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Supercharge Your Instagram Highlights in 2021

Instagram Story Highlights: are you using this amazing feature the right way?

Instagram has gone through many changes over the years. One of the biggest changes was the introduction of Instagram Story Highlights.

This is a very useful tool for every Instagram profile to make a better first impression, organize your content and have a more professional look.

Many people miss out on the many opportunities that they provide.

In this guide you’ll find out why you should be utilizing them and how to create professional looking Story Highlight Covers.

Plus, if you’ll read until the end, you’ll find a secret way to utilize them!

Let’s begin!

Why should you use Instagram Story Highlights?

Instagram is generally used in short bursts as a way to pass the time on public transportation or while waiting for a friend. Our attention span is decreasing year after year, so you have just a few seconds to make a great first impression and show that your profile it’s worth a follow.

Instagram Highlight Cover Examples

So, right after the Bio, your Story Highlights quickly explain what your page is about. Unlike Instagram Stories that disappear after 24h, Instagram Story Highlights can be visible forever on your profile. Not only you can showcase your best Instagram Stories, but you can also use them in many more creative ways!

What Story Highlights can you create?

Instagram has made it easier to give your profile a “portfolio-like” feel.

Dain Walker's Instagram Highlights

In fact, over the years the app has added a lot of new features to share any kind of content. Now, there’s a lot of different reasons why people utilize Instagram. Some people simply like posting pictures of themselves, some other like to share their best moments with their friends. Some others use it to grow their Personal Brand and others utilize to grow their Business.

So, depending on the way you utilize the app, there’s many different ways to use Instagram Story Highlights.

If you have a Personal Profile, here’s 5 great ideas to utilize your Instagram Story Highlights:

- Your Passions and Hobbies

Are you interested in Makeup and Fitness? Share your best looks or the Stories that you took when you were in the gym!

- Your Best Posts

One thing that I do is to share my best posts on my Instagram Stories, so that I can divide them into different categories and they become a lot easier to find!

- Goals you achieved

Another thing worth sharing are the goals that you achieved, such as your Graduation or an Award that you won - show everyone that you made it!

- Events you took part

If you went to the Stadium or to a Concert, even if it was a couple years ago, it would be cool to let your followers experience what it felt like!

- Cities or Countries you visited

This is probably the most commonly used one, but if you travel a lot you could take your followers to a trip around the world!

What if I have a Business account, should I use them too?

The answer is a Big YES! If you have an Instagram account for your Business, you should treat your Highlights as your Website.

What does it mean?

Your Website has a Navigation Menu with different sections such as your Services, your Blog and About Me. Notice that they’re both very simple and very effective, exactly like Story Highlights! The first thing I would do is to go on your Website and replicate these topics.

Using icons for Instagram Highlight Covers

Think about the visitors of your Instagram page as potential customers: what are they looking for? In a similar way to your website navigation menu, you can create Highlights for sections such as your Services, About Me and FAQ.

Here are the Top 7 Must Have Highlights you should have right now on your Business Account:

- About Me

- Hire Me or Work with Me

- New Products or New Collections

- Link to your Website with the Swipe Up button (only for profiles with more than 10K Followers)

- FAQ

- Testimonials

- Contact Me

This way everyone who visits your Instagram profile will immediately understand who you are and what they can get from you.

Again, nobody wants to spend more than 5 seconds trying to figure out what’s unique about your business, especially while using social media. Always have your ideal customer in mind: What are his needs? What are his problems? What kind of solution can you give him?

So, plan your Instagram Stories so that they can be utilized to these purposes. Another great way to utilize your Stories is to show the “behind the scenes” of your Business.

This way your Followers can understand what goes into the creation of your Product, or see the faces of who works for your Business and learn something new! Tell authentic stories and show appreciation to your customers, let them know that you care about them. Not many companies do this, and they’re missing out on a big opportunity to connect with their audience and show the human side of their brand.

How to Create Good Looking Covers

You uploaded a lot of fantastic Instagram Stories. Now what? Now comes the fun part: Finding the right Cover!

Instagram Highlight Cover Examples

This is a very important aspect, since the look of your page really depends on them. You want to choose a Cover that’s going to sum up that Highlight really well.

There are a few different options here:

  1. You can choose from one of the screenshots that Instagram pulls out from one of your Stories in your Highlight;
  2. You can choose a different image from your camera roll;
  3. You can create a Custom Cover image to have more control on your page’s colours and have a more professional look.

In fact, many creators do this!

Instead of using a normal picture as your Highlight Cover, they create brand new icons that give a perfect idea of what that Highlight contains. This makes it easier for who visits your profile to find your best stories and posts (if you shared them on your Instagram Stories).

How to create Custom Highlight covers in Canva

It’s very easy and it doesn’t take much time at all. There are many free apps that you can utilize such as Phonto, Canva or even Photoshop. I personally prefer Canva, as it is very easy to use.

All you need to do is to create an Account (which is totally free) and then you’re ready to start creating! The thing I love about Canva is that you can save all your Templates and Designs, so you can have access to them on your phone and your computer.

Plus, for just 9.99$ a month, you have access to more that 70+ million photos, videos and graphics, which is definitely worth it! You can save all your Projects on the App and you can download them all on your camera roll so that you can easily upload them on Instagram whenever you want to create a new Highlight!

To do that, follow these 10 simple steps:

1.    Open the Canva app, then Tap on the Plus Button on the bottom right corner of your screen.

2.    Select “Custom dimensions” and choose 2000 x 2000 pixels.

This way you’ll create an image that’s both high quality and squared, which is perfect for Instagram Story Highlights.

3.    Tap on the square you just created and select the coloured square on the bottom left of your screen, then pick the colour that better represents your Brand.

                 

           

4.    Canva will you a few Templates to start, but don’t use them, as you want to create your own personalized icons. So, select Elements.

5.    Search for the icon that better represents the topic of your Highlight.

In this case, I’m going to create a new Highlight about Volleyball, but you can choose whatever you want!

6.    Once you found the perfect Icon, put it right in the middle and adjust its size.

7.    Go on the 3 dots on the top of your screen to save your project.

Once you finished editing your project, download it on your camera roll by tapping on the download icon.

Great! You’ve just created a new custom icon for your Instagram Story Highlights!

Now open up Instagram to finish this process.

8.    On Instagram, go on your profile and tap on the Plus Button to create a new Highlight and select the Stories that you want to add in it.

9.    Go on Edit Cover, tap on the Gallery icon on the bottom and select the icon you just created.

10. Now you can write the Title. You can only use a maximum of 15 letters.

Here you can adjust the size once again, once you’ve finished select “Done”.

There you go! That’s how you upload a new Instagram Story Highlight with a Personalized Cover!

Make sure you use a consistent design style across your highlights that matches your overall brand aesthetics.

Instagram Highlights Tips & Tricks

Now that you know why Instagram Story Highlights are important and how to create personalized icons, you need to learn a few more things.

How many highlights should you use

I’d suggest you to create 5 to 10 highlights to utilize all the space you can between your Bio and your Grid. That’s because only uploading 1 or 2 creates a sense of emptiness that doesn’t look great.

Pro Tip: Avoid adding text on the Cover Image, the space is too small to read, simply write it below. Remember: you can only use 15 letters for your Titles, so keep them short and simple.

How to reorder multiple Instagram story highlights

If you created multiple highlights, you can also reorder them. How?

Just hold the icon of one you want to place in the first place on the first spot on the left, click on Edit Highlight,add a random Instagram Story and then save it.

Once it goes on the first place on the left, edit it again and simply remove the story that you just added.

You also have the limit of 100 stories per Highlight, so keep that in mind too.

How to see who viewed your story highlights

Unfortunately, you can’t see who watches them, but there’s one thing that you can do to make sure they’re always relevant!

Upload a story that has a Call to Action in it, for example use the Swipe Up button or ask a question and let the viewers reply in the DM’s.

You can also share your newest Instagram Guide on your Stories so that it becomes the first thing your followers see when they visit your profile.

This way your Stories will be valuable forever!

Instagram story highlight shortcuts

This is a secret way to utilize your Highlights! Sometimes you might be getting the same questions in your DM’s every day. This is very annoying, especially when you have a lot of content that addresses these topics.

So, the first thing you can do to avoid this is to redesign your Story Highlights to organise your best content in one place that’s easy to access. Then, hold on a Story Highlight icon, until options appear and copy the Highlight link.

Go into a DM with someone and click the Plus icon.

Then click on the Quick Replies’ icon.

Hit the Plus Icon to add a new Quick Reply and setup a shortcut for each of your story highlights, pasting the link as the message. Then hit save for each quick reply.

Now whenever someone asks about these common topics, you can link them to all your best content around that topic with an easy Quick Reply, directing them straight to the relevant Story Highlight.

Conclusion

As you can see, this feature has a lot of potential, so make sure you don’t miss out on the many opportunities that you can get from it!

Make sure you utilize Instagram Stories to engage with your community, as they play a crucial role in establishing your Brand presence.

That’s because they have handy tools to help you reach new audiences that otherwise would never see your content.

Have fun creating your Highlight Covers and make sure you put some time into creating high-quality ones to get new followers, increase your brand awareness and showcase your content!  

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