How To Create A Transparent Background In Your Instagram Story And Other Instagram Tricks You Need To Know
The popularity of Instagram is growing. Whether it’s the visual aspect people are drawn to or the fact that Facebook has become so political it’s polarizing, Instagram has become the go-to for many people looking to share their brand on social media and connect with their community. I’ve talked about it before, but Instagram Stories is one of the best platforms for providing that experience.
Personally, I like to share stories of the behind-the-scenes at my office – a.k.a. my home – or coLAB, the co-working space in downtown Santa Rosa. I also love sharing details of the events I attend (which have drastically dwindled because of the toddler), and now, even more, I am sharing content from other people and adding my own two cents.
I’m also sharing more diverse stuff on my Instagram Stories – everything from videos of my toddler to the content I mentioned before. I still try to make my stories fit my brand though, no matter what the subject of the story is. You’ll see the colorful bars right behind the text, ensuring the words stand out a bit more than they would if it were just white text over an image. I’m not even sure where I got the idea from, but it was someone on Instagram who did it first, so I replicated it and made it my own. I mean, let’s be honest – a lot of marketing is just a variation of something someone else has done.
I want to share a quick tutorial on how to create lines for your text in Instagram Stories, as well as a few other hacks for Instagram Stories so you can make them your own.
#1 How to Create Lines for Your Text in Instagram Stories
Start off with whatever image or video you want to add to your Instagram story. Then, with the text in the classic mode, add two periods. Click the tab line over and over again (no return here) until they are far enough apart. Add the color background to the two periods and it will become a bar. You can choose to make the background any color you want, and you can pick between a solid bar and a 50% transparent bar.
#2 Create a Solid Color Background for Instagram Stories
Sometimes you just want to share text and drawings instead of a photo or a video. Thankfully, Instagram includes a simple feature that creates solid backgrounds instantly.
Capture a picture as you usually would, and then tap the pen icon. Select the color you want to use as the solid background. Next, long-tap on the screen for about three seconds. The image should be filled with a solid background of your color of choice. You can also select the chisel-tip pen (right next to the main pen tip) and repeat the process to create a semi-transparent background.
#3 Mention Other Accounts in Your Instagram Stories
Tagging accounts is a great way to give a shout-out to a business, make sure a friend sees your post, or showcase an account you admire! You can tag a few people, but I don't recommend doing it too much because it can easily become spammy.
I usually tag one or two people when it makes sense; like if I'm at a winery, I will try to tag that winery and ensure that people can see the text so if they want to go visit the winery too, they can.
#4 Using Hashtags in Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories allows you to include up to 11 hashtags. This is important because now the Stories option is at the top of the feed when someone searches for a hashtag. I have actually received many views just by using the right hashtag. This is especially important when you mention something that is already trending, like talking about the fires when they happen with #SonomaStrong or #CampFire. Just like you do with your Instagram feed, make sure the subject matter matches the hashtag.
#5 Create Shadow Text in Your Instagram Story
A hack that I don't do very often anymore is creating a Drop Shadow in my text. When done right, it adds a little bit of eye-catching detail. When done wrong, it looks pretty bad.
Write out a short message in your story. Next, tap the “Aa” icon again and write out the exact same message using a different color. (If you are looking to do a plain drop shadow, I like to keep it simple with white text on the top and black text underneath as an actual shadow.) Arrange the top layer of text so that it’s slightly off-center from the bottom layer of text, and there you go!
#6 Using Unfold and Templates to Create More Fun Stories
Do a Google search for Instagram story templates, and you'll come across a lot of different apps you can use to add more branding to your stories. For a really simple background that looks high-end, I recommend downloading the storytelling template app called Unfold. You can also create Instagram Story templates in Canva, PicMonkey, or Over on your iPhone. Test out different templates to see what works best for your brand, and make sure to stay consistent once you pick one.