Instagram Stories is an Instagram features that allows you to create relevant, accessible content. Like other apps with stories features, Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours (though, you can give yours lasting power using the Highlights feature). While vanishing content might seem like a waste of time, Instagram Stories has over 500 million users, so making this kind of content part of your storytelling strategy is a must. Learn how to make the most of the feature here.

Creating content for Instagram Stories is fast and easy. Photo credit: Linda Xu

Creating content for Instagram Stories is fast and easy. Photo credit: Linda Xu

Quick-Start Tips for Instagram Stories

Posting on Instagram Stories is just as easy as posting regular content.

  1. Log into the app. On the top left of the screen, you’ll see an icon with your profile image and a plus sign. Click that.

  2. You’re in the stories app. You can record video, take photos, add existing photos, create a Boomerang, etc. After you’ve selected your content, you can enhance features using graphics, stickers, gifs, etc.

  3. Click the settings wheel for custom options including who can see your story, who can post, who can share, etc. You can also save your entire story to post later.

  4. Share your story.

Easy, yeah?

Turn Recent Live Photos into Boomerangs

Let’s focus a little more on content creation and some great hacks. When it comes to reposting existing content, the sky’s the limits in terms of options. You can use shapes, flat colors, and other features to really spice up your story’s presentation making it stand out from your regular Instagram content.

One way to do that is to turn live photos into boomerangs. You’ll often have already taken photos or shot video that you’ll want to use in your story. You can easily repurpose the content and modify it to fit your story style.

To turn your live photo into a Boomerang, you’ll need to use live photos taken within the past 24 hours.

  • Get in the app.

  • Swipe up to access photos. Photos taken in the past 24 hours will appear first.

  • Pick your photo.

  • Hold your finger to the screen until the word Boomerang pops up.

  • Once that happens, your live photo is now a Boomerang.


Hide Unsightly Hashtags with Stickers or Gifs

Hashtags are useful for getting discovered, right? You need them in your content; however, hashtags aren’t always stylish. Have your hashtags and hide them, too, by shrinking them and then overlaying a sticker or a shape or some other content on top of them. You can use up to 10 hashtags on Instagram stories, so we recommend (when hiding them) grouping them together before hiding them. You don’t want to have 10 image stickers on your design (or maybe you do).

Pin Timed Gifs, Stickers, Emojis, and Text

Gifs, stickers, emojis, and text can really enhance your Instagram Story. Use them strategically. Select when they appear for maximum effect. To do this, simply select the item you want to use, then slide your story’s timeline along until you know when you want the item to appear. When you find the right spot, just tap “pin”.

Post Content Directly from Giphy

If you’re not already on Giphy, now’s the time get Giphy with it (sorry, not sorry). Giphy lets you create albums and it lets you post your content directly to your Instagram feed or to your Instagram Story. Um, yes!

The Sky’s the Limit on Creating with Font Styles, Colors, and Sizes

Instagram Stories lets you create to your heart’s content, so don’t limit yourself. Here are some recommended things to do:

  • Add your brand’s fonts

  • Play with various font styles including scripts, serifs, sans serifs, and more. Don’t limit yourself, and don’t be afraid to mix and match.

  • Use flat colors and overlays.

  • Create a gradient color scheme on your font. You can do this by holding down the selected text and the full color spectrum button and then sliding your fingers left to create a gradient pattern.

Have fun experimenting with Instagram Stories’ creative features.

Use a Predesigned Layout for Even Easier, Faster, & More Engaging Instagram Stories

Instagram is all about image. You want your Instagram Stories to match your style in terms of color scheme, font, etc. Customizable predesigned layouts such as those available on the Over app give you the power to keep your brand aesthetic while also quickly publishing beautiful, custom Instagram Stories in no time.

Storyboards help you make sure you have a clear, focused beginning, middle, and end for your Instagram Story.

Storyboards help you make sure you have a clear, focused beginning, middle, and end for your Instagram Story.

Tell a Better Story by Creating a Storyboard

While creating on Instagram Stories is as easy as posting your best selfie, you need to put some thought into what you’re posting. The key word here is stories. Use a storyboard (Canva has a template for this) to structure your story to ensure there’s a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Give Your Content Staying Power by Adding Your Stories to Your Highlights

Instagram Highlights are part of your stories archive feature that allow you and your audience to view previous stories. Highlights appear in circle icons under your profile information. You can create different Highlights categories. We recommend making Highlights that mesh with your brand website’s landing pages. For example, a lifestyle blogger might have fashion, culinary, home and garden, fitness, etc. Highlights help you organize your past stories and keep them accessible for your audience.

Monitor Your Instagram Stories Metrics with Insights

Finally, don’t forget to track your data. Bet you thought we’d forget the behind-the-scenes part of creating Instagram Stories? Nope. We saved the best for last. Go to your settings and view Insights to see how your stories are doing. This will help you make decisions on the content you create and when you share it and all of that jazz. Depending on the size of your brand and if you’re using a business profile, you can (and should) switch to a Creator profile because you’ll have even more options when it comes to tracking and using metrics.

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Stories are powerful tools for reaching audiences. With over 500 millions users, Instagram Stories proves that. If you’re not sure what story to tell or how to use Instagram Stories to reach your audience, click here to contact us, The Storyteller Agency, and let us help you by doing what we do best—storytelling.