As a social media marketer, a big part of your job is to build awareness of your brand and drive conversions on various social channels.
This could mean creating an engaging video for Facebook. Planning out and scheduling your tweets for the week. Writing a thought-provoking article for LinkedIn Pulse. The list goes on…
You do all of this because you want to use the unique, native features of each channel to connect with your audience. You want everyone to have the best possible experience every time they interact with your brand.
And in 2018 and beyond, there’s a good chance this means you’re also creating content for Instagram and Facebook Stories. More than one billion people use the Stories format each day, meaning it’s an amazing opportunity for your business to reach your customers on social media.
However, creating fresh content for Stories can be incredibly time-consuming — and there are only so many hours in each day.
We’ve been there.
At Buffer, we create new content for Stories daily and we know how the seemingly simple task of creating a Stories advert, highlight cover, or graphic soon becomes incredibly daunting.
So we wanted to make it easier for you to create your Stories content in a quick and lightweight way.
Right now, we believe that Stories are the biggest opportunity for small businesses to connect with customers on social media and we wanted to give you an easy way to create Stories content.
Instead of needing various professional design products and doing a bunch of work to create a story, Stories Creator gives you the freedom to create thumb-stopping graphics in minutes.
When building this tool, we wanted to focus on the foundation of a good story — the simple elements that keep our attention. This simplicity is what Stories Creator is all about.
(Note: It has been great hearing requests for a mobile version of the tool, and we are excited to explore this possibility in the future. Please feel free to check out this tool on your desktop for now.)
The fastest way to create thumb-stopping Facebook and Instagram Stories
Social media users are used to tapping through Stories at a fast rate and, as a marketer, you only have milliseconds to grab someone’s attention in Stories.
It takes something special to make people stop in their tracks and pay attention.
Designing these thumb-stopping graphics can be hard work, especially if you don’t have a designer on hand to help. Stories Creator allows anyone to quickly create Stories that catch your eye and make you want to take a closer look!
With this free tool, you can create the foundation of your Stories with text, graphics, and a background image or color. When you’re ready to post your Story to Instagram or Facebook, you can upload it, add in any other content you’d like (stickers, location tags, etc), and then send your post out into the world.
It’s as easy as one-two-three
Here’s how you can use Stories Creator to design an image for your Instagram or Facebook Stories in three simple steps:
Step 1: Add a background image or color
First, start with the background of your image. Within Stories Creator you can upload a background graphic from your computer, or set a background color from your brand color palette to keep your design consistent with the rest of your brand.
Step 2: Add your text and graphics
Next, add graphics and text to your design. Stories Creator enables you to add up to three blocks of text to your image. You can choose from over 25 fonts, edit text size, change the font color, adjust alignment, and even add a background highlight to make it stand out.
You can also add additional logos or graphics to add extra flair to your design. To add additional graphics, upload any PNG or JPG images from your computer and adjust the sizes to fit your design.
Step 3: Download your image and post to Instagram
Stories Creator features an Instagram Stories UI overlay to show you exactly how your post will look when it’s posted to Instagram. This means you can check that none of the important content will be blocked by the Instagram Stories UI features (such as your account’s profile image) when you post it.
If it all looks great, click ‘Download’ and your perfectly sized graphic is ready to share on Instagram or Facebook Stories.
3 ways you can use Stories Creator to up your Stories game
1. Make your Stories stand out with custom designs
Currently, many businesses simply roll out their existing Facebook Ads to Instagram or Facebook Stories by ticking the ‘Stories’ placement options within Ads Manager.
And we get this. We’ve done it ourselves. When you’re just testing out a new advertising channel or ad set, you don’t want to spend hours crafting a design when you can click a button and Facebook will automatically share your ads to Stories.
But when we started using custom designs for our Stories ads, our results completely changed. We’re now seeing clicks to our website from Stories for just $0.06!
Here’s a look at one of our generic Stories ads compared to a custom-designed ad:
It’s hard for businesses to stand out from the crowd when all adverts look and feel the same. Your Instagram and Facebook Stories ads could be much more effective with unique, full-screen (9:16) content.
To help, we’ve even built some neat templates to help you use Stories ads to drive awareness of your latest blog post or promote any sales and offers your business is running.
2. Add covers to your Stories Highlights
Instagram Story Highlights allows you to showcase Stories on your profile, even after they disappear. Highlights appear directly below your profile photo.
One trend we’ve seen crop up since the Highlights feature was released is adding custom covers to your highlights.
For example, Nodo Cafe displays a bunch of themed highlights on its profile and, when you tap a highlight to view its content, you’ll see the cover image first:
Using Stories Creator, you can quickly put together a bunch of eye-catching covers for your evergreen Stories Highlights to ensure your profile looks great and to encourage people to tap on your highlights.
3. Drive engagement and action from your day-to-day Stories
Stories vanish after 24 hours, so you need to ensure you’re posting engaging, thumb-stopping content each and every day.
Purewow uses its daily Stories posts to promote content on its website:
Chilly’s Bottles uses Stories to showcase new products:
And Airbnb uses simple Stories graphics to run fun quizzes for its followers:
By using Stories Creator, you can mix in custom graphics alongside your point-and-shoot photos and videos.
Take Stories Creator for a test-drive
We’re incredibly excited to share Stories Creator with you today and we’d be honored if you’d be up for taking it for a spin and letting us know your thoughts and feedback.
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Knowing you have to create new content for multiple social media channels every day can feel a little daunting, especially when you consider the range of disciplines needed to be successful. Nowadays, every marketer and business owner has to be part designer, photographer, videographer, copywriter, and editor, among other jobs. Thankfully, there are now a lot of easy-to-use tools out there to make these jobs more seamless for us all. What’s even better, with the right apps, you can create, pub