Instagram has proven to be an ever-changing landscape, never ceasing to surprise and entertain us. Every now and then, the platform throws a curveball to marketers with its updates (remember the drama about the chronological feed). But more regularly, it rolls out all kinds of new features and useful updates that you can leverage to boost your marketing efforts. Instagram is determined to never allow for things to get stale – and that’s what we love about it!

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In this post, I’ll be focusing more specifically on the important updates regarding the Instagram Stories feature. They’ve all been rolled out relatively recently, throughout the course of 2018, and they’re certainly worth rounding up as they can all benefit your Instagram marketing strategy. So let’s dive in!

The Question Sticker

Last July, Instagram added the Questions Sticker to Stories. Along with the emoji slider and the Polls sticker (which you can also utilize through the Storrito editor), the Questions sticker is an addition to the arsenal of interactive features for Stories. It allows followers to submit questions that you’ll then answer to in your Story, but the process can also be reversed so that you’re the one asking the question and getting answers from your followers. Either way, the point of this feature is that it greatly enhances the concept of interactivity and dialogue through Insta Stories.

More than anything else, this addition is a really solid opportunity for marketers. Much like the Polls feature, the Questions sticker is best used to improve audience engagement, build a strong relationship with your follower base, and get valuable consumer input for your business.

Question Sticker

Sharing Feed Posts

In the whole bag of goodies that Instagram has unwrapped this summer, you’ll also find the “Add post to your Story” option. You can access this feature easily by tapping on the arrow icon underneath a post, after which you will be given the option to add the post directly to your Stories or customize it first.

Now, this might look like a minor addition but it simplifies sharing posts to Stories so much, and makes it a lot easier for you to drive traffic to your latest posts. You no longer have to take screenshots of a post (whether it is your own or from an account you appreciate) and then write captions telling the users to check it out. This feature provides a link straight to the mentioned post, which means that it can also be especially useful for reviving some old posts buried deeply within feeds. Don’t hesitate to use it to share inspiring content from industry peers and dedicated followers – remember, the ‘gram is all about community!

Bringing shopping to Stories

We were all super excited when Instagram extended the shopping feature to Stories last summer. At first, the feature was available to only “a few select brands” (such as Adidas and Louis Vuitton) but soon enough, it expanded globally and became widely available by July 2018. Shoppable Stories are big news because they bring a whole new level of conversion potential to Instagram marketing. Considering that Stories are more successful than Feed posts at attracting attention and enticing users to take action, incorporating shopping into them is expected to be both beneficial to the customer experience and incredibly effective for boosting sales through Instagram.

Shopping Sticker

Close Friends

Last but not least, we have the freshest addition to the Stories feature: the “Close friends” list, rolled out less than 2 months ago. This update brings more privacy to those who want it, by allowing you to create a list of the select people you’ll share certain Stories with. Now when you create a Story, you have the option of either sharing it with all your followers or only with the people from your Close friends list, which is great because it gives the platform more flexibility. When it comes to marketing, this feature can potentially be utilized to drive more intimate campaigns for specific audience segments, for instance, by giving access to special content to followers participating in a giveaway or those who shopped with you.

Instagram has brought us some great changes across the entire platform last year, and we’re excited to see what comes next. Nevertheless, the platform has not yet turned inside out and the “regular” features are still there for us to get the most out of. If you’d rather streamline your campaign and structure your Stories content, you can always use Storrito to schedule Stories for auto posting, prepare Stories on desktop, and make use of numerous editing features.

Written by Angelina Harper.