Instagram continues to be a top priority for many marketers across the globe.
With more than 500 million accounts that are using Instagram stories, this feature is one of the main tools both people and brands are using to make their content visible and to engage with followers and audiences.
They are a great choice when you don’t want to post permanent content. Plus, they come packed with plenty of features like GIFs, stickers, hashtags, and many other fun add-ons.
While crafting the perfect Instagram stories might take time and energy, the reward is better engagement and a stronger connection to your audience.
Let’s see what it takes to edit stories before and after posting them and how to highlight them after 24 hours ⇣
How to edit your Instagram story directly in the app
- Use hashtags to be make them more visible
- Add interactive questions, polls or quizes
- Use the location sticker
- Add stickers or gifs
- Feature links to your website or store
- Quick tips on creating engaging video Stories
Once you enter the world of Instagram Stories, we promise you won’t get bored. With all these special add-ons, you’ll spend hours just to discover the right combinations for you and your brand.
Hashtags have conquered a lot of social platforms since their debut. They are a combination of letters, numbers and even emojis added after the # symbol.
This feature allows you to categorize content and to be found by users that may not be following your account yet, but who have an interest in the hashtag topic you’re using.
Before using a hashtag, check if it’s popular (used by many people) to make sure it reaches a wide audience. Also, if a hashtag appears in the suggestions, it’s a good indication that it’s a popular or relevant one.
Question, polls or quizes are great because they offer real-time feedback from your followers or people you’ve managed to reach through your Instagram Stories.
The location sticker is a very useful tool for promoting your business and letting your followers know where your business is located.
It’s also helpful in defining a geographical area of interest for your audience.
For example, if you’re a local news brand and are publishing information that concerns mostly people from Toronto, adding a location might better target your audience.
What is the best way to express a feeling, an emotion, a mood or a state of mind? Using stickers or gifs. They are there to make your posts stand out and to make your messages more human, not to mention they’re simply so much fun.
You can combine them with calls to action and other stickers such as poll stickers and they can deliver great results.
The easiest way to invite your fans to visit your website, blog or e-commerce store is to include a link to these pages in your stories. You can add any link you want and customize the sticker text (url text) to your liking.
Another highly entertaining option is to post some video stories. It's a great way to convey an important message to your audience.
Just keep in mind a few things:
- Try vertical posting - data shows that the most successful ones are created in the vertical format;
- The standard aspect ratio for Instagram Stories is 9:16;
- The video length is limited to 60 seconds, so try to summarize your ideas in this timeframe
Well, let’s say you’ve posted a few Instagram Stories, but one of them is not quite what you wanted or you just spotted a typo. What’s to be done? What edits can you make? Well, there’s some great news and some bad news.
The great news is that you can make some changes, but the bad news is that you can’t drastically change it unless you delete the Story and recreate it from scratch.
To make any change, go to the Story you want to edit, tap the More button and choose Story Settings. You’ll bump into Story Controls where you can:
- Choose who can see your Story by hiding the people you don’t want to see it;
- Choose your Close Friends - You can pick a group of friends or followers to share private Instagram Stories posts;
- Decide who can reply to your posts - everyone, only people you follow or nobody;
- Avoid losing Instagram Stories by saving them to Camera Roll or to Highlights
Your favorite Stories can have a special place in Story highlights. Located just above your posts, right below your profile bio, this feature allows you to save your favourite Stories and make them permanent, instead of letting them disappear after 24 hours.
Here’s how to highlight Instagram Stories:
- Go to the story you want to highlight and press the Highlight button
- Enter a title
- Choose a thumbnail
You can edit, remove, promote or delete your highlights any time.
If you’ve already created Highlights but you want to add Stories to one of them:
- Go to one of the highlights and tap More
- Choose Edit Highlight
- Go to Archive and select one or multiple previous Stories
- You can Edit Cover and also change the Highlight’s name
You can also create a new Highlight and add multiple Stories at once. Here’s how:
- Go to your Instagram profile.
- Tap +New button.
- Select the Stories you want to add to your new Highlight or choose one of the Suggested highlights based on location
- Tap Next
- Name your Highlight and choose your Story cover
- Tap Done
Remember! The Stories you add as highlights will remain visible until you delete them, even after the original story disappears. Remember that people who can see your story will be able to see the landmarks as well.
There are many factors you should consider when posting your Instagram Stories. You’ll find them all in this article about the best time to post on Instagram, but to summarize, you have to take into account:
- Your audience time zone - Look at your followers’ location, gender, ages and when they are the most active on the app. You can get all this info only if you have a business account;
- Keep an eye on your competitors - If your competitors are doing just fine on Instagram, it means they have a great strategy. It’s not recommended to copy their approach, but you can get inspired by looking at their top posting times by engagement (this data is available in Socialinsider)
- Post it when you’re 100% happy with the result - Don’t make quality compromises. If you invest a lot of time into your Instagram account, don’t be rushed when you create a Story. Be creative, be brave, be flamboyant.
You don’t have restrictions when it comes to the number of stories you can post a day, but remember a story will only last 24 hours, so you have to constantly update them.
They are more relaxed, and maybe less polished type of content so they’ll allow your company to communicate more informally and with a lot less pressure.
And who said there is no magic number when it comes to Instagram Stories? Well, research suggests two stories per day is ideal, but you can post anywhere between 1 and 7 depending on your needs.
If you've been posting on Stories for a while and haven't yet figured what the magic number is for your brand, you can take a look at your Stories performance in Socialinsider.
Now that you know how to edit your stories, it’s time to create engaging and attractive ones.
Here’s a short list of ideas for your next Instagram Stories:
- Create “How to” tutorials and spice them up with features - this is the best way to use videos.
- Announce an event or a special release - use the Countdown sticker. Users will be able to subscribe and turn on the reminder for themselves and share the countdown to their profile.
- Come up with the latest news and trends in your industry - people love to see you have expertise in your field and you’re willing to share it with others.
- Give special promotions or offers for a limited period of time.
Instagram is an ever-changing platform and is constantly adding features and improves user experience. If you want your brand to thrive on Instagram, try to think of your profile page as a work of art you’re perfecting over time and at your Stories as your most powerful communication and feedback tool.
Let us know what are your favorite Instagram Stories features and if you had trouble finding the right features for delivering your messages.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I customize an Instagram Story?
You can customize your Instagram Stories using a variety of emojis, hashtags, location and link stickers. To make your stories really stand out, you can use Stories templates from third-party apps like Canva and stick to a consistent aesthetic for your brand.
2. Can I edit someone else's Instagram Story?
You can't directly edit someone else's Instagram Story, but if you're tagged in their stories, you can share that post to your stories and include any add-on you prefer.
3. How can I add closed captions to my Instagram story?
You can add closed captions to your Stories by uploading a video, tapping the sticker icon and selecting Captions. Once you've picked the size, font, color and location of the captions, you can publish your stories.