Fed Fix: How Long Should Instagram Stories Be?
“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” — Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal. Storytelling is a universal element that makes us uniquely human. Stories spark curiosity, touch emotions, and create lasting impressions that help us understand ourselves, others, and the external world. Above all, stories are engaging.
Storytelling has become a crucial component of marketing, as the industry looks to capitalize on the power of stories. Instagram, the social networking application designed for sharing visual content, is a powerful visual storytelling platform. Unsurprisingly, Instagram has the highest levels of engagement, easily outperforming all other leading social media channels. Instagram has evolved into a prodigious digital marketing channel, with 200 million users visiting at least one business profile daily and 80% of users decide whether to purchase a product or service on the platform.
Introduced in 2016, Instagram Stories revolutionized brand storytelling. An Instagram Story is a fullscreen vertical format consisting of photos, videos, or graphics that disappear after 24 hours. Displayed chronologically, Stories appear after they are posted in the top bar above your feed or on the profile photo of a followed or public account. Stories provide an authentic and transparent medium for real-time communication.
Due to compounding consumer expectations for genuine connections with brands, businesses are more frequently utilizing Stories to immerse users in content — accounting for one-third of the most viewed Stories. Instagram Stories is a powerful tool for promoting your business, broadening your reach, and building deep, meaningful connections with your existing audience.
As businesses continue to report 2-3x more engagement with Stories than with feed content, nearly all internal Instagram updates focus on improving Stories. As implementing Stories into your Instagram marketing strategy gains prominence, staying up-to-date with continually modifying features and formats can be frustrating. To adequately build awareness, boost engagement, and drive sales on Instagram, we’ve compiled some of the best practices you can implement to optimize your Instagram Stories in 2020.
Best Instagram Story Length
Instagram Story frames are each displayed for a maximum of 7 seconds for photos and 15 seconds for videos. To lengthen Stories, you can post multiple frames in a sequence. Highly-engaging Story content can be any length; however, to maximize the completion rate of your Instagram Stories, one to five frames is ideal. For businesses, optimal is up to 5 Story frames where 75% of Stories viewers stay engaged. Research indicates that the more stores
Regardless of the duration, Stories must capture your audience’s attention early on — 20% of audiences drop before the second frame. Instagram features change rapidly so statistics from prior years will not always predict the current best practices. While these statistics serve as useful benchmarks, experimenting with various tactics for your own brand is necessary for determining effective strategies. Tap into your creativity.
Optimize your Photos and Videos for the Instagram Story Format
High-quality, properly formatted content is pivotal to the success of an Instagram Story. Viewed in a vertical, full-portrait orientation, Instagram Story dimension requirements are 1080px by 1920px, and a 9:16 aspect ratio. Instagram resizes or crops photos or videos that do not meet the formatting guidelines, resulting in a loss of quality, content and engagement. In the context of Instagram’s visual nature, image and video quality is everything. Don’t compromise your marketing strategy with visuals that do not stimulate and engage your audience.
Use Instagram Story Features
An Instagram Story can be enhanced with special features. Instagram’s wide range of features provides various opportunities to interact with your audience in a unique, creative, and branded style. Use these tools to facilitate brand engagement, gather customer insights, and rank your active content higher in their feeds. Here are some ways to make your Stories original to your brand:
Keep In Mind
Instagram Stories is a powerful visual storytelling channel with a profound influence on social media. Leveraging Instagram Stories is not only an opportunity to promote your business but also survives as a way to authentically engage and connect with your audience. The various storytelling capabilities are empowering, cost-efficient tools that immensely add to your brand’s content strategy and visibility on Instagram. As you develop your Instagram marketing campaign, be sure to track innovations within the platform.