Winning Strategies for Increasing Engagement on Instagram Stories

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(Conviva is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

In 2018, the NCAA had unprecedented success growing their Instagram accounts. Using Conviva Social Insights’ Instagram analytics to benchmark their progress, they implemented an aggressive growth strategy that resulted in significant growth across multiple core KPIs.

In this webinar, Conviva VP of Strategy Nick Cicero and NCAA Associate Director of Digital and Social media Chris Dion joined FOS CEO Adam White to discuss this success and exactly what it takes to consistently grow an audience with Instagram Stories.

Edited highlights appear below:

On having success with long Instagram stories (11:17):

Dion: “When we started, we put limits on people… Eight slides was our goal, but [we wanted to] tell the story. That was another thing that we really instilled with our members is we want you to tell the story from start to finish. What we found was we were limiting their ability to tell the story. We were limiting their ability to do their story justice. So we slowly started to open it up and noticed that we weren’t getting drop off. So after last year we removed even a suggestion of how long they should be. Our softball story right now is 43 slides. They’re long, but some of the stuff that’s in it leads you to move along the story. Sports and storytelling go hand in hand and there needs to be a beginning, a middle, and and an end… it’s more genuine.”

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Advantages of good strategy when it comes to Instagram stories (25:20):

Cicero: “One of the advantages for a strong story strategy is that it does complement the audience that you’re able to reach when you’re not creating stories content and vice versa. A great content strategy inside of the feed or your carousel strategy… those are almost a separate experience if you think about that because you have two behaviors. When I’m watching stories, I’m moving left to right. When I’m watching a feed, I’m moving up and down. The immersive experience of a story, I think, [attracts] people that are interested in that immersive experience or are on the go, but still want a full view of content.”

On having an Instagram live component when it comes to stories/growth strategy (40:30):

Cicero:”Live video is extremely powerful. The power of having someone’s attention is extremely powerful. So we have different windows of time that  we can reach you. Stories always seem to help with this ‘live-ish’ component. But then we’re always on the go. You can go live on [many platforms] but Instagram is nice. It’s in the palm of your hand. But something that’s baked into the stories feature is that it’s not permanent. So it can be a very newsworthy tool to make announcements and things of that nature. A live broadcast that you do might not be as valuable to someone 12 hours later though, and I think that’s one of the other things to think about.”

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On utilizing stories highlights (49:20):

Dion:”It’s an evergreen placeholder. So if you have evergreen content that you want to be featured in a story like format, it’s a great place to do it. We don’t feature all of our takeovers for the mere fact that we do 300 a year, but we do use it for big moments. For example, if you’d like to return to see the best of last year in baseball, it’s there for you… So we use it pretty deliberately.”

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