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How to Create Instagram Stories Highlights That Serve Your Customers

Instagram Stories Highlights - The Basics

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What are Instagram Stories Highlights?

Although Stories Highlights are already essential business for some, for those just starting out, Instagram Stories Highlights are Stories that live forever on your profile whereas regular Stories only exist for 24 hours.

Highlights are Stories that can be saved and categorized so that viewers - both new and old - can watch them at any time.

Sitting just below your profile and slightly above your feed, Highlights provide context for your brand - what it is, what problem it solves, and how it solves said problem.

How to Create Stories Highlights

Stories Highlights can provide viewers with specific information about your brand, products, frequently asked questions, and much more. As a brand, you can leverage Highlights as a way to make sure that your viewers can find what they need, where they are - and where they are is Instagram.

Here’s a quick guide on how to create Instagram Stories Highlights:

In order to create a Highlight, you can do it three ways: within your Stories, in the Archive section, or tap the “New” circle on the far left below your bio.

Create Highlight Within Your Stories:
  1. You will see an option at the bottom of your screen (second icon with the “heart in a circle” with “HIGHLIGHT” below it on the right side).
  2. Tap on the + (plus) icon to add, then name it.
Create Highlight Within the Archive Section:
  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap on the Archive Icon (clock with a turned back arrow) located at the top right of your screen.
  3. Tap on the More Icon (three dots) located at the top right of your screen.
  4. Tap on “Create Highlight”
Create Highlight Using the “New” Button:

This button is the circle on the far left below your bio (this appears in your bio once you have at least one highlight saved)

  1. Next, choose whichever stories you’d like to share from your archive, choose a cover image, and name it.
  2. Once you’ve done that, your highlight will show up as a circle on your profile, and your followers can click to watch it as a stand-alone story. The Stories Highlights will stay on your profile until you decide to delete them, and there is no limit to how many highlights you can have!
  3. Simply tap and hold the desired highlight on your profile to remove or edit.

Instagram Stories Highlights Tip #1: Tutorials and How-To Guides

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ys to leverage Stories Highlights is to use them to create teachable moments for your customers. They want to learn more about your brand and how to use your products. Additionally, customers want insight into your expertise - so give it to them!

Use your Highlights to educate. Create tutorials, how-to’s, tips, and guides for products and services that you know your viewers want to see.

A great Highlights strategy should also help you brand yourself a thought leader. Show that you’re an innovator in your field when creating these tutorials, how-to’s, and hacks. Try to provide insight that’s new and creative, fun and thoughtful.

Fact: 60% of all users learn about new products on Instagram. Users are searching for you and your products. Your Highlights can help navigate that learning experience.

Now you try: Allure Magazine provides excellent tips and guides in their Highlights.

Instagram Stories Highlights Tip #2: Promote Products & Services

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Primarily, your Stories Highlights are to showcase your brand and its products and services. Viewers should be able to sift through your Highlights and know exactly what your product or service is, what it does, and how they can get it.

200 million Instagram users visit a business profile daily. There are very literally hundreds of millions of opportunities for potential customers to view your product via your Highlights every day. Being prepared and having these Stories Highlights ready for potential customers is essential to growing your business.

Highlights can help you showcase new product releases, promote upcoming sales, or build attendance to physical of digital events. Ultimately, your Highlights work as a digital marketing arm of your business. Treat them like you would your webpage of any other marketing materials where you expect a return of your investment.

Fact: 70% of users will look-up a brand on Instagram. Make sure those users can learn from your Highlights when they find you!

Now you try: Backdrop promotes its brand by showcasing the different shades of paint they have created and how to use them in your home.

Instagram Stories Highlights Tip #3: Share Inspiration and BTS

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Nothing makes your audience feel more special than pulling back the curtain and letting them into your creative process. Customers don’t only want to experience the magic, they want to see how it works.

Provide a little behind-the-scenes (BTS) brand footage through your Highlights and watch how quickly it creates community among your customers. It’s important that your community feels connected to you and your brand. This is a great way to humanize your brand and your social media content.

You can also use Instagram Stories Highlights to show what inspires you. Whether it’s art, magazines, travel, interior design, or architecture, think about creating an “Inspo” Highlight and fill it with the Stories that drive you creatively.

Now you try: Williams Sonoma takes its customers behind-the-scenes in the kitchen, showing them unique dishes to cook with their kitchenware.

Instagram Stories Highlights Tip #4: Advertise Other Social Media Platforms

If you have great content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social media platforms, use your Highlights to promote those verticals.

In the same way that you would use the Swipe-Up tool to promote your webpage in your Stories, you can use Highlights to leverage engagement on your other social networks.

This 360-degree approach uses one platform to get eyes, likes, comments, and impressions on others. Advertise all your brand verticals, and add direct likes to your Facebook Live, Youtube, or Pinterest boards.

Simply, don’t limit the growth of your social media by just promoting your Instagram. Do the opposite: Use Instagram to promote everything else.

Instagram Stories Highlights Tip #5: Conduct Polls & Ask Questions

At a very base level, Instagram is about communication. If you’re not talking to your customers, learning from them, and taking their experiences into account, you’re missing out on a large opportunity to grow.

Use the polling feature to find out what your customers what. Ask them key questions about your brand and how they want to see it grow. By creating Highlights, customers can answer these questions at any time, not just the time when you first posted them.

Communication is community and community creates loyalty. Talk to your customers as much as you can. You should also consider creating a frequently asked questions Highlight so they customers can find what they may seek out on your website, on Instagram.

Fact: 73% of US teens believe that Instagram is the best vertical for brands to reach them about new products and promotions.

Instagram Stories Highlights Tip #6: Upgrade to StoriesEdit Pro

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Already using StoriesEdit but want in need of a slight update to amplify your Stories and Stories Highlights? StoriesEdit PRO is exactly the tool that you need to help set your Stories apart from the pack.

These premium templates and stickers are ideal for product placement, lookbooks, and much more! Here’s what you’ll get and how to get it:

What Does StoriesEdit PRO Cost?

A monthly subscription to StoriesEdit Pro will be $2.99 and a yearly subscription will be $19.99 through the Apple Store and Google Play Store.  

What StoriesEdit PRO Gets You

  • Canvas/Resizing options to share your creations across different social media platforms
  • Elevated Template Collections
  • More Variety to Build and Create
  • Monthly and Yearly Options
  • Premium Stickers

Try it Now: StoriesEdit gives you all the how-to’s, inspiration, guides, and templates you need to build your Stories and Highlights!

Instagram Stories Highlights Tip #7: Share User-Generated Content

As an extension of tip #5, cement your brand loyalty by sharing your customers with thoughtful User-Generated Content (UGC).

Think of creating an ongoing Highlight where you feature customers using your products or experiencing your services.

Hopefully, you’ve already created a brand hashtag so that when customers use your products they have an effective method to tag you. That way, it’s simple for you to find these mentions and reshare them.

When resharing UGC, always make sure you get permission first and credit the user and any photographers.

Instagram Stories Highlights Tip #8: Highlight Reviews & Testimonials

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Don’t just share customers using your products, share their positive reviews of those products!

There’s nothing more reaffirming for new customers than existing customers singing your praises. This is a very easy and organic way to build brand awareness!

By highlighting positive reviews and user testimonials through your Highlights, you’re allowing satisfied customers to market your products for you.

Now you try: Check out 'mentions' in on PLANOLY's Highlights where we shout out our #PLANOYFam

Instagram Stories Highlights Tip #9: Create Highlight Covers

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Creating Highlight covers is a great way to add distinction to your Stories Highlights!

This is the first impression your customers have after reading your profile. Make sure you stand out with engaging and polished covers that draw attention to your Highlights.

To create Highlights covers, you can use apps like Canva. Or, if you’re a little more skilled and can edit your own images, Adobe Creative Suite may be more your speed.  

Now you try: Refinery29 does a great job with its colorful and fun Highlight covers!

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Now you’re ready to take your Instagram Stories Highlights to the next level! Discover more here: Instagram Stories best practices.

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Darren Griffin

Darren Griffin was a contributing Senior Writer at PLANOLY. His expertise includes culture, fashion, and social media marketing.

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