10 Best Story Ideas to Engage and Impress Your Audience

10 Best Story Ideas to Engage and Impress Your Audience

Back in 2011, Snapchat took the lead to warm social media for vertical imagery. That was revolutionary when we think of the hatred against vertical. In 2013, Snapchat stepped up its game and introduced “Stories.”  Users were getting used to the story format, and brands were adapting their creatives to have smooth ad integration and brand existence on social media. Gradually Instagram, Facebook, and other social media channels, such as LinkedIn and some messaging platforms, adopted the story format, and brands were forced to find new ideas to use stories. Yet, do these bite-sized structured contents have to be under the constraints of social media platforms? Why wouldn’t any app have their own in-app stories?

Storyly creates in-app stories for apps to use the engagement power of stories and grow. Check Storyly out to learn more.

We compiled the best story ideas to engage and impress your audience, whether you want to create in-app stories or stories for other platforms. Get inspired!

1. Conduct a Poll

The logic behind conducting a poll with stories is simple: ask your audience a question with a choice of two responses and learn what they think. Is there a better way to find out what exactly your audience wants or needs than asking them directly?

Using polls is an effective tactic to engage your audience and create your brand. You can involve the audience in decision-making and show that your brand focuses on two-way communication.  

The great part of polls is that there are numerous ways you can approach them. Can’t decide which recipe you should publish on your app next time? Conduct a poll and ask your audience. You want to get more insight into your audience, go ahead and ask them what they prefer. You can gamify your story by quizzing your audience on different subjects too.

Polls are not only useful to have an audience perspective when you need to make business decisions but also particularly useful to educate your audience with quizzes, conduct market research, and get to know your audience. When a user or follower answers a poll, your brand is already engaging them!


2. Use the Swipe Up Feature

A story is a great place to promote your products, services, and other content. When coupled with the “Swipe Up” feature, hence deep linking, you can direct specific users to pages where they can find relevant content in accordance with their needs and preferences.

Unfortunately, on Instagram, the Swipe Up feature is currently only available to business accounts with 10,000 or more followers. Yet, fortunately, you can use the Storyly Swipe Up feature on your app no matter what your audience size is.

You can use the Swipe Up feature to boost conversions, whether you want to lead your audience to purchase action or consume content or sign up for an event. It all depends on your business and creativity.

3. Showcase Your Newest Products/Services

Are you launching a new product or service? Stories are perfect for generating attraction both on social media and in your app with stories.

You can announce your new product or service to your audience and combine different story elements such as polls, ask for feedback, and use countdowns to create excitement.

Whether you are announcing flash news, a new shoe that is available on your app for purchase, or a yoga course, you can promote them with stories and easily build engagement and increase the conversion.

Image: GettingGrowth

4. Answer Questions

You might frequently be receiving questions from your audience. These questions can be about your products, your company, or how they can achieve a goal by using your products or services, etc.  

Stories are a great place to answer these questions, whether you want to shoot a video of yourself giving the answers or make images explaining the answers. You can ask for feedback from your audience whether your answers were helpful, which is a great way to create a conversation and engage them.

If some of the questions are asked over and over, you can create a permanent story group where you can showcase frequently asked questions and answers.

5. Onboarding

If you are using in-app stories, you can cleverly use them to onboard your users. Using stories is a fresh take on the traditional splash screens that disappear after the user views it. Users can revisit the onboarding experience anytime they like, within your app’s home screen.

You can also use stories to educate your audience on how to use your app or website consistently. For example, Google Maps creates a poll every week to ask users which Google Maps hack they want to learn. That week’s story teaches how to handle the winning option. By doing this, Google Maps engages with the users, gets quick feedback from them, and provides users useful information according to their needs.

Image: The Turkish Coffee Chain, Kahve Dünyası using stories to onboard users

6. Highlight Products/Services

Stories are great places to add some fun to your sales content. You can provide detailed information about the products or services you offer and explain why they are great in a creative and nontraditional way.

Using other story elements, you can enrich these contents, work with influencers, and provide discount codes to your audience if they are interested. Just try to get creative with stories.

Image: Easel

7. Provide Educational Content

Your brand is all about providing your audience with value. One way to do this is by offering them valuable and informative content. Stories are great tools to teach your audience quick tips and actionable advice.  

You can show them how to use your product or app more effectively, offer tutorials related to your content, and prepare how-to videos. Imagine that you have a shopping app, and you share stories of makeup tutorials and then leading your audience to purchase the products that were used in the video.  

Remember that great marketing is about providing value and using stories with this purpose with endless options.

Image: Hootsuite

8. Use Emoji Sliders

You can provide your audience with an emoji rating slider to rate your offerings or changes you made about your products or services. You can also get information about how your audience feels about an event, what their preferences are, etc.

By choosing an emoji, you also add a layer of emotional context that helps those responding understand your tone and answer accordingly.


9. Show Backstage

The online world might seem impersonal from time to time. Giving an insider look to your audience fosters a more personal connection with your audience. Using stories, you can give glimpses of your office, behind the scenes of your content, product, and services. You can include your employees in these stories and even arrange employee takeovers.

Keep your audience up to date with what’s happening in your company by giving them a sneak peek of the backstage. Many of your followers would like to be a part of exclusivity. The good side of behind-the-scenes content is that you can’t go wrong. The transparency will help your brand seem more meaningful to your audience.

Image: GettingGrowth

10. Go Live

We are living in the golden age of live video, and live videos are a great way to directly engage your audience. Live videos via stories both in-app on various social media platforms allow viewers to ask questions, comment on your live video, and provide instant feedback; all mean real-time engagement.  

Especially if you have a shopping app, live streaming is a trend that has been going for a few years in China. According to iiMedia, live streaming e-commerce reached 433 billion yuan ($61 billion) in transactions in 2019. With the pandemic, it is forecasted to double in size and will hit 916 billion yuan ($129 billion) in 2020.

While customers are looking for personalized experiences, in the best examples, retailers make the customers part of the dialogue. As mentioned earlier, during the broadcasts, viewers ask questions and watch their requests being met. While they are watching the live stream, apps make it available to buy the products easily.

Story content, no matter which platform it is on, is, most of the time, one of the most engaging types of content. Although coming up with fresh and exciting content might sometimes be challenging, using stories actively for your brand, you can create new ways of communication and boost engagement.


Berkem Peker

Berkem Peker is a growth strategist at Storyly. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the Middle East Technical University. He/him specializes in growth frameworks, growth strategy & tactics, user engagement, and user behavior. He enjoys learning new stuff about data analysis, growth hacking, user behavior.

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