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How to Design Stunning Visuals for Your Instagram Stories

Instagram is all about engaging your audience. Due to its highly visual nature, the platform enjoys perhaps the highest rate of engagement among all social media.

Because of this fact, businesses who wish to increase brand reach and engagement are clamoring to set up a presence on Instagram.

Since its launch in 2016, Instagram Stories has become immensely popular. Today, over 500 million users view stories every single day.

With close to half of Instagram’s monthly active users viewing Stories daily, smart marketers are looking for ways to engage with their target audience more proactively using Stories.

Below are some useful tips for designing attractive and appealing Instagram Stories.

Use a Storyboard

With a shelf life of only 24 hours, Stories have an appeal of their own. They offer a more casual approach that allows you to capture behind-the-scenes action, as well as live video, using your smartphone camera.

Even if you’re using a smartphone to create stories, don’t overlook the importance of production. You still need to make them attractive enough for visitors. The best way to do this is by using visually appealing designs.

To get the design right, start with a storyboard. With this tool, you can sketch out the full structure of your content presentation in advance.

By using a storyboard, you can be sure to cover all the essential points that viewers will find useful.

Remain Within the Lines

Even though it may seem elementary, staying within the lines of the viewable area on your stories must not be overlooked.

Why? Because you’ll need to leave space to include your username at the top and information about how to interact with the story at the bottom.

Fortunately, Instagram has an automatic system that warns designers when any element is too far up or down. Even with this functionality in place, be sure your designer stays on task if they are doing the designs on another platform external to Instagram.

Bottom line: always be sure that your design elements leave 250 pixels clear at both the top and bottom of your video story.

Remain Consistent with the Use of Your Brand Colors and Fonts

If you want to be absolutely sure your target audience clearly understands your brand identity, it’s crucial that you always stay on brand with messaging, colors, and fonts.

The best way to enforce your branding requirements is a branding guide or kit. This helps you clearly specify the right way to present your logo, how to use the color scheme, which fonts are okay to use and when, and more.

This is how you create a brand that people will remember — by always staying consistent.

If potential customers recognize your graphics, they may be able to guess your company name without being told it’s you. And this leads to far better engagement with that audience.

Of course, building engagement takes time. Many marketers prefer to buy Instagram comments while they are consolidating their positions.

Create a Style-Guide Specific to Your Instagram Stories

While you have the freedom to use finished graphic effects and short videos in your Stories, Instagram also provides a large library of design elements that you can employ in your stories.

This is a great value-add from the platform. However, as we mentioned above, you need to stick to your brand design elements even in stories. To bridge the divide, I recommend a style guide specifically for Instagram content.

This style guide would include things like usage of fonts, what filters are allowed or not, types of GIS that you can use, and more.

This way, your design on stories is sure to remain on brand, while simultaneously taking advantage of unique features the platform offers. And it will also help your team stay on task about driving home your brand on the platform.

Make Use of Photography

Your Instagram Stories don’t need to be composed entirely of custom graphics.

While graphics are the mainstay of Stories, don’t be afraid to mix it up with photographs as well.

According to Forbes, it is a good strategy to mix media when creating Stories.

One advantage of stories is that we can be more raw and edgy as compared to standard feed-targeted content, which needs to be very finely curated and polished. In fact, photos taken with smartphones come across as more authentic when used on stories.

You can also use stock photographs; however, you should ensure that they are a good fit for your brand before deciding to use them.


Instagram Stories are a great way to engage with your target audience.

By ensuring that you adhere to the best practices mentioned here, you can create outstanding content, beat the clutter, and build a great brand.

Feature Image Credit: Neeclick, CC0, via PixaHive.com

Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.

This guest post brought to you courtesy of Return On NowProfessional Austin SEO and PPC Services Company.

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Trudy Seeger

Trudy Seeger is a blogger and content writer, focusing on diverse topics such as Health, Travel, Business, Web Design, and Technology. He enjoys reading a new information on the internet, and therefore spends a great deal of time on social media.
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