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June 12, 2023

Instagram Story Ideas for Businesses: Boosting Engagement & Driving Results

Instagram Story Ideas, Tips & Tricks
7 min read

Do you feel stuck coming up with new ideas for your Instagram stories? Read on!

In today's digital landscape, Instagram has become an essential platform for businesses to connect with their target audience. With over 500 million daily active users engaging with Instagram Stories, this feature presents a prime opportunity for businesses to showcase their brand personality, engage their followers, and drive tangible results. In this blog post, we'll explore effective content strategies, Instagram story features, posting times, and other important considerations to help businesses create engaging Instagram Stories.

Social Media Story Content Ideas

If you feel stuck, explore one of these content ideas below for inspiration on your next Instagram story.

Behind the Scenes Instagram Story Idea

Showcasing Behind-the-Scenes Moments

One effective way to connect with your audience is by sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business. Examples include:

  • Sneak peeks of new products or services being developed
  • How It's Made videos that give an inside look at how your product is made
  • Behind-the-scenes videos of your team at work
  • Exclusive interviews or Q&A sessions with key team members or collaborators
Guides & How Tos Instagram Story Idea

Tutorials and How-To Guides

Educational content not only adds value to your audience but also positions your business as an industry expert. Consider creating Instagram Stories that provide step-by-step tutorials or useful tips related to your products or services. For instance:

  • A furniture manufacturer or retailer can show how to style a coffee table or sofa
  • A tourism agency can show 5 attractions centered around a themed guide or itinerary
  • A cosmetics brand can share makeup tutorials using their latest products
  • A clothing boutique can showcase the perfect outfit and accessories for Sunday brunch or similar event
  • A craft brewery could feature food pairings with their top 5 beers
  • A fitness center or gym can showcase exercise routines or healthy recipes
UGC Example Instagram Story Idea

User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-Generated Content (commonly referred to by its acronym, UGC) is a powerful way to build social proof and engage your audience. Encourage your followers to share their experiences and tag your business in their posts. Repost these UGCs on your Instagram Stories, giving credit to the creators and fostering a sense of community. Examples:

  • A restaurant can feature customer food photos or reviews
  • An interior designer can re-share photos their client posts of their home
  • A fashion brand can showcase customers wearing their products
  • A furniture manufacturer can share photos of their products featured in interior design projects
  • A craft brewery can re-post stories of customers enjoying their beers on location
  • A tourism agency can share photos of visitors in the area enjoying different attractions and businesses
Giveaway Instagram Story Idea

Limited-Time Offers and Exclusive Discounts

Leverage the urgency of Instagram Stories' temporary nature to create a sense of exclusivity. Examples include:

  • Flash sales with a countdown timer to drive immediate action
  • Promo codes or exclusive discounts available only to Story viewers
  • Use your Close Friends list to promote these stories specifically to A-list customers or target accounts
Article Reshare Instagram Story Idea

Adjacent Content

The easiest of all Instagram story content ideas is to share industry news or adjacent content that is relevant to your business. This could include:

  • Article shares from news sources with information that affects your industry
  • Local spotlights that showcase other small businesses posts or community goings-on are perfect for small businesses and easy re-shares
  • Inspiration story shares could come from anywhere and feature information or visuals that serve as inspiration for your clients and customers
Instagram Story Poll Idea

Quizzes, Polls, & Questions

Instagram's built-in story tools are a great way to not just come up with story content but also engage your audience. Try some of these tools for easy and effective Instagram stories:

  • Thursday Trivia quiz with questions that relate to your industry, products, employees or company history
  • What's Your Favorite poll that asks users to vote on their favorite product or service
  • Ask Us Anything questions where customers can submit questions or request information from your business that you will answer publicly on your story

Instagram Story Tips

Take your social media stories to the next level with these Instagram Story tips and tricks.

Use Interactive Features

Instagram Stories offer a range of interactive features that can boost engagement and tweak the algorithms in your favor. Experiment with:

Take Advantage of Instagram Story Links

The universal availability of the Instagram Story link button is great for businesses and marketing. Never pass up an opportunity to include a call-to-action on your stories that drive users to more information. For example, use Instagram Story Links to:

Story Posting Times

While there is no universal "best" time to post Instagram Stories, consider your audience's demographics, location, and behavior. In our experience, stories posted between 2pm and 8pm get the most views. Experiment with posting at different times and use Instagram's analytics to identify peak engagement periods for your audiences.

Image & Video Formatting

Make sure you format your photos and videos correctly so they are optimized for social media stories. Your story photos and videos should be:

Instagram Story Templates

There are a variety of free design tools available online to create perfect Instagram Stories. We like Adobe Express - they have a wide variety of story templates and cool features.

Instagram Story Highlights

Utilize Story Highlights to save important stories and make them easy for users to access later. Story Highlight examples include:


Instagram Stories provide businesses with an engaging and creative way to connect with their audience, drive results, and build brand loyalty. By implementing the ideas and strategies mentioned above, you can create compelling Instagram Stories that leave a lasting impact on your followers. Remember to experiment, analyze the results, and adjust your approach accordingly to continually improve your Instagram Story content.

Need help honing in on your Social Media Marketing strategy? Give us a shout!

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