrying about over posting. Instead you can share as much as you want throughout the day, with as much creativity as you want, and you can bring your story to life in new ways with text and the drawing features. So this brings back the scrapbooker in me. Like I am so happy that we have Instagram Stories because of the stickers, and the emojis, and the text, and this is like, you kind of need to have a creative bone in your body to do this really well, so a lot of people struggle when they don't, but there's there's ways that I can set you guys all up for success if you're feeling that you don't have it in you, it's just a matter of getting used to what the features are in Stories and using them correctly. And we're gonna go over that in a little bit. But first I'm gonna take you back to Jen. Coach Jen Rulon, remember Jen? So Jen is hysterical in her Stories. Remember that hashtag we talked about, she also has #rulontip, um rulontritip, so her last name is Rulon, like it's so good, like I'm like Jen, use your last name, it's such a good last name, turn that into a branded hashtag, so she has Rulon tips, tri tips, and she talks about them, she at mentions accounts that she partners with, she has sponsorships now, her feed is absolutely beautiful, consistently showing up as that triathlete she is, whether it's swimming or biking or jogging, and she has professional photos that are mixed in with some realtime photos. So that works really well, you guys can go take a pic and check her out. And I love that she shows us that she eats junk food. Like, like that's keeping it real. I mean she must expend so many calories every day, but she's showing us what she's eating all the time, and that's life of a triathlete, which is pretty cool. So your Instagram Story and your Live, in my opinion, needs to be edutainment. It needs to be educational and entertaining, 'cause boring in Stories just doesn't cut it. So you need to have some personality there. We're gonna go over ways that you guys can, can beef that up if you're like, "But I'm so boring", but I'm gonna teach you how you can like use the camera to your advantage to take people with you by video and all that good stuff. So the most important metrics that you really need to consider when you're doing Stories, is basically how, what that retention is. Are people literally tapping through and watching the whole story or are they tapping out. Are they tapping through or are they tapping out? Because the views and how many people drop off as you share will help you understand what they are engaging in. And remember earlier I took you to the insights in the phone and I showed you the post? Well if you scroll down one step further, there's a Stories insight. So you can also view your insights in your Stories you can see your tap forwards, you can see your tap backs, you can see how many people have tapped through, you can filter it for days and really look at where the drop-off is. I, when I was first doing Stories, I was paying attention to people that followed me all day, to the very end of my story. And I actually wrote their names down, you can put it in a Google Doc, and at the time I had hundreds of people following me and now I get close to a thousand on my personal and sometimes up to two thousand a day on my business, so I'm not doing that now, but I'm teaching this to you all as a strategy. So if you pay attention to who those people are, and you're really curious why they're not showing up in your feed but they're following your story, this is when you can have a direct message conversation with them, and I'm gonna give you some strategies on how you can do that, like, "I see that you're watching all of my Stories, "I'm really, you know, I really want to meet you, "you know, what is it that you do?" or you know like, open up a conversation, we're gonna get into that in a little bit, but there's a reason someone's tapping through and they're coming back every day to watch your story. You should find out why, okay. Now for those of you that are not getting that retention and people are tapping away, you need to like, figure out like what is it, what aren't you doing right, and typically what I see is that people are just posting graphics or they're just posting tips and they're not personally getting in the video. They're not showing up as themselves. So let's talk about ways to improve your viewer retention. So you want to mix up your content, meaning a photo, video, and maybe animated gifs, maybe a boomerang or a super-zoom, these are features within the Stories, so that you, it jolts their attention like from the next clip to the next clip, 'cause the same mundane, like if it's the same all the way through, people get bored very quickly. So you need to just, that edutainment piece is important. You want it, like I said, you want to alternate between videos and photos, and so for videos, a couple of strategies that I like to teach people are, the positioning of the videos. You guys kind of saw me that I did this before I walked in. So I often will start on me and then I'll flip the camera to the audience or to what I'm looking at and then I can tap and bring it back. I might take you with me high like this, like I'll be talking into the video high here or maybe it's just my feet walking into a situation or downstairs or upstairs, or into the water. You know, taking people with you is the idea. Also, if you hold your camera and you walk into the frame and out of the frame, that's pretty cool it's like, "Wait where'd she go? "You know she's still talking to me, but where'd she go?" I even take people with me when I'm skiing sometimes or biking, and my husband's like, "What are you doing?" "Nothing. It's all good, I got my helmet on!" So, you know how, the reason I have this pop socket here is so I don't drop my phone when I'm doing my Stories. But these are just tips that could help you guys make your Stories a little bit more interesting when you're comfortable doing the video piece. And for the ladies in the room that are like, "Oh my gosh, I need my makeup or I don't look good" there's filters right here. (laughter) And some of them are magical, and some of them are silly, and you can alternate the silly, you can put the puppy ears on, or the dog ears, or like, whatever your personality is. Back to the personality piece there's this choptions as Rachel on my team says, choices and options, for all of you in the filters. Okay, also you can add the text to the video clips like we just saw with Health Warriors they had the text there, you want to add text especially if you want call to actions that can help impact your message for your launch. Try a theme. Like have your whole story be a certain theme of the day. Like we talked about the video example with what to post, so your story can go along with the theme of what you're posting, and you can have that theme be a little bit more visual than you're showing in your feed. What you wanna do is avoid repetition, because repetition just doesn't get people to click through. For me when I'm watching Stories and it's the same, like the person talking to me, talking to me talking to me, I'm bouncing out. It's a talking head and it's not interesting, and people don't have time to watch. Time is money guys and, you know, you want to spend your time in the right places getting inspiration from the right accounts. When you find an Instagram Story account, an Instagram account that has great Stories, and you laugh and you're entertained or you're like, "Oh, I get what they did with the text, "I'm gonna do this next time." Those are the accounts you want to turn notifications on, even temporarily, and you can turn them off, because you don't want to miss what they're doing. And in your Stories, when you are consuming the same story over and over again, like I do when I watch Sara Blakely, and the Drybar and Chase Jarvis and CreativeLive, they show up at the front of your Stories. So just like in the feed, the more you're engaging, meaning watching certain Stories, those are the ones that when you open your app, those are the ones that you're gonna see first, with the rainbow ring and so, so they're there for a reason, you're engaging with them. Now for those of you who are watching Stories and you're like, "I really love their account "but I cannot stand watching their Stories", you can mute them. All you need to do is just tap on their avatar and then a button pops up and says mute this account. And you can unmute them at any time, and what happens is they go to the end of your Stories and it turns gray. So you can turn off the story. You guys are smiling like, "I didn't know this" right? You can turn off the story, you love the account, you're not into the story, you love the account. So this is how you can delete that, like mute that I should say, not delete it. So like I said, Instagram is constantly trying to give the user the experience that they want and the features that they need, to control what they see and what they engage in. This is my favorite. This is really, if you can show exclusive content that you only share in your Stories, people are gonna come back. So, maybe it's a brand that you use for your camera for your photo shoot, or it's a certain selfie light, or a certain model of a certain mount or you know, an outfit that you found somewhere. Hello Anthropologie, you should sponsor me. (laughs) You know, talk about like, why you shop there, why you go, like what is it, that is exclusive, that you're not sharing anywhere else. So think about that, because exclusive content gets people to come back and like I shared earlier, like not only alternating the angle of the video but alternating the angle of the photo. So Billy Gene, who's speaking tomorrow, are you guys staying tomorrow, for Billy, woo! Billy Gene, alright, Billy Gene's my buddy. I love Billy Gene, he's awesome. So he did a great, thank you Billy Gene for doing this so I could take screenshots you know finding the right screenshots to make sure you guys get the messaging was a challenge, I have to be honest. But Billy Gene, fortunately had the high, you know the high-quality graphic, right? He was Live on Face, this is just brilliant, he is really smart you guys, Live on Facebook, swipe up to join. So he was just trying to drive traffic to his Live Facebook and then, there was literally a video of Billy Gene talking, so he's drinking his coffee, the cup's in his hand. And he's doing what he does really well, he's brilliant okay So he took us with him, I took screen grabs from the video so these are both videos you guys and the camera person took us around to the angle that we were literally watching what he was doing. So even if you didn't swipe up and join from watching the Stories you felt like you were there in the room. Isn't that smart? So good. So simple, three clips. And he wanted to just drive traffic to his Facebook group 'cause that's where he makes a lot of magic happen. And he is so good on video. He is absolutely a great account, Billy Gene is Marketing, to follow, and I'm excited that you guys are gonna meet him tomorrow.

Class Description

Think Instagram is just for beach vacation selfies and shots of your quinoa-kale bowls? Think again. With more than 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social marketing platforms for business. But while you might recognize the power of Instagram and its millions of enthusiastic devotees, leveraging that power is a whole other story.

Sue Zimmerman is a highly sought-after social media marketing educator, speaker and business coach who specializes in teaching entrepreneurs, executives and marketing professionals how to use Instagram to boost their brand and drive their business forward.

Sue will explore every aspect of the Instagram universe—from how to use Instagram Stories and Highlights to how to master the site’s elusive algorithm—so you’re ready and able to grow your presence, build and engage your audience, and rack up sales.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Work with, not against, the Instagram algorithm.
  • Create effective and appropriate content for your feed and Instagram Stories.
  • Use Instagram Stories and bio links creatively.
  • Organize your content.
  • Craft an eye-catching and consistent look and feel.
  • Get your followers to take action.
  • Conduct hashtag research.
  • Figure out the end game for each of your posts.
  • Develop a posting schedule.


Cat in the Moon Photo

Can I just say, "I LOVE Sue"! I took her three day course on CreativeLive back in January when I had finally decided that I didn't want to be the only photographer NOT on Instagram. I took that class knowing absolutely NOTHING about the platform and by the end of it, I was up and running. When I heard that she was doing a new class, I knew I had to see it. By the end of the day my head was exploding with information. There are so many new things on IG that I am already WAY behind the times and have so much work to do. Sue delivered the course in true Sue form - highly entertaining and energized. The examples of successful businesses that she uses are so inspirational and make you feel like, "Yes! It IS possible!!" I am sooooo glad I own the course, because there is no way I could get the full benefit from just watching it once. I will be going back to this class MANY times as I develop as an Instagrammer!

a Creativelive Student

I love Sue's energy and her passion for her work is contagious. She is animated and articulate, making learning about Instagram not only fun, but inspiring. I found her tips to be very intuitive and easy to implement if you have the desire and drive to take your Instagram to the next level. I'm at a point where I've grown my Instagram to a respectable amount (13K), but I want to take it to the next level, so I'm doing a one-on-one consultation with her. I really appreciate all the work she's done into creating a program to uplevel your Instagram game.

Nick Davis

Amazing class, super helpful for understanding how to make your Instagram work for your business. And Sue B is engaging and fun to listen to. But make sure you have a pen and paper ready, because there's so much important information you're going to want to write it down! I'm about to start again from the beginning and this time take notes!