Ever feel like the quest to constantly engage your audience on social media is using up all those creative juices - you know, the ones you need to keep creating your awesome products?
You're not alone.
Coming up with new ideas for unique content to promote your brand on social media on a regular basis can be hard work! Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration, like this list of Instagram Story ideas for handmade brands.
If you're not already using Instagram Stories to promote your handmade or craft supplies brand, it's definitely something you should consider. According to Instagram for Business, 58% of respondents in their survey said that they became more interested in a brand/product after seeing it in stories and 50% said they have visited a website to buy a product or service they saw in stories. That makes stories a great channel for you to not only drive customers to your online store, but to grow your brand recognition.
If you're time-poor like most small business owners, Stories also offer you a great way to consistently engage with your audience with less effort than traditional posting. When you create a story in Instagram you can share it across multiple platforms at once (you can share to your linked Facebook page at the same time as Instagram), and while Stories offer lots of fun options for customisation to present a professional brand image, they are also a great way to share your less produced content without concern for the continuity of your feed aesthetic.
As a Madeit maker or craft supplies seller, Stories are also a great way to generate more reach because we share as many stories from Madeit sellers as we can - all you have to do is tag @madeit in any stories relevant to your Madeit store.
Without further ado, following a some ideas for the types of content you can share on Stories.
1. Process Videos
This can be a start-to-finish process video for a whole batch of products or just a very short snippet of one step in your creative process. Timelapse video is a great way to compress longer content to fit social media attention spans.
For single-step process videos, consider slowing your video down to really emphasise a very tactile part of your process (mixing paints, smoothing clay, pouring resin). You can use a range of free apps like Quik or Vismato from the Appstore to film or edit videos to create timelapse, slow-motion and fast-motion stories.
2. Restocks & Store Events
Having a sale or about to restock your store? Promote it in advance to build hype. Add a countdown to your story using Instagram's count-down stickers.
Story by @Tootzzi
3. Market-day Vibes
On market days, share some stories in your quiet moments. You could share a timelapse of your set-up process, a short video of your stall, photos of happy customers with their purchases, or a video that catches the crowds, buskers, and general market-day feels.
4. Share Customer Feedback
If you receive great feedback on Madeit or Facebook, or your customer emails you with some praise for your product or customer service, create a story to share their enthusiasm. You can even ask customers to tag you in stories of their products "in the wild" so you can share them on your stories.
Social proof (other people's opinions about you, your brand, and your product) provides valuable evidence to prospective buyers that you are worth their hard-earned cash.
5. Repurpose Your Most Engaging Content
Had an engaging post on Instagram recently? Share it on Stories too. It takes a moment to do, and increases the reach for minimal effort.
How to share an Instagram Post to your stories
Been featured on the Madeit homepage / in our newsletters or shopping guides, or on our social media channels? Take a screenshot and share it as a story - it's another form of social proof, demonstrating that others (in this case, Madeit) love what you do.
7. Cute Overload
Got a furry studio supervisor like a cat who sits on your keyboard or a dog who watches you knit? Get some video or a cute snap of them on the job in your creative business and share those cute and fuzzy feels in your stories.
Animal content is hugely engaging, and while it doesn't necessarily drive traffic directly to your product pages, it increases visibility of your other content so when you do post about sales and new products, more people are likely to see it.
Story by @RedGeorge_Kensington
8. Tutorials and How-To
Show your followers how to use your products - If you're a jewellery maker, show them how to wear your pieces / what to wear them with, or how to style your hair to show off your earrings. Think about what your end customers are interested in and share some short content that teaches them something they'll find useful.
Show people 5 different ways to wear one of your scarves.
Make beeswax wraps?
Show customers how to better preserve their fruits and vegetables using your wraps (or you could show them 5 kitchen hacks, one of them using your products).
If you sell giftware, show your audience some seasonal gift-wrapping ideas in the lead-up to gifting occasions like Christmas, Mother's Day or Valentine's Day.
9. Raw Materials
The raw materials used for craft are often tactile and visually beautiful on their own, and can make great engaging stories. If you've received some new materials, or you're enjoying the colour or feel of something you're using, a quick (a few seconds) video that captures this in a visual way will engage your audience - after all, they care about the quality of the materials you're using as much as the end product. Again, slow motion can work really well here.
10. Polls & Questions
Do a little market research using polls and question stickers.
Whether you're trying to decide what colour-ways will be most popular for your next project, or asking what else potential customers would like to see from you, polls and questions can help you gather valuable feedback from your followers and would-be-customers.
You can also use polls and questions to help followers easily engage with your content, which in turn boosts your visibility across Instagram. Ask questions or have your audience vote on topics that are both relevant to your brand and engaging for your audience.
Story by @becreates
11. Share the Love
Why reinvent the wheel when you can share a little love by sharing posts from other brands you follow. It's always a good idea to ask before sharing content, and ALWAYS tag the content creator in your post. You are welcome to share ANY content published by @madeit be it our regular quotes, an awesome product by another maker, or our latest designer spotlight.
12. Be a Tour Guide
Give a tour of your workspace, your local environment, or where you go to find inspiration for your creations. This could be your back-garden, some of your favourite street art, or a nature walk collecting materials / inspiration.
13. Help Customers Navigate Your Store
Some of your audience may not be terribly experienced with shopping online, so stories can be a great way to show them how to find your store on Madeit, how to leave feedback for you, how to sign up for your email list and so-forth.
Story by @Oh_Blackbirds_Nest
14. Behind the Scenes
Potential customers love to see behind the scenes of your business, including some of the things you might think are not that exciting. Whether it's taking product photos, packing and posting orders, or even stamping your logo onto packaging, short videos behind the scenes of your operation help your audience connect with your brand on a more personal level.
15. Tell Your Story
Stories is so-called for a reason. They are a great platform for sharing your brand story, whether that's a video or perhaps use a Canva template to combine text and still images into a multi-page story that tells your audience more about your business.
Eg. How did you get started in business? Is it your full-time gig or a hobby? What are your goals or dreams for the future, what does a typical workday look like?