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How to Create Custom Instagram Story Templates

By Emma Berry | Designer Tutorials

Instagram Stories are a quick and easy way to share short-term and engaging content with your followers. Instagram Stories are formatted into 15-second videos that allow Instagram users to post photo or video content for a period of 24 hours. With over 500 million daily active users, there’s a massive audience to engage with (which helps boost your algorithm and increases your overall content views), Instagram Stories are definitely worth your while.

Instagram Story Food

What Is an Instagram Story?

Stories are a unique way to tell a story with a sequence of personalized photos or videos that you can share in short, 15-second videos. Since their release in 2016, Instagram Stories have taken off in a big way. Whether you’re using Instagram to build your business or your personal brand, incorporating Stories into your social media strategy will help bring your brand’s personality to life, showcase your products, engage your followers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your work. 

Although Instagram has added a few new features since its release in 2016, there’s still not a lot of room for you to get super creative. That's why we’re here to show you how to unleash your creative freedom and create eye-catching content with more font choices, color schemes, and possibilities than you could ever imagine with BeFunky’s Designer. You’ll be able to create Story templates that are not only on-brand, but completely reusable to make your social media workflow easier than ever!

Why Use Instagram Stories?

Every time a user engages with your Instagram account, whether they’re liking your photos, clicking on your page, or viewing your Instagram Stories or Reels, you increase your chances of prioritizing your future content to that user. That means the followers who are engaging with your content the most will see your new content more frequently, resulting in more likes and followers, and ultimately more traffic to your work! Our Designer has the perfect tools to help you create engaging content for your follower and get you on the Instagram algorithm’s good side. 

Types of Instagram Stories

Social media has really taken the marketing industry by storm and become more than just a place to connect with friends and family. In 2021, it was reported that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one brand. Incorporating Instagram Stories into your social media strategy only increases your chances to perform well, and it’s easy to start with a little planning and the right tools to create Story slides. Here are a few of our favorite ways to create engaging Instagram Story content:

Feature Your Audience

Instagram users love a good shoutout, especially from a brand. If your followers are tagging you because they love your products, consider it impactful word-of-mouth advertising and reward those users by showcasing them in your Story. Simply take a screenshot of their post and incorporate it into your Story template, tag the user and say thank you!

Show Behind-the-Scenes Footage

Everybody loves a little peek behind the curtain, and adding some behind-the-scenes footage helps give some personality to your brand. Give your followers a taste of how your products are made, give them a chance to get to know people who work behind the scenes, or show some exclusive footage.

Showcase New Products

Just launched a new product? Instagram Stories are the perfect addition to your next social media marketing campaign. The best part is, if you have over 10,000 followers and are set up as an Instagram Business account, you can add a direct link to that product in your Story. 

how to design custom instagram stories in BeFunky

Drive Traffic to Your Latest Blog or Instagram Post

Whenever you post a new blog post or Instagram post to your feed, it’s always a good next step to market it to your Instagram Story. Use a series of related photos and give your followers a sneak peek at your new post. That way if they somehow missed your latest photo in their Instagram feed due to the algorithm, they’ll have a better chance of engaging with your content in your Story. 

Use the Question Feature

Another great way to engage your followers more directly is by using Instagram’s question sticker. This allows you to pose a question or series of questions to your followers and get some direct feedback. To make these questions more engaging, create some custom and creative templates to entice your followers to answer!

How to Create Custom Instagram Story Templates

Aside from more creative freedom, the best thing about using BeFunky to design Instagram Story templates is that it will save you time. When you create a custom template in BeFunky, you can save it as a project, meaning you can save your template in an editable format to reuse over and over again. When you have new content to market in Instagram Story form, all you need to do is reload the project, change the text and photos, and you’ll have a new story in no time. Your creative workflow will be more seamless than ever, and your social media content will be next level – a win-win.  So with that being said, let's get creating!

Social Media Story Canvas

Step 1: Size Your Template

Before you start designing, it’s important to research some Story looks and choose an aesthetic that best fits your brand. Once you have an idea, head to the Designer and select Blank Canvas.

Since Instagram Stories are sized at 1080 x 1920 pixels, simply choose the Social Media Story blank canvas. From here, you can choose to make a story that is purely made up of graphics, photos, or a blend of both.

Step 2: Customize Your Template

Now that your blank template is perfectly sized for an Instagram Story slide, it’s time to let your creativity shine. If you want to change the background color of your template, click on the Customize tab and use the Color Palette to select any background color you wish.

If you’d rather keep a clean white background (like we have), you can start by adding the images that help tell your story. You can add photos by simply clicking and dragging them into the Designer interface. You can also use the Image Manager tab to upload your own images or choose from our library of free stock photo imagery. Use the blue circles around each image to resize them to your liking, and drag them around your template to position them just right. You can make more adjustments in the Image Properties tab.

Add Images Insta Story

Step 3: Add Text

To add text to your Instagram Story template, click on the Text tab in the menu on the left and select the Add Text button. You’ll be presented with a textbox that you can use to type your messaging. Notice that any time you have a textbox selected, a Text Properties menu appears for you to change the Font, Font Color, Spacing, and more! If your brand has a specific font, you can easily add it to the Font Library and use it in your designs. And even if you don’t know the first thing about fonts, here’s some font pairing inspiration that will help you look like a pro in no time!

Add Text Insta Story

Step 4: Add Design Elements

Next, make your Instagram Story stand out even more by clicking on the Design Elements tab in the menu on the left. Once there, you can search a wide selection of customizable graphics that can help add depth and intrigue to your Story. When you find a graphic you like, simply click on it and it’ll be added right to your template. Using the Graphic Properties menu that appears, you can change the Color Overlay, Opacity, and more. Keep in mind that any graphics you use should accentuate certain elements of your Story. If the graphic distracts from the main content, try keeping your story more simple so that the focus is where it needs to be.

Add Graphics Insta Social

Step 5: Save Your Project

When you feel your first Instagram Story template looks the way you want it, use the Save button at the top of the Designer to save the project to your computer, after which you can send the file from your computer to your phone for uploading to Instagram. Then, click the Save menu again and select Save as Project. You’ll then be able to name your Story Template and save it in editable format to your Computer or BeFunky account for accessing and re-customizing later.

Step 6: Create More Stories!

When you want to create a design using one of your Instagram Story templates, all you have to do is use the Open tab at the top of the Designer, reopen the project from your Computer or BeFunky account (wherever you chose to originally save your template), and you’ll be right back where you left off. Trust us, it’ll save you tons of time and creative energy for future posts, all the while giving you a plethora of options for designing content that is sure to stand out.

Instagram Story Template Inspiration

We recommend creating 3 – 5 different Instagram Story template styles for fast editing in the future. That way, whenever you have new content to share or products to promote, you’ll be able to whip up an engaging Story in a snap. Here are two inspirational templates that will help promote your latest Instagram feed post and prompt your followers with a question. 

To Help Drive Traffic to Your Latest Feed Post

To help you drive traffic to your latest Instagram feed post, try creating a story template that incorporates your latest post in a creative way. Make sure to add text that directs your followers to your new post.

Insta Story Inspo

To Ask Your Followers a Question

When asking your followers a question, create a template with a photo to help prompt your followers and some custom text to write out the question. Leave a little space where you can add the Instagram Question Box or Poll feature on top, and then you’re all set!

Insta Story Poll

Tell Your Story With a Template!

Creating Instagram Story templates will be a huge game-changer when it comes to your social media engagement, and you won’t find another app or platform that makes creating Instagram Stories as much of a breeze. Use BeFunky’s Designer app to help make your Instagram Stories stand out from the rest!

customizable instagram story template maker

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