Do you know how to make Instagram Stories?
One billion people are on Instagram.
However, there are other ways you can get exposure by using the site.
According to the Social Media Examiner, 400 million people watch Instagram Stories daily.
That number is staggering, but what are the benefits for you?
Why should you take your time to make an Instagram story?
Instagram Stories enable you to
Grow your brand
Advertise for free
Get feedback that will help you plan more heavily trafficked blog post content
Grow your Instagram engagement
By the end of this article,
You’ll know how to make Instagram Stories
Free Instagram Story tricks
How You Can Use Instagram Stories to market your products or services even without an advertising budget.
If you don’t know how to make Instagram Stories, you will when this article is over. You’ll also discover how to use the engaging Instagram Story tricks that come with Instagram Stories.
What is an Instagram Story?
An Instagram Story is a feature that lets you post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Good news: If you add your Instagram Story to your Instagram Highlights in your profile, your Story will stay there until you remove it.
How to Make Instagram Stories
Step 1: Send the video or still image to Instagram.
Open your Instagram app on your mobile device.
Swipe right. This will activate the camera.
Hold the big white button in for a video. Let go of the button when you’re done with the video.
Tap the video when you’re done.
I record the video on my iPhone and upload to Instagram from there.
I make sure to hold my phone vertically since you need Portrait Orientation for videos on Instagram Stories.
In addition to videos, you can have images. Make sure they are portrait orientation since Instagram stories are long.
Step 2: Add text.
Click “Aa” for the font. You can type and change the colors.
Step 3: Add filters.
Swipe either right or left for filters.
Step 4: Add emojis.
This is where I have the most fun. I routinely add hashtags, polls, a live link, the “Swipe Up” GIF so people have a Call to Action, and I just discovered Sliders.
Swipe up for emojis or click the Emoji symbol at the top of the page. You can change the size.
The slider is handy when there’s isn’t a clear-cut Yes or No answer to your question.
You can use this feedback to plan your blog post content. For example, if everyone answers to the far right, they most likely wouldn’t read my blog posts explaining how to get more comfortable.
Did you notice my red Call to Action on the right? I linked to my blog post about video making.
In addition for the chance for traffic, you’re getting valuable feedback from your online audience.
I’ve used the Question feature of Instagram Stories to ask what people want to see a blog post about.
Tilt anything you’ve added by pinching the element.
This is an example of a poll I made. Notice Instagram allows you to highlight your text for easier viewing. Click the box containing the letter at the top of the screen to highlight your text.
If you wish to save your Story, click “Save” at the bottom of the screen.
Choose who you wish to share with. If you want your Instagram Story at the top of your Instagram feed, click “Your Story.” Everyone will be able to see. If you want to share with individuals, click “Next” and choose those individuals from your contacts.
Although many of these Highlights of my Stories indicate I am busy using Stories to market my brand, the arrow to the right lets people scroll through my older Highlights and see they are not all advertisements for my products, services, and blog.
Remember to save your story to your Highlights so it doesn’t vanish in 24 hours. Call your Highlight an interesting name so intrigued people will click.
Apps to Make Instagram Stories
So many tools make Instagram Story templates. Canva is a popular choice.
This post is full of tools to use on Instagram
Tip #21 gives more information about using Canva to make Instagram Stories.
Many free, easy-to-use video making tools are available for you to use to make your videos. You can upload them to Instagram to use in your Story, your feed, and other social media sites.
Other tools I use to make Instagram Stories: PosterMyWall, Spark Post, PixTeller (information about how to use PixTeller can be found here PixTeller: How to Make Dazzling Inspirational Images), and Snappa.
Just last night I discovered the app called Slice. It’s like Spark Video. Unlike Spark Video, Slice lets me add music from my own iTunes library.
Are you aware Instagram Stories are only shown for 15 seconds? I don’t let the 15-second limit on video length stop me. I use the Storeo app which divides the video into 15-second segments so you can post as many as you want in order. The Storeo app is free.
How to Make Money with Instagram Stories
I put the link in and I can even check my link so when people “Swipe Up” it takes them to my blog post. You can even Swipe Up to your email optin, your blog’s signup form, your Amazon sales page, your Hire Me page… any page.
Unfold enables you to put a collage on your Instagram Story.
Step 1: Click Tap to Create an Instagram Story. Name your story. If you change your mind later and want to rename your Story template, you can. Templates will appear; choose one. If you want to make a collage, scroll until you see a template with multiple image boxes.
Step 2: Choose images from your photo library. You can also take a new picture with your phone’s camera. Note: Unsplash free stock photos is built into the app! Choose Unsplash to select stock photos.
Note: The dominant graphic for this post was made with Unfold. I chose a one-image box template and a selection from the Unsplash library.
Step 3: Add text by clicking the “T+” symbol. Modify the text as desired.
Step 4: Save. You’re given the option of sending directly to Instagram.
I chose a 2-image template.
I inserted my two book covers into the image boxes.
Still using Unfold, I typed the message that the books are available on Amazon.
Once I uploaded my Story to Instagram, I put the bitly link to my books on Amazon so people could go straight there with one swipe. Amazon has long links, but bitly is a link shortener. Bitly has analytics so you can see how many people clicked on your link.
I used the Swipe Up GIF to let interested readers know they could buy the books if they swiped up.
Did it work? Did anyone “Swipe Up” and go to my Amazon book sales page within the 24-hour time-frame my Story was visible?
You might feel 5 clicks is not a lot. However, keep in mind I was selling two books. I could have sold 10 books with five clicks.
How I use the live link in my other Instagram Stories: I put the link in, and I can even check my link to ensure it works so when people “Swipe Up” it takes them to my blog post. You can even link to your email optin, your sales page, your book page, your Hire Me page… any page. Remember to use the “Swipe Up” emoji so people know that’s what you want them to do.
Note: If you don’t have over 10,000 followers, you can still use a live link in your Story. However, it needs to be a link to an IGTV you made. Make it with the IGTV app.
Also, I used the “blogging tips” hashtag so people would know what my books were about.
Do you see I’m marketing two books with one Instagram Story without spending a dime?
After uploading to my Instagram Story, I saved this to my Highlights so after the 24 hours elapsed and my Story was gone, my book marketing would still be visible on my Instagram profile.
You can create a Call to Action that evokes a sense of urgency in your story when you promote your business: “Act now,” is an example. Remember the FOMO acronym: People have a fear of missing out.
Did it work? Did I sell any books that day with this method?
important Note: I made money that day without methods relying on blog traffic or an advertising budget. Now you know how to make Instagram Stories that make money for you.
Marketer Jay Baer advises not making every Instagram Story about marketing your product or services. You’re trying to engage your Instagram community and increase your brand awareness. Don’t turn the Story into a brochure for your business, he warns.
Important Takeaways: How to Make Instagram Stories
This is free advertising for you.
Many businesses spend a fortune to market their products and services.
Stories enable you to
grow your brand
advertise for free
get feedback that will help you plan more heavily trafficked blog post content
In closing, making Stories is free and takes little time.
Stories also increase your brand awareness and help grow your Instagram following.
I have fun making Instagram Stories. It generates awareness about my blog and services, and making them helps me grow my Instagram community and make decisions about my blog post content.
I enjoy the chance to be creative making Instagram Stories gives me. This post highlighted the Instagram Story Tricks I use. There are actually more GIFs and Instagram adds more regularly.
Using Stories is fast and free. Definitely a return on my ROI.
Have fun making Instagram Stories!
What ideas do you have for making Instagram Stories?
I look forward to your views in the comments section. What other Instagram Story tricks can you suggest?