September 25, 2018

7 Tips for More Polished Instagram Stories

frame with text stating "I loved you before your instagram was pretty" on furniture
Photo by @sandrachile

More than 300 million people use Instagram Stories every day–and with good reason. In 15 seconds or less, you can give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your brand or provide them with a fun look at what you’re doing now– or next. While they’re definitely more casual than other forms of video content, that doesn’t mean they need to be unpolished or sloppy! Try some of these great suggestions to create more polished Instagram Stories, turning your microvideos into something spectacular.

Tip #1: Make Sure Your Lighting is Solid

Two girls holding a picture frame of instagram in front of a blossoming cherry tree.
Instagram Stories is an excellent way to connect with your customers and provide them with a high-quality experience.

Lousy lighting is one of the fastest ways to decrease appreciation for your video. Before you start shooting, take a look around you. Do you have the lighting you need to speak to your customers? Are you ready to dive in? Ideally, your lighting should be bright enough to see everything around you clearly, but not so bright that you’re squinting into the camera. If you don’t have adequate lighting, consider ways to add it.

Tip #2: Plan What You’re Going to Say First

No, your Instagram Story doesn’t require a detailed script before you hit record on your smartphone. Before you start filming a video, however, take the time to plan out what you want to say. Create a brief outline and even practice once or twice to be sure that you’ll able to convey exactly the message you want to share with your brand. Try some of these tips:

Keep it Short

You want to be sure that your message is easily digested and quickly recognizable. Your customers have shorter attention spans than ever!

Make it Clear

Don’t include jargon or unfamiliar language, which could lead to customers not recognizing the message you’re attempting to convey.

Be Conversational

People aren’t clicking to get a lecture. This is a highly personal platform and you’re looking for personal connections. Be a real human.

Test it Out

Does your message fit with the visuals you’ve chosen? Make sure that everything fits together.

Tip #3: Consider Your Color Palette

There are specific colors that are connected with your brand. Ideally, you want your Instagram Stories to contain those colors. While you can’t always choose your background, you can make sure that you integrate your logo or other familiar text into your images. That way, you’ll improve brand recognition and make sure that your latest post is in keeping with what your customers expect from your brand. If Instagram’s default colors don’t include the logo colors you need, try using the color dropper option to select a specific color from your logo or other items. Take a look at Converse’s Instagram strategy, for example. This company chooses to highlight a warm color palette that’s in keeping with the rest of the brand, easily drawing the eye and making it obvious which posts are from them even in a busy feed.

Tip #4: Add the Right Apps

There are a wide range of apps that can help improve your Instagram Stories and help them stand out from the crowd. Decide which apps are worth adding to your Instagram efforts, then make sure that you’ve downloaded them to your phone! These might include:

  • Boomerang, which is a great video editing tool that will turn a fun burst of photos into an exciting Instagram video experience
  • Quik: The perfect tool for sorting through your content, finding the best clips, and ensuring that you’re ready to piece together the perfect portion of your video
  • CropVideo Square Editor: Don’t leave your sizing to chance! Instead, use CropVideo’s Square Editor to design the background and sizing of your video.
  • InShot Video Editor provides an incredible range of options for your video editing pleasure, including the option to add music, voice-over, and more.

With the right video editing software on your phone, you can quickly put together that great Instagram Story video you’ve been imagining–all without having to leave your phone to accomplish it.

Tip #5: Tag Other Businesses or Users

Want to be sure that your Instagram Story gets noticed? Take advantage of the ability to tag other users. This will allow you to highlight fans who have expressed specific interest in a given area, to link up with other businesses at events, and to work together to build your following. You can often coordinate with other businesses that aren’t competitors in your space. Ask ahead, then time your campaigns together for an even better impact.

Tip #6: Use the Right Soundtrack

What sounds are taking place behind your video? In some cases, you may want it to be silent except for your voice. In others, you may want a dramatic soundtrack as you unveil a new product, show off something incredible that your business has accomplished, or make a bold move. If desired, you can use the soundtrack options already available on Instagram. Or, you may want to provide your own music or other sound effects via your editing software. It doesn’t have to be complicated for you to make it stand out from the crowd!

Tip #7: Check Your Effects

There are some incredible effects available through the Instagram app or your video editing programs. You can use stop-motion options, try a boomerang GIF, or go incredibly slow motion as you capture a stunning example of physical prowess. At the same time, however, you want to be sure that you’re using those effects wisely. While it’s great to create a fun effect, do those effects show the story you want to show? Are they providing your users with a great experience that they’ll tie back to your brand, or are they simply having fun? Make sure that your effects are used wisely. You only have a few seconds to create a memorable message!

Make the Most of Your Instagram Stories

white text on black sign stating "wake me up when I'm famous"
Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse

Instagram Stories is an excellent way to connect with your customers and provide them with a high-quality experience. Make your Stories count! By taking the time to download the right apps, plan what you’re going to say, and keep your message in keeping with your brand from its colors to its main points, you can create amazing Instagram Stories that will positively impact your marketing efforts. You might even wake up famous (or at least, with more followers anyway).

Need more tips and tricks on creating stunning video or content for your business, including a company that will help create that content for you? Contact us today to learn more about the range of services we can offer.