How To Use Instagram Stories’ New Tools To Make Creative Content

StoriesInstagram continues to release innovative, impressively useful features on its platform.

The distinct differences between Stories and Feed have proved to be effective for delivering different types of visual content within the same platform. Facebook IQ surveyed nearly 10,000 people across the world ages 13-55 who use Instagram at least once a week and uncovered a deeper understanding of the differences in perception and use between Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories.

Instagram users more often turn to Stories than Feed in two scenarios: for in-the-moment content and for unfiltered, authentic content.

In the US, there’s a difference between the types of content people say are important in Stories and types of content people say are important in Feed (“Instagram Stories and Feed,” 2017).

Content People Value More In Stories Than Feed

  • Provides information I trust on things I care about
  • Provides information on events (shows, concerts, fairs, etc.) that are relevant to me
  • Gives me an insider’s view of my favorite celebrities

Content People Value More In Feed Than Stories

  • Helps me connect to friends/family
  • Gives me an inside look at the lives of my friends/family
  • Lets me share my passions or hobbies

I notice a common thread in the difference between the two. People value Stories for gaining relevant knowledge, and people value Feed for expression and connection. In a way, Stories seem to provide an inward form of gratification, while the Feed serves a more external purpose as users tend to interact by tagging and sharing content with others. Stories = Consumption of Relevant Information. Feed = Expression of Identity.

Instagram Stories opens up an avenue for delivering important information in a way that is well received, so let’s talk about how to create dynamic content with the latest features.

From Feed To Story

Instagram Story

A feature that has really elevated the Instagram Story experience is the ability to share an account’s Feed photo directly to your Story.

This is a massive upgrade if you’re an account that features work from other creators by curating their art for your audience. Recently, we featured 12 #ColoradoState accounts to follow and shared a photo from each account to the Instagram Story of the @ColoradoStateU account. The results were positive, and each account generated new followers from the visibility. The CSU student-run account, @proudtobeacsuram, received 983 sticker taps, though we don’t know for sure how many of those taps translated into profile visits or follows.

The ability to showcase content from other accounts is extremely useful, especially in the context of being ephemeral. Your Feed won’t be littered with posts that your audience perceives as promotional or spammy if it disappears from your Story in 24 hours.

Instagram StickersStickersUnleash The Power Of Stickers

Instagram’s Stickers are incredibly powerful tools for driving engagement and visibility. Tagging your Story content with a location or hashtag increases the number of people who are exposed to your content in their Home feeds.

The poll feature is useful for basic audience research to learn more about what your fans prefer between one option or another. You can also pose a question to your followers with the opportunity for them to respond in a message.

The emoji meter is a fun way to gauge a level of interest or excitement from users. In the example to the right, we asked people to indicate their level of fandom with the fire emoji.

Third-Party Apps

Hype Type

One thing Instagram has always done well is provide the opportunity to make great content — even if it means utilizing other apps to do so. This could mean taking a slow-mo video from camera roll and uploading that video as an Instagram Story without sacrificing video quality (*ahem* Snapchat). Here’s several other apps that can elevate the quality of your content:

  • HypeType for animated text on videos and adding music to your visual (right)
  • Adobe Spark Post for creating graphics and adding text
  • CutStory for trimming long videos into the proper length for an Instagram Story

Source: “Instagram Stories and Feed” by Sentient Decision Science (Facebook-commissioned survey of 2,400 people in Brazil, 2,300 in Indonesia, 2,300 in the UK and 2,400 in the US ages 13-55), Oct 2017.