Instagram Story Ideas: How To Effectively Promote Your Local Business

Instagram Story Ideas: How To Effectively Promote Your Local Business

Instagram Story Ideas: How to Effectively Promote Your Local Business


Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms in recent years, with over one billion active users. It has also become a valuable tool for businesses to promote their products and services. Instagram Stories, in particular, have become a popular way for businesses to engage with their followers and potential customers.


For local businesses, whether you are a tradesperson, a sole trader or local shop, whatever your business, Instagram Stories can be a great way to showcase your products, promotions, services and events to a wider audience. However, coming up with creative and effective Instagram Story ideas can be a challenge. In this blog post, you will discover effective Instagram Story Ideas that local businesses and shops can use to promote their business.

We will explore some Instagram Story ideas that local companies can use to promote their business and attract more customers. From showcasing new products to behind-the-scenes glimpses these ideas will help local businesses make the most of their Instagram presence.


Understanding Instagram Stories

What are Instagram Stories? 

Instagram Stories are a feature on Instagram that allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. They are a great way to share content with your followers in a more casual and temporary way.

With Instagram Stories, you can add stickers, text, and filters to your photos and videos to make them more engaging and fun. You can also add links to your Stories, which is a great way to drive traffic to your website or online shop if you have one.

Why Use Instagram Stories for Promotion?

Instagram Stories are a great way to promote your local business because they allow you to connect with your followers in a more personal way. By sharing behind-the-scenes content, promotions, and special offers, you can build a relationship with your followers and encourage them to contact you or visit your shop.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider using Instagram Stories for promotion and then we will discuss some Instagram Story Ideas:

●  Instagram Stories are highly visible: Instagram Stories are prominently displayed at the top of the app, making them hard to miss.

●  Instagram Stories are engaging: With features like stickers and filters, you can create fun and interactive content that your followers will love.

●  Instagram Stories are temporary: Because Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, they create a sense of urgency and encourage your followers to act quickly.

Overall, Instagram Stories are a powerful tool for promoting your local business and building a loyal following on Instagram.

Creating Engaging Instagram Stories


Instagram Stories are a great way to promote a local business and engage with customers. Here are some ideas for creating engaging Instagram Stories that will help promote your business or shop and keep your followers interested.

Showcase Your Products

One of the best ways to use Instagram Stories to promote your business or shop is by showcasing your products. You can feature new arrivals, best-sellers, and seasonal items. Use high-quality photos and videos to showcase your products in action. You can also add product tags to your stories, which will allow users to shop directly from your stories, if that is applicable to you.


Share Customer Testimonials

Another way to create engaging Instagram Stories is by sharing customer testimonials. Ask your customers to share their experience with you and your business or shop and feature their stories on your Instagram account. You can also share customer photos and videos using your products. This will help build trust with your followers and encourage them to use your services, contact you or visit your shop.

Promote Sales and Discounts

Instagram Stories are a great way to promote sales and discounts. You can create exclusive offers for your Instagram followers and share them on your stories. You can also use Instagram Stories to promote seasonal sales and discounts. Make sure to include a call-to-action in your stories, such as “Swipe up to shop now” or “Use code XYZ when you come and see us.”

Overall, Instagram Stories are a powerful tool for promoting a local business. By showcasing your products, sharing customer testimonials, and promoting sales and discounts, you can create engaging content that will keep your followers interested and encourage them to shop at your store.

Let’s explore some more Instagram Story Ideas…..

Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Give your followers an insider look at how your business operates, whether it’s a local shop, a cafe, or the day-to-day life of tradespeople like kitchen fitters, plumbers, and electricians who work directly in people’s homes. Show them the real deal – from the hustle and bustle of your shop floor to the warmth of your cafe’s kitchen or the hands-on work that goes into fixing leaks and installing new cabinets.

Highlight the little details that make your business special, whether it’s the quirky decor of your shop, the secret recipe behind your best-selling pastry, or the careful planning involved in a home renovation project. Introduce your team members, sharing their stories and expertise in a down-to-earth manner. By offering behind-the-scenes access, you can foster a deeper connection with your audience and provide them with a greater appreciation for the passion and dedication behind your business.

DIY or How-to Guides

This is a personal favourite Instagram Story Idea of mine.

Share practical tips on how to make the most out of your products or provide hands-on tutorials relevant to your area of expertise. This not only highlights your products and services, but also adds value to your audience’s experience.

For example, if you’re a local shop selling gardening supplies, you could offer tutorials on creating a vibrant container garden or maintaining an indoor herb garden or if you run a local shop selling crafting supplies, you could demonstrate creative ways to use your materials in DIY projects like handmade greeting cards.

Likewise, if you’re a tradesperson offering home repair services, you might offer guidance on simple DIY fixes such as unclogging drains, patching small holes in drywall, or  installing shelving units. These guides not only showcase your expertise but also empower your audience to tackle projects themselves, establishing you as a trusted resource within your community.

Community Events and Workshops

If your local business organises events or workshops, use your Instagram Story to spread the word. Give your followers a glimpse behind the scenes, share sneak peeks of what’s to come, and invite them to join in the fun.

For instance, if you’re a local shop hosting a crafting workshop, you could share previews of the materials participants will be using and offer a sneak peek of the finished project. Alternatively, if you’re a tradesperson offering home improvement services, you might host a DIY workshop on basic repairs and renovations and use your Instagram Story to showcase the tools and techniques that will be covered.

By promoting these events on your Story, you’re not only generating excitement but also encouraging engagement and participation within your local community.

Local Partnerships and Collaborations

Leveraging partnerships and collaborations with other local businesses can expand your reach and attract new customers. Start by identifying complementary businesses in your area that share your target audience but offer different products or services. Reach out to them to explore potential collaboration opportunities, such as joint promotions, cross-promotions, or co-hosted events.

For example if you are a local shop selling Handmade Gifts, partner with a nearby florist to create a Valentine’s Day gift bundle featuring your handmade gifts and a bouquet of fresh flowers. Collaborate on a visually appealing Instagram Story series announcing the partnership and showcasing the curated gift set. Share sneak peeks of the gift items and behind-the-scenes footage of the collaboration process, such as selecting complementary products and packaging them together.

Offer a special promotion for customers who purchase the gift bundle, such as a discount or free delivery. Throughout the partnership, cross-promote each other’s businesses on your Story to maximise exposure and drive sales. By highlighting these collaborations on your platform, you’re not only expanding your reach but also demonstrating your commitment to supporting other businesses in your community.

Instagram Story Ideas - Every local business has a unique story to share, and Instagram Stories provide the perfect platform. Quote by Christina Nicholson of Media Maven

Limited Edition or Exclusive Products

Generate excitement for upcoming limited edition or exclusive offerings by sharing teasers on your Instagram Story. Create anticipation by offering sneak peeks or behind-the-scenes glimpses of what’s to come.

For instance, if you’re an electrician offering specialised lighting solutions, you could tease a limited edition smart lighting system designed to enhance home ambiance. Similarly, if you’re a plumber known for high-quality fixtures and fittings, you might offer a sneak peek of an exclusive line of luxury bathroom taps with unique design features. Alternatively, if you’re a local cafe renowned for artisanal coffee blends, you could tease a limited edition seasonal blend made from rare beans sourced from a remote region, providing followers with a taste of something truly unique and exclusive.

By leveraging your Instagram Story to showcase these special products, you’re not only sparking curiosity but also driving engagement and fostering a sense of anticipation among your audience.

Shop Local Campaigns

Engage in or lead a “Shop Local” campaign on Instagram to advocate for supporting local businesses.  Share stories that underline the importance of bolstering the local economy and spotlight what sets your business or shop apart.

For instance, if you’re a local electrician, you could lead a “Support Local Trades” campaign, highlighting the expertise and personalised service of small-scale tradespeople in your area. Or, for a local restaurant or cafe, you could initiate a “Dine Local” campaign on Instagram. You might share stories celebrating the diversity of flavors and culinary talent in the community while highlighting what makes their establishment unique. For instance, they could showcase their commitment to using locally sourced ingredients.

By using your Instagram platform to promote these efforts, you’re not only reinforcing the value of local businesses but also fostering a sense of community connection among your followers.

Utilising Instagram Story Features


Moving on from Instagram Story Ideas for a minute and let talk about the story features.  Instagram stories offer a variety of features that can be used to promote a local business. By utilising these features, business owners can increase engagement, attract new customers, and keep their current customers informed about new products and promotions.

Use of Stickers

Instagram stickers are a great way to add some fun and personality to your stories. Shop owners can use location stickers to let followers know where their shop is located, or use hashtag stickers to increase the visibility of their stories. Same for tradespeople, you can use location stickers or hastags to increase visibility in the areas you serve.  Additionally, there are various other stickers that can be used to add some creativity to your stories, such as GIFs, music, and emojis.


Highlighting Stories

Instagram story highlights are a great way to keep important information easily accessible to followers. Shop owners can create highlight categories such as “New Arrivals” or “Sales” to showcase their products and promotions. These highlights can be pinned to the top of the shop’s Instagram profile, making it easy for followers to access the information they need.

Use of Polls and Questions

Instagram polls and questions are a great way to engage with followers and gather feedback. Local businesses and shop owners can use polls to ask followers about their preferences or opinions on products, and use questions to answer frequently asked questions about their shop, products or services. For example, a cafe owner can ask its followers which tyoe off coffee they prefer or a local bakery wants to get feedback on a new pastry flavour they are considering.

This can help to build a stronger relationship with followers and increase customer loyalty.

Instagram story polls are a feature that allows businesses and creators to pose a question with two answer options for their followers to choose from. When you add a poll sticker to your Instagram story, your followers can tap to vote on one of the two provided answers.

Instagram story questions is a feature that allows businesses and creators to invite their followers to submit open-ended answers to their questions or ask questions themselves through their Instagram stories. When you add the “Questions” sticker to your story, your followers can tap on it and type in their queries or comments.

This interactive feature provides a great opportunity for local businesses to engage with their audience, address specific concerns, and build stronger relationships. For example a local fitness studio could use the questions sticker to gather input from followers about potential new classes They could ask….. What type of new fitness class would you like to see at the studio?

The key difference is that polls provide pre-set multiple-choice options, while questions allow for open-ended responses typed out by users.

Are instagram polls the same as asking questions or are these two different features?


Instagram polls and questions are two distinct features on the platform.

Instagram Polls:

  • Polls allow you to ask a question and provide two answer options for your audience to choose from.
  • Polls appear as interactive stickers that you can add to your Instagram Stories.
  • Your followers can vote on the poll by selecting one of the two answer choices.
  • Polls are primarily used to gather quick feedback or opinions from your audience.

Instagram Questions:

  • The Questions feature allows your followers to submit open-ended answers or questions to you.
  • You add the “Questions” sticker to your Instagram Story, and your followers can type in their queries.
  • Unlike polls, the questions feature does not provide pre-set answer options.
  • You can then view the submitted questions and choose to respond to them individually through subsequent Stories or a live video.
  • The questions feature is useful for engaging in more in-depth conversations, addressing specific concerns, or gathering detailed feedback from your audience.

While both features facilitate interaction and audience engagement, polls are best suited for quick, binary choices, while the questions feature allows for more open-ended dialogue and detailed responses.

For local businesses, polls can be useful for gathering quick insights or gauging interest, while the questions feature enables them to address more complex inquiries, provide personalised recommendations, or offer detailed information about their products or services.

Instagram Story Ideas - Don't just tell your community about your local business, show them with Instagram Stories. Quote by Alex Becker of Entrepreneur

Instagram Story Idea Statistics

Instagram has become an incredibly popular and engaging platform,  particularly in the UK. As local businesses aim to connect with their communities and promote their products and services effectively, it’s essential to understand the platform’s reach and user behavior.

The following statistics provide valuable insights into the Instagram landscape in the UK:

**Instagram UK Statistics (Social Films, 2023):**

– 📈 30.6 million monthly active users in the UK
– 👥 46% of the UK population uses Instagram
– 🎯 25-34 year-olds are the most active demographic, making up 30.1% of users

**Engagement Statistics (Fanbytes, 2024):**

– 🎥 Reels receive 22% more engagement than regular video content
– 📹 Instagram has a 1.50% engagement rate for video posts
– 📷 Reels receive more engagement than regular video content at a rate of about 22%
– 📂 When using all 10 carousel slides, the average engagement rate of Carousel posts goes over 2%
– 🤔 57% of people like seeing polls and quizzes from brands on Instagram
– 📖 Brand Stories have an 86% completion rate

This statistic “Brand Stories have an 86% completion rate” refers to the percentage of people who watch Instagram Stories created by brands from start to finish.

On Instagram, Stories are short videos or photo sequences that appear at the top of users’ feeds and disappear after 24 hours. When a brand or business shares a Story, it appears in the Stories feed of their followers.

An 86% completion rate means that when a brand publishes a Story, 86% of the people who start watching that Story will view it all the way through to the end, rather than exiting or skipping it part-way through.

This high completion rate indicates that Instagram Stories are an effective way for brands to share engaging content and communicate with their audience. When users watch a brand’s Story from beginning to end, it increases the chances that they will retain the information or message being conveyed.

For local businesses, having such a high completion rate for their Instagram Stories can be beneficial in several ways:

1) It allows them to effectively promote products, services, or events by sharing visually appealing and informative Stories that their audience is likely to watch fully.

2) It provides an opportunity to tell more in-depth stories about their business, staff, or community involvement, fostering a stronger connection with their local followers.

3) It can increase brand awareness and recall, as users are more likely to remember businesses whose Stories they have watched completely.

Overall, the 86% completion rate statistic highlights the potential of Instagram Stories as a powerful marketing and engagement tool for local businesses seeking to captivate their local audience.

**User Behavior (Social Films, 2023):**

– 📲 54% of UK users use Instagram several times a day

These statistics highlight the immense potential for local businesses to reach and engage with their target audiences on Instagram. By leveraging the platform’s interactive features, such as Reels, Carousels, polls, and quizzes, businesses can effectively capture attention, foster engagement, and ultimately, drive growth within their local communities.

Instagram Story Ideas - Stories bring your business to life in a fun and authentic way. Quote by Gary Vaynerchuk

Instagram Story Ideas FAQ’s 

Here are some common questions you as a local business owner might have about Instagram Stories:

How often should I post Instagram Stories?

For local businesses, it’s recommended to post Instagram Stories consistently, as always it is consistency that is key here, around 3-5 times per weeks suggested, but if you can only manage 1 or 2 thats fine as long as you are consistent with it. Frequent Stories help keep your business in peoples minds for your local audience and boost engagement. However, quality should be prioritised over quantity to avoid overwhelming your followers.

What’s the best time to post Instagram Stories?

The ideal time to post Stories varies depending on your local audience’s behaviour. Generally, posting during commute times (7-9 AM and 5-7 PM) or in the evening (8-10 PM) can yield higher engagement. Analyise your Instagram Insights to identify when your followers are most active.

How can I increase visibility for my Instagram Stories?

To increase visibility, use relevant hashtags and location tags, engage with your followers by responding to story replies, and promote your Stories through other channels like your feed posts or email newsletters. Additionally, collaborate with local influencers or complementary businesses to cross-promote each other’s Stories.

What types of content work best for Instagram Stories?

Local businesses can leverage Stories for behind-the-scenes glimpses, product showcases, employee spotlights, event coverage, user-generated content, and promotional offers. Incorporating interactive elements like polls, quizzes, and questions can also boost engagement.

How can I measure the success of my Instagram Stories?

Instagram Insights provide valuable metrics like reach, impressions, exits, and engagement rates for your Stories. Pay attention to metrics like completion rate, which indicates how engaging your Stories are. Additionally, track any increases in website traffic, inquiries, or sales that may result from your Stories.

How can I create visually appealing Instagram Stories?

Invest in high-quality visuals by using good lighting, a clean background, and consistent branding. Utilise Instagram’s built-in creative tools like stickers, filters, and text overlays to add visual interest. Consider creating customised Story templates or using design apps like Canva to maintain a cohesive aesthetic.

Instagram Story Ideas Conclusion


At the end of the day, utilising Instagram story features is a fantastic way for local businesses and shop owners to promote what they offer and really connect with their community. By taking advantage of stickers, highlights, polls, and questions, these local businesses can increase their visibility, get valuable feedback from customers, and make their followers feel involved.

Polls and questions, in particular, enable local businesses to make decisions based on what their audience wants, respond to specific questions or concerns, and provide personalised recommendations. This leads to better customer experiences and builds loyalty. Consistently sharing engaging stories showcasing products, services, and community involvement helps local businesses solidify their local presence and reputation.

Instagram Stories give local businesses a chance to stand out and create real connections with people in their community. By using these interactive features consistently and focusing on their local market, businesses can increase awareness, build strong customer relationships, and set themselves up for sustainable local growth.

This concludes this post about Instagram Story Ideas. I hope you have enjoyed reading this and it has given you some ideas on how best you can effectively use Instagram Stories in your local business, whether you are a local shop, tradesperson or sole trader, anyone can utilise the Story features to promote themselves.

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