Tips And Tricks To Make Your Instagram Stories Professional Grade

Each and every day, 500 million users around the world turn to Instagram stories, according to data from the social media platform. With the way the algorithm currently works, the stories that show up at the front and center of your feed are from the accounts that you interact with most. That being said, the more someone posts to their stories, the more chances they have of reaching their audience (via Later).

While sharing Instagram stories is fairly easy, there are ways to enhance the experience. Brands can increase awareness and traffic. Nonprofits can spread the word of their causes. Influencers can show off products. Individuals can creatively express themselves. All of this and more can be done with the in-app features that Instagram makes available.

To ensure your stories look pretty, polished, and professional, be sure to follow all of the tips and tricks that are listed out below.

Begin with a template

You can share a photo or a video directly to your Instagram story, but you can also use a template. This gives you a starting point, and you can add in your own images, words, and colors, even if you don't have any design experience, as pointed out by Buffer.

In the app, for instance, you can select different layouts or select Create mode, where there are polls, countdowns, donations, question boxes, and more (via Mention).

There are also apps and sites to turn to in order to produce story templates centered around certain themes, holidays, goals, and colors, such as Canva. From there, you can add in filters, GIFs, links, locations, and/or music. If you own a business or organization, just remember to keep everything cohesive by matching colors, fonts, and images to the ones used on your website, different social media accounts, signage, and other marketing materials.

Get creative with words

Why do people love Instagram stories? Well, when watching, it can give viewers a more intimate glimpse into a person's life or a brand. When posting, it can help people reach a new audience, as stated by Agorapulse.

No matter your reason for sharing a story, there are ways to make your message pop. According to Shopify, you should consider adding a drop shadow effect to your font and/or mixing a font and handwriting together. This will help whatever is written out stand out even more, and that is especially important when, say, promoting an event, product, or cause.

You can also animate words, give them a rainbow or Ombre effect, or put them on a solid background (via Content Marketing Institute). And even if you are just posting to social media for fun, it is still exciting to play around with these different features, which add personality and show off creativity.

Captivate and give a call to action

A final trick to remember, when sharing professional-looking Instagram stories, is the beginning of the story and the end of the story.

Hootsuite wrote that the first three seconds are the most important. Think about how busy and distracted people areĀ (via Health Digest). Think about how you just scroll through everyone's pictures and clips online. Therefore, if you really want people to stick around and see/hear what you have to show/say, make those first moments truly engaging and interesting.

Hootsuite's blog goes on to say that a call to action is wise, as well, and this is another tip that is vital for brands utilizing Instagram stories. Do you want viewers to be directed somewhere? Do you want them to visit your website to learn more? Is the goal to get them to sign up for something or buy something? Think about your purpose, and factor that in to how you start and wrap up your stories.