“More than 500 million users watch Instagram Stories daily. So if you’re not using the feature as part of your social media strategy, you’re potentially leaving a lot of money on the table” Tony Tran, Hootsuite.
Video Demonstration for Beginners
If you’re new to Instagram Stories, check out this short Instagram Stories video demonstration before reading the rest of this blog post…
Even though they have proven to be an important marketing tool, I often have difficulty coming up with ideas for what to share on my Instagram Story. So, I have complied a list of 14 effective Instagram Story ideas, adapted from Tony Tran, Hootsuite, for when I need inspiration. Even though these ideas are intended for Instagram, I believe that a lot of them could be applied to Stories on other social media platforms as well.
Instagram Story Ideas
1. Promote your Website, Instagram Posts, and Products
A great way to direct more traffic to your webpage is to promote your latest blog/ website post on your Instagram story. Similarly, by sharing (or teasing) your latest Instagram post on your stories, you ensure that all your followers know that you have a new post that they should look for. Additionally, to generate buzz, engagement, and sales, promote your company’s product launches or newly released products on your Instagram Story.
2. Use a “Shoppable Story” Sticker
Business Instagram profiles that are selling a physical product that complies with Instagram’s policies can add a “shoppable story” sticker to their Instagram Story. This allows businesses to sell their product directly from their Instagram Story.
3. Share a Poll or Question Sticker
Under stickers, Instagram allows you to add a poll to your Story (e.g., to get customers’ opinions on your products or to share fun and entertaining trivia) whereby you ask your viewers a question and they can respond by clicking on one of two possible answers. This is a great way to engage and interact with your audience, extend your reach, and gain valuable customer insights on your products. Another fun way to engage your followers is by sharing a question sticker on your Instagram Story whereby viewers can ask you a question or share an opinion/ idea/ request by typing a short reply into the question sticker box (which you can then view, share, and/ or respond to).
4. Use a Countdown Sticker
Create buzz by counting down to your company’s next newsworthy event (e.g., product release, sale, Birthday, store opening, end of a giveaway, live video, takeover, announcement, etc.) by adding a countdown sticker to your Story. Your followers can then keep track of, get excited about, set an alert, and/ or share your countdown.
5. Share a Donation Sticker
Hosting a fundraiser by adding a donation sticker to your Instagram Story easily allows you/ your brand to increase your engagement while supporting a worthwhile charity or cause. Through the donation sticker, your viewers can donate to the selected charity directly from your Instagram Story.
6. Share some Tips and Tricks or a “How to” Video
Establish yourself/ your brand as a trustworthy expert by sharing thoughtful tips and tricks (related to your area of expertise) with your audience and answering your viewers’ questions regularly via Instagram Stories. You can also share valuable information with your viewers and increase your engagement by sharing a “how to” video tutorial on your Story related to your area of expertise (e.g., a salon could share a quick make-up or hairstyle tutorial, or an artist could share an easy step-by-step drawing/ art tutorial).
7. Post an Interview or “Day in the Life” Video
Build trust and transparency while giving viewers a behind the scenes look at your brand by conducting an interview or creating a “day in the life” video with one of your employees to post on your Story (e.g., what they do in a day, how they use your products, their formal training/ how they got started at the company, what they like about the brand, etc.).
8. Show Behind the Scenes or Before and After Videos/ Photos
Another way to create transparency and trust is by sharing a behind the scenes video or photo of your workspace (even if it’s an unconventional “office” space) to give viewers a sense of how your brand operates. Additionally, a great way to showcase or demonstrate your product/ service for your viewers is to share some before and after photos or videos; for example, a client’s skin before and after using your company’s face mask, a bathroom before and after being renovated by your renovation company, or a plant before and after using your company’s fertilizer.
9. Do an Instagram Live
Get real-time engagement from your followers (e.g., asking questions, commenting, liking, etc.) by broadcasting a live video on Instagram; your followers will be notified when you go live and, after you are finished, your live video can be viewed on your Instagram Story for 24 hours.
10. Share an IGTV Video
IGTV (or Instagram TV) is Instagram’s standalone video app whereby users can create long-form video channels to share more in-depth, informative, and engaging content (featuring their brand, product, or service) with their audience. You can then connect your IGTV profile to your Instagram profile to promote/ share a one-minute preview of your IGTV channel via your Instagram Stories.
11. Do an Instagram Takeover
This is when someone who doesn’t normally have access to your account (e.g., a brand Influencer, co-worker, or employee) “takes over” your account for a day to post fun and engaging content for your audience that promotes your brand/ product.
12. Share a Note-Worthy DM
If a follower sends you a note-worthy direct message, such as an important question/ insight or a rave review of your product/ brand, you could take a screenshot of the DM and share it with your followers via your Instagram Story.
13. Share a Quote or Throwback
A fun way to entertain your followers and increase your reach is to post a fun, inspirational, and/ or interesting quote (that is relevant to your brand) on your Instagram Story using a popular hashtag (e.g., #MorningMotivation). Another fun and entertaining way to engage your followers and extend your reach is to post a throwback photo or video that is relevant to your brand/ company (e.g., your company’s old logo or location, retired products, past events, or employee/ company memories, etc.) to your Story using a trending hashtag (e.g., #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday).
14. Host a Contest or Giveaway
Lastly, a sure-fire way to increase your engagement and gain more followers is to host a flash giveaway on your Story (or share your contest on your Instagram Story). Followers are then required to engage with your content in some way (e.g., share/ repost, reply to, and/ or like your post/ story) to enter your contest or giveaway.
What type(s) of content do you/ would you post to your Instagram Story? Which of the above ideas do you plan on using for your Instagram Stories in the future?
Social Media Posts:
Facebook: Need inspiration for your Instagram Stories? Check out these 14 engaging and effective Story ideas! https://bit.ly/3G8ak2i
Twitter: 14 fun and engaging ideas for your Instagram Stories #AndreaReid2021 https://bit.ly/3G8ak2i