• Joe Carver

Social Media Marketing: Telling Your Instagram Story

Using Instagram Stories for your social media marketing and overall digital brand marketing strategy has some unique benefits for your online brand presence. With this feature, you have an opportunity to give your online marketing a storybook ending that ends at the stroke of midnight, or after the sun sets on the next day, or, er, 24 hours after you post it.

Instagram Stories is a feature that the social media platform added back in 2013. It allows you to publish videos that drop off the site after 24 hours. (And for those of you keeping track at home, Facebook Stories is the same concept.)

Anyone can make an Instagram Story, and you can watch one—provided you are part of their privacy settings—by tapping their profile photo. The feature will then play the videos posted in the past 24 hours from oldest to newest. Per Buffer, a collaborative social media marketing tool, the ideal aspect ratio for Instagram Stories is 9:16, or 1080px by 1920px (or “vertical” for those of us who don’t speak geek).

A few tips will help you make the most of your Instagram Stories:

1. Use all the bells and whistles. Hootsuite, a social media marketing and management dashboard, suggests using many of the tools the feature includes to maximize your potential reach with your videos. They recommend adding Hashtags to the video, and although you can add as many as 30, they report that the engagement level drops after five hashtags. Also, adding location is essential because many cities will feature locally tagged videos on their feed, which increases your reach. Polls are another way to boost engagement, and as Hootsuite points out, an excellent way to collect quantitative data about your audience.

2. Choose your content wisely. Creativity is vital to your success with Instagram Stories. Buffer offers some great ideas, including Behind-the-Scenes content that allows you to showcase your operations, Takeovers that have you switch audiences with another brand to cross-market to your followers, or live video of an event. All three are excellent ways to tell your story in an engaging way without needing a lot of know-how or equipment.

3. Understand your metrics. If you don’t measure engagement with your Instagram Stories, you are missing out on valuable feedback, and perhaps most importantly, leads. As Entrepreneur points out, starting with the “view completion rate” is a critical metric to determine what content your audience engages with most. This data helps you adjust and capitalize on your successful stories and secure the best possible return on investment for your time.

If you haven’t already, watch some Instagram Stories in your feed to see what’s possible with this engaging online marketing strategy. Instagram Stories is an innovative way to approach social media marketing that can help you take your social media marketing for your digital brand to a new happily ever after.

Contact me at CarverMedia if you want to highlight your brand’s community involvement with your online marketing, social media marketing, or any other digital marketing goals.


Reed, Ash. “Instagram Stories: The Complete Guide to Using Stories. “ 2 August 2016. Web. 11 July 2019. <>

Shleyner, Eddie. “Instagram Stories: How to Use It Like a Pro and Build Your Audience.” 25 June 2018. Web. 11 July 2019. <>.

Horowitz, John. “3 Ways to Use Instagram Stories to Boost Your Brand.” 25 June 2019. Web. 11 July 2019. <>

Keywords: Digital Brand Marketing, online marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing

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