5 Instagram Stories Optimization Tips This Holiday Season

The holiday season has been trending. Weeks back, Alibaba’s Singles Day sales set a new record, grossing over $38 billion in 24 hours, surpassing 2018 figures, making it the biggest shopping day yet. In you need some holiday travel inspiration, check out the best travel instagram accounts.

Below is an image showing search results for the hashtag #thanksgiving as of Thursday, November 28, 2019. The thanksgiving hashtag has featured in over 17 million posts, with millions of other similar hashtags being used.

Source: Instagram

Black Friday is hours away, with Cyber Monday in tow. All of these remind us it’s the season where shoppers get the best and the most deals.

Instagram being a highly visual platform for photo-video sharing, is one of the best platforms to focus your holiday marketing energy this season.

With features like Instagram Stories brands can promote their products/services, connect with and engage fans and followers on a personal level by sharing important moments.

Launched in August 2016, over 500 million people now use Instagram Stories daily, Instagram Stories offers smart brands like yours an opportunity to create awareness, promote branded content, connect with new and existing customers, deepen relationships and ultimately drive conversion.

In this piece, we analyze what Instagram Stories is, the importance of Instagram Stories this holiday season, and finally, some Instagram optimization tips for improved sales this holiday season, but first

What is Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories allows users to share multiple images and videos which appear as slideshow also known as a reel. A brand’s Instagram Stories is featured in the bar at the top of a follower’s Instagram feed and disappears after 24 hours.

Using text, stickers, emoticons, filters, masks, and doodles, Instagram Stories allows brands to promote their products and services using videos and photos taken throughout the day with the right blend of holiday fun this holiday season.

Why Instagram Stories is Important this Holiday Season

Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users, 500 million of which use Instagram Stories daily.

Stories is like a show glass allowing marketers to showcase and promote their brand, product or services to millions of Instagram users. With the holiday season buzz, brands like yours can use Stories to take your audience on a daily tour of your brand, products/services, offers, and deals this holiday season.

If you are driving traffic to your blog from Instagram, you should understand the types of CPMs you see for each season.

Secondly, Instagram Stories enhances discoverability. Followers and non-followers can view it, increasing your chances of wooing, wowing and converting them.

Thirdly, the Instagram Stories linking feature allows brands with 10,000+ followers to link to their individual website or e-commerce store, thus driving valuable traffic.

Some Examples of Brands Nailing Instagram Stories

1.     Urban Decay Cosmetics

Source: Instagram

Urban Decay Cosmetics uses their Instagram Stories to advertise their products without appearing too salesy. They are clearly keen on offering value first. This wins viewers over and eventually results in sales.

What we love

  • Great visuals
  • A bold and catchy headline
  • A call to action for viewers.

2.     Fabletics

Source: Instagram

This workout apparel company for women uses their Instagram Stories to show that they pay attention to their followers by constantly posting user-generated content from followers who use their workout gear. This makes customers feel valued, special.

What we love

  • Great visuals
  • A call to action
  • A countdown to when the sales will end. This helps to create a sense of urgency.

3.     Forever21

Source: Instagram

This fashion brand uses their Instagram Stories to showcase their various pieces, host polls, Q&A’s and competitions. It is a way to visually engage with their teeming followers from across the globe.

What we love

  • Great and simple visuals
  • A call to action
  • A bold and catchy headline

4.     Disney

Source: Instagram

Known for their creativity, Disney is already creating the holiday season mood with their Instagram Stories by hosting a poll based on a Christmas themed movie.

What we love

  • Simple imagery
  • Driving engagement by creating an interactive poll
  • Use of holiday-centric themes and colors.

5 Instagram Stories Optimization Tips To Thrive This Holiday Season.

1.     Keep It Simple and Engaging.

Create simple, engaging, valuable, holiday-focused content your audience will love. The quality of your content determines if viewers will love them enough to stick around longer on your Stories and engage with your brand.

Spice up your Stories by adding fun holiday stickers, hosting polls, Q&As, sharing behind the scenes and user-generated content that captures key aspects of your customer journey. This will help you connect with your followers on a more personal level and also enable your followers to engage fully and stay glued to your brand this holiday season.

Also, don’t forget to stay active on your DM so as to quickly respond to messages and comments. This will show your audience that you’re paying rapt attention.

2.     Post Frequency and Consistency

Keep your brand at the top of people’s minds this season by posting frequently and consistently.

This will help you stay at the top of your audience’s news feed. It is also vital to maintain a consistent holiday theme, style and message in your Stories. This will help followers to easily recognize your brand this season.

3.     Utilize Hashtags and Location Stickers

Create your holiday Stories using hashtags and location stickers. This will help you to appear in related hashtags and location searches.

By using these stickers, there is also a possibility of your Stories being featured on the Instagram Explore page.

This helps to give your Stories a center-stage, increasing its chances of being viewed by potential customers who will be exploring Instagram this holiday season.

How to add Location sticker

Add your location sticker to your Instagram Stories by tapping the Stickers button and then select the ‘Location’ option. You can then search for your location among the list of nearby locations or use the search bar to help you find the right location. Simply tap the location and it will be added to your Stories post.

How to add a Hashtags sticker

Add a Hashtags to your story by tapping the hashtags sticker. Select and write your hashtags which will appear on your Stories post.

4.     Use Links with Call-to-Actions

Capitalize on the attention from viewers of your Stories to Increase traffic to your website, generate leads and boost sales by adding direct links to your website, e-commerce store, and blog post article or lead-generation form in your stories. (It’s important to note as stated earlier that only brands with 10,000+ followers can access this feature).

Also, add a compelling call-to-action to tell your viewers what to do after they click the link in your Stories post. This will encourage them to swipe up and also, help to drive your desired action from viewers this holiday season.

5.     Make Your Stories Sharable

Optimize your Stories to enable followers to advertise your brand by making your stories shareable by viewers as direct messages to their contacts or friends. This will help to increase the reach of your Stories to people who can be converted to raving fans and paying customers.


The competition among brands to get the attention of their target audience never ends and the holiday season won’t be different.

Stay at the top of the competition this holiday season by implementing the above Instagram optimization tips to help your brand succeed in achieving its Instagram holiday marketing goals.

Author Bio

Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter who also covers Tech and Social Media. When not writing, he’s thinking of writing or making music. He’s been featured in Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, GrowMap, Self Growth, among others.

You can connect with him on

Twitter: @amos_onwukwe

LinkedIn:  Amos Onwukwe

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