10 font hacks for your Instagram Story and more!

instagram story font hacks

In our last post, we examined some ways in which you can use your Instagram Story to grow your followers. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways that you can make your Stories look even more impressive for your followers – which in turn will make your followers likely to share your content with their followers, increasing your brand reach and awareness.

 

We often get questions about changing the fonts on Instagram Stories, so we’ve covered that in the first part of our post today. But there are so many other ways you can improve your Story posts that we thought we’d go to town and add a few more tips, tricks, hacks – whatever you want to call them – so you can really get the most out of your Instagram Stories. With these super simple tips, you can really go town on making your Stories as impressive as you want them, no matter how much talent you have for design.

 

What is an Instagram Story?

The Instagram Stories feature is a way that you can add slides to – which can either be video, or images. It allows people and brands who don’t want to show absolutely everything on their feeds, but want to give their followers a bit more content, albeit in a more casual format. As with most Story features across the different social media platforms, your Story posts will only be available for 24 hours, so you can afford to be a little more raw, real and authentic – and even risky with your content on your Story posts.

 

Having a second place to share this kind of content can be especially important if you’re interested in maintaining a certain aesthetic on your feed. The ‘Instagram Aesthetic’ has been a huge talking point for quite some time, and there does seem to still be a lot of interest in this idea. There have been opposing claims recently though – some people claim that the Instagram Aesthetic is over, while others claim that you need to apply the Instagram Aesthetic to your Stories, videos AND your IGTV. Whichever view you subscribe to (or you couldn’t care less about the idea of an aesthetic!) then you should still have a plan for how you want your Instagram feed, Story and IGTV to look, even if that decision is that you will post what you like, when you like.

 

Why change the fonts on your Instagram Story?

One of the main reasons that you’ll want to switch up the font on your Instagram Story is to help increase the chances of your followers sharing your content. Content that looks great gets shared, and when your followers share your content, you’re likely to get new followers, and if you’re using Instagram to promote your business, then that also increases the chances of those new followers becoming customers. Although you might not care too much about how a font looks, it’s worth you taking a moment to play with different effects to keep things interesting.  

 

Font hacks to try

Here we go – our first lot of font hacks to try! We’ll have some more tips further on down the post, just in case you already know these ones.

 

Use a solid background

     solid background instagram

You want your text to really stand out on your background – especially when you’re creating a series of Story posts that will have a call to action on there. Creating a solid background is pretty easy to do, and means that whatever your message, it will be really eye-catching.

 

How to add a solid background:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Choose a picture in your photo library
  3. Tap the scribble icon
  4. Tap the magic wand icon (between the pencil and marker icon)
  5. Tap the colour you want your background to be, then do a long press anywhere on the screen to set the background colour (you get more choice – 27 colours – if you swipe across the colours at the bottom!)
  6. The background then becomes a solid colour
  7. When you’ve picked the colour you want, tap the tick icon in the top right hand corner
  8. Tap the Aa icon in the top right hand corner to start typing!
  9. To choose a different font, tap the top of the screen (in the middle)

 

That’s it! Easy when you know how, and with so many different font and colour icons, your followers are unlikely to notice if you repeat a combination – unless you want them to, of course!

 

Use extra colours

colours-instagram

You might be happy to work with the range of 27 colours that Instagram Stories offer you. But there are other ways to create the colours you want that reflect your branding too. To choose from a colour wheel, follow these steps:

 

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Choose a picture in your photo library
  3. Tap the scribble icon
  4. Tap the magic wand icon (between the pencil and marker icon)
  5. Long press on the colour you want to see a range of colours
  6. Drag your finger to the colour you want
  7. Do a long press anywhere on the screen
  8. When you’ve picked the colour you want, tap the tick icon in the top right hand corner
  9. Tap the Aa icon in the top right hand corner to start typing!
  10. To choose a different font, tap the top of the screen (in the middle)

 

There’s just one extra step here compared with adding a solid colour. Whichever colours your branding are, you’ll be able to make your background that exact shade, which will really make your font stand out.

 

What’s really cool though, is that you can use this same trick to choose different colour shades for choosing the shade of your text. That means you get an even more unique combination of shades, every single time you create a Story slide!

 

Use colours from the picture

If you want your Instagram Story slide to have a complementary shade for the font, you don’t have to choose the nearest colour on the colour wheel – you can pick the shades that really work best for your photo.

 

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Choose a picture in your photo library
  3. Tap the Aa icon in the top right hand corner start typing.
  4. Type the first letter of the word (you will need to set the font to strong, classic, or typewriter
  5. Add the background to the letter by tapping the icon in the top left hand corner (you can choose any colour you like to use as the background by tapping a colour)
  6. Tap the Dropper tool (on the left hand side of the colour wheel) then drag the balloon to choose the colour you want as the background for the letter
  7. When you have chosen the colour you want to use, tap the tick icon, then repeat the process until your word is complete

 

This is a bit of a pain to get the hang of, but once you’ve managed to do it once it gets a lot quicker, and because the highlighting behind each letter looks cool and matches your photo exactly, it is well worth the time learning how to do it.

 

Use a 3D effect

3d-effect-instagram

This isn’t strictly what we would call a hack, since it’s more of an illusion, but it makes it appear like you’ve been able to do something cool that nobody else can!

 

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Choose a picture in your photo library
  3. Tap the Aa icon in the top right hand corner start typing
  4. Type the word you want to use, and choose the colour you’re going to use for the secondary colour
  5. Tap the tick icon
  6. Tap the Aa icon in the top right hand corner type the word again
  7. Choose the colour you want on the front of your word
  8. Drag the word slightly to one side of where your first word is, so you can just see the original text

 

Super simple, and works with many different colours and fonts. It might not be sophisticated, but who needs fancy when it is this easy to create really impressive effects?

 

Use completely different fonts

There are just five different fonts offered natively on the Instagram Story: classic, modern, neon, typewriter, and strong. But like most things on the internet, there is a way around it to make it different! 

 

  1. Open your internet browser is open in a tab
  2. Open the Instagram app
  3. Select (don’t upload yet) the photo you’re going to share
  4. Go back to your browser and open the website com
  5. Select the Fancy Text option and type the text you want to add to your Story photo. It will automatically be available in lots of different fonts
  6. Scroll down to select the one you want
  7. Click copy – this will save your text to your clipboard
  8. Go back into your Instagram app and find the Stories draft you created at the beginning of the steps
  9. Tap the text icon (Aa) in the top right hand corner of the screen, and do a long press on the screen where the blinking cursor is. You’ll see the option to click paste – tap that – and you’ll see the text in the new font on the photo
  10. Arrange, then post as normal!

 

Although you’re getting that text with different fonts from outside Instagram, it still applies perfectly – and really is suitably impressive, especially for Instagram users that are new to the platform and will be wondering how you’ve managed to do it.

 

Use animated fonts

This hack requires the download and install of another app – so if you don’t want to do that, then skip this step and move onto the next hack!

 

  1. Go to your phone’s app store
  2. Install the HypeType app
  3. Choose a picture in your photo library
  4. Double tap the animated piece of text to change it as you want it
  5. Type your chosen text in the newly opened window
  6. Drag your text around the screen to place it where you want it
  7. Tap the blue tick icon in the top right corner to finish
  8. To add in any other fonts and play with other animation, click on the T (text) icon.
  9. Click Save (the blue tick icon) and tap the download icon to save the image to your phone.
  10. Open Instagram, then go to Stories and upload your animated content

 

Super easy! The only tiny issue you might have is that the free version will create a small watermark in the bottom right hand corner of your image. If you find you like HypeType, or you don’t want your followers to know that you’re using a separate app, you can subscribe to HypeType for a small fee, which will give you the right to create animated fonts without any watermarks.

 

Use a rainbow effect

This little hack got really popular not that long ago – almost all the fashion influencers we know were talking about it, which makes sense since ‘ombre’ was such a trend for hair, makeup and clothes too! It is pretty straightforward to master, and there are no additional apps to download.

 

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Choose a picture in your photo library
  3. Tap the Aa icon in the top right hand corner start typing
  4. Type the text you want on your Story
  5. Select all the text so that it is highlighted
  6. Hold one thumb on one colour in the palette
  7. Hold the other thumb on the text cursor (a bit fiddly, we know!)
  8. Slide both of your thumbs to the left and the letters will change colour to the rainbow effect

 

Although it’s a bit of a tricky one to master, once you’ve done it, your text will look really pretty – and really makes your Instagram Story stand out from the crowd.

 

Use invisible hashtags

Using hashtags is absolutely essential on your social media if you want potential new followers to find your content. But you probably won’t want to clutter your Story posts with hashtags. Luckily, there’s a way to hide your hashtags – although technically they will still be there, you won’t be able to see them, as they’re turned into the colour of the background with this method.

 

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Choose a picture in your photo library
  3. Tap the Aa icon in the top right hand corner start typing
  4. Type the hashtag that you want on your Story
  5. Drag the hashtag to a corner that has a solid background to it
  6. Highlight the hashtag
  7. Tap on the dropper icon next to the colour wheel
  8. Drag the colour chooser to as close to the background of the hashtag as you can. This will make the font colour of the hashtag blend into the background and make it appear invisible.

 

Pretty nifty, isn’t it? It’s not a perfect solution, but if you have an area on your post that is solid (a blue sky is absolutely perfect for this hack, if you’re posting a photo) then it’s a good way to be able to use your hashtags, while being able to maintain the look and feel of the image.  

 

Create a design using your keyboard symbols

Create-a-design-using-your-keyboard-symbolsYou can use your keyboard symbols to create a design that is a bit different, either for your background, or to create emphasis.

 

  1. Create an Instagram Story – with a photo, or a solid background
  2. Tap the Aa icon
  3. On the keyboard, choose the symbol you want to use
  4. Choose the colour (using any method you learnt above!)
  5. Size the symbol by pinching and dragging it to scale it
  6. Rotate it and locate it where you want it to sit on your Story

 

You can make your design really big, so it is in the background, or you can use them for building suspense and creating a call to action – it is up to you! Once you’ve created the sort of background you want, you can add the text using any of the suggestions we’ve made above.

 

Use an app to change your font

If you want even more font options, you can consider using an app to change your fonts on your Instagram Story. Searching the Google Play Store for Instagram Story fonts brings back literally hundreds of app options, and searching the Apple App Store gives us plenty more, both the same as the Google Play Store and different. Of course, there are so many options it wouldn’t be possible for us to test them all, but (as we’re sure you already know) a good way to find the best apps is to look at the reviews, and the score out of 5 stars. The higher the score, the better!

 

How to add a photo as a sticker to your Instagram Story

You can add an image from your camera roll to your Instagram Story to help you create a different effect, or a collage. If you’ve been creating GIFs, you can add them in using this method too!

 

  1. Create a new Story
  2. Go to your camera roll
  3. Tap to select the photo you want to add to your Story
  4. Do a long press to ‘copy’ so you copy that photo to the phone’s clipboard
  5. Go back into Instagram Stories and wait until you see a sticker/popup appear
  6. Tap the sticker to add the photo to your Story
  7. Drag the image to wherever you want on the screen
  8. Repeat this step as many times as you like

 

Creating videos on your Instagram Story

Creating-videos-on-your-Instagram-Story

In addition to creating regular videos on your Instagram Story, going Live or adding video to you IGTV, the app gives you access to automatic short videos that can be made. There are two ways you can create these within the app:

 

Boomerang

Originally created by a bunch of Instagram’s Android engineers that were having fun at a hackathon in 2015, the Boomerang effect is designed to create videos that are just one second long.

Swipe into your camera, then scroll right to left at the bottom to access Boomerang. Tap to take the photo, and the app instantly stitches the images together into a short video that repeats back and forth. 

 

You might think that a one second video is pretty pointless – but when you’re trying to create a fun effect, or you don’t have much time to come up with a more impressive video, a one second clip might be all you need to keep your Instagram followers engaged. You can also create Boomerang clips with the hundreds of filters – so whether you want to make yourself barely recognisable, or you just want to add a little smoothness to your skin, you’ll be able to create the effect you want.

 

Superzoom

You can also create little videos for your Story using Superzoom. Scroll right to left at the bottom to find Superzoom, then scroll through to choose the effect you want on your Story video. Take the photo, and the effect (with sound) gets applied!

 

There are currently ten Superzoom effects to play with:

Hearts adds a short burst of music that is reminiscent of a soap opera theme tune to your Instagram video, while adding – you guessed it – pink hearts to your clip.

 

Fire adds a little rock solo to your Superzoom clip, and overlays a roaring fire around the outside of your video. Suitably rawk!

 

Bummer is the sort of effect you might use when you’re sad about something – maybe when your tub of ice cream is empty! You’ll get a sad little piano solo added to your clip, and the colour tone is turned bluish grey, while falling leaves are overlaid.

 

TV programme adds another kitsch and cutesy clip of music that suggests ‘all’s well that ends well’ and the screen narrows to the end notes – just like the old TV shows used to do!

 

Dramatic might feel pretty familiar – but that’s because it has been applied to so many memes with cute animals looking… well, dramatic! You don’t get any colour applied to this effect, but you do get an enhanced zoom in on whatever your camera is focused on, and a pretty dramatic little moment of music.

 

Beats applies a techno-dance beat with a flashing purple light to your Superzoom clip. Although we can see this being used seriously, we think it could be used to brilliant effect if used ironically – over a clip of someone asleep by 9pm on a Friday night perhaps? (oh, wait… Is that us?)

 

Paparazzi applies a simulated camera effect – as though you were taking photos on a camera with a fast shutter, just like a photographer would use.

 

Surprise is a pretty simple effect – it simply gives a dramatic beat, before overlaying the screen with a comic book effect.

 

Nope is a pretty straightforward effect too – it applies a big red cross in a box, as though it was being stamped with a rubber stamp! We can think of quite a lot of situations we can say ‘nope’ to right now…!

 

Bounce is exactly what you might expect it to be – the camera focuses in an out quickly, with a spring-like sound that makes you think of a jack-in-a-box.

 

Creating an Instagram Stories strategy for your business

Creating-an-Instagram-Stories-strategy-for-your-business

Every business is different, and so you might decide to use a completely different approach, depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your Stories, and who (and where) your followers are. Here’s a few tips that you can use to start with, while you’re refining what works for you.

 

  1. Add between one and seven Story slides each day

If you’re looking to keep a high completion rate (and most of us are, because that’s the metric that shows how many people watched to the end of your Stories) then you’ll want to post between one and seven Story slides each day. You can keep adding more, but remember to keep it relevant.

 

  1. Post your Stories at the best times for your audience

Your Story posts only last for 24 hours – after which they disappear, unless you’ve saved them to your Story Highlights. That means you need to carefully choose when you’re going to post your content, so the majority of your followers will get to see your posts. There isn’t a blanket time that is the ‘right’ time to post on your Story (otherwise absolutely everyone would post during that hour and never at any other time!) but knowing when your followers are likely to be active will be able to guide you somewhat.

 

  1. Use your Stories and Live to build relationships with your followers

Interacting with your Instagram followers helps them to feel more invested in your brand. The more invested in your brand they feel, the more likely they will be to become a repeat customer, and to tell others about your business too. Your Stories and Instagram Live allow you to create a more personal relationship with your followers, and you can get valuable feedback from your followers, simply by using poll slides, question stickers and so on.

 

  1. Keep your posting schedule consistent

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: consistency is key to being successful on social media. If you start out posting five times a day, and then you drop to twice a day, or have random days when you don’t post, your followers won’t know when to expect posts from you. And remember, because your posts only last 24 hours, you need to keep fresh Story content coming. Of course, although consistency is important, so is the quality of your content. If you’re adding nonsense posts just to try and keep up, you’re likely to see a drop off in engagement – which is not the desired effect. Planning ahead can help you avoid scrabbling around for content at the last minute.

 

  1. Consider using Stories ads

Instagram Stories ads are pretty new still, but they are incredibly cheap to run – around 10% of the cost of a Facebook feed ad! Stories ads are placed between users Stories, and although they can be skipped, many people choose to watch them because they’re so short, which means more potential to increase brand awareness than on other platforms.

 

  1. Schedule your Story posts using a social media management tool

Although you might be posting on the go – if you’re at an industry event, for example, or when you’re on holiday – if you’re planning to be busy, you simply might not have time for that. You can create your Stories in advance, and schedule them to be posted when you choose. Whether you save content from throughout the week, or you create content especially for while you don’t want to think about posting, choose a social media management tool to help you schedule your posts across all your social media channels.

 

  1. Check your Story analytics

We talked about your Instagram Story Insights on our last post about Instagram Stories, so we won’t repeat ourselves – but there are some really useful metrics in your Insights that you can use to refine your strategy and make your Story posts even more successful. Alternatively, external options like Sharemyinsights are extremely useful for insights and analytics. 

 

 

7 tips to help you use your Instagram Stories better

Tip #1 – you can save your Instagram Story slides to your camera. That means when you get a great shot, or you’ve created a really interesting effect, you can save them to your phone for use in the future.

 

Tip #2 – you can also save your Story slides to your Highlights reel, so your followers will be able to access them for much longer than 24 hours.

 

Tip #3 – if you have a business account with more than 10,000 followers, you can add a link and tell your followers to your Swipe Up to access the link.

 

Tip #4 – you can tag someone in your Stories. Simply tap the Aa icon, then type @ and their username. Anyone viewing your Story will be able to tap their username to go to their profile.

 

Tip #5 – you can reshare an Instagram post to your Story. Simply click the arrow/share button, then add to your Story. Remember, viewers will be able to see who originally posted the story, and will be able to see the original poster’s profile.

 

Tip #6 – when someone tags you, you can repost it. When you get a notification in your DMs, you will be able to tap the link to ‘Add this to your Story’.

 

Tip #7 – you can share Spotify links on your Story that will take viewers straight through to the song on Spotify.

 

Three tools to help you create your Story posts

You don’t just have to use Instagram’s own tools to create your Story posts. There are plenty of other tools that can help you to design stunning, and on-brand social media posts – especially for your Instagram Stories. Although we’re talking about our three favourite online design tools to help you get started, if you find you don’t get on with these tools as well as you would like, or you need a bit more functionality, the good news is that there are plenty of other options out there!  

 

Canva

We talk about Canva a lot, because it is such a useful tool. Canva helps thousands of people to create over 50,000 types of designs, from social media posts, to presentations to educational materials. The brilliant thing about their templates is that they take the guesswork out of whether your post is the right dimensions – which is great if you’re not quite sure about even using Microsoft Paint, let alone Photoshop! You can even publish directly to your social media channels from your Canva account, which makes things even easier.

 

Whatever you want to be able to create, as long as you can drag and drop, graphic design tools such as Canva make it possible. No longer do you need to learn how to use Photoshop to make the best graphics, or to apply the same branding across all your business materials. There are so many options that are available to create really impressive graphics, with images and different fonts to make your brand assets really pop.

 

You can also use Canva to collaborate across your team, and there are apps that mean you can create your content wherever you are. And the beautiful thing is, Canva’s basic package is free, forever. If you need a bit more functionality – so, you want to create a brand kit, or to access more photos or elements, for example – then you can upgrade to Canva Pro, which costs just £8.99 per user, per month. That’s a lot of extra functionality for the price of a couple of coffees, and well worth the upgrade we think. Even the more expensive Enterprise version is just £24 per user per month.  

 

Easil

After Canva, Easil is probably the design platform we’d recommend next. There are a lot of big name brands that use Easil to keep their marketing assets consistent, including Accor Hotels and the Australian Venue Co. The Easil platform has plenty of features, including resizing tools for social media – which mean you can create similar graphics for across your social media channels quickly and easily.

 

Similar to Canva, Easil has both free and paid plans available, and even with the basic plans there are thousands of templates and graphic elements to choose from. Easil Plus costs from just $7.50 per user, per month (although you’ll get 30 days of Plus free when you sign up) and Easil Edge, the corporate option is $59 per user, per month.

 

Adobe Spark

You’re probably thinking Adobe… That means Photoshop… right? Well, yes, Adobe does own Photoshop, and Illustrator and InDesign, with all their complicated features that those of us who can barely draw a stick figure are intimidated by. But Adobe Spark is the free visual app that allows everybody to create professional looking graphics, web pages and videos in just a few moments.

 

You’ll need to log in, but you don’t have to sign up for yet another account. You can sign in either with a Google, Facebook or Apple account, as well as signing up with your email address or logging in with an Adobe ID. Once you’re in, that’s when the fun begins!

 

Just like Canva and Easil, there are templates galore on Adobe Spark – but then you might expect that from one of the world’s biggest software companies. All you need to do is type what sort of template you’re looking for in the search box, and you’ll be presented with all the templates you could wish for. Some are only available as a premium subscriber, but they’re easy to spot since they have a yellow marker on the corner of each preview, so you won’t need to waste time opening the ones you don’t want to pay for.

 

You can also create your own projects, and all you need to do is click Create Project to be able to start work on your design.

The downside is that if you’re using Adobe Spark for free on the Starter plan, your designs will be watermarked in the bottom right hand corner. Do you care? Maybe not – and your Instagram followers might not notice either. Do Adobe care if you crop that out when you export it? We don’t know, but you can get an individual plan for £10.10 per month – and you get two months for free.

Another tool worth a mention is Poster My Wall which is very easy to use and produces stunning designs. 

 

Final thoughts

This post might have been a bit of a whirlwind of tips and tricks, but there really is no reason for anyone to have boring Instagram Stories, even if you decide that you’re only ever going to post using your brand colours. Whether you’re using one of our hacks here, creating a little video using one of the Instagram tools like Boomerang or Superzoom, or you’re creating a post using a template from one of our suggested tools, you can create beautiful Instagram Stories that really get noticed by your followers. Our biggest tip for your Instagram Story though? It only has to be there for 24 hours, so have fun, and don’t worry about messing up!

Last Updated on October 20, 2020

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