How to Use Instagram Stories in 2021

Looking for an Instagram story tutorial – 2021 edition?

Here’s a shameless tutorial on how to use Instagram Stories in 2021, for those of you who want to pull the plunge into Instagram stories in 2021.

It’s not too late to start! 

How To Market On Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is a very popular feature that enables Instagram users to post various short videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours. You might be wondering why would you want to spend a lot of time crafting content that will disappear in 24 hours? It makes no sense, right?

It’s important to understand what an Instagram Story is and what this feature is all about.

Stories content doesn’t appear in your feed and isn’t visible in your profile. This is what makes Instagram Stories unique. You can add Stories to your profile as highlights which don’t vanish after 24 hours.

A Social Media Trend For 2021

Instagram stories are the backbone of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is growing even more in 2021.

Influencer marketing is on track to become a $15 billion dollar industry by 2022 and it shows no sign of slowing down.

63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year. Source:

What’s The Hype About Stories?

The marketing strategy is called ephemeral content.

Ephemeral content is rich media that is only accessible temporarily (usually 24 hours) before it disappears forever. It can take many forms, including photos, live-stream videos, product demos, narrative stories, and more.

Ephemeral content can currently be published on three primary platforms: Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram.

When you post an Instagram Story, your profile image will feature a vibrant ring around it to inform other Instagram users letting them know that there’s new content that will disappear in 24 hours.

Why should You Use Instagram Stories to Promote Your Brand?

You get a superior user experience when you use Instagram Stories. There are numerous reasons why you ought to opt for Instagram Stories if you are a brand.  

✔️The most important and significant one is that in contrast to Snapchat, the number of individuals you are likely to reach out to on Instagram is considerably higher. Nearly 1 billion accounts use Stories format daily.

✔️Content that is shared via stories generates more engagement than the regular content.

✔️ 1 in 4 Millennials and Gen Z-ers look for Stories of the products and services they want to buy.

✔️ 15%–25% of people swipe up on a link in branded Stories.

✔️ One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses.

✔️ 36% of businesses use Instagram Stories for product promotion.

✔️ 59% of brands link Instagram Stories to a shoppable page.

✔️Instagram Stories accounts for 34% of Instagram’s sponsored content.

✔️15%–25% of people swipe up on a link in branded Stories.

✔️One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses.

✔️36% of businesses use Instagram Stories for product promotion.

✔️59% of brands link Instagram Stories to a shoppable page.

Furthermore, Instagram Stories provides a great platform to come up with creative content. This helps you to inch closer to your goal (have someone download a particular song, read some blog post, etc.).

Instagram stories will help you humanize your brand, which will result in conversions.

There is no end to the number of ways you can get creative on this amazing platform. Instagram Stories is very much like a small television channel where you can broaden your horizons and come up with innovative and unique concepts.

How to Share Promotions To Your Instagram Story

Keep in mind that stories have a different format than a regular Instagram post. Stories are great to share your promotions and reach your audience in a personalized and creative way.

✔️ In 2021, Instagram stories that have user-generated content are becoming a trend. A great example of user-generated content is a video testimonial. Your users will feel more connected with your product or services if they feel like they can relate to the stories that you share.

✔️Use branded templates to increase brand loyalty. is a great resource to craft unique stories, basically for free.

✔️ Add polls to initiate conversations with your audience. This is a very unique feature. When you add a poll to your Instagram story, you will be able to see who is participating from your poll and have conversations with them.

✔️ Get more engagement by adding stickers to your stories. Stickers are powerful (kind of silly) features that grab the attention of your users. Instagram has added new features this year, so make sure you

We saw lots of enhancements to Instagram Stories in 2019, such as:

  1. Adding music to stories
  2. Layout feature to add multiple pictures at once in different frames
  3. Superzoom
  4. Hands-free
  5. Create
  6. Normal- with stickers, filters, artificial makeup, backgrounds, and the famous halo!

Adding Instagram Effects is fun, plus gives your brand a human taste. If all of this is new, no worries, you can learn more about these features here. Also, you can always delete a story is for some reason you feel like you didn’t do it right.

Image result for instagram stories music

Once you have uploaded your story, you can click on the 3 dots to the bottom right and activate the menu so you can save it, share as a post, view your story link, copy it, promote, or tag a partner.

Pro tip: copy the link of your Instagram Story and include it on your email campaign to let your audience know that something special was posted via stories and will disappear in 24 hours. This adds urgency!

Checking the Views of Your Instagram Story

Would you like to know if people have seen the Instagram story that you just posted? This is how you can find out:

1.   On the top left section of the Home screen, tap your story to bring it up.

2.   You can see the count of how many individuals have seen the story at the bottom left area of every Instagram Story post. 

3.   If you would like to see a list of people who have seen every single post in your Instagram Story, all you need to do is swipe up.

Bear in mind that you will only be able to check the count of how many users have viewed every post in your Story for 24 hours. You can, however, see the viewer count for more than 24 hours if you save a particular post to your Instagram Story highlights.  

If you have added some features like polls, for example, you will be able to see actions taken from your stories, including the engagement from polls.

If you have added hashtags, then you will notice that #’s also will have views.

Related image

If you would hide the contents of a Story from a certain person, press the three dots adjacent to that person’s user name and then press “Hide story from [name of the user].”

This action will conceal any future Instagram Story posts from that particular user. However, they will still be able to view your profile and see the regular posts that you put up.

How to Save Your Instagram Stories Permanently

You can easily download any of your Instagram Stories to your phone if you find yourself too close and attached to a particular Story and do not wish for it to vanish forever. What you need to do is open your Instagram story and press on the three dots that are present at the bottom right part of the video or photo. Next, press “Save Photo.”

You can save your Instagram Stories on your camera roll as well.  To do this, you need to head over to your profile screen, press the menu, and then select “Story Settings.” Turn the option on which says, “Always Save Videos and Photos.” This option will be present under the camera heading. 

Each time you create an Instagram Story, the images and videos will save automatically to the camera gallery on your smartphone. You may even save the entire Instagram story as a single video if you are using an iOS operating system. 

Instagram Story Creative Features

These Stickers are emojis, images, and GIFs that you can easily add to your Instagram Story. Instagram Story Stickers bring an extra and unique dimension to the content of your posts that makes it even more appealing.

Adding a Selfie Sticker

You will observe a camera icon adjacent to the “# hashtag” once you press the “stickers” icon. You can take a selfie by clicking on this icon, and then press on the image to include a white circle around the said image. Alternately, you may leave the image be with glowing edges.

You may be as creative as you like by taking a selfie with this sticker. For instance, you may insert your face to a picture of the moon and pretend to be an astronaut! There is no limit to the ways you can experiment with this feature!

Adding Geotags: 

By pressing the happy face icon at the top right part of your screen, you can get access to the stickers. Here, you will observe a ‘location’ sticker. A string of options will pop up once you press this sticker. You can also search for your location if you cannot see it amongst the options.

Similar to the selfie and location sticker, all you have to do is scroll and find the one that you would like to use.

The story posted above has a poll, my selfie, and under the selfie (hidden) I added a geotag. You can’t see it and this is to create a cleaner version of the story!

Changing your Sticker Size

You can easily increase and decrease the size of your Story sticker by expanding or pinching it with your two fingers.

Deleting Stickers from your Instagram Story

You need not worry if you are not content with your sticker placement. It is pretty simple to remove them from videos and pictures. All you have to do is press and hold the sticker you want to delete. After that, drag it down to the garbage icon located at the bottom of your screen. The trash icon does not show up until you start the process of dragging an item.

Adding a Link to the Instagram Story

Instagram allows you to add links to your Story once your audience base crosses the 10,000 thresholds. This is a splendid feature to promote a particular product, your website, or your recent blog post.

Simply select the link icon placed at the top part of your screen and put in the link you would like to include. Next, press “Preview Link” to ensure the linking is working fine before pressing “done.”

The viewers will then observe the text ‘See More’ right at the bottom area of the Instagram Story with an arrow that tells them to swipe upwards on the screen to open the attached link.

Adding a Link to the Instagram Story Without 10,000 Followers

If you don’t have 10,000 followers yet, don’t worry. You can use IGTV and use links on the description of your videos. Once you upload your IGTV, you will be able to share your video via stories and your users will be able to access your content from there.

Another option to bypass the 10,000 followers mark is to use Linktree. A free feature that builds a mini landing page where you can let your followers know about your multiple updates and add multiple links.

Check out my Linktree link. You can create one for your Instagram, completely free.

Want To Explore Ways To Buy Followers and Likes

You might want to explore Fastlykke. They build Instagram followers organically.  Buying followers is not a tactic that fits every brand but if it does, you certainly want a provider with credentials 

Steps to Use Instagram Story Polls

These polls are essentially stickers that enable you to receive feedback directly from the viewers of your Instagram Stories. In contrast to a regular Instagram post, these Instagram Stories have limited options for engagements. Hence, poll stickers are a splendid way in which you can involve your audience and viewers. 

         i.            After you have begun your Instagram Story post, press the smiley icon placed at the top of your screen. Upon clicking the icon, a variety of stickers will show up.

       ii.            Choose the “poll” sticker and enter the text of your question.

      iii.            To put in your own poll responses, press the default “No” and “Yes” buttons.

     iv.            Drag and pinch to alter the location and size of the poll sticker as per your needs.

       v.            Sometimes a poll is hard to observe. In this case, you may use the brush tool to include a solid color behind the spot where you have placed the poll sticker. This helps to make the poll more conspicuous.

If you want to check out your poll results, you have to swipe upwards on the post so that you can observe the views of your Instagram Story. This will allow you to see which individual voted for which option. You can also get the number of total votes for every choice made.

Bear in mind that whoever responds in your poll will also be able to observe how many votes each option in the poll got.

Using Instagram Story Shopping

This feature allows ecommerce brands worldwide to produce an appealing digital storefront for individuals to check out your best merchandise with a single click.

To make use of this Shopping feature in Instagram Stories, you need to have an Instagram business account instead of a personal profile.

After you have your account ready, you will need to get approval from Instagram. This approval enables your Instagram account to make use of the Instagram Story Shopping feature.

The following are the precise steps that you have to take:

1.   Upload the catalog of your product via the catalog manager on Facebook.

2.   Wait for the approval from Instagram approval. This might take a couple of days, so you need to be patient.

3.   Open your Instagram profile after the approval comes through. Click on “Settings.”

4.   Click on Business-> Shopping-> Continue.

5.   Press “ Done” after having selected your product catalog

You may begin adding product stickers to your Stories after you are 100 percent set up for Instagram Shopping.

         i.            Begin your Instagram Stories post.

       ii.            Press the smiley icon positioned at the top of your screen. Once you click the icon, a variety of stickers will come up.

      iii.            Choose the “Product” sticker.

     iv.            From your product catalog, select the relevant product.

       v.            You can drag and pinch to alter the product sticker size and move its location to wherever you want.

You may add one product sticker for every Instagram Story. Instagram Stories that feature a product sticker may also show up in the Shopping section.

Additional Tips to Use Instagram Stories

Adding GIFs to your Instagram Story

The ideal way you can add GIFs to your Instagram Story is by downloading or converting your GIF into a video clip. You then send it over to yourself and then add the file to your Instagram story through the camera gallery.

Incorporating music to your video

 The process of adding music in your video is similar to the one in Snapchat. You can play the music from any device and from any streaming service that you like. You can also play music from your own library if you want! All you have to do press “play,” head back to the Instagram Story and click “record.” It is that simple!

Adding face filters

You will see a face icon at the bottom corner of your screen when you are in the camera view. By tapping this icon, you can access various face filters.

Tips To Convert Followers Into Real Customers

Polish Your First Impression

Online marketing is all about first impression. If users can’t trust in your ability to show up professionally, they won’t do business with you. Make sure you use the showcase feature on Instagram Stories by highlighting the content that helps users to form a great first impression of you.

Pro tip: recreate your website menu on Highlights. Check my IG profile here.

Educate Your Audience

Instagram Stories isn’t any different from any digital marketing channel. You want to attract users to you. However, it’s not about YOU. It’s about them. Plan your content strategically. Consider that you only have 15 seconds to form a great first impression, and make them feel like they can like you, trust you, and believe in you.

Build Trust By Showing Vulnerability

Your audience is not expecting to see picture-perfect stories. They want to see you- the real you. Authenticity and vulnerability play a very important role here. The more authentic, real, and vulnerable you are, the more your users feel like “you get them”.

Direct Message & Follow Up

Since you will have access to the accounts who watched your stories, don’t hesitate to reach out. This is the best way to build relationships and work on your sales funnel with class! Don’t be spammy. People hate those accounts. You will be blocked.

Bottom Line

There is no denying that when used at their maximum potential, Instagram Stories are indeed a very powerful and effective tool.  Moreover, the Instagram Stories features that are available to all users provide you with a blank canvas. This allows you to exploit your creativity as you like!

However, you ought to keep in mind that when using Stories, you should put your focus on developing and nurturing relationships with your viewers and audience.

Finally, the most important thing is that regardless of how you use Instagram Stories, you should have fun!