20 Instagram Story Hacks Every Influencer Should Know In 2023

Dec 14, 2022 14 min read

Whether you’re an influencer promoting others’ goods or an entrepreneur creating your own brand, having a strong online presence is a must in today’s world. It includes consistent posting, interacting with the audience, and sharing your life as much as possible. You should also maintain a positive reputation to persuade consumers to do something, such as:

  • following someone’s page;
  • participating in a contest;
  • proceeding to an online store and buying its products.

Suppose you want to attract buyers to your cosmetics store. It’s not enough to post product photos or videos. You should enhance content with creativity, coupled with unparalleled eCommerce website UX. That’s where you can use Instagram to deliver exciting content.

Instagram Stories prove to be among the most valued content on this platform. These pieces that last 24 hours can make you stand out from others, create a strong community, and let you stay relevant to followers.

That’s why it’s impossible to imagine an influencer posting on Instagram without making Stories. In this article, we’ll enumerate 20 Instagram Story hacks to take your content to the next level.

20 Tips For Influencers To Get Creative In Instagram Stories

Instagram has reached a base of one billion users. It surpassed this figure in 2020 and continues attracting more and more people. More specifically, currently, it has around 1.28 billion monthly active users. This trend shows no sign of slowing down, exceeding experts’ forecasts made earlier by 100 and even 200 million new registered users.

instagram-users

Source: Statista

Why is Instagram so popular? Because it allows you to share visual content and get quick reactions from the audience. This social media offers many opportunities to build a brand and promote goods, services, and events. From Reels to shoppable tags, content creators can leverage this network to build connections with consumers and capitalize on impulsive purchases.

Let’s discuss some top tricks to make your Instagram Stories memorable.

1. Collect User Information With The Help Of Polls And Q&A Stickers

Instagram Stories allow you to get insights about your followers. What do they prefer to buy or see? Does your content strategy satisfy them? You can use interactive stickers, such as polls and quizzes, to answer these questions.

By using these stickers, you can gather honest replies and generate more engaging content in the future. They also show your desire to communicate with followers, creating a bond between the audience and you. Apart from recommendations and inspiration, the answers can be a content source. It’s beneficial if you’ve run out of ideas. Post responses and comment on them in the follow-up publications.

2. A Timer Sticker For A Major Event

Another engagement trick revolves around the countdown timer. Do you want to draw subscribers’ attention? Use this sticker to create excitement for upcoming events like product releases, Instagram Live sessions, and sales.

Your followers can use the timer to set a reminder or share the news in their Stories. In the first case, they’ll receive an alert when the event goes live. In another one, they will attract more followers to your page. It’s an excellent way to increase audience engagement while generating excitement for an upcoming event. Below is an example from Ariana Grande’s profile.

timer-sticker

3. Convert A Live Photo Into A Boomerang

Do you like to take Live photos with your iPhone? The great news is that you can use them like videos on Instagram Stories and create a Boomerang out of them. To make such Stories, you need to do the following:

Step 1: Take a regular Live photo from the iPhone camera.
Step 2: Open Instagram Stories and tap your image gallery.
Step 3: You’ll see a Live photo with an infinity sign, indicating the ability to create a Boomerang.
Step 4: Choose the image to apply the needed effect. You can test four modes: Classic, Slow-mo, Echo, and Duo.

boomerang

4. Put A Solid Color In the Background

Sometimes you don’t need a photo or video to communicate with people. Visuals may divert the attention from the message or aren’t ready for publishing yet. In this case, you can use a colored background to put text there.

Instagram offers a gradient background, but there’s another option.
Even though the standard gradient backgrounds are beautiful, you may be more inclined to use solid-colored ones. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose any photo from the Gallery. It will be hidden under the background, so you can pick anything.
Step 2: Tap the three dots in the upper right corner and the Draw button. This action will open several icons, including a Pen.
Step 3: Below you’ll see several available colors (tip: remember to swipe right to access additional options. If you push and hold down on a specific color, a rainbow gradient of options will appear).
Step 4: After selecting a color, tap anywhere on the screen and hold for two to three seconds for the screen to fill.

solid-color

5. Play With The Text On Your Instagram Story

Instagram text is one of the essential tools to retain viewers. It should grab the attention, be concise, and convey all the needed information. If you place too many words, people will skip the Story rather than hold their finger on the screen to read till the end. That’s where different fonts, colors, and alignment may help.

Let’s take fonts as an example. They serve different purposes and help distinguish messages. However, refrain from employing 100 distinct fonts in your Stories. They may seem too confusing, so keep the number to three.

Colors also have a significant impact. The right hue can cause the desired emotion, which translates into a particular action of your followers. The minimalism rule also applies to color choice. Colors should complement each other without overwhelming users.

Do you want to add a drop-shadow effect to the text? Create a rainbow effect by combining different colors and shades:

Step 1: Go to Instagram Stories.
Step 2: Add some text.
Step 3: Tap the text icon again and repeat the same text.
Step 4: Change the color text to contrast with the previous message.
Step 5: Place one text over another and move it slightly from the center for the bottom layer to be visible.

text

Bonus content: Instagram Story Viewer: All You Need To Know

6. Hide Mentions And Hashtags

One of the key characteristics that distinguish Instagram Stories from Snapchat is the ability to tag other accounts. Tag a company, influencer, or customer to give them a shout-out. You can use a traditional “@” symbol to open available accounts to tag. Hashtags can also increase exposure and attract visitors to the page.

But if you want to keep the Story neat, it’s better to hide mentions and hashtags for users to focus on the aesthetics. Use one of the possible approaches:

  • making the text smaller until it becomes barely visible;
  • covering hashtags with images and videos. To do this, you need to upload the content by hitting the stickers button and selecting your camera roll;
  • adding mentions to the existing Story with the help of the “Add Mentions” button;
  • blending the text with the background. Do you have a solid-colored picture? You can apply the same image color to the hashtag to mix it with the backdrop.

Check the illustrations below.

hide-mentions-and-hashtags

7. Share Several Questions And Answers On A Single Story

The Instagram question sticker is a huge hit among many influencers. It’s a fantastic technique to raise engagement and give your Instagram content a little extra excitement. But did you know that you don’t have to create a new Story to reply to another question?

Some people believe you can only post one Story with an answer to a specific question. But it’s not the case. So what do you do? Place many comments on the same Instagram Story screen by using this trick:

Step 1: Make a Story sharing the answer to your question sticker.
Step 2: Save a screenshot, then leave the Story.
Step 3: Open Stories again and use the previous screenshot to add a different question sticker response.
Step 4: Place the new response underneath the first one.
Step 5: If you want three and more answers on one screen, repeat the process to reach the needed number.

This hack allows you to give attention to many followers without overwhelming them with excessive Stories.

8. Post Progressive Stories

Have you ever seen Stories based on the same image, but every post contains something new? That’s what progressive Stories are about. They let you increase the drama and interest and delay the crucial information to the very end. Such a trick is helpful as people will watch and read the Story content, staying interested in the final piece. Try these recommendations:

Step 1: Start with making a usual Instagram Story. Write your text or add the needed elements to the first post.
Step 2: Download the final result to the Gallery by hitting three dots in the upper right corner and a downward-facing arrow.
Step 3: Redo the process by using the previous image or video. Add other elements and save the piece.
Step 4: Repeat step 2 as necessary to add all the text you desire. If you decided to save your Gallery instead of uploading your pictures immediately after adding text to each one, remember to upload them in the correct sequence!

progressive-stories

9. Go Live To Communicate With The Audience

Another exciting type of content on Instagram is Live. Your live sessions appear in the Story section, but followers can join them in real time and leave their comments and reactions. Increase anticipation by posting questions to the audience in advance. Show behind-the-scenes or other exclusive materials to make the Live session more enticing.

This type of content works well for responding to questions. While you can do it in writing form or incorporate videos, Live streaming will keep it much more enjoyable. It’s ideal for capitalizing on the platform’s features and maintaining your audience’s interest.

Here is what to do to respond to the followers’ questions, provided you’ve collected them in advance with a question sticker:

Step 1: Go live and tap the question mark icon.
Step 2: When you tap a question, it will appear on the screen.
Step 3: The question will turn gray after selecting to prevent you from picking the same option once again.

10. Place Videos In The Background

Do you want to show your creativity and generate personalized Stories? Create an animated backdrop for Insta Stories. It’s a very straightforward tactic for grabbing users’ attention. Moving background works well for any image, from selfies to product shots. Here's how to execute:

Step 1: Select a video from your photo album or record it on Instagram.
Step 2: Proceed to the sticker menu.
Step 3: Choose a photo sticker.
Step 4: Pick the image from the photo library.
Step 5: Move or resize the photo to put it on top of the video background.

videos-in-background

11. Browse Outstanding Instagram Filters Or Create One

Most people are unaware of the numerous hidden effect filters available for video and images. Access filters by following these steps:

Step 1: Activate Instagram’s camera.
Step 2: Select “Browse Effects” by swiping to the very end.
Step 3: You can scroll through hundreds of effects you had no idea existed at this point.

You can go further and develop your own filter. This strategy enables you to reach a large audience, featuring your name in the upper left corner of the screen. So whether you want them for personal use or sharing with the world, generating a custom filter is one of the easiest tasks.

As such, you can access Facebook’s Spark AR Studio, which provides a ton of tutorials and easy step-by-step tools.

12. Promote Guides

It’s crucial to share Stories that benefit your audience to keep them interested. It entails giving them something valuable and improving their daily activities or professional lives. Share these suggestions with your audience using unique, entertaining images that complement your brand’s visual style.

That’s what makeup artist and blogger Huda does on her page. Stories promote links to the website with beauty tips, attracting traffic to the store.

guides

13. Utilize Ready-Made Templates

Not all of us are brilliant designers. However, you shouldn’t give up on the creativity and aesthetics of Instagram Stories. That’s where Instagram Story templates may help you with visuals, even though you lack design skills.

These templates include pre-designed layouts with changeable text, graphics, and animations. Using the same template for your Instagram Stories will give them a consistent structure and look. The best thing about it is that it’s totally free. Template options abound on graphic creation services like Canva and Spark Post.

The most popular design tool for this is Canva. On the homepage of Canva, type in “Instagram Stories template” to access the existing library. Choose the one that resonates with you the most and modify it accordingly.

templates

14. Include Your Own Fonts In Stories

Instagram Stories offer a small selection of font styles in addition to its limited color palette. But you can add unique typefaces to represent your brand better.

Method 1

The first way to achieve this task is as follows:
Step 1: Get the GoDaddy Studio app.
Step 2: Your mobile device should have your company’s fonts in .OFT files.
Step 3: Tap “Over” in the app menu.
Step 4: A custom font has been added with the ability to include it in Stories.

The app allows you to create Stories using pre-made templates. Or you can use the “Add from Camera Roll” sticker to upload a line of text with a translucent background created beforehand.

Method 2

Step 1: Visit the Instagram Fonts Generator website. The device type isn’t important here.
Step 2: After typing the message and tapping “Enter”, you’ll see available fonts.
Step 3: Copy and paste the message in the needed font in the Instagram Story text field.

own-fonts

15. Get Creative With The Eraser Tool

There are many innovative possibilities available when using the Eraser tool on Instagram Stories. This tool enables you to produce various eye-catching effects to distinguish your Stories from the competition. Think outside the box to impress your Instagram followers. Follow these steps to use the Eraser tool for Instagram Stories effects:

Step 1: Add a picture to your Story.
Step 2: Draw something on the image with the Draw tool.
Step 3: Use the Eraser tool to remove some parts of your drawing.

Another way to utilize Eraser is to reveal part of the image. For this purpose, you need to cover the image with a solid background, like in section 4. The Eraser will show you the image hidden under a layer of paint.

eraser

16. Add A Link

This hack is relevant to those who have at least 10,000 followers. Once you’ve reached this number, you can unlock the ability to include a link in your Stories. It will allow you to direct the traffic to the needed page while promoting products, services, or events. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Tap the Link icon when creating a new Story and choose “Done”.
Step 2: The link can lead to an IGTV video or website.
Step 3: Click the link symbol once more to change or remove the link and upload a Story.

Compare how the link may look on the example of Selena Gomez’s and Kendall Jenner’s Stories.

link

17. Employ Delayed Posting

If you want to add a Story to your Instagram feed but don’t have time to create it right away, you can schedule the post in advance. It saves you from constantly posting new content every few hours on your phone. And if you’re an entrepreneur, you can focus more on your business as well.

If you have an Instagram Business account, you can create and schedule Instagram Stories using Facebook’s built-in Business Suite. It’s a useful tool for managing your Facebook and Instagram publications.

Pro tip: Save a ton of time and effort by employing a social media management tool for controlling all social platforms from a single dashboard. With a tool like Hootsuite, you can easily schedule multiple posts at once so that they go up at different times during the day or week.

18. Apply The Green Screen Effect

Another way to create special effects for your content is by using the green screen filter. A green screen is a widely-used cinematographic trick for changing the backdrop. And now it’s available on Instagram.

Instagram’s green screen is a notable feature, letting content creators use various backgrounds without being in these places. For example, do you want to answer followers’ questions and place them on the backdrop of your video? Or do you want to show your favorite places while talking about them? Use the green screen effect. Look at the following steps:

Step 1: Open IG Stories and scroll filters to find the magnifying glass.
Step 2: Tap it and enter “green screen” in the search bar.
Step 3: Choose the corresponding Instagram filter.

green-screen

19. Colorize Stories With Transparent Overlays

Are you planning to launch a product or show a new country? Spur the interest by adding a customized color tint over the Story screen. With these transparent overlays, you can hide crucial details or goods while letting others know that something is going to come out. It encourages followers to wait.

The steps are similar to overlaying the image with a solid color. But in this case, you need to choose the Highlighter icon, which is in the middle of other tools.

transparent-overlays

20. Pin Story Elements to a Specific Moment

What if you don’t want to layer your Story elements, but they’re crucial at a particular moment of the video? You can pin GIFs, stickers, or emojis to appear at the ideal time.

Step 1: Record a video, not upload it from the device’s memory.
Step 2: Add the needed element.
Step 3: Hold this object by tapping it.
Step 4: Use the bar at the top of the screen to navigate the video and pick the spot where you want to add your item.
Step 5: Choose “Pin” once you’ve reached the desired part of the video.

Over To You

Here are the top 20 hacks for posting outstanding Instagram Stories. There are even more secret tips to enhance your content, but we’ve analyzed the most powerful ones. The best part about Instagram Stories is that they disappear. The second best part? You can add various elements to your Story to make it more interactive and engaging for your audience.

One of the most popular options is adding stickers, which is perfect if you want to promote a product or event or leave a message or reminder to your followers. But there are other elements you can also add, like polls, question prompts, or emoji stickers. The platform constantly evolves, with new updates paving the way for more inspiration and engagement.

Utilize hacks from this article and employ your innovation and imagination. As time passes, you will find yourself growing an Instagram following and, thus, conversions. Remember to track your metrics to measure whether the content resonates with the audience. And if something goes wrong, step in to change the content strategy.

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Himanshu Roy is a digital marketing strategist who loves exploring social media and SAAS communities. When it comes to dealing with SEO, he's always there.