Instagram Stories are becoming more and more popular as fewer people are scrolling through the main Instagram feed, and greater numbers are tapping their way to education and entertainment.
While the Instagram feed has become much more polished and produced, Instagram Stories is the faster-paced, more spontaneous younger sibling.
Instagram Stories can be made up of photos, videos (up to 15 seconds long), animated GIFs and graphic images.
In this blog post we’ll look at the tricks, tools (and tips) you can use to create great graphics for your Stories.
I’ll show you how to create:
- Simple text graphics
- Image graphics
- “Click to Reveal” graphics
- Animated GIFs
Simple Text Graphics Using Instagram
One of the easiest ways to brighten up your Stories and get simple messages across is using the Type feature within Instagram Stories itself.
When you open up Instagram on your mobile, and click the camera icon in the top left of the screen to add a new story, at the bottom the first option you’ll see is TYPE.
Once you click on Type, a new screen appears where you can add your text.
On this screen, you can also change the colour scheme by clicking on the circle in the bottom left (above the keyboard).
Once you’ve chosen your colour scheme, type your text. (You can use return to style/format the text).
You can also click the button at the top of the screen to change the font style (there are 4 fonts available).
When you’re finished typing and styling your message, click on the white circle arrow to continue setting up the story.
On the next screen you can add stickers (hashtags, locations, emojis and other decorative stickers).
Once the image is ready, click on Your Story in the bottom left hand corner to add it to your Stories.
Simple Graphic Images
Creating images in Canva
In Canva, go to the top right of the screen and click on Use Custom Dimensions.
The dimensions for Story images are 1080 pixels wide x 1920 pixels high.
Once you have your image ready, you can choose the background, add text and images. Then when it’s ready to go, click download as jpg.
Tip: If you will be tagging other Instagram accounts or adding hashtags to your images, don’t add that text in Canva. (Text built into an image won’t be clickable within Instagram, and the people you’re tagging won’t be notified.)
Create the template of the image in Canva, and once you’ve uploaded it to Instagram Stories, use the text tool within the app to tag other accounts. That way the tags will be clickable and the other account owner will be notified. Also add hashtags within Instagram by clicking on the Sticker button and adding the hashtag sticker.
Creating images in Easil
If you’re looking for inspiration and assistance in designing the images, Easil has a fantastic range of Instagram Story templates which give you professional looking graphics that you can customise with your colours and fonts.
The methods are similar to Canva and you can upload your own images and graphics if needed.
Creating “Tap To Reveal” Images in Canva
Another Instagram Stories option is a series of images where each time the viewer taps the screen, another piece of the image or another piece of text is revealed.
An example of this is a story I did recently for International Client’s Day. I highlighted some of the clients I’ve been working on, one at a time.
Create the first image in Canva or Easil, and then download, create a copy, and add the next piece. (Tip: I created these in Canva, and searched paint stroke for the white box background, and found icons to match each client.). Once all are downloaded, you can send them to your phone and upload them to Instagram Stories. These images could also be created in Easil using their fabulous templates.
Creating a GIF
Animated GIFs are a great way to add movement and interest to your Instagram stories. Once created, they need to be converted to videos and uploaded as videos to Instagram.
Both Canva and Easil have GIF options.
Canva has a beta option (still in development) where once you create an image, you can add an animation.
First, create your image
Then click to Download, and choose the Animated GIF Movie option.
Canva will then create a preview and let you test the animation options available.
Once you have chosen your preferred animation style, click Download as a Movie (for use on Instagram stories). It will take a little while, but will be downloaded as a .mp4 file.
In Easil, there isn’t an automatic GIF option, but with the templates provided and following steps within Easil, you can create especially eyecatching GIFs.
In Easil, choose a template, and set up the original image.
Then copy the image (click on the Layers icon and copy the original image) and then add the first icon variation.
Then click Layers icon and copy the second image, and add the next variation.
Continue copying and moving graphics around until you have added all the variations you wish to add. When you’re ready to create the GIF, click on Download and choose GIF. Choose the speed of the GIF (how quickly it will move through the variations) and download the file.
Once downloaded, the file needs to be converted from GIF to MP4. There are a number of tools available. I used convertio.co.
You can then send the video to your phone and upload it to your Instagram Stories.
These are just a few tips and tools to help you create graphics to share on your Instagram stories. While graphic images are an important part of your Instagram stories strategy, they should be mixed with real photos, videos and other content types to create a range of Stories experiences.
Action: Create at least one of these Instagram Stories graphics and share it on your Instagram account. Tag @kymogorman on the story as I’d love to see your post! (you can shrink it down by pinching it, so it isn’t really visible on the story).