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How to Use Instagram Stories Templates on Reels

Instagram Reels are a fast and fun way to share content with your audience, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a carefully crafted Instagram aesthetic.

Thankfully, there are several ways to jump on the Reels trend and keep your aesthetic intact!

To help you along the way, we’re sharing 3 quick and easy design hacks — as well as the best editing apps to elevate your Instagram Reels aesthetic:

How Important is Your Instagram Reels Aesthetic?

Reels, much like TikTok posts, are designed to be fun, quick, and entertaining.

And while a beautiful aesthetic is always nice to have, creating engaging Reels with a rewarding payoff is much more likely to result in success.

However, if you want to share Reels to your profile grid (which is a great way to gain valuable extra exposure and boost your virality), it’s worth thinking about how they will look alongside your other posts.

Your top 9-12 Instagram posts are often the first pieces of content that visitors to your profile will lay eyes on — and they can be the deciding factor for whether someone hits the “Follow” button or not.

So if your Reels are disrupting your aesthetic, they could be slowing down your growth. A strong first impression counts on Instagram, especially when it comes to converting visitors into followers.

One of the best ways to ensure your Instagram aesthetic is always on point is by planning and previewing your posts in advance.

Later’s free Visual Instagram Planner shows you exactly how your Instagram feed will look in advance, so you can achieve the perfect Instagram aesthetic!

You can easily rearrange or swap out photos from your media library until you’ve found the best composition for your feed.

Plus, you can now use Later’s Visual Planner straight from your mobile! All you need is to open the Later app, select “Preview,” and “Add Media.”

Ready to create the perfect Instagram aesthetic for your brand? Design, curate, and plan your feed with Later!


3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Instagram Reels Aesthetic

Fortunately, it’s easier than you might think to improve your Instagram Reels aesthetic. All you need is a few handy and affordable apps. Here’s how to do it:

#1: Apply an On-brand Filter for a Consistent Gradient 

One of the quickest ways to integrate your Instagram Reels into your feed is by applying the same filter style.

For example, if you have a bright and airy Instagram feed aesthetic, you’ll want your Instagram Reels to also look bright and airy.

You can apply an Instagram Stories AR filter as you shoot a Reel by tapping the “Effects” button and scrolling through the library.

Alternatively, you can apply a filter to your Reel by saving it to your camera roll, using a third-party editing app, and then re-uploading it to Instagram.

Here are just a few great apps for adding filters and custom presets to your videos:

#2: Use a Video Editing Tool like InShot to Add Branded Borders and Custom Font Overlays 

InShot is one of the best apps on the market there for video edits, and it’s great for adding branded backgrounds or custom font overlays to your Instagram Reels.

These simple touches can make your Reels feel so much more in-keeping with your feed aesthetic, especially if you already have a strong color palette in place.

Plus, adding a branded background is a great way to optimize your Reel for the 4:5 feed preview. Adding a border of color to your 9:16 Reels will prevent your video from being cropped.

To find out how to do this, watch Natasha from @solstudiomarketing’s quick tutorial hack:

TIP: If you want to hide an Instagram Reel from your main feed but keep it on the Reels tab, tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the video and select “Remove from Profile Grid.”

#3: Create a Custom Cover Image 

If you’re really serious about your aesthetic, you can create a custom cover image for your Reels, just like you would for an IGTV video.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by using Instagram Stories templates to create professional designs for your brand.

There are tons of easy-to-use apps that help you to create gorgeous Instagram Stories designs, which is the same format as Instagram Reels.

Storyluxe, Unfold, and Over are all packed with great templates that you can tailor to suit your brand aesthetic.

ICYMI: We’ve teamed up with Storyluxe to create a brand new set of Instagram Stories templates — designed specifically with our users in mind!

To access the templates, download the Storyluxe app. Next, scroll through the bottom menu and select “Later.” From here, you can choose between 2 collections: LATER1 and LATER2:

Once you’ve created your custom cover design and saved it to your camera roll, all you have to do is add it to your Instagram Reel. You can do this by tapping “Cover” during the publish phase, and then “Add from Camera Roll.”

It’s that easy!

Ready to take your Instagram Reels designs to the next level? Check out our awesome new Storyluxe Instagram Stories templates now! 

Written By

Jillian Warren

Jillian is Later's Editor. A go-to expert in social media strategy and content marketing, she has worked in both London and New York. Next up? Lisbon and Paris! You can reach out to her on Instagram here: @jillwrren.

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