How to up your Instagram Stories game, including 6 must-have apps!

Travel influencer Kim Leuenberger @kim.ou has built up a loyal following of more than 112k followers with her beautiful and inspirational Instagram feed. Here, she shares her knowledge on improving your IG Stories game to help you increase your following on Instagram. Over to Kim:

Instagram Kim Leuenberger @kim.ou

Instagram Stories have rapidly grown to be one of the most used assets of Instagram, even more so now with the ability of saving your stories as highlights. It’s a great tool to show a more personal side to a story, so here’s a few tips to improve your Instagram Story game in 2019, and what apps you should use!

First tip: Take your time

First things first, for a successful story with a bit of storytelling, I’d recommend to not post your content on Instagram straight away. Instead, try to record a few little videos clips (I recommend about 10-15 seconds each minimum) on your phone native’s camera, the quality from the native camera is much better than the one you would get if you record with any other app and it will give you more flexibility with the files afterwards. Think also of capturing some images, with your phone or your camera and don’t forget to still fully enjoy your activity in real time, and take care of the rest later.

Combine ‘still’ videos with videos of you

When you record, try to mix some still videos of something you’d take a photo of usually, such as the waves rolling in, or the fumes from a cup of tea, but also record bits of yourself talking to camera to introduce what the next slides will be about, or if you’re more of a writer, introduce it with a lovely little text.

Apps to help your Instagram Stories

I recommend editing the content you’ve created first before moving onto the curating part. Once you’ve got your storyline of what your story is going to be, select your favourite videos and photos of the day and make them look great. Here are 2 apps I’d recommend to use for that.

VSCO (video)

VSCO will let you edit your favourite photos and videos and has the best selection of filters for videos out there. You can pay for a yearly subscription of VSCO Studio and it’s really worth it, but have a go at their free trial first and let yourself be the judge. It will be great to give all your stories the same feel, I’d recommend sticking to the same filter for video and photos, for more homogeneity. Get VSCO now.

Honorary mentions: I also love using Afterlight, Snapseed, Darkroom to edit images, but they haven’t yet brought out video editing. For videos I really like RAD VHS, and there’s a newcomer I’d need to try called  Colorstory, which apparently does both. (Editor’s note: Links are general or for Apple but apps are also available for other platforms.)

SPLICE will let you merge videos together, one after the other pretty easily.
STORY SLICER will let you slice longer videos into 15 seconds each to put on stories, for a smooth transition from one to another.

The best Story Templates apps!

Once your content is curated and edited, here comes the fun part of story templates! There’s quite a few of them, and they all offer a wide range of themes. I’d suggest picking two or three you like and alternate them. Here’s a few I like:

UnfoldUNFOLD is the must have tool for stories these days. Everyone is using it. It’s fantastic to mix videos and photos on the same slide, and also offers a wide choice of different templates. What I love the most about it is that you can create each story in a little folder, and export it as a whole, have a lot of control over text, background colour. Be careful to not let the videos loop automatically though! Get Unfold now.

STORYART is a newcomer that I just started to play with. It’s absolutely great for those that find the template a little too restrictive, and want to dabble into creating their own. It also lets you add filters and speed up or slow videos down once you add them to your story. Minus point for the workflow of the app though, wish there was more foldering like on Unfold! Get Storyart now.

Honorary mentions: CANVA is my favourite website when it comes to build a presentation or a pitch or a small logo for story highlights and their templates are great too. It gets some using to, and the app is still a little bit slow and fiddly, to be used on a bigger screen. STORYLUXE and STORYFLOW have got some beautiful analogue looking templates for photographs.


Pin it for later! Instagram Stories – 6 must-have apps!


Have you tried any of these apps or do you have suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments!

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