How to create good graphics for your Instagram Stories

With 300 million daily active users, Instagram Stories have become a major part of the platform. Maybe your brand has dabbled in posting a few Stories, or maybe you’ve been too intimidated to try or didn’t know where to start.

We’re here to help! We’ve got advice on how to create good graphics for your Instagram Stories, plus more resources to boost your Instagram strategy at every level.

Got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

Go native

Instagram has built a ton of fun features into Stories, from different post types to enhancements you can add to those different post formats. We wrote a comprehensive guide to all of those features you can read, but here are the basics:

  • Upload a photo or video from your phone: Older photos or videos will have the date they are taken added to them as a timestamp, but you can drag that down to the bottom of the screen to delete it, or tap it to change the color it’s presented in
  • Take a photo or video or make a text post using any of the post types available within Instagram Stories: Type, Live, Boomerang (also a separate app created by Instagram), Focus (like Portrait Mode on an iPhone), Superzoom, Rewind, Hands-free, Stop-motion are all the options at the time of this writing
  • Upload a video from another Instagram app: Those include Boomerang (creates something similar to a GIF; mentioned above) and Hyperlapse (time-lapse video)

Once you upload something to your Story, you can enhance it with a number of filters, stickers and more.

Don’t be afraid to play around and have fun with all of the different available elements. While some brands pursue a certain aesthetic on Instagram that extends to their Stories, that doesn’t mean you have to. Stories can also be about more relaxed, behind-the-scenes fun around your office or taking a closer look at your employees and/or products.

Experiment. See what your audience responds to. Use the poll feature to solicit direct feedback when appropriate.

Get creative with third party apps

As we mentioned in the previous section, you’ll notice a lot of brands and influencers have a certain aesthetic they pursue on Instagram and this persists into their Stories. Some do this using all the features available within Instagram itself, but others tap into third party apps to make something more distinctive for their brand.

If you have the resources and desire to do this for your own brand, go for it! Here are some app ideas to get started:

  • Font Candy
  • Adobe Spark
  • Hype Type
  • Typeorama
  • Diptic
  • InShot
  • PocketVideo
  • PicPlayPost
  • Videoshop
  • Filmmaker Pro

You can get a better breakdown about how each of these work from Katie’s Bliss or Social Media Examiner. Some of them cost a few dollars, but most of them are free.

If you have a designer or someone with design skills on your team, some of these apps will allow you to create brand-specific templates or logos in another program like Photoshop that you can then import and use for better branding consistency.

Not sure how to decide on your brand’s visual content marketing for Instagram? We’ve got a post about that too! 

And as always, our final advice is to measure your efforts on Instagram- and everywhere- so you know what’s working and what’s not. Let us know if we can help with that. 


Photo by Luke van Zyl on Unsplash