Since their release in 2016, Instagram stories have become more and more popular with users of the mobile app. Instagram stories are a great way to engage your audience’s attention and get them to engage with your brand. They’re only around for a short time and allow brands to be more personal in their approach to content. So, with everyone using Instagram stories to increase their brand awareness and engage with their audience, how can you stand out? 

1. Make your text colourful

Adding more colour to the text on your stories can help your stories stand out and dazzle your audience. Instagram gives you the option of 27 different text colours but you can access more by long pressing on the colour options and choosing from the colour spectrum. Using your brands’ colours will help you keep your overall branding consistent and help your followers identify you amongst the noise. 

2. Using hashtags or location stickers

Using hashtags and location stickers can help your content go further and be discovered by more people. It’s a great way to target new and different audiences and help you build a wider audience. Instagram allows you to use up to 10 hashtags on a story. But be careful with the way you use them as they can ruin your aesthetic. Try making the text small and cover it with a sticker so you can enjoy the effects of hashtags and locations without ruining the look of your story.

3. Use Instagram stories to provide sneak peeks 

Teasing your audience through stories is a great way to engage them with your brand and content. Not only does this entice your audience to look at your content more often so they don’t miss out, but it also gives them a feeling of being in the loop with what your business is doing. 

4. Share user-generated content 

Showcase your user-generated content and appease your audience by sharing it through your Instagram stories. You can also save these stories as a highlight so your followers can come back and look through them again later. Just don’t forget to add a little bit of editing to make the posts consistent with your brand and check with the original poster before putting their content up to avoid upsetting anyone. 

5. Use questions to drive engagement 

Instagram stories provide a range of features but one of the most effective in generating engagement is the ability to ask questions and receive answers. The comments and replies to your questions are private messages and you can choose which you’d like to share publicly if you choose to. You can use questions to get feedback from clients, a direction for future content or to show your expertise. 

Instagram is one of the most visually creative social media platforms but it’s more effective when the content is fresh and innovative. Once you find your aesthetic and what works best for you, you can begin telling your brands’ story. The temporary nature of stories is an added bonus and gives you time for trial and error. 


Oliver Adams

Letter Review was founded by Oliver Adams, who is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, casual academic, and guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Oliver Adams has had short stories published in leading literary journals such as Overland, Southerly, Seizure, and TEXT. He has had novels long listed for major awards such as the KYDUMA, has received government funding to produce plays from Create NSW and screenplays from Screen NSW, and has performed / produced professional work at major theatrical venues such as the Sydney Opera House.