Video Ideas

19 Easy Instagram Story Ideas to Boost Your Brand

Megan O'Neill


More and more brands and businesses are finding success with Instagram Stories. According to Instagram, 96 percent of marketers in the U.S. that are currently using Stories plan to continue to do so in the next 6 months. The top 25% most active brands publish Stories about 17 times a month, while the least active 25% of brands publish about 1 Story per week.

Interested in starting to use Instagram Stories more for your brand but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help with a list of 19 Instagram Stories ideas for businesses that you can start today. And to make it even easier, we’ve included a number of Instagram Story templates that you can customize to match your brand’s story and aesthetic. With Animoto, you can resize any template into a 16:9 Story-sized video with a single click!

Story idea #1: Share a sneak peek

Got something new in the works? Give your followers a sneak peek on Instagram Stories to get them excited about what’s coming. Check out this short clip from the Album Preview template. This example illustrates how a wedding photographer might use Stories to provide a sneak peek of a wedding shoot. However, you could use this Instagram Stories idea for your fashion brand or other industry, too.

Story idea #2: Promote something new

Drive sales with a Story that highlights your product’s best features and encourages sharing among friends. Our New Product Promo template is easily customizable and is ideal for sharing on Instagram and Facebook Stories.

Story idea #3: Tease a new feed post

Posting something new to your Instagram Feed? Share a teaser in your Instagram Stories to let people know. Our New Post Teaser template is designed just for this type of Story. Drop your own content into the circle and update with your brand colors and the font of your choice.

Not sure about the differences between the Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories? You’re in luck. We’ve put together a cheat sheet to help you out. Check it out here.

Story idea #4: Create a regular Story series

Try coming up with a regular series of videos that you can share to Instagram Stories on a weekly basis. This is a nice way to hold yourself accountable for creating Stories regularly.

Sharing Stories on a regular basis helps keep your brand top of mind for your followers. Need some ideas? Here are a few for inspiration:

  • Highlight a different customer each week
  • Showcase a different product each week
  • Share a weekly special deal or promotion
  • Do a weekly Q&A
  • Share a weekly inspirational quote for #MondayMotivation
  • Share a weekly tip for #TuesdayTips

Our Weekly Series templates are designed to be flexible. Start by changing the aspect ratio to vertical to share on your Stories, then add in your content.

Story idea #5: Share recommendations

If you want a quick and simple post, try posting a few recommendations for products or services your audience might want to know about. The Suggested Reading List template below offers an easy-to-adapt post for almost any list of recommendations.

Story idea #6: Launch a new collection

If you sell a seasonal product, try creating an Instagram Story video to showcase your latest collection. Our Collection Launch template shows how a fashion designer might approach a new collection launch on IG Stories.

Story idea #7: Advertise a giveaway

Giveaways are a simple way to boost your signal. Get the word out about your latest giveaway with an eye-catching promo. The video below was created in seconds by converting our Giveaway Offer template to a vertical aspect ratio.

Story idea #8: Share a Sale

Have a flash sale? Promote it on your stories with the Graphic Story Promo template! It's a great way to stop users in their tracks and convince them to swipe and and shop.

Story Idea #9: Go Behind the Scenes

Give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at what you do. Show off your workspace or studio, share how something is made, or give customers another glimpse into how you run your brand.


Story Idea #10: Do a Q&A

Looking to spark engagement? Try doing a Q&A in Instagram Stories. Post a Story using a Question sticker and let your audience know that you’ll be doing an Ask Me Anything (AMA) and encourage them to submit questions. Then, use subsequent Stories to answer the questions you receive.


You can learn more about how to post questions in our article on how to ask questions on Instagram Story posts.

Story Idea #11: Highlight Your Customers

Highlighting your customers is a fun way to make them feel special, and to encourage engagement. Not only will more customers start tagging you for a chance to be featured, but featured customers will be likely to share your Stories with their followers too.

Be sure to tag the people you’re highlighting. Here’s a quick clip from our Customer Call Out template.


Story Idea #12: Showcase your Expertise

Teach a skill or educate your audience. Share your industry expertise with a quick how-to or listicle. Not sure what to teach? Ask your audience! We’ll talk more about asking questions to get to know your audience later in this list.

Story idea #13: Create buzz with an exclusive offer

Share a special limited-time deal just for your audience on Instagram. When you share special offers it promotes a sense of exclusivity. Plus, if you share these offers on a regular basis, it gives new followers a reason to come aboard.

Story idea #14: Wow with a before and after

Whether you’re a fitness coach, an interior designer, an organizer, or work in another improvement-related field, a before and after is always a fun way to show off your skills. Use the tap-through nature of Stories to showcase before and after photographs or video clips.

Story idea #15: Motivate your audience with a quote

Quotes represent fast, engaging Instagram Stories ideas for brands looking to inspire followers. At the same time, it’s an easy way to post if you don’t have time to create a more elaborate story. Animoto has several quote templates that work for health and wellness, ecommerce, and non-profits. The Motivational Quote template below started out square, but we converted it to a vertical aspect ratio to get it ready for Instagram Stories.

Story idea #16: Ask a question

Earlier we shared the idea to run a Q&A using the Instagram Story Questions feature. But asking a question can also be a nice way to get to know your followers. You can learn more about where they’re from, what they do, and how they found out about you, to what type of content they’d like to see more of. For more ideas, check out our blog post on how to ask questions on Instagram Stories.


Story Idea #17: Poll Your Audience

Instead of an open-ended question, you can also poll your audience. Instagram Stories has a Poll sticker where you can ask a question and provide two responses for viewers to choose from, like YES and NO. To learn more, check out our post about how to set up an Instagram Story poll.


Story Idea #18: Share What Inspires You

What inspires you or what inspired your latest collection or product? Share that inspiration with your audience in an Instagram Story unique to your brand. This clip comes from our Inspiration Mood Board template, which can easily be updated with photos of your own inspiration.

Story Idea #19: Promote a Blog Post

If you write a blog, promote your blog or a specific post with an Instagram Story. This can be shared with your followers to let them know you’ve posted something new. Or, you can use it to run a targeted ad to reach new people that might be interested in your content. This clip comes from our Social Blog template.