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Are you taking full advantage of Instagram Stories yet?

Of course not. That’s why you’re here to learn about cool Instagram Stories hacks.

Instagram Stories are loaded with awesome features and tools to customise your content. I admit, it’s hard even for me to keep up with them. Instagram adds and removes tools all the time.

Regardless, it’s smart to learn how to leverage Instagram Stories. Since hijacking the feature from Snapchat in 2016, active Instagram Stories users has skyrocketed while Snapchat is projected to *gulp* decline.

Stories let us show our audience the human side of our account. Instead of highly edited and contrived shots in our Insta feed, Stories are raw and real.

These hacks are just what you need to grab attention and engagement.

How to Create an Instagram Stories Strategy

Truthfully, Stories shouldn’t have a concrete strategy. Stories should, however, fit into our overall Instagram and marketing strategy in a distinct way.

Don’t overlook Stories:

  • Stories propel you to the top of news feeds, bypassing the algorithms.
  • Unlike other posts, you can see who views your Stories so you can build a better understanding of your analytics.
  • Stories help you create better conversations and deeper connections with your audience since they’re more in-the-moment.

Here are a few ideas to make the most of them:

Focus on One Topic Per Story

Don’t try to cram walls of text and multiple ideas into a single Story. Each Story only displays on the screen for a few seconds. Don’t put the burden on followers to tap and pause it just to read a ton of text.

Keep them simple and concise.

If you want to include multiple ideas in your Story roll, create multiple Stories with the same layout as part of a bigger set to publish at the same time. People can tap through them instead.

Don’t Worry About Editing

Cool Instagram stories hacks are one thing. Editing your photos before they even get to the Story is another. Instagram feeds have enough filters and professional editing. Stories should be real.

Give followers an uncut look at life behind the scenes at your organisation with product teasers, team introductions, office photos, etc. Just have fun with them.

Add an Engagement Trigger to Every Story

Instagram gives you so many cool stickers for boosting engagement – use them!

Embedded music, polls, and sliders all encourage your audience to interact with your content. Pick an engagement trigger to match each Story but always use one if you can.

Likewise, don’t add more than one. Including both a slider and poll in your Story just gets overwhelming and confusing. People will just tab away.

Your Ultimate List of Cool Instagram Stories Hacks

Make your Instagram Stories work harder. Make viewers say, “Hey, how’d they do that?!” with these cool Instagram Stories hacks.

Text Hacks on Instagram Stories

1. Sequenced Text

Sequenced text is really a series of Stories where it looks like text appears in sequences. You can also make the text “dance” as it transitions between Stories.

It’s kind of hard to explain this text hack so let me show you…

First, complete the Story how you intend for the finished product to look with multiple blocks of text:

Instagram

Hit the save button and it will show up in your phone gallery for later.

Next, very carefully remove one piece of text at a time, saving the Story between each removal.

Instagram

Once you’re done, close it out and start a new Story. Upload your Stories in reverse order using the gallery upload so they appear with the empty photo first.

As people click through your Story, sequenced text will appear!

2. Instagram Rainbow Text or Gradient Text

I hope no one reading this has long nails because this requires two fingers with precise scrolling capability.

First, open your desired Story photo and add the text.

Next, highlight the text. Place one finger on one of the cursors and another finger on a colour bubble. The colour bubble will change to a larger gradient scale.

Slowly drag both fingers together and release both at the same time.

Instagram

Congrats! You just won at Instagram rainbow text.

Instagram

We can do the same thing for gradients. Instead of sliding horizontally across the full range of colours, we’ll scroll vertically as our second finger scrolls over the text simultaneously.

Instagram

Don’t get discouraged. It will take a few times to get right.

3. Shadowed Text

Shadowed text is much easier but still leaves a great impact.

Get your photo loaded up in a Story and add a caption. Make sure to choose your font and background colour for this first text.

Instagram

Now, add the same exact text. Instagram should automatically use the same font and size as your first piece of text. Go ahead and line them up.

Be careful not to distort the text size too much as you move it around or this can throw off the shadow symmetry.

Instagram

Play around with different distances until you find something you like.

Instagram

4. Layered Text

Here’s where the real creativity strikes. Pick your photo and open the drawing tool.

Use any tool you want. For our example here, we’re using the glow brush.

Write your first piece of text. A single short word works best, and it helps if you use a larger size brush.

Instagram

Once you get it right, open the eraser tool and remove the middle of the writing:

Instagram

Now, open the text editor and add the second piece of text to the blank space.

Instagram

Fair warning: You might not be confident enough to post your first shot at this one. Keep trying with different brushes until you build up your skills.

5. Colour Block Backgrounds

Instagram’s provided block backgrounds are pretty cool themselves but also limited.

Why not create your own?

Always start with the background here because you’ll need to tweak it before adding text.

Open your photo in Stories and go to the plain brush tool. Pick one of the larger sizes and select the colour you want to use for the background.

Draw your block. It doesn’t have to be perfect:

Instagram

Now, open the eraser tool and clean up the edges.

Instagram

Go to the text editor, type your copy, resize it, and just add it to the centre:

Instagram

Other Cool Instagram Stories Hacks

6. Peekaboo Solid Background

This feature works best when you have a single focal point in your image, but it works for landscapes and other situations where you want to remove the background “noise.”

Open your photo in the Story editor. Go to the brush tool and pick your colour.

Tap and hold your finger on the photo. This functions like the paint bucket fill in MS Paint.

Instagram

Now, open the eraser tool and remove the colour background from different areas.

Instagram

Keep it simple or add some different shapes in the blank space.

Instagram

You can also fill the blank space with extra text, stickers, or GIFs:

Instagram

7. Halos, Clouds, Bolts, and More

Let’s have some fun. The brushes make it easy to spice up our content with cool Instagram Stories hacks.

We’ll open our images. For our purposes here, we’ll shrink the photo by pinching two fingers together.

Next, we open the glow brush tool and pick our colour. Draw an oval. It doesn’t have to be perfect because we’ll erase some of it.

Instagram

Now we’ll take the eraser tool and very carefully remove part of the halo:

Instagram

Let’s do some clouds next.

We’ll open the <3+ brush tool along the right-hand side of the screen in the drawing tool.

Choose white or grey (depending on what colour you want the clouds to be) and draw circles until you have cloud shapes:

Instagram

We can take it a step further with some lightning bolts and rain.

Instagram

8. Layered Photos

We can also add multiple photos in a layout now.

Open your Story creator. On the left-hand side of the screen, tap on the rectangle-looking thing and you’ll be able to choose from a handful of multi-photo layouts.

Instagram

Instagram

You can pick two to six photos from your gallery or take new ones.

Once you have your layout ready, go ahead, and follow all the other cool Instagram Stories hacks.

Instagram

9. Add a Frame

We can make our own frames for photos too.

Just open the image and pick a brush. Get to drawing around the edge!

Instagram

Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If we wanted it to be perfect, we could add a frame to our picture before uploading it. The point here is to showcase our creativity.

We can also add different patterns to the frame or extra brushes if we want:

Instagram

Find Your Place with Instagram Stories Hacks

Instagram is loaded with tons of cool features and hacks to customise your posts. Take it slow. It’s easy to go overboard with the stickers if you’re not careful.

Think about what you want to achieve with each post and who you want to reach. Pick the right Instagram stories hacks to get you there.

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