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5 Awesome Ideas for Effective Instagram Stories

Updated: May 3, 2021

If your brand is on Instagram and not utilizing the app’s story feature, you are undoubtedly missing out on one of the most important ways to connect with your customer base. I always encourage my clients to supplement their daily posts and ads with consistent posting on stories throughout the day/week. Sure, posts will always be a great way to promote your brand on Instagram, but the story feature is crucial to building customer loyalty and familiarity with your company’s image, personality and values.

What are stories?

Instagram likely released its story feature as a direct response to one its competitors, Snapchat, which also has a similar feature. Instagram stories allow an account to share photos and video clips with followers throughout the day. Stories on Instagram are temporary (with the exception of highlights- more on that below), only lasting 24 hours, so this may not be the best place to drop your brand’s next big campaign. It is, however, a great way to keep your customers updated on and interested in what you and your brand are up to. Here are five incredible ideas your brand may want to consider when posting Instagram stories:

1. Product Demos

Instagram stories are a perfect place to demonstrate your product through photo or

video content. One idea I absolutely love is to encourage your followers to demonstrate your product or service for you, and then repost their content on your story. This way you have simultaneously managed to promote both your product and foster engagement with your follower base. That’s what I call a win/win!

2. Post footage of company events

Stories are a great place for brands to showcase that they are not just some distant corporate entities, but that they are actually composed of real people just like you and I. That’s why I always encourage brands to show their human side through stories. Introduce your followers to your team/employees, or take some footage of company events. This is a wonderful way to make your followers feel like they are a part of your team. Don’t underestimate the importance of this, I cannot even begin to tell you how much more engagement I have created since I started treating my followers like my digital family.

3. Use highlights

The temporary nature of Instagram stories is great, but sometimes you or your brand might post something extra-special and wish there was a way to keep that post around a little bit longer. Thankfully, there is a way to do just that. Enter highlights. Instagram’s highlights feature allows you to keep story posts up on your profile for as long as you like (they’ll show up right below your brand’s bio). You can also categorize each highlight, which is a fantastic way for you to keep an ongoing collection of positive customer reviews up on your company’s page.

4. Post consistently (but don’t overdo it)

This one goes for both posts and stories, but I find it to be especially important for stories. If you aren’t posting to your story consistently, it’s hardly even worth posting at all. I know that may sound dramatic, but I’m one hundred-percent serious about this—Consistency is absolutely key to Instagram story success. This means you should be posting to your company’s story daily. What this does not mean, however, is that you need to post massive amounts of content to your company’s story. Posting too much content on your company’s story will make your followers extremely bored, and they will eventually start skipping through your company’s story entirely. Instead I usually suggest that my clients focus on posting about 1-5 pieces of high quality story content throughout the day.

5. Use polls and questions

Polls and questions are an Instagram story feature which I find is incredibly underutilized by most businesses. You can access polls and questions by clicking on the sticker tab on the top right corner of the screen. I like using polls for two reasons— One reason is that this is an extremely simple way to engage with your customers, and to demonstrate that your brand genuinely values their input. Secondly, you can actually take the advice your customers have given you and use it to inform your brand’s strategy going forward. This is a very simple way to get direct customer input. I usually recommend using polls/questions on your company’s story only about once a week so as to ensure your followers don’t get tired of the format.

Bottom Line

Instagram stories are a fantastic way to keep your followers engaged with your brand. What I really enjoy about Instagram stories is the way in which they allow a company to interact with their followers on an extremely personal and intimate level that cannot be achieved in posts alone. If customer loyalty is something you wish to grow, then stories are hands-down one of the best ways to achieve this. To recap, here are the five ideas I suggested for making your stories more effective:

1. Product demonstrations

2. Posting footage of company events

3. Using highlights

4. Posting consistently

5. Using polls and questions

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