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May 20, 2024

How to Create Instagram Story Highlights

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Instagram Story Highlights are a powerful feature that allows businesses and individuals to showcase their best stories on their profile. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of Instagram Story Highlights, such as understanding, setting up, customizing and analyzing their performance to help you maximize their impact.


What are Instagram Story Highlights?

Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with over 1 billion active users. With the introduction of Instagram Stories, users were given a new way to share their daily lives with their followers. But what happens when those stories disappear after 24 hours? That's where Instagram Story Highlights come in.

Instagram Highlights are a feature that allows users to save curated collections of their past Stories on their profile with no time limit. This means that your followers can go back and view your best content, even after the 24-hour mark has passed. Story Highlights are essentially a way to showcase your best work, products, or events to your followers.

For businesses and influencers, this feature is especially valuable. It allows them to showcase their products, services, and events in a more permanent way, giving their followers easy access to important information.

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Benefits of Instagram Story Highlights

There are numerous benefits that come with using Instagram Highlights. For one, they allow you to present a more organized and polished look to your profile. Instead of having a mishmash of random stories, you can curate your best content into specific categories, making it easier for your followers to find what they're looking for.

Additionally, Highlights give your audience easy access to your best content and information, which can ultimately help nurture relationships, increase engagement, and aid in marketing efforts. By showcasing your products or services in a more permanent way, you're giving your followers a reason to keep coming back to your profile.

Another benefit of using Story Highlights is that they can help you tell a story. By grouping your stories into specific categories, you can create a narrative that your followers can follow along with.

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How to create a Highlight on instagram

Free Ipad with Keyboard on a Wooden Table Stock Photo

How to create a new Instagram Story Highlight: A step-by-step guide

Creating a new Instagram Story Highlight is simple.

  1. Start by opening your profile and tapping the "+" sign below your bio in the top-right corner. This will take you to the "New Highlight" screen.
  2. From here, you can choose the Stories you want to add to your new Highlight and give it a name. You can choose any name that you like, but it's best to choose a name that accurately describes the content of your Highlight. For example, if you're creating a Highlight about your recent trip to Paris, you could name it "Paris Trip" or "Travel Adventures."
  3. Finally, tap "Add" and your new Story Highlight will appear on your profile.

It's important to note that you can only add Stories to your Highlight that are still visible in your Story Archive. Once a Story has expired and is no longer visible in your Archive, you won't be able to add it to a Highlight.

Adding existing stories to your Instagram Highlights

If you want to add an existing story to your Highlight, open the story in your Story Archive by tapping the clock icon on your profile. This will take you to your Archive, where you can see all of your past Stories. Find the Story that you want to add to your Highlight and tap the highlight icon at the bottom right. This will bring up a list of your existing Highlights. Select the Highlight you want to add the Story to, and it will be added automatically.

Alternatively, you can also create a new Highlight directly from your Story Archive. To do this, open your Archive and find the Story that you want to add to a new Highlight. Tap the "More" button (three dots) at the bottom right of the screen and select "Create Highlight." This will take you to the "New Highlight" screen, where you can give your Highlight a name and add a cover image.

Instagram Highlight cover designs

One of the best ways to make sure your Instagram Highlights stand out is by creating custom covers for each one. This allows you to easily identify which highlight each story belongs to, and it also serves as a creative way to draw attention to your content.

First, select the story highlight you would like to customize by clicking the ‘+’ icon on your profile. Then, select ‘Edit Highlight’ and choose a color scheme or photo for your cover that matches your profile aesthetics.

To create custom highlight cover images, you can either upload a photo from your device or choose an image from Instagram’s library of photos. Once you have selected an image, you can add text to it to make it easy for your target audience to find what they're looking for.

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Organizing your Instagram Story Highlights

It's important to keep your Highlights organized to make it easy for your audience to navigate your content. You can edit and manage the content within your Highlights by tapping and holding a Highlight on your profile, and selecting "Edit Highlight." From here, you can add or remove Stories, change the cover image, and update the name.

When organizing your Highlights, it's a good idea to group similar content together. For example, if you're a food blogger, you could create Highlights for "Recipes," "Restaurant Reviews," and "Cooking Tips." This will make it easier for your followers to find the content that they're interested in.

Another way to organize your Highlights is to use custom cover images. When you create a new Highlight, Instagram will automatically use the first image in the Highlight as the cover image. However, you can change this by selecting "Edit Highlight" and then "Edit Cover." From here, you can choose any image from your Camera Roll to use as the cover photo.

Related: How to Write Great Instagram Captions - A Guide for Agencies

Archived Stories

Another great way to organize your Instagram Highlights is by making use of Archived Stories. This is a great way to keep track of content that you don't want to share with your followers, but still want to keep in your library.

Once a Story is archived, it won't appear on your profile or in any of your Highlights, but you will still be able to access it from your profile page. This is a great way to keep track of ideas, drafts and other content that you don't want to share with your followers at the moment, but may be useful in the future.

To archive a Story, tap on the three dots in the bottom right corner of your Story and select “Archive”. You can then access all your archived Stories.

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Rearranging the order of your Instagram Story Highlights

Adjusting the order of your Story Highlights can help ensure that your most important content is front and center. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn't currently offer a native way to rearrange the order. However, a workaround is to recreate the Highlights in the desired order, ensuring that the most recent Highlight appears first.

Instagram Story Highlight ideas and inspiration

Here are 9 types of content you can use in your Story Highlights:

  1. Showcase your products or services -- Businesses can use Instagram Highlights to showcase their products or services. Whether it's clothing items, restaurant dishes, or professional services, creating a Highlight dedicated to your offerings is an effective way to catch the attention of potential customers.
  2. Share customer testimonials and reviews -- Use a Highlight to gather and share positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers. This not only serves as social proof, but it also boosts credibility and trust in your brand.
  3. Highlight special promotions and events -- Running a sale or hosting an event? Create a dedicated Highlight to promote these special occasions, ensuring that your followers are always in the loop on your latest happenings.
  4. Behind-the-scenes – Showcase the work that goes into creating your content or peeks into your company culture. Give followers a glimpse of the creative process, what it’s like to be in the studio or workshop, and let them see how you put things together.
  5. Product reviews – Instead of waiting for influencers or customers to review your products, why not create Instagram Story Highlights with product reviews from happy customers who have already tried out your offerings?
  6. Product or service menu -- Have a menu of items, services, or packages that you offer? Use Story Highlights to show off what you have to offer.
  7. Before and afters – Show the transformation from before your products or services are put into action to how they look after being used.
  8. Tutorials or tips -- Use Story Highlights to showcase tutorials and tips for using your products and services. This is a great way to teach followers how to get the most out of what you offer.
  9. User-generated content – Show off photos and videos that your customers have taken using your products or services. This is a great way to highlight customer satisfaction and generate more interest in what you offer.

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Analyzing the performance of Your Instagram Story Highlights

In order to effectively leverage your Highlights, it's important to regularly analyze their performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Tracking views and engagement

By monitoring the number of views and engagement your Story Highlights receive, you can gain valuable insights into the popularity and impact of your content.

Monitor the number of views and engagement your Story Highlights receive by tapping on individual Highlights and swiping up on each story within them. This will show you the number of views and direct messages that each story has received, providing valuable insights into the popularity and impact of your content.

Here are the 3 key Instagram Story Highlights metrics you need to monitor:

  1. Reach: Reach is the number of unique viewers who have seen your Instagram Highlight. This metric is important because it gives you insight into how much of your target audience are engaging with your content. You can track reach by viewing the analytics on each individual highlight, or by using a third-party tool to analyze all of your highlights collectively.
  2. Engagement: Engagement is the number of viewers who took action on your story Highlights, such as leaving a comment, liking or sharing it. This metric tells you how engaging and impactful your content is for your audience. You can monitor engagement by viewing the analytics on each individual highlight, or by using a third-party tool to analyze all of your highlights collectively.
  3. Retention: Retention is the number of viewers who watched your Instagram Story Highlights from start to finish. This metric tells you how captivating and interesting your content is for your audience. To measure retention, you can view the data on each individual highlight, or use a third-party tool to analyze all of your highlights collectively.

Related: Measuring Success on Social Media: Understanding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Adjusting your strategy based on performance data

Use performance data to guide your strategy and identify areas for improvement. If certain Highlights are underperforming, consider updating the cover image or title, or adjusting the content to better align with your audience's interests. Regularly review and analyze the performance of your Instagram Story Highlights to ensure you're constantly optimizing and refining your social media strategy.

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