Instagram Story Highlights and How to Utilize for Marketing

Posted on January 18, 2023

Best Practices

There are many strategies for creating your own, personal Instagram Stories Highlights. But there are a few practices that you should always keep in mind to maximize the results for your brand. 

Customer Focus

When it comes to Instagram Stories Highlights you are able to create as many or as little as you want. One important thing to note though is that only four of these highlights will show on your Instagram bio at a time. All will be available for view; it is just that the user will have to scroll through your highlights to get to the relevant one. Because of this you should create four extremely curated and well rounded story highlights that most, if not all, of your clients will find appealing and useful. 

Creating a New Story Highlight

To create a story highlight, open your Instagram profile and tap the “New” button underneath your profile. You then will be prompted to select any of the stories that you want to highlight. Make sure to separate these stories into the categories listed below to create a curated experience for the user. You also can create a story highlight by clicking on any active or archived story and tap the highlight button in the story menu. You can then choose a highlight to add it to or you can create a new category by tapping “New”. 

Once you’ve created a new story highlight whether through you instagram profile or the story itself you will then want to give the highlight a descriptive name. This name should be short, informative, and relevant. You will then click “Done” to feature the highlight on your profile. 

Once you’ve completed the creation of a story highlight you will want to create a custom cover for your highlight. Along with the name of the highlight this is the first image that your client will see and associate with the highlight. The easiest way to create this would be to repurpose a story within your highlight. You will be able to scroll through your stories and zoom/reposition the graphic of the story.

If your stories are not aesthetically similar then the covers of your highlights will begin to look a little mishmashed. Because of this creating a centralized design aesthetic and then changing minor details depending on the category may be your best bet. Once you have created these cover images, save them to your device’s gallery. You then will open the highlight, tap to edit, and then select “Edit Cover”. You then will select the custom cover from your gallery and click “Done”. 

Updating your Highlights 

Each Instagram Story Highlight supports up to 100 stories which allows you to add tons of content to each highlight. The problem with this is that if you are maxing out each highlight with 100 stories your customers may get fatigued when looking through these highlights. 

Story highlights are presented in chronological order, so the newer the story the later in the highlight it will show up. Because of this in lengthy highlights your more recent, and usually more relevant, information will get lost. To fix this you should periodically be going into your story highlights and deleting very old or no longer relevant stories. 

To edit your highlights, open one and go to the story that you want to remove. You will then tap the dots in the lower right corner to open the menu and select “Remove From Highlight”. If you want to delete multiple stories click “Edit Highlight” from the menu options. Once under the “Selected” tab uncheck any stories you want to delete. The “Stories” tab is where you are able to select active and archived stories to add to a highlight. 

Once a highlight has been updated it will now appear first in the line. Because of this when updating multiple highlights you should save your most relevant for last. If you’d like to delete a highlight all together, long press the highlight to access the menu and then select “Delete Highlight” to remove from your Instagram profile. 

How to Utilize these Highlights for Marketing

Now that you know the basics of Instagram’s story highlights we shall discuss the multiple ways to utilize them for marketing. Below is the list of ways to curate your company’s content to create highlights that align with your business and marketing goals. 

  1. New Product: By announcing your new product in stories but creating lasting impressions through its permanent place in your highlights, your product can continue to get featured for longer than 24 hours. You also will be able to create sales if your story has a sales sticker or tagged product. 
  2. Resources: Depending on what your company is many of your customers may need continuous support through using your product. With this highlight you can put up relevant resources.
  3. Blog Posts: Instagram has a limited capability with linking to outside content. Stories do allow you to add a link sticker button which can take you directly to outside content. Keeping these stories in highlights will allow your audience to refer back to them when they would like. You should still be updating this highlight regularly to keep it relevant for your audience. 
  4. Customer Stories: Showing customer stories or their original content will add credibility to your brand as well as personalization. By putting all of these stories together in a highlight potential or current customers will be able to click through and see the personal side of your brand. 
  5. Testimonials: If your business lends itself to getting client reviews/ testimonials then you should be posting them! By adding them to your highlights your potential customers can see what amazing services you provide and see real feedback from real people.
  6. Frequently Asked Questions: If your company gets the same questions asked multiple times then it could be beneficial to post them on your story highlights. By adding them to the highlights your customers can refer to the highlight when they have questions instead of reaching out to you directly. 
  7. Events: If your company puts on events you will most likely be posting on your story day of. Sometimes you may want that content for longer than 24 hours and that is when you would add it to your story highlight. This allows you to showcase your work as well as attract future attendees. 
  8. Sales and Special Offers: Although sales are for a limited time, if they are longer than 24 hours then you can add them to a story highlight. This will allow your customers to see up to date sales and specials. Once the sale is over you can update your highlight.
  9. Behind the Scenes Content: By collecting any behind the scenes content you are able to show your company’s culture. This highlight can be extremely helpful especially if you don’t post that type of content on your feed. 
  10. Reward Program: Do you have a loyalty or referral program? When you promote this in your stories you are able to maximize awareness and participation. By adding to a highlight you can clearly define the program and continuously update.
  11. Mission and Values: No matter what type of business your company is you should have a strong core mission or values. By posting these to your stories highlights you can make them a key component of your instagram.