4 Ways Instagram Highlights Make Your Content Better

Written by: Becca Paskerian

Instagram is one of the fastest growing platforms for brands and advertising. It’s also a personal favorite of every member of the Digital & Social Team at Brand Content. Instagram has evolved from an app that hosts pretty pictures, to being one of the most used apps of all time. Instagram has progressed from being a feed of edited photos to a feed housing news, pop culture, political statements, blogger content, personal photos, and of course, photos of dogs. This expansion has also lended new marketing and advertising opportunities.

Instagram advertising is growing at a fast pace, and all that extra income has increased the offerings in a big way. They are constantly releasing new features and tools to keep up with the demand for innovation and a better user experience. Most recently, they introduced Highlights and Archive. Don’t worry if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Let’s break it down…

What is Archive?

Instead of taking up precious memory space on your phone, expired Instagram Stories will be saved in your private Archive. You can even set it up to save them automatically to your camera roll as well. This central place makes it convenient to find your past Stories.

What are Highlights?

Since Instagram Stories have started to boom, the app creators realized that people were putting a lot of time and effort into stories that only lasted for 24 hours. Now, stories can live forever (or as long as you’d like them to).

Highlights are saved Instagram Stories that live on your profile. You can access all your saved Stories in your Archive, and use them to create Highlights. These can be categorized with personalized labels (emojis? yes, please) and cover photos. Then, they show up as collections in a new horizontal bar across the top of your profile.

So how can brands use these new Highlights?

1. Give Your Content Legs

If brands are using Instagram Stories to promote a sweepstakes or if they have a top-performing story they’d like to keep “alive,” Highlights is the place to do it. They can keep the promotion on their page for as long as the campaign is active, and remove it when it ends. This is also an opportunity to keep content top of mind after the initial 24 hour story has expired.

Example: Anthropologie has done an incredible job of choosing which content will be featured on their page and allowing users access to it after the 24 hour ephemeral content expires. Adding Stories to their Highlights has been able to increase views on flash sales and short lived promotions.

2. Drive Web Traffic

Using the “Swipe Up” feature on Instagram Stories can help drive traffic to the site during the 24-hour period the story is live. If the content is added to a Highlight, the “Swipe Up” feature carries over, allowing the brand to continue to drive consumers to the site through the story/link.

Example: For brands that are consistently using Stories to drive traffic to their website, Highlights can be incredibly valuable. Nike uses this feature to the fullest. They may not have a lot of Highlights, but they are using them to send a brand message and drive traffic to the sites and initiatives that truly matter to the brand mission.

3. Highlight Products

If a brand has more than one product line, Highlights are a perfect way to keep them all organized and separate. These collections can also include tips, how-to’s or recipes for each specific product line.

Example: The North Face does a great job of categorizing their Highlights to help users find exactly what they’re looking for by organizing their products into different stories. This allows users to only shop for what they want and more easily find what they’re looking for.

4. Recap Events or Promotions

Highlights are great at telling mini-stories. Brands can feature recaps for events or promotions that give consumers a behind the scenes look at their events and activities, without having to catch the Stories during the 24-hour period they are usually live for. This behind the scenes feature helps to humanize the brand and can heavily benefit the overall strategy of the brand account.

Example: New York Fashion Week has done an incredible job with this. The account, NYFW, currently has six Highlights on their account, one for each day of Fashion Week. This makes it easy for users to navigate the page and find specific designers and models that they’re interested in seeing more of.

Final Thoughts

Highlights make it easier for brands to post more without clogging followers’ feeds or cluttering their own profiles. Brands are getting more innovative and creative with how they keep consumers engaged, and Instagram Highlights are creeping higher on that list. However, as the social landscape continues to change, so will the features. As Highlights begin to grow and new Instagram features are introduced, we’ll be sure to keep you updated!

If you’re interested in learning more about what we do and who we are, check out our website: BrandContent.com and follow our Medium channel Brand Content.

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We are a creative, Boston-based ad agency that takes the things we know, learns the (many) things we don’t, and puts them to work for our clients’ success.

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Brand Content

Brand Content

We are a creative, Boston-based ad agency that takes the things we know, learns the (many) things we don’t, and puts them to work for our clients’ success.

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