Are you using Instagram Stories as part of your strategic marketing plan? If you’ve spent much time on social media lately, you likely already know that one of the app’s most beloved features is IG Stories, where users share short-format videos and vertical images that disappear after 24 hours.

But did you know that these fast and fun content snippets can also be used as a powerful marketing tool for businesses and nonprofits? If you’ve been overlooking Instagram Stories when planning out your content marketing strategy, here are a few statistics that might compel you to reconsider. According to recent data:

  • 70% of users watch Instagram Stories daily
  • 81% of Instagrammers use the platform for researching new products and services
  • 87% of Instagram users say they take action after seeing a product on Instagram
  • 67% of users watch branded Stories
  • 130 million users tap on shopping posts each month

More specifically for marketing teams, some advantages to utilizing Instagram Stories are that they’re free to use, easy to create, and great for driving engagement on social media. They also tend to be more captivating for your audience, because they aren’t competing with other content in a feed.

Stories can be used to share educational content, collect donations, alert your followers about upcoming events, sell a product, or simply connect more often with your audience, which is ultimately beneficial for boosting brand awareness. 

In other words, if you’re not already using Stories as part of your social media strategy, you might be missing out. The good news is that it’s never too late to start. To help you dive in, and start seeing results from your content, here are a few tips and tricks we recommend.

Best Practices for Adding Instagram Stories to Your Marketing Campaign

More is Best

When it comes to a posting cadence for Stories, consistency is key and it can be advantageous to post daily, if not multiple times daily. Although too many Stories posted consecutively can result in users scrolling past, sharing a few panels at a time is often the sweet spot for ensuring that your message doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Keep Content Glanceable and Digestible

The time limit for Instagram Stories is just 15 seconds, so it’s best to avoid overloading viewers with too much text or too many visual elements. A better approach will be to stick to one key message, presented with one image or video that supports what you’re trying to communicate. It can also be helpful to use familiar brand logos or colors so that followers instantly recognize whose Story they’re viewing and can easily focus on the information you’re sharing.

Don’t Forget to Utilize the Highlights Feature

While an Instagram Story will only remain live for 24 hours, the lifespan of your content can be easily extended by saving Stories as Highlights, which will appear at the top of your page and provide an easy point of reference for anyone visiting your profile. You can create multiple highlights for different categories, events, topics, or offerings, and add content continually, any time you post a new Story.

Uplevel Your Instagram Stories with Stickers

When posting an Instagram Story, some of the best tools for encouraging followers to engage with your content will be the various sticker enhancement options, found at the top of your screen as you’re creating your post. A few of our favorites include:


Just like the hashtags you’d use in a regular post, Instagram allows you to add one hashtag sticker to each story, and these are a great way to reach more viewers. Anytime users click on a hashtag sticker, they’ll be taken to the hashtag’s feed, just like if they’d searched for it manually.

Location Tags

If you’re a business with a brick-and-mortar location or an organization that attends events and conferences, location stickers can be very effective for reaching other local users. When users tap on a location sticker, they’ll see a feed of other content from the location tagged.


Acting as a kind of mini-form for users to submit inquiries directly, question stickers let you crowdsource ideas, feedback, and responses from your audience with an open-ended question. Answers can then be shared directly to subsequent Stories as a follow-up user-generated content post.


Poll stickers ask users a question and give them two answers to choose from. They can be used for fun informal polls as a way to drive engagement, or as a way to gather feedback about your followers’ interests and preferences.


The same way you might tag collaborators using the “@” symbol in a post, mention stickers allow you to tag other IG users in your Stories. Users tagged will receive a notification and will be able to share your story with their own followers, translating to a wider reach, and more opportunities for user-generated content. 


Music stickers add background music to your images or videos, letting you choose a soundtrack from Spotify. They can be a fun way to add a storytelling element to your content.


For product launches, events, or other time-sensitive content, the countdown feature adds a timer to your stories, and creates a sense of urgency.


GIF stickers are looping graphics from GIPHY that you can add to Stories. Users love GIF stickers because they’re fun and dynamic but for more practical purposes, you can also use them to add animated calls to action to your Stories (e.g., “Follow us” “Link in bio”)


Shoppable stickers are available through the Shopping on Instagram integration and business accounts with this sales channel enabled can use them to tag products in their Stories. They simplify the purchase path for users, allowing users to see more information about a product and even be directed to your online shop with a simple tap.

Emoji Sliders

These stickers ask users a question that they can answer with a slider (i.e., “On a scale of 1 to 10 …”), such as “How much do you love our new line compared to last year?” Content creators can choose an emoji to represent their response, and users will see the average after they cast their votes.


In recent years, link stickers have replaced the swipe-up feature, allowing you to link to content outside the Instagram app in your Story. The possibilities for this feature are endless, but some effective examples would be linking followers to a landing page, blog post, petition, or event sign-up form.


Similar to the link sticker, the donate sticker automatically adds text asking users to donate to the selected charity. You can change the text to whatever you want, within character limits. 

Looking for Instagram Stories Strategy Support?

If you’re ready to start incorporating Instagram Stories as part of your social media marketing efforts but want help making sure your strategy is on point, let’s have a conversation! At First Ascent, we love assisting our clients with the content creation process – including design, copywriting, and developing a strategic posting schedule, positioning your Stories to effectively engage your target audience.