How to create Instagram Stories that will make great sales

5 min read
3 June 2020

We live in a “Stories come first” time. People’s interest in Stories is constantly growing.

Stories are becoming the main information source, but it doesn’t mean that posts are not needed anymore. They also play an important role — they form the general content. As for Stories, they have fewer requirements related to the content. Moreover, the format is constantly developing and more engagement methods appear — stickers, gifs, polls, Q&A, chats, and so on. Features are developing — you are not limited by 15 seconds anymore. You can make longer videos that will be automatically cut into shorter 15-second stories. In total, the average length is 30-45 seconds, not 15 seconds as it used to be.

Obviously, as the Stories format is becoming more versatile, you need to optimize your content and make it more efficient. And we are going to tell you how to do it:

10 main principles of Stories that sell effectively

1. Setting a task

Every time you create Stories, you should ask yourself two questions:

  • Why does your viewer want it? What is the reason for watching it?
  • How will you benefit from it?

Every story should have a reason behind it.

In certain cases, you film backstage videos, and it is your way to show how your company works and to increase loyalty and engagement. And users have a chance to see what is behind the scenes and to understand how the business is run.

When you give recommendations, you build an expert image and develop your personal brand. Such information is useful for the audience.

Don’t make pointless Stories. For example, when you just post a picture of a river and caption it like this: “Look, the river is beautiful.” But people can just easily find such pictures themselves.

It means, if you have business goals, every story should be made for some purpose. If you run a private account and you have no business goals or intention to become a blogger, then you are free to do what you please.

2. Proper intro

Every story should have a proper introduction. Despite its format, Stories should have a structure, and, as a rule, it is a traditional three-act structure.

The idea of the first part is to intrigue the user, and the best way to do it is to voice your purpose — an issue a person can solve by watching the video, or a topic you are going to cover.

“Hi, today I am going to talk about ways to increase sales”


“Hi, we are at a big conference in Miami, and now the key speaker is taking the stage and I want to share it with you.”

and so on…

Make sure to grab viewers’ attention in the first seconds of the video, give them a reason to keep watching.

The second part is the main content that can either be useful or interesting. Ideally, it should be both interesting and useful.

The third part is a call to action. What can your call to action be? In the end, you can ask a question. People’s answers increase the reach of your Stories. The more answers you have, the better. It can be stickers with “yes”/ “no”, “blue”/ “black”, “left”/ ‘right” questions, and so on. It can be a poll — a form that allows people to ask you questions (but in this case you have to answer them anyway), or it can also be a chat sticker, etc.

There are many call-to-action formats in Stories, but you can opt for quite a simple one: “Don’t miss out on today’s promotion, swipe up and check out our website.”

If you announce a free entrance event, write: “Swipe up and register.”

Ideally, you should tell people how to get in touch with you. Can you do without it? Yes, you can, but a call to action makes it all work better.

3. Your personality

No doubt that Stories, that feature you, are better than those that do not. Of course, there are exceptions. If you stream a speech at a conference, it is probably not very appropriate to comment on it, because you can interrupt the speaker.

In any other case, it’s better for you to participate in the video.

There are many options here:

  • you can be on camera, a and it is a good idea when you are walking or standing, you are seated and sharing some information;
  • you can be just an off-screen voice;
  • at least, you can take part by writing a caption: just add some text explaining what is going on in the video.

But Stories is a format that is all about showing your personality, unlike, e.g. Pinterest which focuses just on pictures. In Stories, the author should participate and their voice should be heard.

4. Length

You are not limited to 15 seconds; it is not even the average length. The optimal length of a story is 30-45 seconds, depending on how much you want to say. If you make it last 15 seconds, that’s good. But, in general, a video of 30-45 seconds, cut into several stories, is likely to be watched until the end.

If they all are on the same idea that was announced at the beginning, they are less likely to be skipped.

For example, Adidas has cut a video clip into 3 parts:


5. Interaction

Communicate with your audience, ask questions, not only at the end but also during the video, give recommendations, suggest that your viewers ask you questions.

The format of Stories involves much interaction. People are eager to give their feedback and answer questions when watching Stories.

6. Motion

It is noted that dynamic videos are always better than static ones, i.e. dynamic Stories in which you walk or change your appearance are a good option. Film your room where something is going on and spin the camera to grab viewers’ attention. Motion is always catchy.

7. Text

Strange as it might seem, in Stories people also read texts, and a user can always tap to stop Stories and read more attentively. As a result, you can explain what is in the video by writing some text, and it can be very useful. Some users prefer to read.

Text is a must if you add a photo to your Stories because the text helps to explain what is in the picture and make your story more dynamic.

8. Stickers

There are many stickers, they are important, and people like GIFs. Even if your tone is quite serious in a story, you can add a GIF notification so that people swipe up. Just remember, by swiping up, the viewer will be redirected to a website, but the option is only available if you have 10,000 followers and a business account.

Polls and Q&A chats are also very good to use stickers.

A bit of advice: it is necessary to add hashtags and your location. Both can increase your audience just slightly, but it is still an increase. One hashtag and one location are enough, but make sure to add them. They don’t have to be always visible for your viewers, but it is crucial if you want your post to be at the top of the Instagram search according to that location or hashtag.

9. Targeted action

Each Story should have a targeted action. Sometimes you can do without it, but your story should have a call to action at the end.

10. Masks in Stories

Instagram masks are an important trend, especially if you have created your mask. Nowadays, there is a technology to make them, there are certain patterns, and it is a part of the booming market.

Here you go. Here are my 10 recommendations that will help you create a good Story that sells and attracts attention.