Looking for new Instagram story ideas for your business? That’s great news. Instagram story engagement should be high on your list of marketing goals. Stories are huge. In fact, more than 70% of Instagram users watch Instagram stories daily. With over 1.3 billion users on the platform, that number is massive.
The Instagram story is one of the leading social media spaces for businesses to connect and engage with their audience. Not only does Instagram constantly update Stories with new features and exciting add-ons, but they are also one of the easiest and quickest ways today to connect and have an ongoing conversation with your followers and customers online.
A primary reason you should be embracing Instagram stories in 2022 if you haven’t done so already is that in October 2021, one of the most coveted Instagram story features, linkable stories, rolled out to all IG users. Until then, only verified accounts or accounts with 10K followers could link their stories. Not anymore! Small businesses can now add links to their stories using Instagram link stickers. But more on that later.
Let’s dive in with fresh Instagram story ideas for your business to adopt in 2022.
There are many Instagram story ideas that can help you drive sales, boost engagement and connect better with your audience. Whether it’s IG story takeovers or weekly contests, it’s often overwhelming to feel the need to constantly come up with new story ideas to share with your followers. But how do you decide on the best ones?
Creating content isn’t easy, but the different features that the Instagram story format offers make it easier. Here are our top business Instagram story ideas to adopt for your 2022 content marketing plan and drive engagement all year long.
Here’s where the “Add Link” sticker we discussed earlier already comes into action. While posting links to stories is a great way to share resources, information, and inspiration within your community, it can also be used to drive leads to a product or service you want to highlight. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, a great way to utilize this tool would be to add links to real estate listings you want your followers to see. If your business sells products, get into the habit of adding weekly links to goods that are on sale or want to highlight.
Pro tip – We suggest having this as a weekly roundup with a unique design so your followers can anticipate it in advance.
The numbers are in, and they are conclusive: consumers are looking for companies that they can feel a connection to. Brand intimacy should now become a priority, and IG stories are a perfect setting for building that relationship. A fantastic way to make a habit of that is to regularly bring your team to the spotlight using a weekly or monthly story feature!
Some story ideas can include a “team member takeover” where your Instagram stories are left in the trusting hands of one of the company employees. They can use the takeover to share what their workday looks like, give a behind-the-scenes look into some meetings, and even share their tips for a better workday.
If you are a retailer, another great idea can be to highlight the people behind the brands that you are selling. Take a look at the example below from the IG account of online plant shop The Sill. They’ve dedicated a series called “Meet the Maker” featuring the makers behind the brands that they sell on their online store. A great way to support and spotlight small businesses and connect with their followers.
Discoverability for blog posts is at an all-time low, as most users now prefer to browse their social media feeds to learn more about the brands they follow instead of hitting that resource or blog button on your website. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to read what you have to say. Make a habit of showcasing your latest and greatest long-form content by creating a short teaser for your top reads. The perfect online real estate for that? You guessed it—Instagram stories. Pro tip: create a 15-second video teasing the highlights of your blog post for even more attention. Don’t forget to add the new link sticker to transition users from your story to your blog in an instant.
An Instagram poll is a great way to engage users and hear what they think. Instagram provides default answers of “yes” or “no,” but these polls are customizable with entries up to 22 characters. In short, it gives users two options to choose from.
Make sure that the topic of your poll is relevant to your target audience. Our recommendation is to choose a parent topic and ask “this or that” questions relating to it. For example, if you’re in fashion, choose fall fashion as your umbrella topic (no pun intended). Ask questions like “brown boots vs. black boots” and “trench coat vs. bomber jacket.” Utilizing polls as part of your social media strategy is a great way to boost engagement. You’ll be able to find out what your audience wants and thinks while promoting brand recognition.
You can share the responses after the 24 hours are up to see what your audience preferred. You may be surprised by the results!
We’ll start by saying that if you haven’t switched your business’ Instagram account to a business account, now is the time to do so. This feature is a game-changer for online sales, allowing e-commerce businesses to drive sales directly from their Instagram story. There are different kinds of stickers to choose from that can be placed on either videos or images.
When you post pictures of your products, make sure each product has a product sticker on it. When followers watch your story, they can tap on a sticker to learn more about a product or even make a purchase! Including story shopping in your Instagram stories is the perfect way to ensure your viewers are shopping when they don’t even know they’re shopping! Small business life hack? We think yes!
We’re pretty sure you’ve been busy creating videos for your social media channel. With 84% of people saying they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video, if you are not actively posting videos on your social media channels, you are missing out on some major opportunities. While longer videos you create will find their home in your feed or Instagram reels, a 15-minute story is the perfect place to drive attention and interest around any new video you publish. All you need to do is share it to your story with a catchy “Don’t miss out” phrase, and a quick tap will have them watching your video in no time.
Want to know the perfect way to instill excitement about a product launch, business announcement, or company event? Countdown stickers! Instagram allows you to set a reminder for any day and time (up to one year in the future) so your viewers can be notified. If you combine this feature with other action stickers (like the previously mentioned links), you can drive your business’ signups, sales, and more.
Once your countdown event goes live, your followers can subscribe to it, which will send them a reminder when the time is up and your countdown is complete!
Show you care by adding an “ask me a question” sticker to your story and inviting your followers to ask you anything about your business or industry. This is a great way to understand what isn’t clear to your followers and discover what areas you need to improve on.
It also puts you on the fast track to asserting yourself as an authoritative figure in your niche. People have questions; you have answers.
Open-ended questions spark curiosity with your viewers. They show your viewers that you care and that you want to hear from them. Their opinion matters! There’s nothing quite like the wisdom of the crowd.
Chat stickers are another Instagram story idea. A chat sticker lets you launch a group chat with your followers directly from your story. When posting a story, click on the sticker button on the top right corner. Name the chat, post your discussion, and let the requests roll in. This is a great strategy to get users excited about upcoming events, projects, and products.
A great way to start a conversation is to announce a product launch. You can name the chat something a little mysterious, add a little teaser about an item you’re ready to launch, and have your followers and customers begin to contemplate what it is you’re about to drop. No one knows your audience better than themselves; let your fans rejoice together and get one another excited for whatever is about to come!
If you offer services rather than products, start a conversation about a specific service your customers love. Why does it stand out? Starting an open conversation about services you provide—or services your customers would like to see you offer in the future—can be very beneficial to your company. It also gives you an opportunity to explain your business’ vision and answer questions your customers may have.
Instagram story games are a huge driver of user engagement, and trivia is one that everyone loves to play. Weekly quizzes are a great way to invite followers to share their opinions and knowledge about who you are and what you mean to them. It’s also an excellent way to encourage engagement around your field of expertise. When viewers get used to this kind of content, they’ll be looking forward to it; who doesn’t love to learn new things? Here is a great example from a trivia game shared on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Instagram account. They have a weekly #TuesdayTrivia Instagram story game, and usually, tie it into a relevant occasion. Here is an example of their autumnal trivia.
Ask a question related to your business or one of your products and invite your followers to slide to decide what they think. Ask your followers what they think of a specific product or service using a fire or heart emoji. All they have to do is slide the emoji to where they best think it fits, and you have your answer.
Your audience will also see the average response, which will instill a sense of community among your customers. It’s also a cute Instagram story idea to boost engagement but isn’t pushing any sales.
Have a collaborator take over stories and spark interest from the audience. The takeover could be anyone, from an influencer you’ve been working with to a trusted customer. We also recommend using other professionals in your industry; there’s nothing like a small business helping another small business.
This is also an opportunity to have other experts explain aspects of your company from a professional perspective. The best thing about a professional collaboration? The person you’re working with may want you to do an IG takeover for them, meaning you’ll have another platform to raise brand awareness!
Tutorial stories, hacks, and how-tos—share fast and straightforward video tutorials that your audience will find helpful. For example, if you’re in the restaurant business, share quick recipes from your kitchen or give your audience a sneak peek into your beloved kitchen with insider tips. If you’re a retail company, try creating weekly outfit tutorials to inspire your customers! If hospitality or real estate is your line of work, give tips on how to improve the look and feel of the home.
Sharing user-generated content on your Instagram stories is a great way to motivate audiences to engage with your brand. Ask your customers to tag you in posts relevant to your brand such as using your products, enjoying your services, and more, and then repost their stories! Sharing user-generated content is a win-win situation; you’re showcasing your products and services in action, and your customers get the chance to feel unique and meaningful because they are getting highlighted on YOUR Instagram page!
Highlight your customers. They’re why you’re here! Add customer testimonials to your stories and insights on how your service or product has helped them. Consider using before and after pictures or videos in your stories to show the real-time effects of your service or product. Since you’re using your customers instead of influencers, your audience will love this—it’s a great way to build trust!
People are looking for more than just pictures of nice views in their Instagram feeds. They want to be a part of the process—to feel like part of the story. An incredible way to make them a part of your story (no pun intended) is by playing a story game with your audience. A cute Instagram story game idea can be sharing teasers and closeups of upcoming projects, then asking your followers what product they think you’re about to drop or what you’re working on next. We promise this Instagram game will be fun for you too, as your audience’s responses may surprise you and even give you new, creative ideas for your business.
What’s the best part of a movie? The trailer! Give your followers a sneak peek into a new product or project you are working on to create excitement around your brand. Instagram stories are the perfect place to tease your customers about what’s new in your company and raise engagement and awareness for upcoming products and releases.
Pro tip: if you’ve made a big announcement on your Instagram feed and you want to ensure your customers don’t miss it, share that post on your Instagram story, cover it with a fun sticker, write “new post” to ensure they click on it, enter your feed, and see what the fuss is all about!
Who knows your product better than your customers? No one (except for maybe you)! One of the most powerful ways to understand what your audience wants is to simply ask them. If you’re dropping new merchandise and need help deciding on a color, ask your audiences what they’re interested in seeing. It’s also essential to see what your customers are less satisfied with, and your Instagram stories are a great way to reach out and do that!
While you may have hundreds of followers, there must be one or two (or ten) that stand out, right? A great way to show your followers how appreciative your brand is and how connected you are with your audience and your customers is to post a shoutout to specific followers. These could be followers who just won a competition, followers who often comment and engage with the content you’re creating, or followers who are loyal customers. Whatever characteristics you admire most in your followers should be what you’re emphasizing in your stories!
Last (but certainly not least), we have promo codes. Promote your product or service through IG stories, generate hype, and increase your brand recognition. An Instagram story is an ad waiting to happen—only it’s free! Use that to your advantage.
Instagram stories are 24 hours long, and they instill a sense of FOMO. Customers can use the code that is in your story for 24 hours. If they know you’re posting stories with discount codes, they’ll be more alert and prone to look for your stories when posted.
Now that you have all the Instagram story ideas you need to create engaging stories regularly, here are the best practices to keep in mind when posting on your business account.
One of the main reasons to post appealing content is to engage with your followers. If your followers are answering questions and quizzes or completing challenges, you should take the time to respond to them and thank them for their time. Engaging with followers in specific ways and stories will also encourage them to reach out if they have any questions, concerns, or ideas related to your business.
Captions are essential when it comes to social media, especially Instagram. Instagram captions hold the potential to add context to the videos and images you share, as well as details your customer may not have known otherwise. You may have an incredible photo or video to share, but you might lose some significant engagement opportunities if your caption isn’t strong enough. Give the proper attention to your captions; it’s a significant key to success in Instagram’s algorithms.
An aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed is just as important as each image and video you post. Create a brand aesthetic that grabs your audience’s attention. Using brand colors, adding your brand logo to posts, and using a unique text style in your videos is a great way to do that. As you post more, you’ll establish a specific brand appearance that will slowly resonate with your audiences.
Though you may have spent time creating the funniest videos, the most engaging Instagram stories, or the most value-packed carousels, if you don’t know the best time to post on Instagram, you might be wasting time and effort on a lost cause. Understanding the best time to post on Instagram is just as important as the post itself!
Knowing the do’s of Instagram isn’t enough. You should know what you should steer clear of when an essential posting on Instagram for your business.
Recycling old content may work for accounts with millions of followers and hundreds of thousands of posts, but for SMBs, it’s a no-go. If you aren’t posting daily and you decide to reuse old content that was posted on your 100 picture feed, your viewers will be quick to recognize the content and get bored quickly.
If you’re running out of content to post, there are tools you can use before resorting to recycling old content. At Promo, we offer a content calendar that helps you map out your monthly content and provides ready-made templates for each day. The content calendar offers templates for every day of the year, so you’ll never run out of content again!
As a business owner, you know that the way a brand introduces itself matters. A good Instagram bio explains what you do in a few short sentences. With an on-point bio, you can target your ideal audience so that new visitors will better understand what your business is all about. If they’re interested in what they see, they’re more likely to click the “follow” button.
You don’t want to post too little or too much. It’s confusing, because each social media platform calls for a different number of posts per week, but when it comes to Instagram, stick to posting between 3 and 7 times per week. It’s enough to stay relevant and keep the algorithm on your good side, but not too much that people get overwhelmed by your content and unfollow.
Buying fake followers may seem like a good idea at first, but you will lose by buying them at the end of the day. Spending any amount of money on these to grow your numbers won’t ensure your engagement is working. When you buy Instagram followers, you’re violating Instagram’s strict Terms of Service. Don’t run the risk of getting your account suspended. With the right amount of time and effort spent in your feed, you’ll be reaching the right audiences and creating organic traffic to your page.
This may seem like an obvious “don’t,” but some people still need to hear it. Posting bad-quality content to Instagram is a sure way to get people to unfollow you and stop taking your business seriously. If you don’t have access to unique, high-quality content, you can use a tool that has footage perfectly suited to your niche.
Promo offers 110+ million premium clips and images. Yes, you read that number right. No matter what your niche is, you’ll find the footage and pictures you’re looking for on Promo. The best part? You can customize the image by adding your brand logo, trying unique text styles, and choosing the aspect ratio that best fits your feed.
You now know that Instagram stories are more than just 24-hour photos that you feature on your account—they’re a major marketing tool. The correct Instagram story could be what drives engagement and gets customers talking about your brand. We hope this article will help you build a marketing strategy for 2022, and we want to encourage you to come back and read it next time you’re out of Instagram marketing story ideas! The options and inspiration are endless!
Daniella Julius is a Content Manager at Promo. She is passionate about turning words into accessible content for anyone and everyone to enjoy. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably cooking or soaking up the sun with a delicious cup of coffee!
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