20 Instagram Story Ideas for Your Business
Instagram Stories are a powerful tool for your social media marketing campaign. They help get more exposure, increase engagement levels, and even get valuable customer feedback.
Instagram stories are a relatively new feature, but they've taken the world by storm. Many businesses are using these temporary posts as a way to engage with their audiences and experiment with new ideas.
The temporary aspect of stories (they're only available for 24 hours if you don't place them on your highlights) adds a sense of urgency for your audience, too.
Here are twenty ideas to help you improve your Instagram Stories and promote your business.
1. Encourage followers to turn on post notifications.
Instagram has an option for users, where they can turn on notifications. This means that they get notified every time somebody makes a new post.
This is great for your business, as it increases the chance of your followers seeing and engaging with your post.
Simply encourage your followers to turn on these notifications, maybe even offering a little tutorial on how to do it.
2. Make polls and ask questions
You must make your followers feel important, and like they're being listened to.
Asking questions and allowing them to vote in polls is a great way to do this. Luckily, Instagram stories offer an array of different methods for audiences to express their opinions and ask you questions.
Try out the poll, Q&A, and quiz features to engage with your audience.
3. Add your location
If you make your way to the explore page of Instagram, you'll find that Instagram stories (from people all over the world) show up now.
This also means that your story will show up on a location page, which is free advertising for your company.
On a related note, you should also try to use hashtags, as this works in a very similar way.
Sidenote: This only works if your Instagram profile is public.
4. Rant about something
This might seem counterproductive, but as long as your rant is relatable - this is a great way to show a more human side to your brand.
Perhaps an application that you use isn't working, or the platform that you sell on is over-charging you? Rant about it, see if other people are having the same issues.
Perhaps you'll also gain useful advice, too.
5. Use stickers
Stickers give your brand a chance to express their personality. Instagram stickers come in many forms.
The first is the average sticker, perhaps an emoji or little doodle. These are very sweet and help to liven up a story. For instance, Instagram offers specific stickers for Monday (a coffee cup), Wednesday (a camel for humpday), and Friday (TGIF).
The second is the gif - these can be used to be humorous or elaborate on a point. Gifs are extremely popular with millennials.
The last is the music option. You can share relevant or your favorite music, that can help to uniquely present your brand's voice.
Stickers will really help you stand out from the crowd.
6. Show your mood
This is a little bit related to stickers (as you can show your attitude with them).
However, you can also use the text option or filters to express how you're feeling.
If you're frustrated, tired, or excited - let your followers know. It's this human-touch that will make your brand feel more approachable, and thus increase the chance of engagement.
7. Post teasers to your upcoming products
So, you have a new product coming up, it's time to start promoting.
Keep your audience in the loop and regularly post quick teasers.
You'll be surprised at how much attention and traffic this will bring to your profiles.
For example, say you're a glasses company, and you're releasing a new frame. In the week upcoming to the release, make Instagram stories about an exciting new product that will be in stock.
Don't forget to give the date and time that it will be released.
8. Encourage followers to send you a message
Perhaps they have questions about a product, or they want to find out more about your company. Ask them to send you a direct message.
Social media is fast becoming a customer service platform, especially with the introduction of direct messages.
Also, Instagram has a Q&A feature, which allows followers to send you a message from your story. You can then answer this publicly (but their name will be kept anonymous).
This provides you with content for your story, and an opportunity to answer some questions.
9. Do shoutouts
Perhaps you've gained a little bit of a following, and want to return the favor.
“Giving your followers shoutouts will boost your following, and increase the chance of others returning the favor. Perhaps, make a list of amazing accounts that inspire you, that you think your users would love to see.” — Marie Fincher, a writer at Grab My Essay.
10. Include links for users to swipe up and read posts
Instagram has a great feature where creators can include links, which allows your followers to shop from direct links, or read your post.
Obviously, this increases traffic to your site, but it also makes shopping and reading a lot easier for your audience (you still can't add links in Instagram posts themselves).
Basically, you eliminate the need for the classic "link in bio" option.
11. Publish short videos
Instagram stories are 15 seconds long, which could still work for your company.
If not, you can split your video up into multiple 15-second segments, so that your user can play them one after another.
12. Add music to images and videos that you publish
With the new music sticker, this has been made incredibly easy now, too.
Music is a great way to keep your audience engaged.
13. Promote your product
Of course, you shouldn't continually promote your product as this can be off-putting.
That being said, perhaps once a week, you should dedicate time to showing off your product/products.
14. Post quotes
Everybody loves an inspiring quote. Pick out your favorite and post them on your story to inspire others.
15. Talk about success stories
You'll always find a success story related to your niche.
For instance, if you're an athletic-wear brand, you could post amazing fitness journeys.
If you're a skincare brand, you could post about how your moisturizer or cleansers helped somebody's acne or dry skin.
16. Show your work
You've worked so hard, it's time to showcase what you've been working on. Instagram stories give you a chance to show your followers, first-hand what you did.
17. Promote your latest post
Instagram allows you to share posts onto your stories. This offers you an effective way to promote your most recent post, consequently enhancing the chance of interaction on said post.
18. Use graphics for simple messages
Instagram is still an incredibly visual platform. You should consider putting together a quick infographic or doodle to explain simple messages or ideas.
19. Create wallpapers
Instagram stories are the perfect size for phone wallpapers.
Why not compile together a selection of your favorite wallpapers, and share them on your stories?
Ultimately, people will screenshot, share with their friends, and engage with this post in an unequaled way. After all, everybody loves a new phone background.
20. Promote your hashtags
As a company, you should consider compiling together unique hashtags for your company. This will help leverage your brand.
Use these specific hashtags on your stories, perhaps including them on shoutout posts, when promoting your product, or when you're posting teasers.
Of course, generic hashtags can also be beneficial, just try not to bombard your followers with them.
We hope these simple ideas inspire you to try out the Instagram story section today. It's a great chance to reach new people, expand your market, and engage with your audience.
Don't forget to add your stories to highlights on your main page. This enables new followers to catch up on past posts.
Author: Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Besides working as a contributor writer for BestEssayEducation and WOWGrade, Diana does some editing work at SupremeDissertations and IsAccurate. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.