Instagram Stories are a great way to connect with your audience and share your story. However, since so much content is out there, it’s essential to know how to create Stories that will grab your audience’s attention and leave a lasting impact.
In this article, you’ll learn how to design Instagram Stories that will make your audience stop scrolling and take notice of your content.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
1. Use Engaging Visuals
You need engaging visuals to stand out among the 500 million daily users on Instagram. Whether it’s a humorous meme or a video of you dancing, you can engage people if you make your brand more relatable. You can do that if you showcase your personality.
So, you can record a short Instagram Story video to showcase behind-the-scenes moments. You could also show these behind-the-scenes using simple boomerang video clips that enhance movements through repetition.
Here is an example from California Pizza Kitchen.
But when posting your engaging visuals on Instagram, remember that you have to consider social media branding as well. This doesn’t just entail choosing visuals like solid background images and main pictures that align with your branding style. It also means picking sharp and high-quality images and videos. Blurry or pixelated visuals can quickly turn off your viewers. They will impact your brand negatively.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a skilled photographer or videographer to capture great visuals. You only need to take shots in well-lit conditions and from appropriate angles. You can also add a touch of excitement to your images by using photo editing tools such as Lightroom or VSCO.
Here’s another one of our Instagram Stories tips: add music to your engaging visuals. This will make them even more captivating and engaging on your audience’s entire screen. You can get this from the music library.
Of course, for your engaging Instagram Story visuals to be seen in the first place, you have to make sure you have followers. Don’t just ask anyone to follow you, though. You should get high-quality Instagram followers to ensure your Instagram Stories resonate with them in the first place.
2. Add Text or Captions
Sometimes, a simple text and captions are all you need to make your Instagram Stories powerful. They can easily engage your audience and boost your online presence.
But for your text and captions to work as they should, you still need to follow Instagram Stories tips that are relevant to them. Here are some:
- Keep It Short and Sweet: When browsing Instagram, active users tend to skim through content quickly. Therefore, ensure that your message is concise and interesting enough to capture their attention and not waste their time.
- Play with Fonts: Instagram Stories have a variety of fonts to choose from, so take advantage. Choosing a legible font that looks good is essential. You can also use multiple fonts to improve engagement. However, don’t overdo it.
Here’s an example of how to use various fonts in an Instagram Story.
Additionally, Instagram provides various text animations that can add visual interest to your Stories.
- Use Font Colors: You can select from Instagram’s color palette or use custom colors matching your branding. Aim for bright, cheerful colors that match your beautiful story. Make sure these don’t match with your background color. It’s one of the design tips you need to follow to ensure your copy can be read.
- Add Call-to-Action: Always include a call-to-action in your Story. It can be as simple as asking your audience to “swipe up” to check out your latest products or services.
You want to make sure your text and captions get your message across. But you should also ensure they capture your audience’s attention in the first place. Make them look nice and pretty with additional elements in your Instagram Story.
As an extra tip, send your Instagram Stories to your email subscribers as well. This will help you maximize your content and reach a wider audience with your message. Just make sure you verify emails with tools such as Voila Norbert before hitting the “send” button. This will help ensure you send your emails to your intended recipients.
3. Experiment with Different Formats
Instagram Stories come in a variety of multimedia formats: entire photos, regular videos, boomerangs, among others. You can experiment with each format on your Instagram account.
With this strategy, you don’t just offer your audience a wide variety of Story types to consume. You also generate valuable insights. For instance, you can determine which types of Stories get high-quality Instagram likes and receive the most shares. Then you can make adjustments to your content strategy.
Consider creating a series of three, four, or more Stories in different formats. Then each of them can serve a different purpose. For instance, your regular Story videos could be behind-the-scenes content. Your Story photo gallery, meanwhile, could be just regular product photos.
You can use pre-made templates to experiment with various formats while maintaining consistency. Customizing these templates with your brand’s color schemes, solid color fonts, and layouts can save time and effort.
4. Include Interactive Elements
Instagram Stories also offer different interactive elements and effects. They don’t only increase engagement. They also serve specific purposes.
Quizzes, for instance, can educate users on a particular topic or product. Swipe-up links are an efficient way to drive traffic to your website or blog. The “Ask me a question” feature is great for building relationships with your audience. Your audience can easily send you questions, which you can answer in your Stories.
Polls, meanwhile, are a great way to gather quick feedback from your audience. Check out this example from Wayfair, where they present two different home designs and ask their audience to vote for their favorite. This strategy helps Wayfair understand the audience preferences for product development.
You can also use GIFs and stickers to add some personality to your Stories. However, use the ones that match your brand and align with your message. Also, avoid using too many. As content creators, you don’t want to distract readers from your central message.
Here’s a sample Story with question stickers from Fenty Beauty:
With a bit of creativity and experimentation, you can create Stories that not only engage your audience but also establish your brand identity and personality.
5. Use Hashtags and Location Tags
Instagram hashtags and location tags can be valuable tools to increase the visibility and discoverability of your piece of content. It’s one of the more valuable Instagram Stories tips you should follow.
Hashtags are an effective way to categorize and organize your posts. They can make your Stories easier for users to find when they search for specific keywords.
When choosing hashtags, it’s important to choose the ones that are relevant to your content and target audience. But don’t use all of them in your Story. In fact, the recommended number of hashtags per Instagram Story is one. Too many hashtags can make your content spammy and turn your audience away.
Location tags are another powerful tool for Instagram Stories. When you include a location tag, your Story will appear in that location’s Story feed. Additionally, users who are interested in that location can find your content more easily. So, location tags can help increase your Story visibility and reach.
Bonus Tip: Plan Your Content
Invest your time and effort into creating an Instagram Story content plan. You want to do this a month prior to publication or even earlier.
But before putting together your plan, understand your audience first. Start by identifying their interests, their age group, and where they are from. These will help you determine the topics they find interesting and the type of language you should use in your Stories. The data may even help you determine the content formats you should use.
When creating your content plan, don’t just specify the Story types you’ll publish. Specify, too, the types of filters, browse effects, and other cool features you’ll use for each of your Story types. You also want to state when you plan to run specific Story campaigns like user-generated content campaigns and contests. You can even include the design tools you’ll use to create your content.
The more specific your content plan is, the better.
Once you have these, come up with a content calendar that details when you’ll have each Story format published. According to research, the following are the best times to post on Instagram:
You can follow this general rule if you’re just starting on Instagram. But once you’ve posted enough and generated sufficient data, check your Instagram analytics. You’ll see the times your audience interacts the most with your Stories. Then, tweak your content plan to accommodate this new information. Remember, too, that the key is consistent posting on those determined times.
Your content plan should serve as your guide when publishing Instagram Stories. But it doesn’t mean this should be set in stone. You’ve seen how you need to adjust your frequency of posting depending on the engagement data you generate at specific times. You might also need to adjust the types of content you’ll create, again depending on what you see generates excellent engagement after publication.
Instagram Stories can be a powerful way to reach your audience. But you still need to know how to design them the right way.
Use eye-catching graphics, text or captions, interactive design elements, custom colors, and stickers. Make sure you also experiment with different Story formats and add a bunch of hashtags and location tags. Also, as an extra tip, implement strategic content planning.
By following Instagram Stories tips, you can elevate your content and wow your audience. In the end, you’ll ensure a standout presence on the social media platform. Good luck!
Further Reading: Tips to Use Instagram as a Graphic Designer
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