With over 500 million views of Instagram & Facebook Stories every day, this content type is continuing to prove its value in the world of digital marketing.
But for those of us who use them, Stories can be a bit fiddly, time consuming, and mind-numbing to have to create – especially when they only last for 24 hours! Making them something that many businesses leave by the wayside when it comes to their content marketing.
But fear the inconvenience no more!
Because creating Stories just got a whole lot easier with a range of easy-to-use scheduling options online and via apps. Let’s take a look at a couple of these tools, and see just how useful they can be for businesses wanting to incorporate Stories into their content marketing.
A well-known tool in the world of scheduling Instagram content generally, Later (or, Later.com) lets you design and schedule content for your Instagram Stories on a desktop.
Using their feature, you’re able to plan up to one week (so, I’m assuming that’s seven Stories?) of content for your Instagram Stories.
Access Later’s scheduling feature here.
Things I like
One of the things that I really like about this scheduling tool is that it mentions that it supports clickable links when you’re designing your Stories.
This is a really powerful way to shorten the journey your customer takes from viewing your product/service in Stories to learning more about it online or buying from you.
These links are also trackable, meaning that you can see precisely how much interaction they received from your community.
You’re also able to see other metrics and forms of engagement via the Later scheduling tool, and this data can be viewed and accessed for up to three months after it’s collected.
Meaning that you have plenty of time to see how well your content is doing, and whether or not you should be changing certain elements of your content to suit your community.
Things I don’t like as much
Although it says that the Later tool schedules content for your Stories, it doesn’t actually post it for you.
Instead, think of the tool as the preparation stage of your journey with Instagram Stories. It’s a place where you add images, text, and links. You then schedule the content to ‘go out’ on a certain day and at a certain time.
But the next step is manual. Essentially, you’ll receive a notification from Later on the day and time you ‘scheduled’ the Story to be published. You’ll then need to tap on this to copy and paste over the visuals and text elements of your Story.
This isn’t too much hassle as you’ve still done most of the work prior to this, which means you’ll be saving time. But for me, the point of scheduling is so that I don’t have to worry about creating content during that time at all. So this doesn’t suit me so well…
For anyone who’s interested in Later in general, this is actually a common feature of other elements of the tool. So if you don’t like the idea of having to manually push the content out, then I would consider looking elsewhere for an Instagram scheduling tool (see below).
Another scheduling tool for your Instagram Stories is Buffer.
Buffer are well known as one of the top scheduling tools online, as well as offering a handy mobile app for anyone wanting to create and schedule their social media content on the go.
To access Buffer’s scheduling offering, click here. They’re currently offering a 14 day free trial for this feature so be sure to head over and take a look.
Things I like
One of the things I really like about Buffer’s tool is how easy it looks to use. They introduce simple drag and drop features to help you arrange your media files in the order that you’d like them to be in.
You can also add up to ten media files per Story – which I think is great! It gives you plenty of opportunity to literally tell your story through your content, and means you can get creative with your posting.
Although Buffer doesn’t let you literally apply the text that you might want to have on your Story to the image or video. It does let you make notes of what you want to say, along with reminders of stickers, links, or hashtags that you’re wanting to use in the content.
I think this is really handy, as it means that if you’re in a rush, tired, or just not in a creative mood. You can just read what you made a note of days ago and use that as your guide.
Things I don’t like as much
And that leads me onto the thing that I don’t like so much about this tool. Which is the fact that, yet again, you’re only given the opportunity to prepare your Story. You still have to manually push out the content yourself via a notification that Buffer sends you.
I might just be being picky about this (some of you might not mind at all), but I do still see the ‘push notification’ as an inconvenience.
What’s worse. If you’re creating an account with either Buffer or Later just so you can schedule Instagram Stories, it means you’re giving yourself another tool to use to create and plan your content.
And considering this process is designed to save time and effort, I don’t feel like this fulfils that particular criteria.
There are other online tools that you can use to schedule your Instagram and Facebook Stories.
They don’t appear to have features that are any different or surpass the likes of Later & Buffer mentioned above. But they might be worth a look for anyone who’s interested in shopping around!
Find out more about this scheduling tool here.
Find out more about Combin’s scheduling features here.