Instagram Stories Highlights are one of the most overlooked, but super valuable, features of the Instagram platform. Your highlights feature front-and-centre on your profile when potential followers check you out, and so they are a valuable piece of Instagram real estate.
Are you giving them the time and attention they deserve?
In today’s podcast episode, we are covering seven ways you can leverage Instagram Highlights in your business to extend the shelf life of your Instagram Stories, give new followers a stand out first impression of your brand and your business, build the know-like-trust factor, and help you make real sales from the Instagram platform, too!
Instagram Story Highlights: What Are They?
Serving as a curated collection of long-life content, Instagram Highlights live permanently on your profile in a prime position that attracts new and existing followers.
It is often forgotten that Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours; and, even if a heap of time and effort is put into creating amazing content, only a limited number of Instagram users are able to see these Stories if they are not permanently added to your profile as a Story Highlight.
Instagram Story Highlights offer the opportunity to make a killer first impression to new followers, and they also offer the chance for existing followers to easily access must-know information, such as product launches, company profile, promotions, etc.
Are Instagram Stories Worth the Effort?
The limited number of views on Instagram Stories aren’t always worth the effort.
Through a BIG poll on my audience where I asked my followers to share with me how many followers they have, how many views their stories get on average, and how often they post to their Instagram Story.
The results were shocking.
Generally, Instagram Story views sit at 5%- 10% of total followers.
It shows the reach from Instagram Stories is not as high as you would think – it definitely wasn’t as high as I thought it would be.
But, Then What’s the Big Deal About Instagram Story Highlights?
As I said before, Instagram Story Highlights live on your profile permanently.
Highlights are the opportunity for your stories to be seen by MORE people over time.
So, the time and effort spent creating content for Instagram Stories does not go to waste.
Content created specifically for Instagram Story Highlights has the opportunity to tell a curated story with the potential to reach a wide audience.
This is What You Need To Know.
Instagram Story Highlights…
- Must be done strategically from the outset because stories appear on a highlight in a chronological order from first posted to last posted which means that you have to start strong.
- When a new story is added, it pushes that highlight group to the front of your account.
- You can have up to 100 stories saved inside the one highlight.
- You can add a cover, and a very small amount of text.
Instagram Highlights for Business
Businesses with Instagram accounts have the opportunity to strategically present information to followers in a way that results in positive benefits.
I have set out five key steps businesses can take to leverage Instagram Story Highlights.
1. Create Core Highlights
When first setting up your highlights, be strategic about what information you want to serve to your followers when they first discover you.
In many ways, the information found in Core Instagram Story Highlights is similar to your website, i.e., About Us, Products and Services, Blog/Podcast, FAQs, Behind the Scenes, Results, and Testimonials.
But, instead of using the same tags, use these instead…
- Start Here rather than About Us
- The unique names of your core products or services
- The core content pillars from your Blog/Podcast, i.e., Pod Tips, Insta Tips, Online Biz Tips
- Results and Testimonials
- BTS (Behind the Scenes)
2. Strategise Your Stories
Once you have decided on what Instagram Story Highlights are going to live permanently on your page, ensure that your stories strategy and content map to your highlights.
Your strategy should allow you to easily ‘fill in’ all of your Instagram Highlights.
For example, in your Start Here (About Us) section you might post a series of stories about who you are and what you do. On another day you can follow up with your core products and services, and then follow up on your values on the third day, and so on…Anyone browsing through would get a great overview of your business by checking out your Start Here highlight.
Other strategies include:
- Talk through your Core Products on your stories – what you offer, the results you get, features, etc -and that would become a highlight
- Utilise the question sticker and answer them all and save as a FAQs highlight
- Weekly stories with tips repurposed from core content, eg, Facebook Ads, saved as Blog/Podcast
Another strategy – one of the most powerful tools – is leveraging your testimonials.
Regularly peppering your stories with testimonials from customers and clients in amongst your other more structured stories content is a great way to continually reinforce your expertise, authority, and ability.
The more authentic, the better.
Screenshot Facebook testimonials, Google Reviews testimonials, and similar (with permission, of course).
Ask for permission to screenshot emails or kind DMs.
There is two reasons for this – one, it is quicker and it means it is more likely that you will do it and two, people trust real looking screenshots over and above beautifully designed graphics.
Results are also testimonials – and, should be included in your Instagram Story Highlights.
Example – my podcast launches and achieves a chart ranking, or if you’re in real estate showcase sold homes photos and recording breaking deals.
For all clients, encourage them to tag you so you can share, and then archive them on your Instagram Story Highlights.
3. Pepper Highlights with Calls to Action
Do you want to sell on Instagram?
If so, all roads within your Instagram strategy should lead to a sale.
Often, the first step to closing a sale is to funnel them into your email list, so that you can nurture them there; however, with Instagram you can funnel them to your DM to nurture sales.
Your content pillars on your Instagram Story Highlights featuring your core products should include “calls to action”.
Calls to action include: DM me, quizzes, polls, swipe up link, etc.
Make sure you are consistently giving value by giving away tips, and peppering your Instagram Story Highlights with calls to action.
For example, one content pillar such as podcasting tips would include highlights about released podcast episodes, but would also include a podcasting equipment cheatsheet (free value) and a call to action leading to a link for a podcasting course.
4. Utilise Temporary Instagram Highlights
Are you wondering… but what if I want to create a highlight but not keep it on my profile forever?
Go for it!
Temporary Instagram Story Highlights are perfect for promoting upcoming launches, events, and flash sales – and in fact, I highly recommend you take advantage of this.
When I launch a new course, I make sure to post stories in the lead up of launch letting people know they can register for a live training.
The story highlights also inform viewers that they can register for the new course during the live training and after.
After the cart opens to purchase the course, I go over EVERYTHING in my stories and save it to my Instagram Highlight – testimonials, BTS, course overview, etc.
By having this Instagram Story Highlight on my page temporarily, it allows for new and existing followers to find all the information they need.
5. Don’t Let Them Go Stale, They Are Prime Real Estate.
It is important to revisit your Instagram Story Highlights regularly.
Update them for new launches and when your core products expand or change.
If you go through a branding change, make sure you Instagram Story Highlights reflect that.
They are PRIME real estate.
Give thought to your Instagram stories and the longevity of the content created.
But, remember to do a revisit every 90 days or so as part of your Instagram strategy review – something I teach in detail in my upcoming Instagram course, Socials That Sell.
A Core Instagram Story Highlight strategy displays the MUST KNOW information about your business with easy access for your followers.
They offer your new and existing followers the opportunity to learn more about you and your business – without visiting your website.
There’s also opportunity to leverage highlights to showcase launches, promotions, and events temporarily – that way followers can view the must-know information directly from your profile if they missed the Instagram Story.
My FIVE key steps to leverage Instagram Story Highlights for your business are:
- Create Core Highlights,
- Strategise Your Stories,
- Pepper Highlights with calls to action,
- Utilise Temporary Instagram Highlights, and
- Don’t Let Them Go Stale, They Are Prime Real Estate.
They are PRIME real estate. Review them every 90 days to ensure the highlights reflect your current product offerings.
Head over to the Stevie Says Social Instagram to join my FREE 30 day Show Up On Stories Challenge – where I provide story prompts, design hacks and tricks, and insight on how you can leverage your Instagram Story Highlights.