Instagram Stories is the wildly popular storytelling feature that lets you string together photos and videos to create stories that last one day. According to Instagram, 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. So how can you start using this fun and dynamic tool to share moments and stories on your personal or business Instagram profile? Our professionally designed Instagram story templates in Shutterstock Editor make creating Instagram Stories a piece of cake. Here's how you do it.

whats a story

What is an Instagram Story?

An Instagram Story is a short slideshow that ties together photos and videos with text, stickers, and filters. It gives you more space and tools to share your message and get creative. With Stories, you take your audience through a progression of visuals, like a very short movie. Many use it to share moments from their day as it unfolds, but it is also powerful for sharing ideas, information, and opinions. Unlike a standard Instagram post, an Instagram Story expires in 24 hours. This means you can create a fresh one every day to keep your profile fun and engaging.

How to create an engaging Instagram Story using templates in Shutterstock Editor

Creating Instagram Stories is a creative way to interact with your personal or business audience. But with a 24-hour time limit, you’ll need a new Story every day. Shutterstock Editor makes regular Story creation a breeze. Follow these seven simple steps to create your first story using our professional templates.
Step 1 - IG Story

Step 1:

Browse the available templates and select the one that matches the tone and feel of the Instagram Story you'd like to share. You can repeat this process for each image you want to use in the story.
Step 2 - IG Story

Step 2:

Click on the Text Editor icon in the toolbar on the left side of the page, and update the text with the message you'd like to send. Don’t jam too much text into the image. You have several images in the Story that can all feature different messages.
Step 3 - IG Story

Step 3:

Using the Elements Tool in the toolbar, add additional shapes, icons, or emojis to customize each image in your Story.
Step 4 - IG Story

Step 4:

Using the Search Tool, browse the Shutterstock image library to find images you want to connect in a Story. Experiment with different search terms or phrases to narrow your search down to the perfect set of images.
Step 5 - IG Story

Step 5:

Set the photo as the background of your first image, and position it however you like.
Step 6 - IG Story

Step 6:

License the image quickly and easily by clicking on "download".
Step 7 - IG Story

Step 7:

License and download the final photo, and repeat these steps until you have each image ready to assemble into your Instagram Story.
5 simple tips to get the most out of your Instagram Story

Tip #1: Put more Instagram in your Instagram You don't always have to create every Instagram Story from scratch. A good way to keep your feed fresh and interesting is to reshare your own or others' posts in your Instagram Stories. Follow influencers, celebrities, interesting brands. When you see relevant content that would relate to your audience, feature those posts in your Stories. You can also share posts from your followers to increase engagement and build relationships. Tip #2: Use storyboards to maximize your message Storyboards are a staple of the filmmaking and advertising industries, so put them to use in creating your Instagram Stories. With storyboards, you can plan out each image in your story and determine how they will all work together to communicate your message. Do this before you spend time customizing the look and feel of your images in Editor. By saving these storyboards, you can revisit them later to create consistent Stories throughout the year. They can also help you generate new ideas for fresh content. Tip #3: Variety is the spice of life Don't rely on only one image format to create your stories. If every image you post to your Story has branded messaging, your audience can get tired of your content. Instead, vary your messaging with candid photos, videos, or beautiful images that you discover. Tip #4: Create timely content As various holidays cycle throughout the year, they can inspire fresh, relevant content. Show yourself or your brand taking part in the festivities or engaging in activity that's seasonal and relevant. Keep your content varied by showcasing some of your own photos and videos, as well as noteworthy content created by others. Supporting other creatives, and participating in the community via hashtags is a good way to expand your audience and find new followers. Tip #5: Make your links easy to find Most of us don't have the 10,000 followers necessary to get the "swipe up" option on our stories that unlocks clickable links. But you can edit your profile's "website" field to update the link you would like to share. Then you can add a CTA to your Story encouraging your followers to check out the link.

Ready to create your Instagram story? Start with these curated templates.