Introduced by Snapchat but polished and made mainstream by Instagram, the Stories format has become a social media phenomenon. With the onset of live stories, filters, polls, and tags, the number of people viewing stories is increasing yearly.
Stories are a great way to engage and connect with your followers and create a community surrounding your profile, be it business or personal. Instagram stories have also been eagerly adopted by digital marketing agencies and now swallow up a substantial chunk of marketing budgets worldwide.
More than 500 million Instagrammers use stories daily, so it comes to no surprise that their popularity is increasing among influencers, e-commerce and service providers.
With a WordPress plugin like Spotlight, you can now display your brand’s visual storytelling techniques right on your WordPress website.
To learn how, click here to scroll down to the steps.
If you’d like to learn more about why Instagram stories are so essential to your marketing strategy, read on.
How do Instagram Stories work?
Instagram Stories debuted in 2016 and have since exploded all over social media. The social media platform lets you upload photos or videos as Stories which disappear after 24 hours.
If you’re worried about your marketing efforts going to waste, Instagram lets you save your past Stories in a Highlight at the top of your Instagram profile so your followers can access them at any time.
Stories watch-time is increasing every year among Instagram users and with so many new apps and platforms being developed to help you design the best-looking content out there, Instagram stories are definitely something you should be looking to implement.
Spotlight is an innovative way of displaying your Instagram feeds on your WordPress website. It works with both Personal and Business accounts and lets you create an unlimited number of feeds.
Unlike other plugins on the WordPress plugin repository, the free version comes with a ton of design options. Upgrading to the PRO version, though, unlocks even more premium features – including Stories.
The PRO version will cost you $49/year for a single site license. Other license options are available here.
Connect multiple Instagram accounts – Spotlight lets you connect as many Personal and Business or Creator accounts as you like. You can then create an unlimited number of feeds to be displayed anywhere on your WordPress or WooCommerce site.
Live preview – Spotlight incorporates a live interactive preview of your feed in the backend of your WordPress dashboard. This means that there will be no more back and forth between screens to preview any design changes you make to your feed.
Customization options – Spotlight’s sidebar consists of over 40 customization options which give you full control over anything from the size of your feed to the color of your buttons.
Follow and Load more buttons – Convert your website visitors into followers by adding a “Follow” button which takes you directly to your Instagram page. Additionally, you can opt to use a “Load more” button to bring in more Instagram posts and the click of a button.
Responsiveness options – As you would expect of any WordPress plugin, Spotlight is fully responsive. The plugin makes it easy for you to design different layouts for each feed depending on the device it is being viewed on. You can, therefore, have a feed with 6 columns on desktop which changes to 3 on tablet and 1 on phone devices.
Different layouts and styles – The free version of the plugin comes with a classic Grid plugin. Upgrading to the PRO version will enable you to access the Masonry and Highlight (with more layouts coming soon).
Filtering and Moderation – Perhaps one of the most sought after features is a way to choose which posts to display in your feed. Spotlight makes this as simple yet effective as ever through the use of caption and hashtag filtering and visual moderation. In the latter, you can manually select which posts to show or hide in your feed.
Tagged and Hashtag feeds – Business accounts will be able to gain access to this feature which displays your followers’ tagged posts on your WordPress website. This results in free marketing and social proof!
How to display your Instagram stories on your website
Your Instagram Account
The first step you need to take is to verify whether your Instagram account is a Personal or Business one. Although Spotlight can work with Personal accounts, Instagram doesn’t allow WordPress plugins to access stories associated with them.
To be able to display your Instagram Stories, all you need to do is to switch your account to a Business or Creator account. This is free of charge and will give you access to business features and Instagram insights. Apart from that, it also lets you access even more features in the Spotlight plugin!
Displaying your stories
For a step-by-step guide to installing Spotlight and setting up your feed, we’ve created an in-depth tutorial.
Once you’ve got your feed set up, it’s time to set up your stories. Head over to the Design ⟶ Header and select “Include Stories”. The plugin also lets you determine the number of seconds between one story and another.
That’s all it takes!
Embedding your feed
To embed your feed on your website, go to Embed ⟶ Shortcode. Copy your shortcode and paste it anywhere you want to display your feed. You can place it on any post, page, footer or sidebar or virtually anywhere you desire.
Spotlight will showcase all of the current & new stories that you will create after you have connected your Instagram account. In other words, your old Instagram Stories will not be available because they would have already disappeared after 24 hours.
That’s it! Now, every time you post an Instagram story, your profile photo will display an outline indicating that there are stories to be viewed. On clicking the profile photo, your stories will appear in a slideshow format and in a lightbox mode.
Here it is in action:
Using Instagram tools will make your life much easier, while saving you time and money in content production and publishing.
Instagram stories are an undeniably popular format that every good digital marketer needs to master. Spotlight PRO provides a comprehensive and coherent focus for that. The plugin is lightweight and will not impact your page loading times.