How are these 18 Brands killing it with Instagram Stories?

Brand recognition using Instagram Stories

There are 25 million businesses on Instagram and at least 80% of its users follow one of these brands.

That fact establishes the importance of having a strong brand presence on the Social Media giant – Instagram. Instagram is a goldmine for brands: millions share photos and videos daily, making it a top social media app.

Instagram has 1 Billion users who visit the Application every month. Out of this, over 55% of people are aged 19 -25. This makes Instagram a suitable place to gain brand recognition through Instagram Stories and skyrocket your business revenue.

What is an Instagram story?

Instagram stories are an easy way to add short-form content daily. These stories disappear after 24 hours, making it the best way to engage your followers without being too spammy.

Creativity and Consistency are the keys to succeeding with Instagram stories.

Here are 18 brands that use Instagram stories to their benefit

1. Harvard Business Review

Harward business review instagram profile.
Harward Business Review Instagram profile.

Instagram Stories has a swipe-up feature, that allows you to link stories with content like blogs and videos. Harvard Business Review does a great job at this by posting short round-off posts to their long-form content.

After reading their visually appealing content, the user can opt to swipe up and read the full blog if they find it exciting.

The lesson to be learned: Republish your Long-form content as short educational pieces on your Instagram Story. And don’t forget to link them to the original post.

2. National Geographic

National Geographic does it all in terms of Instagram stories. They post short educational videos and exciting and sensational pieces of news articles. However, they also repurpose long-form content through short posts and link them to the original content.

Their consistent tone and regular updates have allowed them to become the second most followed account on Instagram.

The lesson to be learned: Be consistent and don’t be afraid to repurpose your original content in other forms of small distributable pieces.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb posts high-quality videos explaining the lives led by Airbnb users all across the world. It holds up polls and quizzes to engage people with the day-to-day life of Airbnb users, connecting the user as part of the experience.

Their posts are authentic and of very high quality, giving users an insight into what is out there in the big blue world.

Lesson to learn: Be authentic with your content. Always strive to produce high-quality content.

4. Starbucks

Starbucks Instagram Stories
Starbucks Instagram Stories

How can they develop content when all they make is coffee?

Although Starbucks is one of the biggest coffee retail chains in the country, it brings engagement by focusing on things outside of coffee. They hold up quizzes and post interesting facts about coffee and the customers who visit their store.

They also teach people how to use American Sign Language to ask for their different varieties of coffee.

Lessons to be learned: With the right mindset and a bit of creativity, content can be created for Instagram Stories.

5. NBA

We often put the life of a celebrity or a famous sportsman on a pedestal. NBA posts stories showcasing the life of their players after their games. This shows that they too have a life outside their professional careers, something away from the spotlight and eyes of the cameras.

Lesson to be learned: You don’t need to create content, rather just show people what happens backstage. Show them a world unseen and watch engagement go through the roof.

6. Instagram

Yes, one of the most famous social media apps has an account for itself within the app. But they don’t create anything for themselves, rather they use content submitted by fans and creators out there. 

Instagram uses its story feature to post creative pieces of content made by its users. With its large following and user tag back in stories, creators keep competing for a post in their stories.

Lesson to be learned: You can use User Generated Content to increase your engagement.

7. Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness Instagram Stories
Planet Fitness Instagram Stories

People join a gym to become fit. Some wish to lose weight and some wish to gain it. Planet Fitness does the perfect Instagram stories by focusing on the wants of people. They use their story to highlight everyday people who are working hard to achieve their fitness goals. 

Lesson to be learned: Show people the results and you won’t need to sell your brand ever again.

8. MailChimp

MailChimp keeps it quite simple for its Social Media tactics. They use Instagram Stories to show the daily life of a MailChimp Employee. They look into the life of a Mailchimp employee with short interviews and daily office tours. Even with their small team, they keep every story carousel fresh and exciting.

Lessons to be Learnt: You don’t need to have a large team to do daily employee interviews. You just need an element of creativity to keep it fresh and consistent.

9. Everlane

Transparency has been the major reason for the success of stories from Everlane. These guys were already famous for Snapchat’s stories when Instagram rolled out its story feature. Everlane posts stories that mention how they develop and manufacture every single product.

Lesson to be learned: Being honest and transparent with your methods can be a good factor in winning the hearts of people and making them potential customers.

10. LEGO

Lego Instagram Stories
Lego Instagram Stories

The Danish toy company that is famous for its building blocks is now killing it on Instagram. Their primary target personas are children and pre-teens who can use these colorful blocks to let their imaginations run wild. 

However, LEGO has created a new way of targeting parents who will buy this product for their children. LEGO uses stories to portray models built out of Lego blocks. It also holds up quizzes to engage the audience consistently. 

Lesson to be learned: Any product can be marketed through Instagram stories if you know who to target and how to engage them.

11. Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit, a magazine dedicated to food, makes posts and short clips about food tutorials, recipes, and interviews with chefs and foodies. Bon Appetit makes it work by engaging with its audience through polls and questionnaires. 

Lessons to be learned: Post Consistently to build a strong audience.

12. Google Maps

One of the least expected products to make it on the list. Google Maps regularly posts photos that are submitted by regular people. The best thing is that there is no mention of a map or even a grid in any of their stories, just people and their brilliant clicks!

Lesson to be learned: You don’t always need to focus on creating content to promote your account. Ask users for content and link it back to get a double-win situation.

13. Nike

Nike Instagram Stories
Nike Instagram Stories

Nike uses influencer marketing to promote their brand. Their concept is quite simple, interviewing successful athletes and sportsmen who use Nike shoes. Create beautiful pieces of graphics to deliver snippets from their interview as Instagram Stories.

Lesson to be learned: You don’t need to create content for promotion. Just ask influencers from your people to post their advice and reviews about your product.

14. Fabletics

Fabletics are of a kind athletic wear company that focuses on women’s apparel. They focus their stories on customers who try out their stuff and on behind-the-scenes of their various photoshoots. They do nothing special, but just keep it consistent and find new ways to keep engaging with their users.

Lesson to Be Learned: Content is everywhere. You just need a camera and basic editing skills to record and post it.

15. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston brings back age-old pictures and portraits to life using humor and catchy phrases. The person managing their social media accounts certainly is well equipped with a good sense of humor and a lot of creativity, to keep things rolling consistently.

Lesson to be learned: No subject is too mundane. Be creative and try to add a little humor to the subject.

16. HubSpot

HubSpot is a legend for the CRM Apps in the sales and marketing space. Their creative team uses the Story features to promote their products and new launches, but they also post valuable industry tips.

Lesson to be learned: Even if your company creates SaaS software, there are several creative ways to promote it on Instagram.

17. NASA

Nasa Instagram Stories
Nasa Instagram Stories

Almost 2 out of 4 children wish to become an astronaut at some point in their lives. Most of us have had that moment of looking into the stars and wondering how they would be up close. NASA does a great job of putting up stories related to facts about space, astronomy, and the science behind the stars.

They hold up polls and questionnaires to educate people on complex topics using easy-to-understand language.

Lesson to be learned: Instagram is meant to entertain and educate. If NASA, an organization that sends people to the moon, can simplify complex concepts, you can too!

18. Netflix

Netflix uses quizzes, and questions to engage followers on their Instagram channel. They use the interactive features of Instagram Stories to ask questions about their favorite shows and famous characters. They engage their viewers to give them the feeling of belongingness to their favorite show.

Lessons to be learned: It does not matter how many followers you have unless you engage with them regularly.

Common Types of Instagram Stories Used by Brands

Now that we have taken a good look at each brand and its strategies, we should separate all of them into a type. We could come up with five basic types of Instagram stories that are used commonly.

  • How to’s: HubSpot explains how to increase workflow with the software while Starbucks explains how to order a coffee using American Sign Language
  • UGC: Nike interviews successful athletes while Google Maps asks followers to submit their best clicks.
  • Behind The Scenes: NBA focuses on the behind-the-scenes look with its stars, while Mailchimp gives an insight into the lives of its employees.
  • Deals and Promos: Lego, the Danish toy brick company, uses its story feature to promote deals to the parents, who would buy the blocks for their children.
  • Special Announcements: Everlane uses it to announce upcoming photoshoots and influencer partnerships for its company.

Actionable Tips for Creating an Instagram Story

After having a good idea of the types of stories, you should implement these tips to make your Instagram Stories exciting and visually appealing.

  • Use bright visuals that adhere to the theme of your brand.
  • Make sure your text is visible before posting.
  • Always use interactive elements in stories – countdowns, question blocks, etc.
  • Use editing apps to make sure your photos look stunning.
  • When using UGC, tag back the user who submitted the content.
  • Keep it short and simple

We hope this guide will help you kill your brand on Instagram. Post those stories and increase your brand visibility.

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