It’s been over a year when Instagram launched Stories, an ephemeral type of content to beat Snapchat’s success. The results have been impressive since then, counting now more than 300 million daily active users.
The growth has indicated that it was the right feature for the right platform. Despite the similarities with Snapchat’s Stories, the growth rate has probably surpassed Instagram’s expectations.
More brands are joining Instagram to benefit from its visual appeal, but also to find an engaged audience that is eager to be part of a community.
According to Instagram, there are more than 25 million active business profiles and Klear reported in their own study that 45% of their analyzed brands are using Instagram Stories. This is an overview of the most popular brands on Instagram Stories for every industry.
How can all these brands then benefit from the rise of Instagram Stories then? Here are seven ways to become more creative.
Seven ways brands can be creative with Instagram Stories
1. User-generated content to increase engagement – Starbucks
If you want to increase your engagement on Instagram you can post user-generated content in your Stories. This way you can mention your followers and make them feel part of your brand story. Starbucks has decided to use the #NationalCroissantDay to promote their followers’ content. The Stories became more authentic and the brand has managed to find new content.
2. Promote an event – Disney
Disney wanted to promote the premiere of the Black Panther and they decided to bring their followers closer to it. With an audience of almost 11 million followers on Instagram, they have managed to give a glimpse of the premiere to everyone, posting photos from the actors while attending the event. Moreover, they made the content more appealing by posting short videos in the form of Boomerang, rather than static images.
3. Promote a newsletter – Furthermore
Furthermore from Equinox has decided to be creative on their Instagram Story. They have decided to promote their newsletter by highlighting their content categories. A series of images and a call-to-action offer another opportunity to build a loyal audience that wants to consume more of their content. This is a reminder of the importance to be creative to reach your goals. The CTA doesn’t have to be predictable, but you can still reach your targets if you use all your channels in the best possible way.
4. Personalization to improve engagement – Cheerios
Cheerios has decided to use Instagram Stories to boost engagement. They have posted a Story that compliments their followers. This fun and engaging approach brings the brand closer to the followers. The brand manages to build trust with them, while the followers feel valued.
5. Promote a product more creatively – North Face
The promotion of a product doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, a creative post has more chances to grab the user’s attention. Instagram Stories have become a great feature for conversion and the CTA of swiping up to open a link has been widely used. However, the most successful cases of Stories manage to be clever and appealing. It’s not just about asking for users to click on your link, it’s about convincing them to do in the most natural way.
6. Instagram polls for contests – Cannnapet
Instagram polls in Stories have become quite popular among users. They tend to be fun and engaging and that’s what brands also try to adopt. Cannapet has decided to launch a poll to grab their followers’ attention. The next Story was promoting their contest, while the following one was encouraging users to tag a friend. The combination of the three posts is strategic enough to aim for engagement, but also participation in the contest. This example shows how a brand can use several elements as part of a Story to produce the best possible result for their goals.
7. Using story highlights for Stories – Airbnb
Airbnb has launched Stories for #TravelTuesday as an additional way to build engagement with their 2.7 million followers. They are posting a location on Tuesday along with the hashtag #TravelTuesday and they are creating a poll to test if people can guess the location. This idea blends engagement with appealing images to create a great result that matches the brand’s visual focus. Moreover, they are saving the Story as a highlight, which means that it’s available for more than 24 hours by visiting the brand’s profile.
What we can learn from all the examples above is that there are numerous ways to be creative on Instagram. Instagram Stories have helped more brands to explore their visual limits and think outside the box.
All the new features that show up every week make Instagram Stories more appealing for brand storytelling, increased engagement, but also new conversions.
What’s important is to remember the following simple tips before posting a new Story on Instagram:
- Keep your audience in mind. Create content that they want to see from you. Don’t be afraid to surprise them, though.
- Make sure your Instagram Stories reflect your brand’s identity. Just because they are more fun, doesn’t mean that you need to adopt a completely different tone of voice.
- Allow your audience to be involved. Make your content as engaging as possible. Let your audience be part of it and keep them coming back for more engaging experiences.