7 Reasons Your Instagram Stories Are Failing to Convert

7 Reasons Your Instagram Stories Are Failing to Convert

It’s not you— it’s your Stories. Our team found that live-action videos perform better than graphic videos for that reason: content that’s too slick looks out of place and disrupts the user’s experience as they scroll through their Stories. Even if you’re advertising on Instagram Stories, you don’t want your videos to look too much like ads. One last tip: always follow the design specs for Stories, which will ensure your videos and photos look sharp and clear. Make sure whatever you’re offering on your Story is aligned with what audiences get on the landing page. It might be that you’re making great content for the wrong audience: yourself, rather than your followers. If your viewers aren’t swiping up on your Stories, chances are you’re sharing something they’re just not that interested in. So how do you find out what your followers want to see? Fortunately, there are a ton of analytics that will tell you what kind of content resonates most with your followers. They follow you for a reason!

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Ever had that sinking feeling that no one is going to show up to your dinner party? Then you know how it feels when no one is swiping up on your Instagram Story.

You can see that they’re getting plenty of views, but those just aren’t translating into clicks. Where is everyone?

They’re still on Instagram, but I’m sorry to say that they’re swiping up on other people’s Stories instead of yours. Don’t take it personally. It’s not you— it’s your Stories. And fortunately, there are lots of ways to improve them!

Here’s how to get your audiences swiping up instead of swiping through.

7 reasons your Instagram Stories might not be converting

1. Your content is too polished

As the Instagram Feed grew increasingly refined, one perfectly-arranged avocado toast post at a time, Stories became a place where audiences expected looser, more natural content.

Our team found that live-action videos perform better than graphic videos for that reason: content that’s too slick looks out of place and disrupts the user’s experience as they scroll through their Stories.

Similarly, brands like The Guardian find that realistic Stories perform better than heavily-edited ones.

Even if you’re advertising on Instagram Stories, you don’t want your videos to look too much like ads. Otherwise they’ll stand out awkwardly from the other Stories you post and users will skip them.

There are benefits to keeping your Stories more casual. For one thing, it gives you more opportunity to experiment. As Stories become the dominant format on Instagram, the platform continues to add more features and formats for you to play enhance your Stories. Adding stickers, GIFs and filters can be a nice touch that helps your content fit in with the other Stories your audience is watching.

If you’re looking for inspiration, Bon Appetit is consistently great at sharing high-quality videos that never seem too stiff or formal.

Bon Appetit Instagram Story

One exception to this rule? If your brand identity is more composed and formal, then your Stories should be too. For instance, the New Yorker’s Instagram Stories are aligned with the editorial look and feel of their other content.

Cuban Jazz Instagram Stories
2. …or maybe your Stories are too laid-back.

I know, we just told you to relax! But it’s sort of like when a friend tells you to “be yourself” at a job interview. They don’t mean that you should show up in sweatpants.

When in doubt, stay on brand. Having a clear visual identity for your business is essential, because it will help new fans get to know you, and long-time followers recognize your content instantly. Audiences will only spend a few precious seconds deciding whether to watch your Stories, so make it easy for them to figure out who you are.

Even if you want your Stories to look like you’re posting them in the moment, make sure to preview them first to check how they look. Are they blurry? Are they cropped weirdly? Does your text have typos? If so, reshoot!

While it always helps to have a professional designer or photographer creating your Stories, even small teams can produce stunning content. Anyone can learn to take and edit gorgeous photos using only a smartphone. Or, you could even use a set of graphic templates.

One last tip: always follow the design specs for Stories, which will ensure your videos and photos look sharp and clear.

3. Your CTA is unclear

Okay, you’ve reviewed your Stories and you’re confident that they’re hitting the right balance between polished and casual. But your audience still isn’t swiping up.

It could be another common problem: your call-to-action isn’t obvious enough.

Without a clear CTA, your audience is likely to move on without realizing you want them to take another action.

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