While Story content can feel like just another box to tick off on your content creation list, it’s actually a disservice to your account to treat it as such. Stories are the very first thing a user sees upon opening the Instagram app, and you can imagine just how compelling they are because of this.
Yes, it will take you and your team extra time to conceptualize, design and share Story content. Yes, it’s yet another task to add to your weekly schedule. Despite these things, however, Story content remains undoubtedly part of Instagram. It’s simply no longer something you can just skip over if you wish to maximize your time and reach on Instagram.
Because we understand how challenging it can be to develop an entirely new content strategy. Below we’ve provided 21 examples of brands crushing the Instagram story game. We hope you can use this list as a source of Inspiration for your story content.
21 Examples Of Brands Crushing Instagram Stories
While some brands opt to use Stories as just another content channel, Multinational media company Viceland does much more. They use the space to connect through stories, share relevant content including new IGTV releases, update their audience on any new television series they are working on, and remind their viewers to tune in to new episodes. This is a multi-functional promotion channel for a company like Viceland, and it serves them well.
Gary Vaynerchuk, @garyvee
Entrepreneur, Investor, Speaker, Gary Vaynerchuk uses Instagram Stories as a massive part of his marketing strategy. He shares new Instagram posts, any shout outs or features he’s received, any upcoming events he’s headlining promotes his daily vlogs, and speaks directly to his audience. By sharing such a diverse range of content through his Stories, he keeps his audience on their toes, never letting them know his next move. This incites great curiosity and keeps people coming back for more.
Weekly Wins is a segment hosted by the American shared workspace organization in which the audience is asked to share their personal wins from the past week. Their following then submits their week’s highlights, in hopes of being displayed on the companies weekly Instagram Stories, and even the Weekly Wins Highlight on their profile page.
Not only does this exchange keep their audience engaged and inspired, both to share their own successes and simply to be a viewer, but it also creates a steady stream of evergreen content for WeWork to use in the future.
Bon Appetit, @bonappetitmag
Monthly food magazine, Bon Appetit, is known for their beautiful photography and production, and their Instagram content certainly isn’t lacking in this arena. Through their often daily Instagram Stories, they share any and all food-related media, entertainment, tips, recommendations and even sometimes recipes.
Bon appetit keeps its audience engaged by speaking on their topic of expertise from many different angles. Repetitive Instagram Stories can quickly become stale and lifeless, causing your audience to mindlessly tap through. Luckily, their Stories are a natural, effortless and most importantly, interesting extension of what they are all about.
Pet supply company Barkbox uses Instagram Stories to promote their monthly subscription service, indeed. However, they don’t stop there! They also generously share lovable puppy photos, often accompanied by Story Polls about next months subscription box. Everyone loves a good puppy in their social media feeds, especially when they get to contribute to what they’ll receive in their favorite monthly mail!
High-Performance brand Furthermore takes a very refined and almost editorial approach to their Instagram Stories. Everything they share is polished and professional, and they skip no steps in their CTA’s and follow-up links. By marketing with such consistently well-designed content, their company image and branding remains pristine and instantly recognizable.
Sweet Green, @sweetgreen
Health food restaurant Sweet Green regularly shares company stories with their audience through their Stories, as well as boasting true transparency about their organic produce and products. This brand uses Instagram Stories to highlight the key important factors of their business, whilst delivering beautiful imagery along the way. There’s no question to how proud they are of their brand’s integrity based off of how they share with Instagram Stories.
American diner chain Denny’s is known for their stand out, quirky, internet presence, whether on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram, and their Story presence is no different. Using the laugh and community factors, Denny’s mostly shares user-generated content and memes through their Instagram Stories. This is a great way of getting their community involved and connected, whilst utilizing a hands-free content channel from their audience to share humor and keep Instagram light-hearted.
Amanda Frances, @xoamandafrances
This dynamic, self-made multi-millionaire and playfully proclaimed “Money Manifesting Queen” has built a business teaching women, entrepreneurs, how to heal their relationship with money, showing them first hand how their mindset parlays into the practicalities of their own businesses.
Through her Instagram Stories, she expertly balances personable screenshots and videos of her daily life with success stories and testimonials from her clients. Additionally, she regularly launches new digital courses through her Instagram Stories. This keeps her audience engaged and interested in both who she is and what she spends her time doing, as well as what she’s currently selling.
New York Public Library, @nypl
The Public Library of New York has taken to Instagram Stories to share full-length novels with their audience. By sharing through what they call Insta Novels, they are engaging their viewers directly, whilst encouraging them to come into the library for more! The success of this idea has even garnered them 3 nominations for the Webby Awards: Best Use Of Stories, Best Use Of Social Media, and Education and Discovery.
In addition, NYPL regularly shares #PocketPoetry through their Stories, giving their viewers succinct, yet powerful messages throughout the week.
Travel resource, Booking.com, shares a plethora of content through their Instagram Stories. Ranging from Travel Inspo to Unique Stays, to Travel Tips, there is no lack of content to consume.
What we love most about what they share is how helpful and informative they always strive to be through what they share. Oftentimes travel blogs and resources can make traveling feel intimidating, but Booking.com takes an alternative spin, keeping travel within reach of anyone! This creates community and inclusion, things any Instagram user wants to feel from the accounts they follow.
With brand ambassadors like Kris Jenner and Khloe Kardashian, HiSmile is no stranger to the Instagram Game. Through their Instagram Stories, this brand hosts contests and giveaways, as well as sharing testimonials and various success stories. HiSmile knows how to display their wins, leverage big-name celebrities, and playfully get their audience involved in exchange for potential prizes. For these reasons, HiSmile makes the cut for brands crushing Instagram Stories.
Paraben-free, cruelty-free sunscreen brand Supergoop, like everyone else, uses Instagram Stories to host surveys for their audience and share new products. However, they place a special emphasis on their customers, regularly uploading selfies uploaded by their community and celebrating those who make their business possible.
This strategy makes your followers feel appreciated and wanted, which ultimately is what keeps them around for the long run. It also encourages your followers to share content on their social media in which your business is tagged, about how much they love your products. This is genius word-of-mouth marketing, and the best part is, it’s completely free.
Gay Times, @gaytimes
A prolific LGBTQA+ publication uses Instagram Stories as a way to promote their most recent interviews and any upcoming issues of their magazine. Here, they remind their audience of their content and tangible work, whilst connecting the community, informing and educating, and inspiring progressive and inclusive thought.
Not only are Stories utilized as a valid and massive part of their business strategy, but the themes they share about and encourage others to think about are solid and strong aspects of their marketing. Their brand shines through in everything they post and is unmistakably them.
Marine Layer, @marinelayer
When it comes to Instagram Stories, Marine Layer does it all. Regularly answering frequently asked questions, running Story specific campaigns like #respun, and sharing information about their brick-and-mortar locations and their products. It’s easy to gain an understanding of who this company is and what they’re all about by taking a glance at their Instagram Stories.
Senita Athletics, @senita
This women’s wear brand does a really amazing job of promoting the active lifestyle their brand supports through their Instagram Stories, by regularly highlighting their new clothing collections. Because all of their products are similar (athletic wear), it could become easy for their content to be repetitive. However, Senita keeps it interesting by always shooting and sharing new campaigns for whichever lines they have coming out. They keep their content interesting and updated, and for this, they are an easy choice for this list.
Progressive vitamin brand Ritual uses Instagram Stories as another way to deliver their expert branding to their audience. From their new vitamin lines to frequently asked questions, user-generated content and more, they have a distinct and consistent message to get across, and they do it well. They even often create new screensavers for their following to screenshot and use which promote sustainability, holistic health, and environmental awareness – topics their brand regularly speaks about and incorporates into their vitamin production.
The New York Times, @nytimes
The New York Times has an excellent Story strategy which they regularly update and share through. But even more impressive, is their Highlight archive – a product of the Stories they’ve uploaded over time. On the NY times profile page, they’ve organized their Highlights like columns in a newspaper, each section offering information, sources and updates on a different relevant topic. As of the time this article is being written, they share 99 different Highlights, just some of which are: Affordable Healthcare Act, Overlooked and the current Indian Election.
The followers of the NY times Instagram account now know that if there is new headlining news, they can simply visit the @nytimes Instagram page to be fully educated on the topic. This is a big deal considering up to 68% of their Americans get their news from social media. In addition, each of their Highlights not sharing relevant news aim to educate their audience and celebrate excellence in American culture.
The Sill, @thesill
The Sill, a shoppable Instagram page promoting and educating about houseplants, uses Instagram Stories to host contests and giveaways, teach their audience about flora and fauna, share content created by their plant loving following, and beautifully produced photos of their vast greenery. Their Stories are as true to their branding as can be, and there’s no mistaking who they are when you come across their Instagram Stories.
There are many ways to keep your Instagram Stories interesting, updated, and smart. These brands do an excellent job of displaying what a great Instagram Story strategy looks like. Follow their footsteps, in the way that works best for your brand, and you will undoubtedly be on your way to Instagram mastery.