How to Create and Analyze Instagram Stories for Business Accounts

social media how toLooking for ways to market your business with your Instagram business account?

Are you aware of the unique advantages businesses have with Instagram Stories?

In this article, you’ll discover how to create, use, and analyze Instagram stories using a business account.

How to Create and Analyze Instagram Stories for Business Accounts by Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner.

How to Create and Analyze Instagram Stories for Business Accounts by Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner.

Why Use Instagram Stories?

If you’re already publishing photos and videos on Instagram, you may wonder why you would also want to create Instagram stories. The reasons are simple – Instagram stories help you get more visibility in the Instagram app and give people more of your content to consume.

When people open the Instagram app, the first things they see above their news feed are the Instagram stories by accounts they follow. If you’ve recently created an Instagram story, you have a chance of your profile image appearing at the top of your followers’ news feeds.

Instagram Stories appear at the top of your new feed.

Instagram Stories appear at the top of your new feed.

Your Instagram story will also play directly after the one preceding it for your followers. So in the example above, if someone finishes watching @derekhalpern’s story, @iam_dytto’s story will play next.

If your followers have their notifications turned on for new Instagram stories from people they follow, they’ll be alerted to your new stories, particularly if you’re broadcasting live.

Notifications will show your followers when you have new stories.

Notifications will show your followers when you have new stories.

If you recently created an Instagram story, your profile photo will have a circle around it throughout Instagram to let people know they can view your latest Instagram story. So in addition to seeing your regular Instagram post, people may also click on your profile photo to see your Instagram story because they know it will only last for 24 hours.

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If you recently created an Instagram story, your profile photo will have a circle around it.

The Instagram Story indicator can also let people know your account has recently been active when people see your Instagram account in search results or visit your Instagram profile.

The Instagram Story indicator shows your account has been active when your Instagram account shows in search results.

The Instagram Story indicator shows your account has been active when your Instagram account shows in search results.

If your Instagram story is popular, you also have the chance to be featured in the Instagram App’s Search & Explore tab, which Instagram users visit to find new Instagram content matching their interests.

Popular Instagram stories may be featured in the app’s Search and Explore tabs.

Popular Instagram stories may be featured in the app’s Search and Explore tabs.

Your Instagram Story indicator also shows on your Instagram ads when you create ads linked to your Instagram account. This means that someone who may not be interested in your Instagram ad may still be interested in your Instagram story.

The Instagram Story indicator shows on Instagram ads when they’re linked to your Instagram account.

The Instagram Story indicator shows on Instagram ads when they’re linked to your Instagram account.

#1: Get to Know the Viewer Controls

You should view a few Instagram stories before creating them yourself. It’s important to remember where Instagram places story controls for viewers so they don’t overlay the best parts of your photos and videos or your edits.

At the top of your Instagram story, viewers will see story progress bars, your profile photo, and your profile username.

Viewers can see a progress bar at the top of your Story.

Viewers can see a progress bar at the top of your Story.

At the bottom, viewers will see the message box and the option to send your Instagram story as a direct message to a friend, based on your story settings.

Viewers can send your story to their friend’s via a direct message.

Viewers can send your story to their friends via a direct message.

Putting tappable elements like @usernames, location tags, and #hashtags in an area covered by one of the controls will prevent viewers from clicking on your action items. We’ll discuss how you can add @usernames, location tags, and #hashtags later in this post.

#2: Configure Your Instagram Story Settings

For business marketing purposes, you want your Instagram stories to reach as many people as possible. If you tap on the three dots at the top right of your Instagram profile (Android) or the settings wheel on your Instagram profile (iOS), you’ll find your story settings. The first setting allows you to block specific followers of your Instagram account from viewing your stories.

You can block specific Instagram followers from seeing your stories.

You can block specific Instagram followers from seeing your stories.

The following story settings allow users to reply to your Instagram story via direct messages, and share portions of your story via direct message to their friends. They also allow you to automatically save photos and videos you add to your story to your smartphone.

Use settings to automatically save photos and videos you add to your story to your smartphone

Use settings to automatically save photos and videos you add to your story to your smartphone.

You can also edit these settings before you publish a new Instagram story by tapping on the settings wheel icon at the top left of your screen when creating a new story.

#3: Choose Your Instagram Story Format

When you’re ready to create your Instagram story, tap on the camera icon at the top left of your home tab or on your profile photo with the + sign at the left of the most recent Instagram stories.

Tap the camera icon to create a story.

Tap the camera icon to create a story.

On the following screen, you’ll be able to choose from six different Instagram story formats. Note that for the Live, Normal, Boomerang, Hands-Free, and Rewind, you can use the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters when recording people.

Choose your story format on the next screen.

Choose your story format on the next screen.

Images and Video From the Past 24 Hours

If you tap on the icon from your camera roll, you can choose from any photos or videos in your camera roll from the last 24 hours to share in your Instagram story. This includes photos you’ve downloaded or screenshots on your device.

You can choose to include any photos or videos in your camera roll from the last 24 hours.

You can choose to include any photos or videos in your camera roll from the last 24 hours.

Once you choose a photo or video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.

Live

Slide over to Live to broadcast live on Instagram. This allows you to broadcast live for up to 60 minutes.

Stream for up to 1 hour with a Live story.

Stream for up to 1 hour with a Live story.

During live broadcasts, you and your viewers can comment. If you prefer, you can tap on the three dots in the comment box to turn off commenting. You can also make a comment, tap on the comment, and pin it so it always appears above the comment box. Pinned comments are highlighted gray.

Tap on the three dots to turn comments off on your Live.

Tap on the three dots to turn comments off on your Live.

Viewers of your Instagram Live video have a heart icon at the bottom right to like your live broadcast.

Viewers can like your Instagram live broadcast by tapping the heart.

Viewers can like your Instagram live broadcast by tapping the heart.

When you’ve finished your live broadcast, tap on End at the top-right corner. You’ll then be given the option to share it for 24 hours as part of your Instagram story or discard it so only viewers who caught it while you were broadcasting will see it. You may also have a Save icon at the top right of the screen to save the live broadcast to your camera roll.

You can share your video to your story for 24 hours.

You can share your video to your story for 24 hours.

Comments and likes appear in the replay just as they did during the live broadcast when shared in your Instagram story. Note that unlike other Instagram story formats, you can’t edit (add links, stickers, handwriting, or text) your live broadcast.

Normal

Slide over to Normal to add a photo or video to your Instagram story. Tap on the shutter for photos or tap and hold for up to 20 seconds of video. Use the flash icon to turn on your camera’s flash or lighting for video, the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters to your photos or videos when capturing people.

Normal adds a new image or a video to your story.

Normal adds a new image or a video to your story.

Once you’ve captured your photo or video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.

Boomerang

Slide over to Boomerang to add a unique video to your Instagram story. When you tap and hold the shutter, Boomerang will quickly snap photos for five seconds and stitch them together to create a unique looping video. You can use the flash icon to turn on your camera’s flash or lighting for video, the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters to your videos when recording people.

Use Boomerang will turn a series of photos into a looping video.

Use Boomerang to turn a series of photos into a looping video.

Once you’ve captured your video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.

Rewind

Slide over to Rewind to create a video that Instagram will add to your story in reverse. Tap and hold the shutter to record up to 20 seconds of video. You can use the flash icon to turn on your camera’s flash or lighting for video, the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters to your videos when recording people.

Add a video that plays in reverse, with Rewind.

Add a video that plays in reverse, with Rewind.

Once you’ve captured your video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.

Hands-Free

Slide over to Hands-Free to create a video for your Instagram story. Unlike the other video recording options, Hands-Free allows you to tap the shutter once and record for up to 20 seconds. You can use the flash icon to turn on your camera’s flash or lighting for video, the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters to your videos when recording people.

Hands-Free records 20 seconds of video with a single tap.

Hands-Free records 20 seconds of video with a single tap.

Once you’ve captured your video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.

#4: Edit Your Instagram Story

With the exception of live broadcasts, once you’ve chosen or captured a photo or video for your Instagram story, you’ll get the option to edit it before adding it to your story using the icons at the top right of the screen.

You can edit everything, with the exception of live video, before you add it to your story.

You can edit everything, with the exception of live video, before you add it to your story.

Links

In addition to the editing features shown above, verified Instagram accounts and Instagram accounts with over 10,000 followers will see a link icon that allows you to add links to your Instagram story. When you tap on the link icon, you’ll be able to add your link on the following screen.

Accounts with over 10,000 followers can add links to stories.

Accounts with over 10,000 followers can add links to stories.

Viewers of your Instagram story can swipe up where it says See More to go to the URL you specified, as shown in the example below.

See More indicates that a link is behind a story image or video.

It’s important to note where See More will appear on your Instagram story so you can make sure your photo or video doesn’t have any elements that distract from it. Also be sure to turn off Message Replies for your story, as the message box would overlap the See More option.

Stickers

Stickers allow you to add more information and embellishments to your Instagram story.

Tappable hashtag and location stickers are especially useful for brands on Instagram.

Tappable hashtag and location stickers are especially useful for brands on Instagram.

In particular, you may want to use the Location and #Hashtag stickers to your Instagram story. Both are tappable by viewers, which can be great for brands that are promoting a specific location such as a local store.

Location stickers can help brands promote a specific location.

Location stickers can help brands promote a specific location.

It can also be good for directing viewers to a branded hashtag or one that you’re actively creating content for.

Tappable hashtag stickers can be used to promoted a branded campaign hashtag.

Tappable hashtag stickers can be used to promote a branded campaign hashtag.

Drawing

You can use the drawing tools if you want to add some annotations, handwriting, or other drawings to your story. Instagram gives you different pen tips to choose from, as well as an eraser.

Tap on a color to use with your drawing tool.

Tap on a color to use with your drawing tool.

In addition to marking a photo or video, you can also use the colors that appear with each drawing tool to add a colored overlay to your photo or video. Simply tap on a color you like, and then tap and hold on your Instagram story.

Use the colors that appear with each drawing tool to add a colored overlay to your photo or video.

Use the colors that appear with each drawing tool to add a colored overlay to your photo or video.

You can then use the eraser to reveal portions of the photo or video beneath your new overlay. Tap on the scale icon at the bottom left to choose a size for your eraser, and then swipe across the screen.

Use the eraser to reveal portions of the photo or video beneath your new overlay.

Use the eraser to reveal portions of the photo or video beneath your new overlay.

Text

Another way to add a message to your Instagram story is with the text feature. In addition to entering text, you can use @username to include a tappable link to a particular Instagram account in your story.

 Use @username to include a tappable link to a particular Instagram account in your story.

Use @username to include a tappable link to a particular Instagram account in your story.

#5: Save and Share

Once you’ve finished editing your Instagram story, you have the following options for saving and sharing it.

You can either save you story, or share it immediately.

You can either save your story, or share it immediately.

The Save icon will allow you to save the photo or video you just created to your camera roll. The +Your Story will automatically add it to your story, which is viewable by everyone or everyone except those you hide it from in your story settings.

The Send to option will allow you to add it to your story or send it directly to specific Instagram followers. You can also create groups of followers to send your story to, such as groups for customers, employees, vendors, and so on.

#6: Engage With Your Instagram Story Viewers

If you want to build engagement with your Instagram followers and you can’t add links to your Instagram story, configuring your story settings to allow users to send message replies (as mentioned earlier) will enable them to privately message you with comments. You can even create stories that are geared toward engagement by pointing out the message box, as shown below.

Create stories that are geared toward engagement by pointing out the message box.

Create stories that are geared toward engagement by pointing out the message box.

Replies to your Instagram stories will appear in your direct message inbox. Be sure to monitor your inbox for new messages each time you publish a story with the option for replies.

Watch your inbox for new messages from story viewers.

Watch your inbox for new messages from story viewers.

Each reply will be sent with a thumbnail of the photo or video within your story the viewer was on when they sent you the message.

The message will use a thumbnail to reference the content your viewer is commenting on.

The message will use a thumbnail to reference the content your viewer is commenting on.

#7: View Your Instagram Story Analytics

Instagram offers detailed analytics for business accounts. These analytics cover the most recent 24 hours, 7 days, and 14 days of activity on your stories. To view them, you can tap on the analytics icon (bars) on your Instagram profile, or go to your story and tap the number of viewers or the names of viewers at the bottom left.

If you have a business account on Instagram, you can tap the number of viewers on your story to get analytics.

If you have a business account on Instagram, you can tap the number of viewers on your story to get analytics.

Basic story analytics offered to both personal and business accounts will show you the number of viewers your story receives, along with their usernames.

From your business account, tap on the analytics bars icon to see data on impressions, reach, and engagement.

From your business account, tap on the analytics bars icon to see data on impressions, reach, and engagement.

If you have a business account, you can tap on the analytics icon to see additional details. Instagram lets business owners track the impressions; reach/viewers; and the number of taps forward or backward, exits, and replies a particular photo or video in your story receives. Impressions tallies the number of times a particular photo or video was seen, whereas reach tallies the number of unique viewers who saw a particular photo or video in your story.

In addition, you’ll have analytics data for the number of times tappable elements like Location or #Hashtag stickers are tapped.

You can also save your story to your camera roll from within the analytics dashboard.

You can also save your story to your camera roll from within the analytics dashboard.

You can also use the icons at the top right of the analytics to save the photo or video in your story to your camera roll, share it as a regular post to your Instagram account, or delete it altogether.

In Conclusion

As you can see, Instagram Stories is a powerful way to gain more visibility among your followers and beyond. For business accounts, Instagram also provides new insights into the content your followers will view and how they’ll engage with it.

Do you use Instagram Stories for your business? What other tips do you have? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Learn how to create, use, and analyze Instagram Stories using your Instagram business account.