How to Create Unique + Captivating Instagram Stories

Colleen Ordonio   •   April 26, 2018

Engaging your audience is crucial for any effective social media campaign, and Instagram Stories are a popular and creative way to connect. But with so many competing brands producing fun and captivating Instagram Stories on a daily or weekly basis, standing out can be a challenge.

By exploring the basics of Instagram Stories, you can use the platform’s tools to create memorable and unique posts that will connect with your target audience. Instagram Stories also encourage one-to-one messaging, allowing users to directly connect and increasing your potential leads.

How to Make an Instagram Story

If you already have an Instagram account but you’re new to Instagram Stories, you can create your first Story by following the instructions below:

  1. Open up the Instagram app.
  2. Tap the camera icon located in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.
  3. Take a photo or video, or swipe-up to post a photo or video. Note: Instagram will need to access your photo library. The app will display your library by photos or videos that have been added the most recently.

Instagram Story Options

  • Standard/Normal – This setting will allow you to capture a photo or video.
  • Live – By toggling over to the “Live” setting, you can film a live broadcast. Similar to Facebook Live videos, your followers/audience are able to tune in, react, and comment to your broadcast. At the end of your live video, you can save the video, or let it expire or disappear. You can also save it to your phone or share it to your Instagram Story for the next 24 hours.
  • Boomerang – Boomerangs allow you to capture a subject and loop the recording as a GIF.
  • Superzoom – This fun setting allows you to capture a subject up close and adds zoom and sound/music effects depending on which Superzoom option you choose.
  • Rewind – This setting allows you to capture a video and play it back in reverse.
  • Stop Motion – A stop-motion film is similar to a digital flipbook, allowing you to capture a series of still photos that flow together like a video.
  • Hands-Free – This setting allows you to set up your device and simply hit the record button to film a session hands-free.

How to Make Your Instagram Stories Unique and Captivating

Once you’ve learned how to create basic Instagram stories, you can customize your Instagram Story by using tools located in the top right corner of your Instagram Story screen.

  • Sticker Button – The sticker button (a smiley face in a square) presents a variety of options that can be resized by clicking and dragging the sticker with two fingers in an outward or inward motion. Some stickers even have customization options accessed by tapping the sticker itself.- Stickers – Add flair and quirkiness that fits with your brand.
  • Location Tags – Location tags show users where you are.
  • Polls – Ask your audience a question with two answer options.
  • Hashtags – Add a hashtag to add visibility and searchability to your story.
  • Pen Button – The Pen Button allows you to use your finger or stylus to draw on your images. You can draw cute doodles, funny captions, or point out something in a picture for dramatic effect. You can also select a color and hold down on the screen to create a solid color background.
  • Text Button – The Text Button adds your own custom text with a variety of fonts. The default font is “Classic,” but you can switch between different fonts, colors, and more. You can also create “shadows” with your text by layering two texts, or rotate and resize your text to play with dimension and dynamics. Be sure to update your Instagram app to access the newest range of font options.

Apps You Can Use to Enhance Your Instagram Stories

Once you’ve mastered the basics of creating attractive, engaging Instagram Stories, there are several apps available to enhance your posts in just a few clicks.

  • Adobe Spark Post – Adobe Spark Post adds animated effects to your otherwise static photos, and the app isn’t just useful for Instagram Stories. Preset ratios (including Instagram Story) allow you to animate images for other platforms as well.
  • Hype Type – Hype Type is similar to Adobe Spark Post, allowing you to add text overlays with a variety of fonts, animations, and flashy effects.
  • PicPlayPost – PicPlayPost allows you to combine videos and photos in your Instagram Story. Choose the Instagram Stories (Classic > Ratio > Vertical) ratio to ensure the final product fits into the correct dimensions.
  • Filmmaker Pro – Filmmaker Pro can help you edit vertical videos for those instances when you forget to turn your phone horizontal for a video.

Create Your Own Story

When creating an Instagram Story for your business, remember to stay true to your brand, engage your audience, and utilize captivating content to get the best results from your campaign. Above all, don’t forget to have fun – social media has changed marketing from a serious, corporate endeavor to something any business owner can achieve with a smartphone and a healthy imagination. Instagram Stories offer a unique opportunity to showcase your personality and creativity while broadening your reach and building your business at the same time.

Need help creating an Instagram account that captures the attention of your target audience? Give Reader Digital Agency a call at (619) 483-4600 today.