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5 Brilliant Instagram Story Examples That Drive Engagement
Last month, Pinterest became the latest platform to join the social media stories game. From Facebook to LinkedIn, each now has adopted this format to encourage more posting, and facilitate further in-app activity.
Stories have become immensely popular in the last three years, with the format overtaking the news feed display, in terms of engagement. They’ve become the preferred medium for a growing majority of users, especially younger audiences. In particular, Instagram Stories are prominent in the digital marketing world because they’re genuine, prompt and easy to consume.
How your Stories look will make or break them, so what should you create? Fortunately, the options are limitless and social media platforms have plenty of built-in features to make content creation easier. Let’s use Instagram as our example. They have several stand-out features in their Stories function to help users create fun and unique posts from scratch, including:
- Polls: create interactive polls to engage with users.
- Q&A: give users a direct-line to ask you questions.
- Shopping: allow users to click directly to products.
- Hashtags: connect stories to topics or locations.
- Music: add songs and lyrics to your stories.
- Highlights: you can save your Stories to your profile for viewers to watch after they expire.
Want to see these features in action? Here are five great examples of engaging Stories content from big brands that make the most of what’s on offer.
1. Airbnb – Travel Tuesday
The Airbnb Travel Tuesday series is an interactive quiz run each Tuesday on the brand’s Instagram account. Airbnb utilises a mix of professional photographs and user-generated content to provide their online community with travel inspiration. Followers are asked to identify the destination shown in the story through the poll feature. When the location is revealed, viewers are prompted to “swipe up” to activate the incorporated link to the Airbnb website.
2. Mclaren – Wallpaper Wednesday
Each Wednesday, the Mclaren Instagram account releases a series of high-quality images on their Stories for users to screenshot and use as phone wallpapers. During the Formula 1 season, these images are often from the previous race weekend. At other points of the year, they use photographs to accompany new vehicle releases. The consistency of this content gives followers something to look forward to and establishes a regular content schedule.
3. GoTo Skincare – Product Launch
The GoTo Skincare social media content is always fun and engaging, but their product promotion, in particular, is always eye-catching. They tease new products days and even weeks in advance using their Instagram stories. They encourage followers to guess what the product could be by giving clues and hints. With the recent launch of their clay face mask was showcased in their stories with seven images – some still, some gif. The final Story image featured a ‘See More’ swipe uplink for customers to purchase the product. Why does this work? Stories perform best when you upload a few at once.
4. Aesop – Email Newsletter
The Ledger is the monthly culture roundup by skincare brand Aesop. It’s distributed via EDM and also available to read on the brand’s website, and it explores new trends to discover, places to visit, books and articles to read and things worth giving a listen. To increase its reach, and communicate its value, Aesop posts a summary of each edition to its Instagram Stories. Not only does this help readers find their way to the full newsletter (and subscribe if they haven’t already), but it also allows Aesop to repurpose their content for multiple platforms.
5. Swell Bottle – Instagram Polls
The days of boring customer questionnaires are finally behind ys. Using polls in your Instagram Stories is a great way to get the answers you need from your customers instantly, as well as drive interaction with your followers. You can use polls for market research, customer feedback, or just to get to know your audience a little better and have some fun. That’s what Swell does. They’ve used polls to share important information with their audience in the form of a quiz.
There are many different approaches to building a Stories strategy on Instagram or any social media platform with this feature. But now that you have an understanding of how other brands are using Stories to drive engagement, hopefully, you can find a theme that fits your brand.
If you do want to boost your social engagement by adding Stories into your social media marketing strategy, be ready to create a lot more content. But there’s no need to panic because your Stories don’t necessarily have to be perfectly edited. And, as we’ve shown above, you can use content that you already have or source user-generated content to help you along the way.