Instagram now has 1 billion users, with over 50% of those users engaging with the platform daily. We’ve seen massive growth and changes with Instagram within the last few years. These changes provide users and marketers alike, with new ways to engage and communicate with their audience.
Getting your organization on the Instagram train can seem overwhelming. That’s why we’re covering one of the easiest ways to spice up your active engagement with followers via Instagram stories.
Nearly 500 million Instagram users use Instagram stories every day. Of those users, 90% of them follow a business account on the platform. This means that businesses have access to free and simple advertising. However, as with everything, you have to be able to push your brand above the noise. That’s where Instagram stickers come in.
What are Instagram stickers?
Instagram stickers are a native part of every Instagram Story. While not necessary, they provide eye-catching elements that stop thumbs from skipping to the next story in the users’ queue. Using them is as easy as opening the camera icon in the top left corner of the app, taking a picture, and selecting the smiley face icon at the top. From there, users have endless sticker options such as GIFs, static graphics, locations, local weather info, polls and more.
Why should brands be using them?
Instagram stickers, whether GIFs or graphics, provide an up-leveled experience to social media. Gone are the days of flat, static images. Stickers provide users the ability to customize their social sharing experience, while also expressing personal interests and affinities. For businesses specifically, this provides the ability to brand content to enhance users’ experience in the platform. It also offers businesses the chance to utilize current events and pop culture to provide trending and relevant additions to social media that have your brand stamp.
How to create Instagram stickers:
As was pointed out before, the barriers to entry for creating branded sticker content for Instagram stories can seem intimidating. In reality, the process is not that complex.
If you follow the steps below, you’ll have branded Stickers and GIFs up in no time.
Note: You may notice that the native Instagram app has preset stickers which include things like location, weather, time, polls, temperature, etc. Brands only have the option to upload GIFs to be apart of the searchable Instagram Sticker library. This is what we’ll cover in the steps below.
Step 1: Create a Giphy account and get brand verified
While this step may seem intimidating, the brand verification process is very straight forward. Giphy powers the GIF sticker options available for Instagram stories. Once you create your account, you’ll need to apply to be verified. You can find the application here. Giphy provides guidelines for filling out the application for brands. The application can take some time for approval, but Giphy doesn’t provide a guaranteed timeline for that approval process. However, they do allow you to check your application status. Giphy also provides support if you have any questions along the way.
Step 2: Make GIFs and upload them to Giphy
Here’s some important information: GIFs must be uploaded to Giphy as stickers in order to show up on Instagram. When creating a Giphy sticker, at least 20% of the image must be transparent with a GIF source file in order to qualify for sticker status. While there’s no maximum file size for uploads, Giphy recommends dimensions with an even height and width.
After uploading, the most important task is to tag your new Sticker with 5-10 relevant tags. Tags are how Instagram users will find your GIF in the story search bar! Be aware that Giphy will not approve stickers that contain irrelevant tags. As tempting as it is to tag trending items, this will absolutely hurt your ability to get content approved. Instead, the best practice here is to research trending GIFs and be creative in how you can make your own content work with those trending items.
Step 3: Test your GIF
Now that your GIF is uploaded, it’s time to test it out. Keep in mind that the approval time for your uploads may vary, so don’t be alarmed if the GIF isn’t available right away. If after some time you still aren’t able to find your GIF on Instagram, you may want to check that your upload follows the Giphy community guidelines. If everything looks good there, it might be worthwhile to visit Giphy’s Sticker Approval requirements to troubleshoot any issues.
Step 4: Spread the word about your Instagram stickers!
Once your GIFs are available, the possibilities are endless! A pro tip is to use a highlighted story to show followers how to use and find your sticker. This can contain a collection of stories showing the search bar and, more importantly, the specific search phrase that will direct the user to your GIF. Don’t forget to keep adding new, seasonal, and topical GIFs to your collection to promote engagement all year round!
Instagram stickers provide an interactive way to allow your users to spread the word about your brand, while also allowing you the opportunity to supplement their social media experience. Introducing Instagram stickers to your audience is a simple way to build brand credibility to your Instagram following.
If you’re looking for more information to assist your business during this time, head over to our Marketing Resources menu to gain access to our Lead Generation Calculator, Website Analyzer, and to Download our Free 2020 Social Media Guide!