Storytelling on Instagram: 6 practical rules

Storytelling and Visual: combine these elements to transform your device screen into an empathetic screen, creating engagement with your audience.

Storytelling has become an integral part of Digital Marketing, so I wanted to tell you how to do Storytelling on Instagram by harnessing the power of photographs, combined with microblogging, with the essential rules to follow.

The three factors, mixed in the right way, can provide excellent results that will enable you to achieve more website visits and thus convert users into customers.

A story, a tale, takes shape through images and photos, involving the audience on a deeper level, guaranteeing an experience of identification and empathy.

how to do storytelling on instagram

If I say “Visual”, what do you think of? Instagram, of course!

In recent years, Instagram has become the best social media for storytelling and is a crucial tool for all brands that include a visual strategy in their digital marketing strategies. This is because communicating what attracts users’ attention can make all the difference!

The sectors that can most benefit from Instagram Storytelling are food, fashion, and travel: the important thing is offering your users good content and insights. You should always ask yourself, “Why should a user choose you?”

That is why knowing how to use Instagram for storytelling becomes paramount to explaining to users simply the message you want to convey. Attending a Digital Storytelling Course will be worthwhile if you want to become a better storyteller.

How to do storytelling on Instagram in 6 steps

If your idea is to use Instagram for storytelling, here are the essential step-by-step rules you must follow to do this best. If you want to do storytelling on Instagram, your real goal will be to arouse emotions through photographs, graphics, and images that directly affect your target audience.

 Why use Instagram for Storytelling? Images convey any message and grab the user’s attention, stimulating their curiosity to go into the caption and click on the call to action

1. Define Tone of Voice

Perfect storytelling starts with clearly understanding the Brand’s history and values.

The story of the birth of a Brand, and the passion you devote to its development, will give the audience the right insight into why you are pursuing your values; without losing the mission, i.e., the set of long-term goals.

That is why it is so essential to establish your own mood and your style: the so-called Tone of Voice. First of all, you must find your way of expressing yourself, as I mentioned before; only then will you win over your users and become a trustworthy source of inspiration.

The brand’s values should guide all content, so it becomes necessary to have a guideline that directs your strategy.

You will have to define:

  • the tone of voice to be used for copy and response to comments
  • how each profile should be optimized 
  • formatting for each post
  • the hashtags to be used (tags for words or phrases that gather the same interest)
  • draft the Personal Brand, creating your brand identity by choosing colors, fonts, logos, and more.

2. Create your biography

To start Instagram Storytelling, you need to start with those 150 characters in the header
To create your Bio, I recommend the following:

  • insert your brand’s official Hashtag to push users to create UGC (User Generated Content)
  • use of Emoji
  • include CTAs (Call To Action) within the Bio (tag, subscribe, discover, etc.).

3. Photograph the emotion

Give space to your creativity!

To succeed on Instagram, you must develop a story that stands out from the competition and surprises your followers, not just share content.

The essential step for storytelling on Instagram is to edit the photos so that they align with your brand’s personality.

You have to edit the images without disconnecting with the Tone of Voice and make your pictures stand out without betraying the brand philosophy.

To upload pictures to Instagram, you don’t need to be a professional photographer, but you do have to respect the harmony between image and copy.

Find out through the following test if you have the skills as a Social Media Manager

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The important thing is to follow small tricks to ensure that your posts receive interactions that can be converted into genuine leads for your brand.

An emotional story needs an emotional image.

Here are some factors to take into account when taking your pictures:

  • a photo with good brightness attracts more attention than a gloomy image
  • the use of filters provided by Instagram offers many nuances to the photo
  • the use of the rule of thirds, a technique that involves dividing the image into thirds, where the subject is placed at one of the intersection points of the imaginary lines of the shot. By applying the rule of thirds, the photograph will be much more dynamic and harmonious.

The image of the post must be studied in terms of light, shapes, and colors, and it must respect the brand’s identity. The color gradients you will use must reflect the guidelines you have drawn up.

If you think about which post, which advertisement has moved you the most in your story… certainly one of these is Coca-Cola!

The sizeable American company certainly needs no introduction; its success is “in everyone’s house,” and it continues to be talked about in the marketing and advertising fields because it decided to invest in the big trend of the moment: storytelling.

“If people love the story you tell, they will definitely love you.”

real magic coca cola

4. Your personal microblog

The second step is to tell the photograph’s story through the caption.

The difference in storytelling on Instagram is precisely the captivating and persuasive words you write to make the image the protagonist of the story, and it’s because of this reason in particular that it is important to carefully choose the words or quotations that will follow the image in your post, to better tell:

  • your Brand
  • regular updates
  • valuable content

…that convey emotion and create engagement with your audience.

Nike is an example to follow.
Add your “flavor” to current events.

nike storytelling

“It doesn’t matter when you start. It matters if you keep going.” -on Skateboarding Day, Nike celebrated while remaining in context with its brand. It created a “nice” image but with a specific part – which made Nike unique in the world – that is, there is no logo except for that subtle accent on the child’s sole. You barely notice it.


An image is essential for a post on Instagram, but a captivating caption can certainly help make sense of the story and narrative.

Another technique to engage your audience is to ask your users a question: asking for their input or opinion will make them feel involved in your strategy, strengthening the relationship of trust they have with the brand.

Do you want to learn how to use Instagram to do Storytelling? Learn about instagram marketing course


5. Hashtags as a means of communication

If you have followed all the steps so far, the next step in storytelling on Instagram is to find the correct hashtags to help spread your posts. Opt for a few good hashtags that can fully evoke the image and story portrayed.

Hashtags are key to being found by users, and indeed the more you use them, the greater the opportunities for coverage. Remember that through this powerful medium, you can create engagement with your audience.

But how to use Instagram to do storytelling via hashtags? It’s simple! Invite your followers to post a photo on Instagram using your brand’s hashtag.

Remember to give them an incentive, e.g., you will have to promise to repost one of their photos or a small gift in return.

a day without shoes

The invitation is clear: One Day Without Shoes. The famous campaign devised by Blake Mycoskie, founder of the shoe brand TOMS, is a clear example of storytelling that, by connecting with its audience, unites in an even deeper purpose: for every barefoot photo posted on Instagram, it will donate up to 100,000 pairs of shoes to children in need.

The invitation is clear: One Day Without Shoes. The famous campaign devised by Blake Mycoskie, founder of the shoe brand TOMS, is a clear example of storytelling that, by connecting with its audience, unites in an even deeper purpose: for every barefoot photo posted on Instagram, it will donate up to 100,000 pairs of shoes to children in need.

6. Relating with followers

You interact with your target audience through comments, questions, and call to action.

To know how to do storytelling on Instagram, you need to help strengthen the relationship with your audience online so that, post after post, they become a company of friends attached to your brand.

Storytelling’s ultimate goal is that the follower can identify with your storytelling images and immediately empathize, empathize, and harmonize.

Instagram Storytelling: using Stories

After Snapchat’s popular Stories, Instagram too has made use of the indispensable “disposable” content, which multiplies and offers numerous opportunities for storytelling, where brands exploit this function in a thousand different ways.

people photograph event

To market with Instagram through Storytelling, it is essential to share high-quality images and videos, helpful tips, and authentic messages as the primary goal because images are often more striking than words.

Here are some examples of storytelling on Instagram Stories:

  • recounting an event (perhaps behind the scenes)
  • taking live pictures
  • tutorials
  • small spoilers to create suspense
  • operation of a product or service
  • sharing moments of the day.

To best structure your storytelling strategy on Instagram, you need to ask yourself many questions about your users’ interests.

Because Instagram Stories are ductile and cross-platform, you can utilize a variety of tactics without affecting the page’s corporate aspect.

Tools for visual storytelling on Instagram

Surely you are wondering which are the best tools for Instagram Storytelling, and now I will introduce them to you!

Indisputably, the best tool for storytelling has always been the brain: optimizing creativity, a necessary condition for ideas to be born and developed. To enrich, develop and improve your ideas and content, you can use these tools:

  • Canva
  • InShot
  • Instants
  • Steller
  • InstraGrids.


Canva, a dogma to include in your strategy to do Instagram storytelling!

I believe that Canva is an indispensable tool for generating customized graphics of any kind. Visual Storytelling with this application will be easy, practically child’s play.

canva for storytelling

With Canva, you can voice all your needs because it offers an infinite number of options:

  • Font
  • Layout – you can choose a preset graphic and indulge in your creativity
  • Templates – you can choose from many templates designed specifically for each situation and purpose, e.g., sizes for social media (posts and stories), videos, menu templates, brochures, business cards, resumes, etc. If your project has non-standard sizes, you can set them with the “use custom sizes” option.
  • Images, wallpapers, and elements (free and pro)
  • Image filters, transparency effect, and much more.


The solution provided by this tool is the creation of special effects to give personality to everything you have recorded with your camera, such as:

  • Creating collages
  • Adding music and lyrics
  • Audio and video synchronization
  • Sharing on social media
  • Rotating photos and videos.


This platform is ideal for creating visual content, the only downside being that it is, unfortunately, only for the iPhone.

With Instants, you can also create mini videos from other clips and images. The templates offered by this application will make your work easier.

Another tool entering the panorama of must-have apps is Steller. Thanks to its user-friendliness, and its particular attention to design (elegant and minimal), it has become indispensable for every storyteller.

With Steller, it is possible to create stories by mixing photos, text, and videos, selecting them from the smartphone, and associating the layout that suits it best.


To do storytelling on Instagram at the top level, I recommend downloading InstaGrids from your Store, where you can easily divide:

  • your favorite photo
  • an image
  • your portrait
  • or an unforgettable landscape

…into some small grids and publish them directly from your smartphone; it will form a masterpiece in your feed!

You are now fully equipped to begin using Instagram for storytelling most appropriately and effectively.

What are you waiting for? Start writing your story and excite your Instagram followers!




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