Instagram Stories started as the company’s way of competing with Snapchat by introducing a similar feature on their platform. However, it looks like they’re more than a fad — with over 500 million active users that use Instagram Stories daily, brands who ignore Instagram Stories for brand awareness are missing out.

Instagram Stories are bite-sized content pieces that do not appear on the feed and usually disappear after 24 hours, except they are saved and featured using highlights. Thanks to many users, Stories give brands (whether big or small) increased visibility, brand awareness, and engagement.

To take advantage of this cool Instagram feature, here’s our list of five ways to use Stories to increase brand awareness for your business.

Five Ways to Take Advantage of Instagram Stories for Brand Awareness

Show, Don’t Tell

Instagram Stories is like your business’s mini television channel, and that’s what you should use it for – to show what your products, services, and brand is all about. People relate more to visual content and are more likely to engage with such content.

Some of the content you can use to showcase your brand or business is to post:

  • Sneak peeks
  • Behind the scenes that your customers do not see on a regular day, 
  • Product teasers and launches for new products
  • Liveblogging for events that your brand or business is organizing
  • Questions and answers

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With these types of content on your Stories, you are pulling your followers into your business world, one that they will appreciate and be able to relate to.

Save Stories as Highlights

One limitation of Instagram Stories is that they are time-restricted – they will disappear after 24 hours. However, Instagram Highlights present a way for your followers or new audiences to go through important Stories you might have shared in the past.

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With Highlights, you can create collections to save Stories or content that talk about the same topic or are part of a theme. That way, after 24 hours, followers and new audiences who come across your profile can browse through past Stories to learn more about who you are and what you do.

Create Templates and Style Guides

Stories are great but getting creative, being unique, and committing consistently to a chosen theme and style will quickly set your brand apart from the rest.

To do this, identify the type of content you want to create consistency for your brand and develop templates that you will always use for these. 

  • Choose a font type to be used on all of your Stories or different content types
  • Define brand colors or choose specific colors you want your brand to be associated with.
  • Define the style for different content types
  • Redesign your highlight covers and instead use custom-designed icons as cover images for your highlight collections. 

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The other benefit of having preset templates and a style guide is that anyone on your team, internal or external, can create Stories for the brand without breaking consistency.

Interact with Followers and Customers

Instagram Stories aims to increase awareness and visibility. One way to speed that up is to involve your followers and customers in your Stories. 

Original content is excellent, but user-generated content will score you higher relationship points with your target audience as well as increase trust and credibility in your brand. And for anyone who’s ever experienced burnout, this is a great way to avoid running out of fresh content to use for your Instagram Stories.

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To interact with your followers/customers via Stories:

  • Feature posts made about your brand or products by customers or followers.
  • Ask your customers for video testimonials that can be repurposed for use on Instagram Stories.
  • Give a shoutout to loyal customers and followers.
  • Use polls in your Stories. Your followers can respond to these, and their responses or questions to your polls can become content for new posts.
  • Run takeovers if you have an influencer associated with your brand or a super customer who would be glad to create content solely for your business. You can agree on the themes and number of posts ahead of the takeover.

Employ a People-First Approach

It’s easy to get caught up in creating content that promotes your brand with your Stories, but you should stick to the people-first approach to increase brand awareness.

The people-first approach keeps you focused on content that helps and seeks to educate your followers/customers about your brand, products, and services. As a result, your content will be more of product education and customer engagement.

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Use Stories to post tutorials about your products, address some frequently asked questions by your customers, and appreciate your followers and customers for sticking with your brand and engaging. 

Creating people-first content will keep your followers coming back to your Stories because they get value from the content that you put up. 

Use the steps above to skyrocket your brand awareness, visibility, and engagement with Instagram Stories. Be consistent with the quality and volume of your content, and watch the magic happen.