Instagram Stories are a very important marketing tool and sharing engaging visuals with your followers will help boost brand awareness and increase lead generation. According to Statista, there are over 1 billion monthly active Instagram users, and over 500 million of those users use Instagram Stories everyday.
You’ll be competing with everyone on the platform, both consumers and brands, for people’s attention and this is why you need to showcase your brand the best you can. I’m going to guide you through some simple examples that will provide you with the foundation you’ll need to create and share amazing Instagram Stories to your audience.
Example 1 – Podcast/YouTube Show
In this first example, we’ll create a promotional Instagram Story for a podcast or YouTube show. Creating this design will allow you to use the template numerous times, you will just need to change the background image depending on the subject matter and the text depending on the episode number.
To begin, open Adobe Photoshop CC 2020. You can use older versions of Photoshop to create the Instagram Stories but I’ll be using their latest version in this blog.
Create a new document by going to File, Create New. Name the document, Instagram Story. Set the width to 1080 pixels, and the height to 1920 pixels. Next, set the resolution to 96 pixels/inch. The other settings are not as important but you can set them similar to the screenshot below.
Now that we have our document created, first let’s add our background image. The image I’m using for this example can be found here. Personally, I like to download all of my stock images in the highest resolution possible so choose ‘Original Size’ when downloading from UnSplash. The reason I do this is to allow flexibility when formatting images for cross-platform marketing campaigns.
Click and drag the image into our Photoshop document from your Finder (Mac) or your Explorer (Windows). Format the background image to fit the document using the Free Transform tool [Edit, Free Transform]. Center the shoes and move them to the higher half of the document to make space for our text later.
Next, add a shape over the entire image using the Rectangle Tool from your toolbar. The keyboard shortcut is ‘U’ to access this option. Make the shape the colour black and set the opacity of the shape to 40%. The reason for adding the shape layer is to make your text easily visible regardless of what image is used in the background. Your document should like Screenshot 1 below.
Add text using the Horizontal Type Tool. The keyboard shortcut is ‘T’ to access this option. Write the text, Sneaker Haul on two lines and set the colour to white. I’m using the font, Bebas. Align the text in the lower half of the document.
Next, add a rectangle and place it above the text. Set the colour to yellow (Hex Code: FFDE00) or whatever colour you choose. Add another text layer to your document and write, Episode 2 and place the text over the shape. Make sure this text layer is above the shape layer otherwise the text will be hidden behind it. Your document should look like Screenshot 2 above.
Mess around with the design and add more elements to create something to fit your brand. It’s important to note that you should leave space at the top and bottom of the document, 250 pixels to be exact. When you upload your Instagram Story, the platform’s UI will occupy this space. Features such as your username and picture at the top of the screen and the comment button at the bottom of the screen.
Example 2 – Beauty Blogger
In our next example, we’ll create a promotional Instagram Story for a beauty blogger. This design can be used for making an announcement about a new YouTube video or a blog post on your website. Adjust the final design to fit your brand.
To begin, create a new document or use your existing document you created in Example 1. If you didn’t follow Example 1 and are starting here, scroll up to the short paragraph and image from the Photoshop document setup.
Change the colour of your background to whatever you want, I used pink (Hex Code: FBCCCB) in this example. Next, add a PNG image of you to the document by dragging the image from your Finder (Mac) or your Explorer (Windows). I used this free stock image I sourced online and cut the woman out from the background using the selection tool. The keyboard shortcut is ‘W’ to access this option.
To use the Quick Selection Tool, highlight the area you want to keep in the image and you’ll see a selection area appear over the image. If you make a mistake, select the minus selection brush in the top-left of the Photoshop toolbar. Once you’re happy with your selection, press Delete on your keyboard to remove the background from the image.
Next, I added a stroke to the image of the woman. To do this, double-click the layer to open the Layer Style panel. Select Stroke and set the size to between 10-20, the position to outside, and the colour to white. Position your image in the lower-half of the document to leave space for text in the upper-half. Your document should look something like Screenshot 3 below.
Add a small, wide rectangle to the document and make it the colour white. I offset the rectangle by an angle of -3° using the Free Transform tool [Edit, Free Transform]. Next, add a text layer and write, Let’s Talk and place the text on top of the rectangle. The font I used in this example is Dear Joe 6.
Lastly, add another text layer and write, College, Careers & More and place the text to the right of the image. The font I used for this is Amatic. This completes this Beauty Blogger design for Instagram Stories. Your document should look like Screenshot 4 above.
Play around with the layout to suit your brand but this simple design can be used multiple times to promote content on other social media platforms on a weekly or monthly basis.
Example 3 – eCommerce Online Store
In our last example, we’ll create a promotional Instagram Story for an eCommerce online store selling apparel. This design can be used for selling any piece of clothing, jewelry and shoes, or to promote a sale to your followers which is what I’ll be covering in this example.
Create a new document or use your existing document you created in Example 1 or 2. If you didn’t follow Example 1 or 2 and are starting on Example 3, scroll up to the short paragraph and image from the Photoshop document setup to begin.
Set the background colour to black. Double-click on the layer to open the Layer Style panel. Select Stroke and set the size to 60, the position to inside, and the colour to white. You now should have a white border around the document.
Add your image of a product or a model to the document by dragging the image from your Finder (Mac) or your Explorer (Windows). I used this free stock image from Unsplash for this example. Next, go to Image in the top menu system of Photoshop and select Adjustment, and then select Black & White. You can skip this step if you want your image to be coloured.
Making sure your image is on top of the background layer, go to Layer in the top menu and select Create Clipping Mask. This will put your image inside of the shape layer. Your image should look like Screenshot 5 below.
Create a square using the Rectangle Tool by holding down Shift as you drag. I made the square 800px2. Set the opacity to 50% and position the square in the lower half of the image.
Add your text on top of the square and write, Sale. I used DearJoe 6 font in this example. Underneath this text, add the text, All Products and also Swipe Up. I used the font Bebas here. Underneath the ‘All Products’ text, I added a line using the Rectangle Tool. Just create a wide and thin rectangle to achieve this effect.
Add a white circle using using the Ellipse Tool. To switch from the Rectangle Tool, just hold down on the option with your mouse to access more tools in that section. To draw a perfectly round circle, hold Shift on your keyboard as you draw the circle. I add a subtle drop shadow to the circle to get rid of the shape edge. To do this, double-click the layer to open the Layer Style panel. Set the colour to black, the opacity to 30% and the size to 15px.
Lastly, add another text layer on top of the circle and write, 15%. I used the font Bebas again for this. This completes the eCommerce Online Store design for Instagram Stories. Your document should look like Screenshot 6 above.
As you can see from the examples, there’s lots of variations you can make. The purpose of this blog is to provide you with a foundation to create and share amazing Instagram Stories to your audience using Adobe Photoshop CC 2020. I hope that you found it helpful.
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