How to Manage a Brand in Real-Time - Owning the Social Process
9 Instagram Story Ideas for Your Business
May 12, 2018
Using Instagram Stories can be a great way to increase exposure for your account, and in turn, get more followers. But do you find it difficult to come up with new ideas as to what to post in your Stories?
Fear not - in this post, I’ll give you nine Instagram Story ideas that you can use for your brand or business.
Lets get started…
1. Go Live
The first Instagram Story idea I want to put out there is to go live. Live videos have a lot of impact, and you can use the live format to integrate some of the ideas we’ll go over later on in this post.
Live Stories Q&A’s
Live Stories Q&A’s provide so much value to your audience.
There are two ways to go about creating these for your brand or business - you can have users submit their questions beforehand, and you can answer them in an Instagram Live Story, or you can 'Go Live with a Friend' and pick a viewer at a time to hop onto the live-stream broadcast to ask questions.
Live Stories With A Friend
An alternative to going on Instagram Live alone is to have someone join you (as noted above).
The difference with this Instagram Live idea is to host an interview with an industry leader, or an influencer for your target audience. You can conduct the interview on your own, or again, you can have your followers submit questions beforehand - you can even take questions as people type them during the broadcast.
2. Drive Traffic To Your Website/Blog Post
A simple Instagram Story idea for your business is to use Stories to promote your current blog posts, services, or to drive traffic to your website.
If you have over 10,000 followers, you'll also have access to the “Swipe Up” feature, which lets you link within the story itself – and should definitely be used to advantage.
3. Behind The Scenes/Sneak Peeks
As always, taking your followers behind the scenes, or giving them a sneak peek of an upcoming campaign or event, is always a good idea.
Through this, you can create network exclusive content, build buzz around your new initiatives and make your audience feel special.
Instagram Stories has a feature that rivals a Twitter feature that I love: Instagram Poll Stickers. Now you can add a question with two answer options to your Instagram Story image or video - your followers simply tap on the answer they’d like to choose.
Polls are a great way to drum up engagement on your Instagram account.
5. Themed Days
An easy way to stay consistent and get the most out of Instagram Stories is to create a themed day.
For example, you might have a 'Tuesday Tip' theme, a day of the week where you spotlight an influencer, a day where you share quotes, or your Live Q&A day.
Having a themed day (or several themed days) can help you create content in bulk, or at least be ready and have time carved out for publishing an Instagram Story on each specific day.
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The Instagram Story format of tapping to get to the next screen is also great for creating round-ups and lists.
Let your followers know what the top posts on your blog were, turn a blog post into an Instagram Story list, or put the spotlight onto your top favorite resources of the past month.
Remember to keep it brand related and value packed for your audience.
7. Highlight User Generated Content/Shout Outs
If you're fortunate enough to have lots of user-generated content, you can also use that in your Instagram Stories.
You can also use stories to shout out your favorite accounts, images or other related brands. This will help you build your B2B relationships, as well as let your audience know that you care about what they post also.
8. Highlight Local Happenings/Neighborhood
Is there an event happening locally? Talk about it in an Instagram Story.
This is a good way to connect with your audience - especially if you have a location-based business. This also creates a great opportunity for tagging locations, using location-based hashtags and location stickers, both of which have the potential to help you gain extra exposure.
9. Vlog It Up
The easiest way to use Instagram Stories for your business is to use the tool as a mini vlog. Even though this format seems laid back, it can work in the B2B space just as well as it can for a personality, or a B2C based business.
Take your followers into your every day life, show your workspace, highlight employees and have fun with the process. This approach can help people get to know the person, or people behind your brand, and add those wonderful human and personality elements that attract your ideal clients and customers.
General Tips for More Instagram Exposure Using Instagram Stories
Location Stickers - Location stickers can help your story get pulled into the larger city stories, which appear in everyone’s Explore feeds.
Hashtag Stickers - Hashtags also have stories, and users can now follow hashtags which pull posts from the hashtag into their home feeds.
Mentions - Mentioning other accounts in your stories can lead to extra exposure. They may share your story to theirs, or take a screenshot to share it. Mentioning other accounts can also “warm” them up if you plan to contact them for partnerships etc.
Use Apps - There are so many, like Adobe Spark Post, with pre-built templates to help you create beautiful Instagram Stories images and videos.
I hope this listing has shown you how simple it can be to create content for your Instagram Story strategy, and has got you thinking about how you can tap into this fast-growing social option.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!