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As a marketer you want to Instagram Stories like a pro, this is literally money-time. Stories continue to rise in popularity with more companies using it to connect with their targeted customers, and the numbers are incredible, with 300 million daily active Story users.

Story on Instagram launched as a direct play to win users back from Snapchat. Instagram Stories have quickly overtaken any threat.

Stories can be compelling, engaging, and create a true, almost real personal connection with your audience. How can you use it for your marketing your endeavors? And how can all those cool features work for your benefit?

At the end of this post you’ll be on your way to being an Instagram Stories pro.

Opt for Natural Lighting

Like any photography, lighting either makes or breaks the professional nature of your Instagram Story. You don’t need to go out and buy professional lights, the best lighting typically comes from natural light. Natural light is far more flattering for every skin tone and allows you to avoid strange shadows. The best time of day to get natural light is right after sunrise or an hour before sunset.

Like any photography, lighting either makes or breaks the professional nature of your Instagram Story. You don’t need to go out and buy professional lights, the best lighting typically comes from natural light. Natural light is far more flattering for every skin tone and allows you to avoid strange shadows. The best time of day to get natural light is right after sunrise or an hour before sunset.

Use Your Phone’s Native Camera

You don’t need a fancy camera to get professional quality. Smartphones nowadays can shoot great videos. Use your phone camera, and not the one in Instagram. Instagram videos has lower resolutions and limited options for editing directly in the app. If you have it in your budget to invest in a camera, we suggest going with a DSLR (digital single reflex lens). It can give you high image quality as it records in raw image format, and does not apply compression. It allows manual control and interchangeable lenses for more cinematic looks.

Keep Branding Consistent

Let’s go over the different features on Instagram, and how to best use them. Just as you’d keep branding your printed materials and your website, make sure that this consistency spreads to your Instagram account as well. Think about your website - the use of images of people or products, do you use particular overlays on images? Think about your color palette. Do the same to what you’re producing for your Instagram Story. Consistency should follow your messaging and content. Keep in mind your audience, their likes and expectations. Everything you post should be in line with these. Consistency on your Instagram Story is important to strengthen brand recall, and doesn’t create confusion or division amongst followers. You want your followers to have the same experience with your brand on any medium they choose.

Use Locations and Appropriate Hashtags

Hashtags and locations in your Instagram Stories enable users to find your content more easily. If you’re struggling to put together hashtag ideas, consider a simple search on the platform.

Select words that your audience might be searching for. You’ll see a list of the top hashtags around it and how many posts have been tagged with them.

Consider taking a look at your competitors to see the hashtags they are using. Remember, hashtags (just like keywords) can get competitive. It’s like long-tail keywords; you want to get as specific as possible. Include locations in your posts and Stories, your content will then appear if someone does a location search, or when a user is on their general search page. Some stories are at the top of the page based only on the user’s nearest location.

Use the Native Effects to Enhance Your Story

Pinning. Instagram allows you to pin text, mentions, and graphics in your Story.

Font Options. Many to choose from; neon, modern, typewriter, strong, and classic, so you can choose something that is more aligned with your brand.

Super Zoom. Is a lot of fun. You can zoom in on a person or object in many different styles - bounce, tv show, dramatic, beats. Give it a try, and see which you like best.

Boomerang. Is a lot of fun. You can zoom in on a person or object in many different styles - bounce, tv show, dramatic, beats. Give it a try, and see which you like best.

Slo Mo. When you find the right moment to use it, you’ll be glad you did. Slo Mo can make almost everything a little more dramatic, and emphasize a specific action in a creative way.

Text Frames. Use a colored blank background and add a text frame to include more of a narrative to give more context to your photos or videos. This also helps to relaying a message in a different way.