April 14, 2020

How to Create Professional Instagram Stories From Home

Michelle Greenbaum

Throughout the past month or so, we’ve learned quite a bit about marketing during a global pandemic. To sum it up in one sentence: It’s all about being able to pivot. Your strategy, your tone, your content creation methods, and your mindset toward all things marketing during this time will need to change—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It can actually be a great opportunity to try new platforms and use your resources in new ways.

Without access to studios for in-person photo and video shoots, many brands are taking advantage of stock footage or trying their hand at live video, but if you’re looking to create original and authentic content from home without the logistical risks that come with Live, try Instagram Stories.

Why Instagram Stories?

  • When creating Instagram Stories, all you need is a phone and a person to operate it. Which of your employees can you utilize as a content creator?
  • Instagram Stories can be uploaded directly from the camera roll, so there’s no pressure to get the content right on the first try.
  • Stories give your audience a behind-the-scenes look in a way that feels personal and organic. Because followers can control how quickly they tap through the content, they can pause and rewatch the content that matters most to them.
  • Now more than ever, it’s important to ask your audience what they want from your brand. With Stories, you can interact with them directly through Questions, Polls, and Quiz stickers.
  • Even though Stories are ephemeral, you can pin them as a Highlight on your Instagram profile so the content can live on after 24 hours.

Our client, Giant Food, has a team of nutritionists who are normally available for consultations and classes in-store, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, the team is working from home. We worked with the nutritionists to develop a content plan that allows them to provide the same value and advice that they do in-store—but from their kitchens! Take a look at some of the guidelines they’re following.

Planning & Filming Your Instagram Stories

  • Before you record anything, write an outline of your Story. Create three columns: photo/video, voiceover, and on-screen text. Think about the things you know you’ll want to record, and fill in the gaps with spontaneous moments.
  • Don’t overpost. Try to limit yourself to 15 or fewer Story segments each day. It can be daunting for a viewer when they see 100 small dashes at the top of their screen.
  • Start your Story with a segment that gives context. This can be as simple as a photo with text or a short video introduction.
  • Keep it interesting. You’ll want to film a mix of content with the rear-facing camera and the selfie-mode camera. Additionally, capture a mix of photo and video content. Photos are often easier to edit.
  • If recording directly in Instagram Stories, make sure you SAVE the video before moving onto your next segment (do not upload as you go).

Editing & Uploading Your Instagram Stories

  • When using the text feature to add copy to your Stories, use the same font and stick to two to three colors.
  • If you feature specific people or brands in your Story, tag them so they can repost it! Place the tag towards the center, otherwise, tapping on it may accidentally take users to the previous or next frame.
  • Take advantage of Instagram’s built-in features. Spruce up your content with animated GIFs and stickers! Just don’t overdo it.
  • At the end of your first Story, use the Questions sticker to ask followers what topics they want to hear about next. You can also ask followers to submit their own questions they want answered via the Questions sticker.
  • After posting, see if anyone has responded to your Questions and share to the Story if relevant. Be sure to add in some of your own comments as well.

Looking for additional content strategy advice during COVID-19, or want someone on the Likeable team to review your first Story before posting? Email [email protected] to get in touch.

Tags: Best Practices, Content Marketing, COVID-19, Creative, Instagram, Strategy

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