The Ultimate Guide to Using Instagram Stories

September 1st, 2021 by

Instagram Stories are arguably one of the most popular Instagram features available. With more than 500 million Stories created every day, Instagram users are keen to view and interact with the feature. Nearly 60% of Instagram users say they have become interested in a brand or product after seeing an Instagram Story, and 50% say they’ve taken additional action (such as visiting a website) to purchase a product featured in a Story. 

While Instagram Stories only officially last for 24 hours, they can be immortalised through Instagram Highlights. This means that any important updates or key engagement Stories can be viewed time and time again by new followers, giving you the maximum reward. Instagram Highlights were particularly useful for Instagram influencers and brands showing an Instagram “Swipe Up” Story, however, these have now been replaced with a link Sticker. 

Why you should use Instagram Stories

IG Stories are one of the easiest and fastest ways to increase Instagram growth and Instagram engagement. Instagram Stories put you at the centre of your followers’ feeds. Accounts that have most recently posted a Story are typically hosted within the first few Instagram Stories at the top of the homepage feed. The best time to post on Instagram Stories is likely to be a similar time to when you would be posting a main-feed post. 

Why you should use Instagram Stories - Instagram stories

Instagram Stories are one of the best engagement tools on the platform. Thanks to Stickers, users can directly engage and comment on Stories. Not only does this allow brands to receive direct feedback from their audiences, but it also identifies who the most engaged audience members are. By knowing this, you can edit your Instagram content to be more relevant to your engaged audience, further building a good relationship. 

Instagram Stories are a great way to humanize your brand. They are temporary and can be informal, so if there are Instagram trends you want to get involved in but they aren’t 100% relevant to your brand, using Stories is a way to get involved. 

Instagram Stories are also a key discovery method. You are able to put hashtags, location tags and mentions within your Stories. New audiences can discover your Stories by viewing a location or hashtag Story. By using the most popular Instagram hashtags, you are increasing your Instagram reach. 

Instagram Story Post Ideas

The possibilities with Instagram Stories really are endless and that can be a daunting thought when first figuring out what type of Instagram Story content you should make.

Create a tutorial series

Instagram Stories are almost like a presentation, so they lend themselves nicely to a step-by-step tutorial. This tutorial could be about how to use a specific product from your brand or for something relating to your brand. From  baking and cocktail recipes to beauty tutorials and yoga instructions, you can make a tutorial for anything.

Host quizzes, polls and Q&As

Using the Quiz, Poll and Q&A Stickers within the Instagram Story menu, you can create an entertaining and engaging Story. You could host a general quiz on what’s been happening within the last week or ask your audience their opinions on which of your products are their favourite.

Make announcements

Instagram Stories are a great place to host teasers for announcements and are even better for reminding followers about a new launch. By creating a series of posts (you could even use the Countdown Sticker), you can create a buzz around a new announcement. You can remind your followers by creating a Stories Highlight on your profile.

Share relevant content

Instagram makes it very easy to share other creator’s content through Instagram Stories. By adding another creator’s work to your profile, you are showing your dedication to your industry and potentially building a new relationship with an influencer. 

In addition, with this method, you can also share user-generated content. This will not only give you social proof from real customers but encourage new customers to share their experiences in hopes of being reposted.


How do Stories work on Instagram?

Instagram Stories are a feed of photos or videos that disappear from your profile after a 24 hour period. Users can upload Instagram Stories from their camera rolls, create an Instagram Story within the app, or reshare existing posts to their Instagram Stories. Users can view Instagram Stories online or on the app. 

How long does an Instagram Story last?

Technically, IG Stories last for 24 hours on the platform. However, users can add Instagram Stories to a Highlight, which keeps the Story on a profile until it is actively removed. Once 24 hours have passed, users can no longer use any engagement Stickers on Stories.

How do I make my Instagram Stories attractive?

Making an Instagram Story attractive depends on your branding; you need to find the right look and layout of Stories that engage your followers but also convey your messaging. Some of the best Instagram Stories use Instagram Stickers including polls and Q&As.

The most important thing to keep in mind is Instagram Story dimensions. The best Instagram video size or Instagram photo size for Stories is 1080×1920. The minimum size is 600×1067, and there is no maximum, but larger files will increase upload time.

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