The Ultimate Guide To Gorgeous Instagram Stories

Updated: 1 May 2020

Who’s ready to get aaaaaall the good details on how to use Instagram Stories for maximum effect?

*stares appreciatively into distance at the excited crowd*

YOU ARE!

So let’s get started:

Instagram Stories vs Posts

Want to use Instagram Stories at maximum capacity?

Then let’s first get super-duper clear on the differences between Stories and Posts:

Instagram Stories are…

  • Ephemeral, as in they only live on your profile for 24 hours. (You can keep them forever by curating them into highlights, but we’ll get into all that later on.)
  • Supposed to show a more raw, in-the-moment look; a side of your life or your business which would otherwise never make its way into your regular feed.
  • Shareable in a single ratio, which is 9:16. If you upload photos or videos that come in a different ratio, Instagram will automatically “extend” the background to fill the 9:16 format with the dominant colours from your photo or video. (Similar to when you share a feed photo to Stories.)

Instagram Posts are…

  • Present in your feed at all times. (Unless you choose to archive or delete them, of course.)
  • Typically  curated, staged or edited: they’re eye-candy for your followers or for people who are considering following you.
  • Shareable in a variety of ratios: square (the OG), 4:5, 2:3, 3:5, 3:4, 5:7, 9:16. If your photo doesn’t come in one of these ratios, make sure to pre-crop it beforehand so you’ll have no surprises when you actually post. Exception: carousels, which still only allow images or videos  in a square format – hopefully that will change soon too!

Both Stories and Posts are…

  • A way to strategically immerse your audience in your world.
  • Supposed to reflect your personality or brand in a unique manner. The most simple and accessible approach is by using content themes. We have touched on that when talking about Instagram feed tips.
  • Interactive: truly a 2-way street! Constantly engage with your audience by asking questions, commenting and double tapping. Have a conversation with the people who are following you, don’t use the space in your feed and stories solely as an echo-chamber and you will see growth! Quick note: this might be easier to do when you find yourself having a larger audience, but it is definitely possible to achieve it with a smaller audience, too! They key is to create, share and interact!

Instagram Stories are…

  • Ephemeral, as in they only live on your profile for 24 hours. (You can keep them forever by curating them into highlights, but we’ll get into all that later on.)
  • Supposed to show a more raw, in-the-moment look; a side of your life or your business which would otherwise never make its way into your regular feed.
  • Shareable in a single ratio, which is 9:16. If you upload photos or videos that come in a different ratio, Instagram will automatically “extend” the background to fill the 9:16 format with the dominant colours from your photo or video. (Similar to when you share a feed photo to Stories.)

Instagram Posts are…

  • Present in your feed at all times. (Unless you choose to archive or delete them, of course.)
  • Typically  curated, staged or edited: they’re eye-candy for your followers or for people who are considering following you.
  • Shareable in a variety of ratios: square (the OG), 4:5, 2:3, 3:5, 3:4, 5:7, 9:16. If your photo doesn’t come in one of these ratios, make sure to pre-crop it beforehand so you’ll have no surprises when you actually post. Exception: carousels, which still only allow images or videos  in a square format – hopefully that will change soon too!

Both Stories and Posts are…

  • A way to strategically immerse your audience in your world.
  • Supposed to reflect your personality or brand in a unique manner. The most simple and accessible approach is by using content themes. We have touched on that when talking about Instagram feed tips.
  • Interactive: truly a 2-way street! Constantly engage with your audience by asking questions, commenting and double tapping. Have a conversation with the people who are following you, don’t use the space in your feed and stories solely as an echo-chamber and you will see growth! Quick note: this might be easier to do when you find yourself having a larger audience, but it is definitely possible to achieve it with a smaller audience, too! They key is to create, share and interact!

How To Use Instagram Stories (A Step-by-Step Guide)

First time using Instagram Stories, ever? No worries, it’s easy!

  1. Open the Instagram app;
  2. Tap the Home button (the one in the bottom left corner);
  3. From your homepage, swipe right and the Stories interface will pop up. When prompted, allow access to camera and microphone;
  4. Go to town! These are the various recording modes you’ll see at the bottom of the screen:
In-App Instagram Stories Modes

In-App Instagram Stories Modes

Type Mode: Enables you to make a statement in written form. Cycle through the backgrounds and fonts to create your own unique composition.

Live Mode: This one is pretty self explanatory – here you can go live on your Stories!

Normal Mode: Instagram positions this as the main recording mode from where you can scroll either left or right to cycle through all the others.

Instagram Stories Normal Mode Swipe Up Interface Photo Gallery

Boomerang Mode: Boomerang records a short clip and then plays it back to you on repeat.

Superzoom Mode: Hold and swipe up to zoom in on something specific. Depending on which animation you use, you’ll also get the accompanying sound. Lots of fun to be had with this one!

Focus Mode: Take gorgeous portraits by focusing on the subject’s face and blurring everything else. Basically a Portrait mode that is incorporated in the Instagram app.

Rewind Mode: Record a short clip that is then played back to you, but backwards. Can help you get some really cool effects!

Hands Free Mode: If you want to record multiple Instagram Stories in a single shot, choose this mode so you don’t have to keep your finger glued to the record button. Basically it creates a distraction-free space for you to focus on the content you are recording. So good!

Photo Uploads, Stickers And More!

Let’s also take a super quick look at the stickers you can find in the Instagram app. For each upload, you have the option to embellish your photo or video by adding stickers, text or straight up drawings. Here is a quick look at what each option looks like:

Photo Uploads, Stickers And More!

Let’s also take a super quick look at the stickers you can find in the Instagram app. For each upload, you have the option to embellish your photo or video by adding stickers, text or straight up drawings. Here is a quick look at what each option looks like:

The Ultimate Guide To Gorgeous Instagram Stories
Instagram options to edit photos or videos (left-right): filters, sticker tray, draw mode, text mode
The Ultimate Guide To Gorgeous Instagram Stories
Instagram options to edit photos or videos (left-right): filters, sticker tray, draw mode, text mode

Pro Tip – Text Mode

When in text mode, hashtags and @ names work the same way they do everywhere else on Instagram!

So you can either use the dedicated hashtag or username stickers, or type them out in regular text form!

And yes, you can add multiple hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts.

For tips on how to style them within the Story, see below.

Pro Tip – Hashtag Visibility

Now, strictly from an aesthetic POV, hashtags are not the cutest things to have on full display in your Stories. So, to make sure you reap the benefits without sacrificing looks, you can simply cover them with stickers!

You can also make them smaller to get them out of the way, but with this method, there is a chance they won’t be indexed since a regular user cannot see them! If you’re feeling sneaky, leave your hashtag block or sticker the regular size and push them outside of the edge. They will still be indexed, but they’ll be out of the way.

Pro Tip – Text Mode

When in text mode, hashtags and @ names work the same way they do everywhere else on Instagram!

So you can either use the dedicated hashtag or username stickers, or type them out in regular text form!

And yes, you can add multiple hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts.

For tips on how to style them within the Story, see below.

Pro Tip – Hashtag Visibility

Now, strictly from an aesthetic POV, hashtags are not the cutest things to have on full display in your Stories. So, to make sure you reap the benefits without sacrificing looks, you can simply cover them with stickers!

You can also make them smaller to get them out of the way, but with this method, there is a chance they won’t be indexed since a regular user cannot see them! If you’re feeling sneaky, leave your hashtag block or sticker the regular size and push them outside of the edge. They will still be indexed, but they’ll be out of the way.

In-App Instagram Stories Fonts

And, if you want to see how the different fonts compare to each other, here they are. Take a look at the following image to see them listed as follows:

  • the regular sans serif;
  • a tall, all-caps font;
  • a handwritten font that looks like it’s glowing from within;
  • a typewriter-style font;
  • and the last one is an italicized sans serif.

Whichever  you use depends on your preference and your account’s aesthetic, so try to coming back to the same one(s) for stylistic coherence. 😃

In-App Instagram Stories Fonts

In-App Instagram Stories Fonts

And, if you want to see how the different fonts compare to each other, here they are. Take a look at the following image to see them listed as follows:

In-App Instagram Stories Fonts

In-App Instagram Stories Fonts

And, if you want to see how the different fonts compare to each other, here they are. Take a look at the following image to see them listed as follows:

  • the regular sans serif;
  • a tall, all-caps font;
  • a handwritten font that looks like it’s glowing from within;
  • a typewriter-style font;
  • and the last one is an italicized sans serif.

Whichever  you use depends on your preference and your account’s aesthetic, so try to coming back to the same one(s) for stylistic coherence. 😃

Instagram Stories Length And Size

Currently, a single Instagram Story is 15 seconds long, max. But you don’t have to stop recording when you hit that time! Instead, keep going and Instagram will automatically cut it into 15 seconds pieces and upload them all at once. Same goes for longer clips you upload from your camera roll. Pretty neat, eh?

If you create your Instagram Stories using an app, here is the sizing information you need: Instagram Stories have an aspect ratio of 9:16. In terms of pixels, the minimal dimensions are 1080px by 1920px. This means you can create or upload images of larger dimensions, but make sure they have a ratio of 9:16, otherwise they will be cropped on upload.

Instagram Stories Design Apps

Using design apps for your Instagram Stories is a simple way to get a curated look and personalize your stories to keep followers engaged, while also saving on your precious time. As such, there should be no wonder that there are  apps specifically designed for Instagram Stories out there and they are very popular!

So what are the absolute *coolest* ones out there, you ask?

Here you go:

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories App: Unfold

This is constantly one of the most popular apps for Instagram Stories and you may have already seen its results in your favorite Instagrammers’ stories.

It offers a selection of free and premium templates, along with a monthly subscription (optional), all designed in specific, cohesive styles.

Unfold supports both photos and videos, so you can create a mesmerizing mix using the templates.

Download Unfold

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories App: Unfold

This is constantly one of the most popular apps for Instagram Stories and you may have already seen its results in your favorite Instagrammers’ stories.

It offers a selection of free and premium templates, along with a monthly subscription (optional), all designed in specific, cohesive styles.

Unfold supports both photos and videos, so you can create a mesmerizing mix using the templates.

Download Unfold

Instagram Stories App: Storyluxe

This is one of my personal favorites.

It is a pretty complex app in terms of templates offered and also has some of the most unique designs I have seen!

Inside, it has plenty of free stuff to play around with, alongside a subscription option.

For this one I particularly love the multiple export size options (4:5 or 9:16), which makes your designs usable on the feed as well on stories.

Download Storyluxe

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator
Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories App: Storyluxe

This is one of my personal favorites.

It is a pretty complex app in terms of templates offered and also has some of the most unique designs I have seen!

Inside, it has plenty of free stuff to play around with, alongside a subscription option.

For this one I particularly love the multiple export size options (4:5 or 9:16), which makes your designs usable on the feed as well on stories.

Download Storyluxe

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories App: Hypetype

If you are fan of having animated captions in your stories, this might be the app for you.

Hypetype allows you to add animated texts in various colours and fonts. You can also add music to your stories and crop the image in three different formats: square, 9:16 and 16:9.

Some of the effects are free and some are premium, all fun and versatile.

Download Hypetype

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories App: Hypetype

If you are fan of having animated captions in your stories, this might be the app for you.

Hypetype allows you to add animated texts in various colours and fonts. You can also add music to your stories and crop the image in three different formats: square, 9:16 and 16:9.

Some of the effects are free and some are premium, all fun and versatile.

Download Hypetype

Instagram Stories App: Stories Edit

Stories Edit is a Planoly offshoot meant solely for creating Instagram Stories. Personally, although Planoly is my favorite app for scheduling Instagram… anything, I feel that Stories Edit is a bit limited in terms of design and editing freedom. I much rather prefer to edit templates in some other app, then upload to Planoly to schedule them out. YMMV though, so give it a shot! The template designs are fun and more graphically-oriented than in other apps, which most rely on realistic effects. A big plus that I have to mention is the ability to add in your favorite colour via hex code, which, if you’re super specific about your (brand) colors, you’ll surely appreciate.

Download Stories Edit

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator
Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories App: Stories Edit

Stories Edit is a Planoly offshoot meant solely for creating Instagram Stories. Personally, although Planoly is my favorite app for scheduling Instagram… anything, I feel that Stories Edit is a bit limited in terms of design and editing freedom. I much rather prefer to edit templates in some other app, then upload to Planoly to schedule them out. YMMV though, so give it a shot! The template designs are fun and more graphically-oriented than in other apps, which most rely on realistic effects. A big plus that I have to mention is the ability to add in your favorite colour via hex code, which, if you’re super specific about your (brand) colors, you’ll surely appreciate.

Download Stories Edit

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories App: SCRL

This is a fun and versatile app for people who want to create their own layout-slash-puzzle from scratch, on their phone. You can arrange images across single or multiple frames and post them on your stories or on your feed.

You can arrange your images however you want them, add text and color, rotate and resize them to fit your vision. The app also has various template packs (free and premium). I would personally classify it as a more minimalist app with a nostalgic vibe, if you will, and a very specific, curated aesthetic.

Download SCRL

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories App: SCRL

This is a fun and versatile app for people who want to create their own layout-slash-puzzle from scratch, on their phone. You can arrange images across single or multiple frames and post them on your stories or on your feed.

You can arrange your images however you want them, add text and color, rotate and resize them to fit your vision. The app also has various template packs (free and premium). I would personally classify it as a more minimalist app with a nostalgic vibe, if you will, and a very specific, curated aesthetic.

Download SCRL

Instagram Stories App: Nichi

Oook, where do I even begin with this one? My guilty confession is that I have only installed this app to give it a shot for this specific article, but it has ended up being the one I use most consistently! It is a fun collage app that allows you to play with a variety of stickers to create your own story designs. The one thing I like most and which has kept me coming back is, ironically, the limited options of colors. By that I mean that you don’t have every color in the world available in there like in the other apps. Instead, you get a closely curated palette of colours, stickers and backgrunds that all go together and, for me, that is such a huge timesaver!! For real, though: not having to scroll through infinite color bars and never finding the same hue twice can be really exasperating. Can you tell I’m super specific about my Instagram Stories? Haha. I mainly use this one for my EHN Studio Instagram account.

Download Nichi

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator
Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories App: Nichi

Oook, where do I even begin with this one? My guilty confession is that I have only installed this app to give it a shot for this specific article, but it has ended up being the one I use most consistently! It is a fun collage app that allows you to play with a variety of stickers to create your own story designs. The one thing I like most and which has kept me coming back is, ironically, the limited options of colors. By that I mean that you don’t have every color in the world available in there like in the other apps. Instead, you get a closely curated palette of colours, stickers and backgrunds that all go together and, for me, that is such a huge timesaver!! For real, though: not having to scroll through infinite color bars and never finding the same hue twice can be really exasperating. Can you tell I’m super specific about my Instagram Stories? Haha. I mainly use this one for my EHN Studio Instagram account.

Download Nichi

Instagram Stories Video Apps

Now, are you ready to shake things up?

All of the apps listed above offer “static” templates, which means you insert your desired photo or video into your template of choice, export and upload to Stories. Howeeever, there are also apps that offer you “dynamic” templates.

Here they are:

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories Video App: Mojo

This is a Stories app that gives you animated templates grouped into various categories (photography, fashion, cinema etc).

It has both free and premium templates, so you can take your pick. This is an app that helps you achieve a very complex, tasteful and curated look on mobile.

I personally use it rather sparingly, as I feel that less is more. But it is a brilliant app for targeted campaigns, ads or specific storytelling.

Download Mojo

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories Video App: Mojo

This is a Stories app that gives you animated templates grouped into various categories (photography, fashion, cinema etc).

It has both free and premium templates, so you can take your pick. This is an app that helps you achieve a very complex, tasteful and curated look on mobile.

I personally use it rather sparingly, as I feel that less is more. But it is a brilliant app for targeted campaigns, ads or specific storytelling.

Download Mojo

Instagram Stories Video App: Impresso

This app has all sorts of video templates that cater to almost any niche under the sun: beauty, fashion, design, travel, business, food etc.

Within the app you can find both free and pro templates. Heads up: If you use one of the free templates, the final video export will have the logo app. To remove it, you have to upgrade to the pro version. As a plus, this is a very complex video app which allows you to edit almost anything you want: colors, texts, duration etc.

This is the type of app that can be used by independent creators, but also by small to medium businesses thanks to the complexity of its features.

Download Impresso

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator
Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories Video App: Impresso

This app has all sorts of video templates that cater to almost any niche under the sun: beauty, fashion, design, travel, business, food etc.

Within the app you can find both free and pro templates. Heads up: If you use one of the free templates, the final video export will have the logo app. To remove it, you have to upgrade to the pro version. As a plus, this is a very complex video app which allows you to edit almost anything you want: colors, texts, duration etc.

This is the type of app that can be used by independent creators, but also by small to medium businesses thanks to the complexity of its features.

Download Impresso

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories Video App: 500 Stories

This is another Stories app offering animated templates grouped in categories/sets depending on aesthetics.

There are minimal, watercolour, wedding collections etc. which all look great. Con: Limited options if you’re into a specific aesthetic. Pro: Unique and nicely designed templates that will fit a variety of Instagram content.

Download 500 Stories

Create Unskippable Instagram Stories 2020 | www.everythingherenow.com #instagram #instagramtips #instagramapps #instagramtheme #instagramstories #instagramstoriesideas #contentcreator

Instagram Stories Video App: 500 Stories

This is another Stories app offering animated templates grouped in categories/sets depending on aesthetics.

There are minimal, watercolour, wedding collections etc. which all look great. Con: Limited options if you’re into a specific aesthetic. Pro: Unique and nicely designed templates that will fit a variety of Instagram content.

Download 500 Stories

Instagram Stories Ideas

I hear you: you have all these great tools at your fingertips, yet you’re not quite sure what content to *actually* produce and share. This is a very relatable thing that happens to literally every content creator out there, whether they admit it or not.

So, for those days when fresh ideas simply refuse to pop up, here a few pre-set ones you can’t go wrong with:

16 Days Of Instagram Stories Ideas

  1. A handful of images that inspire you *right now*.
  2. A quote that inspires you and why.
  3. Show your audience around your office or workspace.
  4. Show your audience around your house or wardrobe.
  5. Share five fun facts about you.
  6. Tell your audience about a new project/product you have coming out.
  7. What you’re working on right now.
  8. A short tutorial/guide: how you’re packing your carry on, daily make-up routine, how you plan a trip or how you put together a photoshoot etc.
  9. Share a tip that would make someone’s life better.
  10. Take your audience through frequent inspiration sources: other creators, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Tumblr etc.
  11. How you begin/wrap up your day.
  12. Take your audience along to your favorite coffee place.
  13. Share a personal story/anecdote.
  14. A behind-the-scenes look at one of your photos/products.
  15. Share a favorite memory and say why it’s special to you.
  16. Introduce your audience to the favorite people in your life.

Love these ideas?

Pin the graphic on Pinterest!

Pinterest Graphic 16 Days Of Instagram Stories Ideas

16 Days Of Instagram Stories Ideas

  1. A handful of images that inspire you *right now*.
  2. A quote that inspires you and why.
  3. Show your audience around your office or workspace.
  4. Show your audience around your house or wardrobe.
  5. Share five fun facts about you.
  6. Tell your audience about a new project/product you have coming out.
  7. What you’re working on right now.
  8. A short tutorial/guide: how you’re packing your carry on, daily make-up routine, how you plan a trip or how you put together a photoshoot etc.
  9. Share a tip that would make someone’s life better.
  10. Take your audience through frequent inspiration sources: other creators, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Tumblr etc.
  11. How you begin/wrap up your day.
  12. Take your audience along to your favorite coffee place.
  13. Share a personal story/anecdote.
  14. A behind-the-scenes look at one of your photos/products.
  15. Share a favorite memory and say why it’s special to you.
  16. Introduce your audience to the favorite people in your life.

Love these ideas?

Pin the graphic on Pinterest!

Pinterest Graphic 16 Days Of Instagram Stories Ideas

Granted, some of these ideas might be intimidating if you’re just starting out.

Here’s a tip to help you get over the hump and ease yourself into the Instagram Stories game: on Instagram Stories, showing is often more precious than telling.

Stories are a highly powerful medium where actions are more impactful than words or static images. This is why short video content like tutorials, guides or examples of any kind reign supreme: they are persuasive, highly engaging and take the guesswork out of doing something, all while making you a go-to source. What’s not to like? Now go out there and, you know, just deeew it.

Instagram Stories Strategy

Whether you’re using apps or creating your own templates using image editing software, there’s one thing you should keep in mind: maintaining a cohesive look across story slides. For this reason, storyboarding your content is key.

OK, But What Is Storyboarding?

First off, let’s take a look at what exactly storyboarding *is*. Put simply, storyboarding is a visual outline for a video. (In this case, a series of Instagram Stories.) A storyboard shows images in the exact sequence they are to be presented in a video in order to pre-visualise the finished result. If you’re a history nerd, you’ll love to know that “The storyboarding process, in the form it is known today, was developed at Walt Disney Productions during the early 1930s, after several years of similar processes being in use at Walt Disney and other animation studios.” Now that is something really cool, eh?

Why Storyboarding Your Instagram Stories Is A Good Idea

Knowing this, it becomes easier to see storyboarding as a tool to plan your Instagram Stories content so that it can easily transport viewers from A to B in a way that makes sense and is engaging for them. Storyboarding will be most effective when there is a clear end, result or outcome at the end to neatly wrap it up.

Note: Storyboarding is cool and very effective, but it might be overkill to do for every single story. Save this idea for when you have a campaign coming out or from when you want to *softly* nudge your audience into purchasing/subscribing/interacting with something you offer or do.

This being said, let’s see how laying out your Stories and planning ahead can make an impact.

Pinterest Graphic How To Storyboard Instagram Stories

How To Storyboard Your Instagram Stories

Option 1: Use pen and paper

You don’t have to be a technical whiz to professionally plan your Instagram Stories. Before diving into whatever apps or templates you’re thininkg of using, take a few moments to focus on the structure of the why rather than on its representation.

Grab a pen and paper and lay out the scope of the story, its concept, its publishing date and any other tidbits that serve as a foundation for what you’re doing. (You usually won’t really think about these or kinda gloss over them as a given, but laying them out on paper will give you extra clarity on what you’re doing and how you’re going to do it.)

Option 2: Use an image editing software or a graphic design tool

This is the same as above, but instead of going analog, you can use your favorite image editing software (for example, Adobe Photoshop) or a graphic design tool (for example, Canva).

In Photoshop, use the Artboards option to lay out all the Stories and then drag and drop images on each of them to see what goes where. Feel free to insert some descriptive words if they add clarity. Same goes for Canva. In Canva, create each board as a new page, then include your desired elements using the options available in-editor.

What Should A Storyboard For Instagram Stories Contain

Now heading to the big “what” when it comes to storyboarding… the actual story.

Think of your storyboard as a visual layout for a three-act structure: you’ll have a beginning, a midpoint and an end. It’s all rather simple and easy to follow both as a creator and as a viewer.

Now, what does this all mean?

A Simple Storyboard Structure: 1) The Beginning

Depending on the type of content you create and who you’re creating it for, the beginning is the catalyst. This might be: an event, a discovery, a new product, a launch, a call, a collab, a new collection etc. Basically, this is the one thing that sparked the specific chain of Instagram Stories you’re working on. This usually takes up a single story slide. Make it short, specific and exciting. Be clear on what the viewer can expect if they keep watching and make it fun!

A Simple Storyboard Structure: 2) The Midpoint

The midpoint is where the action takes place. It might consist of one or more Instagram Story slides and it’s chock-full of details. This is your opportunity to go deep and present all the different, interesting bits about the event, product or situation. If you’re talking about an event or a shoot, introduce your collaborators, the set, the products, the music, take a tour of the room and show people the view! If you’re introducing a new product, take the opportunity to show the design in detail, share the thought behind it and announce when or where it can be shopped. This is where you can take your time and elaborate on your storyline as much as you want!

A Simple Storyboard Structure: 3) The End

All good things come to an end, and so does the storyboard. The end should consist of a single Instagram Story slide and serve to perfectly bookend the juicy middle in a cohesive way in terms of both messaging and visuals. This is your time to pitch: invite viewers to swipe up to learn more, head to your bio link or tap to purchase. Think of it as the seal-the-deal slide. By this time, the viewers have to be pumped and inspired, so that the “pitch” is more of a desired invitation than a forced ask. To nail this, focus on the middle as a lead-up to the end, so that here, viewers are pumped up and ready to act.

Again, this may sound like a lot, but it really shouldn’t be if you keep in mind the classic storyline structure. Remember to use storyboarding strategically. This way, it will make an impact. Good luck!

Storyboards for Instagram Stories, Visually Explained:

The Structure of A Storyboard for Instagram Stories

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