5 Great Ways to Use Instagram Story Highlights

While we were decking the halls and gearing up to celebrate the holidays, Instagram launched one of the biggest features of 2017: Instagram story highlights.

Businesses (including us!) and brands are loving this feature, and we aren’t surprised! There is finally a way to save and highlight content that you don’t want disappearing after 24 hours. So whether you are a brand specialist who wants to showcase your latest projects, or a food blogger who would love to keep a step-by-step recipe showcased for more than a day, Instagram collections is a great way to stay organized and highlight what you’d like your followers to see!

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So what exactly is it?

Unlike Instagram stories that disappear after 24 hours, these curated-by-you highlights will remain permanently on your profile until you delete them. They’ll appear directly under your bio and above your regular insta-feed and will play as a stand alone story when someone taps on them.

You can use this feature in so many but we’ve come up with a list of 5 ways you can utilize this feature today in order to showcase products, drive traffic or gain customers!

First things first:  make sure you’ve updated to latest version of Instagram so that your Instagram stories will self-archive on the cloud. You may have noticed a little arrow and clock graphic in the top right-hand corner of your profile. This is where the archived stories live. You’ll need to have this enabled in order to create highlights and updated to the latest version should automatically turn archiving on. You can ONLY create story highlights from stories that have already been added to your regular Instagram story. 

Next, to create your highlight go to your Instagram profile. Click “New” under story highlights.

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Third, choose which archived stories you want to feature from your past stories:

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Finally, you’ll be prompted to choose a cover image and title your highlight. You can add up to 100 photos or videos to a highlight and there is no limit to how many highlights you can create. There is a limit on how many characters your highlight title can have though (this can be frustrating! ha!).

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Click “add” and your highlight will be live. To delete or edit your highlight, simply hold your finger down on the highlight you wish to work with and delete and edit options will pop up, just like you would delete an app on your iPhone.

And now onto the fun part, how can YOU use highlights on your profile?

#1: Highlight new products, projects or collections.

As a photographer you could highlight sessions by location to attract clients interested in those areas. If you are interior designer maybe you want to showcase a new build from start to finish. Maybe you are an Etsy shop owner who has just launched a new product, so you can use your highlight to introduce and showcase your new offering! You can use the highlight portion like a portfolio and put content in front of potential clients and customers that you would like them to see.   In the example below, I (Ashley) highlighted weddings in certain areas where I work to showcase to potential clients who are also interested in having their weddings in that area.

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#2: Highlight regular content.

If you are a brand who publishes content regularly on your website or blog, you could use your highlights to categorize and showcase this. For example, a branding specialist might regularly blog business tips, offer freebies and their current latest projects. Use highlights to categorize content your followers will be interested in. In the example below, The Everygirl has highlighted content they are posting on their website about often such as travel, home décor and fashion. This is making these items quick and accessible for their followers and also putting an emphasis on this content over other content.

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#3:  Highlight Based on Demographics.

If you are a shop that sells items for different people (say you own a shop with women's, children's and baby clothing) you could categorize highlights based off those. If you are an artist, you might also categorize different art offerings such as “illustrations”, “calligraphy”, etc. 

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#4: Highlight events.

Wedding industry professionals can particularly use this idea to showcase particular events or projects. If you’re a florist you could highlight the process of creating florals for a wedding day and end with the final professional images to give potential clients a behind the scenes look at your process from start to finish!

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#5: Highlight where you've been published or featured!

It's a sure-fire way to build credibility without having to say a word. When others value your products, art, etc., those features are proving that what you do is valuable-- so why not show it off to potential clients and customers?! 

There are so many ways to utilize this feature, how are YOU using it to up your instagram game? Share with us in a comment!