10 Creative Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business

Are you using Instagram Stories for business yet? You should be! With over 150 million daily active users (as many as Snapchat), Instagram Stories is taking over. Using Instagram Stories for business is now an essential part of any Instagram marketing strategy, and can help you drive engagement, interact with customers, and show your products in action. That being said, it can be hard to find ideas for Instagram Stories and come up with ideas of what to post to your story!

Get some inspiration on how to use Instagram Stories for business from these 10 creative brands:

how to use instagram stories for business

Instagram Stories for Business Strategy #1: Pump Up Sales Like Moon and Lola

Moon and Lola knows how to promote a sale. If you’re looking for Instagram Stories ideas, their account is a great place to start. They use the natural “tapping” progression of Instagram Stories to literally tell a story through multiple photos, and the way they build anticipation using individual images makes it hard not to get excited!

instagram stories for business

“Oh. My. Gosh.” is right.

Bring this style into your story with this approach: fill up your story with photos of a single product at every angle, on different people, or in different environments, and then hit your followers with a promo code or call-to-action (CTA) at the end! It’s an A+ strategy for using Instagram Stories for business.  

good instagram stories ideas

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Instagram Stories Strategy #2: Think Outside the Camera Roll Like L’oreal

As great as the Instagram Stories camera is, sometimes the best idea for your business is to think outside the app. L’oreal takes advantage of Instagram Stories’ ability to upload any photo by accompanying their gorgeous flat lays with their own elegant typography. You can easily do this too! Use an app like Canva to add your own branded font to images, and then upload to give your story that personal flair. This way, when people tap through stories, they’ll definitely remember yours (and recognize your brand!).

how to use instagram stories for business

How to Hack Instagram Stories: 4 Ways to Upload Any Photo or Video

Instagram Stories Strategy #3: Guest Host Like Bustle

Just because you’re using Instagram for Business doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate different perspectives into your story. An easy way to switch it up on your Instagram story is to do an Instagram story takeover or invite someone to guest host your story. Bustle does a regular “DIY With Sierra” hosted by @sierrataylored  for exactly that reason!

what to post on instagram stories

Having regular guest segments is an awesome way to bring both variety and consistency to using Instagram Stories for business. To try it out with your own business: you can choose someone from your company for a “day-in-the-life” story, or you can partner with other businesses in your industry to swap stories for the day! It will help vary up your content and keep your customers coming back for more.

Instagram Stories Strategy #4: Engage Like Hello Fresh

One of the most important things you can do when using Instagram Stories for business is to invite your audience to engage with you! Take a cue from Hello Fresh and give your audience the opportunity they’ve been waiting for to DM you. You can take it one step further and even run polls or ask for feedback on future products through your Instagram DMs. This helps your followers feel involved, and can give you some much needed insight.

good instagram stories ideas

Instagram Stories Strategy #5: Inspire Like Real Simple   

Sometimes the best Instagram Stories ideas are as simple as providing your followers with a little inspiration. Real Simple posts inspirational quotes for #MondayMotivation to fill that need and help their followers start their week off right. Posting quotes and inspirational images to Instagram Stories is a great way to fill in the gaps for those days when you’re wondering what to post! Who said you needed to create original content every single day? A little creativity can go a long way (and save you a ton of time).

Instagram Stories Strategy #6: Show Off Like Pantry Doctor

While you want to be able to show your Instagram followers how your products are made, sometimes action shots aren’t quite photogenic enough for your Instagram feed. That’s why Instagram Stories is so great: your stories don’t have to look picture-perfect! Wendie Schneider, the dietician behind Pantry Doctor, does a great job of showing off how she creates her overnight oats. Follow her lead by taking your audience behind-the-scenes. Who knows, your followers might just take that insight to their shopping carts!

instagram stories for business

Instagram Stories Strategy #7: Link it Up Like the Brunch Boys

One of the best things about Instagram Stories for business, and what sets them apart from Snapchat, is their tagging and linking capabilities. Brunch Boys takes advantage of both the “swipe up” function for verified users and the tagging feature by highlighting the restaurants where they eat. 

For now, only verified accounts can add clickable URLs, but verified or not, you absolutely should use Instagram Stories to drive traffic to your website. You can write a short URL, prompt your followers to take a screenshot of the next screen with your link on it, or just direct them to the link in your bio! For extra credit, tagging is a great way to drive customers to your affiliates or community members.

Instagram Stories Strategy #8: Go “Hands On” Like Juvia’s Place

If you’re wondering how to use Instagram Stories for business, look no further than Juvia’s Place. They use Instagram Stories to show how their waterproof eyeliner looks on different skin tones, and to demonstrate just how waterproof their product is! This way, customers get to see how the product works before they make a purchase, which should make them more inclined to purchase. 

You can see how smudge-proof the eyeliner is on their story:

If you take this approach and test your products on your Instagram Stories, you can inspire your followers to make a purchase! 

Instagram Stories Strategy #9: Get into Community Like Loot Crate

Loot Crate customers love geek apparel and products, so they dive into their community and showcase all of it in their Instagram Stories. Their stories are full of videos and images of fans geeking-out,  like when they went to Pax South and shared their love of all things cosplay with their followers.

Loot Crate’s followers are engaged in the content, and seeing cosplayers at this event gives them a reason to keep watching their Instagram Stories in the future. Whatever your community is, jump right in and show your audience something they can’t get somewhere else.

Instagram Stories Strategy #10: Commemorate Like Starbucks

There’s nothing better than a good hashtag holiday. From #NationalCheeseDay to #TacoTuesday, capitalizing on these holidays is an easy way to fill your content calendar, and one of the best channels for this is Instagram Stories.

Starbucks engages beyond Twitter by celebrating National Croissant Day on their Instagram story, and tying it into their own business and products. If any hashtag-able trends fit your business, mark them in your calendar (check out Twenty20’s social media calendar here).  It’s a fun way to boost engagement with Instagram Stories!

Ready to Tell Your Story?

Save time with Instagram marketing! Spend more time on your story and less time posting. Did you know you can schedule Instagram posts, find and collect user generated content, and upload photos right from your desktop using Later? Sign up for free now!

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Written By

Katy Koop