This week we’re looking at Instagram, its growing potential as a marketing platform, and share how to create and use your own story stickers on Instagram to expand your own reach and business potential.
If the competition between social media platforms ever felt like a race, then Instagram has shot its way up the scoreboard, offering some serious competition for the top 3 in terms of size and marketing potential.
Why Instagram Marketing?
Launched in 2010, Instagram now boasts one billion monthly active users, second only to YouTube and Facebook (who have owned Instagram since 2012).
Instagram is popular because it’s simple and fun to use. We could also argue that it appeals, more than others, to international users as most of its content is pictorial (as opposed to text on other platforms such as Facebook) and lighter (unlike heavier content such as YouTube videos).
From a purely business perspective, Instagram has become the New World of social media marketing. Not because of the number of users but because of their behavior.
It’s this behavior that has made Instagram a major influencer in its own right.
Over 60% of users log into Instagram daily, most of them to post stories. This makes it the second most engaged social network after Facebook.
You may recall that last week, we explained the significance of Google’s decision to favor mobile versions of websites/pages in search results, making mobile responsive design more important than ever. Needless-to-say, Instagram, predominantly used on mobile and by adults, played a big part in this shift.
And we’re only starting to get the picture.
Reach seems to not only be easier to obtain on Instagram than on Facebook, once obtained, but it is also more valuable.
80% of users follow at least 1 business or brand, which means that it’s the platform where most users are likely to continue doing so.
Businesses that have realized this and have already begun marketing on Instagram claim that they get up to 37% of their total impressions from Instagram Stories.
You would think that Facebook would have similar marketing potential, when in fact the opposite is true. Instagram boasts 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook.
There are claims that Facebook is oversaturated with advertising and marketing content, and there could be truth to it. Facebook users seem to have learned to filter out advertising and marketing content.
As consumers, we’ve always needed to be reassured, at the very least, of the quality, dimensions, and current state of a product.
A visual aid has proven to be very convenient for this purpose, and furthermore, it encourages users to take action and buy that item. Kinsta recently pointed out that “about 60% of Instagram users say they’ve discovered new products through the app, while 72% of users say they have purchased a product they saw on the app.”
Most of the businesses we’re discussing are related to things that are visual to include web design, and…, yes, like Elementor as well.
We’ve been running our own experiments with Instagram stories. Of course, we’ve been having a lot of fun in the process, but who said that you couldn’t have fun to get results?
And, boy, did we get results.
Our Instagram account is currently at 18 thousand plus followers and rapidly growing.
Creating stickers like these allowed us to strengthen our brand identity further while expanding our creative assets. In fact, one of our stickers got over 25 million views!
But wouldn’t it be better to share the knowledge of how to similar results? After all, isn’t that what makes a community great?
We want to share how we used GIF stickers on Instagram to generate social impact so that you too can benefit from our knowledge and experience, and by following the same process, perhaps expand your following to similar numbers, if not more!
What Are Instagram Stickers?
When you share a photo or video to your Instagram story, Instagram lets you can add stickers to express yourself in creative ways.
These are little superimposed graphics that add elements of expression to your stories, adding fun, excitement, and character. This makes the stories more interesting and engaging to viewers, which inevitably contributes to the greater reach of your stories, and you know the rest.
What Is a GIF?
A Graphics Interchange Format or GIF is a type of digital image that also allows us to create short animations with multiple images.
Imagine the layers being the pages in a book, and flipping through those pages quickly to create an animation, and there’s no limit to the level of animation you can achieve with these GIFs.
Which wild explain why GIFs are mostly used for short animations these days.
How to Make a GIF Sticker for Instagram
Earlier this year, our colleagues Ben, Matan, Zvi, and Nofar were at At WordCamp Europe (WCEU) 2019 and wanted to document the experience in a fun, engaging and creative way. To do so, we decided to create some unique Instagram GIF stickers that would be added to our personal documentation of the event.
The following is the exact process we use to create the GIF stickers for our stories on our social feeds. Elementor’s Social Media Manager, Lisa Raz, has gotten so good at creating them, she can produce a nifty GIF faster than you can say “animated GIF stickers for Instagram stories”.
Of course, there are numerous ways to create stickers, such as those explained in this wonderful tutorial by Elementor user Lisa Bardot.
But this is how we make ’em!
Our sticker creating workflow is divided into 3 parts
- Creating a GIF sticker
- Uploading it to Giphy.com
- Adding our sticker to our Instagram story
For this process we will need the following:
Giphy’s Brand/Artist Account
Once you’ve uploaded at least 5 GIF’s, you’ll be eligible to apply for a Brand/Artist account on GIPHY. This will allow your GIFs to become available to the public, and your Instagram account. You can read more about Giphy’s requirements for having Brand/Artist accounts here.
Once your Brand/Artist account is approved, make as many GIFs as you want and upload them!
Let’s Get Started.
Open up the Procreate app on your iPad (or another suitable device).
Create a new file by tapping on the plus icon (+) in the top menu bar. When creating a new file, you will be prompted to select the size of what will become your GIF.
We’ll be recreating our WordCamp Europe sticker, made up of the Elementor logo, the WCEU logo, and the @ sign.
- The logos are images that we have on our device image gallery, and we’ll import them here by tapping on the tool Icon (next to Gallery). In the menu that now appears, tap the plus sign, then tap on the Insert a Photo. Select your image from the gallery, and repeat this process to import the second image for the GIF.
- To add the @ sign, we’ll tap on the tool icon again, but this time we’ll select Add Text, and In the textbox that appears, we’ll enter the @ sign.
Tap on the mouse icon in the top menu, and then select the @ sign.
- In the menu that has now appeared on the bottom of the screen, make sure that the uniform and the blue magnet options are selected. This assures the proportions remain the same regardless of any adjustments we make to the textbox.
- Using the handles on the textbox, enlarge the 2 sign and center it against the other logos as best you can. Now tap the layers icon, and in the list of layers that appears, swipe the layer with the @ sign to the right, for the duplicate option.
- Tap on duplicate to create another @ sign layer, which we will now tap + hold and move in-between the Elementor logo and the WCEU logo.
- The next thing to do is to unselect the background color layer to make our GIF’s background transparent. This is of course very important if you want to get that cool sticker effect on Instagram.
Essentially, what we have now are four layers, one on top of the other, that will be flipped through like the flipbook, we mentioned.
The final step
- We’ll tap the tool icon again, then on the share icon, and at the bottom of the menu, we’ll tap on Animated GIF.
- In the preview that appears, you will see the Frames per Second option that allows you to choose how many frames, or layers, you see per second. This controls the speed of your GIF. We’ve set our speed to 2.
- Tap on Full Resolution to export the GIF to our image library. Select a suitable location from the export options, and tap the Save button, to save the GIF.
Uploading Your GIF
Once we’ve created our GIF, we’ll upload it to Giphy.com, which acts as a host for our online GIF assets.
- Log in to your Giphy.com account, and click Upload. Use the options to either drag-and-drop or search and select the GIF you want to upload.
- Once it has uploaded, an Upload dashboard will appear.
- We suggest that you add tags to your upload so that your GIFs will appear on other users’ searches, something that will add to your overall reach.
The tags we’ll be adding are Elementor, WordPress and WCEU
- Make sure that the Public option is turned on (unless of course, you want to keep them a secret for a while).
- Select the correct rating. All of Elementor stickers are rated G.
- Click on Upload to GIPHY and were done.
Giphy reviews each and every GIF to make sure they follow all their guidelines and also look good. Alas, this means that you will not see your GIFs in the stickers search immediately.
However, once Giphy approves our GIF, we’ll be able to find them on Instagram and add them to our stories.
Like we did when we placed them on the images that we were taking at WordCamp.
Adding Your GIF Sticker to Your Instagram Story
- Log on to your Instagram account, and select the image you are going to use for your story.
- Now click on the Stickers button, and in the search option, search for your Giphy.com account name.
- Click on the GIF of your choice and continue to post your Instagram story as you normally would.
While you’re at it, feel free to search for Elementor’s stickers on Giphy and use whatever sticker you like!
We’re only too happy to see others using our stickers on their own posts.
Every Picture Tells a Story
Posting stories on Instagram is more like fun than work, and adding animated GIF stickers to make your stories stand out, really is as simple as we’ve shown here.
Use it to generate awareness and expand your reach. Start making the impressions, that will encourage users to follow through your funnels.
We feel that Instagram is the New World of social media marketing. Some of us may have gotten off to a later start than others, but don’t let that discourage you. Instagram’s marketing and creative potential is still a long way from peaking.
Every picture tells a story, so get started and make some great stories of your own.