Want to learn how to use all of the new Instagram stories features? Follow this advanced step-by-step Instagram stories tutorial to stay ahead of the curve!

How to Use Instagram Stories – The Advanced, Step-by-Step Tutorial

How much time do you spend watching Instagram stories every day? I know for me it’s a substantial amount! In fact, I’m almost always watching Instagram stories before I even look at the new images in my feed. What about you? If you’re in the same boat, that says A LOT about Instagram Stories. They’re powerful, captivating, engaging, and of course fun! If you haven’t added them to your Instagram strategy yet, you need to!

With over 800 million Instagram users watching Instagram stories every day, by not posting any to your account, you’re missing out on a huge potential to build your relationship with your audience, increase traffic to your feed and boost your engagement rate!

So strap in, this tutorial is a long one. I am going to walk you through ALL of the features within Instagram stories so you can start effectively using them on your feed!

Tutorial Pre Requisites

Before starting this advanced Instagram Stories tutorial you should know how to:

∙   Open your Instagram story camera
∙   Take a video, image or upload content from your camera roll
∙   Add and resize text
∙   Drag and place objects such as text and emojis
∙   Share content to your story

If you are not certain how to do these things, please refer to this blog post before starting the below tutorial: How To Use Instagram Stories – A Basics Tutorial.

Prefer to watch the video version of this tutorial? Check out my YouTube video!

*Note: not every user will have access to all of the features listed in this tutorial - Instagram 'rolls out' their features to users at different intervals depending on a variety of variables such as location and account size. Always make sure your Instagram app is up to date when checking for features.

Creating Instagram Stories

Video Styles

When you open your Instagram stories camera you should notice a large record button as well as some small text directly below it. If you slide the text to the left you’ll expose more text – these are your video styles! Here’s what each style does:

Normal: this style allows you to take a standard video or image
Boomerang: this style takes a burst of photos, then loops it over and over to create a moving image.

To take a boomerang, simply tap the record button once and wait! A number of photos will be taken very quickly to create your boomerang. To create the best boomerangs, make a small but deliberate movement while it’s recording. For example, winking to the camera, sticking your tongue out, or jumping up and down. These are an engaging alternative to video or photo!

Superzoom: this style allows you to chose a focus point and zoom in on it with accompanying music to create a humorous or dramatic effect. To use Superzoom:

∙   Tap the small music icon that appears above the record button and select your style.
∙   Tap the spot in your video that you want the Superzoom to focus on (this will be marked by a white rectangle)
Hit record!

Rewind: this style simply plays your video in reverse.
Hands-Free: this style allows you to record a video without having to keep your finger on the record button. It’s perfect content like makeup tutorials, demonstrating exercises, teaching sign language, etc.
Stop-Motion: this style allows you to add a little animation to your images by quickly playing a sequence of images to create a video (kinda like flip-books from back in the day!)

To create a stop-motion sequence, take a photo, then move your camera or object slightly, then take another photo. Continue this process until your ‘movie’ is done, then tap ‘done’ and watch your video come to life!

Customizing Your Instagram Stories

Face Filters

Don’t feel like you look your best but still want to record an Instagram story? Use face filters! You can easily add cute bunny ears, glasses, a flower crown, and many more options to change your look. To do this:

∙   Change the camera view to selfie mode
∙   Select the smile icon to the right of the record button
∙   Select the face filter of your choice by sliding them the left or right

instagram stories face filters feature

Draw & Handwrite

The markers in Instagram stories allow you to do so much, you just have to get creative! Start with basic drawing or writing:

∙   Select your marker style (fine point, angled, neon, chalk or eraser)
∙   Adjust the size by using the slider on the left
∙   Select a generic color by tapping one of the options on the bottom of your screen
∙   Select a custom color by pressing and holding one of the generic colors, then dragging to select a color from the palette that appears.
∙   Select a color from your image or video by tapping the eye dropper tool on the bottom left and dragging it onto a color you want to use

instagram stories - marker colors and widths

Add A Colored Background

Pictures and video are what most people choose to upload to Instagram stories but did you now you have a few other options? How about choosing your brand colors, creating a solid background then adding some text to make an eye catching graphic? Here’s how:

∙   Select the marker tool and the color of your choice
∙   Press and hold the screen for three seconds

instagram stories - add a solid background

Now you have the perfect blank canvas to create with!

Create a ‘Peek-a-Boo’ Effect

By using a solid background and the eraser you can create a fun peek-a-boo effect in your Instagram stories!

∙   Add a solid background to your Instagram story
∙   Select the eraser marker
∙   Draw to reveal the image behind the background

instagram stories eraser brush

Add Text (Size, Fonts & Tagging)

Adding text seems pretty basic but you can really do a lot by simply adjusting the size, font and color!

By adjusting the size of your text you can have really big words surrounded by smaller ones to emphasize importance and create visual variety. You can also change the style of the font by tapping the ‘Classic’ button in the top middle and cycling through the five options (Classic, Modern, Neon Typewriter & Strong). Combining these two can make for really eye-catching graphics.

Another great thing you can do with the text feature is @ mention Instagram accounts and turn those mentions