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Drive In More Leads

    Picture of Emma Berry
    By Emma Berry in July, 2018 | 6 minute read

    Instagram - Social Media

    How to Use Instagram Stories to Support Your Brand

    Instagram Stories are a quick way to give your audience daily updates from your company. These stories only last 24 hours, but they can create an impact that will build excitement for your brand. Promoting has never been easier with this feature. It’s a powerful way to engage with your followers.


    Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms. Since its founding in 2015, it has acquired over 800 million users. It allows you to share the story of your brand using unique and engaging photo and video content. Through Instagram, your company can engage with your audience and promote your products or services.

    As if Instagram wasn’t already an easy way to promote your brand, Instagram Stories have made it easier to quickly update your audience on your latest content. Instagram Stories are meant to last 24 hours before they disappear, and are a powerful way to give a daily behind-the-scenes look of your brand.

    Now that you have a brief overview of the benefits of using Instagram Stories, let’s go over how exactly you create the best insta-worthy stories for your brand.

    How to Create the Best Instagram Stories:

    1. Create a Story Schedule

    Stories are a great way to give daily updates on your company and tell a story to humanize your brand. Since your company’s schedule can change from day-to-day, that means the content of your Instagram Stories can change, as well.

    Create an Instagram Story schedule to plan out what stories you will post on different days. You could break up the schedule by your brand’s daily activities. That way, your followers can get an accurate behind-the-scenes look.

    2. Utilize Instagram Story Engagement Features

    Features like polls, mentions, hashtags, and the emoji slider poll are easy ways to get your followers to actively engage with your brand. Polls let you analyze feedback directly from your followers. The emoji slider poll feature even allows you to see what the average answer is for the question you pose.

    You can create a hashtag that your followers can use when talking about your brand. You should choose to repost or share some of the followers that mention you or use your hashtag.

    3. Use the Highlights Feature

    Make your stories more permanent by turning them into Highlights. Highlights are like mini-trailers that are posted on your profile page. You can create different themes for each Highlight to showcase different aspects of your company.

    Highlights are a great way to separate your Instagram content into different clusters. Each cluster of content is different, but they all relate back to your brand’s story as a whole.

    4. Use the "Swipe Up" Features as a Call-to-action

    The “Swipe Up” feature can provide a direct link to your brand’s product or service within a story. However, a downside of this feature is that Instagram makes it so only business accounts with 10,000 or more followers have access to it.

    The “Swipe Up” feature is perfect for attracting visitors and motivating them to turn into leads. It’s the same concept as providing a relevant CTA in your blog posts. In order to nurture your potential leads, you’ll need them to gain their contact information.

    4. Use Instagram Live

    You can also engage users using the live Instagram Story feature. This is the best way to interact with your audience while sharing an update live and in the moment. It’s also the quickest way to read through your follower’s feedback as they respond to your live story. 

    Use Instagram Live to show off a new product your company just developed or to give a demonstration of one your services. Many brands use the Live feature to host a Q&A so their audience gets the answers they need in real-time and hear it directly from employees.

    5. Use Consistent Branding

    Instagram Stories are supposed to support and show your brand’s own story. Each story should be unique, but there should be something consistent that unties the stories under your brand.

    Your company website might consist of the same color theme, font, and format. Think of your Instagram Story as an extension of your website. Ask yourself: Does this story represent and embody my brand? Would my stories fit in on my website?

    Each story should contain different content, but you could use the same filter on all of your pictures. Or, you could use the same font and text color for your messages. Make sure everything you post on your Instagram Story supports your branding on all of your social media and marketing platforms.

    3 Brands with Strong Instagram Stories:

    1. HubSpot

    HubSpot is pretty active with their Instagram Story. If you go on HubSpot’s website, you’ll see that they love the color orange (their brand’s color). They utilize that within their stories, their social media page, and all over their website. Even if it’s just the color of the text, they still find a way to include orange to create consistency between their platforms. 

    Here, they not only use their brand colors, but they engage their followers by asking some questions through the use of the poll feature. The filter on all of the poll photos are black and white with the questions in orange text.

    HubSpot Instagram Stories example

    2. Target

    Red and white are Target’s brand colors and just like HubSpot they use those colors for the text of their stories. Target also uses their social media accounts to engage with their celebrity following. Here, they post a story video series called “Shopping with Jennifer Garner.” Engaging with a celebrity following on your Instagram will help boost your overall following.

    The also use the hashtag, #TargetRun, so other followers can use the same hashtag to show what they do on their #TargetRun. This creates a conversation between brand and customer.

    Finally, Target uses the ‘Swipe Up’ feature to give a link to the full video of Jennifer Garner’s #TargetRun. This link sends anyone to Target’s website so they can watch Jennifer Garner’s full video and browse the rest of their website.

    Target Instagram Stories example

    3. HelloFresh

    HelloFresh uses their Instagram Story to advertise their weekly menus and what different types of recipes will be included in their delivery subscription box. This week, they make sure to advertise the fan-favorite recipes in their weekly menu preview to advertise their popularity.

    HelloFresh also provides links to the fan favorite recipes and a link to order the entire delivery box. Just like Target and HubSpot, they also find a way to include their company color, green, in all their stories.

    HelloFresh Instagram Stories example

    Instagram Stories are a great way to update your followers on your brand’s personality and your company’s day-to-day life. Taking advantage of the different types of stories Instagram provides can boost your following and support your brand’s overall story.

    It’s easy to promote your company’s latest products and services, and provide links that go directly to your own website.

    Instagram Live is the best way to get direct feedback from your followers and answer any questions they might have in real-time. It’s definitely the quickest way to communicate, engage with your audience, and give them in-the-now updates.

    Make sure to utilize the Highlights feature to divide up your best stories into categories that represent the many aspects of your brand.

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