Great Instagram Stories Tips to Make an Interactive Brand

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Instagram stories have exploded as a must-have branding and engagement channel, especially amidst Instagram‘s overcrowding. Crafting stories that capture attention and drive meaningful connections is now an imperative for brands‘ social success.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explore 12 powerful Instagram stories tips to take your brand‘s stories to the next level. From showcasing behind-the-scenes access to demonstrating products, you‘ll gain actionable advice for turning standard stories into stopping-scrolling standouts. Read on to master Instagram stories‘ unique interactive capabilities.

The Rising Importance of Instagram Stories

Let‘s first examine why Instagram stories have become essential for marketers in 2023.

As per Oberlo, 500 million Instagram users view stories daily. For brands, this translates to prime real estate for engaging massive audiences.

Story creation on Instagram has grown 36x faster than feed posting. Instagram actively privileges fresh stories in users‘ feeds to incentivize constant content creation.

Furthermore, an Impact study found engagement rates are 5-10x higher on Instagram Stories over the feed.

Clearly, focusing creative efforts on Instagram Stories is now non-negotiable for brands. Optimizing stories offers unmatched opportunities for views, interactivity and conversions.

Genuine Storytelling Spotlights Brand Personality

Compelling Instagram Stories should provide an authentic inside look into what makes your brand tick. Use stories to highlight passion points, values and unique aspects of your brand identity.

Pull Back the Curtain with Behind-the-Scenes

Give audiences VIP access to your brand’s inner workings through behind-the-scenes photos and videos. Capture staff brainstorm sessions, a day-in-the-life of your social media manager, your product photoshoots, or even quick office tours.

Humanizing content helps viewers feel like insiders of your brand, building more meaningful connections. An Impact study shows behind-the-scenes brand content receives 17% higher impressions and 35% higher engagement.

Put Your Passions in the Spotlight

Also share what motivates your brand on a human level, like social causes you actively support or unique hobbies your team enjoys. REI does this brilliantly through Instagram stories capturing staff outdoor adventures. This authentic passion content resonates more deeply than generic corporate PR.

Speak Conversationally

When writing Instagram story captions, adopt an informal, approachable tone. Avoid overly salesy or corporate language. Write captions as if speaking directly to a friend to make your content more relatable. Slang, emojis and humor can help strike this conversational tone.

Interactive Content Drives Connections

Beyond static images, Instagram Stories enable brands to creatively interact with followers in real-time. Use built-in tools to poll opinions, field questions and more.

Crowdsource Opinions with Live Polls

As a social listening technique, insert timely polls into Instagram Stories to gather followers’ thoughts on relevant topics. This provides valuable first-party data to inform decision-making on new products, campaigns or initiatives.

Polls also incentivize audience participation. Software company Canva saw a 35% increase in replies to their poll stories versus standard text stories.

Field Questions with AMAs

Similarly, pose questions to your followers using Instagram’s “Ask Me Anything” and questions stickers. Then share selected questions and answers in forthcoming stories. Followers appreciate this genuine engagement.

Consider tying AMAs to specific themes, like newly launched products or your company‘s environmental efforts. This focuses the conversation for more substantive dialogue.

Add Direct Shopping Opportunities

Enable seamless shopping from Instagram Stories using swipe up or tap-to-shop functionality, directing followers to product pages on your website. The convenience can yield higher conversion rates.

According to Shopify, adding Instagram Shopping increased conversions by 30% for brands already selling online. For purely digital brands, this number jumps to 60-80% higher conversions.

Strategically Incorporate Hashtags

Insert 1-2 relevant hashtags into Instagram story captions or frames to expand possible reach. This leverages existing follower bases around branded and industry hashtags. However, avoid excessive hashtag dumping as this clutters content.

Creative Ways to Showcase Products

Instagram stories also enable brands to spotlight products and services from entertaining new angles. Think beyond basic storefront shots or static descriptions.

Tease New Launches

For upcoming product launches, provide Instagram-exclusive sneak peeks to followers first. Capture glamour shots of the new line or share select details to start generating buzz pre-launch. Consider using Instagram countdown stickers to build anticipation around an impending drop.

Demonstrate Usage

Increase interest for existing products by demonstrating how they’re used in Instagram stories. This could involve:

  • Mini tutorials showing how to incorporate certain ingredients into recipes
  • Step-by-step makeup or skincare application
  • Customer videos explaining what they create with arts-and-crafts supplies

Seeing products brought to life piques shoppers’ desire to recreate that experience themselves.

Spotlight Customer Content

Repost great photos, videos or reviews created by customers featuring your products. User-generated content shows authentic customer experiences that new shoppers can relate to. Plus it rewards loyal brand fans by amplifying their work.

Promote Limited-Time Offers

Inform followers of special sales, seasonal promotions or contest giveaways using attention-grabbing Instagram Stories. Urgency heightens desire to purchase and take advantage of deals before stock runs out or codes expire.

Visually Appealing Stories Enhance Engagement

While compelling stories take priority, visual presentation should not be overlooked. Follow basic design best practices to keep followers focused as they scroll through stories.

Apply On-Brand Design Elements

Embed recognizable brand identifiers into Instagram stories, like:

  • Your signature color scheme and logo
  • Custom illustrations or iconography
  • Proprietary fonts, frames or filters

Consistent elements strengthen brand familiarity and integration into followers’ lifestyles.

Incorporate GIFs

Insert animated GIFs into Instagram stories for extra visual flair. Opt for GIFs conveying emotions or reactions that match your brand‘s vibe. Quirky graphics capture attention as followers scroll stories.

Get Creative with Layouts

Explore different text positioning, fun frames, filters and stickers to diversify your Instagram stories’ look over time. This keeps the content stream visually interesting.

Mind Your Timing

Be strategic with Instagram story scheduling. Post at peak times when your target audience is most active on Instagram, usually during commute hours or lunch breaks. Scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer or Planoly help optimize timing.

This ensures your best stories actually get viewed by your followers instead of getting buried.

Shoppable Links

Instagram Story Type Engagement Rate
Behind-the-Scenes 17% higher impressions
Contests / Polls 2x more comments
30-80% higher conversions

So there you have it – 12 impactful Instagram stories tips to make your brand’s stories more engaging, useful and traffic-driving.

As a social media consultant with over 5 years expertise, I cannot emphasize enough how vital an interactive, conversion-focused Instagram story strategy is for brands in 2023. Follow these best practices for stories that stop scrolling and drive real ROI.

What story ideas will you try next for your brand? Which of these tips resonated most? Let me know in the comments!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.