Stories is one of the fastest growing formats in the social media universe. Over the three years of its existence, since the summer of 2016, Instagram Stories has grown more than 500 million audience – and they are not going to stop.
Almost every season, Instagram Stories have new features. Brands are actively using them – they make author’s sticker packs, conduct surveys, put shopping labels. All this attracts attention (especially if the function is completely fresh) and makes the publications livelier and, of course, more converting.
It is good to introduce new opportunities in promotion, but it would be wrong to build story content only on this. It is better to use evergreen techniques that will help to bring clients not “on the hype”, but always.
Based on Facebook recommendations, we have compiled a list of the most successful approaches to creating stories and found interesting implementations from global brands. Let’s talk about them and show how Crello can help you repeat this success story.
1. Brand first
Stories is a high speed format. Therefore, it is very important to show the brand and its main message in the first three seconds in order to accurately get into the focus of attention. If you say about yourself at the very end, then there is a risk that the user will move on to the next slide (maybe not even yours anymore) and the brand never gets to his eyes.
Let the product be the central (or even the only) hero of the entire story or its background from the first milliseconds. This way you are more likely to attract the user’s attention – and bring the brand money. For example, COS coped with this task so succinctly and aesthetically:
2. Call to action
It may seem that the story tells the user quite clearly what to do: subscribe, go, share. But it’s even better if you emphasize your message with stickers or graphic creatives.
Facebook claims that Stories with a call to action (CTR) convert 89% better than those without. But this call should be only one – otherwise the user will get confused and quickly turn over your slide, without doing anything.
Here’s how Google invites you to learn more about one of the projects – it adds both a caption and an arrow:
In Crello, the Animation tab has a variety of animated elements, including fancy arrows, to help highlight your CTR. Some templates already emphasize the call to action:
Stories are considered to be the content format that users consume the fastest. This means that speed plays an important role for him. Let the quick change of frames become a feature of your “story”.
For example, such a story can be turned into a prediction game “What will I do this summer” – ask subscribers to take a screenshot of the frame and upload it to their stories. It’s always nice to tell your friends that N is predicting a romantic trip to Paris or a family trip to Chile.
A GIF with a fast frame rate draws attention well. This format is great for announcements or other important messages. Benetton made this model casting announcement:
Making a similar post in Crello is easy. Load the GIF you want in video format into a template with a large “window” and space for text. For example, this template will do:
Using audio tracks in Instagram stories is a fresh trend. And this applies not only to craft shots taken on the run, but also to design stories. If you can add audio to your post, then the conversion will be higher. According to a Facebook study, 80% of advertising stories with voice acting or music brought more customers than stories without sound.
AirBnB adds sound even to regular Stories and puts a corresponding sticker so that users do not forget to switch from silent mode:
Text, text, text
Large overlapping labels are an ambiguous approach. Facebook says sometimes they help sell and sometimes they don’t. It all depends on the relevance and accuracy. Test both options – with large labels and without, to understand what comes in.
It is interesting when the inscription is tightly sewn into the context or remains the only graphic element of the stories – so it ceases to be just a text and becomes a full-fledged hero of the story. Absolut attracts the attention of Absolut with such large inscriptions in the whole frame:
In Crello, you can load a custom font and create a branding style lettering – or you can choose from any of the fonts that are already available.
The more unusual the stories are collected, the better – let there be not one, but many short scenes in one 20-second slide. They can replace each other quickly or slowly, split into several, assemble, mirror – whatever. Change the architecture of the frame, mix several videos of different sizes and place them in different places on the screen to breathe more dynamics into the frame.
Here’s how Nike Training handled the challenge:
Among the templates for Instagram video stories in Crello, there are many options with unusual distribution of video zones or mixing video and static geometry. Here’s one example:
Combining static and motion
Any static image in a story can be “animated” a little by adding an animated sticker. And vice versa – you can put a static sticker on any video, and this will help users to focus. Combining static and animation or video gives the story a new layer of meaning and makes it more interesting.
Crello has a variety of templates that combine an ordinary picture or photo with motion elements, both hand-drawn and video. Templates are perfect if you want to try the approach, but there is no designer on the staff. If you have a designer, you can experiment more. For example, this is how Puma announced a creative collaboration with a graphic designer with this unusual picture:
Crello has tons of Instagram video story templates that combine static and dynamic. If you want more motion, you can always add animated stickers or captions:
Stories in “stories”
Turn a story into a mini-series – let each slide be a small scene with a video or a static intro. This will tell the story in a new format, not in video, but in a series of short mixed formats. To do this, you need to think over the script well and carefully build the narrative, but it’s worth it.
For example, the British newspaper Guardian engages users with an interactive show in stories – with a question, a vote, intrigue and humor:
Stories involve, but only if they are truly unusual and vibrant. You won’t surprise anyone with just a beautiful post – it should be with an idea, bold and powerful. Here are some guidelines to help you stand out:
- Experiment with architecture. Story design is a creative business. Break the screen into squares and shuffle them. Add more geometry and lines. Change the scale and shape of the internal elements.
- Tell stories. The slide from the story lingers on the screen for 20 seconds, but this is enough to tell the story. Set the mood with dynamics, let one slide flow into another and, like a pirate, tenaciously throws the hook into the third.
- Nudge. The small active arrow “More”, “More” or “To the store” at the bottom of the screen attracts attention. But if you emphasize it with animation and the whole plot of your story, it will become even more noticeable – and there will be more transitions.
- Mix. Use static and motion at once, large expressive inscriptions and videos, stickers and soundtracks. Make several designs in different styles and test them in tests – this is the only way to understand what exactly is “yours”.