Stories are not only about fleeting moments—the right Instagram Story ideas can help you promote your business and boost your brand visibility online significantly.
However, to attract the audience and keep their attention, you need to get creative. Even though posting an Instagram Story can include elements such as filters, polls, videos, or stock images, you still need to know how and when to use them.
Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of Instagram Story ideas to get more engagement on your Instagram Stories. So, let’s see what these Instagram Stories can look like for a business.
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Table of Contents
What Is an Instagram Story?
Instagram Stories are a short-form content format on the Instagram app that allows users to share different pictures or videos that are visible for 24 only hours. A Story is 15 seconds long, and anything longer than that gets cut into a different Story.
If you haven’t viewed the Story yet, it will appear on your Instagram homepage, surrounded by a colored ring around the Instagram profile picture.
Depending on your privacy settings, Instagram Stories can be viewed differently:
- Public Instagram account (Instagram business account included): Your Story can be viewed by anyone, regardless if they’re following your profile or not.
- Private account: Your Story can be viewed only by the people who follow you.
To create Stories that are more enticing for your audience, you can add anything from stickers, music, and GIFs and apply different filters.
Another aspect you should consider when creating your Story content is the ideal Instagram Story size (image size: 1080px x 1920px, aspect ratio: 9:16). This will help you create Instagram Stories that look good in a vertical format and make sure all the visual elements used in your content are not cut out of your Story.
If you want to make your Stories available for more than 24 hours, you can choose to add them to your Instagram highlights.
Did You Know You Can Post Instagram Stories with SocialBee?
While posting reels can now be done directly from SocialBee, Instagram Story scheduling is not officially supported in the app. However, there is a great alternative way our users can achieve this by using SocialBee’s mobile app and Reminders.
Plan your Instagram Stories ahead of time with SocialBee.
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Here is how you can share Instagram Stories with SocialBee:
- Choose a content category and click on “Add post to this category”
- Upload your Story content
- Click on the mobile phone icon at the bottom right corner of your text editor
- Once you receive the Instagram post notification, make sure to open it
- Tap on “Share Post”
- Click “OK” once you receive a confirmation that your caption has been copied
- Choose the “Story” option and share it with your audience
The best part about using SocialBee to post on Instagram? You can have direct access to Canva’s Instagram Story templates. Open your Content editor, and click on the Canva button to create your Instagram Stories from SocialBee.
Design and import your social media graphics from Canva directly from SocialBee.
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Once you find the best Instagram Story template for your next post, take a few minutes to customize it for your brand and make it your own. So easy, right?
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The 15 Best Instagram Story Ideas to Get You Started
Selecting the best Instagram Story content ideas for your business might seem like a daunting task at first, but not to worry. We will help you find inspiration and create Instagram Stories that will bring you closer to your audience.
Here are 15 Instagram Story ideas perfect for brands:
- Host a Q&A discussion
- Create quizzes/polls
- Showcase your team
- Share user-generated content
- Promote your products, deals, events, and blog posts
- Go behind the scenes
- Provide product teasers
- Share funny content
- Share a how-to story
- Share content that mentions your brand
- Ask for recommendations
- Create a themed story series
- Share motivational content
- Reshare your reels and TikTok videos
- Post highlights from your webinars and podcasts
1. Host a Q&A Discussion
A Q&A session is a great way to make your Instagram Stories interesting. Your audience has the opportunity to ask their burning questions and get the answers straight from the source.
Most importantly, it will also help you build a strong community around your brand that will constantly interact with you, thus enhancing your engagement rate.
You can add the Q&A Instagram Story idea to your Instagram Story in two ways.
- Add a simple colored background and then click on the “Stickers” button at the top of the screen to add a quiz sticker.
- Post a picture and then add the sticker to it.
The answers to your Instagram Stories can be in any format:
- Text only – Use a clean background, and you just post the answer to the question.
- Image and text – Add an image to your Instagram Story, along with your answer.
- Video answer – Post videos answering questions or start an Instagram live session.
Once you’ve gone through a Q&A session, don’t forget to add these engaging Instagram Stories to your Instagram Story highlights. This way, new followers will be able to go through your older Stories and find out some interesting answers about your business.
2. Organize Quizzes/Polls
Quizzes might not have been anyone’s favorite practice in school, but they are the best form of interactive Instagram Story ideas.
Polls and quizzes are great for boosting user engagement because it allows people to express their opinion without typing long answers. Ask a question and add a multiple-choice answer to make it easier for your Story viewers to participate in the poll or quiz you created.
Moreover, quizzes make great Instagram Story game ideas. For example, to make your Instagram Stories even more fun, you can start a game and let your audience guess the brand of one of the items in your Story.
If you’re looking for some more Instagram Story inspiration, let us help you out with one more trick. The “this or that” format is very popular on Instagram. And the best part is that you can easily make a poll out of it.
Here are some creative ideas for “this or that” Instagram posts:
- Ask your followers to choose between two desserts
- Make your audience choose between two of your best sellers
- Allow your followers to choose between two popular bands/movies/books
The bottom line is that quizzes and polls give your Instagram followers the chance to express their opinion easily and in a fun way, so make sure you include this in your Stories.
3. Showcase Your Team
Social media is a great way to connect with other people. Similarly, Instagram Stories can give your audience the chance to connect and be inspired by your team.
How? By placing your team members in the spotlight and sharing a few facts about them or their experience working for your company.
Here are a few cool Instagram Story ideas for business you can use:
- Introduce new team members
- Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries
- Share quotes from your team members
- Tell Stories of how members of your team started their journey within your company
- Talk about your team’s accomplishments
- Host a Story takeover where team members take turns creating Stories
… Or maybe one of your team members has a cute puppy your followers will love seeing.
Don’t be afraid to ask your team to send over funny photos of their pets, they make cute Instagram Story ideas that will definitely outperform your previous (and maybe future) posts.
In the end, your audience relates to what’s real, and showcasing the heroes in your team can work wonders for your social media engagement. Not to mention that these types of posts can be shared on your Instagram feed as well.
4. Share User-Generated Content
User-generated content is another item on our Instagram Story ideas list. Incorporating user-generated content in your own post can help build trust and also, raise brand awareness.
If a user with a public profile tagged your brand in a post, don’t forget to share it on your own Story.
Getting a share from your favorite brand can be very exciting for a customer. And as a brand, you get social proof that your products are “Instagramable” besides being of great quality.
Don’t limit your UGC to the posts you are tagged in. Post positive reviews, comments, and share video testimonials you might have from previous marketing campaigns.
5. Promote Your Business
The list of cool Instagram Story ideas doesn’t stop here. We still have to talk about promotional Instagram posts.
One of the primary uses of Instagram for businesses is to promote products or any last-minute deals that would be of great interest to your audience.
You can delight your audience with a demonstration of how your products work and even showcase before and after results. For example, let’s say you own a make-up brand. In this case, you could show users how the colors from your eyeshadow palette look on the skin or do different wear tests to prove that they last all day.
Here is what you can promote on Instagram Stories:
- Your latest blog post
- New webinars and events
- Product/service releases
- Discounts and promotions
Do you have any deals coming up? You can promote them through Instagram Stories and also use the Instagram Swipe Up feature to lead your audience straight to that page (to use this Instagram feature, your follower count has to be over 10,000).
Adding any deals or discounts to your Stories could also help in increasing your brand’s sales. You can even create a countdown until your biggest promotions and post a Story reminder every day. This way, your customers won’t forget to check out your store and get the best deal on their favorite products.
6. Go Behind the Scenes
Running out of Instagram post ideas? You can appeal to the curiosity of your audience and give them a sneak peek of what’s going on behind closed doors.
Your audience is already interested in what your business has to offer, but they might not know so many details about the processes behind it.
Showing them a bit of what’s going on behind the scenes can involve:
- A video about what a day in the office looks like
- How a meeting takes place for you and your team members
- Your morning routine/a team member’s morning routine
- A sneak peek into a project you’re working on
- How a work-from-home day/commuting session looks for you
Depending on the details you want to share, these could be some creative Instagram Story ideas you could put to good use. Not to mention, they will give your audience a little bit of the vibe of your business and make it more relatable to them.
7. Provide Product Teasers
Some brands choose to announce their new product releases directly through an Instagram post. However, if you want to build more anticipation, these can be paired with a short product teaser. And it doesn’t only work for product releases, a teaser also works for an upcoming event, for example.
Teasers are a great way to keep your audience hooked and eager to find out more. Not to mention, it will also encourage your audience to visit your page more often.
If you don’t want to give too many details right off the bat, you can start boosting user engagement with a quiz. Add a question sticker to your Instagram story and let your audience guess what product you’re launching. You can also add daily Stories that talk about one of the new features of your product.
8. Share Funny Content
Sharing memes and humorous content on Instagram Stories is the best way to entertain your followers without having to disrupt your aesthetic grid.
It’s also a practice that will humanize your brand, and as a result, make it more appealing to your audience.
Here you have two options. Either share a meme made by another creator and credit their work or create your own meme regarding your brand.
Don’t forget to also add a fun sticker to your story that goes well with the topic of your joke.
9. Share a How-to Story
Instagram Stories allows users to share multiple posts throughout the day without spamming their followers, which makes it the perfect medium to share a multi-part how-to post.
Take this opportunity to educate your audience and keep them interested in your Stories. To ensure you tackle topics that are highly interesting for them, gather the most frequently asked questions you got over the years, and try to answer them in a visual manner.
Here are some ideas of how-to Stories your followers will appreciate:
- Record a video demonstration of how to use your products
- Reveal an unknown product feature
- Create a step-by-step tutorial on how to make something
10. Share Content that Mentions Your Brand
Did your brand get mentioned in an article or a social media post? Well, now you got the perfect content for a Story.
This is a social proof way to showcase the benefits of your brand. It’s credible. It comes from real-life customers. And it builds brand authority.
Besides, you also get to show appreciation for the customers that took the time to publicly appreciate your brand. Don’t let kind gestures go unnoticed. Thank your advocates and take this opportunity to create an engaged community around your business.
11. Ask for Recommendations
Interacting with your customers will only bring benefits to your social media performance. The more a user watches your story or likes your posts, the more they will see your content in the future. So, your main goal should be to get your followers to engage.
One way to achieve this is to ASK. We previously talked about asking questions, but another more fun way to go about it is to request recommendations. Books, songs, artists, movies, documentaries—you name it.
This practice is especially useful since you also get to learn more about your audience and increase your response rates since you allow your followers to share their passions with you.
12. Create a Themed Story Series
Center your content around events your audience is passionate about and bond over topics that will bring you closer together.
For instance, you can advocate for causes that are meaningful for your brand and community, put a spotlight on NGOs that deserve more attention, and promote other local businesses that should get more recognition like Cocokind in the next example.
You can even dive into topics that are relevant in today’s society and link to resources where your audience can get even more educated on the matter.
Showing that your brand represents a defined set of values will differentiate you from your competitors and give your audience a reason to appreciate what you stand for.
13. Share Motivational Content
Motivational quotes. Personal development tips. Professional advice. These are all ideas that can uplift your followers and give them the dose of inspiration they need to change up their routines.
You can even use Instagram Stories to actually tell stories about your journey. Reveal the challenges you faced building your business and the things you do every day to be productive and improve your mental health.
14. Reshare Your Reels and TikTok Videos
Video content performs well across all content formats, so explore the full potential of your video posts and share them across all your channels.
This way, you will not only have content to post on your Stories, but you will also promote your other channels and increase your visibility across social media.
15. Post Highlights from Your Webinars and Podcasts
Have you participated in any webinars or podcasts lately?
If so, you have quite a generous reserve of Instagram Stories gold. Get ready to chop up that long-format content you have on your hands into little engaging nuggets of wisdom and share them with your audience one piece at a time.
This can also act as a teaser for your webinars and build curiosity among your followers.
Get Started with Instagram Stories
Are you ready to create engaging Instagram stories?
An Instagram Story doesn’t have to be too complicated in order to work. These 15 creative Instagram Story ideas are proof that you can create quality content without spending hours creating and editing your Instagram posts.
Instagram Stories allow you to experiment with your content more than other post types. You can actually share multiple photos and videos a day without spamming your audience.
Once you create a high-performing Instagram Story, don’t be afraid to share it as a feed post also. Just resize your visuals and make them fit into your Instagram grid aesthetic and the flow of your Instagram feed posts.
To create and schedule your Instagram content with ease, use SocialBee. Access Canva directly from SocialBee and curate your visuals using the Unsplash and GIPHY integrations.
Start your SocialBee 14-day free trial today and share Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, carousels, videos, and images faster and easier than ever!