instagram story ideas guide cover
Instagram Analytics

Instagram Story Ideas to Better Engage With Your Audience

Elena Cucu
Andreea Udescu
Elena Cucu, Andreea Udescu
Table of Contents

The famous Instagram Story is a feature that allows users to post images or videos that disappear after 24 hours. This feature allows marketers to upload high-quality images directly from their cameras and integrate them into their Story

This gives their viewers an opportunity to understand their products or services better and helps brands establish a deeper connection with their audience.

You need fresh Instagram Story ideas to better engage with your target audience and improve business visibility.

Integrating Instagram Story ideas into your marketing strategy is a must in 2024.

In this article, you will understand the importance of Instagram Story, and you will discover 15 of the best Instagram Story ideas that will help you engage with your audience.

Instagram Story ideas for businesses

  1. Answer questions
  2. Go live
  3. Showcase behind-the-scenes content
  4. Share how something is made
  5. Highlight reviews and testimonials
  6. Leverage user-generated content
  7. Promote your work
  8. Ask for suggestions
  9. Use Story highlights
  10. Do tutorials
  11. Play games with your followers
  12. Promote your new posts on stories
  13. Run contests and giveaways
  14. Tease an upcoming event / launch

1. Answer questions

Are you constantly receiving questions from your followers?

Instagram Story is one of the best ways to interact with your target audience and a great place to answer their questions.

You can use the questions sticker and invite your followers to ask you anything, then respond in the following Story.

You can answer by creating a video Story or create text images for people to read.

TIP: If there are questions you’re being asked repeatedly, you can save the Instagram Story in which you answer as a highlight. Then you can direct people to that specific highlight when they have a question you’ve already answered.

If you want to answer all the questions in a permanent post, creating a Reel or a hosting a live session are both great options.

instagram story ideas questions and polls

2. Go live

If your followers are sending a lot of questions and you don't always have time to respond, you can go live.

This will give your audience a sneak peek at the people behind your brand, and create the perfect opportunity for them to engage and connect with you.

3. Showcase behind-the-scenes content

Got a cool office, or are you sharing your work-from-home setup with your cat? Share this with your community.

Behind-the-scenes content is very attractive to the audience because it shows them the other side of your business. Most videos shared on Instagram are usually heavily edited.

However, that is not the case with behind-the-scenes content. This is raw, unedited content that portrays your business as human.

Behind-the-scenes content is one of those cool Instagram Story ideas because it shows your brand as human, which makes you connect to your audience.

instagram story ideas behind the scenes content

4. Share how something is made

This should be a fun thing to do on Instagram.

Are you manufacturing bags, shoes, or handcrafting other types of products? Share Instagram Story videos that show your followers how something is done from scratch.

instagram story ideas show how it's done

5. Highlight reviews and testimonials

Competitive businesses use testimonials for social proof. Studies have shown that buyers are more likely to take action when they read positive testimonials from clients.

So if you're looking for cool Instagram story ideas, don't hesitate to use this one.

Testimonials usually give consumers a snapshot of what to expect when they finally decide to use or buy a product from certain brands. A well-crafted testimonial on Instagram Story will trigger your audience to take action.

instagram story ideas testimonials

6. Leverage user-generated content

User-generated content is any form of content that is created by consumers or users about a brand. When it comes to making a buying decision, consumers are more likely to trust fellow consumers who have used the product than brands.

User-generated content can help to generate more engagement when shared on Instagram Stories. This means that your content is more likely to get more comments and likes.

The more users engage with your brand, the higher your post will be prioritized on Instagram feed, a factor that will expose your content to new users.

Thus, involving your audience in your brand's activity becomes a highly effective customer care strategy.

Make sure that when someone mentions you in their Instagram Story, you respond or re-share that post. Let people know that you appreciate what they are doing for you.

instagram story ideas user generated content

7. Promote your work

Blog posts, podcast episodes, videos - make sure you promote your work with your followers on Instagram Story.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to add links directly to your Instagram Story, allowing users to swipe up and see the piece of work you want to promote. However, that feature is only available to business accounts with more than 10,000 followers.

If you don't have this feature yet, you can add the link you want to promote in your Bio and invite your followers to click the link in Bio.

instagram story ideas product promotion

8. Ask for suggestions

Instagram Story is the right place to find out all the answers you need from your audience.

  • Need an opinion on a new feature release?
  • Wondering which logo color is better?
  • Want to know what type of content people want to see from your account?

You can use the poll feature or the question sticker and ask your followers' opinions directly. This is an interactive Instagram Story idea to keep your followers invested in your brand.

instagram story ideas suggestions

For example, at Socialinsider, we often use these two features to find out our followers' opinions regarding our studies, articles, new features, and more.

9. Use Story highlights

Instagram Story appeared as a feature that allows you to create content that disappears in 24 hours.

But what if you create content that you want to keep? Then, you can use Stories highlights and save your most essential Stories.

To save a Story, you need to view your own Instagram Story and then tap the β€œHighlight” button in the bottom right corner of the screen. You can either use that story as a new highlight or add it to an existing one.

For example, the Instagram expert, Sue B. Zimmerman, uses Stories highlights to save her live posts, essential tips, highlight her team, and more.

At Socialinsider, we are also using Stories highlights to showcase our podcast episodes, events, studies, handbooks - our activity.

instagram story ideas highlights

10. Do tutorials

Instead of creating static Stories, you could do a fun tutorial showing your audience how to do something.

Of all the Instagram Story ideas from the list, this is the one you should use if you want to position yourself as an expert in your niche. Just think about what is relevant for your industry.

Whole Foods Market, an American company that sells natural foods, usually does easy and sweet food tutorials on Instagram Story that anyone can replicate in their homes.

instagram story ideas highlights

11. Play games with your audience

If you've run out of ideas and don't know what things to post on your Story, Instagram has come with many fun tools to play games with your followers.

From the popular poll sticker to the Instagram quiz sticker, you have a lot of creative options to post on Instagram Story.

And what better way to engage with your audience than to keep it animated?

Benefit Cosmetics is a master when it comes to original Instagram Story ideas. Here are just some examples of Instagram game ideas they do once in a while to spice up their account:

  • story templates
  • pop quizzes
  • product scramble
  • find the emoji
  • spin the bottle
instagram story ideas quizzes

12. Promote your new posts on stories

If you're feeling stuck, you might need some new post Instagram ideas.

Remember that not all your followers see your posts in their feed. Whether they are blog posts, podcasts, studies, or just feed photos, creating an Instagram Story is an excellent idea to let your followers know about them.

instagram story ideas promote new posts

13. Run contests and giveaways

It's not a secret that everyone loves free stuff. Running contests or giveaways is a cool Instagram Story idea that will help you boost your engagement.

The prize can be anything, from samples of your products to free access to your services or personal consultations, depending on what your business does.

Below are some common requirements for participants:

  • ask your followers to post an Instagram Story about something specific and related to your product
  • ask your followers to tag you in their Stories (they can only tag you if they follow you, so this is a great way to increase your followers' numbers)
  • stay on top of your notifications and take screenshots because Stories disappear after 24 hours
  • announce the winners in another Instagram Story
instagram story ideas contests and giveaways

14. Tease an upcoming event / launch

If you have the opportunity to make your audience and build up the hype for a future product release, why not do it? Β 

You can leverage Instagram Stories to provide a sneak peek into upcoming products, collections or events.This way, your audience will feel like it's getting special treatment and insider access to something that not everyone has access to.

Need some Instagram Story ideas inspiration for this one? Take a look at H&M. The brand has made a habit of providing sneak peeks before every new collection release, and it's getting a lot of hype from it!

instagram story ideas launch teaser

15. Create shoppable stories.

One of the most interesting Instagram Story ideas for bussinesses is to create shoppable stories. This type of stories help you promote and sell your products, by providing your audience with a direct link to your website.

Even if your followers don't end up buying those products, you'll still be offering them a superior shopping experience and encouraging them to engage more with your brand's content.

instagram story ideas shoppable stories

16. Use an "Add yours" template.

When it comes to creative Instagram Story ideas, there's a new kid on the block. While this feature doesn't have an official name, it's still a very powerful way to show authencity and increase your visibility on Instagram.

All you have to do is find a template in somebody's else Story, click the "Add Yours" stickers and create a Story based on the prompt you get.

For instance, Vizzy Creative, a retail store for jewelry, cosmetics and gifts, joined in the "No Filter" template and shared a Story of their manufacturing process.

instagram story ideas add yours template

17. Share a fundraiser.

On the list of Instagram Story ideas for businessess, sharing a fundraiser could rank quite high because it's a wise way to get people to engage with your content while at the same time raising money for a good cause.

All you have to do is select a photo or video to share on Stories and add the Donation sticker. From there you just choose the cause you want to raise money for and the amount you want to collect.

instagram story ideas fundraiser

Pro tip: Don't forget to check your Instagram Story analytics to understand how your stories perform.

You can get in-depth Stories data and insights straight from Socialinsider, as long as you connect and authorize your Instagram account.

instagram story analytics

Final thoughts

Instagram Stories allows marketers to provide more in-depth information to their target audience to trigger them to take action.

If you want to make your brand more visible, then Instagram Stories are a feature you need to take advantage of. It will make your audience see your business in a way that pictures will not.

So if you're looking for more Instagram Story ideas, we hope this list has provided some much needed inspiration for your brand!

Elena Cucu

Elena Cucu

Content Writer @ Socialinsider

Mixing the words with the data is how a digital marketer should play the game of brands. And that’s me, a driven-born digital storyteller!

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