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We picked some best practice cases to outline how businesses and brands successfully implement Instagram stories in their marketing strategy. These stories differ from professional high-end quality content to user-generated content including calls to actions and glimpses behind-the-scenes.

According to The Verge, about 200 million channels were using Instagram Stories every day in April 2017 and we can only imagine that by now the number has grown to an even greater amount. Let’s see how the following brands use the Instagram feature for their marketing strategy.  

Airbnb Takes You On A Storytelling Journey With Travel Tuesday

Airbnb includes different strategies in its Instagram stories: Professional and user-generated content as well as a call to action.

Instagram story airbnb

First, on Travel Tuesday they ask their followers to participate in a poll – a feature that has been recently launched by Instagram. The story seems simple but still professional and well-structured.

In a second step, it becomes obvious that Airbnb uses content generated by followers or other Instagram channels. This way, Airbnb kills two birds with one stone. Airbnb is engaging with its followers’ content and the task of creating a story becomes easier by just taking already existing content.


Kapten & Son Is Calling To Action

Some brands do not focus as much on the storytelling character but try to promote sales through giveaways on Instagram stories like German watch and sunglass brand Kapten & Son.

Instagram Kapten & Son

Giveaways like that always include calls to action which are quite efficient. Who doesn’t like getting “free” (in exchange for following) stuff, right? Teaming up with Baublebar, both brands assure new followers since this is part of the call to action.


Victoria Secret Is Being Taken Over And Adds Value With Yoga For Everyone

Another often used strategy is a Takeover. Following this approach, brands have influencers take over their Instagram channels for an hour, a day or more. Due to the fact that the influencers promote the takeover on their own channel, brands usually experience more traffic on their feed (especially their story) and attract new followers.

Instagram Victoria's Secret

See how stellamaxwell and yoga teacher bethcooke_flow take over the Instagram channel of Victoria Secret inviting customers to join their yoga session to #trainlikeanangel. Following this approach, Victoria Secret combines several strategies in their story.

Due to the takeover, an increase of followers is likely thanks to stellamaxwell who counts more than 3,3m followers on Instagram. Furthermore, the brand includes another feature of Instagram, the live video, to host its yoga class and draws attention to it through Instagram stories. Additionally, Victoria Secret calls to action on three levels in the story: 1. swiping up to attend the yoga class 2. actually doing yoga at home 3. shopping the yoga outfit.


MSNBC Deepens Stories Withing Stories

Another creative and engaging strategy is chosen by the American news cable and television network MSNBC. MSNBC uses Instagram stories to react to questions asked by followers using this as an opportunity to deepen reports on several subjects.

Instagram Story MSNBC

The story also includes a takeover by one of MSNBC’s correspondents (jacobsoboroff). The fact that an employee is taking over the story conveys a “behind the scenes”- character that is also outlined by the simple almost dilettante (but typical for Instagram) camera work. This simplicity creates a feeling of closeness between brands (or in our case MSNBC) and followers.


Spooky Storytime With Spotify

The music streaming service Spotify takes digital storytelling literally. With Halloween right around the corner, the brand used Instagram stories to publish short spooky horror stories around musicians and draw attention to their holiday Halloween playlist available and “screaming now”.

Instagram Spotify

The content is quite professional triggering curiosity and the need to find out more about Bowie’s haunted pool. Spotify gets followers in the mood for Halloween with a snippet and later on with their Halloween playlist in case followers swiped up to see more.

The Takeaway

Instagram Stories have been implemented in many businesses’ performance while using the social platform for marketing purposes. Stories enable the opportunity for brands to engage with their customers on an emotional level without appearing in an advertisement manner.

Stories lower the bar for sharing all types of photos and video – and not just the carefully planned and painstakingly touched-up photographs.

(CEO and Co-Founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom states)

Hence, it also lowers the expectations in what is being considered to be acceptable brand content and what is not, facilitating latitude for brands in their content creation and customer approach.

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