How brands are using Instagram Stories Highlights

Last month Instagram announced updates to Stories in the form of automatic archiving and Highlights that could be posted permanently (with the ability to edit selections) to a user’s profile. Since then, how have brands been embracing the new Highlights feature?

We took a look at a few different brands, plus more ideas for using Highlights.

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Product possibilities

Chameleon Cold-Brew uses their Instagram to show all the different ways you can use their cold-brew; it’s not just for a morning pick-me-up, but works well in recipes, cocktails and more.

Their Stories often share recipes, so it’s a great move to break those recipes out into categories in their Stories Highlights:

Chameleon Cold-Brew Story Highlights

Going forward, they could have separate Highlights for recipes- for winter, one highlighting how to do cold-brew hot would be a great idea- and even one for the UGC content they share every week on Maker Monday (sharing all of the creative ways makers are using their product or using their product to fuel their other creative endeavors).

That would be a great way to highlight fans and followers of the brand in a more permanent way they can still cycle through and edit.

Brand culture

The Kitchn is a site that covers everything from cooking how-tos and recipe roundups to cleaning and organizing the kitchen where all of that cooking is happening. They even dabble in a little wellness. All of this is shared through their Instagram posts, but like many brands, they’ve embraced Stories not only to expand on those posts but to share a little more behind-the-scenes of the brand.

In their case, it’s the pets who act as the cutest (and least-helpful) sous chefs:

The Kitchn Stories Highlights

The pets highlighted not only come from staff members, but from Kitchn community members who share and tag the brand, making this another great use of UGC.

It’s a great addition to Highlights, right next to their more practical and seasonally appropriate crockpot recipes and meal plans.

Influencer categories

Influencers are often influential as a sort of “lifestyle brand ambassador”, sharing what they like across several areas of interest. Highlights makes it easy for them to break out this content into easily found categories, particularly for new followers or potential new followers who want to see if what an influencer posts is of interest to them.

Monique of Ambitious Kitchen uses Highlights perfectly to feature all of the different types of content she shares on her Instagram and her blog:

Ambitious Kitchen Stories Highlights

Brands can also see the range of content she produces, which can help them decide if she’s a good fit to work with before they approach her for a partnership.

Challenges and giveaways

Highlights can be edited, deleted and new ones created at any time which is an especially helpful feature for brands who do a lot of contest and giveaways.

Energy bar brand Perfect Bar did this recently with a 12 Days-themed giveaway they held over the holidays, replacing it with new Highlighted content after the New Year:

Perfect Bar Stories Highlights

Perfect Bar Stories Highlights II

This is a perfect way to help fans and followers keep up with a contest and learn all the rules in one place at one time and also makes it easy for a brand to delete the Highlight once the contest is over and replace it with a fresh Highlight.

Final takeaways

If you’re a brand using Highlights as part of a giveaway or to feature your work with different influencers, be sure all of it is up to FTC regulation.

You’re not limited to the examples we shared above either; think about what makes sense for your brand and your industry when you think about what to Highlight on your profile. Some other ideas:

  • Company culture: Highlight snippets of Stories from around the office and various company outings; it’s a great tool for recruitment
  • Company events: Show off conferences, speaking engagements from your employees etc
  • Brand ambassadors or influencers your brand is working with: A potential new fan or follower of your brand might find you through their favorite this way
  • Product demos: What can your products do? Highlights are the perfect opportunity to show instead of telling
  • Quick interviews or Q&As: Highlight your CEO or other key person in the company
  • FAQs: Share the answers to frequently asked questions around your brand, products or what it’s like to work at your company

Get creative with it!

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