Story creation on Instagram and Facebook has been growing by leaps and bounds since image and video driven content has become a top priority.
Visual stories appeal to a variety of target markets from young adults to the over-30 group.
Now, it’s easier than ever to create stories and reach your target market due to the growing amount of apps and tools available.
If you are not using stories, it’s time to start.
Like most new things, there is a learning curve, depending on your skills and past experiences.
As stories grow in popularity, there will be even more to learn. In addition, the more people create stories, the more competition you’ll have.
Fortunately, there many apps that can help your story stand out and reap early adoption benefits.
Your first step is to download the Facebook and Instagram apps onto your Smartphone and link up with your account. Then you can start to create stories.
If you are going to use any of the suggested apps to create special effects, make sure you use the content within 24 hours of creating it.
Save it to your camera roll. Otherwise, it will be deleted at the end of that time and you will have to start again.
Adobe Spark Post
Adobe Spark Post is a free design app for iOS and desktop that lets you add static and animated text to your photos. You can create beautiful memes with it as well. It offers multiple sizing options for your content, including Instagram stories, with an optimal size of 520 x 520 pixels. When you choose a text animation, the app will turn your photo into a 4-second video.
To use the app, tap the green + sign at the bottom of the screen. From the pop-up menu, choose a source for your background image. You can also create a solid-color background if you wish. When you’re finished creating your text or animation, tap Share and save it as a video to your camera roll. Then, you can post it to your Instagram story.
PocketVideo is a full video editing app that’s available for free for iOS and Android and can help you vlog like a pro and add your clips to your stories. After you install the app, tap the yellow + sign to start a new project. Next, tap the pink + sign at the bottom of the screen to import your content.
Tap Camera Roll to import a video, or tap Photos to import a photo. Once you’ve imported your content, you’ll see a variety of tools below it. Tap Text in the toolbar to add text. Tap Add and select a theme. Choose animations as well if you wish. When you’re finished editing your image or video, tap the yellow checkmark to save all your changes. Tap Finish to save the project to your camera roll. From there you can add it to your stories.
Hype Type is an iOS app that lets you add attractive text overlays to your content quickly and easily. In the app, you’ll see a recording screen that looks similar to Instagram Stories. Tap the crop button in the upper-right corner and select the vertical sizing option and size your image to 520 x 520 pixels. Tap the arrow to close the pop-up menu.
Choose your pre-recorded content from your camera roll, or record a new video. It will allow you 5 second clips. Add text to your image or video by double-tapping the screen.
Next, type in your text, or tap the green quote button to choose a random quote from the app. When you’re finished, tap the blue checkmark. To format the text, tap the T icon at the bottom of the screen and choose from one of the many options available, and colors. When you’re finished editing your project, tap the blue checkmark and save it to your camera roll.
Sizing & Alignment Apps
One of the biggest issues with Instagram is sizing everything and aligning it vertically. If you want to repurpose videos for your Instagram story but are having issues with vertical sizing, here are some useful apps.
InShot is available for iOS and Android. It’s a great way to convert a video, of any aspect ratio, into a vertical 9:16 ratio, the optimal size for Instagram Stories. It turns landscape into portrait by allowing you to blur the excess background margins. You can add text to these margins to make everything look unified.
Tap Video and select the video you want to import. The app will automatically reformat the video to a square, incorporating blurred or white margins. To change the sizing to vertical, tap Canvas, and select the 9:16 option. Drag to adjust the position of your video in the vertical layout so everything is centered and aligned. Tap the checkmark to apply your changes.
You can edit the blurred margins by tapping BG (background), where you can edit the intensity of the blur, switch to a pattern or solid color, or import one of your own photos into the background. Tap the checkmark when you’re finished.
To save your final video, tap the “Download” icon at the top-right of the screen and save it to your camera roll.
This free app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices; however there are paid versions too. It allows you to make images and videos into a collage. After you install the app, tap New Project. Select Create a Collage. Select Classic for the collage layout.
On the next screen, tap the small square below Select Ratio and choose the Vertical (Instagram Stories) option. This should format your videos to the correct aspect ratio without anything important getting cut off.
Next, choose a layout for your collage from the various options available. Add a photo or video to a frame of your collage by tapping the + button and choosing the content you want to import. Tap the checkmark to save your changes.
Tap Preview at the bottom of the screen to see your collage. Tap Share to save it to your camera roll.
You can also use this app to create vertical photo/video slideshows for your Instagram stories. To create a slideshow, start a new project and tap Create a Slideshow.
Diptic is a paid app that allows you to combine multiple clips and photos into slideshows of almost any aspect ratio. Buy the app and then access the various non-square layouts such as portrait and landscape.
To create a slideshow, tap Animated at the top of the screen and then choose one of the slideshow options available. To import a photo or video, tap the beige box or the bar at the top of the screen and select the content you want to use. The 9:16 ratio is best for Instagram, but you can be creative and experiment with other options.
Tap Playback in the bottom toolbar and set the total time to 15 seconds, the maximum length of a video clip on Instagram. Add transitions, music, or text as needed to make your story really stand out. When you are done, tap Publish at the top right of the screen and save the video to your camera roll.
Filmmaker Pro is available free for iOS. It lets you edit landscape, portrait, and square video clips. To switch to vertical video editing, tap the + sign in the upper-left corner of the app. From the pop-up menu, select Portrait (9:16).
Next, tap + to import your content into the app. Filmmaker Pro will automatically resize clips to fit that 9:16 aspect ratio. If a clip didn’t originally have a ratio of 9:16, the excess margins will be shown in black. To change the color of the background margins, tap the gear icon on the left. Below the clip, tap the teardrop icon and choose the color you wish. Tap the checkmark to apply your changes.
The app will allow you to install custom fonts for text overlay, which can be a great feature to help brand your content by making it look uniform across your stories. Email a font file (unzipped) to yourself. When you tap the file on your mobile device, choose the option “Copy to Filmmaker Pro.” If the font is compatible with iOS, it will be imported and available when you edit text in the app.
When you’re finished editing your video, tap the Download button (the second button on the left) and save it to your camera roll.
Whether you are a “Stories” pro or learning the basics of creating social media stories, you want to make the process easy, painless, and effective. The best way to accomplish this is to use sound marketing strategies, the specialized tools provided, and build a library of helpful apps that are compatible with the platform and your device.
As a last reminder, make time to do as much prep-work as possible on your device, with the help of apps and additional tools. The more control you have over customization, the better the overall quality of your visuals. This is also important to making your images and videos stand out and attract your target market. Enjoy the fun of testing apps for story creation.