Social media is ever evolving. Each day you log in, there’s something new happening. And with that, businesses get a whole new avenue to position and market their products. One such platform that has grown by 1400% in just the last 5 years is Instagram. This blog post takes you through one of the most leveraged features of the platform: Instagram stories. We don’t need to tell you what are Instagram stories, do we? They have been all the rage, what with cool stickers, tagging features, and so much more! By the end of this blog, you will have 16 amazing Instagram story ideas that you can customize and leverage to boom your D2C business.
Bonus: If you are not sure how to create an Instagram story, follow the below steps.
- Tap on the plus icon on the top right of your screen to choose stories or simply right swipe on the main screen.
- You can now either tap the circle button at the bottom of the screen to take a live photo or video, choose a media from the bottom left, or slide the screen up to post any of the photos/videos you have in your gallery.
- After choosing your photo/video you can customize it with text, personal drawings, stickers, Gifs, music, polls, questions, emojis and multiple different filters.
- Hit the “right arrow” on the bottom right to share your photo to your story which all your followers can view or select a few friends to directly message the photo to.
Why should you try Instagram stories for your D2C Business?
According to Instagram, more than 500 Million people use Stories daily, and one-third of the most-viewed stories come from brands.
If you’re not using Instagram stories for your D2C business, you are missing out! It offers a world of opportunities for you to grow your business. With Instagram stories you can:
- Engage and interact with your audience
The gap between a brand and its users has been shrinking ever since social media took over the marketing scene. With this, brands now have the opportunity to present themselves as their raw, authentic self to their audiences. What does it mean, you ask? Instagram stories let you show your human side by letting you post live pictures, daily updates, and more. With various options like tagging, messaging, and so on, available in Instagram stories, engaging with your audience is a cakewalk.
See how the team at Sugar Cosmetics show their fun, humane side by sharing their team’s outing pictures in the below image.
- Increase sales
The ultimate aim of any marketing tactic is to increase sales. Using Instagram stories can be highly beneficial in doing the same. With over 500mn daily users, it is a great venue to meet, interact, and influence your potential customers, and even the current clientele.
Continue reading to understand how exactly you can increase your sales and revenue using Instagram stories.
16 Instagram Story Ideas for your D2C Business
Before we dive into the amazing ideas you can leverage for your business, here’s a bonus tip: Know when to post a story.
Yes, it is a simple tip. However, it makes a huge difference. We recommend posting to Stories at least twice per day during the peak timing.
Wondering how you can know what the peak time is? Check out the ‘Insights tab’ in your account. You can find it by tapping on the ‘Three lines icon’. Leverage the data you get there to chalk out your Instagram stories strategy seamlessly.
Instagram Stories have loads of easy-to-use features that stimulate audience engagement — from a single click poll to instant reaction slider stickers. You can also have these stories saved under ‘Highlights’ so your audience can view them anytime they want to.
Let’s now get you started with our list of 16 ideas you can leverage right away!
Pro Tip: Create eye-catching stories that match your brand aesthetics to stand out. You can use various tools available in the market, like Canva, to create unique, appealing Instagram Stories.
Instagram Story Ideas 1: Polls
Leverage the polls option to understand your audience better. You can ask anything that would make you gauge them and would help you create content and products that would appeal to them. It is also a perfect way to increase your engagement on Instagram. It is also a perfect way to increase your engagement on Instagram. The more attention you get on your stories, higher are your chances to reach new viewers.For example, see how an Indian apparel brand conducted a poll to see if their customers like their new look.
Pro Tip: Ask questions that would be helpful in developing and improving your product. For example, if you are planning to bring out a new shade of lipstick, poll it out and ask your audience which color they would prefer. As easy as that!
Instagram Story Ideas 2: Instagram takeovers
Getting an influencer to take over your stories for a day might seem like a crazy idea, but it can be a game-changer! Choose the influencer who’s aligned with your business value and have followers similar to the one you like to target. This way, you get to reach their audience as well.
Look at this example of an Instagram Takeover. Notice how an organic farm-based company collaborated with a nutritionist to promote their businesses? This is a clear example of collaborating with someone whose values align with yours.
Pro Tip: Use posts to promote the takeover. Get the influencer you are collaborating with to also post it on their feed, so you have more people joining the takeover.
Instagram Story Ideas 3: Links and See More
If your aim is to seriously get your sales high with Instagram, you need to make the process of buying easier for your audience. With the recently added ‘Link’ sticker, you can actually ensure you redirect your audience to a landing page of your choice. How exciting! You can also use the ‘See More’ feature that can again lead your audience to your desired page.
Here’s how you can add the link sticker to your stories:
- Add content to your story
- Select the sticker tool from the top navigation bar
- Tap the “Link” sticker to add your customised link and click “Done”
- Place it anywhere on your story and share it with your audience
Here’s an example of using the ‘See More’ feature to drive your audience to your website for purchasing your products.
ProTip: Promote your most popular products with ‘link’ and ‘See More’ features. Keep gauging the performance of stories and make necessary changes.
Instagram Story Ideas 4: Contests
Who doesn’t like to participate in contests and win free gifts? This is a great way of giving away a few of your products in exchange for a significantly high engagement. We recently published a blog post on running Instagram contests for D2C brands. Read it for inspiration to create your own amazing stories.
In the below image, see how the business has shared their post in their stories, and used a catchy sticker to draw their users’ attention. This ensures a higher view and engagement rate for the post as well as the story.
ProTip: Use stickers! With hundreds of stories to go through, the audience might miss out on your story if you do not catch their eyes. Use stickers from Instagram’s repository and keep them glued to your Instagram stories.
Instagram Story Ideas 5: Announcement
This could be something as simple as the launch of a new product, or you opening a new store somewhere. Make the announcement all the more beneficial by adding location tags, tagging people, etc. This helps keep your followers informed at all times of your next move.
Here’s an example of a cosmetic brand announcing their new product launch via Instagram Stories.
ProTip: Use videos to create a larger impact. Don’t forget to leverage the ‘Swipe Up’ and ‘See More’ feature to redirect the audience to your product page for a seamless shopping experience.
Instagram Story Ideas 6: Countdowns
Have a special event coming up? Opening a new store? Dropping a new product line? Let your followers know by using the countdown feature in Instagram Stories. It also allows the audience to set a reminder for the countdown and notify them when the time is up. See how the brand is using a countdown to announce the new launch
ProTip: Don’t forget to save your stories as highlights, especially for countdowns lasting longer than 24 hours
Instagram Story Ideas 7: FAQs
Want to tell your audience all about you? Put up stories highlighting your USPs, what you do, how to buy from you, and more. Check the comments on your posts to see what are the questions frequently asked by your audience and put that knowledge to your use.
Notice how the brand highlights multiple characteristics in one single answer? Leveraging FAQ stories can pave the way for you to tell your story in detail without giving out a lot of information.
Another idea is to use the question sticker and get your audience to ask you questions directly. Look at this example.
ProTip: If you share someone’s response to your question sticker as a new story, they will receive a notification, even if you don’t tag them. This makes sure that they’ll know when you answer their question and keep the engagement going.
Instagram Story Ideas 8: Customer Reviews
How often do you check reviews when you buy something online? Every single time, right? Well, using Instagram stories to share the voice of your customers can be highly beneficial for you. It allows you to showcase your credibility while also encouraging potential buyers to try out your products.
Here’s an example of how you can leverage those online reviews or even simple feedback from the customers in the best way possible.
Pro Tip: Aim to go that extra mile to get customer feedback. Not only do they show your credibility, but also help you improve your products and create better solutions.
Instagram Story Ideas 9: User generated content
We cannot stress the importance of user generated content enough! It is one of the best ways to showcase your credibility, get high engagement, and become the talk of the town. Get your audience to create content and share it on your stories and see how soon you have more visitors to your page. Sharing your customer’s stories will make them feel special as well as help your potential buyers to see what you have to offer.
See how Mama Earth has leveraged various tactics to increase their reach. While they have asked users to post stories with pictures per their initiative, they have also asked the users to encourage other women by tagging them and using a unique hashtag.
Pro Tip: When people search for a hashtag on Instagram, if it’s popular enough, they’ll be able to view active, real-time stories on that hashtag’s page. Don’t miss that opportunity!
Instagram Story Ideas 10: Tips and tricks
Grab the attention of your audience by providing tips and tricks that’d keep them hooked. It could be anything to do with your product and would help establish you as a thought leader in the space. For example, see how the team at Licious leveraged their own team member’s knowledge of cooking meat to their advantage in the story below.
Instagram Story Ideas 11: Live
To get an immediate boost to your engagement rates and to catch your followers’ attention, going live on Instagram stories is an excellent idea. It can be an effective way to generate curiosity and also interact with your followers.
Pro Tip: When you go live, your followers usually get notified. Remember to go live when the majority of your followers might be online (Check out insights to understand your audience’s usage better).
Instagram Story Ideas 12: New post
Put up a new post that you want your followers to not miss? Post a story about it and wait for the engagement to begin. Doing this helps beat Instagram’s algorithm, and ensures your post reaches a larger number of people in your followers list.
In the below image, see how the business has covered the post with a huge sticker to maintain curiosity about what’s in the post. The audience is sure to click on the post to know what’s the big deal!
Instagram Story Ideas 13: Reaction slider
How easy would running a business be if only you could understand your audience’s reaction to your products? Well, that is now possible! Instagram stories’ reaction slider feature lets you ask a question and prompt the audience to react using the emoji slider so you can understand their pulse.
Here’s an example of using a reaction slider to lead to promoting a new product. Mama Earth put up this story on Instagram to promote their baby products, and we must say, such a cute tactic!
ProTip: See how they have used a unique hashtag? Hashtags, be it in posts or stories, can be very effective in helping amplify the reach of the campaign. Also, don’t forget to use the various reactions provided by Instagram.
Instagram Story Ideas 14: Quiz time
Quizzes are an excellent way to keep your audience engaged. Instagram Stories quiz sticker lets you share trivia-style multiple-choice questions with your followers and track the results. Want to see how well your followers know you? Use the quiz sticker and ask questions about your brand and see for yourself!
Instagram Story Ideas 15: Promo codes and offers
Instagram stories are a great way to inform your loyal followers about any promotions or offers that’s coming up. It will definitely make them feel special as opposed to people who wouldn’t be following you. Once the word gets out, others are also sure to follow you so as to not miss out on the offers you have running.
In the below example, you can see Sugar Cosmetics leveraging this tactic, while also providing a link in the stories to redirect the users to their sale page.
Instagram Story Ideas 16: Shoutouts
Found another brand whose values align with yours? Give them a shoutout, and most probably, you will get a shoutout in return. This helps increase your visibility, and also facilitates you to build relationships in the community.
Shoutouts are possibly the most commonly used Stories tactic today to promote fellow D2C businesses today.
InstaStories are the way to go!
Confused how to take the ‘Instagram Stories’ way? Create a content strategy, bookmark this page, choose what works best for you, and explore the world of Instagram stories. Let us know what other ideas you have to leverage this cool feature effectively in the comments below.
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