How To Use Instagram Stories To Build Your Brand

Fun and creative, Instagram stories has grown by leaps and bounds from being a Snapchat dupe. A feature where you can post a photo or create video sequences that disappear after 24 hours.

Today, Instagram Stories have over 300 million users every day. The power of Instagram stories offers incredible potential for businesses looking to build their brand.

Why Should Businesses Use Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories transformed the way brands share content, marketing campaigns, and updates with followers. Available since late 2016, IG Story offers a lot of features. It now has a wide selection of filters, GIFs, and stickers. And it will continue to grow in the future.

Need more reasons to use Instagram stories?

1. Competitors are on Instagram story, why wouldn’t you be?

Over 25 million businesses are using stories to easily engage with their followers. From creating fun and creative content to promoting a marketing campaign – your competitors are taking advantage of Instagram stories. This feature has become a highly influential marketing tool.

Instagram stories make your brand relevant to your followers. It helps in brand recall since Stories appear at the top of the user’s feed. When used properly, Instagram stories will widen your brand’s reach.

Want to compete? Post more engaging, relevant stories than they are.

CBTL shows off their Ice Blended Drink in this Instagram Story

2. Influencers use Instagram stories

Influencers have a massive audience who listen to what they have to say. Hosting an Instagram story takeover is an easy and fun way to grow your account.

Tip #1: Collaborate with an influencer who embodies what your brand stands for. This promotes authenticity which resonates with your followers.

Partnering with an influencer is a great opportunity to put your brand out there. The possibilities are endless.

3. An Instagram story fosters engagement

With the ability to add stickers, hashtags, and locations, your Instagram story can drive engagement. When you include a link or mention other users, you’ll create a culture of inclusion.

Tip: Make the most of Instagram Stories with interactive stickers!

  • Poll Sticker: Ask your audience binary questions. Engage with your followers and gather valuable data.
  • Question: Last July 2018, Instagram introduced the question sticker. This is a fun way to connect with your audience. Drive engagement to your Instagram story by hosting a Q&A, crowdsource ideas, collect feedback, and more.

It’s never been easier for businesses to interact with their followers or users who may be their next customer.

Ikea asks, Dark or Light Cabinetry?

4. The more you post, the better

An Instagram story only lasts 24 hours. Users don’t expect stories to be polished and perfect. Stories are meant to be watched and consumed continuously.

So the more stories you post, the better. They don’t have to be as perfectly curated as a normal IG post. Let your audience see the humanity and authenticity behind your brand.

5. Customers are viewing and loving Instagram stories

Relay information and get in touch with your followers in a casual manner. Create fun and engaging content so more followers are going to tune in. Increase your organic reach with these strategies:

  • Invite your audience to your behind the scenes.
  • Inform your followers of the new post that went live
  • Tell a story

These strategies have human elements to them which resonate well with audiences.

How To Use Instagram Stories To Drive Engagement

Already tapping IG stories to launch your marketing strategy? There are many different ways to use Instagram stories.

An Instagram story presents an excellent strategy for reaching new audiences. Showcase your brand, business, and products in a fun and creative story campaign.

Add Interactive Stickers To Your Instagram Story

What better way to interact with your followers than using poll and question stickers?

Polls

With poll stickers, your followers can choose between two options. Use this interactive sticker to conduct a survey and know your audience. Use this feedback to better serve your followers.

Take a look at how Delish used the poll sticker in their IG story. They simply asked their followers how they prefer their eggs – fried or poached?

Delish conducts a survey in this Instagram Story

Your followers are more inclined to interact rather than simply dismissing your story.

Sneakers also have a fun way of enticing their followers, don’t you think? Yes? Yes!

Sneakers yummy poll in their Instagram Story

Questions

Another interactive sticker that took IG stories by storm is the question sticker. It’s a fun and casual way to connect with your audience.

Take a look at how Benefit Cosmetics used the question sticker for their giveaway. Followers are more inclined to participate, increasing engagement.

Fun giveaway by Benefit Cosmetics through their Instagram Story

Starbucks makes the most of the question sticker. They loved it so much, they dedicated a Highlight just for them.

In this Insagram Story, Starbucks asks their followers what their go-to iced coffee order

Not sure how to use Instagram Stories question sticker?

Simply upload a photo or video to your Instagram story. Tap the question sticker and type away. Place it anywhere in the post and share!Beauty influencer, Liah Yoo asks recommendations for a nutritionist

Post BTS Content

Take your followers to an intimate and authentic look into your brand. Behind-the-scenes content is fascinating and compelling. Show your followers what went down before a picture-perfect photo.

Sharing exclusive content or fascinating experiences provides a more personal touch. It allows users to get to know your brand on a personal level.

That’s what National Geographic did with this Instagram story. They showed what their photographer has to go through just to get that perfect shot.

Nat Geo's Instagram Stories show BTS photos

Take a look at Lego’s BTS story about the making of the LEGO NINJAGO Dragon. For the full video, followers were encouraged to swipe up!

BTS for LEGO's huge NINJAGO Dragon

Posting behind the scenes is perfect for up-and-coming brands as well. For example, a restaurant can post a photo of a new dish to their feed. They can then create a story featuring what happens in the kitchen.

Or a real estate agent can post photos of an event that’s a work in progress.

The possibilities are endless.

Create Tutorials

Satisfy your follower’s desire to create things. Make usually complicated things simple with a step-by-step guide. That’s what Etsy did with this Instagram Story.

They made a quick and easy tutorial for making bath soak. A feast for the eyes, each Story has a clear text instruction set on an aesthetic background.

Etsy shows a tutorial on making a bath soak

Another tutorial story is from Loreal. These Instagram Stories showed their followers 4 easy steps to creating a wing liner. In the end, they showcased the entire superliner collection.

Loreal's DIY tips for using their superliner family

Use The Swipe Up Feature

Stories allow brands to form an intimate connection with their followers. Utilize the attention you get from IG Stories through the swipe up feature.

Simply add outbound links that aren’t in your bio. Watch it drive traffic to your website and turn views into a potential sale.

How to use Instagram Stories with Swipe Up Feature:

  1. Your account must first have 10,000 or more followers. If you’re new to IG, it’s a great goal to set your eyes on.
  2. Go to your Story, and take a photo, video, or upload from camera roll.
  3. Tap the link button. The chain icon at the upper right corner.
  4. You’ll be directed to a different page. Enter the URL where you want to direct your followers.
  5. Press “Done” and that’s it!

J.Crew uses the Swipe Up feature to direct followers to their store. J.Crew used a high-quality image, added a text, and asked users to “Swipe Up”. It’s a clear and attractive call to action.

JCrew introduced their new collection in this Insta Story

Collaborate With Influencers

Brands are now collaborating with influencers to “takeover” their Instagram Stories to promote their products. This is also an excellent strategy for reaching new audiences.

Forever21 collaborated with an influencer, Brittney-kay, in this Instagram Story. They had her try on different fall clothes, allowing their followers to see what’s in store for them. They even added the Swipe Up feature to boot!

Forever21's Instagram Stories showed off their Fall Collection

In this Camila Cabello’s Instagram Story, she recently announced her newest collaboration project with Loreal. The Havana Collection is then featured in her next story post.

Camilla Cabello anounced her collaboration project with Loreal in her Instagram Stories

Take Advantage Of Instagram Takeovers

When collaborating with influencers, you can also use the power of IG takeovers. It’s quick, easy, and fun. Takeovers happen when an influencer takes control of a brand’s account for a short period.

  • It’s a great way to grow your following.
  • Built a mutually beneficial relationship between influencers.
  • Expand your audience.

Nudestix makes the most of takeovers in their Instagram Stories. They feature influencers almost every week. They love takeovers so much they even put it in their Highlights.

Influencers takeover Nudestix Instagram Stories almost every week

Tip #1: When an influencer takes over your Stories, they can do a question and answer. This engages your audience and creates a casual feel.

Tip #2: Influencers can also do tutorials. Or have your audience watch them unbox your products. An Instagram story with this theme invites your followers to take part. They’ll be able to see your brand from another POV.

Tip #3: A day in the life Instagram Story. If you’re collaborating with an influencer, make sure that they support your brand’s advocacy.

Instagram Stories will be around for a long time.

There’s no golden rule on how to use Instagram Stories for growing your account overnight. However, it is important to share fun yet timely and relevant content. Each Instagram story must feel casual and spontaneous.

Every business looking to establishing their brand should take advantage of this platform. Instagram Stories’ massive popularity will attract more audiences. And if you’re using it, make the most of it.

By Rei

Writer by day, reader by night. Daydreamer for the rest of her life.

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