Instagram Feed Vs. Stories: How to Use Them to Grow Your Audience

Instagram remains one of the most active social media networks. It holds a whole lot of bloggers and businesses from different industries. With the introduction of Stories in 2016, it has completely lost the status of photo storage and evolved into a grand system of business and promotion. And it is no wonder that many people are looking for the fastest and cheapest way to gain Instagram followers, likes, and comments, so they can compete with influencers and brands. It seems that it is impossible to reach the level of the ones who have already established the position on the platform and simply collect the fruits of the results. It is not, yet it still requires some strategy development and time to spend on launching your Instagram account. But what one should prefer – upload more stories or feed?

Today, it is vital to keep the right balance between posting stories and general posts on Instagram. And many people look for this information so we shall reveal the most versatile tips and techniques for you.

What’s A Feed?

Simply talking, that is what you imagine if you think of Instagram. The classics scrolled interface with square photos and videos. The overall look didn’t change much since the first launch of the app, but a few features were added through the years:

  • Rectangle format of videos and photos
  • Carousels – a possibility to add up to ten pieces to one post
  • IGTV – the specific part of the feed, where users can post videos that are longer than 1 minute.

And these are major changes that happened to the Instagram feed interface throughout time. Of course, there were a bunch of minor ones too, but we shall concentrate on significant points. The algorithm that sorts out the posts that a user sees, has also evolved and now represents one of the most complicated systems per se.

Feed posts are the gatherer of likes and comments. The caption section, which is limited to 2000 symbols, is a great instrument for storytelling. That is why the main purpose of feed posts for any business or personal blog is to make your personality discovered by the audience. This is where you can share your values and experience, and then gather a reaction from your public.

By having a full and regularly updated feed you can let people understand what your blog is about and hook them on your profile for a longer time. And that is one of the most appreciated factors for algorithms on the platform, especially since the possibility to follow the hashtags was introduced. The better your profile looks, the bigger is the chance that an accidental viewer turns into your follower. The same goes for the Explore field. So, the ultimate three features for a great post are:

  • High-quality photo/video that is also aesthetically attractive and related to your target group preferences
  • A caption, well written, with recognizable catchy style, informative and not too long
  • Relevant hashtags that simplify the search for your posts.

And What’s A Story?

Primarily, this type of content was introduced in Snapchat. But only on Instagram the idea of it has blossomed and evolved into a whole new way of blogging. Story on Instagram is a kind of vertically shot video or photo, that is displayed on the screen for 15 seconds, and lasts for a day. It was launched in 2016. The concept of disappearing content has revolutionized the way of vlogging.

In Instagram, the possibility to save Stories appeared initially. It is called Highlights and gives a user the possibility to collect the most interesting content into thematic stacks and rewatch it when he wants. And the other interesting options to create a compelling story are:

  • Polls
  • Questions
  • Gifs
  • Hashtags
  • Quizzes
  • Countdowns
  • Location tags
  • Mentions
  • Stickers
  • Photo uploads

All of these are made to create the perfect engagement tool that helps to retain your audience. In stories, you can make reposts of your recent feed upload, so your followers won’t miss it. Stories are an instrument for communication with the audience that you have already got. The clue to that lies in the mechanism of stories uploading. Whenever you post a new story, it makes your profile icon reappear in the beginning of the line, thus attracting users to you. Nowadays people are craving new information all the time, so quick updates about your day can drive your promotion rates very high.

Which One Works Better?

This question has no answer because the only possibility to run a successful blog is to combine both formats. Together feed and stories create a superb combination for promotion campaigns. You are attracting a new audience by your feed, and still catching the attention of the ones you already got with stories.

Posts in your feed are what a user generally based his decision to follow you or not. So it is essential to keep your account look stylish and interesting to people. Relevant hashtags, location, and mentions are the accents that help you to promote, as well as paid Ads.

At the same time, stories are a lighter format that is bonding you with the existing audience. There you can post daily routines or sudden events that you happen to participate in. Also, with the function of repost, you can either promote your own fresh posts or collaborate and cross-promote with other bloggers from your niche.

How to Make It Work?

To come up with the perfect scheme for your blog, you will have to divide your content into categories, that will reflect the method of posting – into the feed or stories.

The first one is evergreen content. Something that is established, constantly actual for your topic, and represents what your blog is about. Bios, profile pics, and everything else are also important, but the main factor that provokes users to follow your account is what they see in your feed. Captions are secondary to that, and their usage highly depends on the industry that you occupy. Pay attention to the choice of hashtags. As it was mentioned before, due to the possibility to follow hashtags, you can increase your visibility multiple times with the right tags.

And for Stories, you can leave the second category of content – highly engaging, on the spur of the moment, unofficial and hearty. This function is especially useful for brands, as they can enhance their “human face” through stories much more efficiently than in-feed posts. With this format of content that flees in 24-hours, it is highly recommended to keep yourself down, as it is easy to get carried away. Don’t forget that the quality of the information and entertainment is in the first place even for these short pieces of content. And overloading your viewers with a big quantity of stories can also play against you as users will find this practice too obtrusive for them and simply won’t react to your fresh uploads.

A Short Word About Going Live

Live on Instagram is a unique format that is very effective to increase your visibility on Instagram. It’s defining features are:

  • The Live icon appears at the beginning of the line and lasts there as long as you are on air.
  • As you are on air, your followers can write comments that will be displayed on the screen immediately, so you can have almost a direct conversation with your audience.
  • You can split your live screen with other users. This feature is recommended for use for cross-promotion and collaboration purposes.
  • Lives can be saved in your feed after you have finished. They will appear in a specific section and users will be able to rewatch them anytime. However, they will not have an opportunity to leave comments, so make sure you have planned a story where views can leave their feedback.

Conclusion

There is no competition between feed posts and stories. These two options on Instagram are complementary. They work in a bond, so you must keep a perfect balance between them. For instance, always divide your content into categories that are described above. Also, don’t forget to use a combined feature that includes the best sides of each type – Lives.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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