When big tech players like Apple and Google went all-in on privacy, community marketing became the strategy of choice for many. As brands become increasingly aware that treating marketing like an active conversation is the way forward in a cookie-free advertising world, it’s high time to reconsider the most popular types of social media content on the scene today.
Instagram stories, for example, are a low stakes and high impact way to build relationships with your brand audience. But the temporary nature of Insta stories makes it nearly impossible for marketers to mine insights or extract value without the right tools in place.
In this article, we’ll explore five of the best apps to save Instagram stories, discuss the pros and cons of how third-party apps work, and investigate the best way to do more with all the Instagram stories your brand is tagged in.
What You’ll Learn:
- Instagram stories are a powerful brand marketing tool (if you know how to use them)
- Third-party apps can help capture Instagram stories that your brand is tagged in
- Downloader apps are also risky: many steal your credentials or contain malware
- Do thorough research if you’re considering using apps to save Instagram stories
- Look for apps that turn your stories into high-value marketing assets you can use
What Are Instagram Stories and How Do They Work?
Stories allow users to post Instagram photos and videos for a limited time. While Instagram posts and reels are designed for more permanent and polished content, IG stories are designed to disappear. Stories only stay visible for 24 hours and then they vanish from view.
Whether you use content already saved on your mobile device or use Instagram’s in-app camera, you can turn any image or video into an IG story. Native story features allow you to add filters, stickers, emojis, geotags, @mentions, music, text, and more.
Instagram used to limit video stories to only 15 seconds, which forced users to chop up longer videos and stitch them together in a series of slides. But since 2022, all Instagram users around the world have been able to post video stories up to 60 seconds long.
Once a story is published, it remains available for everyone to see (or all your followers, if you have a private account) for 24 hours. You can access stories by tapping any user in the row of round profile pictures featured at the top of your Instagram feed, tap on any user’s profile picture from their account page, tap on any story highlight, or tap through from the explore page.
After that 24-hour period ends the story disappears forever. A few workarounds exist, like adding stories to Instagram highlights (which live on your profile even after the stories expire) and turning on your story archive to make sure each one is automatically saved inside the Instagram app.
Tips for Using Instagram Stories for Your Business
Although stories are designed to be temporary, plenty of brands still devote creative effort to them (especially if they plan to add them to highlights later). Here are five best practices for brands looking to extract maximum marketing value from Instagram stories.
Tip #1: Repurpose Your Best UGC
The more user-generated content you can find and leverage, the easier it will be to connect directly with your audience. Request permission to repost your customers’ UGC in your brand campaigns and transform those tagged Instagram stories, feed posts, and reels into valuable social proof that expands your reach and grows your business.
Tip #2: Understand Your Audience
In addition to providing killer ad creative for your next campaign, stories can also help you get your finger on your community’s pulse. Collecting and analyzing UGC can help you spot emerging trends, finetune your value proposition, and inspire new messaging and marketing strategies.
Tip #3: Tap Into Existing Communities
To reach an even wider audience and attract new customers, your stories should make use of the promotional tools that are table stakes for social networks today: filters, tags, etc. Hashtags are a great example of this; using the right hashtags that are relevant to your brand (or to an individual story you plan to publish) will go a long way toward getting that content in front of the right organic audience as a way of seeding growth.
Tip #4: Layer On Engagement Features
Even if you lean all the way into the low stakes world of stories and limit your creative effort to the bare minimum, it’s a good idea to incorporate Instagram’s highly functional stickers to drive audience engagement. Use poll stickers to encourage your audience to weigh in on alternative product ideas, add emoji sliders to quantify sentiment about a new feature, pop question stickers to power an impromptu AMA, gamify your stories with quiz stickers, etc.
Tip #5: Add Clear Calls-to-Action
Although Instagram Stories fly by in just a few seconds and only last for a few hours, one of their most important qualities is that they take up the entire screen. That means the right creative can really pop, and brands that take advantage of their audience’s focused attention will be able to drive viewers toward an actionable next step. Convert viewers into buyers by adding clear calls to action with direct links to shop and stellar product photos and videos (either from your brand or captured by real customers).
Best Apps to Save Instagram Stories
Every day, Instagram users post content featuring their favorite brands and products. In order to turn that UGC into a marketing tool, marketers have to be able to identify, find, and collect each piece of content. Combing through every social media platform manually doesn’t work; social media managers stuck endlessly scrolling will almost always miss out on content their brands are tagged in, whether that’s a feed post buried underneath newer content or an Instagram story that disappeared before they could download it.
Because missing out on Instagram stories (and other types of UGC) is such a waste, many marketers have turned to third-party downloader apps that let them get around Instagram’s privacy measures and save photos and save videos to their camera rolls. Since Instagram doesn’t offer any avenues to download other users’ stories inside the app, and screenshots just don’t cut it, these external providers are very appealing. We’re about to dig into the best Instagram story downloader apps, but before we do, a word of warning.
Many Instagram story saver apps are more risky than they are rewarding. Some are malware in disguise, others are designed to steal your credentials, hack into your account, and lock you out permanently. Even if they don’t brick your device, steal your login information, or hold your Instagram account for ransom, some downloader apps read as red flags to Instagram’s security protocols. Users have found their accounts disabled or deactivated just for having story downloader apps on their phones; in an attempt to keep security high and protect users’ privacy, Instagram has thrown up a range of hurdles to slow down apps like these.
With that in mind, not all third-party apps are bad for business. Some are focused on downloading Instagram stories plain and simple, others are more holistic community marketing and social commerce tools. These are five of the best apps to save Instagram Stories that brands should consider using.
App #1: StorySaver
StorySaver.net is a free app that allows you to download Instagram stories in a web browser. Just type in an Instagram username and click the download button to see a list of that user’s active stories, then select the one you want to save. Or toggle over to the download Instagram highlights section of the web app, type in an Instagram username, and click download to see a list of all that user’s published highlights. Selecting a specific highlight will give you access to all of the stories included in it so you can select which one(s) you want to save.
App #2: Story Downloader
Story Downloader is another web app that lets anyone download Instagram stories for free. You don’t need to sign up or connect your Instagram account to use the service, and there are no limits on the number of stories you can download. The Story Downloader website lists some FAQs that will help you determine whether or not the app is a good fit for your needs. Even though it’s a web app, you can open the site in a browser on any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Then just type in the Instagram username whose story you want to save and select from the download links that the app generates for you.
App #3: Insta Downloader
While Insta Downloader is another story saver for Instagram in web app form, its key differentiating factor is the private account feature. The process of using Insta Downloader to save stories from public Instagram accounts is similar to StorySaver and Story Downloader, it just requires you to paste the URL of the specific story you want to download instead of starting from the account username. Then the web app features a dedicated tutorial section that walks you through how to download stories from private accounts, including distinct steps for Android devices and iPhone/iOS users, Google Chrome and Safari users, etc. Lastly, there is a separate section of the web app that allows you to download Instagram profile pictures.
App #4: 4K Stogram
4K Download, the company behind the Instagram-focused 4K Stogram, has created a number of other downloader apps dedicated to platforms like YouTube, TikTok, etc. The latest release available in the App Store is designed to work with Mac OS 10.13 and later operating systems, but you can still find older versions of the software through the 4K Download website as well. One of the biggest benefits of 4K Stogram is it allows you to search for stories (and other types of Instagram content) by hashtag and location in addition to Instagram username.
Why stop at saving stories when you can turn them into marketing gold?
The fifth app on our list isn’t just another story downloader, it’s Archive. While there are plenty of tools out there that let you download stories to your phone or computer, and we’ve just looked at a few safe options, they still bury overworked social media managers under huge media file repositories and give no access to next-step marketing tactics. That’s why it makes way more sense to go with a solution that does it all:
- Detects and collects all the content your brand is tagged in (including Instagram stories, of course)
- Lets you to sort, organize, and label content based on any criteria that are important to you
- Sends usage rights requests directly to creators as Insta DMs with just a few clicks
- Helps you turn your UGC into your most powerful marketing tool
Meet Archive, an AI-powered social commerce platform that helps you get more out of your UGC, build better influencer relationships, and grow your business. We respect users’ privacy (and think you should too), so we comply with all of Instagram’s policies while empowering your social media manager with cutting-edge AI and UGC tools. We’re not just the best app to save Instagram stories, we’re the most powerful all-in-one UGC marketing tool out there.
Instead of letting your high-quality UGC die a slow death in a digital file somewhere, instead of trapping your social media manager in yet another sanity-testing scroll in the endless search for tagged content, use Archive. We’ll help you turn social commerce into your most profitable marketing channel. Get started today with a free trial.