I’m not going to beat around the bush today; you guys know how I feel about Instagram and its opportunity as bloggers and influencers to get our audience to engage with us.
But today, just in case you’re still unsure how IG can best serve you, I will share with you some specific examples interactive Instagram story ideas that will get your people interacting with you. IG is a great way to engage with the followers you already have, and if you take advantage of all the features they offer in Stories, you will see that engagement grow.
IE 255: Interactive Instagram Story Ideas with Specific Examples for Bloggers
Before we dive in, I want you to grab my IG Engagement Guide. This guide will walk you step-by-step through how to set up your IG to grab attention and get the right people following and engaging with you!
What Is the Purpose of Instagram?
Like many of you, I have had a deep love/hate relationship with Instagram for the longest time. I didn’t understand it at all; it wasn’t driving traffic to my site, and as a food blogger, that seemed like a royal waste of time.
But once I understood that the purpose of IG was to build a community of people who would want to go to my website, who would want to listen to my podcast, who would want to buy my products, I finally experienced the mindset shift that I needed.
So if you’re tired of spending time posting on a platform that doesn’t; seem to drive traffic to your website, listen to me.
The purpose of Instagram is to build community, and that community will engage with you, and they will tell you exactly what your people want from you. If you don’t know what your audience wants from you, stop and figure that out before creating any more free content.
Tell a Story in Stories
In episode #250, I talked about the difference between scrapbooking and telling a story and why it matters.
This was a massive mindset shift for me when I finally understood that my audience engages with a real story ten times more than when I was scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is when you just share random pictures throughout the day without any cohesiveness, and it’s just bits and pieces of your day.
But a story – a real story – has a beginning, middle, and end. Go back and listen to that episode, #250, to understand exactly what I mean by that.
The whole point of telling a complete story is that when your audience watches your story, it makes them take the next step, whether that means going to your website, buying a product or service that you offer, or DM’ing you for more information.
And now, let’s dive into some concrete examples of interactive IG story ideas to increase your audience engagement.
Example #1- Tell the Story Behind a Project
Let’s say you’re a DIY blogger, and in your Stories today, you’re putting together a bookshelf.
Why is the bookcase today’s project? Will this bookcase be the focal point of your office or family room? Did you need it because your house came with no built-ins?
Don’t just share one pic of you with all the pieces laid out on the floor and then the finished product. Give them the whole story. Tell them why, tell them how, tell them the entire story!
Now, before you get all nervous and think you’re going to have to take a hundred pictures of the process – you do not. Take one photo and continue to add text to that same picture as you tell the story.
And then, when you wrap up the project, take a final picture and share the last piece of the story.
Example #2 – Explain Why You Started Your Blog
Let me tell you, people are dying to know why you started your blog. I hear it all the time, “Why in the world did you decide to do that?!”
Telling your story of why you decided to put a part of your life on display for the world to see will help others who would love to do something similar but are afraid or unsure, and it helps them understand how blogging works and why anyone would do it.
Every time I tell my story of being an inner-city teacher who needed to get out of a system that was destroying the children I was trying to teach and me, I get messages from teachers and former teachers.
My story gives them hope that they can get out if they need to, or it helps them connect with me because they know I understand what they’ve gone through.
When you tell the why behind your blog, your audience will connect with you more profoundly.
Example #3 – Who Is Your Biggest Influence?
Another great story to tell is who has influenced you the most in the content you create for your audience.
Are you a food blogger? Who taught you to cook? Was it your sweet grandmother who let you help her in the kitchen when you were growing up? Did she teach you to make the peach cobbler that everyone wants?
Do you make your children elaborate Halloween costumes every year? Why? Did your mom make you an awesome costume every year when you were a kid? What is the why behind what you do?
You don’t have to share something that feels too personal. Draw your line in the sand on what you are willing to share, and don’t cross it. Each of us will have different comfort levels of what we share.
But if you can tell the story of who taught you to do what you do, your audience will connect with that because they likely had a Grandma who taught them to make something, too.
Example #4 – Share a Life Hack
I’m going to get very specific in this example and show you how I would do this.
Let’s say I have one of those awesome apple peelers; you know, the one where you put the apple in, it spins around, and the apples get peeled. And let’s also say that one of my daughters broke my favorite apple peeler.
I could share an entire story about why I loved that gadget so much and how easy it made it when I baked my grandmother’s famous apple pie. And then, I could share a poll asking my audience if they prefer apple pie or pumpkin pie.
Once they have chosen apple or pumpkin, I can do another poll asking if they want my best recipe for whichever one they chose. And when they say yes, I jump into their DM’s and send them a link to the recipe on my blog. But not only that, I continue to have a conversation with them about their choice.
Sharing a hack can lead to all kinds of conversations with your people, so think about the things you do every day to make your life simpler and share it in a story.
Example #5 – Ask Your Audience a Specific Question
For this example, I want you to ask your audience what their favorite thing to make is.
Start by sharing your favorite thing to make. Maybe it’s what you make for summer vacation, or the Super Bowl, or Thanksgiving, or for a homemade gift.
Whatever the occasion, share your favorite thing to make and then ask them theirs.
The reason for doing this is so you can learn what your audience enjoys and what they’re interested in. It starts a conversation with them that you can continue in DM’s.
Use the Features of IG
I will not stop talking about this, so if you’re tired of it, so sorry! Instagram has provided us with features that make it easier than ever to connect with our audiences. But if you aren’t using them, don’t complain that IG is a complete waste of time.
The Poll feature is my absolute favorite, and you can probably tell that if you listen to this podcast on a regular basis. I love to put two positive answers in my polls.
For example, if I ask, “Would you like a link to my latest podcast episode?” I will put “Heck, Yes” on one side of the poll and “Already Listened “ on the other side. This way, I have a point of contact with whoever participates.
If they say yes, I can send them a link. If they say they already listened, I can ask what they learned or their favorite takeaway.
You want to get in their DM’s because it affects the algorithm and begins to show your content to them more often and theirs to you.
Engagement Is How You Monetize
If you’ve been avoiding Stories, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon, folks. Do you realize that engagement is how you monetize?
Companies really could care less about how many followers you have. What they want to know is how engaged are the followers you do have? Your engaged followers are a direct link to brands, to your email list, to your products.
One easy way to learn how to do Stories the way I teach is to go to IG and watch my Stories. If you learn best by watching someone else do it first, I am over there guiding you. I get that because that’s how I learn best, too.
Your life doesn’t have to be full of excitement for this to work. It just has to connect with somebody else who can identify with you.
Stories aren’t there for you to grow your following; they are for you to continue to connect with the audience you already have.
Now, if you aren’t already following me on IG, do that now. I am over there sharing everything I talk about on this podcast and showing you how it works.
And if you didn’t grab that free engagement guide, what are you waiting for”? Get it now and get started using IG for your blog today!
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