Are you looking for ways to create fun and engaging Instagram Stories?
Want to learn some design tricks that will help you create Stories that look more professional?
In this article, you’ll discover 6 low cost, easy-to-use design tools that will transform your Instagram Stories!
6 Instagram Stories Design Tools for Marketers
#1: Customize Stories Templates With Easil
Price range: Basic plan is free (Plus Plan $7.50)
Easil is a browser-based platform that offers a range of templates and tools to help you create high-quality marketing materials, including Instagram Stories. Whatever you’re using Stories for, whether it’s to promote a special offer, drive traffic to a blog post, or to announce an Instagram takeover, you’ll find a specific template that you can easily edit and personalize.
To get started, visit easil.com and create an account for free. You’ll see a button to ‘Create New Design’, and then you’ll have the choice from a range of templates.
You can choose any social media post template and then adjust the dimensions by selecting ‘Resize’ from the right-hand side dropdown menu.
You can also head straight to the ‘Stories’ templates located on the left-hand side dropdown when you choose ‘Create New Design’.
The correct Story dimensions are pre-set, so if you want to keep it simple, all you need to do is modify the copy in the template.
If you want to personalize the template further, you can change the font by selecting the copy and searching the available fonts from the dropdown in the top left corner.
You can change the colour of elements in the design, or remove them completely, just by highlighting them and selecting the appropriate icon.
To add additional creative elements, such as icons, patterns, and fonts, you’ll find everything on the menu bar on the right. If you’re feeling extra confident in your design skills, there’s also the option to incorporate stock imagery into the template design. To access the stock imagery library, click on the photo icon on the menu bar and enter your search term into the search bar.
Once you’ve finalized your design, you can download the image as a PNG ready for sharing to Instagram Stories.
#2: Add Title Text and Music Clips to Stories With Hype Type
Price range: Free with in-app purchases
Hype Type is a great iOS app for adding fun typography and music clips to your Stories.
To get started, open the app and capture your Story on the app itself, or upload a photo or video from your camera roll. To access your photos and videos, swipe up on the screen.
When you have your photo or video ready, select the ‘T’ symbol to swipe through the fonts and choose your favorite. You can reposition the font by tapping on it and moving it around the screen.
Double tap the font as it appears over your image or video to edit the copy and select the blue check symbol when you’re happy with it. If you’re short on inspiration, you can also find general quotes ready to post when you click on the apostrophe icon.
To add music, select the music bar symbol and click ‘Add Music’. This will bring up a search bar where you can enter the name of a musician or song, or browse recommended tracks that you can add to your Story for extra impact.
When you’ve found the song you want, select ‘Use It’ to add it to your Story.
When your Story is complete, select the blue tick on the screen and you’ll see a download icon and three social sharing options. Selecting the Instagram icon will save the Story to your camera roll and take you straight to Instagram Stories to upload it there.
#3: Build a Multi-Page Story With Unfold
Price range: Free
Unfold is free app for iOS that is best suited for editing lifestyle, fashion and travel content. It offers stylized, minimalistic templates that make your content look polished and professional with very little effort.
You can add borders to your template, edit fonts, and customize your copy. Unfold lets you create your Story in one go, ready to upload straight to Instagram.
The first step is to create a new Story by selecting the plus symbol at the top of the app. You’ll be prompted to name your Story to help you create organized Story folders.
Next, choose the layout of your Story. You can go for a single image or opt to use the templates with a number of image containers to create a collage. Swipe through the templates at the bottom of the screen and tap the one you want to use.
You can then add your images by clicking on the plus icons in the template.
This will bring up your camera roll and allow you to search your albums for the images you want to use.
To re-arrange images, just tap and hold an image and drag it into the preferred placement.
To add another page to your Story, just click the plus icon at the bottom centre of the screen. You’ll be prompted again to select a layout – it could be the same as the one you used previously, or something completely different to give your Story some variety. You can add as many pages as you like by repeating the process.
To add a page with text only, select the layout with horizontal lines as opposed to image containers. Simply tap the copy to edit it.
Finally, save your Story to your camera roll by selecting the download arrow in the top right corner, and then upload to Instagram Stories manually.
#4: Turn Photos into a Video Story With Quik
Price range: Free
Quik is an easy-to-use video editing app for iOS and Android with pre-set transitions, graphics and soundtrack, which also optimizes video for a vertical display. It works with photos and videos captured with GoPro (it’s actually created by GoPro) and other devices to create high-quality videos you can share on social.
When you’ve downloaded the app, select the plus icon to add at least 5 images or a video from your camera roll.
Once you’ve selected the media you want, click ‘Add’ in the top right corner to create your video. If selecting photos, you can tap and drag them into the order you want them to appear in your video slideshow.
Each video will have an opening slide displaying the video title, which you can write yourself by tapping on the text. Delete the placeholder text and add your own title to give some context to your video.
To change the design of the title slide, scroll through the templates at the bottom of the screen and tap them to try them out. When you’ve found a good fit, click the save button.
To create a video suitable for Instagram Stories, you’ll want to change the orientation to portrait. You can do this by tapping the spanner icon, selecting ‘Format’, ‘Portrait’, and clicking ‘OK’.
Music will automatically be added to your video. To change the track, select the music note icon and scroll through the available tracks by theme. Alternatively, you can select one from your own music library, or opt for ‘no music’ if you prefer.
Once your video is finished, click ‘Save’ and you’ll have the option to share it on social or download it to your photo library.
#5: Create Professional Story Graphics With Spark Post
Price range: Free or $9.99 p/m for a Premium Plan
Adobe Spark’s ‘Spark Post’ offers a range of marketing templates with a variety of graphics, fonts, and backgrounds. You can also upload your own brand assets, such as logos and fonts, with a Premium Plan, which costs $9.99 per month.
To create engaging Instagram Stories with Spark Post, go to spark.adobe.com and select the plus icon to create a new post.
You can then browse templates by theme, or choose to create a Story from scratch.
When you have your template, select the existing text to edit it so you can convey your own message. It’s possible to change the text colour, font and placement using the navigation bar to the right of your template. To delete any elements, including text, select them with your cursor and click the trash can icon.
For style suggestions, select ‘Text’ then ‘Style’ from the navigation bar and drag the green dot around the suggestion wheel to apply a different look to your text elements.
If you’re looking to change the layout but keep the color scheme and font styling, go to the ‘Layout’ section on the navigation bar and browse the layouts. When you’ve decided on a layout, just click ‘Done’. Keep in mind it’s better not to make too many adjustments to a template – just tweak it so that it serves your purpose and reflects the style and tone of your brand as well as possible.
To save your Story, simply select the download button from the top navigation bar.
#6: Convert Videos Into 15-Second Story Clips With Storeo
Price range: Free with in-app purchases
Last but not least is Storeo: a free iOS app that seamlessly crops longer videos into 15-second clips, perfect for Stories. The app is very intuitive and has a helpful introductory process that guides you through enabling the correct access to your mic, camera and photos.
The next step is to upload your pre-recorded video by tapping the slapboard icon, or record a new video by tapping the camera icon.
When your video is good to go, select ‘Export as X slices’. This lets Storeo divide your video into the best number of sections and optimize the cut and flow of each, so that when you upload it to Stories the transitions are as seamless as possible.
Once exported, you’ll get a download confirmation and the option to open the Instagram app so you can add the video snippets to your Story.
All you need to do now is to upload your Story!
There are plenty of great, time-saving tools out there to help you create more engaging and professional-looking Instagram Stories! Don’t be afraid to experiment to find out which Stories formats and styles work best for your brand. And if you’re looking to take your Instagram to the next level, check out our free Instagram Strategy Course, delivered over email, that will teach you how to build an Instagram strategy from scratch:
This article is based on the article ‘6 Instagram Stories Design Tools for Marketers’, originally published on Social Media Examiner on 18.04.18.