Instagram is no more about just pretty feeds. Stories are getting a lot more engagement than posts, and now is the best time to make the best use of Instagram stories. With Interactive Instagram stories, you can get to know your audience so much better, directly have a conversation with them and build a genuine connection with your followers.
And the trend that takes away the cake is fun games that can be played on stories. While your feed can be as professional as you want, your stories are a great medium to show your personality's fun and exciting side.
8 Creative Instagram Story Ideas to Involve Your Followers
1. Brain Wreck MCQ
MCQ (multiple choice question) or quiz games are a super fun way to interact with your followers on your stories. It can be a bit of a challenging question in your niche or a simple, fun, and positive question. For instance, if you run a travel account, a bit of a twisted MCQ can be this landmark belongs to which city. A more entertaining question can be which of these places would you take your date to. You can even market your offers the same way as MakeMyTrip has done here.
Bonus Tip: Try and test these Instagram story ideas to find out which type of questions more of your followers respond to. If the proportion is 60:40, make your stories a mix of both.
2. Push the emoji sliders
This is one of the Instagram story games that can give you a better idea of your audience's feelings and emotions about specific topics. For instance, Netflix creates polls about "how 🔥 their particular series was" or how "😍a character of a series was." Their followers can answer by sliding the emoji on the emoji sliders. Most people will interact with this story format since it's pretty trendy and cool.
Bonus Tip: Take polls on topics that genuinely interest your audience. Use the wackiest and silliest emojis.
3. Classic Bingos
No, we are not talking about the bingo that you used to play with your friends. This is one of the most classic Instagram story ideas where all you have to do is pick a topic that fits your niche and fill squares with relevant options.
For instance, if you are a skincare brand, your bingo topic can be "how many of these skincare blunders do you make daily." And the bingo options in the squares can be "not moisturizing," "not removing makeup," "not hydrating," and so on. Ask your followers to circle or tick off all the boxes they relate to and share it on their stories tagging their friends and your brand.
Bonus Tip: Never pick any serious topic even if your brand has an authoritative tone. Keep it cute and playful.
4. This or that challenge
This or that is a fun and quirky Instagram challenge that people enjoy and engage a lot with. You need to choose a topic and ask your audience to pick an option on the poll sticker. For instance, luxury travel or short road trip, classic tea or coffee, or anything else, depending upon your niche. Create your templates or find an attractive one. You can even use the layout option to share the images of two options side by side. You can even keep it simple as Havmor does.
Bonus Tip: Watermark your brand's name on the game templates for boosting your account visibility. Ask your followers to reshare your stories and tag their friends to play the game. This will get you massive engagement.
5. Two truths and a lie
This is a super engaging Insta story idea where your followers can know things about you. Come up with three interesting facts about yourself or your brand and one completely false one. Ask your followers to guess the lie. The facts shouldn't be boring! Keep them witty and weird. People should find the facts intriguing.
Reshare the answers of your followers in your story with shocking GIFs and emojis to build the suspense. Finally, share your answer and talk a little about the two true facts to give some context. It will help you create a loyal fan base since your followers will get glimpses of your personality.
Bonus Tip: Use the "poll sticker" on these stories for your followers to pick the lie. This looks more catchy.
6. Tiktok and Reel challenges
This is one of the most shared Instagram story ideas where you can share a viral or trending TikTok or reel from your account on your story. Nominate or challenge your followers (with challenge stickers or gifs) to create a reel on the same trend and post it on their individual stories or feed. Don't forget to ask them to tag your Instagram account. People are obsessed with Instagram reels in 2021, which can give your account a lot of exposure.
Bonus Tip: You can innovate your own creative trends and challenges. Some of the most loved challenges include dance moves. It should be sassy and clever.
7. Intriguing poll games
Are you planning to launch a new product or a virtual event on your Insta live? Create that buzz around it with a poll game like "do you love this new product" or "will you come to this exciting event." Revlon is a brand that leverages this format to create a lot of engagement. You can even create Instagram story templates with polls on some popular trends in your niche. For instance, if you are a fashion brand, you can ask your followers if they like a mini skirt or a one-piece dress better.
Bonus Tip: Create content ideas generating polls on your story. For instance, what type of content do they enjoy more on your feed or what topics (in your niche) they would like to know more about.
8. Gif challenge
This is an Instagram story idea that will get you the most reshares and tags. All you have to do is share a template with some situations (from your niche) and ask people to screenshot that template and post it on their story with GIFs and stickers that show what their reactions would be in those situations. Tell them to go creative and even react with a meme if they want to. For instance, if you are a cloth-selling brand, you can give situations like when your favorite outfit is on sale or when an outfit you like is not available in your size.
Bonus Tip: You can play this game also on the theme of particular occasions and not just your niche—for instance, Christmas or Valentine’s day.
Create Your Own Instagram Story Templates for Games
The best place to curate and customize your Instagram story templates for your games is Canva. You will find ready-to-use templates for almost all Instagram games like "This or That," "Bingo," "Quiz", etc.
You can edit the design elements, shades, text, filters, etc., to complement it with the aesthetics of your accounts. Canva also has a massive library of fun GIFs. You can use them to add some shimmy and pomp to your free Instagram story templates.
5 Instagram Story Strategies for Interactive Gaming
1. Tag relevant people
"Relevant people" here means people (or brands) who are in any manner connected to the story you are tagging them in. For instance, let’s say you’re a brand that’s working with an Instagram influencer to promote a product launch. And you’re sharing a video or picture of that promotion on your Ig story - tag that influencer. This will help the influencers' followers know about your brand when the influencer shares the tagged story on their own stories. This is also a great way of acknowledging the work of the creator.
2. Add handpicked hashtags to stories
Sprinkle hashtags smartly on your Instagram stories to make your account more visible to the people (who are not even your followers). But don't go crazy about it and add 15 hashtags! Be strategic and choose 2-3 hashtags that are most relevant to that story.
Research your hashtags thoroughly. See the hashtags you have used in your top-performing posts or stories. Have a look at the hashtags your competitors are using in similar stories.
Keep it short and memorable. If you think it's ruining the aesthetics of your story, you can change hashtag colors and blend them in.
3. Share on other social media handles
Repost your Instagram stories on other social media platforms like Snapchat, youtube stories, etc. This will make your best stories visible to people who don't follow you on Instagram but follow you on other platforms. It will also direct your followers from other platforms to Instagram.
4. Create more highlights
Instagram stories vanish in 24 hours. Your story might stand out and get tons of engagement, but some people might not see it within 24 hours? Also, what about the people who will follow you later? To ensure they don't miss out on your best-performing stories, create more highlights on your feed.
Make your highlights more visually attractive by tapping on the "edit cover" option present in the three dots in the bottom right corner. Make the cover and fonts consistent with your brand aesthetics. Highlights are permanent stories, so basically, you are getting the best of both posts and stories. How cool is that?
5. Spread the word with Instagram posts
You can cross-promote your story content on your feed and vice versa. Don't repeat it exactly, though! It might be a bit boring and repetitive for your followers. Instead, repurpose your top-performing stories into Instagram posts and the other way round too. You can also repost some of your best Instagram posts on your stories directly with stickers like "New post alert" to create a reminder for your audience.
6 Instagram Stories Tips to Get More Engagement from Your Audience
- Use GIFs: GIFs are the new cool. Millennials are obsessed with using GIFs in their stories. Using them on your Insta stories will make your brand seem more trendy, appealing, and relatable. GIFs and Snapchat stickers are pretty attention-grabbing. Using some of the relevant ones in your story will help you get better engagement. But overuse it!
- Giveaways: One of the most popular Instagram story ideas is to host contests and giveaways. You can ask your followers to participate in contests to share your Instagram stories on their Insta stories. Give a challenge like "tag your three friends or best friend" or "tag our brand" and offer goodies and hampers (from your business) as the winning prize.This will firstly increase the shares of your stories. But the cherry on the cake is that it will also help you launch your new products or promote your existing products when the winners share the pictures of the gift hampers on their Insta stories. (Ask them to tag you in it.)
- Use CTAs: Add CTAs, such as swipe up links on your stories. For instance, if you are promoting a product, you can add the swipe-up links to youtube reviews of that product. Swipe-up links spark an interest in your audience to know more about that story.
- Add captions: One of the most underrated hacks is to add captions to your Instagram story. Many people, especially millennials, do not like turning on the volume of Instagram stories. So, they naturally skip through in stories where someone is speaking (maybe giving a verbal review of your product). You can use the fonts option to write whatever the person is talking about in that story to prevent this. It can be a word-to-word description or simply a summary.
- Use music: A very cool and catchy trend for Instagram stories these days is using music. It makes your account feel more upbeat. But don't randomly pick any song. This will make your stories rather cringey. Add only music that complements and adds context to your story. If you don't find such a track, it's better not to add one.
- Try countdown stickers: If you are going live in a few hours, launching a sale on a product, or any other live event you want your followers to attend, you can build excitement with countdown stickers. Remind your audience constantly about it since they will likely forget it with the vast amount of content they get bombarded with daily.
It's 2021, and there could be no better time to grow your Instagram or get better engagement from your current followers with a solid social media marketing strategy. People spend most of their day scrolling on it with more and more upcoming cool and attention-worthy features and trends on the platform. Leverage this opportunity of Instagram marketing and get started with creating a content plan for your Instagram stories.