Instagram Stories have been around for quite a while now, and we have actually already shared a few articles regarding how you can make better use of them to build engagement on your account. In this new write-up, I wanted to share with you a couple of techniques that aren’t too tedious to use on a regular basis to help you build higher quality stories. The goal is to create stories that people will want to follow on a daily basis and thus start to engage more with you. Content may not be king on social networks anymore, but it’s still the only thing that retains followers.
The five tips I’ll share with you below are mostly from my experience and what I found has made a difference on my account over the past few months. Before that, I used to purely rely on basic images and Instagram filters to create stories, but I quickly discovered that it just wasn’t making them attractive enough. However, I didn’t want to carry a DSLR all day long and spend my evenings in Premiere Pro editing content to then share for 24 hours on Instagram. So I found a couple of alternatives to make the best I could without losing time.
Use VSCO to Edit Your Stories
There are tonnes of apps out there to edit your images. My favorite ones are Lightroom and VSCO. I always rely on VSCO for my color editing because with the VSCO X subscription; I get enough presets that match my creative vision without having to fiddle with curves, levels, and the like. Better yet, I can also edit my video files before posting them to my story. This makes it easy to have consistent color grading between each and every one of my image and video! Color consistency is critical to give the impression of a higher quality story to your followers. They’ll know they’re looking at your profile and note someone else’s just because of your color editing if it’s consistent enough.
Lightroom for mobile is also a great tool, but I personally only use it when I need to make a local adjustment to a picture. Otherwise, VSCO offers more than enough options to refine my images. The subscription to VSCO X is worth it, but if you’re not sure about it, give a try to the free version – just be aware that you won’t be able to edit your videos without the subscription.
Use the Boomerang App for High-Quality Boomerangs
Boomerangs are a staple of Instagram. It’s not something that you should use every day but definitely one trick that can be fun on some occasions. When filming them within the Instagram app, they tend to then be extremely compressed once uploaded. To get a better result, download the Boomerang app, tap four times with four fingers in the app, and make sure it shoots in the highest quality settings possible. Once you’ve saved your Boomerang, don’t forget that you can color grade it in VSCO before uploading it to your story.
Take Advantage of the WiFi on Your Camera
Most of our cameras nowadays offer a WiFi feature to send the pictures straight to your phone without having to lug a laptop around. I use my Nikon D750 all the time to shoot behind the scenes images and then upload them to my story. Of course, I’ll edit the files in VSCO before posting them, but you can also tweak them a bit in camera before even uploading them to your phone.
Shooting with your camera makes it easier to get a more high-quality look than with your phone. You can use different lenses, benefit from the larger dynamic range, and a snappier autofocus to capture every critical moment. But I guess I don’t have to tell you why shooting with a real camera is better than with your phone…
Blend Your Text With the Image
Adding text to your stories is an excellent idea. First, because you can tag people, and second because it’s easier to engage with words sometimes than just an image. When adding text, there a few tricks you can use to make it look better. One of them is to use the color sampler so that your words are only in colors contained in your image. Keeping things in a proper color palette is always best practice.
Another trick that works is aligning your text blocks to create a tiny text square or rectangle. It will attract the attention of your viewers and be a bit more appealing to the eye.
Post on a Regular Basis
Last but not least, the most important aspect of stories is to publish content on a regular basis. I’m not saying you should post something every other minute, but having a story with a minimum of 3-5 images or clips per day would be a great idea. You want your followers to see your name and your work every day; it’s just about branding and marketing. The more people look at your work and name, the more they’ll remember you and talk about you.
Remember that you don’t need incredibly unique content to share to create exciting stories. What may seem normal to you could just be extraordinary for others. Behind the scenes of your photo shoots, a glimpse of your retouching work, before/after of your edited work, getting new gear, showing how something works, or even just your normal life. People love to learn more about you, your work, and simply what you are up to. So don’t find excuses not to post every day. It’s quite easy once you get used to it. It just takes time to become accustomed to documenting your day and your work.
The different tips above won’t drastically increase your follower count. However, everyone who does well on social media knows one thing: it’s great to get new followers, even better to take care of the ones you already have. So be sure to engage with your followers and share your content as well as a bit of your life through your stories to keep things interesting for them and market yourself.
I’d love to hear about your take on Instagram Stories. What do you do to keep it entertaining? Does it really help your account to grow or get more people to engage? Do you find it difficult to be consistent with how much you post per day? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.