Exploring the differences between the two platforms: Instagram stories, and Instagram posts
In the vibrant world of Instagram, creators and marketers are often faced with the choice of where to post their content: Story or Post? Both platforms within Instagram have their advantages, and they resonate differently with audiences. It's important to understand their intricacies and differences, in order to know which to use, and when.
The differences: Instagram Stories vs Feed Posts
At the heart of Instagram are two primary ways to share your content: Stories and Posts. Both offer unique features and reach audiences in different ways. Let's explore this further.
One of the biggest differences between the two, is their longevity on the app. Posts are essentially evergreen, living on a user's profile indefinitely unless manually removed. This allows Posts to gain exposure over extended periods of time, often accumulating more views and engagement as days go by.
Whereas Stories are ephemeral, disappearing from view after 24 hours - offering a sense of immediacy and spontaneity. This is however balanced by the option to turn them into 'highlights', making them accessible on your profile for as long as you like.
The next biggest difference is where they appear. Stories pop up at the very top of the Instagram app, offering higher chances of visibility. They can also be seen when a user taps on a person with an active story's profile picture.
Posts may not share the same immediacy, but do offer more spaces to be seen. With your own profile, the three different types of home page feed, the explore page, reels, hashtags and keyword results, there's certainly more opportunity for reach, especially with new people.
When to choose posts
Given their lasting nature, Instagram Posts are a great place to share detailed content. They don't have to share a current moment, but can be used to share evergreen content, building an avenue to promote prolonged engagement.
You can post a varied range of content. From single posts like photos, memes, quotes and infographics - to long and short videos, and informative carousel format. This makes posts pretty suitable for a large range of content and topics. Be it a detailed brand story, a product showcase, a behind-the-scenes look at your biz, or an educational carousel teaching your followers something of value.
When thinking of Instagram Posts, imagine what content would provide real value to the viewer. For example, a piece of trending news, a how-to tutorial, or an entertaining video that would inspire or entertain them. CEEMII is an acronym, it stands for:
If you can make sure that your post is one of these 6 things - then it has value! Every time you go to post, just think: 'is my content one or more of the 'CEEMII's?'. And if not, then don't post and go back to the drawing board!
When to choose stories
Stories cater to the 'here and now', capturing real-time events, immediate reactions, and timely updates. The algorithm of Stories is tailored to prioritise content from accounts a user frequently interacts with, which means the more that people engage your Stories, the more they'll see them in the future.
Stories are perfect for content that has a sense of urgency or is relevant for just a short period of time. This includes breaking news, limited-time promotions, or even candid moments you think your audience would like, relate to or find funny. Some great times to use Stories include: sharing live updates from an event your attending or throwing, flash sales that last only for a day, and reactions/statements about current industry trends and news.
While Instagram Stories and Posts may appear as two sides of the same coin, they serve distinct purposes. Using a harmonious blend of both in your content strategy will greatly benefit your Instagram growth and goals. Consider your overarching objectives, the nature of their content, the audience you want to target, and their preferences of viewing content when deciding where to post.