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With over 95 million posts made every day, the ever-growing social media platform Instagram is taking the marketing world by storm. Instagram is the new place to begin for startups, entrepreneurs and existing businesses, with over 20 million businesses currently existing on the platform!

WHY THE HYPE?

Using visual marketing, user activity analytics and optimized targeting strategies, Instagram has proven to be one of the best hubs for online business. With over 800 million active users a month, every business is bound to thrive and generate insurmountable revenue.

Instagram gives a business the most creative ways to market their products and services. For example, Instagram helps in connecting influential bloggers to businesses for endorsement purposes, targeted searches, targeted customers, optimized advertisements and the use of tags to reach locations and demographics.

The app has a unique interface, using only visual media. It gives businesses an opportunity to get creative, utilize novel advertising strategies and also take advantage of cheap advertisement opportunities to reach a larger base.

Another reason why Instagram’s making waves is that this is one platform which has the highest engagement rates. Businesses, users, prospective customers and potential sponsors can directly get in touch with one another, creating opportunities to help each other out. In fact, collaborations on Instagram is one of the hottest ways of drawing in pools of new followers and propagating a business’s niche.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

In August 2016, Instagram launched a feature similar to Snapchat called Instagram Stories. It became twice more popular than Snapchat, and up to 400 million people use Instagram Stories every day! Soon after, they enhanced their 24-hour story feature by introducing a Highlights feature.

Instagram Highlights allow you to pin your story to your profile for longer than a day — and for as long as you want. And soon, this feature became a favorite, especially amongst businesses.

Startups, business, bloggers and even influencers, began using this feature to show off products, display price lists, or make introductory videos about their enterprises. Story highlights are a very smart way of displaying your potential and are great in forecasting where your customers’ attention is diverted!

INSTAGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: HOW TO SHOWCASE YOUR BUSINESS

Instagram Highlights are a great way to have everything about your business on one interface. It’s a great way to record your progression and your successes and see how users are interacting with you.

Choosing What to Highlight

It’s important to choose what you highlight. Not every story should — or can — be highlighted. Think about it this way: What do you want your customers to know? What information would draw followers? What story will get the most views?

Making content that can be featured for a long time at the top of your profile should reflect the essence of your business and captivate your audience!

Choosing the Right Cover Image

The first post of your story becomes your Instagram Highlights’ cover image. If you’re deliberating whether you’ll be highlighting a story or not, try following the motto “put your best foot forward” — and in this case, put your best photo/video forward!

The image needs to be inviting. It should spike curiosity and should be tantalizing enough to get users to click through the whole post.

Choosing What to Name Your Highlights

This amazing option allows you to differentiate between your Instagram Highlights by giving them a name. It gives your followers, prospective customers and new profile visitors opportunity to see what you’re offering, and gives them an idea about your business.

However, it’s limited to 10 characters. This means it’s time to get creative and name your highlights with the most creative and the most functional title!

What Businesses Usually Feature on Their Highlights

You can feature anything on your highlights, but you must always keep in mind that these are one of the first few things your followers will see when they visit your profile, so make them count. The following are some of the usual Instagram Highlights content:

· Your business identity: What should people know about you? What makes you unique?

· BTS: Behind The Scenes are very popular with customers. They give them a glimpse into what goes on in your business and helps to increase rapport and engagement.

· Freebies/Offers/Giveaways/Contests/Promotions: Including highlights that feature any (or all!) of these are ways to attract followers to view your highlights — and draw in more followers.

· Updates: Customers love being involved and cherished. Including any updates regarding products, manufacturing processes or any changes related to your business can be featured on Instagram Highlights.

· Influencer Takeovers: Around 14% of businesses highlight influencer takeovers to draw in large pools of existing and new followers.

· How-To’s: Highlighting How-To tutorials or guides about products and services are a great way to increase sales and as a bonus, this also works to advertise your product!

· Before and Afters: Showcasing the Before and After of your product’s use can help to increase your rapport, especially if these posts have been sent in by real customers!

· Shoppable Page: Businesses also tend to highlight their shoppable page for easier and quicker access. Because their bio might not show up in searches, stories that will appear instead can advertise these pages!

· Articles/Reviews: Highlighting great reviews or articles that laud your business for its products/services/quality and what not are great to highlight. It increases trustability and rapport.

TOO CREATIVE TO BE TRUE: MAKING INSTAGRAM HIGHLIGHTS TOO ATTRACTIVE

The art of Instagram Highlights is determining what makes a post attractive enough to click on.

Instagram is all about the visuals. Instead of telling a story through prose, you use photos, videos and media alike. Research has stated that humans tend to remember visual information better than written, so this opportunity allows you to really make a lasting impression on your followers!

1. Welcome Highlight

The Welcome highlight is one of the most important ones. It’s a great opportunity to introduce your business and your team, so be creative, be friendly and be very inviting!

Before making a purchase, customers like to know what they’re in for, so highlight a great introduction!

2. Use GIFs/Stickers/Emojis

Instagram brought us the ability to use creative and hilarious GIFs (moving pictures), stickers, and emojis to jazz up our stories.

With tons of options to choose from, use the quirkiest GIF to make your customers laugh and stick some love-struck emojis on your product unboxing highlights! Get everyone feeling what you’re feeling!

3. Use Filters and Backgrounds

Instagram allows you to use various filters and backgrounds to jazz up your posts. With the option to choose from uncountable filters and backgrounds, you’re able to enhance your post to look even better!

In fact, adding filters and backgrounds can show off the physical characteristics of your product and enhance its look for advertising purposes!

4. Creative Videos: Boomerang and Superzoom

Since your customers and followers will see your stories, turn them into visual art!

Using Boomerang and Superzoom, you can record seconds’ worth of videos which always turn out to be hilarious! Featuring these in your highlights is bound to draw viewers and hike those Instagram engagement rates up.

5. Mind Boggling Videos: Rewind

Or you could get your viewers to stay glued by using Rewind to make those videos!

This works especially great when it comes to manufacturing processes for BTS Instagram Highlights! Everyone loves to see how things are made — and unmade!

6. Add Your Live Videos to Highlights!

Instagram now allows you to add your Live videos to your stories AND highlight them!

So whether it’s a short interview, influencer takeover or unboxing, make sure to jazz up that story with some cool direction and highlight it.

7. Use Text

Instagram has introduced various Text Styles, each with their own color schemes and background schemes.

At times, simple is more, so choose to highlight a story with text, and build up follower curiosity with those crazy fonts!

8. Use Geo-Tags

Use geo-tags to tag locations in your posts. Use those posts as Highlight.

What do you get? A permanent spot in the search engines and targeted customer base! In fact, research has shown that geotags are one of the most popular features of Instagram Stories and Instagram Highlights!

9. Your Own Hashtag!

Don’t forget to add your hashtag to every post, even on the stories!

It’s a constant reminder of your brand and will help users and followers visually connect the creativity they are seeing with you. It’s also a great opportunity to advertise subtly!

10. Add a Comic Touch

Posting a hilarious meme or a self-made post to your highlight can draw a lot of attention.

We all love a good laugh, so use props, stickers, tags and even camera angles to garner the most laughs — and highlight those posts to keep the humor’s longevity!

11. Incite Emotion

Emotions are a great way to increase Instagram engagement. Add a humanistic touch, create a touching story or anything that can entice emotion and create relatability.

Highlighting such a post is bound to draw tons of followers towards your profile and will give your Instagram Highlights a different perspective.

12. Plan Quirky Content

As a business, you’ll probably plan your content before putting it up and before choosing to highlight it.

Make sure to plan quirky content that users won’t tire of seeing repeatedly. Stories are featured right on top and must be captivating and exciting enough to not lose that characteristic.

13. Micro advertisements

Advertisement videos for as long as a few seconds are a great non-conventional Instagram Highlight.

They’re smart, very directed and can contain a punch. So plan a great small advertisement that you can highlight on your profile to show off what you stand for!

14. Polls/Rating Scales

Polls and Rating Scales are also some of the most used features on Instagram highlights. It lets users see that you’re all about engagement and how other followers have received your products.

Besides, you also have an option to customize the sliders and the poll options!

15. Face Filters

Face filters make hilarious videos. These can be utilized for advertisement or just for a video to up Instagram engagement rates with followers.

Some of the most popular filters are the sleep mask, koala ears, puppy ears and the bunny ears! Go get funny!

16. Music

Instagram Music allows you to add background music to your stories and your highlights.

This means you can literally direct mini videos, complete with all of the information and sensations you’d like to convey, to make cool Instagram Highlight for your users!

GETTING STARTED: HIGHLIGHTING YOUR WAY TO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

It’s time to get started with Instagram Highlights! Reviews show that these are one of the first things potential customers and followers check out before they move forward with purchasing products.

In fact, even social media managers highly suggest using Instagram Story Highlights to showcase your business! It’s a great way to stay in the periphery of Instagram users and stay relevant!

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