With over 1 billion monthly active users, 90% of whom follow companies in-app, practically every business has an Instagram presence these days.

Today, around 25 million businesses use Instagram for brand communication with potential customers, so it can be difficult for brands to cut through the noise and reach the right target audience and keep their following engaged.

The solution? Instagram Stories! An ephemeral content type, available for 24 hours only, Stories create a sense of urgency and help companies interact with hooked audiences.

The Popularity of Instagram Stories

The popularity of Instagram Stories is on its rise and the numbers speak for themselves.

  • Over 500 million Instagrammers use Stories daily
  • Instagram Stories grow 15x faster than feed-based content
  • 58% of users become interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories

In short, it’s important to make Instagram Stories a part of your social media marketing strategy. However, using Instagram Stories isn’t enough to hook your target audience; it’s also important to create appealing Instagram Stories that grab attention.

Here are seven ideas on how to make eye-catching Instagram Stories. Let’s dive in!

1. Invest Time and Effort into Visual Design

Modern users love sharing ephemeral content. Just imagine: around 1 billion Stories are shared every day. This means a great number of Stories bombard Instagrammers from all sides, so it can be difficult for brands to grab the attention of potential customers unless you invest time and effort into visual design.

Look: The majority of people (65%) are visual learners, so they pay close attention to visual content. Posting eye-catching cohesive Instagram Stories that match your brand identity is a great way to stand out from the crowd and hook your viewers’ attention.

Let’s take Skittles, for example. The company uses its recognizable bright colors to create similar Stories:

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Want to know the best part? There’s no need to have a big in-house team of designers to create similar Stories as you can choose an easy-to-use graphic design tool like Crello that offers a variety of pre-made templates. With a few clicks, you can add your brand logo or fonts to customize these templates and make them work for your company.

2. Lay a Bet on Video Content

Being dynamic, videos perform better than static images as video content keeps your audience hooked and engaged. According to the research on video content types, 55% of users watch videos daily, 87% of potential customers want to see more brand videos, and viewers retain 95% of information after watching a video.

When it comes to Instagram Stories, creating 15-second videos can be a great way to grab the attention of your followers.

Moreover, making high-quality videos is now easier than ever as you can use a video editing tool like Videoleap (iOS) and combine clips on your phone. Not only can you mix videos and images to create an artistic look, but you can also add video special effects to make your videos stand out from the crowd.

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If you believe that creating 15-second videos for Instagram Stories that will disappear within 24 hours is a waste of time, don’t forget that you can save your best videos with Instagram Story Highlights and make them live permanently right below your bio section. What is more, you can group your video Instagram Stories to make navigation easier for your visitors and followers.

3. Utilize The Power of Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most effective strategies to keep your audience hooked. People love stories as they evoke emotions and create an emotional connection. What is more, hearing something that resonates with our views and values is a proven way to increase brand trust.

H&M provides a great example of this strategy. With the introduction of a new soft vegan leather alternative made from grapes, the company posts several Instagram Stories with the niche expert who tells the audience about its material, its importance, and shows the variety of products.

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Utilizing the power of storytelling in Instagram Stories is a great way to tell your viewers more about your company and its products while keeping them engaged. Not only can you create several Stories in a row, but you can also make carousel posts that allow you to add up to 10 cards when running Instagram Stories ads.

4. Collaborate with Instagram Influencers

Modern users are tired of paid ads and branded content, so they seek out recommendations from people they trust. Since people trust Instagram opinion leaders as much as their real-world friends, influencer marketing is growing in popularity.

As specified in the latest research on influencer marketing, it’s predicted to reach $13.8 billion, 90% of marketers find influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing, and 67% of responders claim that Instagram is the best platform for influencers collaboration.

There are many ways to collaborate with Instagram influencers to make your Instagram Stories more eye-catching. For instance, you can learn from Cluse and invite niche Instagram influencers to do a product review for you, just like in the example below:

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Not only does Manon Kutner do a product review with a company’s tag, but she also uses the poll sticker to interact with her following and collect their thoughts on featured items. If you want to find out more ways on how to work with Instagram influencers on your IG Stories, here are several ideas for you:

  • Tell about your products, seasonal offers, and deals
  • Become brand advocates and campaign models
  • Create branded ads

5. Keep a Focus on Your Viewers

People are selfish creatures who are focused on themselves. When it comes to choosing the right brand that meets their needs and wants, most customers want to buy from companies who bother about their clients. As a result, people pay close attention to brands that focus on their customers.

To grab the attention of your target audience, you should put your customers first. This means creating Instagram Stories that encourage your viewers to share their customer experiences, preferences, and needs.

For example, you can offer your viewers something special to show that you know your audience. Sephora creates a list of presents each month to help people choose the best gifts for their friends and posts them via Instagram Stories:

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If you have 10k+ followers on Instagram, you can also include a clickable link and add a customer satisfaction survey so that your viewers could share their thoughts about your company and products. Not only does it help to collect customer feedback, but it also helps to create a connection with your audience and show that you care about them.

6. Make The Most Out of Instagram Story Features

The popularity of Instagram Stories takes the world by storm. Both brands and users love short-lived yet engaging Instagram Stories, so the platform constantly rolls out business-specific features to bring interaction to the next level.

From clickable links that allow you to drive traffic to your website to poll stickers that help to collect customer feedback, there are many creative ways to use Instagram Story features and therefore achieve your business goals while keeping your audience hooked and engaged.

ASOS knows how to use all Instagram Story features well to grab attention. Not only does the company include the poll sticker and the emoji slider to let their viewers share their thoughts about the featured products, but it also includes a clickable link that redirects interested viewers to the product page where they can find more information:

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7. Run Instagram Story Ad Campaigns

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could reach a wider audience of your potential customers and grab their attention? Instagram Story ads give you this opportunity!

Since people love ephemeral content on Instagram, the popularity of Instagram Story ad campaigns is growing, too. Not only can you choose the right audience to reach with advanced settings, but you can also make creative ads that encourage your viewers to interact with your ads and therefore achieve your business goals.

Case in point:

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With the introduction of the new product, Dunkin’ made a dynamic Instagram Story ad that showed a chocolate donut with sprinkles and a carton of french fries with a poll sticker to invite the audience to vote on their choice:

The number of uploaded Instagram posts is growing daily, so brands should seek new creative ways to reach their potential customers who haven’t followed your company yet. With Instagram Story ads, you deliver your brand message to the target audience, giving them an opportunity to skip your ad.

In Short

Ephemeral content creates a sense of urgency that encourages people to watch Instagram Stories. This Instagram content type is a great way to interact with engaged people, but it’s also important to create appealing Instagram Stories that grab attention to stand out from your competitors who also hope for the attention of the same audience.

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