Are you using Instagram Stories to engage your followers, increase your brand awareness or promote new products?
If so then this article shares 20 creative Instagram Story ideas to fuel your social media marketing.
Statistics suggest that more than 500 million users watch Instagram Stories daily- approximately 70% of Instagram users and 86.6% of Instagram users post Stories.
Of those using Instagram Stories, 36% use the feature to promote their products.
Undoubtedly, Stories have become a must-have tool for your social media strategy.
But how exactly should you use Instagram Stories to achieve all the benefits that come with this feature?
This is the billion-dollar question many businesses are asking.
Fortunately, this article shares 20 creative Instagram Story ideas to help you engage your followers.
But before that, let’s ensure we’re on the same page.
What are Instagram Stories?
If you have used Instagram for business, then you probably have come across some Stories.
But, in case you are new to the world of Instagram, we’ll cover this briefly.
Instagram Stories is a feature that was introduced in 2016 to allow users to share their moments.
The feature lets users post content- photos, and images- that disappear after 24 hours.
Users can share multiple photos and videos that are then grouped in a slideshow.
The Stories aren’t displayed on your normal feed.
The stories are pretty short, approximately 15 seconds long, and have proven to be highly engaging.
What is IGTV?
IGTV or Instagram TV is a new feature that lets users post longer videos (up to 1 hour) than Instagram Stories- Think YouTube.
IGTV is a stand-alone app but users can watch videos right on their Instagram app by clicking the TV icon in the upper right corner.
With that, let’s see how you can get creative with Instagram Stories and engage your target audience.
Creative Instagram Story Ideas
Instagram Stories let users engage with their target audience. Asking your audience questions is, therefore, a helpful idea because you’ll get some useful insights into a product or service you’re rolling out.
Stories also provide a better opportunity for discovering content ideas so you can give your audience what they want and not what you think they want.
You can use answer stickers in your stories so users can live answers.
Stir engagement by letting your audience ask questions that relate to your products or services then answer them.
This way, you can prove that you’re an expert in your industry.
It’s simple to do.
Just use a question sticker with a simple text like “ask what you want”.
Your audience can then ask anything around your business.
Instagram Stories also provide a good opportunity for your audience who are looking to learn how to use your product.
You can then answer their questions by creating video or text images with answers to their questions.
Live videos provide an incredible way of engaging with your audience directly.
With Instagram Live, you can ask your followers to ask questions, comment, or leave feedback on your live video so you can respond in real-time.
The good thing about live videos is that users can be notified every time you’re going live. This helps to increase engagement.
Another good thing is that Instagram displays live broadcasts to the front of the news feed of your audience.
This means that users who miss your live broadcast will see it after you’re done doing the live video.
Add a Location Sticker
You can also share your location on Instagram Stories by adding a location sticker.
This is an incredible way of allowing your audience to know where your business is located.
The sticker for location is located in the upper right-hand corner of the happy face icon once you start your story. Click the icon and scroll down until you find the sticker then view locations near you or search a specific location.
Studies suggest that posts with location tagging can increase engagement by up to 79%.
Instagram Stories help you generate buzz around a product you’re releasing to the market. Stories help you promote your products without spending any dime on ads.
It’s also a great way to increase brand recognition.
You can announce a product you’re about to launch, seek feedback on already released products, etc.
A good example is Ramit Sethi who uses Instagram Stories to market his online courses.
You engage your followers while increasing sales.
Promote Your Latest Blog Post
Given the amount of time, effort, and resources that go into creating a blog post, you don’t want it to go unnoticed once you post it in your blog.
Instagram Stories provide you a great opportunity to get your recent blog articles seen by as many people as possible.
Stories allow you to drive traffic to your content hence enabling you to generate leads.
To promote your recent blog posts or any type of content, you just need to add a link to your Instagram Story.
Your followers will then swipe up to be directed to the specific post you’re promoting.
To use Instagram Swipe Up feature, you’ll need to have a Business Profile and at least 10,000 followers or be a verified user.
Don’t worry though if your followers aren’t anywhere close to that number or if your account isn’t verified because you can still promote your content by asking people to click the link in your bio.
To simplify things, we recommend scheduling your Instagram stories in advance.
Promote Your Instagram Post
Chances are that when you make a new post on Instagram, only a few of your followers will see it on their feed- because Instagram’s algorithms determine that.
However, with Instagram Stories, you can be sure that all your Story followers will see it.
You just need to take a screenshot of your Instagram post and add it to your stories to tease your post for your story followers.
Host a Contest
Hosting content using Instagram Stories can drive engagement like a charm.
You just need to know how to do it.
Don’t forget that stories disappear after 24 hours.
But you can attract active participation, increase engagement, and attract more followers before your story goes away.
To host a contest using Instagram Stories:
- Direct your followers to do something that qualifies them to enter your contest. You could ask your followers to hold your product, share your latest blog post, etc.
- You should also ask your followers to tag your account. Remember that Instagram only lets users tag accounts they follow. So this is a great opportunity to gain more followers.
- Remember to be keen on your notifications so that you can choose a winner. A good rule of thumb is to take screenshots because their stories will disappear after 24 hours.
- You can use apps that can record your screen and choose the winner for you.
Show How Something is Made
Again, this is where you can give your followers exclusive content. This is content that you might not share anywhere but for your Story followers.
Show them how your products are made.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. You could show them how you prepare a certain food.
Prepare short videos that show your followers how you do things.
A great example of a brand that uses this feature maximally is Etsy. They always share stories that show their followers how to create something from scratch.
Teach Your Followers a Skill
What skill are you good at?
Show people that you are an authority in your field.
You could be good at gardening or making sweet sandwiches.
It could be about a problem your business solves.
Share that with your Story followers to increase engagement and follower count.
Read: Instagram Analytics Tools
Promote a Live Event
If you’re set to have an Instagram Live event, you can use Instagram Stories to keep your followers in the loop.
Instagram Stories are a perfect feature to drive views on your Live Videos.
Just share a promo to your Story to let users know that you’re about to go live.
After the live event, you can ask follow-up questions to know what your followers want to see in your next event.
You could be having a ton of creative Instagram Story ideas, but what about your staff?
They probably have mountains of ideas that can help drive engagement and increase your follower count.
Why not allow your employee to run the Instagram Stories for the day?
Businesses are made up of people, and people want to do business with people.
So, allowing a staff takeover gives your brand a more human angle.
Show Behind the Scenes
Use Instagram Stories to show your followers how behind the curtain looks like.
Yes, your followers are your customers.
Why not show them your office?
Let them see how your office space looks like.
Share videos of your employees at work. This is a perfect opportunity to allow your employees to show how things are done behind the scenes.
This helps to give your followers a cool idea of how your brand operates hence creating transparency and trust.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need a huge or great office to show it off to your followers.
You could be working from the sitting room in your house.
As was with staff takeover, you can also do a customer takeover.
Allowing your loyal customer to take control of your Instagram Stories for a day could help build trust with your audience.
It also helps to demonstrate the relationship your brand has with customers and can help increase sales.
Remember 83% of consumers say they trust recommendations from their fellows than a brand.
Reuse Old Content
You can bring your old content to life as well.
The best part is that it doesn’t have to be video. Whether images, infographics, or even statistics.
You could even tweak your past Instagram Story that your followers loved.
Read: Essential Tools Every Instagram Content Creator Needs
Feature Other Brands
You can also build a community on Instagram by featuring a brand you share a similar audience demographic with.
Featuring other accounts in your Instagram Stories is an excellent way of cross-promoting with the other brand.
You expose your brand to the audience of the brand and you expose the brand to your audience- it’s a win-win scenario.
Share a screenshot of the accounts of the other brand in your Instagram Story then tag them to let them know.
Ask for Suggestions
Not sure about the perfect logo to use? Need some suggestions on what features to add to your coming product? Or want to know what topic to dwell on in your next blog post?
Use Instagram Stories to ask for suggestions from your followers.
You can let your followers provide suggestions via direct message or leave a comment.
Offer Deals and Discounts
You can also offer a discount or promo code in your Instagram Stories.
People love offers. Use your Instagram Stories to offer exclusive deals and discounts.
This will help you increase views and follower count.
Create a Shoppable Story
With Instagram’s shoppable Instagram Stories stickers you can sell your products directly without directing your followers to swipe up- this prevents them from navigating away from the app.
You need to have a business profile and a physical product that complies with Instagram’s policies to use this feature though.
Do Story Takeover
Apart from allowing your employees or loyal customers to take control of your Instagram Stories for a day, you can do a story takeover with an influencer, coworker, or someone else you have hired to market your brand.
This is an excellent way of humanizing your brand as well and can help to engage your followers.
Feature other accounts
Share similar Instagram accounts for your audience to gain more knowledge.
Poll & quizzes your followers
Take votes from customers on any questions.
Fill out a template (or Make your own!)
Create a template and do q&a.
Provide a sneak peek
Give something exciting you are about to do in the future.
Start a series
Start a series of some skills and keep weekly updating updates.
Make use of your story highlights
Use Instagram story highlights features for more engaging content.
Ideas to follow: Contests and Giveaways, Tutorials and how tos, Before and after, Share a quote, #ThrowbackThursday, Interview an employee, Show off the office, Celebrate your wins (big and small), Get your, own hashtag going, Stay on top of new features, Faq & Educational Content, Shoutouts
What Are You Waiting For?
Undoubtedly, there are endless ways of using Instagram Stories to engage your followers.
However, knowing what to share in your stories can be challenging.
Use these creative Instagram Story ideas to fuel your social media marketing.
Did we miss some useful ideas you know?
Do you have any suggestions or comments?
Please leave a comment below and we’ll be glad to respond.