Updated June 2017.

Since the introduction in August 2016, Instagram Stories has reached 250 million daily users and the platform is now a significant threat to Snapchat – the original creator of this micro-vlogging functionality.

But I’m not here to talk stats, metrics and data. I’m here to show you how to be more creative with your Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories

As you’ll know as an Instagram Stories user, (I presume you DO already use it if you’ve come to this blog) the content is produced by capturing images and video via your phone. The purpose of an Instagram Story can vary; personal users will show you everything from their dinner to the story of their day, businesses will give you insights to their products whilst influencers will share knowledge and expertise – there are numerous ways to user Instagram Stories.

I’d seen various accounts using what I believed to be custom created images and videos. I assumed they’d found some neat way of creating a video on a laptop and had then filmed their laptop in order to get the content to appear in Instagram Stories … but I was wrong, very wrong!

No, unlike Snapchat, Instagram will let you add a video or photo from your camera roll to your story, just so long as it was created (or edited – tip!) within the last 24 hours.

When I found this out I got to thinking, “How can I do something a little different? How can I be more creative with Instagram Stories?”.

Before I show you how to be more creative let me first explain WHY it’s good to be creative.

Why be creative?

The number of people micro-vlogging is phenomenal. 350 million daily users on Instagram Stories and a slightly higher number using Snapchat (source: TechCrunch). If you want to be heard you need to stand out, so how do you stand out?

By doing something different. Granted, what I’m going to show you isn’t mind-blowing, but it’s certainly going to let you differentiate from a high number of people on your Instagram timeline, and that’s a good thing.

That’s not all, though. Personally, I find that with all forms of blogging, vlogging and micro-vlogging you get tired of your own content. You find a format that works but then you get to a point where you feel like a change, so you need a new idea. Use this as your new idea.

How to Add Animation to Instagram Stories

The video below will show you how to add animations to your Instagram Stories whilst also demonstrating how you can add images and videos from your camera roll.

That’s cool, what else can I do?

The functionality available within Instagram Stories changes at an incredible rate. Almost every month there is new functionality appearing on the platform which allows users to be more creative and have more fun with their content.

Since I wrote this article a year ago we’ve had new features arrive such as:

  • SuperZoom
  • Type
  • GIFs (which have been FANTASTIC)
  • Polls
  • Stop-Motion
  • Live with 2 people

These are all incredible features which have enabled users to becomore more creative whilst also increasing the engagement their have with their audience.

Over on my Instagram account, I’ve created a range of videos which help you to be more creative with your story, here are the direct links to them:

Set Background Colour on Instagram Stories

Add Overlays using Videshop

Use Stickers to Add Depth to Background

Create a Build Story for Instagram Stories

Add your Location to Instagram Stories

Create an Instagram Story Highlight

If you have any follow-up questions simply leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you straight away.

If you want to follow me on Instagram you’ll find me here – @SimonSocialMedia

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