Having a kick ass Instagram account can be such an important part of running a successful blog or online business! Since the most recent Instagram algorithm update, Instagram has started favoring “interest”, in addition to chronological timeline and relationships. “Interest” means Instagram predicts the type of posts you are more likely to engage with, and surfaces more of these posts in your feed. This makes Instagram Stories more important than ever for bloggers and brands wanting to get their content in front of target audiences. The more your followers engage with your content – photos, videos or stories, the more you have the chance to show up in their feed and build a strong social media following. Here are some of my favorite Instagram Stories ideas to help you gain more social exposure and win over the algorithm!
And did you know that more people use Instagram Stories than Snapchat? The age demographic of Instagram stories users might be a bit different than that of Snapchat though, which appeals mostly to Generation X but the “stories” world is big enough and there are over 200 million people using the Instagram Stories feature every day!
Top Best Instagram Stories ideas for bloggers and brands looking to build a stronger social media presence and following.
If you’ve never used Instagram Stories before or you aren’t using them that much, now’s the time to start!
You’ve probably seen Stories appear in the top of your Instagram Feed. If you click into one, you’ll see one or more “frames” of video or image content. Instagram Stories remain live for 24 hours.
So if you want to post more than one Story in a day, you can! When you post a new Story within the 24 hour timeframe, it’s added as a new “frame” to your Story. You can also create little collections with your favorite Stories and highlight them so that they stay active for longer!
Now for the ideas…
1. Vlog your day
This is a post about your day. It’s a personal, talking to camera video blog (shortened to “vlog”) so that your followers can really get to know who you are as a person or how you spend your day.
This sort of content doesn’t need to be slick and super professional, so don’t worry about spending too much time trying to make it perfect. A vlog is all about being real, so get personal.
How to do it right? Do a quick vlog at the start of the day, telling your audience what you’re going to get up to that day. You could ask your audience to choose some element of your day, so they’re encouraged to engage with your Story. Share more posts throughout your day and show how your day is unfolding. This will help stimulate that FOMO feeling and will keep your audience more engaged throughout the day. Then you could finish with a “call to action” to check back later to see how the day panned out.
- Share how a typical week day looks like – your morning ritual, how you plan your day in the morning, what you wear, who you meet throughout your, where you eat, what you do on little breaks throughout your day, how you unwind when the day is over like cooking dinner, reading a book etc. Give tips throughout your stories and really show your audience who you are.
- Share a weekend day – could follow the same idea as the above week day, but you can get more personal and share what you enjoy doing in the weekend, how you spend your free time, how you relax or have fun
- Share a more special day like an event or celebration
- Share a mini travel series while you are exploring a city
2. Your latest blog post or Instagram picture
Instagram influencers like Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund do this a lot. Crusoe will post an Instagram Story in his latest outfit or a behind the scenes video with text promoting his latest IG video upload.
If you’re promoting your latest IG picture, try putting a mystery sticker over the top to create intrigue. Or, when using the pen tool, try pressing the different options multiple times to get an overlay of color. You can then use the eraser tool to cut through it to the visual below.
Tip: Tap stickers more than once to get the version you want. In a video, you can choose when you want the gif or sticker to pop up by selecting it then tapping it to open a pop up – use the slider to move forward or back in the video to choose the moment you want it to appear, then hit Pin.
Keep in mind: If you’re wanting to promote your latest blog post, you could use some teaser images with text. Unfortunately, your viewers can’t click on a blog link in an Instagram Story unless you have an Instagram Business account and 10,000 followers or more. If you do, go for it! Now it’s even easier to direct traffic straight from Instagram to your site.
3. Poll or Q&A
Polls and Q&A Stories are great for encouraging engagement, which in turn gives your content more chance of being seen. It’s also the perfect way to get feedback about your blog and the content you create.
Give your audience a poll of different content types, restaurants to review, or let them vote for your next holiday destination. If you’re planning a Q&A, let your audience know ahead of time and entice them with the opportunity to ask you anything!
4. Giveaway or promo code
Got any sales, promotions or coupons? This is great content for Instagram Stories. You can post your giveaway in Instagram Stories to get more eyes on it, and repost it if you want to promote it again while the sale lasts.
5. List or countdown
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. List your favorite outfits, hairstyles, foods, blogs, products, or music choices. The options are endless!
How to do it right? Make your lists shop-able by including links to various stores using affiliate links. You can also list your own products or freebies in lists and point viewers to them. Use countdowns to generate buzz when it comes to launching a product, an event or going on a vacation!
Use lists or countdowns as “single day” features or spread out throughout various days. You could share a story every day that creates engagement and anticipation, but keep in mind it works best for people who watch your stories on a regular basis.
6. Behind the scenes
Regardless of what your blog’s about or what your business does, people will want to have a connection with YOU, the person behind it. So behind the scenes content is really great way to give your followers exclusive insight into your brand and let them feel part of the family.
Tip: Add a location sticker for the potential to be featured in the Stories of that place. Same goes for the hashtag sticker.
How to do it right? The behind the scenes Instagram Story posts are especially good if you are representing a brand or you want to showcase a brand, a person or a product. Cover an event, show how you work on your projects or how you engage for a sponsored opportunity. The trick is to shoot at the time and to edit later! You do want to enjoy the process, right?
7. Quote or daily motivation
Want to inspire and motivate your followers without filling your Instagram page with text overlay? No worries! You can still get inspirational quotes and daily motivation to your audience via Instagram Stories.
This leaves you to focus purely on beautiful imagery and slick video content on your profile.
This is an opportunity to share your favorite Instagram accounts. Make sure they’re complimentary brands and align with your values.
If you work this angle well, it could even turn into another idea for a later date, an Instagram Stories Takeover! In a ‘quid pro quo’ relationship, you could offer to do a Takeover for their account too.
9. Topic series or Highlights
Create a series of IG Stories around a single theme or topic relevant to your brand. Post your best quality, beautifully designed content in this stream, so you can save these Stories to your Highlights for later viewing.
Highlights live right at the top of your IG profile permanently, so make sure they reflect your best work and really illustrate the best bits of your brand. You can use free design tool, Canva, to create consistent cover visuals for these.
Tip: When adding text, use the eyedropper on the left of the color palette to select a color straight out of your image, like in Photoshop.
Tip: Type out the same text multiple times in different colors to layer over the top of each other, to add dimension and interest.
10. Go live!
Instagram live is the opportunity to have a spontaneous chat with your followers. The great thing about Instagram Live is that it can be shared afterwards on Instagram Stories, so you can get some post-engagement going as well.
How to do it right?
- Make an announcement on Instagram and your other social media channels before you go live.
- Schedule them at the same time each day, or week, so you can treat them like a regular TV or radio segment.
- Post the date and time to your feed so newcomers and followers can tune in next time.
- Use them as an opportunity to share more candid information about yourself, answer questions or get behind the scenes.