Growing Your Instagram Organically: Live, Stories, and Videos (2019)

Are you using the story feature on Instagram?

In order to grow your Instagram, you need to constantly be engaging with your audience in new ways. Though Instagram is primarily an image sharing app, it is important to use all the features it has to offer to engage your audience. The three I want to look at here are live, stories, and videos.

Remember, the goal of putting your brand on social media is to complete business objectives. Every visit you get to your Instagram profile helps you get one step closer to completing a business objective. Tools like live streaming on Instagram, using the story, and using video are important for funneling more people to your profile, even if it is only a slow and steady stream. On top of this, it allows potential customers to become more familiar with your brand.

The Story

I personally find that the story is a great way to really engage the community you are a part of. For the brands I work with, I use it for many reasons:

  • Feature special deals or giveaways to the Instagram audience.

  • Feature influencers, athletes, or thought leaders in a temporary space.

  • Make more interactive content.

The story for Instagram isn’t permanent. It will appear for 24 hours and disappear. Furthermore, the engagement for stories works a lot differently than regular content on Instagram. Instead of likes, comments, and saves, you have to consider the viewing time for your story (whether people skip your story or actually watch it) and whether they interact with some of the features you may put in your story. The more people interact with your story, the higher importance your story will appear in their story list in the future. This is good for exposure to your potential customers.

The features stories provide:

  • Sharing other profiles content with automatic links to the content.

  • Tagging products, hashtags, location, and other profiles.

  • Adding in polls, questions, and quizzes.

  • Going on a live stream.

But how do you know how to use the story?

This largely depends on your brand identity and how your audience likes to use stories. I recommend trying three things:

  1. Look how key profiles in your audience are using their stories.

  2. Look how your competitors are using their stories.

  3. Do some trial-and-error with your story to see which features your audience likes using the most.

Live Streaming

Live streaming is one that many brands fail to capture because they are unsure how to use the feature. The truth is that you really don’t have to overthink it to much. Your live streams don’t have to be long and they don’t have to be super planned out either. Live streams are great for your Instagram profile because they feel authentic and raw. They are a time when your audience can directly interact with your brand face-to-face per se. They can also drive a lot of traffic to your profile.

I have used Instagram live streaming in many ways for brands:

  • Showing off a product in a fun, light hearted manner.

  • Announcing give away winners.

  • Telling stories about the company.

  • Showing off company office culture.

  • Q and A with customers.

Most of my live streams are not longer than 5 minutes. I always add them to my story when they are done. However, timing when to go live is also important. Luckily, Instagram tells you an estimate of potential live stream viewers you have at any given moment before you go live.

Video Posting

Though this one is unrelated to the story, posting videos to your Instagram feed is important for your profile’s growth. The main reason for this is that Instagram preferences video material over photo material. Like mentioned in the post on engagement, video views are more important than photo likes. Luckily, it isn’t so hard to get a video view. Someone just has to view your content for 3 seconds.

However, producing good video content can be difficult if your company does not have someone dedicated to making video. Luckily, there are services like Promo that you can make really nice looking videos for Instagram in no time at all.

This post is part of a series on growing your Instagram organically:

  1. Don't Just Ask for More Followers

  2. What is Engagement?

  3. Hashtag and Location Tags

  4. Live, Stories, and Videos (This Post)

  5. Your Profile

  6. The Community

  7. Conclusion

Meet the Author : John Knetemann

John Knetemann smiling in a suit

From Denver, Colorado. Educated in Rapid City, South Dakota. Living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The most epic and daring content writer you will find on the east side of the Amstel... And sometimes the west side too. I am from the land of mountains, but now live in the land of very small hills and canals. Truly a native of the internet, I work with companies to build adventurous content, engaging social media identities, and addictively informative email campaigns.

I have turned comments off on my website, but talk with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.