DAY 2 LESSON: INSTAGRAM STORIES AND HIGHLIGHTS
Before you proceed, make sure you've taken screenshots of your Instagram Profile (including the current number of follwers/following and your feed). Your screenshots will show you the transformation and improvements your Instagram will undergo through out the challenge. Ready? GO.
Since Snapchat, Instagram Stories (posts that disappear after 24 hours) have became super famous since they were introduced less than two years ago.
There hasn’t always been a way to keep Stories around for more than 24 hours, though. Important content kept slipping through the cracks, never getting enough time to be viewed by everyone who would find it valuable.
Enter Highlights, a feature that lets you save Stories to your profile indefinitely. Now, brands and social media influencers and content creators are now willing to invest more time and resources to create impressive Stories worthy of a permanent (or semi-permanent) slot on their profiles.
For today's lesson, we’ll get you up-to-speed so you can start creating Highlights right away, and we’ll give you ideas for the type of Stories that deserve to be in your profiles like a mini-website!
Before we give this using other examples, let us show you what we made in ours.
If you're Instagram feed is following a theme and is curated or well-thought of (we'll learn this on Day 5 Lesson!), Instagram Stories is a great place to post content that won't fit your feed but will still represent and showcase your brand.
We created FNF Highlights mainly to showcase our ambassadors since most of them tag us on their Stories while working out or whenever they are wearing FNF attire. We made sure that we will have a place for all types of Stories they share: their mirror selfies (Gym Mirrors), their photos of healthy meals and FNF supplements (Nutrition), their training routines (Workouts)-- even their excitement when a FNF mail arrived (Delivered). And we also made sure that it's an extension of our bio -- Our story as a company (About), our cause to help the needy (Mission), our value we bring to our Proud Ambassadors and a peek to the most impacting fitness family (Community).
What is an Instagram Highlight?
Highlights are custom groupings of Stories that are prominently featured on your profile – show up in a row on your bio page, underneath your bio. You can add up to 100 stories to a single Highlight: combination of 15-seconder video clips or images.
Whenever you create a new Highlight, it’ll show up in the first position. On the bio screen, your five most recent Highlights will be shown. You have to scroll to see more highlights. There’s no limit to how many Highlights you can create.
Your most recent stories can be viewed by clikin on your profile photo. They will disappear after 24 hours UNLESS you keep them on your highlights. In other words, you can't create Highlights without sharing any Instagram Story.
Setup Your Highlights
There are a few different ways to create Highlights. I’ll quickly walk you through them so you can get straight to figuring out the type of content your audience will like best. Some of you may know this very well already but since we're also catering the non-tech savvy learners, bear with us as we teach some basics.
1. Double-check that you’re auto-saving your Stories.
You want to save your Stories so that you still have them after the 24-hour window (at which point they disappear). This feature should already be turned on, but if you want to make sure, go to Settings > Story Controls > Turn On Save To Archive
Your Stories will be saved to your archive when they expire, and you can pull from your older Stories for your Highlights.
2. Create a Highlight on your bio page.
Underneath your bio, click the “New” plus sign in a circle. Choose any of your Stories to add them to your bio as a Highlight.
3. Create a Highlight from your Stories Archive.
Go to the Stories Archive, tap the three dots in the upper right corner, and then choose to Create Highlight. You can choose between your Stories Archive and your Posts Archive. If you choose the Stories Archive, they’ll show up in a grid, and the most recent Stories will be at the bottom. You’ll also see a date indicator on the first Story for each day, which will help you choose your Highlights. To watch a Story before Highlighting it, tap it.
4. Create a Highlight from a current/recent Story.
Tap your bio pic, which will open up your current Stories. Tap the Highlight button on the bottom right, which will add the Story as a Highlight.
5. Choose the cover.
You can edit the cover of the Highlight if you’d like. You can choose a cover from the series of Stories you highlighted. If you select a video for the cover, the first frame of the video will be the cover. Example below are Highlights that use "branded" covers which fits the personal branding colors of the account holder.
6. Create a title.
Highlight titles can include up to 15 characters, which includes spaces. Only the first 10 characters will show up in the bio area, though, so you may want to limit Highlight titles to 10 characters. You can include emojis in your titles, too. Sample below:
7. Edit or remove a Highlight
Highlights will remain on your profile until you remove them. To edit or delete a Highlight, tap and hold > delete.
Ideas for Creative Highlights that Your Followers Will Enjoy
Document your progress or a service that you offer that is boxed within specific number of days.
- Monthly workout challenges
- Daily sharing of Bullet Journal/Meditation/Bible verses for a week/month
- Diet trials (1 week Keto, 1 Week vegan, etc)
- Fitness Class trial to see results (2 weeks of Yoga, 1 Month of Pilates, 15-days of Sprints)
Using a Story to create a how-to isn’t exactly a genius, but if you use the Story as a Highlight, you can keep an lasting how-to guide on your profile. Pick a how-to that your audience will always be able to use, instead of something more trendy or time-sensitive.
This example of a Tutorial for a recipe is a sponsored ad with an air fryer company. The influencer incorporated it well in her Highlights as not too sales-y.
You can do this also showing home workouts, workout routines, proper movements when doing a certain exercise. You name it!
Your Instagram profile may not have enough space to include important business info, like your mission, vision, story, hours of operation, how to order, testimnonials, reviews, etc. Create a Highlight with this info to not miss out on customers.
Go behind the scenes.
Show the behind-the-scenes of how a product is made if you sell some, or let people in to see your work day, or any other process most customers or clients don’t get a glance of.
Great example from coach and trainer @tara who let her followers dive into her more personally showing what she eats in a day at work.
- Take your audience healthy grocery shopping with you.
- Overnight preparations of the week’s food.
- BTS / bloopers from your longer workout video content
Maximize your reach with cross-promotion.
Are you offering something on Facebook or Pinterest or Blog that you’re not showing on Instagram? Highlight your other social platforms to get more followers there.
Another idea is to share a Highlight for another brand that correlates to yours and have them share one for you. You’ll reach each other’s audiences, which will expand your reach. Collaboration wins!
Brands have to find a way to show that they’re human, and using a Highlight just for a peek into your personal life is a good start. Who are you, what are you here for and why should your audience care? Showcase your pets, share how you’re sticking to a new habit, post images from your vacation, talk about a hobby you just fell in love with or update viewers on the renovation of your home. The more personal you can make this Highlight, the better (professionalism considered, of course)
Depending on what type of business you run or what brand you're trying to establish and grow, you can create a Highlight with good old inspiration. Joe Wicks aka thebodycoach, capitalize on these kinds of highlights since he is a personal trainer. Keep your auidence coming back with inspiration and information they will relate to (and that they can revisit over and over if they need a dose of motivation).
Utilize IG stories stickers more! Not only will it add fun to your stories, it will increase your engagement more.
After tapping on the Sticker icon, a tray appears with various sticker options. Depending on the features that have rolled out to your account, you may have some stickers but not others. The most commonly available stickers are Location, Temperature, Clock, Date, Hashtag, Mention, Poll, Question, GIF, Slider, Countdown, and Music.
You can also slide up the sticker screen to access emojis, seasonal stickers, and mood stickers.
Pro Tip: One simple trick many people don’t know is that many of the stickers have editable backgrounds or styles. When you select any of the @Mention, Location, or #Hashtag stickers, they default to the color and background you see on the sticker option in the tray.
To change the color and style, tap the sticker after you’ve placed it on your story. Keep tapping to rotate through color and style options. You can choose from different-colored text or translucent backgrounds.
DAY 2 MINI-MISSION: SET-UP YOUR INSTAGRAM STORY HIGHLIGHTS TODAY.
Now I've proven that Instagram Stories play a big role in how business and personal brands advertise, stand out from the competition and get customers to take action. But keeping them as a highlight can be a little tricky given that you are not a company that is big in advertising. Remember, we learned that by grouping stories into custom Highlights, brands can express themselves more. So even it's not for advertising, you can creatively express yourself through Highlights. First things, first. Express yourself with your Highlight Covers then add your stories after. Trust me, when you do this and see your Instagram Profile with cute Highlight covers that represent you well, you'll feel inspired to create more content for your IG stories just so you can add more to your Highlights!
Life Hack for adding Covers that stand out:
- Go to google and look for seamless pattern graphics or anything that will reflect your brand/personality. Save that photo.
- Go to your Stories and use that photo from google, either use the photo sticker or just an emoji to add personality and customization to your Highlight cover. You may or may not add some text on it too.
- Give it an appropriate Title
- Repeat the process for your other highlights (just use a different text/emoji/photo and title!)
THAT'S IT - a simple, but uniform Highlight design that is pleasing to the eye of your followers! Best thing is you can switch it up anytime depending on your mood! And you didn't even have to make graphics.
Now, review your Instagram goal again, and then ask yourself -- What will my followers want to view over and over? What do new visitors of my Instagram wonder about when they see my profile?
When you think about creating the perfect Highlight for your Instagram, it’s important to think further than, “What makes a great Story?” While some of the content you use will be the same from what you post in the feed or what people see on your Facebook Page, Blog, or even Youtube Channel, the key here is to think about what has a lasting impact.
For your mini-mission or highlights in the future, consider these two examples:
- You have a new service you're going to offer your clients, let's say online coaching. Since you also just released group coaching and in-person coaching earlier that year, it seems like you always have something NEW to offer. You know that what you post today might now be your “newest” service in a few months. You create a Highlight called “New Programs” or “New,” or "Start Here" so that your new visitors can know what highlight they are going to check first. You made this highlight because it fits you and you always keep it refreshed and updated with only your most recent services.
- You run a food blog, and a lot of your recipes call for your homemade and quite famous Bell Pepper salsa. While your recipes are posted to your Stories, that Bell Pepper salsa is something your followers are going to need over and over again. You decide to create one Highlight with just the recipe for the Bell Pepper salsa. You made this Highlight so you can also show other recipes using the Bell Pepper Salsa - showcasing the flexibility and many uses of your signature side dish/ingredient.
In the first example, you’ll create a Highlight that has to change content. This can be your new products, your latest announcements or your seasonal behind-the-scenes. In the second example, you’ll create a Highlight that will remain the same, because your audience will find it useful over and over.
THAT'S IT FOR DAY 2!
Remember, nothing is set in stone, you can choose one now, and change/tweak it later. Don't worry - there's always lots of room to learn and experiment!!
Go Back to the Facebook Group to share your insights and catch up with the community. Make sure to engage with your team mates!