Let’s be honest – our fave social apps don’t always make ‘improvements’ that are in our best interests (I mean, NONE of Instagram’s recent changes are wanted by the masses, yet here we are).
However, there are SOME changes that I can’t imagine my social feeds without.
When Instagram Stories first came blazing onto the scene, I remember my initial reaction being that it was just a rip-off of Snapchat (which, well it was). But then I posted my first Instagram story and saw how many more eyeballs viewed it than my Snapchat story, and I knew it was a game-changer. I had already grown an audience on Instagram, so why not tap into them directly via the app rather than drive them over to Snapchat?
Now there are plenty of people who prefer to consumer content through Stories rather than static posts, and plenty of influencers who are spending more time strategizing on Instagram Story ideas than anything else. If content is King, then video is Queen… and she’s only becoming more powerful.
Want to amp up your Stories and start using them to the fullest? Here are 8 creative Instagram Story ideas to integrate into your social strategy, whether you’re a blogger or a brand or just want to start doing cool shit with your Stories.
1) Create a weekly series
There’s nothing better than stumbling upon an awesome piece of content and realizing there’s more where it came from. Creating an ongoing series with Instagram Stories allows you to engage with your audience on a regular basis and give them something to look forward to. It doesn’t need to be complicated, either – you could share a #MondayMotivation mantra, a Wednesday wine recommendation, or even a Sunday morning journal reflection.
2) Show a step-by-step process
One of my favourite Instagram Story ideas is to show a step-by-step process of something. Demonstrate anything from how to create the smoky eye look from your birthday or how you achieved your latest in-feed photo edit in Lightroom. Best part is that you can save them in your ‘Highlights’ and create a regular series that your followers can easily go back to reference.
3) Conduct mini interviews
As much as Stories are a great way to show off your personality, they’re also a great way to share valuable content from others as well. If you’re a fitness blogger with an awesome personal trainer, have them share their top five ab workouts. If you’re at an event with a celeb guest, ask the PR rep in advance if you can ask a few questions for your Stories. You could even create a weekly series featuring interviews with local entrepreneurs in your neighbourhood (actually…. I kinda like that idea for myself….)
4) Survey your community
The IG Story poll tool is a quick and easy way for your audience to weigh in on your content, experiences and queries without every having to leave the app. One of my favourite ways to use it is to get feedback/gauge interest on new services/content I want to introduce, but the feature can be used in so many ways – use it to collect data for an upcoming blog post, to vote on an outfit for a big event, or to find out when your community’s available to join your Live session.
5) Design + share templates
Want to do something fun AND shareable for your community? Get creative with Insta Story templates! Just come up with your topic/questions, pop over to Canva to design, and share on your Stories. You can literally create templates for anything – a love/hate template for the new season of The Bachelor, beauty faves template, a Follow Friday one, or a this/that template for ’90s movie preferences. These things spread like wildfire, so make sure you save them in your Highlights and also include your handle at the bottom so when it’s re-shared, people know where it originated.
6) Share behind-the-scenes
For those people and brands with a curated feed, Insta Stories offer a great opportunity to share the more candid, behind-the-scenes of your brand and connect to your followers in a more personable way. There are plenty of creative ways to use your Insta Stories to ‘tell the story’ behind a project or experience – showing the reno site of your office makeover, giving a peek backstage at a fashion show or doing a ‘get ready with me’ before a big party.
7) Use layout apps to package an experience
‘Packaging’ a Story is handy for when you want to separate specific content from the rest of your 24-hour Story feed – maybe you’re going to an event or sharing a new product launch. I use layout apps like InShot, Unfold and Canva to create mini-editorials within my Story feed, allowing me to add borders around videos, custom header + body text, and create layouts with both video and photos in one.
8) Shout-out your favourite accounts
Whenever I find an awesome new account on Instagram, I just want to know who that person loves to follow, too – who inspires them, who makes them laugh, who pushes them creatively. Doing a #FollowFriday or even a #WeLoveWednesday is a great way to spread the love for your fave people and to connect your audience to new sources of inspiration.