You’ve created your Instagram and have started posting.
But are you optimizing the platform as much as you could? Are you really helping your brand?
In this post, we will be diving into the world of Instagram Story Highlights, a feature you may have forgotten to use, and how they can help enhance your profile and engage with your audience!
We’ll start by explaining what Instagram Story Highlights are and how to use them.
Then, we’ll explore some creative ways you can use Story Highlights to showcase your brand. Whether you’re new to Instagram or a seasoned user, you’ll definitely learn something new!
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you will learn:
- Understanding Instagram Story Highlights: what they are and how to use them
- Creating a consistent aesthetic for your Instagram Story Highlights
- Organizing your Instagram Story Highlights around topical themes
- Give your circular Highlight cover images a consistent look
- Engage your followers with polls, shout-outs, and tags
- Measuring the success of your Instagram Story Highlights and making data-driven decisions for future content
Understanding Instagram Story Highlights: what they are and how to use them
Instagram Story Highlights are a way for creators and brands like you to save and showcase Instagram Stories on their profile permanently. Indeed, Stories usually only last 24 hours! Highlights therefore allows viewers to watch and engage with your Stories even after they’ve disappeared from the main Stories feed, for extra engagement!
To use Instagram Story Highlights, you first need to create Instagram Stories as you normally would. Once you have a Story that you’d like to save, you can then add it to a Highlight by clicking the “Add to Highlight” button at the bottom of the Story.
You can also create new Highlights by going to your profile and tapping on the “New” button on the far left. From there, you can choose the Stories you want to add to your new Highlight and give your Highlight a title.
There are many ways in which Story Highlights can enhance your profile! Here are some examples:
- Creating a Highlight for specific content, such as your latest product or service to put the spotlight on it;
- Creating a Highlight for a series of Stories, such as a “day in the life” series to offer an easier viewing experience for the future;
- Creating a Highlight for events you’ve attended or hosted, as a sort of memory album;
- Creating a Highlight for behind-the-scenes content, such as the making of your latest project, to keep a record of how it’s done in one place.
As you can begin to see, Instagram Story Highlights are an amazing way to make your profile even more engaging and to give your audience a deeper look into your offer and what you’re about!
Creating a consistent aesthetic for your Instagram Story Highlights
Story Highlights are great, but since they remain on your profile long term, you need to make sure they fit with your overall aesthetic!
By being consistent with your Instagram Story Highlights, you can better showcase your brand or persona and attract more followers and make your profile more visually appealing and memorable to your audience.
Here are some tips on how to create a consistent aesthetic for your Instagram Story Highlights:
- Choose a color scheme: Colors are great, but you don’t want to be thoughtless with them and make a mess. Pick just a few that align with your brand and use them consistently in your Highlights. This will help tie all your Stories together and make your profile nicer to look at.
- Use the same fonts and text styles: As for colors, try to be consistent with the fonts and text styles you use in your Stories to create a cohesive look and feel for your Highlights.
- Use the same filters: Some filters can become your go-to and help you bring some consistency to your Stories. Make sure to pick just a few and they will become associated with your brand! For example, if you always use the “Clarendon” filter, it will become your trademark and make your Highlights more recognizable.
- Use the same layout: Once again, coherence is key! Don’t go crazy with layouts and always use the same ones.
Creating a consistent aesthetic for your Instagram Story Highlights will help make your profile more appealing, unique and recognizable, which will attract more users and encourage your followers to engage with you more!
Organizing your Instagram Story Highlights around topical themes
Organizing your Instagram Story Highlights around specific concepts can be a fun and creative way to showcase your skills and attract more followers.
Here are a few examples of that you could use for your Instagram Story Highlights, if you were — say — a landing page designer.
- “Landing-tastic”: A highlight dedicated to all your best and most creative landing page designs.
- “Conversion Mania”: A highlight dedicated to all the landing pages you’ve designed that have had the best conversion rates.
- “Design-spiration”: A highlight dedicated to showcasing other inspiring landing page designs and designers in the industry.
- “Design WIP”: A highlight dedicated to your behind-the-scenes work on landing page designs, giving your followers a glimpse into your creative process.
- “Design Experiments”: A highlight dedicated to all the experimental landing page designs you’ve created and the lessons you’ve learned from them.
- “Design-splaining”: A highlight dedicated to breaking down and explaining different concepts and techniques you use while designing landing pages to your followers.
Making each of your Instagram Story Highlight focused on one specific theme will make your profile easier to navigate even as you showcase your skills or product in different ways.
Almost like folders, your Story Highlights can be organized thematically rather than reverse-chronologically like your main feed.
Give your circular Highlight cover images a consistent look
One of the most powerful ways to make your Instagram Story Highlights stand out is by giving them a consistent look – they need to look like a family! To do so, you have to make sure that your circular Highlight cover images look and feel like they belong together, and that they reflect your overall brand aesthetic. Check out the example of @thefoodmedic above: her Story Highlights all have a similar cover image that fits with her brand.
Here are a few tips to make your Highlights cover images feel like they spring from the same tree:
- Use the same color scheme for all of them: Pick a color scheme that fits your brand and stick to it across all of your circular Highlight cover images. This could be as simple as using your brand colors, or you could choose a specific color palette just for those covers that still fits with your brand.
- Use the same typography: Again, consistency! Choose one font to use on all of your circular Highlight cover images that could come from your website or logo, or just be a brand new font that feels right with your general aesthetic.
- Use the same imagery: You may not want to use the exact same picture for all your covers, but try at least to use a similar style of imagery for all your cover images. For instance, the picture could show a specific product, or have a certain angle.
- Keep it simple: Your cover image doesn’t need to give away all the information contained within the Highlight! Avoid cluttering your cover picture with too much text or imagery. It’s better to keep them clean and clear.
Engage your followers with polls, shout-outs, and tags
Story Highlights are much more than photo albums or memory banks! They can be an amazing tool to go one step further in your engagement with your audience.
Here are just a few ideas of what your Story Highlights can help you do:
- Polls: Instagram Story polls are a fun and interactive way to engage your followers. You can use polls to gather feedback on your content, ask for opinions on a topic, or even get to know your followers better. You can create polls by adding a “poll” sticker to your Instagram Story, and then customizing the question and answer options. Once the poll has been posted, your followers can vote and see the results in real time. You can add the polls to your highlights and your followers can refer back to it.
- Shout-outs: Giving shout-outs to your followers is a great way to show appreciation and recognition. You can create a highlight dedicated to shout-outs, where you feature your followers and give them credit for their support. This can help to increase engagement and foster a sense of community among your followers!
- Tags: Using tags in your Instagram Story Highlights can help increase your visibility and reach. You can tag other accounts in your posts to increase the chances of your posts being seen by a wider audience. This could be other influencers, other brands, or even your followers themselves!
Remember, Instagram is a social platform and engagement is your key to success! All these tools can help make your Instagram a real place of exchange rather than just a shop window.
Measuring the success of your Instagram Story Highlights and making data-driven decisions for future content
Creating Instagram Story Highlights that you personally like is all well and nice, but to really know whether they’re having the impact you’re hoping for and whether your audience appreciates them, you need to look at your analytics. Otherwise, how can you expect to learn and grow?
To measure the success of your Instagram Story Highlights, you need to track several key metrics – views, engagement, and conversion rates.
Views, evidently and just as for regular Stories, will give you an idea of how many people are watching your Instagram Story Highlights.
Engagement metrics such as likes and comments will indicate how interested your audience is in your content. Do they appreciate it and find it interesting enough to engage with it, or they just tapping through your Stories?
Finally, conversion rates will give you an idea of how many people are taking a specific action as they watch your Instagram Story Highlight. Are they visiting your website, your online store or watching your YouTube video?
All this data can then be used to make decisions that will guide your content creation in the future. For example, if you notice that your Instagram Story Highlights that show the behind-the-scenes of your pottery making business are performing particularly well and even leading to people booking your course, you may want to create more of these videos in the future! On the other hand, if your Instagram Story Highlights showing on how many pots you break in the process of making one are not appreciated, you may want to stop making those or doing them differently.
Data is crucial to guide you in your approach to Instagram Story Highlights, but your intuition and creativity also play a huge role. Try to balance out following what the data teaches you and going off course to try new, original approaches; you can always change your strategy later!
Don’t forget to also keep an eye on your audience demographics, location, and behavior – it will help you better understand your audience and their needs and preferences!
Finally, don’t hesitate to get some help and make use of third-party tools like Hypefury to track all these metrics and get more detailed data!