Instagram introduced Stories to its platform in 2016. If you aren’t too familiar with Stories, it’s a feature similar to Snapchat Stories, which enables you to share multiple photos and videos in a slideshow format. These photos and videos disappear from view after 24 hours.

According to Instagram, over 50% of businesses on Instagram produced an Instagram Story. Furthermore, one in five organic stories from businesses gets a direct message. So, it’s clear that posting a story does have a positive impact on engagement.

If you are keen to use Stories to increase your engagement on Instagram, then here are 10 Ways to Use Instagram Stories.

10 Ways to Use Instagram Stories to Increase Engagement

1. New Blog Post

One of the simplest stories you can do is to promote a new blog post. I must admit – I’m not a fan of seeing Stories that simply promote a new Instagram post but I do find it effective to reinforce new blog posts on the web. 

The example below is by Connie Chan from @whatshepictures who used Stories to pose a question and offer the answer in her latest blog post.  

2. New Product

If you have a new product or range, why not reinforce this in your Stories? You could show more angles, additional shots or even video footage of your new products. Get creative!

3. Giveaway / Competition

Are you running a competition or have a giveaway that you’re trying to promote? You can Instagram Stories to reinforce your main message in the post or even to promote the winner. Remember, that the Stories only stay active for 24 hours so there’s no reason you can’t reinforce your giveaway/competition each day!

 Instagram Stories - competition

4. Promotion / Sale

Stories are a great way to highlight your current promotion or offer to your audience. This message does not need to be limited to the posts in your normal feed. As you can see from the example below, Victoria’s Secret used Stories to promote an exclusive offer to US residents. They added a clickable link to direct users to their online store. *

*Note: At this stage, clickable links are only available to verified accounts and business profiles (not personal profiles) that have over 10,000 followers.

Woodville Backdrops and Thredbo Resort used Stories to promote a short-term offer. This creates a sense of urgency among the audience.

5. Events

Sometimes we don’t want to flood our feed with sales messages and updates. We want a nice balance of inspiration and business information.

Stories are perfect for delivering updates about events. This could be information about how many tickets are left or a reminder about the date of the event. It could also be about an event you are attending that may be of interest to your audience.

Outlined below are some screenshots from The School of Styling about one of their events. As you can see, they use the opportunity to advise how many seats are left, the date, and the fact that their early bird rate expires in two hours.

6. Tutorials / How-To

There are many foodies and food bloggers who are willing to share how they make their recipes. Photographers can share how they set-up a shot. Make-up artists can demonstrate how they achieve different looks.

Daniel Wellington quite cleverly used Stories to show how to tie a bow tie. Whilst the story does not correlate directly with the brand, they did include a model wearing one of their watches!

7. Motivational Tips

Kate Spade is one brand that used Stories to encourage potential and existing customers to practise mindfulness and gratitude in their day-to-day lives. They used their brand colours consistently and were regular with their communications.

8. Inspiration

Why not provide some inspiration to your followers through Stories? Some time ago Qantas posted “Spectacular Sunrise Locations”. Trust me, they had me at “sunrise” and I was so tempted to buy a ticket there and then!

9. Behind-the-Scenes

People love to see the behind-the-scenes shots. Use Stories to share not only the “after” shots but also the “before” shots. If you are a photographer, it could be showing what your set-up looks like. If you are a product retailer, you could share the manufacturing or design process.

10. Announcements / Notifications

Stories are a great way to share announcements about your business or highlight any news items relevant to your brand. Thredbo Resorts used Stories to tease people about the great weather and conditions whilst Mr & Mrs White used it to announce their temporary store closure. The possibilities are endless here!

So, as you can see, the possibilities for Instagram Stories are endless! What are some of the creative ways you (or another brand you admire!) have used Stories? Let me know in the comments below.

Would you like to learn 20 ways to use Instagram’s Slideshow feature? Click here!

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