Highlights gave Instagram Stories a new lease on life. It’s a fantastic way to boost engagement and gain additional value from your original content.
When Instagram Stories were introduced, they became the first major deviation from the traditional feed paradigm that governed how you consumed content on Instagram to that point.
Creators jumped on the opportunity to showcase more bite-sized content that would allow for a different rhythm and cadence to how you educated, engaged, and informed your audience.
Stories are fantastic, but they only live for twenty-four hours before they’re washed away. Instagram then released Instagram Stories Highlights, which is a way to retain that content for longer than twenty-four hours, by pinning them to your profile above your feed.
How Do Instagram Stories Highlights Work?
Highlights are essentially folders for your Stories. If you have an Instagram Story currently active, the easiest way to convert it into a Highlight is to tap the Highlight button below the Story. You can then either create a new Highlight, or add to an existing Highlight.
If your chosen Instagram Story has already expired, then you retrieve it from either your Insight or Archive page by tapping on it, and choosing Add to Highlight.
How Are Instagram Stories Highlights Useful for Brands?
We’re bombarded on the regular by carefully-manicured and pixel-perfect marketing. While this type of content will always have a place in any marketing strategy, there’s an ever-increasing demand for more handcrafted, behind-the-scenes (BTS), and serendipitous content. This content uncovers a whole new dimension of your company or brand that would otherwise never be seen.
Pinning this type of content to your profile as a Highlight allows your audience to experience these meaningful topics, allowing you to curate the experience that your audience views.
Suggestions for Using Instagram Stories Highlights
There are infinite possibilities when it comes to how you use your Highlights, but here are some high-impact suggestions to get you started:
1. Share Company Announcements
Have a new employee joining the team? Is there a big campaign coming up? Are you offering a discount to your customers?
If you’ve created a series of Stories to mark your announcement, convert them to Highlights so that anybody visiting your profile after the initial twenty-four hours can still benefit from your messaging.
2. Introduce New Products or Services
Building a bank of product or service announcements over time serves as a way to establish with your audience that they should stick around. It gives them the confidence that you’re constantly introducing new and exciting ways to expand your catalog or service proposition.
3. Provide Resources and Educational Content
The ability to educate and inform your audience shouldn’t end after twenty-four hours. From snippets of recent online workshops through to entire FAQs, Highlights are a nice way to collect all that information together to better apprise your audience at any time.
It could even stop support emails as your audience can delve into your Highlights and locate that information for themselves.
4. Promote Events
If you have a regular or large event coming up, be sure to use Highlights to share all the information about that event.
5. Answer Audience Questions
Many brands use their Stories to answer specific customer questions. That information is evergreen, so be sure to use Highlights to capture that content for ongoing use by any customers with the same issue or question.
6. Highlight Reviews and Testimonials
If you share customer reviews and testimonials in your Stories, be sure to collect those as a Highlight. Over time, this collection will grow to provide a solid bank of third-party comments on your product, service, or customer service approach, which could be the deciding factor between you and one of your competitors.
7. Go Behind the Curtain with BTS Content
Everybody loves BTS content these days. Whether it’s a hilarious moment in the office, a teaser, or even the introduction of the office pet, all of this content helps to humanize your company or brand and establish rapport with your audience.
Design Instagram Stories Highlights for Maximum Impact
You can personalize the look and feel of your Highlights by choosing the title for each Highlight, as well as a visual that represents that particular Highlight.
1. Use Brand Colors to Create Recognition
If the look and feel of your profile is important in raising awareness of your brand, you may wish to design Highlights that match the overall aesthetic of your brand guidelines.
This helps to create consistency of experience with other places your audience may interact with you—website, other social media platforms, print—and will also marry up harmoniously with the content within your profile.
2. Use Icons to Emphasize Highlight Topics
Real estate is at a premium with each Highlight visual, so icons are perfect ways to capture the sense of what the Highlight is all about in a snappy, engaging manner.
Choose icons that best describe the Highlight and ensure you maintain consistency with your brand colors.
3. Showcase Your Products or Services
If you have a large catalog of products or services, you may wish to use each Highlight to showcase a different product. Using images of your products for each Highlight is a handy way to capture attention and immediately show your audience what’s available.
4. Highlight Your Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors are part and parcel of the Instagram experience, and using them as the visuals for your Highlights is a smart way to not only showcase their experience and advice, but also create affiliation with your audience.
Use striking images of each ambassador to draw in your audience.
A World of Possibilities for Your Brand
Instagram Stories Highlights were created as a simple way to extend the life of your Stories, but have soon become a key channel in the marketing strategy of brands. They’re the perfect halfway point between formal, pixel-perfect marketing and more homemade, handcrafted, BTS content.
They can inform, educate, and engage, and they’re an immediate insight into what your company offers and how it approaches customer service.
Don’t overlook this expansive, engaging, and fun way to reach your audience!