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Instagram Stories 101

Modern Marketing

September 20, 2019

Instagram Stories has emerged as a powerful feature of the already dominant social networking platform. The ability to post fleeting content to a chronological feed has attracted individuals and marketers alike.

The real question isn’t “this or that”, rather, “how do we use both features in tandem to better achieve our business goals?” Instagram Stories should be treated as a separate social media platform. It warrants its own strategy, copy and content. By recognizing which content performs better in the feed or stories will ultimately result in more impressions and higher engagement.

So, what are people doing on feed vs. stories?


  • curated content is posted and stays visible forever (or until deleted)
  • planned in line with marketing content pillars and categories
  • usually follows an overarching theme in line with the brand
  • best tactic if reaching new audiences is the goal
  • users are scrolling their feeds with the sound off
  • carousels, gifs and images attract more viewers


  • spontaneous content that disappears in 24 hours
  • daily ‘in the moment’ snippets
  • doesn’t necessarily follow brand guidelines
  • best tactic if increased engagement is the goal
  • stories are typically watched with sound on
  • videos attract more viewers

Of the 1 billion registered users on Instagram, 500 million are active on Instagram Stories each day and marketers are noticing. 96% of businesses use Story ads, and data from Stories indicates that 1/3 of the most viewed stories of all time were posted by businesses.

With so many people using Instagram Stories, how does a business stand out?

  1. Tailor content to the audience you know is watching Stories.
  2. Take advantage of the fact that Stories are typically viewed with the sound on. Get posting those videos!
  3. Show the unedited and human side of your brand. . As previously stated, this is the platform for spontaneous off-the-cuff content – so show off your corporate culture and personality.
  4. Play around with animations and humour that may not be as cohesive with your feed’s aesthetic, but will work wonderfully on Stories.