Instagram stories are nearly as important as the content you post to the feed itself! Here are all the tips you need to take them to the next level.
I really love using Instagram stories to connect with my friends and followers. In fact, I sometimes enjoy stories way more than my feed because they allow me to be more candid, goofy, and vulnerable. This part of the app has allowed me to open up in ways a static photo never can, and typically my stories are viewed more frequently than my feed – so it’s a great space for me to share what’s on my mind.
Instagram has provided plenty of great in-app options to make your stories look fantastic, and I utilize them all on a regular basis! However, I also enjoy upping my game with outside apps to create cool templates, fun filters, or intriguing text designs. I want to give you a run-through of the best uses for both in-app content as well as alternative programs!
Instagram Story Tips and Tricks
You can use the eyedropper tool for text and marker color-choosing within the photo itself. You can also press down on one of the rainbow colors along the bottom of the screen to see the entire color palette.
Highlight any text, bring up the color palette, and undo your highlight with one hand while scrolling along the colors with the other to create an ombré effect!
Place your text in the most aesthetically-pleasing spot, and use text backgrounds or the marker tool to make it visible.
Gifs are fun too! Relate them to your photo or video, make them playful or sarcastic, and grab peoples’ attention by having them be extra bold or wordy!
Along the sides of your Instagram story screen are grid-lines. These light up in blue when you move text, gifs, or otherwise towards the outer edges of your screen. Don’t pass them! If you do, your content will be hidden by the top bar, bottom text bar, or sides when people are swiping through. Be mindful!
Take advantage of Instagram’s options. Polls, questions, ratings, and quizzes allow you to engage with your audience. Get sassy and fun with these, and add them whenever you can! The more people engage with your stories, the more you’ll show up at the top of their feed!
Music is awesome, but make sure to actually choose something specific, rather than just always opting for the top picks the app suggests for you. I like to search for songs that relate to the content, or use music that I’d like for my audience to discover!
The Top 10 Apps to Take Your Instagram Stories to the Next Level
This app is my absolute favorite outside of Instagram itself when it comes to quality IG story content. There are tons of templates, fonts, and styles to choose from when it comes to curating something especially beautiful and aesthetically-pleasing on your story.
You can use this program for way more than just Instagram stories. I create all my Pinterest headers, infographics, and more with the desktop version – but it’s also fabulous for fun story templates and even story highlight covers!
This is an app created by Planoly and I love how you can really brand all your stories by using it regularly. I tend to pick and choose and not stick to a certain branding style for my stories, but it really is an excellent option for a modern look.
I downloaded this after seeing a couple of my favorite bloggers use a beautiful, film-like filter across their stories. I discovered it wasn’t a filter, but an app that allows you to capture professional video in an old-timey style.
This is basically an alternative version of Snapchat that’s really popular in Asia, but I only use it for the filters. It makes your skin look really nice but gives you the option to turn up or down the intensity of the filters, unlike Snapchat or Instagram.
This app was really popular for a while, letting you snap photos that look like they were taken on a Fujifilm Instax or Polaroid camera. I like it for the occasional artsy photo.
Similar to Unfold, this app has templates that are incredibly aesthetically-pleasing. The only downside is that you can’t move the photos around or zoom them in the same way you can on Unfold – but there are way more template options.
I just discovered this app recently and have yet to discover every fabulous thing about it, but I do know that it’s a lot of fun if you enjoy adding stickers to your stories (rather than just gifs). It also has some really cool font options and the styling is very ethereal and bohemian.
Another recent download of mine, but I’ve been loving it for filming on IGTV especially (something I’m just now diving into). It gives you filters, effects, and tons more options for video and makes your content look really neat!
If you’ve filmed an especially long video and want to chop it up, add transitions, feature music, or include captioning – this is an awesome app option. Instagram stories seem to sometimes glitch and only allows you to upload 4 videos at a time, so this gives you the freedom to “splice” everything into 15-second intervals to upload in series!