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6 Ways to Use Instagram Story Highlights (That You Haven’t Thought of Yet!)

11 min read

Instagram Story Highlights on blue background

Got an Instagram story so good you want it to last forever? Highlight it! You’ve probably seen them around on the Instagram accounts of your favorite social media stars or influencers. Maybe you’ve even tried them yourself. 

No matter which category you fall into, it’s easy and effective to integrate Instagram Stories highlights into your social media marketing strategy.

Instagram highlights are one of the most attention-grabbing parts of your Instagram profile and can be used to your advantage in Instagram marketing. This is one of the main ways Instagram differs from other social media platforms (like LinkedIn and Snapchat), so make sure you’re making the most out of it!

Keep reading for a complete tutorial on how to create, edit, and utilize Instagram highlights for your business. 

Note: These steps may be slightly different depending on whether you have an Android or iPhone! You’ll want to make sure you have the most updated version of the Instagram app in order to get the best results.

What Are Instagram Highlights?

Instagram highlights are basically Instagram Stories that you choose to feature on your profile. Rather than disappearing after 24 hours, these Stories will remain visible through your business profile page. 

You can categorize your highlights into different collections based on similar topics, such as travel, food, or friends.

These collections are then shown on your Instagram profile page. When a user clicks on the cover photo for the collection, they will be able to view all of the highlighted Stories you have saved to that collection. 

Instagram Story highlights are incredibly useful as they allow you to bypass the perishability barrier of Instagram Stories, keep important information easily accessible for customers, and showcase your content in a format besides the standard Instagram feed.

How to Make Instagram Highlights (Step by Step Tutorial!)

There are TWO ways to create and save Instagram highlights!

Option 1:

  1. Create an Instagram Story 
  2. Click the ‘Send To’ button
  3. Choose to share to ‘Your Story’ or ‘Close Friends Only’ 
  4. After you choose one of these options, you can click ‘Add to Highlight’ (Don’t fret if you miss this step. You can always click on the Story once it’s posted and click the ‘Highlight’ button there!)
  5. Click an existing Highlight to add the Story to or create a New Highlight (Tip: Your Instagram Highlights names will be shown on your profile so make sure to keep ‘em short & sweet)
  6. Check your Profile to see your highlight appear!

Add Story to highlights from Instagram share options

Name Instagram highlight option

Option 2: 

  1. Go to your Instagram Profile 
  2. Click the ➕that says ‘New’
  3. Select one or more archived Stories from your Stories archive (Psst: Anything you’ve ever added to your Instagram Stories is automatically archived for you!)
  4. Click ‘Next’
  5. Name Your Highlight 
  6. Click ‘Edit Cover’ to choose a cover image for this Highlight collection -you can also do this later!
  7. Click ‘Add’
  8. Check your profile for your new highlight!

Adding an Instagram Highlights Cover

If you didn’t add your Instagram highlights covers in the previous step, it’s simple to do so now:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile 
  2. Press and hold to the highlight you want to edit  
  3. Click ‘Edit Highlight’ 
  4. Click ‘Edit Cover
  5. Choose one of the Stories in the Highlight to be shown as the cover icon 

OR 

  1. Choose a separate image from your camera roll to serve as the highlight icon

In the past, it was common for Instagram users to create highlight icons by changing the background color of their Instagram Stories or by posting their highlight covers to their Instagram Stories directly.

Marketers today are leaning away from these methods to avoid spamming their followers with low value content. 

 

And if graphic design isn’t your strong suit? Never fear. Use Canva, Easil, or another resource to find templates you can use to create and save on-brand highlight covers for your profile.

THEN, click ‘Edit Cover’ to set your pre-designed image as the cover for this highlight, without also having to post it to Stories.

(P.S. Make sure that whatever image you choose has enough pixels that it won’t seem grainy or pixelated whenever it’s zoomed in)

Tip: Having highlight covers is not required, but it can make your entire profile seem more cohesive, professional, and aesthetically pleasing. 

How to Add to Instagram Highlights

Many users get confused by how to save Instagram highlights, but adding new Stories to highlights can be done in pretty much the same way as Instagram Highlights are made (as described above).

If you want to add a NEW Story or image to your Instagram highlight: 

  1. Open Instagram Stories as you normally would 
  2. Click your desired image 
  3. Design your Instagram Story (complete with emojis, hashtags, and stickers!)
  4. Click ‘Send To’ and choose ‘Your Story’ or ‘Close Friends Only’
  5. Click the ‘Add to Highlight’ button that appears (first image below)

OR, click on the Story once it’s posted and click the ‘Highlight’ button in the bottom left corner of the Story (second image above.)

If you want to add an EXISTING or PAST Story to your Instagram highlight: 

  1. Go to your Instagram profile 
  2. Press and hold on the Highlight you want to add to 
  3. Click ‘Edit Highlight’  (third image above)
  4. Click the ‘Stories’ tab
  5. Select one or more Stories to add to the Highlight 
  6. Press ‘Done’

How to Delete Instagram Highlights

You may accidentally add Stories to a highlight and want to remove them. Or, you may decide a Highlight no longer fits your brand and want to delete it altogether 

To remove an entire highlight from your profile:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile 
  2. Press and hold on the highlight
  3. Click ‘Delete Highlight

To remove a story from the highlight: 

  1. Go to your Instagram profile 
  2. Press and hold on the highlight the story is in 
  3. Click ‘Edit Highlight’ 
  4. De-select the Story you want to remove from the ‘Selected’ tab
  5. Press ‘Done’

How to Rearrange Instagram Highlights

The order of your Instagram Highlights on your profile is determined by the recency in which you have posted to them. 

For example, if you add an Instagram Story (whether it’s new or from your Archives) to your ‘Food’ highlight today, it will move to the front of the row.

Currently, there’s no way to manually rearrange the order of your Instagram highlights (it’s on our wishlist!)

So, if you REALLY want to rearrange your Instagram highlights, add a new Story (whether it’s new new or new to the highlight) to that highlight. And yes, you can immediately delete that story from the highlight and the new order will stay!

Instagram Highlights Insights and Analytics

Can You See Who Viewed Instagram Highlights?

Short answer, no. :/

Like Instagram Stories, you can only see if someone viewed your highlight if they did so within the first 24 hours it was posted. 

6 Instagram Highlights Ideas for Business

Need some ideas for how to use highlights to reflect your brand on Instagram? Here are six of our favorite ideas!

1. Provide Easy Access to Important Business Info

Information such as pricing and new product options can be easily placed in your Instagram highlights!

If you are in the early stages of your business and don’t have a website yet, this is ESPECIALLY important for you! 

2. Showcase Customer Testimonials

Showcase positive customer testimonials from satisfied buyers in your highlights! This creates an in-depth resource to help your followers and profile visitors make buying decisions about your products or services.

3. Highlight Aspects of Your Life or Business

This is a great for bloggers and influencers who cover more than one niche in their content. Wondering how to get started?

Consider making Instagram highlights of: Fitness, Food, Friends, Travel, Beauty, Fashion or Home!

4. Combine Instagram Highlights with Instagram Shop Features 

Add products to a ‘Fashion Finds’ or ‘Shop Favorites’ Highlight.

Encourage users to swipe up for the link OR head to the link in your Smart.bio to buy. 

This option is especially handy for Ecommerce sellers and affiliate influencers

5. Chronicle Trips and Special Events

Remember a trip or event that you chronicled through Instagram Stories by adding these Stories to their own Highlight!

For example, The Colorado Trip, Harry Potter Date Night, Sister’s Wedding. Your favorite memories can be shared with all your followers!

6. Showcase What You Stand For

Showcase different initiatives and causes you and your business support. Some recent examples are mental health awareness, and Black Lives Matter!

This is a great way to provide central resources for your followers on these topics that they can always come back to time and again.

Conclusion: How to Use Instagram Story Highlights for Marketers

Now that you’re armed with Instagram Highlights Ideas and a complete step-by-step guide, you’re ready to go make your Instagram ✨magical ✨

Instagram Highlights can totally change up the feel of your Instagram profile and help you take advantage of Instagram Marketing in a whole new way! 

How do you like to use Highlights for your business? Let us know in the comments below! 👇

Pin Me For Reference 📌:

Curious how you can use Instagram Story highlights to communicate your brand purpose to your followers? Here are six ideas to get you started!

Kelsey is a senior pursuing a dual degree in Marketing and Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. A current Marketing Intern at Tailwind, she’s passionate about creative problem-solving, marketing, and event planning!

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