12 Cool Examples of How Brands Use Instagram Stories to Promote Their Businesses

12 Cool Examples of How Brands Use Instagram Stories

When Instagram Stories first appeared atop of the dear old feed, some users found them annoying. Some didn’t pay attention to them at all. 

Why watch 15-second clips? Where do they go the next day? I don’t need them; I want my usual app with square pictures back! 

Angry girl

Me, not needing IG Stories back in 2016

Now, when these rainbow circles have become the most desired and engaging content pieces on the platform, I have to admit that they’ve upstaged the feed.

Eventually, Instagram Stories made a massive twist in how people use the platform and how they interact with each other and with brands in there. 

What makes these 15-second videos so popular?

Instagram Stories are

  • genuine
  • prompt
  • interactive
  • quick to make
  • easy to consume.

Instagram Stories for your business

Marketers are getting more and more creative with how they use Instagram to promote their brands, and Stories is not an exception. In fact, Instagram Stories turned out to be a game-changer in this field. 

@fabricsandfabrics

These ephemeral, unpolished clips opened up an interactive platform where brands can take the logos off and become real people who just make brands happen.

And it does work, obviously! According to the Instagram business blog, 1/3 of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are actually from businesses,

“One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses.”

Instagram Business blog

Moreover, Instagram Stories are continuously being updated with new features such as

  • highlights
  • interactive stickers
  • tags
  • reactions and more.

When it comes to growing engagement rates and conversions, those small add-ons are precious. 

But let’s talk practice. Today, I came up with a list of 12 use cases on how brands use Instagram Stories for promotional purposes.

Depending on the placement, IG Stories fall into 2 categories: 

  • In-stream Stories
  • Stories Highlights 

Let’s take a look at each and explore some cool examples. 

In-stream Stories 

When you create and publish Stories, these clips appear in sequence just above the users’ feed. They stay there for 24 hours and then expire for the audience, but you still can access them in the Archive. 

Here’re some ideas on how to use them for promotional purposes.

1. Share your news on the spot

Rolled out an exciting product update? Or got new arrivals to the pop-up store? Maybe just released the tickets for your next event? 

Help your followers to find it out! Algorithms are working in a way that they can easily miss out on your post in the feed. So get their eyes on your breathtaking news in Stories to gain momentum.

Promote sale_IG stories

@mmusicworks

2. Create a sense of urgency around your special deal

Ever-changing and short-lasting Stories stream is the best place to remind your prospects about your offering. 

Whether you are running a special campaign, a seasonal sale or whatever else deal with a deadline, induce your prospects to take a right-here-right-now action. 

Special offer reminder_IG stories

@targetaus

3. Cross-promote your content on other channels 

Keeping all eggs in one basket contents on one social platform is not the best idea for a solid outreach strategy. To grow your audience, be present on several social channels, but don’t keep them isolated from each other.  

Leverage cross-promotional tactics to connect the dots and create an integrated mix of social media content.

For instance, it’s natural to store your long-format educational videos on content discovering platforms like YouTube. To promote it, lead the audience from other places to come watch your tutorial.

For example, use Instagram Stories.

@xaylibarclay

4. Show behind the scenes videos

Interaction on social media is meant to be emotional, casual and.. obviously, social. 

People follow brands on Instagram not to see logos and product listings. They want to see humans just like themselves. 

People follow brands on Instagram not to see logos and product listings. They want to see humans just like themselves. 

Today, they buy not just things and services but experiences associated with these goods. The relationships between brands and customers make a huge part of that experience. 

So, build that connection by taking your followers to the backstage of your business. Show it in Stories! It will make people feel welcomed in your premises like they are dear friends of yours.

Give your community an insider’s view of your business with unpolished, behind-the-scenes photos and videos as it happens in real time. 

Instagram Business Blog 

Again, these videos shouldn’t be perfect, they need to be raw and authentic. Like these ones by Zingerman’s Bakehouse. 

@zingermanbakehouse

5. Create a teaser for your master content 

When you produce some significant content piece such as an in-depth study, a long-read for your blog, or an expert interview you want all the effort to pay off. 

The trick with this type of content is that it requires time and effort to consume. Longer pieces of content are not something that your audience can “eat” on the go. That’s why you need to make them interested to the point that they carry it home, warm up and serve properly. 

Instagram Stories is a great means to tease your audience about the master content and draw attention towards it.  

Extract the most meaningful bits from your longer read or video and turn them into a batch of Stories like the Le Creuset’s team did to promote an interview with a famous chef. 

Teaser_IG stories

@lecreuset

6. Induce conversation using interactive stickers 

This is my favorite thing about Instagram Stories. Not that long ago, Instagram rolled out a variety of interactive stickers such as

  • Questions
  • Polls
  • Sliders
  • and Tests

At first, they may seem to be just another addition to make Stories funnier. But when used wisely, they become a powerful engagement generation engine. 

When used wisely, interactive stickers become a powerful engagement generation engine. 

Adding these stickers in your stories allows you to

  1. instantly get reactions, feedback and opinions from your followers;
  2. grow engagement at the backend.

For instance, throw a Q&A session to find out what your audience’s pain points are and what they want to learn from you.

Interactive stickers_IG stories

@iplanteven

Be sure to take it carefully and dedicate time to answer those questions, otherwise, you can lose the audience’s trust and attention.

Be sure to take the questions carefully and dedicate time to answer them. Otherwise, you can lose the audience’s trust and attention.

Stories Highlights 

When in-stream Stories became very popular, Instagram added a feature that allowed to keep the earlier published Stories visible. This feature is called Highlights

With Highlights, you can create multiple folders and bring your Stories back to life from the Archive. The cool thing is that each folder can get a name and a nice cover that you create yourself. 

It is really worth spending time organizing your Stories Highlights as you can use it in multiple ways. Here are some examples. 

7. Tell your brand’s story 

When people discover your brand, they get curious about how it all got started, about your team and major milestones on your way to the present success.

Give them a chance to get closer to your team: tell your story and pack it in a separate set of Stories.  

Tell company story_IG stories

@rimac_automobili

No need to make up that story – you have a unique real one with its exciting ups and enlightening downs. Again, authenticity and imperfection is what people are seeking for on social platforms. 

Authenticity and imperfection is what people are seeking for on social platforms. 

8. Feature your company values

Today’s entrepreneurship is far not just selling and reselling products. It is about nurturing the business-client relationships through common interests and values. 

No matter what niche you’re in, it’s vital to distinguish your main principles and stick to those values that make your brand unique. 

No matter what niche you’re in, it’s vital to distinguish your main principles and stick to those values that make your brand unique. 

Birds of a feather flock together, so make sure to promote your values to attract like-minded people. 

Values_IG Stories

@chachamatcha

9. Get proud of the press mentions

Got some press mentions? Cool! You’ve worked hard to make that happen and now you have all the reasons to be proud of it.

Pin those referrals to the most visible place in your profile – the Highlights. 

Mentions in the trust-worthy resources make your followers be more confident about the quality of your product or service. 

Press mentions_IG stories

@chachamatcha

10. And even prouder of your customers 

What could be even more reliable than customer testimonials and reviews? I have an answer. User-generated content! 

Showing real people using your products might have a major impact on your prospects and their decision-making process.

Showing real people using your products might have a major impact on your prospects and their decision-making process.

Don’t be humble to ask your loyal customers to tag you in their Stories that feature your product. 

UGC_IG stories

@sportsgirl

Pile those pictures and videos into a Highlights folder and keep them in visitors’ plain sight.

You can also create a dedicated hashtag so that your customers can easily spread the word about your great products all over Instagram!

Create a dedicated hashtag so that your customers can easily spread the word about your great products all over Instagram.

11. Create an FAQ 

Do customers, both existing and prospecting, keep asking the same questions about shipping terms, special offers, or work hours?

You need an FAQ to make it easier for all! 

Create a bunch of text-based Stories that answer those questions and turn them into an FAQ Highlights. 

FAQ_IG stories

@coconutbowls

This is easily doable with Video Layouts which a new feature inside the Wave.video editor.

12. Share valuable tips 

Highlights feature allows you to organize your Stories in series that would appear periodically in your profile. These pinned circles can serve as a place to store 

  • tips and tricks 
  • short video tutorials 
  • weekly recaps or alike. 

Once you’d shared some valuable info in in-stream Stories, don’t let it disappear after 24 hours. Create a separate Highlights space, update it continuously, and see people coming for more of these episodes. 

Share tips_IG stories

@yoursuperfoods

THE BOTTOM LINE

Instagram Stories obtain enormous promotional potential and can make a big difference in your social media marketing. 

The ways to use them are multifold and the list above could be a starting point. Get creative and interactive, keep on testing what works better, and remember that Stories should complement the Feed, not replace it. 

Happy Stories-posting! 

12 Cool Examples of How Brands Use Instagram Stories

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