10 Inspiring Instagram Stories Examples

Brent Barnhart

February 24, 2019

Brent Barnhart

February 24, 2019

Although there’s plenty to debate in the social space, there’s a single fact that rings true for just about any business today:

You need to be on board with Instagram Stories.

And while Stories might seem like “old news,” the fact that Instagram continues to roll out new interactive features two years in is telling.

Oh, and let’s not forget the staggering 500 million people using Stories daily right now.

That number represents half of the platform’s massive user base, meaning that Instagram Stories are among the most popular and engaged-with content across all social media. The fact that publishing fresh Stories means that you’re always front-and-center in your followers’ feeds is just an added bonus.

What’s truly awesome about Instagram Stories is their sense of creative freedom, though.

To help drive this point home, we’ve put together a list of ten brands producing spectacular Stories on a regular basis. No matter what you might be selling yourself, this list can serve as some inspiration for how your business can take advantage of Stories yourself.

 

1. Canva

This first example from Canva is proof that Instagram Stories are brilliant for digital brands.

Canva

Promoting their #canvachallenge hashtag, Canva manages to encourage user-generated content and promote their social media competition in a single, bite-sized Story.

Giving followers a brief overview of the challenge, this Story manages to cover the contest’s prize, rules and entry examples in a matter of seconds. Potential entrants are then invited to swipe up to check out the specifics and actually enter.

This approach to promotion definitely beats a laundry list of requirements or a stuffy “rules” page, right?

 

2. PopCherry

Ever wonder how Stories can supplement your influencer marketing campaigns? Look no further than this example from PopCherry.

PopCherry

These sort of “takeover” Stories do double duty of showing off your products in action while also providing another channel to promote your influencers via tagging.

If nothing else, sprinkling “See More” and “Swipe Up” calls-to-action throughout your Story is a creative way to drive more traffic to your product pages.

 

3. Killer Coffee Co.

Listen: anything you can do to show off your customers on social media is a plus.

Doing so not only provides that you’re listening to your customers, but also makes it so much easier to fill up your content calendar.

Sydney’s own Killer Coffee Co. has mastered the art of curating customer photos and integrating them into their Instagram Stories.

KillerCoffeeCo

By periodically checking in on their #killercoffee tag, Killer Coffee has a constant flood of photos to choose from.

Showing off satisfied customers gives your followers more of a stake in your social presence and ultimately encourages them to share photos themselves. This phenomenon really speaks to the importance of having a dedicated hashtag strategy.

 

4. Reebok Australia

Taking your followers along for a ride, Stories are the perfect way to promote your events.

Reebok Australia regularly publishes playful Stories that go behind-the-scenes at events and competitions. This particular story shows how features such as Hyperlapse video can help produce more compelling posts.

Reebok

These Stories are a stark contrast to Reebok’s professional photos which are a staple of their Instagram feed. Remember: Stories don’t necessarily need to have the same sort of “polished” feel of your regular posts. Want to post something totally off-the-cuff? Go for it.

 

5. JS Health

Stories are a totally underrated avenue for promoting your lead magnets and growing your email list.

JS Health

JS Health’s eight-week challenge Story shows that primarily text-based promotions can still work beautifully on Instagram. The Story manages to outline what the challenge is all about while funneling followers to a specific social landing page to get started.

This Story again provides an example of how brands can score subscribers and customers while still keeping it simple. Static imagery and text overlays can get the job done with a bit of creativity.

 

6. Hello Fresh

Interactive content is an ever-growing trend in the social space and Instagram Stories don’t disappoint in that department.

Among other interactive features, small touches such as polls and emoji sliders provide yet another way to encourage followers to engage with your content.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh’s occasional polls and quizzes are playful and provide a break from typically promotional content. If you want to pick your followers’ brains or just have a bit of fun, these features can make it happen.

 

7. Sydney Opera House

Stories are perhaps the most popular example of time-sensitive, ephemeral content on social media that followers today love to cling to.

Sydney Opera House recently used Stories to hype up the headlining musical act for Vivid 2019, including a count-down timer to keep followers on their toes.

After dropping hint after hint, followers were finally treated to a high-quality promo video and invitation to enter a ballot for tickets.

SydneyOperaHouse

If you have a big announcement, consider how you can use Stories to build anticipation and get your followers involved in the process.

 

8. EB Games

This Story from EB Games is a perfect storm of promotional tactics and Instagram features.

eb games

Covering an event via Stories? Check.

Picking followers’ brains and engaging ‘em with questions? Double-check.

Hyping up a hashtag? Yeah, that too.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for engaging followers. Instead, businesses are empowered to experiment with multiple post types and features within the same Story if they see fit.

 

9. Whipped Cake Co.

If you’re producing how-to content such as articles or blog posts, why considering translating them into a Story?

That’s exactly what Brisbane's Whipped Cake. Co does through their recipe-based Stories.

whipped co

Stories represent a smart way to supplement your social and on-site content strategies. If you’re already producing educational content, consider how you can shrink it down to Story size.

Going through the legwork of creating content is time-consuming, after all. Promoting via social is just another way to squeeze more of an ROI out of your efforts.

 

10. Let’s Go Surfing

Last but not least, Stories can be a light-hearted change of pace from your traditional “optimized” Instagram content.

For example, Let’s Go Surfing posts a daily greeting for their followers, oftentimes accompanied by .gifs, stickers and a mini weather report.

LetsGoSurfing

This not only serves as a warm “hello” to fans but also a way to stay fresh in the minds of those same followers.

With so many folks producing Stories, creating something on a daily basis is a smart move so your account feels relevant. As noted, “simple” is better than “silence.”

And with that, we wrap up our list!

 

What Can You Take Away from These Instagram Stories Examples?

Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar shop or are looking to build a digital empire, Stories represent a compelling and authentic way to engage with your followers

Meanwhile, the laid back vibe of Stories makes them fair game for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Digital? Brick-and-mortar? Big budget? No budget?  No problem!

The myriad of features, formats and apps out there can help you craft Stories that speak to your unique base of followers.

And hopefully, this list served as some much-needed inspiration and motivation to do exactly that.

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