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19 April 2021 by Samantha Swanepoel

Increase your Reach with Instagram Stories, Reels & IGTV

Every day hundreds of thousands of people browse and share high-resolution photos on their now favourite photo-sharing app: Instagram.

Since its release in 2010, numerous improvements have been made and new functionality has come to the fore to further enhance the Instagram user experience.

Amongst this new and improved functionality lies Instagram Stories, Reels and IGTV posts.

We live in a fast-paced world which means that consumers need to be able to consume content in the fastest way possible. Instagram Stories, Reels and IGTV posts can help you to do just that.

1. The Story Behind Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories have been an available function on Instagram since August 2016 and allows Instagram users to post photos and videos to their story feed which vanish after a 24-hour time period.

The story functionality is now used by more than 500 million Instagram users daily to broadcast snippets or highlights from their day.

A similar premise can be applied for marketing – have a new product you want to highlight? Make a story about it! What about a short video promo? Stories!

What makes Stories even more marketable are stickers. Once inside story creation, you can add .gif stickers, time stamps, hashtags, locations and numerous other cool features to your story to personalize it or to grab the attention of your target consumer.

But why would one need to use these stickers?

If your store is running a one-day 25% off promotion and you want to reach the highest number of consumers quickly, a story is the way to go.

The story will appear in the top bar of the Instagram user’s feed making it more accessible than a post. Once you’ve reached your customer you want to provide as much information as you can in your 15-second window. This is where great imagery and stickers come into play.

For example, by adding a location sticker to the story you are telling the consumer exactly where to come shop for your promotions.

Some other worthwhile functions include:

  • Timestamp: Similar to location stamps, you can let your audience know the time your one-day promotion started.
  • @Mention: Is an influencer going to be at the event? Tag them in the story to let people know.
  • Emoji Slider: Want some feedback on your latest product? Choose an emoji and consumers can slide left or right to let you know how they feel.
  • Quiz: Want to know which products customers prefer? Create a multiple choice quiz for them to choose from.

Just remember – Stories only last for 24 hours so be sure to post them at the best time for optimal reach and impressions!

2. Broadcasting on Instagram TV

We may live in a fast-paced world but that does not mean that all content has to be created for quick retention.

Think about your own social media browsing habits: how often do you stop to watch a tutorial, a funny clip or an advert?

IGTV was launched in June 2018 and allows brands the opportunity to publish videos longer than standard posts and Stories which are limited to 120 seconds and 15 seconds respectively.

Not all messages can be brought across in this short period of time which is why IGTV exists allowing up to 10 minutes of video exposure and 1 hour for verified accounts.

Think about IGTV to be similar to YouTube.

When you discover a YouTuber or YouTube channel that you enjoy, the first thing you do is hit the subscribe button. Similarly, IGTV allows Instagrammers to follow their favourite influencers, brands and celebrities.

IGTV also allows the option to create a video series. If you’re releasing a range of new products, what better way to bring across some exposure than to get some people to test them. Upload these videos to IGTV as a series to gain more exposure for your new range.

Some other ways to use IGTV include:

  • Tutorials: Most products all come with instruction manuals but what better way to teach your consumer the value of your product than to use it yourself?
  • Q&A Sessions: Hosting a Q&A session is a great way to answer the pressing questions that your consumers have. Use an Instagram story to get some questions rolling in and answer them during a Q&A session on IGTV.
  • Behind the Scenes: It’s important for a brand to get to know its customer base but it is just as important for the customer base to get to know the brand. Interview coworkers or give the consumers a virtual tour of the workspace. These are small ways to put a face to your brand and earn that much-wanted brand loyalty.

Remember – just because some messages need more time to be brought across, does not mean that you should drag your message out. So always put the most important information at the start of your video.

3. Reel Consumers in with Instagram Reels

Still relatively new to the Instagram feature list, Instagram reels became available in August 2019 and allow users to record 15 to 30-second clips set to music.

If this sounds familiar that is because Reels are similar to TikTok videos. Instagram Reels allow brands to create fun and engaging video content that can be shared on Instagram feed or Stories.

Instagram Reels take the center stage on the Instagram interface and allow Instagrammers to view Reels from accounts that they follow but also Reels that are popular or trending.

So how does this apply to brands and businesses?

Instagram Reels is a great way to build our consumer base and grow our reach. The informal nature of Reels allows the brand to engage with consumers on a more human level providing the perfect opportunity to build genuine relationships with consumers.

Instagram Reels are ideal for showcasing products with the additional attractive aspect that Reels are permanent. While Instagram Stories will disappear after 24 hours, the Reel remains permanent.

And you can still enjoy all the benefits of Instagram Stories wrapped altogether in a Reel.


Instagram Stories, IGTV and Reels might each have their own place in your Marketing portfolio but they can all help you to do one thing: increase your overall reach and impressions in a fun and engaging manner.

Remember: if you are having fun marketing your brand, consumers will enjoy the content that you create!

Need help developing your Instagram marketing strategy? Contact the digital marketing team at Online Innovations to build your Instagram presence today.

Call us on 041 365 4919, email [email protected], or visit our website at www.onlineinnovations.com to find out more.

Need help developing your Instagram marketing strategy?

Contact the digital marketing team at Online Innovations to build your Instagram presence today.

If you’re interested in our services, please give Bronwen a call or email her for more information.

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