With over 300 million daily active users tuning into Instagram Stories, it comes to no surprise that Instagrammers & Social media managers everywhere are striving to master it. However, for many of us, this can be terribly difficult & laborious.  Forcing us to throw up our hands in defeat, instead of utilizing this incredibly powerful feature to our benefit. For all of those Instagram Beginners just below is a Full Comprehensive Guide on How to Master Instagram Stories. 

Instagram Stories have changed the manner in which we use Instagram, transforming the stage into something more than your regular online photograph album.

Instagram stories were at first created as a copy to the popular Snapchat feature. Instagram stories have gained so much popularity with the launch of their stickers. Customers can shop or explore products directly through Instagram using Shopify.

Your business can use Instagram Stories as a way to keep your most loyal supporters connected while leaving your content open for new viewers to discover. In this blog, I’ll share how to bring stories into your Instagram marketing mix.

WHY USE INSTAGRAM STORIES?

Instagram stories are an active, attractive format highly befitted for mobile usage. Different brands are taking notice of the fact that the most viewed Instagram stories are produced by businesses.

Instagram stories are enjoyable to create and share. The temporary format lowers any risks and makes this experience fun and enjoyable. These stories created by various brands allows them to show their fun side to customers.

I know these stories are only temporary but a lot of intense planning goes into creating the perfect Instagram story. Brands should give necessary importance to Instagram stories and put hard work and time in planning them.

These stories can be thought of like a TV series cut short in small parts. This can be utilized in so many amazing ways! Brainstorming and getting your content ready before time can add to the whole process and help create something wonderful for your viewers.

How to Use Instagram Stories

Instagram provides many brand new features that can be added to your post, urging you to make content within the editor provided. Content created elsewhere can easily be uploaded too.

Standard Instagram posts are square shot, but stories, on the other hand, are in a vertical frame. The size of this frame is 1080 pixels * 1920 pixels. Your images and videos need to be adjusted accordingly. Instagram has released an update which allows you to resize your images and videos. Just pinch your phone screen to resize those amazing images or videos.

If you want to add images or videos from your camera roll, just swipe up in the camera view in stories.

Note: Some features may not appear for those that do not have a Business Instagram Account.

Table of Contents

  1. How do I Post an Instagram Story?
  2. How to Select a Media Format?
  3. How to add Photos or Videos From Camera Roll?
  4. How do I add Photo Filters to my Stories?
  5. How to Add Text to Instagram Stories?
  6. How do I Add Hashtags to My Instagram Story?
  7. How to Tag Accounts in My Instagram Story?
  8. How to Use the Pen Tool?
  9. What are Stickers on Instagram Story?
  10. How to Add Stickers to My Story?
  11. How to Add My Location to Instagram Story?
  12. How to Add a Poll on Instagram Stories?
  13. How to Add Questions to Instagram Stories?
  14. How to Add a Selfie Sticker?
  15. How to Delete Stickers or Text from Instagram Stories?
  16. How to Add Face Filters?
  17. How to Add URL Links to Instagram Stories?
  18. How to Add Story Highlights?
  19. How do I check VIEWS on Instagram Story?

“How do I Post an Instagram Story?”

In order to have success on Instagram Stories, it would help if we knew how to post to Instagram Stories. Luckily, Instagram is extremely users friendly. So uploading content to your Instagram Stories will soon become just a couple flicks of the finger.

Option 1)

  1. Open the Instagram App.
  2. While viewing your Instagram Account tap on your profile picture.
  3. Now choose which format you would like, you have the option to choose from: Type, Live, Normal, Boomerang, Music, Focus, Superzoom, & Rewind.
  4. Tap the small white circle at the bottom to take a picture, hold the small white circle to take a video.

Option 2) 

  1. Open the Instagram App
  2. Go to the home page & swipe right or click the camera at in the top left corner.
  3. Now choose which format you would like, you have the option to choose from: Type, Live, Normal, Boomerang, Music, Focus, Superzoom, & Rewind.
  4. Tap the small white circle at the bottom to take a picture, hold the small white circle to take a video

Note: Shoot content in the vertical form with dimensions 1080 x 1920 pixels. The video aspect ratio is 9:16, and the length can vary from anywhere between one second and 15 seconds. Instagram is pushing for vertical content, users on the platform are more accustomed to seeing it that way.

How to Select a Media Format?

Creating content for stories can be really fun filled and quick. What makes the difference is how you create your content. There are a lot of elements that can go into your Instagram story. You can create and add a quick slide display or title.

Edit your images or videos using various apps or software before uploading them on Instagram stories. Take a bunch of clips and edit them together. Oh but remember that Instagram only allows a 15-sec video story at one time. Otherwise, it gets clipped off.

One thing that you are going to see change quite often, is the media that Instagram Stories allows. They are constantly updating their platform to allow for more creative & more unique content. Currently, the options for media format on Instagram Stories are:

Type: Allows users to create personalized messages that they can display in a creative way. There are 4 different fonts to choose from (typewriter, modern, strong, neon). All of which have their own variety of colorways/patterns to choose from.

Live: Want to showcase what you are doing right this second? With the live feature, you can shoot Instagram Live Videos to get a truly personal perspective for your followers. In addition, Live videos cannot be replayed & disappear once they are finished.

Normal: This setting is for uploading a simple photo or video (up to 15 seconds in length) to share with your followers.

Boomerang: Gives content creators the ability to make eye capturing GIF with just the click of a button.

Music: Throw your favorite 15 seconds from any song on Spotify into your Instagram story for a little creative mix.

Focus: Creating softly blurred backgrounds to make sure the main object stands out & stays in focus.

Superzoom: Creates the dramatic zoom in everyone is so desperately in love with.

Rewind: Allows for creators to play their videos in reverse, making way for some really interesting videos.

 

Instagram Stories gives many opportunities to wear your creative shoes. Create a lively Instagram story by using a combination of all the features available. Use all the formats like text, images, stickers and much more to create a fun and interactive Instagram story.

How to add Photos or Videos From Camera Roll?

Ever take breathtaking photos or videos, but don’t have service or wifi to take them with Instagram Stories right away? Well, you don’t need to worry about staying near the closest coffee shop at all times to ensure your photos/videos get uploaded to your Instagram Stories. You can actually add content from your camera roll that was taken within 24 hours.

There are two ways of uploading content from your camera roll:

Option 1) When in Instagram Stories, next to the thunderbolt icon (Flash), there is a thumbnail of the most recent picture or video from your camera roll. Simply click the thumbnail to access your camera roll.

Option 2) Alternatively, in Instagram Stories you can swipe up or down in order to pull up your camera roll.

“How do I add Photo Filters to my Stories?”

Want to add some eye-catching filters to your Instagram Stories? Just like Snapchat,

  1. Simply choose which photo or video would like
  2. Then Swipe Left or Right for different options.

It’s that easy! There are a ton of options to choose from: Oslo, Lagos, Melbourne, Jakarta, Abu Dhabi, Buenos Aris, New York, Jaipur, Cairo, Tokyo, & Rio De Janeiro.

How to Add Text to Instagram Stories?

Text on Instagram stories allows for creators to make personalized messages, use hashtags and tag other accounts.

  1. Choose or create a photo or video
  2. Next, Click the Aa icon in the top right corner. A Cursor will appear in the middle of the screen.
  3. Start typing your message!
  4. Finally, you can adjust the alignment, size, color, font & location

How to Change the Font of my text? : When writing your text in Instagram Stories, at the top-center of the screen you will see your current font selection, simply tap on the style to change. There are 5 Font Styles to choose from Classic, Modern, Neon, Typewriter, & Strong. 

How to change the location & size of my text? : Adjusting the size of your text is very similar to Snapchat. You can pinch the text to make it smaller or bigger. In addition, you can change the location of your text by simply dragging the text body around the screen. Also, certain font choices offer, Typewriter & Classic, offer text alignment where you can position them to be on the left, center, or right of the screen.

How to change the color of the text? : Want to add some crazy colors to your font? When writing your message simply choose from the color options below, swipe left for more colorways. There are 27 Preset Colors to choose from if you want more simply hold down on a color to bring up the full-color wheel! In addition, some font styles, Typewrite, Strong, & Classic, offers a background option that creates a solid color behind the text to make it easier to see.

“How do I Add Hashtags to My Instagram Story?”

Hashtags are one of the most essential tools to gain more reach, engagement & traffic. Adding hashtags to your Instagram Story will benefit your Instagram account growth immensely.

  1. Choose or create a photo or video
  2. Next, Click the Aa icon in the top right corner. A cursor will appear in the middle of the screen.
  3. Then, tap the symbol first and begin writing your hashtag.
  4. Finally, you can adjust the size, color, font, & location.

Note: You can also use the #HASHTAG sticker.

“How to Tag Accounts in My Instagram Story”

Want to tag your best friend or your favorite brands/businesses in your Instagram Story? Tagging people in stories or doing Instagram Story Shoutouts is a great way to trade followers, increase engagement, reach & traffic. Many Influencers do Shoutout for Shoutout where accounts tag each other in order to help one another grow.

  1. Choose or create a photo or video
  2. Next, Click the Aa icon in the top right corner. A cursor will appear in the middle of the screen.
  3. Then, tap symbol first and write the name of the account you would like to tag.
  4. Finally, you can adjust the size, color, font & location.

Note: You can also use the @MENTION sticker.

How to Use the Pen Tool?

Whether you want to draw an awe-inspiring piece of art, or simply add a dastardly mustache to your photo. The pen tool on Instagram Stories is an essential piece of equipment to have.

  1. Create or Choose a photo or video
  2. Select the Pen Tool, at the top right corner of the screen. From there you will be given all your stylistic options from stylish size, design, & color. There are 5 styles to choose from Pen, Highlighter, Neon, Eraser & Chalk
  3. Now start drawing!

How to add color overlays? : Want to make your screen one solid color? Simply, use the pen tool and choose your color. Then when you have made your color selection, hold down on the screen. Within a couple of seconds, the entire screen will change to the color of your choice.

Note: If you can easily fix mistakes by clicking the UNDO button in the top left corner of the screen.

What are Stickers on Instagram Story?

Instagram was kind enough to take some of our favorite holidays, events, topics, etc and create some colorful images “stickers”  that we can use at our leisure. Stickers are a great way to bring some excitement & wonder to your Instagram Stories without doing to much work. In addition, Instagram is constantly changing them so the Stickers never become overused or stale.

“How to Add Stickers to My Story?”

Time to get that childlike sense of wonder back and add some of your favorite stickers to your Story!

  1. Create or choose a photo or video
  2. Tap the Folded Smiley Icon at the top of the screen to bring out the stickers.
  3. Select a sticker, you can adjust the size and location just like text. You can also reverse the image by clicking the sticker.
  4. For videos hold down on the sticker until you see a PIN button appear, this will lock the sticker in that location. You do not need to do this step for photos.

“How to Add My Location to Instagram Story?”

Major cities have their own Instagram Stories that are curated by Instagram. Content curators at Instagram pull content from accounts using location or geo hashtags. Location Stories generate more local awareness about a brand, influencer or business. Using them in your Instagram story to increase foot traffic would be a wise idea.

  1. Create or choose a photo or video
  2. Tap the Folded Smiley Icon at the top of the screen to bring out the stickers.
  3. Select the location sticker, enter your location. You can adjust the size & location just like text. You can also change the image by clicking the sticker.
  4. For videos hold down on the sticker until you see a PIN button appear, this will lock the sticker in that location. You do not need to do this step for photos.

“How to Add a Poll on Instagram Stories?”

Polls are interactive stickers that allow users to answer binary questions. This allows creators to increase community involvement as well as a test or collect valuable data on their followers.

  1. Create or choose a photo or video
  2. Tap the Folded Smiley Icon at the top of the screen to bring out the stickers.
  3. Select the Poll sticker, enter your question in the area where it says “ask a question”. You can adjust the size & location just like text. You can also change the text in the YES | NO fields below. 

Note: Users who answer the polls will be able to see the current results right away. While as the administrator you will be able to view who answered and how.

“How to Add Questions to Instagram Stories?”

Another fantastic way to increase community involvement is to ask them questions. One thing is for sure almost everyone online loves sharing their opinion, now give them a space to do so that benefits you.

  1. Create or choose a photo or video
  2. Tap the Folded Smiley Icon at the top of the screen to bring out the stickers.
  3. Select the Questions or Smiley Slider sticker, enter your question in the area where it says “ask a question”. You can adjust the size & location just like text.

Note: When users answer questions the message is sent directly to your account via Direct Messages. Making this feature extremely powerful in gaining new leads for a business.

“How to Add a Selfie Sticker?”

Want to have your face blasted all over your Instagram Stories? Well, now you can with the selfie stick!

  1. Create or choose a photo or video
  2. Tap the Folded Smiley Icon at the top of the screen to bring out the stickers.
  3. Select the Camera Icon sticker, snap a selfie of yourself tapping the small white circle that appears.
  4. You can adjust the size, location, and style by clicking the sticker.

How to Delete Stickers or Text from Instagram Stories?

Deleting stickers or text of your Instagram Story is drag & drop technology at it’s finest. All you have to do is grab the undesired content, drag to the bottom of the screen, and POOF it’s gone!

“How to Add Face Filters?”

Another feature we have seen on Snapchat that has made it’s way to Instagram Stories is face filters.

  1. While in Instagram Storie, hit the spin arrows to rotate the camera to your face.
  2. Then hit the face icon to reveal the face filters
  3. Choose which one you like best and snap away!

“How to Add URL Links to Instagram Stories?”

This feature is only for specific accounts that meet a certain threshold. Originally, the feature was only available to Instagram Business Profiles that had over 10k followers. However, my current personal account (@the_apex_people_) with over 30k followers does have access to the feature. My hypothesis is you must hit a certain follower threshold to gain access to the feature, as a business profile the threshold is much lower when compared to a personal profile.

  1. Create or Choose a Photo or Video
  2. Click the Chain Icon, then enter the destination URL.
  3. Now users will be able to navigate off Instagram to your desired URL.

NOTE: Users can access the URL by simply swiping up in your story. Take advantage of this, the easier it is the higher the conversions.

“How to Add Story Highlights?”

Highlights are stories that you want to stick around longer than the 24-hour life span. Highlights are located at the top of the feed for an Instagram Account. Giving the audience quick access to view your everlasting content.

  1. Create an Instagram Story
  2. Click Highlight in the bottom right-hand corner, then press NEW & give the content reel a name.
  3. If you ever want to add more content to a specific Highlight Reel. Click on the highlight and then click the three dots icon it the right-hand corner of the screen. Then select Edit Highlight, you also have the option to Remove From Highlight, Send Highlight or Copy Highlight Link.
  4. Once in the Highlight Editor, you can change the cover, name, & add more archived content.

NOTE: If you offer any kind of service or product, Highlights are a fantastic place to post customer reviews, upcoming products, sales, etc. It’s like having permanent ad space at the top of your profile.

“How do I check VIEWS on Instagram Story?”

You have created your first Instagram Story, now let’s see how it’s performing.

  1. Tap You along the top of the Home Screen, bringing up your story.
  2. Swipe up to see a list of users that have viewed that specific post in your story

NOTE: If you don’t want someone viewing your stories, tap the to the right of that user’s name. This will hide future photos, videos, and live videos from that person.

This is going to conclude the Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Instagram Stories. You know have a full understanding of every feature embedded in the platform. Use them in a variety of ways to create unique & personalized content. The more creative you are the better. Don’t be afraid to test new content styles, the best thing about Instagram Stories is that they only last 24 hours!