How To Use Instagram Stories: A Guide For Brands

You might think that Instagram Stories are just for Daniel Wellington watches or Flat Tummy Tea, but it’s probably good for your business too.

According to Instagram, 80% of users follow at least one brand and 60% hear about a new product through the app. Over 120 million Instagram users have visited a website, direct messaged or emailed a business through the app. And 30% of users have bought a product that they discovered on Instagram.

Do you have a brand and want to get started on Instagram Stories? Here’s how to do it right:

Feature Your Audience: People love it when they see brands including them in their story. Influencers do this all the time. By featuring your customers you show them that they’re an important part of your brand. Here’s a great example, where Fabletics ambassador Demi Lovato surprised a customer with free gear.

Show Behind-The-Scenes Footage: We want to see what happens when the camera goes off. Nothing is more boring than seeing perfectly lit pictures, in amazing settings. People like to see what really goes on. Show funny clips of a business meeting, people manufacturing your product, or the behind the scenes footage of a video shoot.

Have A Takeover: A takeover is when an influencer takes over a brand’s account for a specific period of time. It’s a great example of a marketing effort that benefits both the brand and the influencer equally; both get exposed the other’s audience. To make sure your campaign is successful, make sure you pick the right influencer that aligns with your brand. And give yourself enough time to promote the takeover. Finally, define the metrics that you’ll be tracking (likes, comments, clicks) to measure the campaign.

Share A Link In Your Story: You used to have to be verified in order to share a link in an Instagram Story. Now, all you need is 10,000 followers. Buy the followers if you have to, because it’s that valuable. A link in an Instagram Story is a great way to send people to your site, your YouTube channel, and other social media accounts.

Have A Poll: It gives viewers something to do, instead of just being passive. Plus, it’s fun and people love it! It also serves a purpose: It gives brands feedback for their products. Here’s a good example from Sneaker Con where they had a “cop or drop” poll for new sneakers.

Tell A Story: Post a series of Instagram Stories on the same topic. Tell the story of the founding of your company, or the making of your product.

Share Clips Of Your Long-Form Content:  Show clips of your longer form content to hook the viewer. I use this feature all the time for my articles or videos. I show a picture of the article, or a short clip of a video interview, and allow the viewer to swipe up for the full piece.

Connect with Tom at and on Instagram and Twitter.