the Complete Guide for Businesses

the Complete Guide for Businesses

Note: this article was published in 2017, then updated in July 2018, and in October 2020.

Want to all about Instagram stories ? So follow the guide!

500 million.

It’s the number of daily Instagram Stories users.

Instagram stories are a slideshow comprising one or more image (s) and / or video (s) displayed in full screen mode.

This format has the particularity of disappearing 24 hours after it is put online.

Launched in August 2016, Instagram stories appeal not only to individuals but also to professionals.

In September 2017, 50% of professional profiles had created a story and a third of the most viewed stories were made by companies. Otherwise, one in five Instagram stories receives a direct message from a user today.

As its name suggests, the story is based on storytelling, or the art of telling a story.

Concept originally conceived by Snapchat, Instagram stories have become most popular than those of the social network to the ghost.

Source :

In this guide, I suggest you find out how Instagram stories work, what are their characteristics, what are their advantages for businesses, how to create an Instagram story, or how to add a link in an Instagram story.

# 1. How do Instagram stories work?

presentation of instagram stories

Instagram stories appear at the top of the app in a carousel that disappears when the news feed is unrolled.

Each Instagram story corresponds to a circle, accompanied by the photo and the name of the account.

When you tap on it, you access its content presented in full screen.

Instagram stories scroll automatically, account after account, until there is no more available content.

Note that it is impossible to like or comment on a story, as is the case with a traditional publication.

However, you can perform the following actions:

  • Navigate within the same story from one clip to another : Tap the screen to the right to go forward, or to the left to go back.
  • Switch from one Instagram story to another in manual mode : Swipe right or left.
  • Leave an Instagram story to return to the news feed : Swipe down or tap x.
  • Send a message : if this feature is not disabled by the creator, select “send a message”. The message includes the photo or video of the story. This item is removed from the conversation once the story comes to an end.

Depending on the width of your smartphone screen, a limited number of Instagram stories is visible by default in the app.

When you sweep the carousel to the left, you access theset of Instagram stories shared by the accounts you follow.

Instagram stories you don’t have not yet consulted, are surrounded by a circle of colors.

The others take their places at the very end of the carousel.

Know that live videos are only available in Stories.

They stand out from other Instagram stories thanks to the mention Direct.

Finally, a re-engagement box vertical is accessible in the news feed to present the stories that you have not yet seen.

Instagram stories are not displayed in anti-chronological order. A algorithm promotes content from accounts that build engagement on Instagram and Facebook. The platform presents each user with the stories most likely to interest them.

# 2. What are the characteristics of Instagram stories?

Instagram stories allow you to publish photos and videos with a respective duration of 5 and 15 seconds.

As stated before, they disappear 24 hours after posting.

However, an automatic backup is now carried out in a private archive for later consultation (profile> archives> stories archives).

This format offers several creative options:

  • Filters in augmented reality
  • The stickers
  • GIFs
  • The drawing tool
  • The text tool

It also includes different modes:

  • Creation
  • Boomerang
  • Layout
  • Superzoom
  • Hands free

The audited accounts or with 10k subscribers can add link in their stories Instagram, which allows them to redirect users to a website or landing page for example.

Instagram story link account verify

The accounts mentioned (up to 10) in an Instagram story are displayed with an underlined link which refers to the account concerned. A push notification and a direct message with a preview of the Story are sent. The latter is deleted from the discussion in Instagram Direct after 24 hours.

Instagram stories can contain live videos that disappear as soon as the broadcast ends, unless the creator has chosen to share the replay in their Instagram story. Note that live videos allow users to write comments.

In addition, Instagram stories are open to advertise for all available advertising purposes except interactions.

Finally, Instagram stories offer metrics following:

  • The interactions
  • Scope
  • Impressions
  • Subscriptions
  • Return
  • following
  • Next story
  • Drop out

# 3. 10 reasons businesses use Instagram stories

Instagram Stories have several attractive features for businesses.

The Instagram stories are used by 500 million daily users.

This is a format much appreciated by generations Z and Y, 2 important audiences for brands.

Instagram stories are present at the top of the newsfeed and do not depend on the main algorithm. They constitute a second significant entry point for the content.

Some accounts may add link clickable in their Instagram story and redirect traffic to their website. This action is not possible in a classic publication.

The live videos are only available in Stories, offering professionals a real opportunity to engage in their community.

With stories, companies can post more content, without fear of annoying users in the news feed (and to be sanctioned).

The Instagram stories and standard posts are likely to increase brand content visibility when used together.

Stories reach can be increased on the hashtags page in Explorer.

No other visual format offers you communicate with so much creativity.

Companies thus have a popular location to disseminate their messages via advertising.

# 4. How to create an Instagram story?

To create an Instagram story, select the camera icon located at the top left of your screen or the circle “Your story”. Another alternative: swipe right from your news feed.

Then, press the shutter button to take a picture, or press and hold longer to record a video.

If you prefer to use existing content, select a photo or video from your smartphone’s camera roll, via the dedicated icon at the bottom left.

The following tools are available:

  • Instagram Stickers : position, mention, hashtag, music, time, poll, questions, challenge, countdown, temperature, quiz …
    But also emojis and GIFs.
  • Text : add text by choosing one of the 9 styles available: modern, neon, typewriter… Adjust the alignment, modify the color, use a background.
  • Drawing : the felt-tip pen, the arrow, the highlighter (slight transparency effect), the neon brush (shiny outline), the eraser.

Keep in mind that you can move, enlarge or reduce your stickers, emojis, drawings and texts, very simply by selecting them manually.

In the case where one of the actions performed did not suit you, drag the item in question into the trash can.

For apply filter (Cairo, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro …), swipe left on your screen.

You are also able to directly use a specific mode:

  • Creation : create a story without image or video
  • Boomerang : embed a looped mini-video
  • Layout : make a photo collage
  • Superzoom : zoom gradually by choosing from 10 options
  • Hands free : record a video without having to keep your finger pressed on the shutter button

To finish creating your Instagram story, you can:

  • Add new photos or videos to your Instagram story by repeating the operations described above
  • Hide your story for certain accounts (gear wheel> hide the story)
  • Allow or disable messages (gear wheel> allow messages)

# 5. How to add a link in an Instagram story?

Organic feeds posts cannot contain clickable links.

To access this feature, you must either go through advertising or an Instagram story.

Officially, only certified accounts are allowed to include a link in their story.

But in practice, accounts with 10k + subscribers also access this option.

Eligible accounts have a Link icon.

Then all you have to do is enter the URL in the field displayed in the next step.


# 6. How to delete an Instagram story?

If for some reason you must delete an Instagram story, you will have no choice but to delete each clip (element) to have your Instagram story deleted from the app.

There are 2 solutions:

  • Click on the 3 dots at the bottom right of each clip, then select delete.
  • Swipe up on your screen on each clip, and select the trash can.


# 7. How to put a story in the front page?

Featured stories are containers located on Instagram profiles, below the biography.

They allow extend the life of stories until they are voluntarily removed from this section.

To put a story on the front page, press the heart icon at the bottom of your story when she is online.

Other option: go to your profile, then press the “new” circle and choose the desired stories from your archived stories.

When you create a container, you will be prompted to give it a name.

Note that you can edit cover photo of your featured stories.

Your Turn Now

What do you think of Instagram stories? How do you use them? Share in the comments your tips and best practices for Instagram stories.

If you do not follow me on Instagram yet and want regular content related to this platform, you can join me here.

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