10 types of Instagram Stories content to boost your engagement
Instagram Stories… everyone’s talking about them. Seems like everyone’s using them. Everyone, except you. Do you feel like you’re being left behind?
Well, this blog post is for you. I’m going to tell you about 10 types of Instagram Stories content to boost your engagement. They’re easy to do, and best of all, you don’t need any “mad skills!” Before we get started, there are a couple of things I want to tell you about Instagram Stories.
What are Instagram Stories?
You’ve heard people talking about them, but what are they really? Stories are temporary content, which appear on Instagram for 24 hours and then, poof, they’re gone!
Stories can be text, photos, graphics, even video, and are short-lived posts that can help to give your business personality. Given they only appear for 24 hours, you can use them in a playful, creative way to help boost your profile and engagement.
But, here’s the thing…
Once the 24 hours is up, Stories aren’t gone forever! Confused? Don’t be. If you select a Story to be a Highlight, you can save it and it appears on your profile. Want to see mine? Head over to my Instagram profile and give me a follow whilst you’re there!
What’s the deal – why should you use Stories?
Well, there are a few reasons. The first one is that Stories appear right at the top of people’s newsfeeds. So, before they even start to scroll, users will see Stories right there. And, if you’ve just posted yours, it will be right at the front!
Secondly, if you’re the type of person who struggles to think of content (why aren’t you planning it?) then having your phone handy to post an ad hoc Story takes the stress of posting away. It might be something as simple as what you’re having for lunch that day, or maybe you’re working from your garden (I do!) Impromptu content like this is simple enough to create.
Next, if you do have several posts in mind for a particular day, you might not want to bombard your followers. Using Stories means you can create multiple posts without swamping people’s newsfeeds. Because when isn’t it annoying to see 10 posts, one after the other, from one person!
Lastly, with as many people using Stories as there are (500 million people a day) why would you want to miss out? In fact, one-third of the most viewed Stories on Instagram are from businesses. Your followers want to know more about you and your business, so give them that opportunity.
Ideas for you to get started with Instagram Stories
I promised you 10 types of posts you can use in Stories, so let’s get started.
1. Behind the scenes
Who doesn’t like a sneaky peek behind the scenes of a business? I know I do! Instagram Stories is the perfect way to show your followers what goes on in your business.
Doing a stocktake? Snap a pic and post it to your Story. Taking a day off (rare, I know)? Post a video the day before to let your followers know. Seeing behind the scenes is a great way for your followers to get to know you. Post what you’re comfortable with, and use a bit of humour if appropriate.
2. At events
Do you own a bridal boutique and are at an event sourcing new stock? Share it as a Story. Get your followers excited at the prospect of new stock. Maybe you’re a consultant at an industry event. Create bite-sized videos with key takeaways from the event. Stories are brilliant for sharing content from any event you attend. From concerts to plays and conferences to workshops, you’ll find plenty of content to share.
3. Inspire your followers
Do you have favourite quotes or sayings? Stories are a great way to share these. You can do a video of yourself talking about them. Or maybe you’ve taken a great photo that you can overlay text on. Instagram even has a feature where you can type text on a coloured background and add things like gifs to make them more engaging. If you’re a lover of quotes and you know your audience is, then start sharing them in Stories. You could even ask your followers to tell you their favourites and share those, tagging the follower who provided it.
4. Educate your followers
Tips are a great way to show your target audience that you’re an expert in your field. You share them in posts on Instagram, so why not Stories? A great way to do this is by video. What’s more, if your video is longer than Stories allow for (20 seconds), when you add it, it will automatically be split into 20-second segments. If you’re shy about getting in front of the camera, use a tool like Canva (they have Stories templates) and create images you can post in your Story.
5. Engage your audience
Social media is a two-way street. It’s not about you broadcasting your news and offers. It’s about having a conversation. Stories lets you do that with the questions sticker. The what?
When you post a Story, you can insert any number of stickers in your post. And there’s one where your followers can ask you questions. Isn’t that great? All you need to do is decide the topic and you could be hosting a Q&A from Instagram! You could even make it a regular feature, say weekly or monthly.
6. Use Stories for research
Let’s say you’re a cupcake maker (because I LOVE cupcakes) and you’re in a quandary about your next flavour. Why not put it to your followers? How? Well, another sticker you can use is the poll sticker. You add it to your post (maybe a picture of you looking puzzled) and then edit the sticker to ask people which of the two flavours on offer they would buy. Watch as the votes come in and you have some insight into which flavour will be your next best seller!
7. Run a competition
I love a good competition, especially if the prize is a fab one. Whether you sell a product or a service, you can use the Quiz sticker to help you run a competition right out of your Story. Ask a question, give people options to choose from, and don’t forget to tell people when the competition ends. Then all you have to do is pick your winner!
8. Build excitement for something new coming up
Are you hosting an event? Maybe you have a new product launch, or you’re going to have a sale. Whatever it is, helping build excitement for it is part of the promotion you’ll want to do. A brilliant way to do this is to tease people with a Story and use the Countdown sticker. All you do is edit the sticker to the date you need and then the countdown begins. Instagram even reminds you nearer the target date, so you can reshare the Story!
9. Show off your customers
It’s been around for a while, and you may have heard of the term User Generated Content. This is photos or videos your followers or customers send to you. It’s actually a great way to collect content for you to use. Let’s say you’re a graphic designer who’s just trained some people on the basics of graphic design. You might ask your attendees to send you photos of the next piece of content they designed themselves. You can then share these as Stories (don’t forget to tag the person so they can see it) and show others how much people love your training.
10. Reveal a new product or service
We’ve talked about counting down to a new product or service. How about using Stories to tease your followers by doing a reveal? One way to do this is to take a photo and zoom in on one part of it. The reveal can take place by posting more images, each one zooming out until you can see the whole thing.
One cool trick I’ve learned from Instagram is fab for doing reveals. Watch the video below to see what it is!