Peruse creator and brand Instagram profiles briefly, and you'll notice a design element many of them have in common. Their highlights, the small circles just below their bio on their profile, showcase some of that account's best content that was originally posted as an Instagram story. In many cases, brands and creators use Instagram highlight covers, small circular designs, that organize and often label each highlight with an icon or design.
Whether you want to design custom covers from scratch or use a pre-made template, many options are available to help you create stunning and professional-looking highlight covers that match your brand voice on Instagram. While you should use covers that accurately reflect your brand's unique identity and vision, remember that the content of those highlights is the most important part of your strategy.
What are Instagram Highlights?
An Instagram highlight is a feature that allows users to create and store selected Instagram stories (video or static image) on their profile page, allowing visitors to access them for longer than the usual 24 hours. By compiling stories into curated collections, individuals can provide an overview of different elements of their lives, like travels or favorite recipes, for example.
Highlights make it easy for those viewing the profile to quickly access important posts and moments from multiple stories. This is especially useful since there's no current way for users to save stories from other accounts (besides screenshotting). In addition, highlighting content gives users more agency over what viewers learn about them and their projects, allowing them to tell their stories tailored and intentionally.
As a brand, these highly visible Instagram highlights can help attract new followers, boost account engagement, and direct profile viewers to your eCommerce website. To create an Instagram highlight, you'll need a public Instagram account and the latest version of the Instagram app installed on your phone. Once you have these things set up, you can start creating highlights.
To add more content to a highlight, simply go to your profile, select the highlight you want to add to, and tap the "Add to" icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Designing Highlight Covers
Some apps and tools can help you add text and other design elements to your highlights to make them stand out, as well as design small circular "covers" for your highlights that people see first on your profile.
Free, popular options for designing Instagram highlight covers include:
Smaller brands and creators can also head to Pinterest for premade highlight covers from online creator collections like Dami Ojetunji's.
Looking back at Windsor's highlight covers, you can see simple icons representing each highlight topic — in this case, styles of apparel for different occasions. As a brand, you can adopt similar categories within your own company to feature in highlights, or you can take a more generalized approach that works for a variety of industries, like a highlight for customer stories or a highlight for new product drops. Let's dive into some of those ideas!
Instagram Highlight ideas for brands
There are a few ways to approach Instagram highlight content, and your highlight content will be primarily impacted by your existing Instagram story strategy. Whether you already post Instagram stories on your brand account and want to uplevel your content, or you haven't yet found your content sweet spot, we've put together some ideas for you.
Sales and Deals highlight ideas
This highlight could feature limited-time deals and discounts on products or services. It includes countdown timers and promotional codes to encourage users to take advantage of the offer before it expires.
This highlight could feature photos and videos of the products or services being sold, highlighting their features and benefits. It includes demos, product reviews, and before-and-after content to showcase the effectiveness of the products.
Customer ratings and reviews
This highlight could feature reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers, along with photos or videos of them using the products or services. It helps build trust and credibility with potential customers and encourages them to make a purchase.
User-generated content highlight ideas
User-generated content (UGC) refers to media created by customers and other community members rather than the brand itself. This content is often more raw, authentic, and relatable than professional, branded content, and fits in well with popular content on Instagram.
You can use a UGC platform like Pixlee TurnTo (now Emplifi) to automatically access and easily manage community content related to your brand or product that already exists on Instagram (and other social media channels). Encourage users in your Instagram community to create content that you can reshare on your brand's story, like these video types:
Day in the life
This highlight could feature glimpses into the daily lives of different users, showcasing their hobbies, routines, and personal style. This could include photos and videos of their home, workspace, daily activities, and how your brand or product is incorporated into their day-to-day life.
Depending on your brand's product, you can encourage your customers to show how they use your product. Even if it's something straightforward like a beverage or shoes, you may find that your fans have creative ways of using your product or getting the most out of it that could inspire your Instagram followers to purchase.
This highlight could feature photos and videos of your customers unboxing and testing your new products, including close-up shots of the product and the user's reactions and first impressions.
Influencer marketing Instagram highlights
This highlight could give followers a behind-the-scenes look at an influencer's life and work, showcasing what goes into creating content and running a successful social media presence. Whether you're working with a big or small influencer in your niche, carving out a specific highlight for them on your brand's Instagram profile can potentially entice viewers who enjoy consuming digital creator content.
Give the influencer creative freedom when collaborating on Instagram content, but ensure your highlights represent a strong, authentic relationship between that creator and your brand.
New product releases Instagram highlights
This highlight could showcase the key features and benefits of the new product, highlighting how it can solve problems or meet the user's needs. In addition, it includes demos and comparisons to similar products on the market.
This highlight could feature a Q&A Instagram sticker, allowing users to ask questions about your new products and get an inside look at the inspiration and process behind it. This could include photos and videos of your team discussing the product and written captions with additional information.
Instagram highlights are an excellent way for influencers and brands alike to share their most important content with their followers, even after it spends 24 hours on your story. Whether you're highlighting delicious food, behind-the-scenes photos from your photoshoots, or fan art and testimonials from your biggest fans, highlights engage and connect your followers more personally and authentically. Start posting great story content and you're already 90% of the way there!
My name is Eric, and I'm an SEO consultant and part-time author. I specialize in helping businesses improve their organic search visibility, and I've written some articles and blogs for Ajroni on the subject. In addition to offering consulting services, I also offer a range of online courses that cover everything from basic SEO to advanced link-building strategies. My goal is to help as many people as possible to improve their understanding of SEO and make better use of the available tools and techniques. Thanks for reading!
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on pixlee.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.