39 Instagram story ideas to boost engagement for your brand

by Anna Munhin Nov 28, 2022 News
39 Instagram story ideas to boost engagement for your brand

The term "link in bio" has been used as a synonym for stories. Their popularity makes sense. This is a sign that you need to refresh your story ideas.

It's a great way to engage with your audience on social media. Stories can be posted throughout the day to stay on top of the news for your followers.

More opportunities to post gives you more chances to engage with your audience.

How often do you use Instagram Stories? 🤳

— Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) October 19, 2022

In this article, we will give you 39 engagingInstagram Story ideas to help spark more content ideas, without burning yourself out.

You can easily explore the entire section here.

39 Instagram story ideas to spark your creativity

There are so many opportunities when it comes to making stories. More than half of respondents in a recent poll said they used Stories to engage with their audience.

The key is to make people want to engage. Engagement is important when it comes to ranking stories.

The difference between being featured at the top of your followers feed or being pushed to the back of the line depends on how you get your audience to interact with your story.

You can use stickers and post up to five times a day in order to boost engagement. Content that your audience will want to engage with is the key to success. There are some story ideas that do this well.

Instagram story ideas for business

Create a “this or that”

These are a great way to engage with people. People are looking at what others voted for.

A Poll sticker is usually included in these stories so viewers can vote. They always feel fresh because of the infinite ways they can be used.

They can be used for research on products. This format was used by Rawson to better understand their customers.

A screenshot of clothing brand Rawson's This or That instagram story

Promote a discount with stickers

Stories are a great place to promote discounts. Keep your promotion top of mind by posting about it.

It's even better to have a link that will lead to your products.

You should include a discount code and call to action in your story, as well as a link sticker so that viewers can shop with your code right from your story. Including cute animals does help.

A screenshot of Chewy's Instagram story featuring a cat and discount code for pet products on national cat day

You can use the UTMs codes in your links to track sales through your story. This will help you prove your return on investment.

Countdown a product launch

There is a lot of hype surrounding a product drop or announcement. It's possible to enable a reminder when the timer is over so you know when to shop, check in and more.

The company with exclusive, limited vintage stock where you have to shop fast is attractive to Lost Girls Vintage.

A story by Lost Girls Vintage featuring a countdown sticker counting down to their holiday clothing launch

Share your blog or article content

Driving people from a post to your profile is an extra step that can cost you readers.

You can use the link sticker to link to more information from your story. Sharing news about your company from other websites is also a good idea.

There is a highlight dedicated to stories with links to their website. It's useful for brands who use long-form content.

Tease your post to get the attention of your audience. A question is posed by a story. Link viewers to the post when they see more.

Figo's Instagram Story featuring clickable blog links

Use stickers to emphasize your content

A lot of things can be said about the term "sticker."

We are talking about cute graphic stickers like the one in the story. Adding emphasis and creating intrigue can be accomplished by using these.

A Sprout Social Story that uses an animated exclamation mark sticker to emphasize the stat written on the screen

Share a good review of your product

Customer reviews are important. 39% of consumers like to see testimonials from brands

Sharing reviews in your stories is a great way to build trust with potential buyers. That is a win-WIN.

Nuuly did a great job of saving these in a story highlight so that reviews of your products live on your profile.

Nuuly's Instagram Story featuring customer reviews

Share your business plans for the day

Sharing your business plans or routine for the day is a great way to show off your work, but can also inspire others to change how they organize their day

If you or your company are a prominent name, stories like this give you a good look behind the curtain.

It's especially effective for companies that help professionals. This gives a behind the scenes moment.

Create shoppable stories

Making sales from your stories is a great way to make money on social media.

You can sell items directly from your story.

  • Use a link sticker: As we mentioned, this will link viewers directly to your website.
  • Use a shopping sticker: While a link sticker takes viewers off the platform, shopping stickers allow them to shop directly from Instagram, like Nisolo’s story below. To do this, you’ll need to set up Instagram Shopping.
A Story by Nisolo where their shoes are shoppable directly through Instagram

Behind the scenes

Bringing your audience behind the scenes can make a difference.

This is a great way to bring your audience into your day-to-day life.

This is a behind the scenes photo shoot by Alice and Wonder. The Story highlights upcoming products in a non-promotional way.

Alice and Wonder's Instagram story featuring a behind the scenes look at a photoshoot

Introduce your team

The faces behind a brand are important to people. It is important for companies to post about their employees on social media.

Share stories about your company culture with your employees. The options are endless.

Cute Instagram story ideas

Create a game

Stories that are popular are prioritized by the social network's algorithm.

Fun games encourage people to interact with your story. It is a win-WIN when they are entertained and you rack up engagement.

The game by Crumbl Cookies is a good example. The game requires viewers to stay on the screen or look at the screen in a different way. They follow this up with a sticker that viewers can use to guess.

Crumbl's Instagram story featuring a cookie with sprinkles on it where there is a hidden emoji the audience is prompted to look for

Write a thank you for your followers

Fans take actions like engagement, followers and conversions. Without your audience, your account wouldn't be where it is.

Lost Girls Vintage did a great job of thanking them in their story when they achieved a new milestone.

A story by Lost Girls Vintage thanking their customers for helping them sell out of a specific hat

Share uplifting or inspiring content

Sharing inspiring story content makes people happy. It's hyper-sharable.

Sharing inspiring quotes can be as easy as sharing inspiring content. Human stories of triumph can be shared. A former patient is raising money for the hospital in this story.

An Instagram story featuring a brain tumor survivor who grew up to raise money for the hospital

Include pets

Cute animals have a lot of power. When I was a social media manager at the Shedd Aquarium, there was nothing to say that a cute otter or penguin was going to be popular.

Pets add a cute factor to your stories. Is there a way to keep audiences coming back for the series? It's even better.

You can use user-generated content to feature your audience's pets in your story. Fans were encouraged to share their pets and information with Figo.

Figo's Instagram Story featuring a prompt that encourages viewers to share photos of their pet

Throwback Thursday

Since the beginning of social media, Thursdays have been referred to as Throwback Thursdays. They're evergreen.

Every week, you will get a regular series to post. There are a few ways to make it even more clever.

  • Show your storefront when you first got it
  • Highlight your first office before your business took off
  • Share the first version or blueprint of your product
  • Showcase your art from a few years ago, vs today
  • Share your pet when you first got them, vs now
  • Highlight your space—whether that’s your home decor, desk setup or office—a few years ago vs now
  • Show early brand content, like throwbacks to your original products or old campaigns and post styles
  • If you’ve ever had a viral post, Throwback Thursdays are the perfect time to reshare it and give yourself a boost

Share your outfit of the day

Students showing their school pride and fans wearing the latest gear are some of the types of content that can be found in this type of content.

This is a great way to get into user-generated content. Share an outfit of the day from followers and fans who tag you in their stories. Remember to use a link or sticker if your product is featured in that content.

Share audience FAQs

Your audience will tell you what they want to hear.

You immediately have a foot in the door when you craft stories around audience questions.

Save them in a highlight. The same questions will be answered by your customer care and social media teams.

Figo's Instagram story featuring audience FAQs

Instagram story question ideas

Ask followers’ their opinion on a topic

Putting their followers in the spotlight is a great way to show they value their followers.

You can use a question sticker to prompt follower responses. It is interactive user generated content.

Grammarly's Instagram story featuring a question sticker encouraging viewers to submit their best writing advice, and a screenshot of the follow up story featuring their reshared answers

Start an “ask me anything”

AAMA is a great way to engage with your audience.

The Shedd Aquarium audience always had questions about the animals, what it was like to work at the aquarium and more. Surprise and delight moments were created when photos or caretakers talked to them directly.

Audience questions can be asked using the question sticker. You can reply to their questions in another story.

Start a poll

Only after they vote can anyone see the results of the polls. This leads to more interest.

The goal of your polls is to gain audience insight. They can be used as a quiz to choose between true or false.

They can be enjoyable. Alice and Wonder created a poll to find out what people thought about Taylor Swift.

Alice and Wonder's Story featuring a quiz sticker prompting audiences to vote for the best song on Taylor Swift's latest album

Start a prompt

There is a conga line of stories on the social media platform.

The new feature allows you to set a prompt on your story. Everyone who uses your prompt will share a photo, reshare the prompt and in turn inspire their followers to follow the trend.

Start your story with a photo or video related to the prompt you want to start. Write your prompt and share it with your friends after you add yours. When others add onto your prompt, you will be informed.

An Instagram story featuring a slider sticker with an emoji of a coffee mug on the slider

Start a quiz

There's a pop quiz. Did you know that there is a quiz sticker on the photo sharing website?

A quiz is a fun way to test your audience's knowledge. It's easy to make a quiz with the quiz sticker. Once someone guesses, it shows the correct answer.

They follow up their quiz with a call to action and also have a magazine style quiz results analysis at the end.

Unbounce's Instagram story featuring a true or false quiz

Instagram story layout ideas

Share an artistic collage

It's a good idea to think of your story as a visual catalog. It's a great trick for gift guides, lookbooks, mood boards and more to have multiple visuals at once.

The "Layout" option can be used to create these in the photo sharing app. You can include up to six images in a single story.

One way to get more creative is to use an app like Canva.

Nisolo's Instagram story featuring a collage of shoe photos

Use a photo editing tool to create a custom layout

Adding a little extra branding can be done by creating custom layout and templates.

Adler Planetarium's "Space News" series is a good example of a brand-specific story that should all visually tie together.

Story templates can be created with your design team. You can use an app like Canva.

Adler Planetarium's Instagram Story featuring their bright yellow story templates

Scheduling them is an added benefit of pre-made Story templates. Scheduling stories and posts ahead of time saves you time.

Add images from your Canva account.

A view of Sprout's tool showing that you can import Canva images directly from Canva, and that you can schedule Instagram Stories

Layer one photo on top of another

There is a sticker on your Story background that allows you to post a small photo.

A screenshot showing a variety of Instagram Story stickers

You can choose from a variety of frame shapes.

An Instagram story featuring a smaller image superimposed over a larger background photo

Create a guide

The "story" element is in "Instagram Stories."

A step-by-step guide, explainer or list can be created. Tuft and Needle has a number of sleep and health tips in their stories.

Tuft and Needle's story featuring a how to guide to help people sleep better when they travel

It is possible to translate your longer-form content into a how-to or step-by-step guide. When you include a link to the full article or landing page, traffic to your site will be increased and there will be less work to be done.

Cool Instagram story ideas

Walk through how the product is made

Showing your audience how your product is made will give them a peek behind the curtain.

Showing how an art piece is painted, how clothing is made, how cakes are decorated and more brings viewers along for the ride and tells more of a story.

Use emoji sliders

It might be the most unique sticker on the market. They are simple and effective.

The interactive way for users to respond to questions is provided by these. You don't need to add a question or prompt to your sticker.

A Story by Shedd Aquarium utilizing and slider sticker

If you tap on the '+' sign at the end of the sticker, you will be able to choose from all the other options.

Share a fundraiser

If you want to express your brand's values by raising money for an organization or business you care about, starting a fundraiser on social media is a great way to do it. It is a great way to get involved onGivingTuesday.

You can tap the "Donation" sticker when creating your story. Pick the organization that you would like. You can see how much you have raised once you post.

Adding the "Support a Small Business" sticker is one step further.

Add your meta avatar

Adding some emotion to your stories can be done with the help of Metaavatars. You can use them onInstagram.

If you want to make a full page of reactions and expressions, you need to add the "add your Meta Avatar" sticker.

A screenshot showing Meta Avatars making different expressions that you can use in Instagram Stories

Share a trending meme

There would be no social media without meme. Where would we go?

Sharing a spin on a meme is a fun way to engage with the topic at hand.

Brand awareness can be boosted through audience shares if your Privacy settings allow it.

Show a before and after

This kind of content can be found on the social media platform. Your audience can transform your before into an after image with the tap of a finger.

Interior design, art pieces, home rehab, makeup, organization and hair styling are just a few topics that work well for before and after stories

Bring your audience along with you on your journey.

Instagram story birthday ideas

Do a birthday countdown

Your fans will want to celebrate with you even if you have a personal birthday coming up. It's a good idea to create some hype.

It's a good idea to use a sticker before your birthday to make you excited. It's possible for viewers to opt in for a reminder when the timer is complete, which can lead to a boost of engagement on the actual day.

It is always nice to have an extra incentive at the end of your count. Birthday products can be dropped or discounted to reward those following along.

Create a digital birthday card

Your birthday is celebrated with your friends. If you invite your followers to do the same, they will do it for you.

If the card includes a call to action or benefit, this tactic is even better. The first sip coffee created a birthday card story for their fans to read.

Add custom birthday hashtag

Fans are able to share their own user-generated content with the creation of a #. It's the same for a custom birthday #.

It's a good time to create a celebratory #. Encourage fans to use the # If you throw an event that you want people to attend and post about, this is helpful.

Add happy birthday music

Music has been added to content thanks to TikTok. This technique can be used to add a celebratory mood to your stories.

Birthday music can be added to your Story by selecting the Music sticker.

Instagram story selfie ideas

Use a filter promoting a new show or movie

The younger generation is very fond of augmented reality. The majority of Gen Z want to use augmented reality.

It's a good way to promote a new show or movie.

If you want to share an upcoming show or film with your audience, you can use this.

Selfie with a custom filter for your business

You don't need to rely on other things. It's possible to create your own.

You might want to create your own filters for events. Encourage people to use that filter in their stories.

No hands feature to do a dance

Outside of TikTok, there are dance trends. Unless someone else is filming, it can be hard to dance to a song.

It is possible to film yourself with the front-facing camera that has a timer before it begins filming.

Create and share your own engaging Instagram story ideas

There are a lot of story ideas on the social network. There are many ways to make engaging, tap-worthy stories.

It is possible to build engagement, increase audience interaction and even make sales. You don't need to do anything else.

This is your starting point. We have an article on how to weave your new stories into your marketing plan.