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How to: Organise Your Stories Highlights

We take a look at why brands should use Instagram Stories Highlights to spotlight content and how best to organise them.

Story Highlights live at the top of an Instagram profile and are the first thing that people will see when they visit the page. According to Hootsuite, 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily, so Story Highlights are prime real estate. They're perfect for highlighting key content, showcasing what a brand is all about and promoting timely collaborations or activations. They provide new followers with a glimpse of what to expect from a brand page and allow existing followers to relive specific moments. Users have the option to add both active and archived Stories to a Highlight.

Everyone knows that Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, but Highlights enables this content to live on. This is especially useful for Stories that have taken longer to produce such as videos, GIFS and animations. Each Highlight should house groups of Stories with a common theme or narrative and be routinely updated and reviewed. When devising a content plan, brands should create Stories content that fits within these pillars.

Read on for the best ways to implement Story Highlights into an Instagram strategy, and which brands are doing it right.

Customisation is Key

Ensuring that a feed is relevant, inviting and visually cohesive to followers and potential followers is key for maintaining an engaged audience and increasing social reach. An ideal way of achieving this is through the customisation of Highlight cover photos. Whether it’s inserting a logo or a ‘trademark’ colour or using icons that correspond with the content within - i.e. beauty, travel, food – streamlining Highlights and adding a sense of order allows potential followers to see what a brand is all about. Beauty Bay's customised Highlights covers are consistent with their brand identity and maintain the aesthetic of their Instagram profile.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Story Highlights will sit in between the bio and the feed, so keep the names of Highlights short and clear for ease of use. Note how beauty-dedicated website Into The Gloss categorises Story Highlights based on site content, so that viewers can find exactly what they’re looking for.

The Power of the Schedule

With the help of planning apps such as Unfold, Sked Social and Planoly, users can add content to their feed and Stories ahead of time and ensure they are evenly distributing content between each of their content pillars and Highlights. It's worth noting that there currently isn't a tool that allows users to automatically populate a brand's Highlights, but watch this space.

Change with the Seasons

The beauty of Highlights lies in their capacity to ‘freeze’ a moment in time. Once limited to a 24-hour lifespan, the Story Highlight now displays your best and brightest moments in such a way that no one misses out. However, it is essential that Highlights are regularly updated with fresh, new content to keep both old and new followers engaged. Get creative and edit cover photos and Highlights to correspond with upcoming events, seasonal holidays or campaigns.

Health-centric supermarket chain Whole Foods added a new Story Highlight for ‘Veganuary’, the annual campaign that encourages people to go vegan for the month of January. The page also has a dedicated ‘New in!’ Highlight for showcasing new products to their customers.

Give the People What they Want

Stuck for ideas on what to add to Highlights? Let the brand audience tell you! Try to anticipate the wants of followers and give it to them in the form of Highlights. If a brand is constantly answering the same questions, add a FAQ Story Highlight to the page. Frequently working with influencers and celebrities? Add a Story Highlight with relevant projects.

Words: Parris Walters


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