3 ways to use Instagram Stories

3 Ways To Use Instagram Stories To Drive Traffic, Increase Your Reach,
And What To Do With The Analytics

Instagram is invaluable as a marketing platform. It’s also exceptionally competitive. Fortunately, a lot of your competitors are going to try to rely on cheap tricks that require minimal effort, so that you can set yourself apart with the right strategies and content. Here, we explain how to use Stories to drive your traffic to where you want it, increase your reach, and what to do with the analytics of your newfound social media following.

Drive Traffic Where You Want It

For the longest time, the only way to place links on Instagram was either in your bio or to run Instagram Ads. That’s no longer the case, as all business accounts with more than 10,000 followers can add links to their Stories.

You can use that “Swipe Up to Learn More” link to send users to specific landing pages that are immediately relevant to the Story they’re placed in. Each Story could have a link to the product page it promoted, for example, or you could send users to your event pages and your web home page. Just make sure that those links make sense and send users to exactly where they need to go.

Adding these stories to your Highlights is an excellent move because it might be the first thing that users see when they come to your profile bio, and it adds longevity to the content.

If driving traffic to specific pages is your ultimate goal, leverage Highlights to help with this. Continually create new and relevant Highlights so you can prioritize the most recent and relevant links and Stories in your archive. This will help you get clicks long after the 24 hours are up and help direct traffic from users who are visiting your profile bio.

For best results, your Highlights should be organized into relevant topics that both established followers and new users will be interested in. “About Us” is always a good option, and then you can include Stories with links to learn more about your business or specific products. Since they’ve clicked to learn more about your brand in Stories form, this indicates interest and can help funnel clicks more successfully.

Use Stickers to Increase Reach

Location stickers are the golden ticket for the purpose of increasing reach. When you use these stickers to tag a nearby location, it activates geotagging and may increase the likelihood of your Story appearing in more local users’ Explore Story lineups.

Then, when they click on your location sticker, they’ll be taken to the location’s feed on Instagram. If that location happens to be your business, they’ll likely see an entire stream of UGC from when customers visited you and checked in.

Leverage Hashtags & See Post Stickers To Your Benefit

We’ve already talked about how to drive traffic off-platform, but if you want to dictate where traffic is headed on Instagram, the hashtag sticker is another good option. By featuring your own branded hashtag in a hashtag sticker, you could be in good standing. When users click, they’ll be taken to your hashtag’s feed.

There, they’ll likely see a mix of content published by you and by your fans when they’ve created user-generated content (UGC) and used the hashtag to share it. Since UGC is one of the most powerful trust-building mediums any brand can have, this is an immense benefit that you should take advantage of.

When using hashtags in Stories, you can choose any terms that you want to increase engagement, reach, or a mix of the two. You do, however, need to keep it to 5 hashtags or less per Story. If you use any more than that, there’s a clear drop off in engagement, so you end up hindering your campaigns instead of helping them.

If you don’t have a list of phrases you want to target, hashtag research tools like Hashtagify should be your go-to. If you type in a phrase, they’ll show you related keywords, and how popular individual hashtags are regarding usage and estimated impressions.

Stories Analytics: How to Track Their Performance

Once you’re posting your Stories and your strategies are underway, it’s essential to track their performance. You can do this with Instagram’s native analytics platform, but third-party tools will be more beneficial.

Third party analytics software like Stori, Snaplytics, and Storyheap (pictured below) will provide you with significantly more data than Instagram’s native Insights, and they’ll often provide this information for significantly longer, too. Instagram’s native analytics only offer Stories insight for 14 days, while other options can provide the information for up to a year on their dashboard and give you the option to download reports into a .CSV file.

Most of these platforms will offer insights into metrics like:

  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Exit rates
  • Story completion rates
  • Clicks/engagements
  • Messages sent in response
  • Forwards/backward swiping

Keeping track of your Stories performance will help you assess what content your audience is responding to and why. This will allow you to create more relevant content moving forward, getting better results long-term.

When you’re looking at the analytics, you don’t just want to look at the metrics on their own and take them at face value. They’re going to give you the most insight when you implement big-picture thinking, looking at how the metrics interact with each other.

You might notice, for example, that a surge of impressions could indicate discoverable content or that you’ve found the perfect time of day to post. That’s excellent.

But if the overall engagement rates or view completion rates are particularly low on those posts, you’ll know to use them carefully and to include other types of content into the rotation, too. Though they can help you reach larger audiences, the lower engagement could indicate that the content isn’t relevant to them.

Now, you’re all set with the most effective techniques that you to use Instagram Stories to drive traffic and access your target audience. And once you get these strategies underway, you can start to keep track of your Stories’ performance and utilize these analytics to propel your reach and engagement even further. With 400 million daily active users, Instagram Stories as a popular marketing tool is not going away any time soon, proving it to be an opportunity that your brand can’t afford to pass up.