Instagram Stories: Everything You Need To Know

Do you want to know how to use Instagram Stories efficiently? Perhaps you are ready to elevate your brand’s Stories. Perhaps you are creating your first Story for a client on social media.

No matter what your motivation, you must know how to create compelling Stories so that you can make the most of this content.

We have compiled all the information you need about Instagram Stories into one comprehensive guide.

Discover the basics of Stories and how to create them. Also, discover best practices to improve your workflow and increase your social media performance.

How do Instagram Stories work?

Instagram Stories are temporary content that lasts for a short time. What is the maximum duration of an Instagram Story? Stories are removed from public view within 24 hours. However, you can still find any stories you have published in your private Story Archive.

An Instagram Story can contain anywhere from one to 100 frames. Instagram displays every frame chronologically, much like a slide-show. Each frame is displayed for only a few seconds. You can also manually navigate by tapping on the frame to go to the next or swipe to advance to the next Story.

Instagram Story example

Stories are not like photo and video posts. They don’t appear on your timeline or in the grid of your account. Instead, Stories have their own feed at top of the app. To view or engage with Stories, you can tap on any profile in the feed.

Your Story can be accessed by users directly through your profile. To do this, navigate to your profile and tap the icon in upper left corner. An orange and pink ring around the account’s icon means that there is an active Story.

Sometimes Stories may also be available in Instagram’s Explore tab. Even if your account isn’t yet followed, this placement can help users find and engage with you.

Five Types of Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories allow you to be creative because they support many types of content. To make these Story types more interactive and eye-catching, you can add stickers or GIFs.

1. Text

Are you looking to share a big announcement or a special message with your Story? To announce your news or special message in your Story, you can use the text tool. Make sure that your text is concise enough to allow people to read it quickly and compelling enough to make them pause. Instagram flips to the next Story or frame after a few seconds. These writing tips will help you create captivating captions for social media.

2. Photo

photo Story

Do you prefer to show rather than tell? Upload photos to create image-based stories. Instagram’s layout tool allows you to upload up to six images per Story frame. This will allow you to create a grid structure for your content.

3. Video

You can make a video-based story if still images don’t seem dynamic enough. You have the option to upload already-recorded footage or create a brand new video right at that moment. Each Story frame can contain up to 15 seconds worth of video. The app will automatically break down your Story frame into multiple frames of up to 15 seconds if it is longer.

Create brand videos that shine

4. Content shared

Stories don’t necessarily require you to create new content. You can share content from other accounts or your own account.

Open a post or reel and click on the paper airplane icon to share Instagram content to Stories. Then, tap the Add to story link.

Story with shared content

It’s a bit more difficult to share content from other accounts’ stories, but it is still possible. You’ll notice a button at the bottom that allows you to share content tagged by another Instagram account.

5. Sponsored

sponsored Instagram Story

A sponsored Story can be used to reach a wider audience and connect with your target audience on a scale. It appears in between organic Stories. To run a paid Story, select this placement from the ad level in Facebook Ads.

Instagram Stories: Why you should use them

You now know what Instagram Stories look like and how you can use them. What are Instagram Stories and how they can help your business?

These are just a few reasons why you should use Instagram Stories.

Make authentic content

Every brand’s followers on social media consider authenticity to be increasingly important. 90% of consumers regard authenticity as critical in choosing brands to support. This means that authenticity matters to your target audience.

Consumers believe that branded content, such as the photoshoots on your Instagram feed, doesn’t look authentic. Stories can have the opposite effect.

Instagram Stories look more real because of their unfiltered nature and temporary nature.

Studies show that approximately 40% of people become more interested in a product or brand after reading a Story.


Many brands can take advantage of the temporary nature Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories users know they only have a short time to view them. Fear of missing out (FOMO) can cause followers to be anxious and may encourage them to view Stories before it’s gone.

While Stories are not a permanent platform, you can leverage it. To increase the urgency, you can publish content that you know your followers would like to see in Stories.

Increase engagement

You can expect to receive likes and comments when you post photos, videos or reels on Instagram. If you’re lucky enough, people might save your post or tap the bio to go to an external link. There are no other options for engagement.

Stories allows you to use interactive stickers to create completely new types of engagement. Ask questions, host quizzes and include links that users can click on to learn more about your e-commerce site or shop it.

Increase visibility

Your Stories could be discovered by new customers if they appear on the Explore tab. Even if your Stories don’t appear in the Explore tab, they can still increase visibility.

This content is prominently placed in each follower’s Instagram account by appearing in the Stories feed. Stories offer you an additional opportunity to keep your brand visible to followers.

control social media chaos with agorapulse

How to Storyboard Instagram Stories Efficiently

Instagram Stories offers tons of options. From the many content types available to the multiple frame options, there are so many. It can be difficult to decide how to create Stories, and which elements to include.

How can you save time and still create compelling Stories? These tips will help you plan and create stories more efficiently.

1. Make a plan.

Planning ahead is a great way to organize tasks and make things go more smoothly, no matter how many social networks you have. For Stories, plan ahead just like you would for static content such as photos, videos, or links.

You can create compelling Stories by looking ahead at your brand’s marketing calendar. You might want Stories to highlight sales events or holidays.

You might consider creating Stories to complement the other social media content that you have already shared. You might plan a Story with some user-generated content (UGC), that you want to share.

A winning Instagram strategy is essential

2. Divide the story into sections

Next, consider how you can effectively communicate your message. Do you need more than one frame to communicate your message? If you intend to share more video than 15 seconds, you will need more frames.

You can create Instagram Stories with multiple frames by identifying the break points. You might make a separate frame to answer each question in a Q&A. To highlight your product line, you might design a different frame for every product.

Consider how to maximize engagement for each frame. You might add an interactive sticker to each frame to allow users to ask questions and gauge their opinions.

3. Use a design app

You may not be able to create content right away for some types of Instagram Stories. If you want to capture video footage of an event, and then share it to Stories, you will need to wait for the event’s happening before you can create.

use Canva to design Instagram Stories

You can also create Story content ahead of time. You can use Canva, an app that allows you to create stunning Stories regardless of whether you have a dedicated team. Canva allows you to create multi-frame Stories and reusable templates as well as one-off designs.

Access to these layout tools requires a Canva account. You can also link your Agorapulse and Canva accounts to simplify Story design. You can access existing Canva designs and create new ones from Agorapulse.

How to make an Instagram story

You can create a Story using the Instagram app, Facebook Business Suite app or Agorapulse desktop app.

Let’s take a look at the advantages and workflow of each.

With the Instagram app, you can publish a story

The Instagram app is best if you’re looking to publish Stories quickly and can use a mobile device.

Here’s how:

create an Instagram Story with the Instagram app

Click the plus icon at the top right of the Instagram app and choose StoryCreate new content. Or upload an existing photo or video. Share the Story with your friends to instantly publish the content.

Create a Story using the Facebook Business Suite app

The Business Suite app is a better alternative if you prefer to plan content ahead. Here’s how:

schedule an Instagram Story with Facebook Business Suite

Open the Business Suite app. Select your Instagram account. Tap StoryChoose photos or videos to add to the Story. Or tap the camera icon in upper right to record something new. This app doesn’t allow you to create text-only stories. You can add interactive and decorative elements to your Story. You have the option of publishing your Story simultaneously on Facebook.

Create a Story using the desktop version.

You might prefer to plan Stories using a desktop application. Agorapulse does not support Story scheduling at the moment, but you can still design and plan content and get a notification when it is time to publish.

Here’s how:

create an Instagram Story with Agorapulse

You can upload the content that you have created, or locate it in your Agorapulse Library. You can also design directly with Canva, thanks to its integration to Agorapulse. To send the Story to your team members, toggle the Send to mobile switch. Select a date and time that works for you and save the Story to your calendar. The Agorapulse app will automatically take you to Instagram where you can add stickers or GIFs to your profile.

plan an Instagram Story with Agorapulse

How to check Instagram Story Analytics

Agorapulse makes it easy to analyze Story analytics.

Open the Reports portal, and then select your Instagram account. Click on the Stories tab for a summary of social metrics and stats about top content over the selected time period.

Instagram Stories analytics

To add interactive stickers to Stories, open the Instagram App to see details. Navigate to your profile, and then tap the Insights link. Tap on any Story to view the results of your quiz or poll, or to see who has followed you.

The Best Instagram Stories Practices

Are your Instagram Stories not reaching the goals you have set? These Instagram Stories tips will help you improve your results and increase the return on your investment (ROI).

Use interactive stickers

Stories offer interactive capabilities that standard posts do not. You’ll find most of this functionality within the sticker tray. These are some options you can add to Stories.

Instagram Story with link sticker

You can encourage your followers to share a photo with Add Yours stickers.

Highlights from Create Story

Your Stories don’t have to disappear after 24 hours. You can instead add them to highlight albums on your profile, until you decide to delete them.

Go to your profile, tap the plus icon in Story Highlights to create an album. Your Story Archive will automatically load, so you can add any highlights you wish. To add a Story to a highlight, tap the heart icon at the bottom right corner of an active or archived Story.

Instagram Story highlights

After creating a highlight you can give it name and upload an image. You can always go back to remove or add Story frames.

Check out the different content types

Stories, like all social media content on the internet, work best when they aren’t stuck in a rut. It’s a good idea to save time and give your content a unique look by creating templates or using go-to layouts. However, don’t let efficiency make your Stories look the same.

Instead of sharing photo Stories every day, create videos and share other accounts’ content. To increase engagement and reach, test different designs, GIFs and stickers.

Have fun

While Stories can boost your social media stats, it is important to not take them too seriously. Stories are authentic and unfiltered, which is what draws people to them.

Instead of trying to make a perfect video, accept the inherent nature of the feature and concentrate on making the most of what is available.

Review your Stories analytics every so often to see what is working best for you.

In conclusion

Instagram Stories is a great tool for helping you reach your social media goals. This type of content can drive discovery and sales growth, thanks to its authentic appeal and increased engagement options.

This guide to Instagram Stories will help you create a workflow that maximizes your clients’ or brand’s content.

Start saving time and energy managing clients’ Instagram accounts. Get a free trial of Agorapulse, which will help you plan, track, measure, and measure your social media efforts.