Instagram Stories Branding: How to Design with Your Business in Mind
When it comes to designing stories, it’s important to have clear and consistent Instagram Stories branding.
Just like your regular Instagram feed, incorporating your brand into your Instagram Stories will help you increase brand awareness and make your stories stand out from the crowd.
Your Instagram Stories branding doesn’t need to be too complicated, even using simple branding elements like colors and fonts can go a long way in making your stories look professional and on point.
You also don’t need a fancy designer or a big budget to make branded Instagram Stories! In this post, you’ll learn 4 tips for bringing your brand to life through stories, even if you’re not a designer:
Why You Need Strong Instagram Stories Branding for Your Business
Having a memorable look and feel for your Instagram Stories is important because it will help your followers immediately recognize your stories (and stop them from swiping past your content!).
This is the power of good branding: it quickly communicates the unique essence of your brand or business. And if you’re marketing to millennials on Instagram, branding is key for attracting new followers and positioning your products (thank you, @glossier).
And while branding is a core tenet of design, that doesn’t mean it’s something you can’t do yourself! We’re going to show you how to brand your Instagram Stories with zero graphic design knowledge and without blowing the budget on professional software.
Plus, if you’re a small business looking to level-up your Instagram Stories strategy, branding and engagement levels, we have six free video guides from the experts at Wistia, Pink House, Flytographer, HubSpot and more to help you. Just sign up to watch the videos now:
Tip #1: Create Your Instagram Stories Branding Kit
If your brand is already established, creating an Instagram Stories branding kit should be pretty easy, and would just be an extension of your existing color palette, photo edits, style, and tone of voice.
But if you’re just getting started with establishing your brand on social media, or you’re hoping to revamp your current look, knowing where to start can be difficult.
Here’s a quick guide to creating your brand kit:
- Define Your Brand’s Essence: Start by focusing on a few simple questions about your brand or business. How would you describe your brand? What makes it stand out from your competitors? What sort of feelings do you want to evoke in your customers? @gotoskincare does a great job at translating their friendly, informal and humorous business vibe onto their Instagram page.
Spend some time trying to answer these questions and keep your answers in mind when going through the next steps to building your brand’s look and feel.
- Find Your Core Color Palette: When it comes to choosing a color set, or palette, for your brand, you want to make sure it reflects all the things that are important to you when we looked at your brand’s essence. Your primary palette will be the colors that will be used across all of your imagery, while your secondary palette is used for accent colors or highlights.
Bon Appetit’s Healthyish (@healthy_ish) uses a palette of ice-cream pastels for their Instagram Stories branding — a look that is consistent with their brand image across the web. This color profile is perfect for drawing in their intended audience of health-conscious millennials!
Remember to be specific with your color palette and record the exact HEX code of your chosen colors. That way, you and your team can refer to it in the future.
- Choose Your Brand Fonts: It’s helpful to have one font that you use for headings and one that you use for body copy. If you’re using an app to design Instagram Stories, you can incorporate the brand font that you use on your website, etc. If you’re creating Instagram Stories in the Instagram app, choose 1-2 Instagram fonts to use consistently.
If you’re crafting and styling your Instagram Stories in the Instagram app, you’re confined to the 5 fonts Instagram currently offers. And while you can easily create a fresh and consistent look with those fonts, just like @benefitcosmetics has they can also be limiting.
If you want to really put your brand out there and stand out from the crowd, you’ll have to look outside of the Instagram app to craft your stories.
- Choose Your Image Filters: Just like your brand colors, the filters you chose to use on your photos should reflect your overall brand style and essence. You can use some of Instagram’s in-app stories filters, photo editing apps like VSCO to add tones and hues, or if you’re looking to level-up your editing style, you can use presets in Adobe Lightroom.
These days, many brands are opting for an unedited and filter-free look too, so don’t feel like every story has to be perfectly polished, every time. Just make sure that you’re consistent with whatever approach you take!
Tip #2: Use Templates to Create Consistent Instagram Stories Branding
Instagram Stories templates are a great shortcut for creating consistent branding!
Whether you create your own templates or use pre-made templates, they are a great way to save time creating stories and ensure that your Instagram Stories are on brand, all the time.
By using templates, you’ll know that your text will be balanced, the elements will be aligned, and the overall appearance will help you stand out from the standard Instagram-style stories post.
Even if you change up the colors, images, and fonts in a template, you’ll still know that the core design is consistent and eye-catching! Plus, if you’ve ever had a feeling when working on an Instagram Stories design that “something’s not quite right or missing, but I can’t figure out what it is…” with a template, you know you’ll have a consistent design time and time again!
Canva has thousands of free Instagram Stories templates that you can customize. Simply select a template, add your brand’s colors and fonts, and voilà, an on-brand Instagram Stories post in no time at all!
Not sure where to start? Watch this quick video guide to editing templates with Canva! It will talk you through all the easy steps to creating awesome Instagram Stories templates for your business:
Tip: Choose 4 or 5 template designs that you love and rotate between them. This is especially helpful if you have a weekly posting schedule – you could choose one template for #motivationmonday, one for #tbt, and so on. Just make sure your brand colors and fonts are consistent in all!
You can also add some variety to your templates simply by switching up the colors, like Lego does!
Despite changes in color scheme, Lego’s Instagram Stories are immediately recognizable owing to their consistency in format, font, and layout.
Tip #3: Show Off Your Brand Logo in Your Instagram Stories
If you regularly watch Instagram Stories, you’ve probably experienced some “banner blindness” — when you tap through someone’s stories but have no idea who posted it!
That’s because your Instagram profile image appears in the top left-hand corner of your screen and it’s super easy to miss as it’s so much smaller than usual!
To combat this and give your viewers a friendly little reminder of who’s posting, you can do two things to bring their attention to your brand:
First, make sure you’re using your brand’s most identifiable image as your Instagram profile photo. That will usually be your logo or a variation of your business logo that fits in the small circular space.
Or if your brand is personal and more about you, you should be easily recognizable in your profile picture!
Secondly, you can start integrating your logo into your Instagram Stories branding and templates! Smart brands are adding their logos and branding across their templates design, so even if you miss the banner logo, you’ll see it when watching the stories.
Target does this with their Target Finds series by adding the logo in the upper right-hand corner, which makes it instantly recognizable and memorable.
Don’t have a logo for your business? Don’t worry, you can create one in minutes with Canva!
Tip: If you’re running a special promotion or launching a new product line that branches from your main business, why not create a bespoke logo to set your new venture apart?
Tip #4: Don’t Forget to Brand Your Instagram Stories Highlights
Sometimes your viewers might be looking for something specific from your stories post, like to see more about a new launch or a sale you’re running. For this type of information, Instagram Highlights are the perfect way to reach out!
But you don’t want to forget about your branding when it comes to your highlights!
Using branded highlights covers keeps the look and feel of your Instagram profile page consistent with your brand’s style and Instagram aesthetic. You want to make sure that you’re not only sharing information your audience is interested in, but it’s also designed to perfection to complement your overall look!
Make sure the color of your highlight cover is in line with your branding, and if you’re using an icon, that it has a similar look and feel to your overall Instagram aesthetic.
Looking to create awesome Instagram Stories highlight covers? Don’t worry — Later has created free Instagram Stories highlight icons that you can download today!
No matter how big your brand (or your Instagram following!), it’s important not to let your Instagram Stories become an afterthought.
Putting some time and effort into creating beautiful Instagram Stories branding can help you increase brand awareness, attract new followers, and achieve your business goals on Instagram.
Keeping a consistent look and feel across your website, Instagram feed, and Instagram Stories is a surefire way to make sure your posts stand out.
Ready to grow your business with Instagram Stories? Check out our 6-part video guide with expert advice and tips on how to grow your business using Instagram Stories! Plus, it’s totally free!