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Instagram Stories are so important for bloggers, brands, and marketers alike. Not only do they let your followers get to know you better, they can actually improve your engagement. Say what? It’s true! Since your stories boost engagement, your Instagram posts have the chance to appear higher in people’s feeds! And we need all the help we can get with this ever since Instagram changed their algorithm.
I recently discussed the algorithm update at length and how it is hurting organic reach, but there is good news. While organic reach is DOWN across social media platforms, it is actually UP on Instagram Stories. So I wanted to chat with y’all about how to make your stories the BEST they can be so you can get more eyes on your Instagram posts and ultimately, your blog or website.
Before hopping into my five best practices, I wanted to share a bonus tip: time matters for Instagram Stories. If you want to get the most eyes on your stories, spread out your posts. Using audience insights (if you are a business profile), see what time of day your followers are most active and post your first story at that time. Then spread out your Instagram Story posts throughout the day to keep bumping it to the front of people’s feeds. It will increase viewership and engagement!
Alright, here we go…
1. Add Animated Text Graphics to Your Instagram Stories
This is my favorite way to elevate your photos! Click HERE to download the app Hype Type. It will change your life! All you have to do is upload your photo, type in your text, then select your favorite font, animation, and color scheme. It is such a simple but effective way for your Instagram Stories to stand out from the crowd.
I threw together a quick video below showing how I use Hype Type to create my Instagram Stories.
Adobe Spark Post is another great app for creating animated text graphics. Plus, it’s free! Play around with both apps to see which one fits your brand best.
Pro Tip: Save some backgrounds in your phone and add the animated text over these images. Here are a few of my favorites (click to download):
I do recommend using these animated graphics sparingly. Not every photo you post needs wild text accompanying it, so reserve it for the important things. I personally use the apps to direct readers to my blog whenever there is a new post. For impromptu snaps throughout the day, I’ll use the tips below.
2. Pin Stickers, Emojis, or Text in a Video
We all know how to add text, emojis, and stickers to our Instagram Stories, but take it up a notch by pinning them to a particular object in the story. All you have to do is press down on the text, emoji, or sticker to prepare it for pinning, then scroll through the video to pick where you want it. Just click pin and watch it appear and disappear throughout the video.
3. Draw Straight Lines to Jazz Up Your Text
If you have ever tried to freehand draw a straight line on Instagram Stories, you know how difficult it can be. Luckily, it’s as simple as pressing the underscore symbol ( _ ) over and over again until you reach your desired length. I love the streamlined look it gives my stories and is the perfect way to highlight a portion of your text such as a website or discount code. When I’m feeling like being even more extra, I’ll even add in a few periods ( … ) to add more design to the photo, like in the middle example above.
4. Use The Colors of the Rainbow
At first glance, Instagram’s font color options look limited. But just press down on a color and voila! The entire suite of colors is there for your designing pleasure. Call me OCD, but I love the synchronicity of my text color matching the image it is overlayed on.
5. Share Your Recent Blog Post with Scrolling Video
This is a pro tip, but I HAD to include it because you can create stunning Instagram Stories that will have your followers asking how did you do that. And while these videos take a few more steps than my other tips, it only takes about five minutes to create an awesome story.
Begin by connecting your iPhone with your MacBook via the lightning cable. Open QuickTime Player in your applications; this is a free app that should have come pre-installed on your computer. Click File – New Movie Recording and a recording window will pop up. Select your iPhone in the dropdown menu and record away. Once you’ve finished, email it to yourself. I use the Google Drive app since videos are larger files.
And there you have it: A screen recording of your most recent blog post ready to share with your followers. Click on the video below for the result!
Thanks for reading, y’all! While these tricks and tips can help you create some ultra-fancy Instagram Stories, always keep in mind that nothing beats you on video chatting with your followers, opening a line of communication, and responding to their direct messages. Blogging and brand building is always first and foremost connecting with your readers and customers. So now that y’all are equipped with my favorite ways to elevate your Instagram Story game, get out there and increase that engagement like the (Girl) Bosses you are!