Jess Lu
November 28, 2022

Why your Instagram stories are being “skipped”

The average attention span of a human being in 2022 is 8 seconds. And it's getting shorter! It's no wonder that many business owners...

WiP shot of girl creating Instagram stories on phone

The average attention span of a human being in 2022 is 8 seconds. And it's getting shorter! It's no wonder that many business owners, entrepreneurs, and creatives alike struggle to make Instagram stories that catch the viewer's eye.

There is pressure to have a thriving Instagram to get real life customers in the door, and while some people can happily sit down with a book for a few hours, the likelihood of a viewer skipping your story is higher than we probably like to admit.

As a result, it's important to have a breathing online presence for businesses. Instagram stories are one way to keep your page alive and have proven to be one of the most effective ways to turn an audience into customers. So, here are 3 simple ways to up your Instagram story game:

Avoid Videos... Unless It's a Really Good Idea

Instagram recently lengthened the time for a video to play on a story from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. While it has stopped the video breaking up into parts, it hasn’t affected the way people use stories on Instagram. Unless you’ve noticed that you typically get high viewership (this information that can be found in the Insights tab on your story), it’s best to leave videos out of your stories.

However, if you have an idea you really want to make, make sure to:

  • Keep it short and simple. A clear idea, and easy to follow. 15 seconds or less is ideal.
  • Consider having a person addressing the camera directly. Grab the audience with a line directed straight to them.
  • Movement, comedy and fast paced is best. No-one’s going to stick around long enough for a narrative.

Even the best, funniest video can fall flat when it’s a single Instagram story out of many. Gen Z simply has no time to waste! While some videos can gain a lot of traction, it’s probably best to just stick to photos.

Use Contrasting Colours and Simple Text

As much as we’d like to be intellectual about this: humans like shiny things. An innate desire for the shiniest thing in the room is translated online into pretty, simple Instagram stories that catch the eye.

This can look like a block colour, with some wobbly shapes inside the borders and a tagline that says: $5 cakes all day Sunday! Come and get sweet with us. Or it can be a short GIF of a pumping pink heart, with text about your business being the perfect Valentine’s date destination. You can include real-life photos of your business, but ensure the image quality is high, and the photos are eye-catching enough to evoke a feeling. That sandwich should look out of this world!

Whatever the image is, it must catch the audience off guard enough to make them read the text. A pretty image will go so far, but without an explanation in text, or a title for the image the audience won’t know what to do with the information. Make it bold. Make it big. And make sure you know what you’re selling to them! Which leads me to...

Create a Call to Action

This one is simple. You want the audience to jump off their phones and into your store. The easiest way to do this is to create a “swipe-up” link inside the story to your website, menu or even your booking page. This will urge the customer to take a bit more time with your business, and engage with the product you can actually deliver, and not just the shiny Instagram façade.

Now, whilst it’s good to direct the viewer somewhere, make sure it’s enticing enough, otherwise they will just skip right through. This could look like some mouth-watering photos of your food, and a link to your menu.

Another simple call to action can look like an invitation to look at your last post, which could be a competition give-away, or an exciting, upgraded look for the shopfront. Leading the viewer to your page gives them a reason to figure you out properly, and not just skip past the story. They may even click on your website to find out more.

And That’s It… For Now!

Above are just three simple ways to improve your Instagram game. There is so much more in the Instagram world to explore (our Ultimate Guide to the Instagram Algorithm, for example), and while this list isn’t exhaustive it’s worthwhile to pay attention to your online presence. Without it you and your business could very well fall off the social radar and you could find yourself struggling to see any real-life customers.

In this fast-paced digital world it’s more important than ever to have a presence online. One that can grab the shortest of short attention spans. With enough adjusting to your specific audience, it’ll be easy to turn those followers into foot-traffic!