With Instagram rolling out new features every year, your brand’s Instagram Story holds more potential than ever to engage your audience, increase awareness, and drive conversions.
Almost half of the world’s population is on social media. Instagram, which has now been around for 10 years, boasts over 1 billion active users. 90% of them follow at least one brand while around a half regularly watch Stories.
According to the Instagram Business website, 58% of users say their interest in a brand or product has risen after seeing it on Stories. Furthermore, 50% of people claim they have paid for a product or service because of a brand’s Instagram Story.
Looking at the stats, there is no doubt that Instagram holds greats opportunities for your business. But is your brand making the most of Instagram Stories?
Here are some creative ideas on how to spice up your brand’s Stories and get the most of them.
Talk about trends in your industry
Whether it is the hottest hair trends for 2021, the most popular hairstyles in the US, the rising importance of sustainability in fashion, or the implementation of blockchain technologies, chances are your followers care about the trends in your industry.
If you are mentioning a positive trend you can also explain what your brand is doing about it. This way you are not only presenting a trend, you are also leveraging it.
Brands that follow relevant trends, even if they are well-established, give the impression they are adaptive and keeping up with the times.
Incite comments on your latest post
Nothing stirs up the Instagram algorithm like organic engagement.
Use Stories to make users excited about your latest post. You can also ask a question to encourage more comments. If your time and resources allow it, reply to comments even if you just put an emoji.
Many brands also miss an opportunity to engage with their followers by asking follow-up questions. If someone has taken the time to write a few lines, why not ask them something extra? Showing interest and care for your followers humanizes your brand and helps users connect to it.
Drive traffic to your website
Think of your Stories as a teaser for the content you’re sharing on your website.
If you give just enough information to sparkle interest, you can drive traffic to your blog. Tesco UK, for example, shared £5 family dinner ideas for every weekday. In Stories, the brand also provided a shopping list for the week. All the recipes were available on their website.
Alo Moves used their Stories to announce the re-stock of a popular yoga gear set, sending users to purchase it on their website. They managed to create a sense of urgency. Buy it as soon as you see this Story if you don’t want to miss it.
Make quiz series
Who doesn’t love quizzes? Whether you’re testing your knowledge or making a wild guess, it’s always fun.
You can use the quiz sticker in Instagram Stories to educate your brand’s following on a topic you consider important. Maybe your clothes are made from 100% recycled cotton, or your lipstick lasts for 12 hours.
Whatever it is that you think your customers should know, put it into a quiz.
You can also set up weekly quizzes on a variety of topics. You can give details about where and how you source your ingredients or materials, show the production process of your products, showcase sustainable packaging, etc.
Use Instagram Stories to tell stories
It is so simple that it’s easy to forget. Storytelling draws people in, captures their attention, and can convey complex messages in a clear and relatable way. That’s why Stories are so popular.
Some travel bloggers use storytelling through pictures and text to share details about their trip and show the culture of the people they are visiting.
In recent Stories, Nike shared the story of the female Afgan wheelchair basketball players. Through quality pictures and thoughtful captions, the brand demonstrated they care about the women shaping the history of the sport. The inspirational story of these Afgan women reaffirms that movement is meant for everyone.
Use the Questions sticker to make your followers feel heard
Traditional media is a one-way street. Brands put information out there and that’s it.
Social media, on the other hand, is about two-sided communication. It is as close as it gets to feeling like you’re talking to someone you know.
Use the Questions sticker to spark up a conversation with their followers. Share users’ replies and add some comments to them to make them feel heard. This also sends a message to all of the people who did not send a reply: this brand cares.
Answer questions in video format
Briony Smith launched a new series on the fitness app Alo Moves on how to master the handstand. On Instagram Stories, @AloMoves used the Questions sticker to see what doubts and worries users had about the new program. Then, in a Stories takeover, Briony gave more details about the series and answered queries.
What’s so genius about this strategy? First, you ask users what concerns they have about your product. Then, you address the matter. A simple approach that converts for the same reason website FAQ pages are so successful.
Promote the content on your feed
@AllThingsHairUs used their Stories and a poll sticker to raise interest in their latest post about a vegan hair care routine.
Yoga influencer @michellestaudenherz shared some of her old posts and used the Poll Sticker to engage her followers into guessing the name of each yoga pose. What’s brilliant is that repurposing old content requires far fewer resources.
Plus, your newer followers might not be familiar with these posts from months ago. What is more, even your older followers might not have seen all that you’ve posted due to how the algorithm works. On top of that, it’s not like most people remember everything!
Document versus create
This tip works best if you’re building your personal brand.
It comes from social media guru Gary Vaynerchuck who says it is a lot more valuable, authentic, and easy to document your journey. Many, however, are making the mistake of ‘overselling’ themselves by creating content to fake an image.
For instance, Instagrammer @rrayyme shares a lot of her daily life in positivity-charged Stories. She has also used the social media to share her struggles with her adopted dog, the story of her immigrant parents moving to the US without speaking any English, and other vulnerable moments that make her more real and likeable.
Instagram Stories are ideal if you want to get creative, test out what content resonates with your audience, drive traffic to your website, raise brand awareness, and so much more. As you can see, there are a lot of ways to spice up your content and drive more engagement. Keep an eye on some of the brands mentioned in this article.
Eva Milano is a Social Media Consultant who has worked on a variety of projects for major brands such as Estée Lauder, Jaguar Land Rover, and Sanofi. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, yoga, and meditation.