NEW INSTAGRAM STORIES FEATURES! WHAT THEY MEAN FOR BLOGGERS

 New instagram stories features! What they mean for you as a blogger - The Little Plantation

NOTE: This blog post is part 11 of my INSTAGRAM SERIES - content all about helping YOU manage your way around instagram. In the INSTAGRAM SERIES I've touched on subjects such as why you're losing followers (and what to do about it), how to grow your instagram following and the one thing no one talks about in food blogging. Just click here to find all the other parts in the series. As for today, I'll talk in detail about the new instagram stories changes and, more importantly, what these changes mean for YOU if you're trying to make it as food blogger or instagram influencer.

Love instagram or not, the one thing no one can call instagram is boring, stagnant or uninventive. Nope, this platform is ALWAYS, constantly and continuously reinventing itself, pushing boundaries and thinking outside the box. And the new instagram stories features are - yet again - instagram showing off its innovation and creativity.  

 What the new instagram stories mean for you as a blogger or influencer - The Little Plantation blog

SO WHAT HAS CHANGED ON INSTAGRAM STORIES?

You can now archive your stories AKA save them permanently inside the instagram app for re-use.

WHAT'S COOL ABOUT THE INSTAGRAM ARCHIVE STORIES FEATURE?

  • You don't have to save a fab story on your phone, taking up valuable data space but instead can save it securely and permanently inside the app wayyyy longer than 24 hours. SO AWESOME!
  • You can share a story retrospectively on your gallery (!) or in the new highlight section (more about that below) 
  • You can send your story to friends, groups or followers days, weeks or even months after you filmed it. 
  • You can revisit your own content whenever you like

 

WHAT THIS INSTAGRAM STORIES FEATURE MEANS TO YOU AS A FOOD BLOGGER OR INFLUENCER

  • If you are thinking about sharing your story on your gallery you need to be sure your story visually fits into your gallery and is 'on brand'. Yup, we're talking curating the stories you want to share on your feed from the outset!
  • If - like me - you share tutorials, food styling lessons or something else with an educational slant on your stories this feature is a GREAT way to ensure that those who follow you and missed your helpful content get to see it retrospectively via a direct message or inside a special group you can set up. In short it's a better way to serve your followers with the content they find most useful.
  • Reusing your content saves time! I always tell my instagram coaching clients that it's totally legit to reuse an old image on your instagram gallery, especially if it was very popular and/or you just don't have time to create new content. Now you can do the same with fabulous little clips, by replaying them inside your instagram stories. 
 What the new instagram stories features mean for you as a blogger and influencer - The Little Plantation

You can now share your instagram story 'highlights' at the very top of your instagram gallery for as long as you like.

WHAT'S COOL ABOUT THE INSTAGRAM HIGHLIGHT STORIES FEATURE?

  • You can place the most important, popular and beautiful stories in a prominent position on your instagram gallery. So if there are stories that explain really well and in detail what you do, who you are and what everyone needs to know about you, you can keep them as a highlight on your stories for as long as you like. 
  • You can name your highlights so people know from the outset what to expect, even before they tap on the little circle. 
  • You can make the story highlights as long or as short as you like, stringing together as many or as few little clips and mixing and matching them as you see fit. So for example, if one little clip in a sequence didn't work, you can leave it out when you share it in your highlights or replace it with something else.

 

WHAT THIS INSTAGRAM STORIES FEATURE MEANS TO YOU AS A FOOD BLOGGER OR INFLUENCER

  • In case you've not noticed, instagram is pushing their instagram stories and instagram LIVE BIG TIME!!!! These new features - including highlights - are yet another way of instagram making this element of their platform the star attraction. Your take-away: If you're a food blogger and influencer and you're not doing either or (better) both, you will struggle to make your mark and stand out from the crowd
  • I think it's only a matter of time before brands will clock how important instagram stories are. So if you're an instagram influencer or want to be one, listen up! Rather than (just) paying you for a featured image on your gallery, I predict that negotiations will move towards featuring their products on your stories and your highlights too. Payment will be affected not just by your follower numbers and your engagement on your gallery, but also on your instagram stories' reach and 'performance'.  
  • You gotta rock instagram stories like there's no tomorrow! Up until this point you could just about get by as a blogger or influencer without doing instagram stories or without doing instagram stories well, but the highlights option means that being a pro on stories is a must. Just think about it, rather than judge you on your gallery alone, people will now decide to follow you (or not) based on what you've got going on in your highlights. No pressure there then :S. 
  • Your highlights are more visible and prominent than your current stories so use with care. Is it wise then to leave highlights out all together? In the short terms, maybe especially if you're not comfy or confident with stories. In the long term, probably not. All indications are that instagram is super keen to make stories a key element of the app. So my guess is in the future instagram will probably show accounts that have highlights to a bigger audience in the discovery section than those that don't have highlights. (Wild guess, you guys, so please take this with a pinch of salt).   
  • Less focus on images, more focus on video. And this my friends is probably the crux point. When you choose to show highlights on your profile, you push your photographic content further down the ranks, into a less visible position. People discovering your feed will see and engage with your video content well before they scroll down to your photos. It's a change that's been in the air for a while, but now it is here all guns blazing! So what does that REALLY mean for photographers and food bloggers who have used photography to communicate their message? It means that photography just isn't enough anymore. To build a brand, survive as a food blogger and 'put community first' as instagram likes to say, instastories and video are going to be taking over. It's a MASSIVE departure from the place instagram started from; they were always a photo sharing app first and foremost. BUT as technology and our use of it changes, instagram is setting the tone and moving away its roots. Whatever next?

How do you feel about these changes? Are you ready to embrace stories and its new features? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

NEED MORE INSTAGRAM HELP?

Then why not sign up to my 1-2-1 instagram mentoring sessions? Alternatively you can attend my talk all about instagram, social media and blogging on Thursday the 15th of March in London

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Thanks for reading everyone. See you next week.