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I've spent my career building brands, designing websites, and sharing my seasoned marketing experience with companies and entrepreneurs just like you. I already know you're doing great things. My mission? To show you how to build a profitable brand experience that continues to grow with your business (and your bottom line).

Hi! I'm Tracy Dungo.

How To Make Instagram Stories Marketing Masterpieces In 9 Easy Steps


By Tracy Dungo

How to make Instagram stories more dos tare-branding tips-social media tips-instagram stories tips-instagram tips

Keeping up to date on social media trends can be a serious headache sometimes. Especially if you have a personal account and a separate brand account to worry about. And just when you think you have the hang of things, you get that upgrade notification from the App Store and suddenly there’s a brand new feature you have to figure out.

Remember when Instagram Stories first rolled out? It felt like everyone was quick to write it off because…Snapchat. Plus, the thought of double dipping into our content to post on both platforms just seemed silly. But then an interesting thing happened…brands figured out what role Instagram Stories could play in their larger marketing strategies. And the little-feature-that-could all of a sudden became the main event.

We love Instagram Stories simply because it can be what you make of it. In other words, there’s an entire creative world that exists beyond selfie filters and sticker-decorated screenshots. In fact, there are ways you can get really creative and we’ve compiled some of our favorite ideas here. If you’re ready to make your next Instagram story really stick in the minds of your followers, read on.

How to make Instagram Stories.

Let’s kick it off with the basics: how do you start an Instagram story? In the top left corner of your Instagram home page (aka your feed), tap the “Your Story” button with your profile picture in the little circle (below the camera icon). You can also swipe right on your home screen to get to this page. Create your story by taking/uploading a picture or video. Then click “Next” and select “Your Story.” Then hit Send. And there you have it! You’ve uploaded a story.

Some things to note:

  • To zoom on a video slide your finger up while holding the record button.
  • Swipe left at the bottom of your screen to change in between Live, Normal, Boomerang, Rewind and Hands-Free modes.
  • To use Instagram’s fun stickers click the smiley face in the top right corner.
  • To mute a video click on the microphone button in the top right corner.

Okay, now to the fun part. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks on how to make your Instagram stories more creative, fun and engaging for your followers.

Create a color background, solid or transparent

Adding a solid or transparent color as a background for your story can make tapping through more fun and your narrative more eye-catching. Click on the paintbrush button in the top right corner then select either the fine tip marker for a solid background or the slanted marker for a transparent background. Once you’ve selected either one, just hold down your finger on the screen and voilá! You’ve just added a colorful background.

SEE ALSO:  Brand Design Examples: 3 Ways To Know If Your Brand Is Visual Enough

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Make your text look 3D

Add a dimension to your stories with text that pops out at you. Select the text button in the top right corner of your screen. Now type out your text twice using different colors. Now drag the text layers so that they’re layered, creating a shadow effect.

Upload a picture or video from your camera roll

It’s nearly impossible to take the right picture or video on the first try. So instead of trying to capture the perfect shot using Instagram’s native app, select one from your camera roll and upload it to your story instead. To do this, swipe up from the bottom of your screen and choose the photo you want to use. Instagram will only let you choose between photos you’ve taken in the last 24 hours so if you want to add an older photo, make sure that you either re-save it or take a screenshot of it so that it appears as a more recent image in your photo gallery.

Taste the rainbow.

Or, at least sample all of the colors for your text, drawings, and backgrounds simply by holding your finger down on the colors. Then drag your finger around to find the perfect shade. There’s three different color palettes you can swipe through.

How to Make Instagram Dos Trae-branding tips-social media tips-instagram tips

Mention Other Instagram Pages

Promoting a product in your Instagram story? You can mention its Instagram page directly in your story! Add text and type the @ symbol and a drop down list of Instagram accounts will appear. Now when someone clicks their @ name it’ll take them directly to their Insta page. It makes promoting something in an Instagram post look much more natural and clean because you can change up the colors of the text and really integrate it into the photo or video you’re posting.

Use Boomerang and Rewind features

Video is an amazing way to engage your followers. People have done some really impressive things using Instagram stories as a filmmaking platform. But if video isn’t yet on your radar, you can still spice up your stories with a Boomerang or the Rewind feature. A Boomerang is a moving picture that loops and the Rewind feature lets you play your videos backwards. To access these features, swipe left from the camera button.

SEE ALSO:  5 Ways Images Can Make Your Personal Brand Unforgettable

Use the eraser.

But not to erase your mess-ups! Upload a picture and cover all of it or part of it with a color of your choice. Now use the eraser to expose the image behind it. You can scrawl words or draw designs across your image so the picture behind it peeks out.

How to Make Instagram dos trae- branding tips

Highlight using the glow marker

Tap to add text and select the glow marker. This is great to use for writing in your prettiest cursive, circling things to make them stand out or just creating cute designs!

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Embellish with drawings and designs

Get creative with your photography by adding some flair. Even something simple like polka dots can take your graphics to the next level. Use different brush sizes to vary the kinds of polka dots in your pictures and immediately give it a different feel.

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Instagram Stories for your brand

Instagram stories are a powerful tool for brands to engage followers but also a great way to express yourself on one of the most visual and social platforms out there. These are just some ideas that show how different your Instagram stories can be from your regular posts or even Snapchat. As with any social media platform, remember to always stay on brand with colors and images. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about designing your own Instagram stories, see if you can leverage other tools and resources. Canva, for instance, has an entire section just for Instagram story designs.

Whether you’re using Instastories for your professional or personal Instagram I hope you try out these tips & tricks! Leave a comment with which tip you liked the best or your own Instagram story hacks.

Craving more? We have even more bonus tips for turning your Instagram stories into marketing masterpieces. Download the free resource sheet here and let us know your favorite bonus tip in the comments!








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  1. These are such great tips! I never thought about the 3-D tech, I will definitely use this hack. Great post!


    • Tracy Dungo says:

      Thanks Sondra! There are really so many things you can do with Instagram stories. Make sure you download the extra bonus tips as well! Especially for all of your delicious foodie pics 🙂

  2. Audrey says:

    I love the tip with the eraser!

  3. Sara Miller says:

    So glad to stumble upon this! I have been meaning to figure out Instagram stories but feel intimidated by it for some reasons! Definitely will refer back to these tips so that I can finally get with the program! Thanks so much!

    • Tracy Dungo says:

      Love it!! Glad you found this helpful since Insta-stories can be super overwhelming in the beginning but hopefully these tips will make mastering it a bit more fun!

  4. Oh, I can’t tell you how much I needed this post in my life! It’s so hard to find concrete step-by-step instructions for IG Stories! Bookmarking this page! Thank you!

  5. Kristie says:

    Totally didn’t think to be so creative with my IG stories! These are some great tips and I can’t wait to try them!

  6. Ashley Reida says:

    Very neat! I need to utilize Instagram more. I”m pretty quiet on there but these will be fun to experiment with!

    • Tracy Dungo says:

      Ashley- totally! Experimenting is my favorite thing to do on there (and how we stumbled upon many of these tips). Let me know which one ends up being your favorite!

  7. Inta Gansone says:

    Thank you so much. Came just in time when im trying to improve my instagram presence.

  8. Morgan Maloney says:

    I hadn’t thought about using the transparent marker to create a half-opaque background, that’s genius!!!

  9. Sabrina says:

    This was a really helpful article! Thanks!

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