The four Cs for effective Instagram Stories
Blessing Raimi, Junior Content Designer
It is no secret that social media can be intrinsic to the success of promoting a company, a brand or a specific campaign. We are lucky that there are many platforms and tools at our disposal but, are we using them effectively to connect with our audience? Instagram Stories is just one of the ways that companies can share instant updates with communities without cluttering an Instagram feed and over posting, which could look like a spam account. Here are my four top tips to help refine and focus your Instagram Story campaign activity to engage your audience.
Tip one – Clarity
What is the purpose of the graphic?
Consider why the graphic is being created and who your target audience is so you can craft the correct messaging. What are their interests and how can you best engage with them?
What message would you like to convey?
Ensure the message behind the Instagram Story graphic is something that can be clearly understood by the audience. This could still be a broad topic that can be simplified to a few points portrayed in a straightforward design, or one singular message that carries direct and immediate impact.
Tip two – Concise
Have you considered the timescale of an Instagram Story?
A single Instagram Story lasts for 15 seconds maximum. If the video is longer than this, the app will automatically cut the video across 15 second segments. Consider how effective the post will be within the time allowances and aim to capture the attention of the audience quickly. Make sure that you keep the graphic within the time limit so that it has the highest impact for viewers.
Are you able to capture the attention of the audience in seconds?
If it is a moving graphic, it might be better to set the time limit manually for more control over the outcome once it is uploaded onto the app. For still images, you can incorporate some of the assets available within the Instagram platform to encourage more interactions and widen reach, such as GIFs and hashtags.
Tip three – Consistency
Is your message and design in line with the company style and brand guidelines?
Ensure all elements of the graphic are cohesive. If you will be producing a series of graphics of a similar nature, create a template that can be easily edited and kept in line with the brand. Consistency is much more effective than trying to do too many things on one graphic, as this will be harder to follow in the short time frame. Different elements can be spread out across different graphics while linking together through a key theme.
Example: Pentagram incorporates experimentation, photography and a bright colour scheme, while still keeping the typography and layout consistent for sections of text. The brand is clear and its graphics are always inviting and impactful.
Tip four – Composition
Have you considered how the graphic will be displayed? Is there leeway for the text and elements shown at the top and bottom of the screen, such as account names, scroll bar and message box?
Your account name will appear at the top of the Instagram Story, and messaging and reaction functionalities appear at the bottom, so it is important to ensure any graphics you produce will not be obscured by this.
Example: Creative Review is an example of simplicity being effective. Its Instagram Stories are organised into categories using the highlight section and the imagery and layouts are always in line with the brand and style guidelines. Interaction is also encouraged, with links to articles included in the stories, driving engagement back to the website.
Keeping these four Cs front of mind will ensure that you are that one step closer to producing effective and eye-catching Instagram Story campaigns, appealing to your target audience and creating the desired action.