Laura Petrolino

Creative Instagram Stories Tips, Tricks, and Tools

By: Laura Petrolino | July 9, 2018 | 
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Creative Instagram Stories Tips, Tricks, and ToolsI love Instagram Stories.

If you follow my Instagram, you know that.

I also love the opportunities they offer businesses.

  • Their use can help boost you in the algorithm, so both your stories and your posts are shown to your target consumer more often.
  • They allow you to tell your brand story in a fun and interactive way.

I wrote more about that in The Communicator’s Guide to Instagram for Business.

You’ll notice most of the updates Instagram has rolled out this year have been specifically for Stories (and now IG TV).

(Sidenote: if you want to see a brand already doing something super cool with IG TV, check out Bacardi.)

It’s no secret they see  Stories and video as a crucial part of their future success.

As a result, they are soaking their innovation time and money into them.

Additionally, Instagram loves it when you use their many different features in your Stories.

They love it so much that word on the street says it helps boost you in the algorithm.

Moral of this story is: you should use them.

Creative Instagram Stories Tricks and Tips

Today I’m going to show you a few fun, and creative Instagram Stories tricks that you can use to level up your brand stories (and have some fun tools in your arsenal).

Most of these are super simple.

Some you may already know.

All are things people have asked me about over the last couple of months.

I find as communicators we focus so much on the big stuff, we often miss some of the simple things when it comes to social media (aka the things every 15-year-old knows, but you don’t).

Hopefully, you’ll find a new tip or two here.

Use Your Brand Colors

Guess what?

You can use Instagram Stories and stay completely on brand.

All you have to do is upload an image that has your brand colors somewhere on it.

Watch this video to see how to do it.

Make Your Selfie Part of the Fun

I wish I could come up with a strategic reason you’d want to do this, but who needs one when you can take your selfie and make it part of an image or video you want on your Instagram Stories?

Here’s how:

Use the Location, Hashtag, and User Tagging Features

One great way to increase the number of people who see and engage with your Instagram stories is to use their location, hashtag, and user tagging features.

I’ve found doing this increases both Stories and profile views.

A few tricks to make this less obnoxious (you don’t want your entire story covered with tags and hashtags:

  • When you use the actual feature, if you tap it you can change the color or opacity. The benefit of using this functionf is you can measure how many people click on it. This is an excellent option if you are partnering with an influencer or brands to gauge interest and engagement. However, you can only do one per story.

  • When you add tags or hashtags, make them the same color as the background and minimize their size. You can barely tell they are there, but the profile in question is still tagged.

Use Screen Record for Tutorials and Action Props

A few weeks ago, when we launched our podcast, I included this video to show people how to search and subscribe.

Screen record is a great way to show people how to do things or give them an action prop.

This is especially useful for accounts that have less than the required 10,000 needed to get the coveted “swipe up” feature for links.

This tutorial is for iPhone only.

Our Android friends (although we question your life choices) can learn how to screen record HERE.

Creative Instagram Stories Tools Round-up

These tools and services are super useful to create compelling and original Instagram Stories (and they are all free).

  • LinkTree: Another way to add multiple links to your profile URL to make it easier to direct people where they need to go or to specific products.
  • PicPlayPost: Helps you make great vertical picture and video collages.
  • BeFunky: Is my go-to for any photo editing or collage making (there are mobile and desktop versions; I prefer mobile).
  • Speed Pro: Allows you to speed up videos.
  • InShot: Allows you to change photos and videos into a vertical format (premium versions do cost a minimal amount, and is worth the cost).

What Are Your Favorite Creative Instagram Stories Tips?

There are endless hacks, tips, tools, and ideas to share about Instagram Stories, and that’s what makes them so great.

They offer a platform you can conform to fit your organization and goals.

If you want an example of a team doing amazing creative Instagram Stories in our industry, I’d check out HubSpot.

I’m consistenly impressed with their work.

What tips would you share?

About Laura Petrolino


Laura Petrolino is the chief client officer at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She also is a weekly contributor to the award-winning PR blog, Spin Sucks. Join the Spin Sucks   community.

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