• Anna Akumova

Best Tools to Create Stunning Instagram Feed & Stories

Updated: May 24, 2018




If you weren’t born in Kardashian-Jenner family and haven’t been blogging since very launch of Instagram in 2010, chances are you are struggling to improve your Instagram page performance. In a community of more than 800 million people, it gets harder and harder to stand out and get noticed. Creating an appealing and attractive profile that will convert your visitors into followers is a hard work. Luckily, these days you have a lot of great mobile apps and tools to help you work smarter and achieve stunning results without needing to hire a designer. Here’s what we use on a daily basis to create content for our personal and our clients’ Instagram pages.


Photo editors


VSCO

Arguably, the best mobile photo editor that gives you amazing results and is super simple to use. We’ve been using it for years, in most of the cases without needing anything else. The free version has 17 presets that are enough to help you create a great edit almost out of any photograph. Full paid version gives you 130+ presets. Do not rely solely on filters though, we recommend to take time to play with different tools such as exposure, contrast, clarity, saturation, and temperature to get the look you want.


Photos from VSCO gallery


Lightroom

It is a professional photo editor by Adobe that we use quite often to create more complicated edits that need, for instance, a change of the lighting or color only in certain areas of the photograph. This application has a desktop and mobile versions, though both are available only when purchasing one of the Adobe Creative Cloud membership plans. We get by with their basic photography plan that gives a fair whole lot of apps (including Photoshop) just for $10 monthly.



Content Creators


Sometimes the post you’ve envisioned takes more than just the editing of a photograph. To make your Instagram stories really stand out, instead of using default Instagram Stories fonts and features, you can create custom images and videos in the apps mentioned below and then upload them to Instagram Stories.


To create professionally looking collages, images with titles and text blocks, and custom fonts we mainly use three Adobe apps. This might look like this post was sponsored by Adobe (we wish), but the reality is they keep coming up with the products of the highest quality for a moderate price which cover all our creative needs, so we don’t really have to look for anything else.


Adobe Spark Post

We can’t stress enough how brilliant this app is. And not only for social media posts, but also for corporate presentations and any branding materials. You can use the library of designs to get some inspiration or start creating your post from scratch. You can size your post to fit perfectly into any digital format (Facebook cover, Youtube Thumbnail, Instagram Stories, etc.), and then enjoy endless opportunities to play with the layouts, fonts, and colors. It gives you a room for creativity: you can add multiple images, text blocks, and… *drum roll sound* ...animate them! Once your post is done, go ahead and turn it into a short video animation by applying a sliding or fading in effect to a title or a text block.

Images created with Adobe Spark Post app


Adobe Photoshop Sketch

It gives you the canvas and a wide selection of brushes that allow you to paint. If you’re good at drawing, you can use multiple layers to create complicated compositions. But we don’t have any special painting skills so we only use it to create simple handwritten titles which then can be applied to images and videos made elsewhere.


Photoshop Mix

Basically a mobile Photoshop with more simple but still extensive list of tools. It allows you to work with layers (up to 10), mask, select and cut out parts of the image, merge photos together. The app can be used as meme generator!


Content Planners


You’ve got your edits done and even came up with a few custom images, but that’s not it. One of the keys to creating a beautiful Instagram page is planning the design of your feed. Each image can look great by itself, but the art of Instagram design is about how your images look TOGETHER. You must have seen those pages that grab your attention immediately by having a certain color or design theme making you scroll down, wanting to see more and more? Now, you don’t have to go that far, though make sure your posts are visually consistent. Pick a strategy and try to stick to it using apps that give you tools to preview your feed before you publish any content.



Unum

The way the app works is that you provide your account info and it connects your page showing images that have been already posted and gives you the room for new uploads on top. You can insert photos from your phone gallery, then move them around to see which order works better considering the strategy and theme you decided to follow. You can also plan your captions and hashtags beforehand. This app also shows you basic analytics about your page’s performance giving you valuable data such as best times to post and hashtags to use based on average likes and comments. From our experience, the data is kinda primitive and not fully reliable (especially comparing to Instagram business page statistics), but still, it’s better than nothing.


Preview

Unlike Unum, this app doesn’t synchronize posts from your Instagram page so you only see images that you manually uploaded. Also, it gives you the unlimited amount of room for uploads, so you can use it for long-term planning.


We know it is a lot to take in, and achieving the best results will take time, practice and effort. If you need a hand with any of this, or you have any questions about social media, you can always reach out to our team at hello@shareitstudio.com. We’d love to hear from you. Let’s learn and grow together!