Make Your ‘Gram Game Stronger with These Instagram Story Tricks
It’s hard to remember what life was like before Instagram, but now it may be even harder to picture life without Instagram Stories. On top of needing a perfectly curated Instagram feed, it’s just as important to have beautiful stories so users can follow the lives of their friends and influencers and see behind-the-scenes of their favorite brands.
With over 500 million daily users, Instagram Stories matter just as much, and maybe more, than your main feed. In its first inception in 2016, the addition of Instagram Stories to the platform was perceived as a direct copycat of Snapchat, and Instagram’s CEO even admitted it.
Now, Snapchat might be just another thing that millennials
killed moved on from after something better was released. Snapchat’s story-focused audience is growing older, and the app is struggling to appeal to younger audiences in the way the Instagram Stories has been able to captivate users.
Maybe this is because of the way Instagram Stories provide personal insight into people and brands. This app feature encourages deeper interaction from users than just likes and comments, with the ability to mention other users and tag shoppable products. And of course, there’s the capability for brands and influencers (with over 10,000 followers) to link out of the platform by swiping up.
Instagram Stories have shaped Instagram into the eCommerce, influencer-fueled platform it is today. Posting more stories can even crack the ever-evolving Instagram algorithm, as users will continue to see accounts that they interact with the most at the top of their feeds.
Creating content is also getting even easier, with brands and influencers able to make content that is relatable to its audience with fewer tools and resources. And a lot of this can be done straight from the Instagram app.
The platform is paving the way to make it easy to produce content directly in the app, all while maintaining the more high-end aesthetic standard the app is known for. Instagram Stories has endless features, including highly customizable fonts and colors, stickers ranging from cute animations to interactive polls, and the platform is even slowly launching an in-app video creator called Reels to rival Tik Tok, the app’s quickly growing competitor.
But, I get it. Creating killer Instagram Stories can be time-consuming and difficult to learn, especially for the everyday user who might not be striving to become an influencer. So, I teamed up with some of the office’s best models ( 🐶) to showcase Instagram Story features, from the most basic to the seemingly complex, that will make your ‘Gram game absolute 🔥.
Get Creative with Font
When it comes to creating a great Instagram Story, it all starts with the basics. Instagram Stories come with five fonts and 24 preset colors, but with that the possibilities are endless. Here are easy steps to get creative with your font and color choices to create stories that show your individuality.
Play around with this more and, soon enough, you’ll be known for your unique story style and create a cohesive brand aesthetic.
Customize Your Font Color
The preset colors on Stories are fine… but uninspiring. Hold down on each color at the bottom of your screen to select from a larger color palette or use the eyedropper tool to select colors from within the rest of your story.
Pro tip: Choose stickers to add to your story, then use the eyedropper tool to pull in coordinating colors for your font. This will pull your story together to look cohesive and purposeful every time.
Add a Drop-Shadow Effect
Here’s something you see often from influencers and creators. This is a great style to use when you need your font to really stand out. Simply layer your text for a drop-shadow effect, but just make sure each layer of text is the exact same size to maximize the effect.
Create a Rainbow Gradient
Nothing adds pizzazz to a story like rainbow gradient font, right? When you’re trying to add some flare to your story, this is a great way to add a font that will catch their 👀. It’s a little tricky to master at first, but once you’ve nailed it, everyone will be asking for you to share your new skill.
Hide Mentions and Hashtags
Tagging friends, brands and utilizing hashtags will elevate your story so more people are able to view and share it. On the flip side, tags can get in the way of your story and be hard to read. Easily hide mentions and tags by dragging your tags offscreen or making the tags so small, it’s no longer in the way while your stories can still be shared and searched.
Switch Up the Background
The pen tool isn’t just for highlighting font or doodling across your story. It can also be used to switch up the background color on your story so you’re not stuck with that often drab gradient background that automatically appears behind your image or video. Here’s how the the pen tool can create different backgrounds that will make your story stand out.
Using the first, round-edge option of the pen tool, select any color and simply hold down on the screen until the background color changes. If you are uploading a photo to your story, this will completely cover the image, but will only change the background color if you are sharing another post or story.
Using the second, slanted-edge option of the pen tool, select any color and, again, hold down on the screen until the background color changes. This will add a transparent background over an image and can create a cool color-washed effect that is great for sharing text over.
Erase the Background
Lastly, the very last option of the pen tool is an eraser. After using the above functions, this is a great tool to erase certain parts of the background of your story to show only parts of an image you want, or can be used to tease future content.
Add Multiple Images
If you’re like me, you probably hate using Instagram’s Layout function within Stories – it’s one of the weakest capabilities of Instagram Stories. However, it’s surprisingly easy to add multiple images from your story to your story. To start, I recommend beginning a story with a solid background so you’ll be able to adjust the size and positioning of each image.
Next, copy an image from your camera roll and return to the Instagram app. From there, the app should automatically ask to paste in the image for you, but if that doesn’t happen, simply tap the screen and paste the image as if you were pasting in text. Voilà — you can now create unique layouts with pre-edited imagery without an exterior platform.
Add GIFs with Giphy
GIFs are a necessary part of today’s meme-driven society. Add your favorite GIFs into your stories using the Giphy App and watch as your story reactions begin to increase. After finding your perfect GIF (mine happens to be Danny DeVito reactions) you can share the single GIF directly to Instagram Stories via Giphy’s share functions OR you can add multiple GIFs to your story by copying and pasting each one into the story the same way you’d add multiple images. Check out both methods. 👇
Make It Animated
Save each story individually as you add text and stickers and post together to create a more animated sequence. This is a great trick to encourage users to tap forward throughout your entire story… but make sure you don’t have any accidental typos by trying to create this effect too quickly. Trust me, I’ve been there just trying to create this story below!
Or… Use an App!
Instagram Story apps can be a social media marketer’s best friend. They help you create great content on the fly, allowing you to add custom brand colors and fonts or create easy-to-edit video content. Some of my go-to apps are Mojo, Unfold, Ash and Over, with, admittedly, upgrades to the premium version for access to additional features. But the free version of these apps can provide plenty of options to play around with new layouts and push the envelope on your brand.
Here’s an example of a story introduction created using Mojo.
Creating captivating and eye-catching content is more accessible than ever before. In a deceivingly perfect world of influencers, finding your personal perspective and creating content that tells your story is the most important part of social media. And soon enough, you might see your brand recognition increase in the process.