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How to make Instagram highlight cover for your story?


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If you’re passionate about your brand’s aesthetic, then I guarantee you love the various ways the social media sites enables us to keep the creativity going. Instagram Stories are the fastest rising feature on Instagram and bring a new way to interact and connect with your target audience.

By adding filters to images, selecting a background color for your Stories, making a collage, creating a Boomerang video, etc…, you can let your imagination run free to wow your customers.

In recent updates, we have the highlight covers – an amazing way to retain the life of your Stories. Highlights are the icons that appear on your profile right below your bio and before your posts.

In this article, you’ll find all you need to know about Instagram Story highlight covers and how to make better use of them.

The benefits of Instagram highlight cover

1. Express your personal aesthetic

Highlights from Instagram Stories are an invaluable opportunity for Instagram users to establish their brand and advertise it.

On your Instagram profile, your highlights appear at the most prominent position, so they’re great for helping new viewers find out what your business is all about.

How your Highlights appear on your profile Source: Shutterstock
How your Highlights appear on your profile Source: Shutterstock

2. Keep your original content for more than 24 hours

Stories can stay on your profile for an infinite period with Highlights, while Archives helps you to activate an auto-save, a function that stores this story in the backend of the page.

It is also possible to organize old stories and highlight them later so that the public can get access to your content again. And needless to say, just making your Stories available for customers to view at any time is a perfect incentive to advertise your goods, services, or even your staff members.

3. Promote sales

Did you know your Instagram Highlights can support your conversions? To guide your followers to your website, provide links to your best-selling merchandise and quick access to your most recent updates.

It is a simple method for new followers to explore your brand in particular and eventually become potential customers.

How to create an Instagram highlight

First, let’s go over how you can create an eye-catching highlight for your Instagram profile.

There are two ways to make an Instagram Highlight - from your Instagram Archive or directly from your existing Story.

Go to your profile on Instagram, then open the circle with the + sign in the center to begin.

Then swipe up to see your most recent Archives of Stories.

Pick the specific posts that you want to add to that highlight album, and then select the next button.

Adding a Highlight from Instagram Archive Source: Skedsocial
Adding a Highlight from Instagram Archive Source: Skedsocial

Next: Open your current story and tap the Highlight icon with a heart to add that story to a premade Highlight or create an all-new highlight.

Adding a Highlight from an active Instagram Story Source: Skedsocial
Adding a Highlight from an active Instagram Story Source: Skedsocial

How to make Instagram highlight covers

It’s time to design your own now that we’ve worked over the basics of highlight covers.

For your highlight covers, Instagram will allow you to use any picture you want.

However, if your brand is like your child, it deserves more than just “any picture.”

Think of your highlights as window shopping. You’d want to leave an impression.

There are a number of apps that let you put together a lovely icon if you’re running against time, such as Canca Stories, Over or Adobe Spark

Fast and simple option: Use and customize ready-to-go templates from apps

1. Make Instagram highlight covers with Canva

Note that we did the design on Canva for the computer version for this part of the tutorial, but you can also follow these same steps and get a similar result on the mobile app.

Canva is a (very easy-to-use) design software that you can use either on the phone or on your desktop. This tool will improve your life tremendously.

Canva's various convenient templates Source: Guidingtech
Canva's various convenient templates Source: Guidingtech
  • Step 1: Log in with Canva or Sign up for free.

  • Step 2: Set up a blank canvas with a suitable size for Stories.

Your cover’s dimensions have to be 1080 x 1920 pixels(wide x tall), with a 9:16 aspect ratio.

  • Step 3: Upload your Canva icons.

Click Upload an image or video and select the .png file of your choosing. Optionally, it’s just as simple as a drag and drop.

  • Step 4: Choose a background color.

Now look to the left of your screen, press Bkground on the sidebar. You can select one color or one of Canva’s free photos from there (depending on the color, your icon will pop up.)

  • Step 5: Download your finished image from Canva Name your layout, then, in the upper right corner, press Download. Choose your preferred file format (PNG or JPG are both fine)

2. Make Instagram highlight covers with Over

  • Step 1: Choose your desired background.

Over is stocked full with readily available resources that can make your covers for Instagram Stories Highlights shine! You can import your own background to the Over app by selecting “Image” or by scrolling through their “Layout Collections” to choose from a whole variety of cool background designs.

We’re using one of Over’s free templates as a background for this demonstration, but you can choose any shade, style, or even a photograph.

On Over Pro, there are hundreds of neat design options too!

The next thing to do once you’ve selected your background is to check that it’s the correct size!

Tap the “Layers” icon, and then select the layer in the background. Then you can choose the option for “Instagram Story” dimensions.

Instructions for making a highlight cover with the Over app, Source: Later
Instructions for making a highlight cover with the Over app, Source: Later

You may also change your image’s background color to match your brand on this same editing canvas. Tap ‘Background’ and either pick a color using the menu down below or enter the Hex color code you have selected.

And you can go back to the Layers panel once you’re satisfied with the color and texture to remove any unnecessary layers, as well as text.

  • Step 2: Details, details, details!

Finally, your beautiful design is ready to go, and you can add your text or icons! Choose ‘Pic’ and locate an icon from the media library.

The easiest way to know that you put the icon right in the middle of the design is to pinch to resize and reposition just until the yellow instruction lines show up.

Make sure to align your icon when creating a cover Source: Later
Make sure to align your icon when creating a cover Source: Later

Tap the ‘Text’ icon from the bottom panel and select a font if you prefer to have text on your Instagram Stories Highlights covers. Additionally, you can even import a personalized font using Over Pro.

Once you’re pleased with your designs, tap the yellow checkmark in the upper right-hand corner, followed by the export icon. You can now touch ‘Save,’ and the completed product will be added to your photos library!

3. Make Instagram highlight covers with Adobe Spark

  • Step 1. To build a new cover from (nearly) scratch, press the ‘+’ symbol.

  • Step 2. Choose a photograph from your camera roll as the backdrop or with a solid color cover, pattern, or frame.

  • Step 3. After that, pick any color for the background.

Simply pick the color you want on the sliding color belt. Alternatively, you can enter a custom hex color or code to change the hue.

  • Step 4. Then, you select your artboard size. Scroll through until you get to the “Instagram Story” layout.

  • Step 5. Then “Tap to edit text” and erase the text box if you don’t want any text on your cover.

  • Step 6. You’ll want to add an icon after that. Click the ‘Add’ button, then select the ‘Add icon’ box. With the search window, you can scan for an icon very quickly.

  • Step 7: Once you have decided on your design, click on “Share” in the top-right corner and choose between a solid or transparent background.

  • Step 8: You can then post it to Instagram directly or save the picture to your camera roll.

4. Make Instagram highlight covers with Adobe Photoshop

Suppose you want more control over how your Instagram profile is shown to the public, or maybe you’re more of an art connoisseur.

In that case, you should utilize your skills at Adobe Photoshop to produce your original Instagram Stories Highlights covers.

  • Step 1: Set up the new canvas first.
  • Open New Document at 1080 x 1920 pixels, Instagram’s ideal size.

  • Step 2: Design away! After deciding which color or illustration you want to use for the Instagram Highlight cover background, fill a new layer with any color using the Paint Bucket Tool (G).

But I suggest you use a softer-looking Gradient Background for a more imaginative path. Copy and paste the backdrop into a new layer and use the Move Method to put it in place (V).

  • Step 3: Add some finishing touches.

Place each of your hand-made icons in the graphic center and share the result on Instagram. Then go to the Instagram Highlights on your profile and make unique covers for your Instagram stories

Here is an example, pretty cool, right?

@melody.nieves on Instagram with stunning Highlight covers Source: Design.tuts.plus
@melody.nieves on Instagram with stunning Highlight covers Source: Design.tuts.plus

How to add Instagram highlight covers

Now that you have your covers, you would be much excited to put your creativity into action. Feel free to pick a short but cohesive title to match with your cover photo.

You can upload your latest cover designs from your camera roll from here!

To upload a design you created earlier, tap Edit Cover and then tap the picture icon.

How to add a cover for your Instagram Highlights Source: Thepreviewapp
How to add a cover for your Instagram Highlights Source: Thepreviewapp

To resize the icons, pinch and drag your cover image. You can also edit your Instagram Stories Highlight title by pressing the ‘Name’ button and entering a new title.

And then you’re done. It’s just that easy!

Tips for making good Instagram highlight covers

1. Be consistent with the designs - A little goes a long way!

Integrating your brand’s most notable characteristics into your covers is an excellent way to make your highlights feel more in sync and professional.

Consider how to introduce your color scheme, fonts, and logo trademarks into your covers.

2. Make your Highlights informative and fun.

A stylish appearance will go a long way, but your Highlights covers should also serve as a visual infographic for the contents they contain.

A decent cover for Instagram Stories Highlight would make it as straightforward as possible for the viewers to recognize what they’re going to get from viewing the highlight.

Some inspiring Instagram highlight covers to learn from

For example, all of Foundr’s covers are a unified red color.

Foundry is a global media and education company that connects millions of individuals monthly, with some of our generation’s most influential living entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Mark Cuban, Tim Ferriss, and many more.

All of Foundr's covers are a unified color Source: Mention
All of Foundr's covers are a harmonious color Source: Mention

Another outstanding example from sales and content strategist is Amie Finlayson. Amie is super-clear on who she represents (online coaches and experts) and how she supports her different clients (predict launch profits and build buyer-centric communities).

Amie Finlayson's Instagram profile Source: Convertkit
Amie Finlayson's Instagram profile Source: Convertkit

Another exceptional visual is the Met. It prioritizes prospective audiences. It maintains a handy checklist at the end of the highlight compilation for every week’s exhibitions.

The Met has all essential highlights on the top of its profile Source: Blog.hootsuite
The Met has all essential highlights on the top of its profile Source: Blog.hootsuite

Learn more: How to a Add Link to Instagram Story?

Final thoughts

A fast and easy way to revamp your Instagram profile and highlight your awesome stories is to create decorative Instagram Stories Highlights covers!

So putting some time and effort into making high-quality covers for highlights will help you raise awareness of the brand, attract new viewers, and show newcomers your most popular Instagram Stories posts.

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