22 Ways to Create an Interactive Instagram Story in 2023

Marketing Tools & Tips Social Media Best Practices

In 2022, follower reach and engagement rates were down on Instagram. Here are some ways you can get your audience more engaged this year.

Creating content with which audiences want to engage is a learning curve for every brand, especially on Instagram, where brands are having a hard time even getting their content in front of followers.

In our 2023 Instagram Stories Benchmark Report, we saw that more and more brands are using Instagram Stories in their marketing. While Instagram posts do a better job of reaching followers, Stories is where a lot of engagement magic happens.

To help you shake things up for the upcoming year, we have 22 unique and interactive Instagram Story ideas for maximum engagement. Before we get into it, let’s cover a few need-to-know points about Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories basics

Learn more about when to use Instagram Stories vs. posts.

22 ways to create an interactive Instagram Story

Here are 22 ways to create an interactive Instagram Story and get your followers more engaged.

Remember to make these ideas your own, and don’t hesitate to step outside the box. Story ideas can be repeated, but your brand’s footprint is one of a kind.

1. Use Q+A boxes to give your followers a voice


The possibilities are endless with Q&As. Pop a question sticker in a story to see followers’ thoughts about new launches, industry topics, working at your company, and more.

You can then follow up by answering their questions in a video response or a text screen.

Don’t forget to save your questions and answers in Story highlights so followers can easily go back and reference them.

Dish Care creates an interactive Instagram story by using a question sticker asking their followers to send them their burning dish-washing questions, which will be answered live by a P&G dish care scientist.

2. Host an “ask me anything” hour


Also known as “AMA,” an “ask me anything” session goes along the same lines as a Q&A, but instead of focusing on a specific topic, followers can, as the name suggests, ask about anything they want.

AMAs are audience-led, meaning they can provide a fresh perspective and shed insight into things you may not have thought about before.

Plant-based food brand Beyond Meat hosts an AMA session in their stories, prompting their audience to ask anything they would like to know about the brand.

3. Make your Stories more inclusive


As you interact with your audience on Stories, consider how you can make them more accessible to more people.

Take videos, for example, where you can add closed captions so viewers can read along as you speak. For some Instagram users, there is an audio transcriber in Stories. If this function is not available, you can always use a separate app to add captions and then upload the video to Stories.

Adding captions to videos is one of the simplest ways to make your Stories more inclusive, in turn making them easier for everyone to interact with.

Other ways to make your Stories more inclusive and user-friendly include using large fonts, highlighting texts with bright colors, adding a trigger warning when flashing lights are coming, and writing out image descriptions.

4. Show off your new Instagram guide


Have you tried using Instagram’s Guide feature? You can create a mini blog post on Instagram about any topic you’d like.

Curate a buying guide or an instructional how-to manual, share helpful tips and tricks, tell your brand’s story, answer FAQs, and more.

Guides don’t appear on Instagram feeds like Reels, carousels, and image posts, so make sure to share to Stories and encourage followers to save the guide and share it with their friends.

Since guides aren't front and center on Instagram, sharing them in your Instagram Stories makes them more visible and easier for your followers to access, like how Cincy shares their top five to-dos in Cincy guide in their story.

5. Get feedback with polls


Polls are a great way to increase engagement because they require minimal effort from followers.

Unlike question stickers, polls provide followers with prewritten options, so all they have to do is click. You can get feedback on various topics, ask about their preferences, and more.

We loved the travel brand BÉIS “Pack with BÉIS” series, in which a team member showed themselves packing for a trip. The Stories featured several of the brand’s products and used polls to ask followers to choose their favorite BÉIS bag.

Pack with Beis makes their Instagram Story more interactive by presenting a poll asking viewers to choose between the Sport Carryall and the Mini Weekender in Pink. Clearly the Weekender is leading the polls as seen in Story.

6. Let your audience choose “this or that”


Another easy way to engage your followers is with “this or that” Stories.

Start by choosing two photos to upload in a single Story and align them horizontally or vertically. Then, select the poll sticker and write out “top” and “bottom,” “left” and “right,” or use finger emojis to signal the option followers are voting for.

WeWork’s “this or that” coworking space series is a great example. We imagine that as followers voted for their favorite spaces, they visualized themselves working there.

We Work's this or that Story asks viewers to pick between one workspace, which has a more contemporary loft-space vibe with large windows, versus another space which has a more homey feel with couches and tables.

7. Create a behind-the-scenes vlog


Video content does especially well on Stories. It shows followers there is an actual human behind the account and helps them feel more connected to your brand.

With vlogs, you can give followers a peek under the hood, which Gen-Z tends to gravitate towards. Think unpolished, off-the-cuff, and authentic content.

Pull back that curtain and show your community what a typical day working at your company is like, show how you are preparing for an upcoming launch or anything that gives a behind-the-scenes look at your brand.

Behind-the-scenes vlogs tend to generate more engagement as users are always eager to know what goes on in real life.

8. Use an emoji sticker slider


Pop a sticker slider on your Story and let followers express their feelings by sliding the emoji of your choice.

You can ask them how they like your newest product, how excited they are to attend an upcoming event, or, like Kodiak Cakes, have them rate a series of flapjack flips.

Adding an emoji slider to this Story where users are asked to rate their favorite flapjack flip makes this Instagram Story more interactive than simply posting a picture with text.

9. Get creative with quizzes


With the quiz sticker function, you can set a prompt about any topic, for example, “Guess when our next product line launches…” or “How long have we been in business?” You can also test them on topics related to your industry.

Quizzes can have up to four multiple-choice answers, and after tapping their selection, followers can see if they guessed right in real-time.

Wonder how many folks got the right answer to this question that asks what is the right way to consume wasabi. The choices included a. mixed in soy sauce, b. placed on fish and then dipped in soy sauce and c. dip in soy sauce and then wasabi.

10. Post a helpful tutorial


Tutorials are an excellent marketing tool for many reasons: they help followers learn more about your products or services and position your brand as a trusted industry leader.

You can use a mix of videos and still posts to give your audience step-by-step instructions to use a product or, like superfood brand Golde, teach followers how to make yummy Matcha Rice Krispies.

As always, be sure to save your tutorials in Story highlights.

Under the "more treats" highlights, this interactive Instagram Story teaches you how to make Matcha Rice Krispies. It's helpful that all the ingredients are not only pictured in the Story but also labeled with the appropriate quantity needed.

11. Host an Instagram Story takeover


An Instagram takeover is when someone temporarily “takes over” your account to share content on behalf of your brand, talk about your products, and interact with followers. Takeovers can involve company team members, content creators, influencers, students, or anyone in your community.

Not only will this help you tap into new pockets of followers, but adding new voices to the mix will help make your brand more dynamic.

Takeovers generally involve taking the viewers through a typical day in the life. Tis Girlboss takeover has the model explaining that she tries to get a workout in before starting her day.

12. Participate in a “Add yours” trend


The “add yours” stickers are one of Instagram’s relatively newer features allowing users to post about specific topics to a collective chain. Prompts can range from “Favorite running shoes” to “Show us your dog” (Thank you, Instagram, for that.)

For brand marketers, the “Add yours” feature can help you engage with your audience in ways that are both useful and playful.

You can create a challenge and go viral, ask for feedback on a new product, or keep things light by asking them to show you the best sunset they’ve ever seen or their go-to coffee order. Just tap on the sticker to see what participants have posted to the thread.

Well placed against a picture of a lovely sunset on the beach, the brand uses an "Add Yours" sticker while asking users which books you'd bring to read here making this an extra interactive Instagram Story.

13. Share customer wins


Social proof is a powerful mechanism to convert leads into customers. By showing how your brand has made a positive difference in your clients’ lives, followers can feel you could do the same for them.

You can share a screenshot of a Google review, an email singing your praises, or even a video testimonial.

Sharing your reviews via Stories along with a picture of the reviewer is similar to posting a testimonial to your website.

14. Shine a spotlight on your team


Put a face to your brand by introducing your team to followers on Stories.

You can show them who team members are in and out of the office, feature their milestones and notable achievements, welcome new hires, and show how everyone fits into the well-oiled machine that is your fabulous brand.

Encourage followers to ask questions and pass the mic to your team to follow up with answers.

Not only will this help your audience get to know your brand better, but you can shine a deserving light on the people who make your company what it is.

Meet Joe in this Instagram Story is an example of how you too, can put a name to the faces behind your brand.

15. Re-post tagged posts and Stories


Short on time or creative juices? One easy content idea coming right up.

Head to your tagged posts, Stories, and comments to see how your audience is interacting with your brand and repost them to your Stories. Followers will love seeing their content featured on your account, and it requires little to no effort on your part.

Beloved popcorn brand Skinny Pop reposts a user's story where they're holding a packet of the healthy snack, sharing their love for the product.

16. Build excitement with an event countdown


Have something special coming up? Take to Stories to remind followers with a countdown sticker.

Select a background photo in Stories and then pop in the countdown sticker with the event name and end date.

Use this Story idea to build anticipation for new product drops, promote upcoming events, and inform followers of time-sensitive happenings. You can also include direct links to your website or sign-up page to encourage people to register before the event date.

The countdown sticker is used commonly when sharing events and important product launches to build excitement and urgency.

17. Post a link sticker


Did you know as of October 2021, every Instagram user can post links in their Stories?

You can send followers to your website, to a new product, ask them to sign up for an event or your email list, and share other important resources directly on your Stories.

You can customize the link sticker to fit your aesthetic or rename it to read however you’d like.

Thanking all the Instagram gods who made the link sticker a possibility. Now viewers can directly click on this sticker and directly navigate to the landing page without having to go to the link inbio making this one of the most interactive Instagram stickers to be used by brands and influencers.

Read more about using Instagram Stories Link Stickers.

18. Share new Instagram feed posts


To ensure your followers see your shiny new posts, publish them to Stories.

You should also include some kind of call to action that invites them to click on the post, such as “Check out our new post!” or “Have you seen our new post about ____?”

You can also use one of the many “New Post” stickers in various colors and designs to grab viewers’ attention.

When a user clicks on a new post sticker in an Instagram story it directly takes them to the post that is being shared

19. Offer screenshot-worthy wallpapers


Stories are the perfect place to share screenshot-worthy images that followers can use as their phone wallpapers.

Wallpaper Stories should be high-quality and can feature professional camera shots, fun cartoon drawings, or anything that represents the essence of your brand.

Take Discovery, for example. They have a whole highlights page dedicated to wallpapers featuring amazing nature shots.

A wallpaper consisting of a picture of the earth taken from space

20. Tap back and forward with stickers and emojis


You can use stickers and emojis to signal to followers that something worth sticking around for is just around the corner or that they should go back and check out something important on the previous frame.

Add arrows to point between slides or head to stickers and search for “Next Story” or “Go back!”

Instagram has a fun collection of stickers for tap backs and forwards, next Story and swipes.

P.S. How often followers tap backward on your Stories reflects how effectively your content gets them to slow down and re-engage. This is a big engagement win.

21. Give followers a sneak peek


If you want to build hype and maybe some FOMO, give followers a taste of what’s to come with a sneak peek. Your followers want to know whether it’s a brand-new service or an exciting announcement.

Plus, you can use these Stories to build your email list for those who want to know more.

The caption on this Story says, "We've got something cooking," against an image of a microwave, signaling that something is in the works.

Remember to keep things simple and not reveal too much, as excited as you may be. The fun is in the build-up.

22. Create a questionnaire template


With questionnaire templates, you can prompt followers with basic “get to know me” questions, ask them to share their unpopular opinions, offer them “would you rather” scenarios, or ask them to answer using only emojis.

Make it easier for your followers to interact with your Instagram Story by creating easy-to-use templates

It can be as serious or silly as you’d like. All followers have to do is screenshot the Story, share it to theirs, and fill in the blanks.

Wrapping it up

While Stories aren’t where you’ll likely garner massive numbers of new followers, they are where you can get up close and personal with your audience and engage them with your brand. With interactive Instagram Stories, you make your audience feel part of your brand’s community and help you learn more about each other.

Start analyzing your Instagram Stories with Rival IQ.

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Check out our 2023 Instagram Stories Benchmark Report for valuable insights and telling engagement metrics.

Now it’s your turn to take these Interactive Instagram Story ideas and make them your own. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.


Haley Harrison

Haley is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, Ohio. She helps brands strengthen their presence on social media through authentic storytelling and SEO strategies. If she’s not writing or researching for her next piece, you can find her preparing for an upcoming travel adventure or relaxing at home with her dog.

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