How to Create Stunning Instagram Stories that Engage

How to Create Stunning Instagram Stories that Engage

With a short lifespan of 24 hours and vertical orientation, Instagram Stories are extremely popular among users. Since IG Stories create a sense of urgency, the number of users who create or watch this content type is constantly growing. Back in 2019, Instagram Stories hit 500M daily users.

What is more, Stories grow 15x times faster than feed. As a result, both influencers and brands create Instagram Stories that want to get the attention of Instagrammers.

People's attention span nowadays is getting shorter and shorter thanks to the sensory overload provided by the access to many social media apps. You want to be able to grab their attention. That means you must have unique and engaging Instagram Story ideas. This ensures the consumer comes back for more or even explores your page because of that one interesting and engaging story you put up.

This article will show you how to create stunning Instagram Stories that engage. But first, let's find out why we bother about Instagram Stories.

Why Should You Create Stunning Instagram Stories?

Most Instagrammers know that Stories are popular. But here are three main reasons for all users to create stunning Instagram Stories:

  • Create a brand identity: Not only brands but also influencers work on creating a unique brand identity. When you upload creative stories that represent your style, it helps to create a specific identity with your audience. This also creates a 'persona' that the audience can either relate to or not. Those that relate and engage well with your content understand or connect with your brand's identity. This personal connection the user/follower has gives you the power to influence their decisions based on the trust they assume for you.
  • Beat the competition: Although the number of people who create Stories is constantly growing, just a few users bother about making eye-catching content that grabs their attention. When you invest time in creating stunning IG Stories, you show the audience what makes you different and unique. You only win when you are true to your identity. People only know you through what you expose and share about yourself or your brand. Creating stories on Instagram will be able to take people on a journey of your brand and help them connect on a more personal level. All in all, it leaves your competitors behind you.
  • Engage your viewers: With a wide array of stickers and in-built features, Stories give brands and people an opportunity to interact with each other. It allows you to engage your viewers and engage them for more genuine back-and-forth interaction rather than typical cut-and-dry feedback such as FAQs. Not only does it help to engage your viewers, but it also creates an emotional bond between creators and viewers.

Ephemeral content like Instagram Stories has many benefits for creators, but publishing something isn't enough to get results. It's important to know how to create stunning Instagram Stories that engage. Now it's time to learn tips and tricks.

1. Analyze Current IG Story Trends

It's no secret that social media apps change their algorithms all the time. What worked a few months ago may not work today. What is more, people get used to the content they see on every profile, so it's important to stay up-to-date when making your content.

Before starting any content creation, you must analyze current IG Story trends. It can give you the ability to understand what type of content gets pushed by the app and satisfy people's needs.

For example, sharing your brand's latest post on your Instagram page and reposting it to your stories is a trend that has been working well for the past year. It helps create curiosity and drive traffic to your page where they can engage more with your brand and content.

If you have a seasonal sale, you can inform your users about it to drive sales, too. Here's how Lulus did it:

Or you can give another trend a try and create a collage on Stories to show off your new collection to spark curiosity in a new product launch, just like ASOS tried it:

2. Stick to One Engaging Instagram Story Idea

There are several ways to have an engaging Instagram Story. But when you have one theme or idea for one IG Story, it helps the audience flow with the story and even entices them to discover more content from you.

What is more, your ideas can bring much value to your customers. For example, you can create a series of Stories that tell your audience how to take care of your products. Here's an example of this strategy from H&M:

To provide visitors with valuable content, the company makes these Stories live permanently with the help of Instagram Story Highlights. How? They simply grouped all Stories dedicated to clothing care tips in one album.

It's easy to get bored when someone tries telling a story in a disjointed manner with no logical flow to it. The same applies to stories on Instagram; stick to one story idea every 24 hours to have a happy audience.

3. Create High-Quality Visuals

Quality videos and images separate you from amateur-looking stories. This requires a good quality camera, be it on your phone or otherwise.

The quality of videos and pictures makes a big difference in catching someone's eye and attention. The visuals must be crisp and clear as possible since people have come to see more than hear or read.

One of the most important things is to know aspect ratio and dimensions.

It is necessary and non-negotiable that you edit all visuals posted on Instagram Stories. It helps to create a more professional look and touch. Moreover, there are many graphic design tools that help users edit videos and pictures with ease; Instagram editing suite is for last polishes if one chooses.

4. Find a Reliable Graphic Design Tool

This point drives home what has been emphasized previously, use good design tools for altering, adjusting, and editing the content. Yes, Instagram has editing tools and graphic design tool options, but they are very limited. This means you will look like so many other people's Instagram stories and not have a way to stand out from the crowd. Remember, you're dealing with an audience with a short attention span, and your goal is to grab people's attention. Luckily, a good graphic design tool can help you.

A graphic design tool with even preset design preferences for certain types of content will help create unique and cohesive content for your stories. Your aesthetics are created using graphic design tools. You can be as particular as you want in the design which will help make your stories stand out more. Check out the common features most graphic design tools have:

5. Add Instagram Story Effects

Adding Instagrams effects to your stories is a way to add a creative tone to your content.

During summertime, Instagram will have many more effects that help you create summer aesthetics and vibes. In turn, it can also help push your content as it is a popular effect that the app notes and it is more likely to promote posts with various effects.

Actually, Instagram has many little-known effects that can help your IG Story stand out from the crowd–just check out other profiles and draw inspiration from them.

6. Include Interactive Stickers

Instagram has a big number of stickers. The whole point of creating these stories is to be able to engage with your audience. Engagement is a two-way street. This means it is not only your responsibility to put out content as a brand but also to find ways to encourage the audience to interact and communicate with you.

Instagram has made your work easier by having stickers that allow you to interact. It can be asking a question, having a poll, sharing a catalog, sharing a link to your website, etc. these stickers also help give the audience a quick way to access your brand. Maybe some questions were burning or always wanted to know something about your brand. Having interactive moments in your stories helps to create a bond because the back and forth feels like a conversation via text like you would a friend.

But if you have the budget, you can take the next step and invest in creating your IG Story filter that engages your audience and raises brand awareness. Check out how Dunkin Donut did it:

7. Rely on Instagram Story Analytics

Creating similar Stories your audience isn't interested in, is a waste of time and effort. That's why marketers and savvy creators rely on Instagram Story analytics before making content.

The analytics reveal the hard truth no matter how hot or amazing you think your story content is. You may enjoy doing something, but if the data says no one likes or responds to it, there's no point.

The easiest way is to analyze your Story performance:

You must create content your audience enjoys; after all, you are creating content for them, not yourself. They may lean towards a style of stories you may not like as much but brings you the interaction and engagement you desire. There will be small sacrifices made for the greater good of your brand. Take your analytics seriously and adjust accordingly until you hit your sweet spot and stick to it, as long as your analytics prove their efficiency.


It's not easy to create stunning Instagram Stories that engage. There are so many things to consider when creating content that people can get excited about and engage with. Visual branding on Instagram is the best way to maximize your opportunities.

Instagram is constantly growing, adjusting, and changing, and so must you if you want to survive. So go ahead and try them when making your next IG Story. The fun part of the process is in the trial and error moments. But when you get right, you're in for success!