How to Effectively Use Instagram Stories If You’re an Entrepreneur
More than 500 million people use Instagram Stories daily. And since Stories show up prominently at the top of your feed, they’re even more noticeable than Feed posts. So considering the large user base and the prominent location, using Instagram Stories is something you can’t overlook in your social media marketing.
IG Stories could be the very thing that helps you engage your followers and drive results for your Instagram marketing efforts. In this guide, you’ll discover some useful tips to design creative and eye-catching IG Stories that your followers will love. Let’s get started.
1: Follow a Template to Keep Things Professional
Using existing Instagram Stories templates makes it easier to design professional and attractive Stories in minutes. These templates give you a pre-designed layout of how your Stories post is supposed to look. This way, you’ll know exactly where to add images and text elements without having to design everything from scratch.
Tools like Canva, Snappa, and Visme each have an expansive library of templates that you can customize for your Stories. Canva will even let you find templates that follow a specific color scheme. So you can easily find something to fit your brand colors and visual identity. Alternatively, you can also create a new template from scratch to use and reuse.
2: Aim for Branding Consistency
Consistency is key when it comes to branding. And your branding efforts shouldn’t just stop at your website or your social media feed. It should extend to your Instagram Stories to really drive the image and make your brand more memorable.
As such, you need to maintain consistent branding in your Instagram Stories designs as well. This involves the use of color schemes and fonts that align with your brand’s visual identity.
You could use the same color combination as in your brand logo. Otherwise, you could also choose a combination that matches the colors you want to associate with your brand. Either way, try to keep it consistent and use the same combination throughout your Stories posts.
For example, the woman-founded cruelty-free cosmetics brand, Dose of Colors, uses earthy and pastel tones to define its visual identity. And you can see how this color scheme dominates the brand’s Instagram feed.
Similarly, if you go through the brand’s Stories, you can see the same types of colors.
Fonts also play a critical role in your branding. Whenever you’re adding text elements to your Stories posts, make sure you use fonts that align with your brand style. If that’s not a viable option, get creative with text background and font color combinations to maintain consistent branding.
Take another female-owned company, Piecework Puzzles. Their Stories posts use bright combinations for text background and font colors that fit the brand’s fun personality.
3: Resize Your Images/Videos for Stories
To make sure that your designs look great on Instagram Stories, you need to maintain the recommended resolution. The recommended resolution for Stories ads is 1080 x 1920 pixels.
But you can use this suggestion for organic Stories posts as well. This will ensure that your Stories posts look great across most devices and display all the important elements.
Keep in mind that Instagram Stories only supports vertical videos for full screen. So make sure you create your design with that in mind. But if you must share a horizontal video, it might be best to share it through IGTV instead.
4: Keep It Simple and Readable
Less is more when it comes to design, and this rule applies to your Stories designs as well. You’ll mostly use your Stories to promote your products, share updates and promotions, and provide tips and how-tos.
If you want people to easily process the information, keep the design simple and easy to read. Avoid overloading your Stories posts with information or you could end up overwhelming your followers. If you have more than one thing to say, share the info through a series of Stories instead.
Notice how New Look UK shares style tips for a single piece of clothing through a series of Stories. For each Story, they use minimal text elements and highlight just a few clothing items. This prevents the post from getting cluttered with all kinds of design elements.
5: Get Creative with Backgrounds
The background is a critical element that decides whether your design pops or bores your audience. So if you get a little creative with it, it could help you really bring your message forward.
Try using solid backgrounds in complementary colors that look great with the overall design. But if you want to highlight certain elements, make sure the color also contrasts against the main design element.
If you want to use images as background, keep in mind that the design could be too busy. That means your text will be hard to read even if you add a text background color. Try adding a translucent color overlay to the image instead.
To do this, just choose the image you want for your background. Then select the highlight brush and choose a color.
Tap and hold the background to fill the whole screen with a translucent brush. So the image still shows in the background, but the main focus will be on the text when you add it.
6: Make the Most of Animated Elements
Animation could turn a boring image into something that instantly catches the eye. In other words, it could take your Instagram Stories to a whole new level.
Try animating certain elements of your design such as the background or graphics. Tools like Mojo and Pixaloop can help you with this.
7: Keep It Fun with GIFs and Stickers
You even have the option to spice up your Stories with GIFs and stickers. Instagram gives you an expansive library of stickers and GIFs to add some fun and personality to your Stories.
For example, the Oprah “You get” GIF could make your giveaway or promotion announcement a lot more exciting. Or you could use the “@mention” sticker to give credit to your incredible team or acknowledge your most loyal fans.
Don’t forget to make the most of the location and hashtag stickers whenever possible. Adding these to your Stories could be great for your Instagram SEO as they improve your Stories’ visibility.
This means your Stories could show up in relevant searches and Explore pages for tagged locations and hashtags. So consider extending your hashtag strategy even to your Instagram Stories.
8: Use Design to Give Direction
When you’re using your Instagram Stories to share information, make sure people know exactly what to do with that information. Do you want people to swipe up to visit your landing page or blog post? Do you want them to visit your Instagram profile to view your latest post or IGTV video?
Whatever action you want people to take from your Stories, make sure your design properly draws attention to it. You could use arrows in tandem with text and animated elements to point them towards the desired action.
Notice how Fresh Beauty uses an arrow encouraging people to go to the next Story for recommendations.
The brand uses another arrow asking people to “swipe up” to shop the recommended product.
9: Create What Your Audience Likes
What works for one brand won’t necessarily work for your business. Certain design elements that appeal to one type of audience may not necessarily impress another. This makes it crucial to experiment with different design approaches to see what appeals specifically to your target audience.
For this, you’ll need to keep track of your Instagram Stories performance to see what works and what doesn’t. Keep a close eye on Stories metrics such as reach, follows, interactions, and navigation. This will help you see how certain types of Stories appeal to your target audience.
Invest in a solid Instagram analytics tool that gives you a detailed breakdown of your Stories performance. The Keyhole Instagram Analytics tool, for instance, shows you how many people viewed, skipped, or exited each of your Stories.
Now Start Designing!
Winning on Instagram isn’t just about knowing what to create. It’s also about how to create it in a way that catches the eye. So make the most of the design tips above to come up with creative and eye-catching Instagram Stories.
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