And in a day and age where brands are looking for a competitive edge, Stories have quickly cemented themselves as a staple of Instagram itself.
But why all the buzz about Instagram stories for brands, anyhow?
Why Brands Are Going All-In on Instagram Stories
An interactive avenue to engage with your followers, visual storytelling is a powerful tool for businesses looking to stand out from the crowd on Instagram.
Capitalizing on the “story” format popularized by Snapchat, Instagram Stories serve as a way for people to quite literally follow what you or your brand is up to as it happens.
Taking over the users’ screen in either photo or video format, Stories are prime for grabbing people’s attention. Story content from a personal account often feels like something that goes behind-the-scenes, ultimately less “staged” and more authentic than a captioned post.
Seeing the writing on the wall, Instagram introduced Stories as part of their ad platform. Brands both big and small have been killin’ it with sponsored Stories ever since.
Integrated as part of Facebook’s ad platform, Instagram Stories ads let brands to squeeze calls-to-action, hashtags, music and as much eye-popping imagery as they can into a 15-second block.
This serves as a stark alternative to other ad options as Stories all you use both video and photo within the same post.
Oh, and don’t forget that Stories also have the added bonus of being interactive. Emoji sliders, polls, and fresh features such as the recently announced Questions Sticker allow for brands and followers to go back and forth with each other.
The takeaway here? Instagram’s emphasis on Stories is crystal clear, which means brands should already be on board as more new functions are introduced in due time.
That said, maybe you haven’t gotten started with Stories yet.
Or perhaps you just need a dose of inspiration.
Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered.
8 Instagram Stories Examples You Can Swipe From
We’ve done some digging to show just how diverse you can get with Stories.
These Aussie Instagram Stories examples can help you unlock new ideas for your brand’s own posts. From creative captions to imagery that scores engagement, any combination of these storytelling concepts is fair game.
Stories are a fantastic place to promote your hashtag and encourage your followers to talk up your brand. Tourism Australia’s #SeeAustralia campaign highlights their user-generated content push and serves as a call-to-action.
Stories are smart for UGC campaigns because they’re “static,” so to speak. Rather than beg for followers to use their hashtag again and again, this story along with the account’s bio serves as a constant reminder for Tourism Australia’s followers to use their tag.
And although many examples of Instagram stories highlighted below are less “polished,” these bright animations are enough to make someone stop and scroll.
Bare in mind that followers don’t just want to see photo after photo: brands should strive to create an experience instead.
For example, this story from Samsung took followers on a real-time journey through the recent Vivid Sydney festival. These sort of “in the wild” stories create a sense of hype whether you’re attending an event or are hosting one yourself.
This particular example also highlights the fact that story photos don’t need to be pristine. As long as you’re giving your followers a bird’s eye view of something buzzworthy (think: a concert or conference), you’re golden.
Stories go hand in hand with the concept of social selling. This story from Therabox provides sneak peaks of products in their upcoming subscription box for the month.
Giving your followers something to look forward to is always a plus. Whether it’s a new product launch or time-sensitive offer, Stories provide followers with a sense of exclusivity. The more your Stories feel “for your eyes only,” the better.
If you’re an aspiring influencer, Stories are your bread and butter.
Influencers like Monique Bowie use stories to document their day-to-day lives which seem anything but ordinary. From photoshoots and workouts to exotic locations and recipes, this sort of behind-the-scenes content is perfect for personal accounts.
With this particular Instagram Stories example, though, we can see firsthand the promotional opportunities a story can afford influencers. Showing off third-party brands in your Stories feels much more authentic than a dedicated post, for example.
Another influencer example, Stories are yet another place you can promote your latest social media contest. The ability to show off photos and videos within the same post allow you to get creative, and some rings true for the in-story text.
The ability for followers to “See More” directly from Instagram encourages more engagement on your posts, too.
After all, trying to point people off-site could ultimately cause them to bounce from your promotion altogether. On the flip side, Stories provide an interactive, direct channel between your followers and contest entries.
If you want fresh content for your Stories, look no further than your own followers.
Qantas almost exclusively uses regrams and tagged content for Stories and regular posts alike. This creates a snowball effect where more and more followers shout-out the brand in hopes of being featured themselves.
A key Instagram Stories best practice to keep in mind here is either tagging or promoting your submissions rather than passing them off as your own photos, though.
Serving as social proof and allowing your own fans to act as billboards, don’t be shy for asking about tags from your followers via Stories.
Last but not least, Instagram Stories absolutely do not need have a “suit and tie” vibe.
Want to turn yourself into a meme? If it’s in line with your brand, go for it.
Personalities such as Tanya Hennessy win tons of love from followers but posting off-the-cuff snippets that don’t take themselves too seriously. This example also shows off the sort of creative flair you can couple with your stories, too.
Captions? Slo-mo? Boomerang? Hyperlapse?
Yep. All available via Stories and all worth experimenting with.
And with that, we wrap up our list!
How Are You Telling Your Brand’s Story?
Hopefully these Instagram Stories examples can help you hone in on some ideas for your own brand.
From story-specific promos to taking your followers “behind the scenes,” you have plenty of options regardless of your industry or budget.
Either way, make sure that Stories are part of your Instagram strategy moving forward. As the platform continues to roll out features tailored for businesses, keeping your brand in the loop is a must-do.
And hey, if you need more help mastering the art of Instagram storytelling, there’s no need to go it alone. Feel free to contact Hello Social today to understand how you can ramp up your Stories strategy ASAP!
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