By Ajay Prasad

Have you started using Instagram Stories for business? This feature enables brands to connect with their followers in a personal way through creation of captivating, epic content. With over 150M daily active users, Instagram is a gold mine for businesses that get content marketing right.

One of the pillars of a successful Instagram marketing strategy is using Stories. You can use Instagram Stories to showcase your products, interact with prospects and improve engagement.

Here are 9 ideas that will get your creative juices flowing on using Instagram Stories to promote your business.

1. Giving Actionable Advice

Content is king in the online world, including Instagram. People are on Instagram not only to look for cute cat pictures or videos, but also to be inspirational, informative, educational and entertaining content.

Give your audience relevant content that will make them think: “Wow, I learned something new today.” For example, if you are in the home improvement niche, you can provide tips on how to keep the kitchen clean. Juvia’s Place uses Instagram stories to provide advice about their eyeliners.

Keep the content short and easy to digest. Also, remember to link to an online video or post that will provide your fans with full information.

2. Providing Links to Your New Show

Instagram Stories can be used to drive traffic to your new online show. Whether you are hosting a show on YouTube, Facebook or other platform, let your followers know about it on Instagram. Simply create a teaser video that will leave the audience wanting to know more about your show, and then provide a link to it.

Bustle has mastered this tip. The company hosts a regular show with Sierra Taylor known as “DIY with Sierra” to switch up their content.

Note: Instagram links are not clickable except for verified brands. Therefore, if you do not have a verified account, link to the video using a short, clean URL.

3. Providing Bite Sized Clips of Your Interview or Video

Want to drive visitors to a new interview or video you just posted on your website? Use Instagram Stories to provide hints on what the video is about. You can summarize the main points covered in the video in a mini-article format and post it on Instagram Videos.
Mola and Loola creates Instagram Stories of videos of their products to pump up sales. Remember to link to the video you wish your audience to see.

Tip: Do not give everything away in your Instagram Stories. Use suspense to make your followers want to watch the whole clip.

4. Featuring Customer/Fan Stories

Your brand is not only about you and your employees. The perception that customers have about your company is what makes your brand. You can use Instagram Stories to control the perception and steer your brand in a particular direction.

For example, you can feature videos or images of your customers or fans talking about your products or services. Getting an endorsement from your fans adds credibility to your brand and nurtures a loyal customer base.

You can find out what your customers or followers are saying about your brand by checking the content where you have been tagged. Repost content about your brand from your customers to create an Instagram Story. You can repost content from various sources, including email, Facebook messages, and Twitter.

5. Announcing Giveaways

Announcing giveaways is another creative way of using Instagram Stories. Create videos or photos promoting an upcoming giveaway to generate buzz. This will increase the visibility of your brand on Instagram and get you new fans.

Moreover, since the Stories are only valid for 24 hours, you can create the push you want to not only giveaways, but also other activities. For example, Hello Fresh uses Instagram stories to encourage followers to engage with them through direct messages.

Go a step further and ask followers for feedback on your products or services. This will make them feel involved in the solutions you will be creating, which can lead to more insight and sales for your business.


6. Repurposing Blog Posts into Bite Sized Graphic Images

Use Instagram Stories to get more eyeballs on your editorial content. For example, you can summarize your content into brief steps and then direct followers to your blog to read the whole content. This is what Real Simple, a popular lifestyle magazine does.
Real Simple uses Instagram Stories to published condensed version of their online content. These mini-articles provide useful information that is easy to absorb. At the end of the story, followers are redirected to the full articles.

7. Sharing Images from an Event You are Hosting

You can also use Instagram Stories to promote an event you are hosting. This can either be an online event such as a webinar or an offline one such as a networking meeting. The goal of your story should be to give followers a sneak peek of what to expect and hence leave them wanting to attend the event.

For example, Food Network used Instagram Stories to pique the interest of their followers about an upcoming Facebook Live video. The brand posted a simple on-slide video with a drawing and a brief text, and directed followers to their Facebook page to see the video.

By using this tip, you can ensure that your events are always filled to capacity.

8. Tagging Customers/Attendees in Your Snaps

You can tell an engaging story about your brand by creating content about your customers or attendees at an event. Your followers want to see the whole community that is around your brand. If you are hosting an offline event, use the opportunity to tag your customers or attendees.

For example, Loot Crate’s followers are inspired by geek apparel. During the Pax South event, Loot Crate was sharing photos of attendees in cosplay costumes.

By sharing content that your followers already love, this increases their engagement with your brand on Instagram.

9. Showcasing Your New Products

You can use Instagram Stories to showcase new products or services. This is a good way of subtle marketing and generating interest about your offerings. For example, you can give people tips on using your products or, even better, show them what they can create or do.

Take inspiration from Vitamix, a popular blender brand that uses Instagram stories to show their blender in action.

How are you using Instagram Stories to promote your business?