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How to make Instagram Highlight Covers

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  • How to make Instagram Highlight Covers

Everybody likes a story – but as any marketing guide will tell you, not everyone can tell a great story. To tell a truly memorable one, you need striking, fun, and impactful visuals.

Thriving on this philosophy, Instagram started in 2010 as a ‘fun way to share your life through pictures with friends.’ Fast forward to 2022, Instagram has become a behemoth in social media circles. But, just how popular is it?

Let’s give you some numbers – mind-boggling numbers, if we may add. A 2020 forecast estimated that Instagram would be boasting 1.2 billion worldwide users by 2023.

But most businesses don’t take complete advantage of Instagram pages or stories, mainly because they don’t know how to make Instagram Highlight Covers that generate engagement. Brands think that having a super-cool logo or a witty tagline will do. Creating a brand page is the first step, but is it enough? Unless you populate your page with likable Stories, shareable Highlights, and Instagrammable events, your business will not hit it big with the target market.

What are Instagram Highlights?

Instagram highlights are new – we know we are using the word ‘new’ rather loosely here, as anything more than a day old is lightyears old in the social media universe. Yet, Instagram highlights have been around since 2017, but unfortunately, not many know how best to leverage them.

Instagram can be fun and engaging, but you should be more concerned about how it can rake in the moolah as a business. Every time your users open your Insta account, the first thing they see is your bio, logo, and of course, Instagram Stories Highlight. It is smack in the middle of your page, ideally egging people to click on it.

Use the Highlights to showcase your brand and personality and connect with your audiences. Unlike Stories, the Highlights have a perpetual life – they don’t disappear after the 24-hour deadline. Since they live permanently on your timeline, you should ensure they are click-worthy.

This feature allows you to keep some of your stories on your feed for as long as possible. You can also group some of the stories under unique categories or sections on your profiles.

Highlights have two parts – Highlight Covers and Highlight Name. The Highlight Cover gives you the option of adding a unique or customized icon or an image to represent or showcase your saved stories. Highlight Name, again, provides you with an option of having a unique name for the folder.

How to Create an Instagram Highlight

We have come to the juiciest part yet – creating Highlights.

Create Highlight from Active Story

Have an active story you want to add to the highlights? You are five steps away from adding your first Highlight.

Step 1: Click on the active story.

Step 2: You’ll see an option called Highlight on the bottom. Click on it.

Step 3: Create a new Highlight by clicking on the + symbol.

Step 4: Give a unique, eye-catchy name to the Highlight

Step 5: Click Add, and you are good to go.

Create a Highlight Cover using an Archived Story

Instagram also gives you the chance to pick Stories you posted years ago. Try it out, do a little digging into the past and find those stories you want to highlight.

Follow these steps to fish out archived stories and pin them onto the highlights.

Step 1: Tap on the Story Highlights

Step 2: Click on the Add or + button

Step 3: Once you select the preferred stories, tap Next

Step 4: When you click on ‘Edit Cover,’ you can choose the story you want to use as Highlight Cover

Step 5: Pick a name for the Highlight

Step 6: Tap Done

That’s not all. You can still select more photos, videos, and stories to a current highlight. Long-press on the recent Highlight that you want to edit. Click on Edit Highlight, select all the stories you want, and click Done.

Create Customized Highlights

Creating Instagram Highlights is easy. But, if you were a business, having just any other image on your page would not turn the tide in your favor. Your brand certainly deserves something unique, impressive, and meaningful.

Regardless of how much we talk about content value, first impressions do matter.

If you want to convert all those who stroll through your page into loyal and enthusiastic followers, you need something more than just a cute image on your page’s prime real estate.

Marketing has many moving parts, and each chunk adds value to your marketing arsenal. If, on the one hand, you invest time in marketing automation tools, on the other hand, you should dedicate mind space to improving your social media presence.

Creating highlight covers tailored to your specific need is not difficult. There is probably only one thing that you need to keep in mind when designing a customized Highlight – the image size.

Since the final image will be cropped to fit into a small circle, make sure the image has all the essential elements smack in the center and a lot of space all around. This way, you can ensure that the image’s focal points are visible even when it is cropped.

A dime a dozen photo editing tools are available that can help you create a custom Highlight cover. Yet, if you are still unsure which ones to use, here are our suggestions.


Canva is a super-easy and mostly self-explanatory editing tool. Even if you face south in the creativity department, this tool will give you so many easy-to-use options you needn’t worry much.

With Canva, you have the option of adding colors – choose your brand color, graphics, illustrations, and icons. Play around with all these design elements until you know which ones work best for you.


Another top-rated editing tool to try when you want the most impressive Instagram highlight in the least time (like always!). You can use their preset icons for design and size options or select a suitable template and get creative.


Visme is the go-to photo editing tool – especially for those who don’t know the working end of a brush or a pencil. And, if you want to create a visually compelling brand image, trust Visme’s free-to-use icon set.

Why use Instagram Story Highlights for your business

Is Instagram crucial for businesses?

Well, let’s see.

Instagram has a billion active users every month with almost 157 million active users in the United States alone.

In 2019, Instagram reported a whopping 500 million Instagram Stories users every day. EVERY DAY. Yes, that’s more than a year-old statistic, but we can safely say that the number would have increased astronomically.

Want more?

28% of the world’s 4.8 billion active internet users access Instagram regularly.

And – hold your breath – 17.5% of the world’s population of 7.9 billion use Instagram every month.

Your target market is likely on Instagram, and if you want to cater to them, you should be there too. Nearly 36% of all businesses – from Adidas to Cisco Systems and your corner cake shop – everyone you know is on Instagram reaching out and engaging with their customers.

If your customer base is in the 18- to 35-year-old group, you most definitely should be churning out stories and highlights, grabbing eyeballs.

Sure-shot tips to make Click-worthy Highlight Covers

Well, where do we start?

Spike their Interest with a click-worthy topic

The real reason behind Instagram Highlights or Stories, for that matter, is to provide your users with valuable information that they might need.

For example, if you are a local baker, you might take this opportunity to showcase your talents and provide valuable content to your customers. You should think of creating highlights such as:

  • Baking tips – complete with visual aids, the dos, don’ts, and everything in between.
  • Promotions and coupon codes – highlight the promotions you are running
  • Themes – highlight your creations, and better still, provide pictures of customer orders and feedback.

Look at Sephora, for example.

how to make Instagram Highlight Covers


As you can see, they’ve used bright, understandable, and clickable highlight covers that aren’t ambiguous.

Pick the cream of the crop

Do a little digging into your past (not literally) Stories, and come up with the best of the lot to feature in your Highlights. Pick the ones that hit the mark on engagement and likes. If your audience liked your behind-the-scenes videos, it should make it to the top.

Draw them in with a creative title and a consistent theme

You need a theme and a good one at that. Once you decide on the theme, stick with it. There is no point in having an Instagram page all over the place.

Remember – aesthetics works.

Design sells.

And with Instagram, allow aesthetics and design to work in your favor.

Look at the Ettitude store. They have nailed the theme and have kept it consistent throughout their highlights.

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Be consistent in your design, color, and illustration, and you won’t go wrong.

Be bold. Be Quirky. Experiment.

Although Instagram can do many things, allow your page to be about one theme, concept, or vibe.

Don’t be hesitant to experiment. If your brand personality is bold, go for a daring color theme or cover icons. Be quirky or be subtle – just don’t be non-existent.

Offer your customer a reason to remember you and a reason to come back.

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This page is bright, colorful, and memorable.

Keep it simple

We understand you want to be creative. Creative, yes, but don’t go overboard. An illustration here and an icon there are not going to help.

Keep it simple and sleek. Maintain a cohesive design in all your highlight covers.

A clean and simple design does the trick for Instagram Highlight covers, as they can be viewed even in the smallest of sizes.

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Maintain a Progression in your Highlights

Of course, there are no rules to the order of your highlights, but we suggest maintaining a progression in your organization.

Some brands want to showcase their products, new arrivals, offers, or latest collections. They choose highlight covers that cater to these needs.

Some brands want to talk about their team and provide useful FAQs to the users. They choose covers that convey such content.

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The above brand has neat and well-organized covers that build on the previous highlights.

Visually Brand yourself

Instagram is an offshoot of the social media strategy tree and bears more (if not the most) fruits. Take the opportunity to visually brand yourself – use your brand colors, font and personality.

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Coca-Cola has used its iconic brand color throughout its page, making it seem like one significant extension of its personality on social media.

Use Branding – Liberally

By branding, we mean using your brand ambassadors and influencers on your Instagram page and bouncing off their popularity too.

What’s more, you can spread the word about your Instagram stories on your other media handles, TikTok marketing, and email marketing campaigns.

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Nike is showcasing its famous athletes as its brand ambassadors by using a cover image and name of the athlete and backing it up with stories.

Finally, don’t forget why you are on Instagram.

Instagram cannot do much good to you if you don’t leverage the immense potential for growth and engagement it provides.

Promote your products, talk about your services and be the virtual space your users like to hang out and discover. When you do this, sales and customer engagement will automatically follow.

Instagram Highlights – Best Practices

These best practices result from trial and error and a lot of experimentation.

  • Remember that only the first four highlights will be visible clearly when a user views your profile. Of course, the rest of the profiles will be present, but they will be edged off to the right side of the screen. So, give preference for real estate to the stories you want to highlight the most.
  • Another great tip we found out is that you can add the same remarkable story to more than one Highlight.
  • There is a method for creating the Highlights that you should consider. When creating highlights, the oldest ones will occupy the right-most corner of the banner. So, when creating highlight albums, have a clear vision.

Create the least-significant album highlights first, and the most crucial album highlights the last, so these critical ones aren’t pushed out of view.

  • Always pick a firm, unambiguous, relevant name and image for the highlight cover. It should be recognizable and brand-conscious. Take this opportunity to stand out and get counted.
  • Boost your marketing strategies by creating clickable links in the stories that send traffic directly to your website. You can also include the stories showcased here on your email list and blogs.
  • Social media marketing, especially Instagram, is the best place to promote strategic marketing of one. By using the responses to your stories and measuring individual engagement and specific needs, you can tweak your Instagram Highlights and cater to individual account-based marketing needs.

Boost your Instagram Stories engagement skills by providing personalized content and quality messaging to specific stakeholders. This way, you can enjoy zero-waste marketing.

If your brand is not on Instagram, does your business even exist? No, not for the million prospective customers searching for products, services, and stories on Insta.

You have thousands of fantastic stories on your profile. That’s great! But how would your user or viewer get to know about them? Whether you are doing business or hosting a beach party, your Instagrammed Highlight stories will tell you whether it was a success!

Showcase the stories using a click-worthy Highlight cover and a cool name to match. Instagram Highlights are here to stay. Make the most of it.

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