The Best Brands Utilizing Instagram Stories

Oh, snap—our favorite disappearing video app is getting some serious competition! Ever since its launch in August, Instagram Stories (a platform so similar to Snapchat it’s sometimes difficult to tell the two apart) has been emerging as a force in marketing, engaging the platform’s 500 million monthly users and inspiring them to share stories. In the five months it’s been around, we’ve seen Instagram Stories blow up in our feeds, and, truth to be told, we like what we see. From beauty brands to vodka, sports shoes to drones, we’ve rounded the best and brightest of Instagram Stories so all you need to do is follow.


Using their Michael Jordan Jumpman23 account, Nike unveiled the new University of Michigan Wolverines football uniforms in a minute long story that received 800,000 views in just 24 hours. With 10.4 million followers, the story was primed for success, but what captured viewer’s attention was the high quality photos, engaging video and cheeky copy that accompanied the new uniform rollout.


Why It Matters: For brands looking to unveil new or exclusive designs, collaborations, or products, Instagram Stories is a must. Rather than issue a press release or series of stills highlighting new developments, brands can instead show them through live events or product unveils that give users an exclusive look at whatever is being offered.

Ketel One Vodka

Though its views were restricted to those 21 and over, that didn’t stop Ketel One’s Instagram Story from getting top views across the board. The brand’s sleekly produced, comic book style video utilized Instagram Stories’ unique storytelling capabilities to show followers how they can use Ketel One Vodka to make a tasty cucumber mule. The story begins with a beauty shot of the finished drink, followed by eye-catching imagery that details everything from the muddling of lime juice and cucumber to the addition of vodka and the last, finishing touches that combine to create the perfect drink. By drawing viewers in with an engaging, easy to follow storyline and appetizing imagery, the brand offers a relevant and engaging use of their product, driving purchase intent and interest in the brand.


Why It Matters: Got a unique or timely use for your product or service? Let Instagram Stories help you showcase it! Instagram Storie’s 4-panel video story technique is perfect for showing viewers innovative uses for a product and can be applied to a variety of brands. Whether it’s detailing steps to making the perfect blueberry muffins or a beauty guru explaining how to achieve an even cat-eye, Instagram Stories can help bring your brand’s products to life in an engaging, relevant way.

General Electric

The energy giant takes to the skies in its most compelling Instagram Stories video, flying a drone high over an active volcano ominously named the Mouth of Hell. Rather than dully explain their new data collection and analysis software, Prepix, General Electric decided to bring its new project to life by chronicling their data-driven exploration into the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua. Not only is the video eye catching and exciting, but it offers a unique opportunity for a brand like General Electric to demonstrate to the public exactly what a new product (and, by extension, their brand) is all about.


Why It Matters: We’re all for utilizing Instagram Stories to showcase unique, real life applications of a product or service in a way still photos just can’t capture. In this case, the 120 year old company decided to showcase Prepix (a complex, cloud based network that connects people, data and machines) in a way that allowed people to see the network in a real life application, engaging viewers while also helping them understand what the network is capable of. For brands with products that may not be as accessible to the general public, showcasing how the products perform in an Instagram story might be the perfect way to further understanding.


The beauty titan racked up views when it unveiled its first Instagram Story, serving up behind-the-scenes footage of its YouTube beauty vlogger videos featuring makeup artists Claudiavel Glickley and Maisha Harris. In addition to exclusive footage, the story featured live beauty tutorials and tips from the artists. Sephora has continued this trend by offering makeup tutorials and backstage views of their video shoots, giving their stories a premium feel.


Why It Matters: While behind-the-scenes content is a tried and tested format, Sephora took this age-old strategy one step further by offering fans access to its artists through exclusive content that kept viewers coming back for more. By providing fans with content they can’t get anywhere else, Sephora incentivizes them to stay engaged with the channel and, by extension, their brand.

Brit & Co

Brit & Co’s Instagram Stories are much like the media company itself: bright, playful, informative, and always on point. Each day the company posts their “Newsys at Noon” series, which highlights the most popular stories from their site, as well as the occasional puppy video for an added dose of cuteness.


Why It Matters: Brit & Co are experts at making consistent, creative content that keeps users coming back for more. By producing a mini series that curates and summarizes the best of the company’s website, fans are always kept in the loop and up-to-date with inspiring, quality content worth following.

Interested in testing Instagram Stories with your brand? Give us a ring and we’re more than happy to help you develop the perfect strategy.

Ignite Social Media