Unless you have been sleeping under a rock in the past year, you would know that Instagram Stories are the hottest new thing right now.
There are three kinds of people on Stories right now. Those who feel about them exactly how most of us feel when we go to an Outlet Mall. Where do you go first? What do you do? It is huge, so many options! It is OVERWHELMING!!
Then there are a select few who have mastered the art of Outlet Shopping. They know exactly what shops to hit and end up buying a whole new wardrobe for less than 200 bucks! Those handful of people have cracked the code on marketing strategically on Instagram Stories. They know exactly how to attract their ideal customers and get more eyeballs on their account.
And then there is the majority of people who dove in head first on Insta Stories, giving it their all. Kinda like what happened when Facebook first released its “check-in” feature. Everyone used it everywhere. People were checking-in their own homes! The word was if you didn’t check in on Facebook, it didn’t happen. Instagram Stories are like that right now. Either people aren’t doing it, or they are doing it A LOT!!
Whatever stage you are in right now, a little help never hurt anyone! I am sharing with you 5 of my favorite apps that will help you create eye-catching stories in no time to get your unique brand in front of millions of people. Here we go….
1) Adobe.Spark – Oh how I love this genius app. If you want an easy to use app which doesn’t overwhelm you (I am talking to you Canva!) then go for Spark. With its beautiful designs and styles, you will be creating gorgeous stories in no time. My favorite part is the vast variety of designs, attractive fonts and free beautiful stock photos that you can use from within the app.
2) Hype Type – Just like its name, Hype Type can literally hype your stories. This cool app will surely make your stories stand out from the crowd. It lets you add animated captions to your photos or videos before you upload them to your story. The app is free but you can buy in-app ($1.99 to $2.99) for a few upgrades, more fonts or to remove the watermark. I am cheap so I just hide the watermark with a sticker on the Instagram app.
The app is fairly easy to use. You give it access to your camera roll and microphone and swipe up to add a photo or a video. Tap on the screen to add text and you can change the color combo and fonts from the bottom of the screen. Tap on the blue check mark on the bottom right and voila! You are ready to download it to your photos or upload it directly to your Instagram
3) Cut Story – This app is my current favorite and it will open up a wide variety of content options you can share on stories. The reason why Stories got so popular so crazy fast is because of its short natured content. You cannot upload videos that are longer than 15 seconds which is great for people that are consuming the content since it is bite-sized and toddler approved but not so much for content creators. The limit of 15 seconds naturally eliminates a lot of videos that are longer, which is a shame. But not anymore. Cut Story to the rescue. This is really Hallejuliah for content creators and businesses because now you don’t have to create content separately for Stories. You can repurpose whatever content you have, just resize it! The app is free but you can pay in-app($0.99) to get rid of the watermark.
4) In-Shot – Ever tried to upload a photo/video on Instagram Stories only for it to be cropped and all zoomed in. This leads to a lot of frustration for many people because the dimension for Instagram Stories is quite different from a regular post. The Instagram story dimensions are 1080 by 1920. What this means is that your video or photo will have to be 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels in height. Also known as an aspect ratio of 9:16. This will cause a loss in quality and sometimes important visuals being cut off.
In-Shot resizes any pic/video to 9:16 ratio, which is the best dimension for stories. I love that now I can use any video or photo and just resize it on the app. Upload your pic/ video, tap on canvas and then select 9:16 option to resize it to make a perfect Stories without losing the quality.
You can do a bunch of things on the app and there is also a paid option, but I like the other apps I mentioned above better for editing and adding text etc.
5) Canva – You didn’t think I would leave out Canva did you? Here’s the thing about Canva, we all love to hate it. But I think I have figured out how to reduce Canva overwhelm. When on Canva, you need to put your blinders on pretty much like a racehorse. Go there, do what you are supposed to do and do not and I mean DO NOT even think about clicking on all the other million different options. Just DON’T!
Now back to Stories, while I don’t use Canva to create stories specifically, its a brilliant app for making Beautiful Insta Story Highlight Covers.
For those of you who don’t know what Stories Highlights are, when Instagram first introduced Stories, they only stayed there for 24 hrs and then they disappeared.Poof! Naturally not everyone was happy about it. It seemed like it was a lot of effort to create content for something that will stay only for 24 hrs. But then Instagram changed it, they gave us the option to highlight your stories, which I think is amaze-balls especially for businesses! When you upload a story, you will get an option to highlight it by tapping on the “heart” icon from the bottom right side of your screen.
When you add any stories to your highlights, they will appear on your feed, right under your Bio. You can either leave them there as it is or make them pretty and attractive to your followers by adding a cover, much like a book cover. This makes the highlights look professional and you can showcase your work, testimonials, behind the scenes of your work. I mean the possibilities are endless.
I use Canva to create those beautiful looking Insta Story Highlight Covers. You can only do it from your phone, this feature isn’t available on a desktop yet. You will find detailed instructions on how to create those pretty and professional looking covers here – https://thepreviewapp.com/how-to-make-beautiful-insta-story-highlight-covers-custom-icons/
As much as I love all these apps, I really do think Instagram has come a long way since it introduced stories. With new features added constantly (different options of fonts, fun face filters and what not), there are numerous things you can do on the app itself to make your stories interesting,
No matter which app you use, it is my sincere advice that you get on the stories train right now. It’s a powerful feature that gives you a perfect opportunity to start meaningful conversations with your audience and create your community. So whatcha waiting for? Go create your stories!
See you on my Insta!
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