How to Make Pretty & Branded Instagram Stories - Jenna Kutcher

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How to Make Pretty & Branded Instagram Stories

Jenna Kutcher 

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When it comes to taking action, y’all know I’m all about taking imperfect baby steps over planning for perfection. Showing up on social media is no different. I think engaging and posting ANYTHING on social media is better than nothing at all when you’re trying to build a brand and a business.

But, for those who have the capacity, there is something to be said about having cohesive social media aesthetics.

So today, I want to talk about how to make pretty, branded Instagram stories. Y’all know the ones I’m talking about, right? You probably follow a few accounts that push out gorgeous Instagram stories that are impressively on brand and look professionally designed.

Spoiler: some people DO have professional designers create their story slides, but that’s not the only way to do it. I’m going to share a few simple ways to quickly and easily get your own pretty and branded Instagram stories!

How to get branded Instagram stories

Check out some of my favorite ways to upgrade your Instagram stories!

1. Save branded backgrounds:

  • Open your stories
  • Take a photo of anything (it doesn’t matter what it is because it will be colored over)
  • Using the draw feature, select one of your brand colors
  • Pro tip: to have more colors to choose from, hold your finger on one of IG’s main color options to open a hex color screen and move your finger to the color that you desire
  • After picking your color, hold your finger on the picture you took in order to paint the full screen that color
  • Save the photo of the color to an album on your phone so that you can reuse it for text-only Instagram stories in the future
  • Repeat for all of your brand colors so you can stay consistent!

RELATED: Beat The Algorithm: How To Rock Your Instagram Stories

2. Create story templates:

  • I use Canva for all of my graphic design needs—it’s free, easy to use, and has templates with specs fit for Instagram stories!
  • Open Canva.com
  • Navigate to Templates > Instagram Stories
  • Select the template you desire, and update with your brand colors, fonts, text, and any images you want to use
  • Pro tip: create a few variations of the template using your branding so that it’s not always the same graphic every time you share it, but it still looks cohesive
  • The app Unfold is another incredible and beautiful way to share branded Instagram stories from your phone—there’s a free version that gives you access to lots of design templates and tools

3. Use GIFs that are on brand:

  • GIFs add fun movement and character to your Instagram stories!
  • When posting a story, hit the menu icon at the top of the screen with the little smiley face on a page icon > hit the GIFs icon > search specific keywords to find ones that fit your brand, vibe, and the content you’re sharing

4. Keep things consistent:

  • I recommend using the same couple of fonts and color schemes throughout your Instagram stories to keep things cohesive
  • Save your favorite 2-3 story filters and try to only use those

5. Some final fun Instagram story tips:

  • To add a photo to one of your Instagram story templates: upload the template to your story edit screen > go to your phone’s camera roll and find the photo you want to add to the template > hold down your finger on the photo > hit “copy” > go back to your Instagram story edit screen > hold down your finger and hit “paste” and the photo will be added to the template. You can resize the image to make it fit well.
  • To create shadow boxing for your Instagram story text: type something in your story > copy and paste the text into a new text box > change the colors > lay one text over the other slightly off center to create a shadow effect.
  • To create a see-through “film” over a photo or video: do the same steps in tip #1 “Use Branded Backgrounds” above, but instead of using the plain color drawer, use the highlighter (the third option in the draw feature). Select the color you want and hold down your finger on your photo/video to apply a see-through film. You can also use the eraser button to stylistically remove some of the color.

Just like personal branding, there’s no right or wrong way to figure out your Instagram story style! My biggest tip is to do what feels good to YOU and try to be as consistent as possible. People will start to recognize your style and associate your branding with the messages you deliver, which deepens brand recognition and trust. I can’t wait to see your branded Instagram story creations!


Ready to take your IG story highlights up a notch?

Get my free guide to beautifying your Instagram story highlight icons!

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