Instagram has added multiple features and sections over the years all of which offer a variety of marketing opportunities.
One of the most effective (and yet often misunderstood) Instagram features is called “Highlights.”
So what exactly are Instagram Highlights and how can they be used for your marketing?
What Are Instagram Highlights?
An Instagram Highlight is a section on your Instagram profile page where you can save your stories.
Instagram Highlights turn your “ephemeral” content (i.e. Stories which are hidden after 24 hours) into permanent content that can always be accessed from your account.
When you create a highlight or add a new story to an existing highlight, your friends and followers are in no way notified. They cannot see that activity in their Instagram feed which makes highlights different from other types of content you can create on Instagram.
There’s no way to find or watch a highlight unless you land on its creator’s Instagram profile page.
Instagram highlights can be watched by anyone (including unregistered users) if your instagram account is set to public.
Are There Any Requirements or Limitations for Instagram Highlights?
You can add an unlimited amount of highlights to your profile. The most recently updated highlight will appear first on your profile.
Don’t forget that there are only four highlights immediately visible on an Instagram profile page, so chances are these are the ones that will be viewed by your profile visitors. All other highlights might be neglected.
That being said, the more highlights you have, the more of them will never be viewed, so keep as focused as you can. Keep your most important highlights often updated to keep them always on your front page.
You can only have 100 active clips in one highlight. Once you add a 101st clip, the first one wll be moved to your Instagram archive and become hidden from other people.
How to Create and Edit an Instagram Highlight?
To create an Instagram Highlight:
- Go to your profile page on Instagram
- Tap “New” above your post grid:
To edit an Instagram Highlight:
- Tap your highlight to watch it
- While it is playing, find “More” option in the bottom-right corner and tap it
- Tap “Edit Highlight”
You can add and edit highlights only using your mobile Instagram app. You can delete highlights from the desktop.
Can You Post a Highlight without a Story?
The only way to add content to your highlight is to select a story to highlight. There’s no other way to post highlights on Instagram.
Another important note to make here is that you need to have the automatic story archive enabled in order to be able to highlight your stories. The good news is that the feature is enabled by default, so just keep it as is.
How to Add External Links to Instagram Highlights?
Instagram now allows anyone to add clickable links to your Instagram story. All you need to do is to select a sticker icon when adding your story and add your link.
All those links are kept when you move your story to a highlight, so your permanent Instagram Highlights can have external links to your website. These links work on both mobile and desktop devices.
This means that Instagram Highlights can be a consistent traffic driver to your site if you do them right.
How to Use Instagram Highlights in Marketing?
Now that we know how Instagram highlights work, here’s how you can make the most of the feature to make them part of your digital marketing strategy.
1. Make Your Stories and Highlights Irresistible
You have already driven that person to visit your profile page, now you just need to turn them into a believer. Think of your highlights this way: Once anyone starts watching them, they should want to watch more and more.
Select your stories carefully when creating highlights. Pick stories that have engaged more views and comments. Make sure your highlights are hard to leave. Make sure your highlights encourage action.
Use Instagram marketing tools like Videoleap to create irresistible video stories featuring your brand and your product. Videoleap makes professional video editing easy: You can add beautiful transitions, music, text overlays, visual effects, animated stickers, etc. You can add your own voiceover and blend various videos together.
Using the tool, you can create your own recognizable style. You can use your consistent style for video updates, Reels, stories, and highlights.
2. Demonstrate Your Products
A story is a great way to promote your product: You can make it clickable and you can also promote it through Instagram ads. Organizing those ads into highlights allows you to get even more conversions from those carefully crafted stories.
You don’t have to hire a designer to create a cool story featuring your products. You can use your existing product pictures and use a video marketing tool like PlayPlay to turn those into a cool story:
It is also a good idea to use highlights to feature your seasonal offers, future events and upcoming giveaways. Don’t forget to add links to your on-site landing pages to drive actual clicks and sales!
3. Curate Your Brand’s Positive Reviews
Instagram allows reposting another person’s update or a story to your own story (and consequently add it to your highlights), but only when that user tags you in that photo or caption.
When tagged in any person’s update or story on Instagram, you’ll have the option to add it to your story.
So all you need to do is to invite your customers to tag you whenever they want to be featured in a story and a subsequent highlight of yours and then track that hashtag to see if there are any cool updates that can become your story.
Ensure that your Instagram account is set up the way that it allows other people to mention your and tag you in the photos, and when that happens, you get notified so that you can repost:
- Go to your profile and from there tap Instagram Settings
- Go to “Privacy” and make sure “Mentions” is set up to “Everyone”
- Next, go to “Notifications” and ensure that you receive a notification when anyone tags you in a photo
Additionally, you can collect and highlight your brand’s reviews from elsewhere, not just Instagram. You can collect and feature screenshots of tweets mentioning you, visualize your on-site testimonials and create beautiful slideshows using any positive feedback your customers chose to share.
4. Create Your Press Room
Has your business been covered in the press? Are you particularly product of some of your media coverage? Why not collect these mentions using highlights?
Create a story listing screenshots of those mentions and make a story. Then just ping them to your profile permanently using highlights. Any of your potential customers or a curious journalist visiting your Instagram profile will be impressed!
Don’t forget that highlights display most recently added stories first, so your profile users will be able to see the freshest press coverage of your brand first.
5. Spotlight Your Customers or Employees
Nothing builds a brand better than getting to know people behind it. Whether it is your customers wearing your T-shirts, influencers who have contributed to your guide or employees discussing what it is like to work for your business (or all of those) – showing people who are in some way associated with your brand is a great idea.
@Sheertex has a separate highlight featuring their customers, designers and models. The highlight is in the form of a quick Q&A letting the followers know more about each person and better relate to the brand through knowing people behind it.
6. Use Highlights as Your Primary Navigation
The position of your profile highlights is very similar to where the main navigation of the site is located. The highlights are immediately visible whenever you land on anyone’s Instagram profile, so you can select your most effective sale points to feature there:
7. Highlight Your Target Customers’ Interests
What would catch your followers’ attention right away?
If you highlight their interests.
Every Internet user has a certain buying journey based on their challenges, occupation, needs, etc.
Your brand is supposed to cater to those needs, and Instagram Highlights can catch different users’ attention by featuring their primary interests.
This strategy will help you identify categories that attract most attention and trigger action. If you don’t know where to start, run your main keyword through a sales enablement tool like Text Optimizer and it will suggest you some categories to use:
Keyword clustering is another great way to break your target customers’ interests into distinctive groups to build your highlighting strategy around.
Further Reading: Unlocking The Full Potential of Topic Clusters For Your SEO Strategy
8. Promote Your Highlight
Instagram allows you to promote your highlights for them to appear on users’ feeds. You need to have a business account on Instagram for that to work and you need to add that business account to your Facebook advertiser’s profile.
After that, you can click “Promote” when viewing your highlight and from there you will be able to:
- Select your goal (Moe profile visits, more site visits or more messages)
- Add your URL and select your call-to-action
- Define your audience
9. Name Your Highlights Strategically
You have a limit of 15 characters when you are naming your highlight, so you will have to come up with something short, catchy and memorable.
Try something fun! It is not a bad idea to use emojis when naming your highlights:
10. Mind Your Highlight Covers
Highlights show up in a very prominent spot on your Instagram profile page, so they are an important part of your brand’s visual identity. Make the most of your Instagram covers to create a consistent, well-branded look and entice a click.
You can create cool covers using tools like Canva. If you design your own Highlights cover using Canva, the dimensions should be 1080 pixels x by 1920 pixels tall with a 9:16 aspect ratio.
Alternatively, you can get creative and make your highlight covers minimal but impossible to miss:
Either way, try to give it some thought and come up with a consistent strategy. To change the cover of your highlight:
- Tap to play your highlight and click “More” to the bottom-right
- Tap “Edit highlight”
- Tap “Edit cover”. There you can select a new image from your Camera Roll
Bonus: More Cool Things You Can Do with Instagram Highlights
Monitor Your Competitor’s Highlights
Watching your competitors’ highlights is a great way to keep updated on their marketing priorities and campaigns.
Yet, as I mentioned before, there’s no way to know when anyone adds or updates a highlight unless you go to their profile page, and it is hardly feasible.
Visualping can update you whenever there’s any change on your competitors’ Instagram profile page. You can also set the tool up to only monitor their “Highlights” section. Select that area when adding a page to tracking and you will only be notified when anything changes there.
Embed Your Instagram Highlights on Your Site
If you use Instagram Highlights to curate great customer reviews and testimonials, it is a good idea to bring them to your site for your prospective customers to see them. Social proof is a powerful on-site element that is able to boost conversions and bring in more sales.
Instagram highlights were created to enable users to publicize, organize and combine Instagram stories, one of the most popular content types of Instagram.
Consequently, Instagram Highlights provide a few powerful marketing opportunities to make your brand more relatable and trustworthy, demonstrate your products and collaborate with your customers and niche influencers. There are no limits in place, so you have lots of room for experimentation. Good luck!
Hero photo by Noë Baeten on Unsplash
Instagram Highlights FAQs
Here are the steps on how you can get highlights on Instagram:
1. Go to your profile and tap the plus sign next to your bio.
2. From there, you can select the stories you want to include in your highlight and give them a name.
3. Once you’ve created a highlight, it will appear on your profile alongside your other highlights.
4. You can also edit your highlights at any time by tapping the pencil icon.
No, Instagram does not allow users to see who has viewed their highlights. However, there are some workarounds that you can use to get an idea of which of your highlights are getting the most views. For example, you can track the number of likes and comments on each highlight. You can also look at the number of views on the corresponding post. This won’t give you a perfect measure, but it will give you a good idea of which highlights are resonating with your audience.
Yes. Currently, you can only add content on highlights if they are posted on your stories. However, there are no restrictions on what you can add to your highlight. It can be a video, image, or anything. If you want to add something in your highlight without everyone else seeing it, the only way is to post it privately (where only you can view it) in your stories.
Right now, Instagram does not allow users to see who viewed their Instagram highlights unlike with stories. So you can simply view their highlights whenever you want because they cannot see it anyway! Keep in mind that you can only view someone’s highlights if you are following them, or if their account is public. If they’re private, you cannot do so.
Here are the other ways you can post highlights without a story:
1. Post from reels.
2. Share highlights in a post.
3. Share highlights in a comment.