by Aica Azul

 Instagram has become one of the fastest growing social media platforms since its recent launch of Instagram Stories in August 2016. It hit 100 million daily users in October and 150 million in January this year. Different brands have already taken advantage of this new feature by putting up their own content and ads for Instagram’s millions of daily users to see. So it’s not surprising for consumers to get annoyed when seeing another ad. (And that’s the last thing you want to do—annoy them.)

So here are a few creative and unique ways your brand can use Instagram Stories to increase brand awareness and engagement amongst your current and potential consumers.

Show behind-the-scenes footage

Instagram stories are very ‘in the moment’ content, which is why they are deemed more authentic than regular posts. By showing behind-the scenes footage—perhaps a tour of the office or the factory where your products are being manufactured—consumers get to see real-time and transparent content.

Allow your viewers to get a sneak peek of your creative process—brainstorming with people to holding the actual product. The rawness of your content gives your viewers a deeper connection with your brand especially since they feel they’ve become part of your process.

Use the art tools

Create more creative and unique content by using the drawing tools – paintbrushes, stickers, emojis, and text. Your viewers are most likely tapping through other Instagram stories very quickly, so it’s important to catch their attention once their fingers have landed on your brand’s story.

Do an Instagram story takeover

An Instagram story takeover is collaboration between two accounts who work together to appear in each other’s stories. This could be done by sending each other photos and videos to be uploaded on Instagram stories. As Gary Vaynerchuk writes in his blog, a takeover is basically the same as having a guest on your podcast or YouTube video. When someone with influence is on your domain, there will definitely be a crowd of users or fans on your brand’s Instagram story.

Do short Q&A’s

You can answer users’ questions about your brand – or any topic, really – by posting your answers via Instagram stories. What’s unique about this is that users feel they are talking to a real person, and not just some bot who answers in auto-reply. Instagram stories also allow tagging of other users on their stories, which means when you answer a specific question, you can tag the person who asked so he/she could be notified, creating a more personal experience for them.

At the end of the day, these ideas would not be successful without having a strong content strategy for your brand. The content you publish will still be the winner in this whole process. Happy Instagramming!