Instastories: How to Crush It

If we ran a poll, Instagram would probably beat all of the other social media platforms by a landslide. Why? You can showcase something, whether that be an event, brand, or your personal life, through photographs, 60-second videos, and since about a year ago, Instastories.

If you’re like me, you’ll watch stories more than you’ll scroll through your main feed, since it isn’t in chronological order any more (@Instagram, please change). I’ll see everything from Boomerangs of food (*swipe*), to simple handwriting on a white background (*maybe read, then swipe*), to some crazy graphic that has all these cool transitions (*replays three times*).

So, how do you create an Instastory that will make your target audience want to watch, vs. swipe past? In this post, I’ll go over a list of key elements plus give you a few tips and tricks to help you make the perfect Instastory.

Consistency

People like it when things have the same look, whether that’s for an overarching brand, entire feed, or the stories for a single night. Keep it looking the same, and it will look cohesive as people tap through. So, how do you get that consistency?

  1. Keep your text ALL CAPS, lower case, or “How you would type a regular sentence?” Mixing one with the other can start to steer away from the consistent look we’re trying to achieve.
  2. Instagram offers six different filters for Instastories. Pick which one best describes your vibe and stick to it. Adding a filter makes everything look similar.
  3. Avoid using iPhone Photos (unless you’re a pro or have Portrait Mode turned on). Instead, grab a picture from your Shared Stream, and swipe up to add it to the story.
  4. Use the Boomerang feature tastefully. What I mean, is that your whole story shouldn’t be Boomerangs.
  5. If you don’t have good penmanship, stick to typing. If you’re a scripting genius, choose which words you want to write and take that story to the next level. Here’s an example:

Structure

One thing I like to keep in mind when composing a post is where the text is going to go. Do I want it covering the screen like the story on the left, or bold and simple like the story on the right?

Apps

Something you see on an Instastory might not be something that is made within the Instagram app. Popular brands (Adidas, Hypebeast, Glossier, Urban Outfitters) all have professional graphic designers who know Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects inside out helping them with content. Here are things that are simple and can be done with little to no experience:

  1. Hyperlapse: An app made by Instagram that allows you to manipulate time-lapses and lets you control how fast or how slow you want it. Plus, the quality is way better than your iPhones.
  2. InShot: Want a border around your video? Want your video horizontal vs. vertical? InShot lets you do that!
  3. IMGPlay: Stop-motion is super cool when done right, and this app can help you get it!
  4. If you do have Photoshop experience, you can create 750 x 1334 graphics or gifs in advance and add them in like photos.

Capture the Culture

Instastories should allow viewers to experience the evening.

  1. Create FOMO by capturing the hypest parts of the night.
  2. Capture the culture. We’re a YOUTH ministry, so we will make it about YOUTH.
  3. Get in the crowd during worship; sit in the front row for the message; get on stage during the games. Immerse yourself in the energy.
  4. Whether you’re a multi-generational church or your audience is geared toward Young Adults, choosing elements that are conducive to who you are trying to reach will attract those people.

Stay creative,

Victory Youth Creative Team