55+ Instagram story ideas for business

55+ Instagram story ideas for business

Instagram stories business are a great way to communicate to your customers and share with them glimpse of your world. But coming up with those Instagram story ideas for your business is harder than you thought, right?

Do not worry, here I am with more than 50 Instagram story ideas for your business, and now you can keep your customers hooked and even convert them into warm leads easily.

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Why Instagram stories are important than ever?

I know everyone is talking about Instagram stories, reels and live again and again. But have you ever given a thought on why are they so critical?

Keeps your account active

Instagram stories puts your account on top and there is more chance that your followers see your stories than you feed.

As the stories are arranged chronologically, the more often you post, the higher the chances of your story to be viewed by others.

Helps competing with bigger brands

While the Instagram stories are shown chronologically, the feed is not. And unless you have a very strong following, your post on your feed can get lost.

And as a creative entrepreneur and a small business, it can be harder for you to compete with the big brands.

They are more natural and authentic

We all know the amount of effort and planning that goes into creating your Instagram feed to look the way it is. And your audience will love you for that.

But Instagram stories are little more spontaneous and thus, real. Given that they last for just 24 hours, you can afford to be little “on the go” and be creative about your posts.

Better engagement with your followers

Instagram stories are often the gateway to beginning conversations with your followers and warm leads.

By asking them to answer a poll or your questions, they are giving you a space to speak to them via DM (Direct Messages). Utilize this power responsibly to cultivate relationships with them.

Instagram story ideas for business

Now that you know how critical Instagram stories are for your business, let me show you some story ideas that you can adapt as your own.

  1. Show your wins, even if they are small.
  2. Show what you are working on for the day
  3. Show your working process – Behind the screen
  4. Show your workspace
  5. Show off your packaging style
  6. Get your customers to post the unboxing of your products
  7. Capture the before and after of your work in progress
  8. Share educational guides and tutorials relevant to your prodcuts
  9. Share the screenshots of testimonials and reviews received
  10. Help your customers know your products better
  11. Teach your customers how to use your products
  12. Share DIY tips related to your products
  13. Answer relevant FAQs
  14. Offer a behind-the-scenes look at your unpacked products
  15. Teasers for your new product/service launch
  16. Count down for a new product launch
  17. Collaborate with related accounts for a takeover
  18. Share your failures and lessons learned
  19. Share productivity tips
  20. Talk about role models whom your audience could relate to
  21. Run a trivia contest
  22. Ask questions about your products and offer a discount to the winner
  23. Play games with your followers
  24. Run quizzes with AR effects
  25. Create This or that templates and ask them to tag you with answers
  26. Share seasonal updates, if relevant to your products
  27. Reward your loyal customers with “followers only” deals
  28. Run a customer spotlight
  29. Share experience of a customer (only with their consent)
  30. Ask your followers what they want to see on your story
  31. Run an “ask me anything” question
  32. Share user generated content
  33. Show us your morning routine
  34. Show us how you plan your day
  35. Introduce your team
  36. Ask your employee’s to takeover your story for a day
  37. Take a tour of your office
  38. Create your own hashtag and challenges
  39. Create a regular series on Instagram stories (#sundayfunday #Mondayplans #tuesdaytips etc)
  40. Preview an upcoming post or video
  41. Share your latest post from your feed
  42. Share your posts from your other platforms (blog, Tiktok, Twitter etc)
  43. Share latest posts from accounts you love
  44. Recommend a service or a product you loved
  45. Post about your giveaway/contest
  46. Share Shout-outs or press features
  47. Share your favorite quote
  48. Repurpose and update your old content from your feed post into a new story
  49. Go live on Instagram live and share about your day
  50. Share your daily update with a location
  51. Show off skills (cooking, art etc)
  52. Follow a meme/trend
  53. Share inspirational content
  54. Share what inspires you to create
  55. Share valuable and relevant DMs
  56. Share your top 5 lists of ….
  57. Share your favorite tool or tip that you recently learnt
  58. Show your night time routine.

Do’s and don’ts for Instagram stories for business

But before I conclude, I just want to share a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to Instagram stories for your business.

  • Don’t Just Promote Things

Use your story feature to create relationships, rather just using them to promote your product.

  • Show Your Personality

Make your stories fun and creative. Pepper in a bit of your personality, rather than copying others idea.

  • Use hashtags

Did you know that you can use hashtags on your stories as well?

  • Make use of highlights

Don’t forget to add important and relevant stories to your highlights as well. A highlight can act as a menu for your Instagram.

  • Don’t post too often

Last but not the least, avoid posting many stories at a time. Your followers might get bored/annoyed and ignore your posts.

Bottom-line

There you have it, an extensive list of story ideas that would keep your Instagram account active and kicking. So what are you waiting for? Start posting on your Instagram stories right today. Feel free to tag me elgeewrites, for an extra bump for your business.

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55+ Instagram story ideas for business

6 Important Google analytics metrics to track (KPIs) (tips to improve)

Opening the Google Analytics dashboard for the first time can be intimidating for most of us. But let me talk about a few important Google Analytics metrics to track. These Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are a great place to begin with.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for measuring your website or blog’s performance and it also shows insights on how to improve it. Whatever may be your goal (improve traffic, get more leads and conversions, etc), installing Google Analytics could help you achieve it.

I know it has so many options and reports that it might overwhelm that you are putting off deep-diving into Google Analytics.

Important Google Analytics Metrics to track

But here I am to make things easy for you and help you get the best of this powerful tool. What are the Google Analytics metrics (KPIs) and numbers that you should watch out for on your dashboard, and why?

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Bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of your visitors who leave your site without interacting with it. They bounce out of your site, get it?

A high bounce rate shows that the content was

  • not relevant – You are attracting the wrong audience
  • not convincing enough for the visitor to convert or interact. – Improve your writing skills or engage a content writer.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Audience> Overview

Bounce rate Google analytics

You can also view the bounce rates of an individual page at Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

Benchmark:

  • Blog/content sites – 65% to 90%
  • Lead generation sites – 30% to 55%
  • B2B sites – 25% to 55%
  • Retail sites – 20% to 40%

Source: CXL

How can you improve it?

  • Add more CTAs (call to actions) to your posts,
  • Create more internal links to your other posts.

Average Session duration

This metric shows how much time a visitor spends per session (30 minutes of inactivity, usually) or visit, on your site on an average.

It is an aggregate time spent on multiple pages on your site. It includes the time they spend reading your content, leaving a comment, scrolling down, etc.

Obviously the longer they spend, the better it is. The higher average session duration indicates your content is engaging and holds attention.

This metric is very important if you are displaying ads on your site. It also shows the quality of the traffic you generate.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Audience> Overview

Google Analytics Average Session Duration

Benchmark:

2 – 3 min

Source: databox

How can you improve it?

  • Long-form content that holds the attention
  • Videos and infographics
  • Interlinking relevant content pages

Pages per session

This metric shows the average number of pages a visitor clicks per visit.

The goal here is to keep the content engaging and relevant so that the visitor keeps clicking another page. The higher the number of pages per session, the higher the content writing quality is.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Behavior> Overview

Google Analytics Pages Per Session

Benchmark:

1 to 3

How can you improve it?

  • Focus on your content pillar and link to relevant pages.
  • Use a “related post” widget.
  • Hub and spoke model of content marketing can be helpful

Source

This is one of my favorite metrics to look at. This report shows where your traffic comes in from. You can find not only which channel sends you traffic but also which sends good quality traffic (= convertible leads).

Knowing which channel brings you good quality traffic can help you make marketing decisions like where you can spend more ad budgets.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium

google-analytics source

Benchmark:

None.
But it is always better to have diversified sources for your traffic.

How can you improve it?

  • Focus on where you get good quality traffic, even if they are low in number.

Referrals

The referral report shows who links and sends traffic to your site. You know backlinks are great for sites, and this report will show where your quality backlinks are.

You can find out which guest post you wrote brings in the most traffic or find out which pin on Pinterest is most effective. Determine where your next collaboration should be by using this report.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals

Google Analytics referrals

How can you improve it?

  • Collaborate with relevant and quality blogs and sites

Popular posts

This report shows what are your most popular pages. It is super interesting to look at because it helps you choose the type of content that works best for you.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

Popular pages Google analytics

How can you improve it?

  • Create topics related to the top-performing posts
  • Add affiliate links on those posts
  • Create an opt-in freebie on those pages

Bottom-line

Again, these may seem intimidating but once you get the hang of it these Google analytics metrics and KPIs are your best friends. It will help you understand your audience better and to tailor content to their tastes.

If you have any questions on how to understand any of these metrics, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me an email right away!

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55+ Instagram story ideas for business

How to update old posts for better SEO ranking and more traffic

Regularly publishing on your blog seems like a huge deal, often. And we usually forget about them after the first time we promote it. But it is also critical to revamp and update the old posts for improving the SEO ranking and increasing the traffic too.

10 ways to update old posts for higher SEO ranking

Adding relevant updates to your old posts is critical, especially the time sensitive topics like “New Year resolutions” or “Holiday gifts”. These are evergreen posts, but unless you update them with new content the algorithms might ignore them as old posts.

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Instead of churning out content week after week, spend sometime to update old posts and that will help you in improving your SEO ranking and thereby driving more organic traffic. Here are some ways to do just that.

1) Edit your content with relevant updates

Has your opinion or thoughts recently changed about the topic? Or have you learned more on the subject?

Do not hesitate to make the changes in your old posts. Even adding the current year to the heading (H1) might be a good idea for periodical posts.

Linking with time sensitive researches and infographics are other smart ways to update old posts for higher SEO ranking and traffic.

2) Tune up to the current formatting style

With all the fast changes in blogging world happening, keeping up with the recommended formatting style becomes vital.

For example, including a schema and adding relevant H2 tags to your posts will help you get to that spot as featured snippet in Google search page.

Also the uniform layout and styles will keep it easy for your reader’s eyes.

3) Add related posts

One of the easiest ways to keep the readers hooked to your blog is showing them more related content.

A few months ago I started doing this on my recent posts as an attempt to take some traffic to my old, neglected posts. I added a “Similar posts you might like” section before I signed off (or CTA), and there has been a significant decrease in the bounce rates.

You can even add a simple plugin if you are on Self hosted WordPress to do this for you!

4) Fix (or remove) broken links

Adding external links to your posts improves your credibility in the eyes of your readers. But as time passes, those links may become irrelevant or broken.

There are many free sites that can scan your site for broken links (for free!). And once you get the list of broken links on your site, remove and/or update the broken links manually.

Fixing these broken links creates a better user experience as well as shows the search engine and its crawlers that the post is still relevant and updated.

5) Rewriting your meta descriptions and titles

Ensure your older posts have your meta descriptions and titles filled.

With all my enthusiasm to churn out content, I had not bothered to fill those important details for quite a number of posts in my earlier days of blogging.

As a step in improving the SEO I am writing and rewriting the meta description and adding meta title tags to my older posts.

And guess what? The search engines consider this as new content and sends in more traffic!

6) Add in Alt text tags to your images

While updating your meta descriptions and titles, add the alt texts with relevant descriptions (or keywords) of your images.

I have already spoken in depth about the importance of alt texts in my post on Easy steps to SEO for bloggers here. But in short, alt text tags help the search engine crawlers to identify what the image is about.

7) Create Pinterest worthy images

With more and more bloggers shifting to Pinterest for promoting their sites, it has become essential to have a few Pinterest sized images in each posts.

While some might choose to hide a few of these images, they all have to be Pin-able and Pinterest ready.

If you are newly adding these Pinterest sized images, update your old posts first!

8) DO NOT CHANGE THE URL

When you are in the process of updating old posts for higher SEO ranking and traffic, ensure you do not edit the page URL, unless it is absolutely essential.

Editing the URL would lose the valuable traffic and history that the post had gained so far. For this reason, it is better not to have any dates/years (like 2018 resolutions) in your URL.

But if you had to change your URL for some reason, ensure you use a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one.

9) Update your affiliate links

If you have joined new affiliates sites or if the links have changed, now is the good time to scan and fix them.

Using a plugin like thirsty affiliates this might be easier to do, in a self hosted WordPress.

10) Promote all over again

Finally, when you have finished all updating your old posts, promote the post like you would promote any new content, for higher SEO ranking and traffic.

Now that your old post is refurbished with updated info, new images and links, it is as good as a new one. And this will drive more traffic from social media as well.

Final word

Once you re-up your old posts keep an eye on its performance and metrics. I am sure there will be a spike in a week or so. And if you schedule some time to update a few of your old posts every week, you will can see a continuous increase in your organic traffic too.

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55+ Instagram story ideas for business

Perfect book quotes for Instagram captions

I love posting bookish photos on my Instagram account. Often, I run into some slump and freeze when I try to come up with captions. Then I realized I can use my favorite quotes for Instagram captions. And that is a life saver, honestly.

Book quotes for Instagram captions

Do you ever feel stumped when you write captions on your bookstagram? Here are some book quotes for Instagram captions that may perfectly say what you want to and keep your readers hooked.

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.

― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Marx quotes for Instagram Caption

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.

― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

Stephen king quotes for Instagram Caption

Books are a uniquely portable magic.

― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper lee quotes for Instagram Caption

Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.

― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.

― John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

Diane quotes for Instagram Caption

It is is better to know one book intimately than a hundred superficially.

Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.

― Diane Duane, So You Want to Be a Wizard

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55+ Instagram story ideas for business

2021 plans: What to expect of me

While this is not exactly the “New year, new me” moment, I just wanted to talk about the 2021 plans for Elgee Writes to give you an idea of what to expect during this year.

What are my 2021 plans?

I also consider this post as a part of my goal setting process that will help me following it more consistently. So fingers crossed, eh?

Reading Plans

Without a reading plan and schedule I am inclined to slide into a reading slump. And that’s why I join up as many reading challenges as I can, just to keep me motivated.

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2020

I have been reading 45 books or so for the past few years. So I think I can safely increase it to 52 in 2021.

I know it doesn’t sound like much when you compare the 100s of books that other bloggers read in a year. But it is definitely a challenge for me to reach this number considering how busy I get around the mid year.

Target: 52

2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

I read non fiction books once in a while. But I want to make it official in 2021, and I will participating in the Nonfiction Reader Challenge hosted by Bookdout.

I will probably read more of Self help and essay collections under this category.

Target: Nonfiction Nibbler – Read 6 books, from any category

Books in Translation Reading Challenge 2021

Another reading challenge that I am participating this year would be the Books in Translation, where we read translated books (from any language to any other language, not just English).

I have been wondering why I have not read as many Indian regional literature as I would like to have, and I would be correcting it in 2021.

Target: Conversationalist: 4-6 books

Reading more classics

I have been trying to do this in the past few years but I have not covered a lot. So I think 2021 might be the year that I actually read more classics, including children’s.

Anyone has a good reading list or guide to follow? Please do share.

Blogging plans and actions

After a tumultuous year that broke most of us emotionally and mentally, I just need an action plan to go forward. You know, an attempt to make things more normal. So here comes by blogging plans for 2021.

Blogging content

I have a fairly regular blogging schedule and I hope I don’t have to change it – because it works for me and you guys, based on my statistics.

  • Sunday – Personal and blog related updates
  • Monday – Book reviews
  • Wednesday – Discussion posts related to books, blogging or self development.
  • Friday – Listicles, quotes and quizzes. An occasional guest post.

I love how far I have come in making the schedule consistent, despite 2020, and I hope it continues.

I will be joining Nicole and Shannon’s Book Blog Discussion Challenge in 2021 as well, and it has become a staple in my yearly challenges. Nicole and Shannon, thanks for hosting it.

Action plan

  • Do a series on quotes, again
  • Create a resource page for authors and bloggers

Increasing blog engagement

Just like every other blogger here, I love getting comments and shares on my posts. The more the merrier.

I started the Comment 4 comment challenge in 2019 and it turned out to be a success. And then 2020 happened where we struggled to just float.

But I am hoping 2021 will be different and that is why I have resurrected the Comment 4 comment challenge from dead. You can read all about it here and it is not too late to sign up.

Join us to leave no comment un-replied and un-returned!

Action:

  • Visit blogs I follow at least weekly once.
  • Reply to all the comments on my blog
  • Return the comments by visiting their blogs
  • Learn to care about the follower counts and blog statistics.

Final note

Though it is 2021, we are still under the throes of the pandemic and we are not yet normalcy. I am not going to be trying too hard or be stressing myself with these plans, but using these action plans as guidelines and take it as they come.

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What are your reading and blogging plans like? Do you engage in a yearly planning process? Tell me more about your 2021 plans. Let us chat.

55+ Instagram story ideas for business

Year in review: Most popular posts of 2020

As much as I love Christmas, the week between Christmas and the New Year has always been filled with excitement for me.⁠ It is the perfect time for reflecting and recapping the year and then setting new goals. I wanted to share the most popular posts of 2020 in terms of page visits with you all.

Earlier this week, I was just going through my statistics and I was not surprised to find these most popular posts of the year had very few of my favorites. I love all my posts but my favorites like create a blogging schedule that you’ll actually stick to and What’s A Successful Blog To You?, were not as popular as the others.

Also the internet Gods have proved once again that popular doesn’t necessarily mean the best. It just means Google liked them better or Facebook kept showing them randomly. We will never know why and how.

Elgee Writes’ most popular posts of 2020

I am ranking my most popular posts of 2020 based on the page views garnered during the year, based on the WordPress’s statistics. Let me know if your favorite made the cut.

1) Bookish Questions For Your Social Media Captions

This list of 25 bookish questions to use for your social media caption or a blog post was a huge this year.

Bookish questions for social media Feature

2) Book Reviews: Why Don’t They Get Much Engagement?

We book bloggers keep lamenting at how book reviews don’t get much engagement. This post takes a good dive into why that happens to help you understand.

Book reviews don't get much engagement Cover

3) Book Review Posts: How To Improve Engagement?

As a sequel to the previous post, I wrote a guide on improving the engagement on the book review posts. Maybe you will like it too.

improve engagement in book review Cover

4) The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

Quite funnily enough, this book review of The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi is one of my most popular post of 2020. Read on to find what made it so popular.

Henna artist by Alka Joshi Featured

5) Book Blogging Is More Than ‘Just For Fun’

This post is one of my personal favorite.

Do you ever feel that your book blogging lifestyle is not taken seriously? Let us talk about why book blogging is more than ‘just for fun’.

Book blogging is more than 'just for fun' Feature

6) Adding WordPress Follow Button To Your Self Hosted Sites

One of the points on my checklist for bloggers is the WordPress follow button. But if you are self hosted there is no direct way to add that button. This post explains how to do that and gain more followers.

Adding WordPress follow button to your self hosted sites Featured image

7) Balancing Social Media And Blogging: How To Stay Sane?

If you are content creator and you are on top of your social media profiles without going insane, YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR. But for others, mere mortals like me, here are some tips to balance it out.

Balancing Social media and Blogging Cover

8) Eight Books That Will Make You Smarter

Why do you read books? This post is especially for those who want to read more books to get smarter and has quite a few non fiction recommendations.

books that will make you smarter cover

9) 35+ Questions To Ask Beta Readers

Some questions for an author to ask your beta reader when you submit a manuscript for beta reading. These questions ensure you get constructive and honest feedback from them.

questions to ask beta readers Cover

10) The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

This famous book didn’t fare so great for me and this review in particular had a lukewarm response when I initially posted. But when the official Auschwitz Museum responded to my post on Twitter, my page visits shot through the roof overnight.

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Did your favorite posts on my blog get a spot on my list? What do you think are the factors that can get a post to viral? Let’s chat.