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Create Instagram Stories: A guide for beginners

With more than 500 million daily users worldwide, Instagram Stories are an integral part of online marketing. If you too want to incorporate Instagram Stories into your social media strategy, this guide is just for you.

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What is an Instagram Story?

An Instagram Story is an image or short video that disappears on its own in 24 hours after posting.

Mostly, they are full-screen vertical snaps that don’t appear in the feed, but in a separate bar at the top of the app. Recently posted Stories form a colored border around the account’s profile picture.

Create Instagram Story: Step-by-step guide

Here’s how to create your own Story on Instagram:

1) Open Story mode.

Tap the plus sign at the top right of your Instagram feed. In the drop-down menu, select the “Story” option.

Alternatively, swipe your finger to the right to open Camera mode.

The third way to post a Story is to press on your profile picture in the top left corner with the small blue plus sign. If you have already posted a story within the last 24 hours, you will see a colored circle around your profile picture here.

2) Create a photo or video or select an existing one.

Take a photo by tapping the round button or record a video by long pressing it.

The flash icon at the top activates the flash; the button with two arrows at the bottom right allows you to switch between the two cameras on your smartphone.

Have you taken a shot before that you want to use? Then just swipe up or click on your last photo in the bottom left: There you can choose from your existing content.

3) Edit Instagram Story with creative tools.

When creating new content, you can choose from several options. Here are some of them:

  • Text: a description about your photo or video. It can be highlighted by color or different fonts. Or the other way around, the image can serve as a background to your text.
  • Boomerang: short videos that play back and forth in an endless loop.
  • Layout: a collage of several photos.
  • Multi-shot: multiple photos taken one after the other and published as one story.
  • Hands-free: Video recording starts with a single tap on the button without holding it.

4) Use Instagram Story Stickers.

In addition, you have a wide selection of stickers, which you can add to your finished Instagram Story. Among them are, for example, GIFs, poll tools, location, emojis or hashtags. They make Stories more interactive and increase their Instagram reach.

See the square smiley at the top right? There you will find not only the stickers, but also music for your Instagram Story.

Tip: The colors for labeling or painting content are just a small selection of those available to you. You can click on farYou can access the colors by pressing and holding one of the color circles. You will then see this screen:

5) Publish Instagram Story.

When you’re happy with your Story, tap the arrow in the bottom left or tap “Your Story”.

Your Story will then appear in your followers’ news feeds. Tap your profile picture to see your own Story there, too.

Who has seen my Instagram Story?

To see the interactions with your Story, swipe up over the shot. There you can see the reach and possibly likes that your post has achieved.

Tip: By the way, you can control who can see your posts. To do so, go to your profile, in the top right menu call up the settings and then “Story”. There you can define who can see, save, share or reply to your Story.

Save Instagram Story as Highlights

Thanks to the highlight feature, you can save your Stories in your profile. This way, they don’t disappear after 24 hours and are always accessible to your followers. Highlights can be bundled thematically and added or deleted at any time.
For you, it’s a convenient way to highlight important information about your brand, product or actions.

Instagram Story: More questions and answers

Here are more questions about Instagram Stories that we get frequently:

How long does a Story stay on Instagram?

Once published, a Story stays online for 24 hours and then disappears on its own. Unless it was saved as an Instagram highlight. You can also access your past Stories in the archive at any time and share them again.

What format is best for Instagram Stories?

The recommended resolution for Instagram Stories is 1080 x 1920 pixels and a 9:16 aspect ratio. When creating content, leave some space at the top and bottom – that’s where your profile picture and profile name will be placed.

How long does an Instagram Story last?

An image in an Instagram Story is displayed for about 5 seconds. A video, on the other hand, lasts a maximum of 15 seconds. However, longer videos can be divided into several sections of 15 seconds each.

How can I download my Instagram Story?

Once your Story is live, you can save it to your smartphone’s gallery. This works by opening the recording, tapping the three dots at the bottom right and selecting “Save…”.

Downloading Instagram Stories from other users is only possible using external apps, such as Story Saver, and websites, such as Story Downloader (but only for public profiles).

How do I repost a Story on Instagram?

Stories from other users can only be reposted in a roundabout way. Screenshots or screen recording are the easiest way in this case. Record the story you want and simply repost it to your account. Unlike on Snapchat, the author of the story does not receive a notification here.

There is one exception, however: If you were linked in a Story, Instagram will automatically suggest you repost it. Provided that it is u

m a public account.

It’s different with your own stories: Select the content you want from the archive (your profile → three-bar menu top right → Archive) and go to “Share” at the bottom right. Then you have the option to add a caption, sticker or filter to the new Story and publish it.

How do you tag someone in an Instagram Story?

To tag another account in your Instagram Story, go to the square smiley at the top right. There you will find the “@mention” sticker. Select it and type in the name of the desired profile – after the first letter, the app already suggests corresponding accounts.

Another option: go to the text function “Aa” in the upper right corner. Type “@” and the profile name you want to highlight.

How to add a link to an Instagram Story?

To share a link in your Story, first create the Story itself. Then go to the sticker tool (square smiley at the top right) and tap on the link sticker. Paste the URL you want, personalize it as needed and click “Done”. If desired, you can change the color of the sticker by tapping on it.

This is why Instagram Stories are important for businesses

Aside from your existing subscribers and followers, businesses have a good chance of being found on Instagram. Hashtags, geotags and the “Discover” section makes it easier for users to find you with your Instagram business account.

In addition to organic Stories, as a marketer you can also rely on Instagram Story ads. These are paid Stories that appear between the usual Stories of your target audience. Thanks to entertaining content that lasts for a short time and natural integration in the Story feed, it can be the ideal advertising format for your brand.

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Cover photo: Linus Mimietz / UnsplashOriginally

published April 6, 2022, updated April 06, 2022

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