How to use Instagram Stories

This is the final chapter of a seven-part series on how to dominate your Instagram marketing.

Want the whole blog series all in one place?

You can download the ultimate guide to Dominating your Instagram Marketing now.


Looking for more specialized help? Learn more about what we can do for your social media marketing.


What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are Instagram’s answer to Snapchat, and also their way to work in live content. Fresh and live content in social media has been growing in popularity as users want to see what is going on with who they are following as it is happening.

With Instagram Stories you can post a photo, video boomerang (looping video without sound), or start a live broadcast. When you post something to your Story it will stay up there for 24 hours. In that period, you can see how many people have seen the Story and who they are. If you have converted your profile to a business page then in the Instagram Insights you can see how many views your past Story items got.

How often should I post an Instagram Story?

At a bare minimum, you should be posting one Story per day. But there isn’t a cap to how many you post in 24 hours. If there is something share-worthy going on that day you could 20 different story items and that would be fine. It can be great to have a mix of photo, video, and boomerang content on your story. The video content could just be you talking into your phone camera, it doesn’t necessarily need to be any large production. Likewise, with the photos or boomerangs, they can be of things in your office, or behind the scenes while you are at work. Your audience wants to see what goes into the products and services and all the behind-the-scenes happenings in your business.

How to post old images to Instagram Stories?

While I do think that your Instagram Story should be mostly fresh content, you can reuse old content.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. On your phone, pull up the old content you want to post on your Story
  2. Make the content fullscreen
  3. Take a screenshot
  4. Go over to Instagram, tap the camera icon in the top left corner
  5. That will open your camera through the app, but don’t take a photo
  6. Swipe up from the bottom and any images on your phone from the last 24 hours should appear
  7. Tap on the content you just screenshotted
  8. Add a caption, edits, or and stickers and then add it to your story

Along with old content, you can also post custom created content. Just make sure the image is in the 9:16 aspect ratio.

Pixel dimensions of an Instagram Story

Width: 900px

Height: 1600px

If you make you design that size it should fit exactly into a full-screen Story. To post the design, just follow the same steps above.

Custom Videos for Instagram Stories

Just like creating a photo Story post, you can do the same with a video post too.

The video should be in the same 9:16 ratio, which is just like shooting a normal HD video, but vertically instead of horizontally. You are limited to 15-second video clips, but you can break a longer clip up and post them one after another.

To post a custom-created video the steps are nearly the same except that you can’t screenshot a video, so you will have to save it to your phone within 24 hours. My preferred method of doing that is to use Dropbox.

  1. Locate the video file in Dropbox
  2. Tap the export button, and then save to device
  3. Then follow the same steps as above from step #4

How to get creative with Instagram Stories

You can have a lot of fun getting creative with Instagram Stories.

  • Swiping to the left or right to add one of the several image filters
  • Tap on the image to add text
  • Tap the sticker icon to add a location, temperature, or any of the fun stickers
  • Draw on the image with a bunch of different colored and styled pens with the marker icon

Stories don’t have to be as polished as the content you publish to your feed. They will only be around for 24 hours, so have fun with it. Experiment and see what your community engages with.

How to reach a larger audience with Instagram Stories

With Instagram’s latest update there are now location and hashtag stories. So if in your story post you add a location or a hashtag then you can show up in those location and tag stories. Before the update you were limited to just people who followed you, or visited your profile to see your stories. Now you can reach people outside of your follower network. So make sure you add a hashtag or location to any relevant Story post.

Get all 7 chapters to Dominating your Instagram Marketing


Need more hands-on help?

Contact Us

Comments are closed.