Instagram is as much about holding on to great moments as it is about living them to the fullest. And Instagram Stories is the perfect tool to capture the authenticity of a moment with freshness and even a bit of quirkiness.
But what about the “holding on”?
That’s the question on everyone’s lips. Especially on the lips of business owners around the online newsfeed. Because when you invest time and money into creating stunning content, you also want to be able to use it for as long as you can. And, well, the Stories feature is amazing in many aspects, but not in the aspect of longevity. Or that’s how it used to be.
Instagram was well aware of this shortcoming and that’s why it decided to act on it and introduced, in December 2017, the Stories Highlights and the Instagram Story Archive.
Now, the question on everybody’s lips is: “How can we use the Stories Highlights and Stories Archive” features to boost our marketing efforts.
Ah, where there are questions, Preppr comes with answers. Here are our two cents on the matter, based on thorough research, testing and, as always, a bit of creative thinking!
Save your Stories for later use with Instagram Stories Archive
Sure, you could save your Instagram Stories on your computer, or your drive, or on a number of other online storage spaces or hardware gadgets. But Instagram thought (and rightfully so) that it would be amazing if you could have them stored in the form of an Archive readily available directly from your account. This way, you could always be just a few clicks away from revisiting your Stories and adding them to the Highlights feature (we’ll get to that shortly).
Okay, the premises sounds great. But let’s cut to the chase: how can you add your Stories to the Archive? Simple. All you have to do is turn on the Archive option from your Settings.
Once turned on, every Story you post will be saved in the Archive. To revisit your Stories, go to your profile and tap the icon in the top right corner. You’ll be able to browse and reminiscence at ease. But, if you have a strategic mind, that’s not all you will do. If you have a strategic mind, you’ll see the potential in repurposing your Stories and showcasing them for much longer than 24 hours.
New Instagram Story Archive Features
While the Archive has been around for a while, Instagram has introduced a couple of new features since then. The recently rolled-out calendar and map archive viewing help you find your past stories easier.
With the calendar view, you can look back on the stories you’ve posted daily. Cute preview circles mark the days you posted stories on a monthly calendar. The map feature places your stories on a map based on the location you used when you shared your post.
You can use both additions to look back on your archived stories dating as far back as when Instagram story archives were introduced in 2017… That is if you had enabled the feature in the past.
About the Instagram Story Archive feature
Before we get into how to use Highlights to your advantage, let’s quickly outline the Instagram Story Archive feature so that you know what’s what.
You can easily re-use your old stories
Do you ever feel as though you put a lot of thought and effort into your Instagram Stories only for them to disappear and be forgotten after 24 hours? Well, you don’t need to worry about that anymore!
Instagram automatically saves your stories into your Archive. This means that you can always go back and find old, but still relevant stories, to repost at a later stage.
Whether you want to promote your products, services, content, or anything else, this is a great way to do so without spending a lot of time creating new stories about the same thing.
While it’s great to add content like this to your Highlights, adding it to your Stories from your Instagram Story Archive every now and then is still a good idea. After all, your followers may not check your Highlights reels regularly. So, this is an excellent tactic to add to your Instagram marketing strategy.
Preserve your storage space
You’ll be happy to know that you never have to save Story content that you want to re-use on your devices ever again!
With it all stored in the cloud, you can easily view, re-post, or download your past Stories whenever you want to!
Note that you can’t download your entire Stories Archive at once though. You can only download individual stories one at a time.
Escape the 24-hour constraint with Instagram Stories Highlights
Just as Cinderella rushed to get home before the clock hit 12 o’clock, Instagram Stories also fought a battle against time. But no more! Cinderella no longer cares about old-fashioned prejudices (she can arrive on her skateboard at the ball, who needs a carriage?) and Instagram Stories now have a Highlights section where they can linger without counting the hours.
And this new feature brings a lot of juicy benefits to marketers. Why, oh, why? Well, it provides a very elegant channel of curated content to greet your followers as soon as they land on your profile. Think about Instagram Stories Highlights as the “welcoming committee” introducing your multi-layered brand experience.
Stories Highlights will appear right below your profile description as a circle. Once tapped, the circle expands to reveal a slideshow of stories curated by you. The Highlights can be grouped into various sections and will remain of your profile forever and ever and ever. Or until you delete them.
How to add, edit and delete Instagram Stories Highlights
To create a Highlight, tap the “+” button next to the circle that can be found below your profile description.
This action will open your Archive and you will be able to select the Stories you want to be grouped in a Highlights category.
Once selected, the Stories will appear bundled in a circle, with their corresponding category name.
As a user clicks on the group, the stand-alone Stories will begin to play as a slide-show. You have the option of adding as many Stories as you want in a Highlights group and strategically use them to introduce followers to the multi-layers of your brand or business
If you decide you don’t want a Story on your profile anymore or want to edit a Highlights group, tap on the “more” button at the bottom right corner of the screen. A mini-menu will prompt you whether you want to “remove” or “edit” the highlight. If you select the “edit” option, you’ll be able to add Stories to the bundle, edit the cover of the Highlights group or its name. If you select “remove”, the Story currently on display will be deleted.
It’s all as straightforward and simple as it gets. The complex part comes when you sit down and start to strategize. Which brings us to the real juicy part…
How to make the most out of the Instagram Stories Highlights feature
With the Stories Archive set up and the knowledge about how to create a Highlight in your pocket, you can begin to strategize! The Instagram Stories Highlights can become a great way to introduce new followers to your brand and help your current followers better understand the essence of what you do. The secret to achieving this goal is set by the Highlights categories/channels you choose to create. Here are some ideas of Highlights groups you can put together in order to really get the show going:
1.Create Highlights of your product, service or main area of activity
While your whole account is dedicated to this goal, the Instagram Stories Archive can capture your products or services in a more authentic, serendipity-like light. And you can do this in a variety of creative ways, either by creating specific products’ categories based on their type or even your audience.
2.Create Highlights of behind the scenes moments
Everybody loves a sneak peek of what happens off-screen. And Instagram Stories is the perfect tool to capture the “on the spot” action. Now, with Instagram Stories Highlights, you can create an everlasting gallery with the juicy moments caught red-handed.
3. Create Highlights of your customers
There’s no greater feeling than the feeling of recognition. So if you want to really sweep your followers off their feet, creating a Highlights category just for them and about their experience with your product/service. You can build a strategy upon creating content based on their experience or you can simply reuse the content they created in connection with your brand. Either way, you’ll achieve a strong sense of community.
4. Create Highlights of special offers or events
If used smartly, the Stories Highlights can become a great way to promote your current marketing efforts in terms of promotions, events or other endeavors. By grouping them all together, followers will easily get a sense of what your values are and what they can expect in the future. Hopefully, they’ll like it and come back for more.
Sometimes a little hoarding goes a long way…
If you’re someone who often forgets to download their shared content to use in the future, then these Instagram features can be a lifesaver! And, before you delete your content because you think it’s so 2015, consider the content treasure pot you might be sitting on.
In a few years, you may want to do a couple of #TBT or bring out references for a campaign, and thanks to Instagram’s Highlights and Archives features, you won’t have to pine over any lost memories.