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Instagram Story Ideas: 14 Ways to Beat the Competition

Published August 11, 2023

Posting an Instagram story is a great way to engage with your audience. Yes, adding content to your feed is also necessary, but excessively uploading photos can easily oversaturate your page. Stories, on the other hand, stay on your Instagram for up to 24 hours. When they disappear, you can immediately post new content.

However, coming up with the perfect content isn’t always easy. So, if you want to beat the competition but you need some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, check out our Instagram story ideas below!

Use Eye-Catching Stickers

There’s no shortage of cool stickers on Instagram, so it’s time to put them to use. For example, if you want more people to check out your feed, draw some attention to your page by adding a “new post” sticker to your story. It’s also a good idea to put a picture that has something to do with the new content in the background. 

Similarly, if you want to bring attention to your Instagram reels, you should add the “new reel” sticker and use a screenshot from your content as a thumbnail. That way, people will catch a glimpse of the action.

You can also use stickers to promote your products. Start by uploading a picture of the product you would like to promote to your story. Then, add a “sale,” “order now,” or “available” sticker next to it.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to showcase the product, you can just add one of the aforementioned stickers to your story without adding a picture. Also, consider using the “text” tool to let your viewers know they can find the product on your Instagram page.

Create a Poll

One of the best ways to interact with your followers is to add a poll to your story. What’s more, this is also a great way to get to know your audience better. And if you’ve never made one before, don’t worry; it’s easy. Just consider what you want to ask your followers.

For example, if your page is dedicated to your business, you can post pictures of your products. You can also ask your followers which of your products they enjoy using.

The main idea is to get your audience interested in what you’re selling. That could also prompt them to check out your other products. 

Ask Your Followers Questions

Who would have thought that getting to know your followers could be so easy? All you really need to do is ask them a question.

Also, you’ll appreciate the fact that you can literally ask them anything using stickers. For example, consider keeping it casual and asking them what’s their favorite food/color/season, etc. This is a great way to show your followers that you want to interact with them.

Once you break the ice, move on to more specific questions, such as what type of content they’d like to see from you. That will also help you come up with an idea for your next story.  

For reference, if you’ve never used the question stickers, here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

  1. Upload a photo from your camera roll or take a new one.
  2. Tap the sticker icon (the square with a smiley face) in order to access the Instagram story features.
  3. Select questions from the available options.
  4. Tap the field that says ask me a question and type in your desired text.
  5. Once you’re finished, tap done, and share your story.

Once you add the question to your story, you can check out the responses in two ways:

  1. Go to your Instagram story and swipe up to see who viewed your question and check out the responses.
  2. Access your notification list by tapping the heart icon on your screen.

Encourage Your Followers to Ask You Anything

You can also use your story to answer any questions your followers have. To do this, you can also use the question sticker. Use our guide from the previous suggestion and type “ask me anything” as your question.

That will allow your followers to learn more about you or your brand. Obviously, don’t forget to address any questions you receive. Even better, copy the questions and your replies to your story for everyone to see. 

Promote Your Brand’s Discounts

There’s no better place to promote discounts and limited-time offers than on your Instagram story. Essentially, you can announce upcoming discounts and promote them daily as long as they last.

Another good idea is to add a discount code to your story or even a call to action. What’s more, you can add a link that takes your viewers directly to your product page. Here’s how:

  1. Upload some content to your story;
  2. Tap the sticker icon;
  3. Select the link sticker, add the URL, and tap done;
  4. Once you’ve added the sticker to your story, you can tap on it to change the color.

Make a Countdown

Countdowns are also an efficient way to create hype. If you’re planning on dropping a product, Instagram’s countdown stickers will come in handy. Your followers will be able to check the countdown whenever they like, and once it’s over, they can shop for your products.

How to add the countdown sticker:

  1. Upload content to your story;
  2. Click the sticker icon on the top right-hand corner of the app;
  3. Scroll down to the countdown sticker;
  4. Set the name of the countdown as well as its end date;
  5. You can also set it to a specific time by switching off the all-day button and setting the end time;
  6. Finally, you can customize the color of the sticker by clicking the color wheel on the top of the screen.

Host a Giveaway

Hosting a giveaway will not only boost your engagement but also bring in new viewers. First, make sure to use hashtags, as they are a useful tool for getting your follower’s attention and boosting the visibility of your giveaway.

Ultimately, it’s best to use some general hashtags such as #giveaway, #free, #contest, or #win so users can easily find your story. And if you’re giving away merchandise that’s limited edition, make sure to add that to your story as well.

Typically, giveaways and contests run for 24 hours, but you can extend it if you like. Overall, it’s a good idea to add the countdown sticker to your story so people can know how much time they have left before you announce the winner.

Also, now is the perfect time to gain more followers! For example, tell your viewers that in order to be eligible for the giveaway, they need to follow your page and tag or mention you in their posts or stories. 

Finally, you need to decide how to choose a winner. Basically, there are a few different ways to do this. For instance, you can ask your followers to tag you in their stories or mention you in their posts and see who gets the most likes.

Or, you can make it a contest and have them submit their favorite photos of their pets, then choose a winner yourself. Alternatively, you can use a random giveaway generator.

If possible, consider creating various tiers of prizes. For instance, the top entry will win the grand prize, and the runners-up will receive smaller prize bundles.

Also, don’t forget to mention the winners in a new story. This will provide proof that the giveaway was legitimate and will also encourage others to join in next time.

Share Behind-the-Scenes Stories About Your Brand

You may not think that your followers are interested in what goes on behind the scenes, but that’s not entirely true. Whenever you make an improvement or hire someone new on your team, you should let your viewers know.

Ultimately, keeping them updated on your company’s growth will strengthen your relationship and help you create a true bond.

Additionally, information about new shipping policies or opening a new store at another location is all vital information that you should share with your followers.

Share Positive Reviews

It goes without saying that people don’t like to buy products without reading some reviews first. With that in mind, your next story could be a post from one of your happy customers.

This will not only make a positive story but will also show potential new followers that your products are worth trying. 

Share an Inspirational Post or Affirmation

Everyone needs to take a break and read an inspirational post or affirmation from time to time. So, why not use your story to add a bit of brightness to your followers’ days?

To do so, you can repost a quote or affirmation from an Instagram account such as iam.affirmations and artsyaffirmations, or you can use your own words. It’s entirely up to you. 

Post a Tutorial

Once in a while, it’s a good idea to post a video instead of a picture. However, if you’ve never tried this, you likely don’t know what type of video to make.

To start off, we suggest you consider tutorials first, as they are incredibly popular across all social media platforms. They also provide an excellent way to create a bond with an audience in your specific niche. Furthermore, tutorials combine education with entertainment, which is the perfect formula to keep viewers engaged.

With that in mind, you can literally create a how-to video on any subject, regardless of what type of platform you have 一 sales, fitness, tech, gaming, music, beauty, etc.

For example, if your Instagram is devoted to selling products, you can create a tutorial on how to use them. Or, if your platform is focused on fitness, show your viewers how to do some at-home workouts or set up their equipment.

Beauty influencers can always make tutorials on how to apply makeup, whereas gamers can show their audience how to play a game or create the perfect gaming setup.

Make an Order-Packing Video

If our previous suggestion has inspired you to post a video to your story, but you’re not a fan of making a tutorial, perhaps you should try filming an order-packing video. This type of content is easy to make, but more importantly, people love watching the packing process!

While you can choose to use a voiceover, it may be better to go for an ASMR-style video, as they’re quite popular on all social media platforms. 

Repost Your Follower’s Content

You probably feel special when another social media influencer mentions you in their story or reposts your content. So, consider doing the same for your followers.

In your next story, give a shout-out to other influencers or accounts you follow to let them know you admire them and are checking out their content. Mentioning them will also encourage others to do the same, so it’s a win-win all around!   

Promote Your Live Stream

Doing a live stream is a smart way to interact with your audience. Namely, it makes people feel as if they’re connected to you on a personal level. However, you should never assume that people will automatically know when you’re about to go live.

First of all, announce your live stream. Afterward, use your story to continuously remind your followers to tune in. That is where your Instagram story comes in handy as a promotion tool.

Start by posting about your live stream a week before it airs. Then, post a daily reminder so that there’s no way people will miss it. Finally, you can also use the countdown option.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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