Updated Aug. 31, 2020
Without a doubt, Stories has been Instagram’s smartest invention yet. In fact, it’s hard to imagine the platform without Stories. Launched three years ago this month, over 500 million users now share Stories every single day.
This is great news if you’re an avid Stories user (which you should be) and bad news if you’re a brand trying to stand out in the crowd.
I have shared seven fresh Instagram Stories ideas. Today, I offer nine design-focused, lesser-known Instagram font hacks that your competitors likely aren’t using, and which can help your Stories get more visibility. Read on.
1. Add your brand font to the Stories
Recently, Instagram released new fonts for Stories for us all to play with. It’s true: they’re cool. But you know what’s even more cool? Adding your own font. After all, nothing beats using your brand fonts.
Here’s how to “brand up” your content with little effort:
A pop-up menu will appear. Select “Over”:
That’s it. Now, when you design your Stories in Over (a great app for various templates by the way), you can use your brand fonts.
2. Create a solid background to make your text pop
If you post a sequence of Stories, you likely connect them with the same aesthetic. However, what happens when you need to interrupt the sequence with a call to action? Create a solid background based on the Stories series’ color palette and make your text pop.
Here’s how:Take or select a picture from your photo library. Click on the drawing pencil icon. Hover over your color choice. Tap and hold your finger on it. The background will change to a solid, monochrome color. Write a call to action or brief note.
3. Pick extra colors from the color selection
Instagram Stories offers a 27-color palette. But you can have all the colors in the world.
Here’s how:Click on the drawing pen icon. Touch on any color and hold your finger. Within a second, a bigger palette pops up. Keeping your finger tight on the screen, move it side to side until you pick the preferred color.
TIP: This color wheel trick also can be used to change background behind fonts.
3. Use your picture’s color palette for fun letter background
Another cool Instagram tip for Stories is to create unique font backgrounds based on the posted photo’s color palette. Essentially, this tip combines the first two as you use the same technique with the drawing pen.
Here’s how:Select the picture to post and determine the word you want to use. Click the text icon (“Aa”) in the top right corner. Type the first letter of the word. (Only strong, classic, and typewriter fonts allow for backgrounds to be added.) Add that background to the letter by clicking on the icon on the top left corner. Click the drawing pen icon to see the tool pop up. Move the tool around the photo to see the background of the letter change. Once you select the background color for the first letter, move on to the next and the next until the word is complete.
It might sound time-consuming, but it takes less time than you think. Plus, it looks cool and visually matches the photo, creating a holistic look and feel for your content.
4. Use different fonts
Until recently, Instagram only had five standard fonts: classic, modern, neon, typewriter, and strong. Now, there are nine.
However, if you still need more, you can work around the font limitation and add more fun fonts to your content.
Here’s how:Make sure your internet browser is open in a tab. Open the Instagram app, go to Stories. Select (but not upload) the photo to share. Go to your browser and open a website called CoolSymbol.com. Select the “Fancy Text” option and type your text. It will automatically transform in multiple fonts. Scroll down to select one. Click copy to save the text to your clipboard. Go back to your Instagram app – find the Stories draft. Select the text icon (“Aa”), tap, and hold on the screen where the blinking cursor is and click “paste.”
Now you have a Story with a text font that few, if anyone else, has.
This is a neat little trick to personalize your fonts in Instagram bio and captions as well.
5. Use animated fonts on Stories
Now that you know how to use different fonts for your Instagram Stories, you can animate them too.
Here’s how:Download and open HypeType. Select the picture from your photo library. Double tap the animated piece of text to edit. Type your text in the newly opened window. Reposition your text around the screen. Click the blue “done” icon in the top right corner. To add other fonts and play with the animation, click on the “T” icon. Click “save” (same blue icon) and select to download the image to your phone. Open Instagram. Click on Stories and upload your animated content
HypeType is free with a little watermark on the bottom right corner that says, “Made with HypeType.” You can also subscribe (for about $20 per year) and publish without the watermark.
8. Create the ombre/rainbow text effect
You surely have seen a Story with a beautiful ombre-effect text overlay that looks so subtle it makes you wonder if a human did it. Well, a human did, and you can too.
Here’s how:Write your text. Select all the text. Hold one thumb on a color in the palette. Hold the other thumb on the text cursor. Slide both fingers simultaneously to the left and the letters will change colors.
While this requires mastering some finger gymnastics at first, creating this text effect will become a piece of cake.
9. Make your Stories hashtags invisible
Though adding hashtags to your Instagram Stories increases their chance of being featured on the Stories page, many people refrain from using them because they think they look spammy. However, what if you could make them invisible? Would you always use hashtags?
Here’s how:Select the photo. Type a hashtag. Position it on a corner with a solid background. Highlight the hashtag as text. Tap on the drawing pen icon. Drag the pen across the screen, as close to the background of the hashtag as possible, until the hashtag matches that background.
That’s it! Your hashtag is there but can’t be seen.
Tell your Stories better
As using Stories is now an essential part of any Instagram strategy, taking your content to the next level is a must to provide the wow factor to attract your followers before your competitors do.
Over to you. Any other Instagram Stories hacks you know? Please share in the comments.
Don’t miss the Content Marketing World session on how to use Instagram to grow your brand. Register now for the October virtual event!
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute