How to Make Instagram Highlight Covers with Custom, Free Icons Using Canva

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Instagram has become one of the most popular social media apps used today. Businesses of all kinds are using Instagram to market their business and share cool stories about them through photos and videos. From local Mom and Pop shops, to some of the biggest brands we’ve all come to know and love, Instagram provides a different level of connection than other social media platforms, which is exactly why we’re going to talk about how to use Instagram highlights for your business’s Instagram profile.

In today’s post, I’m going to show you how to make Instagram story highlight covers with custom graphics, for free, using a neat graphic design tool called Canva in eight easy steps.

As a business owner, you wear a lot of hats and one of those is marketer. If your business is on Instagram, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t be utilizing Instagram highlight covers. It adds an extra appeal for curious Instagrammers wanting to know more about you by directing them to things they may want to know more about your business, allows you to share reviews, specials and a ton more.

Before we get into it, make sure you download the Canva app on your phone and create a free account if you haven’t already. This will make following along a lot easier.

First things, first. You need to create a new design.

Step 1: Create a New Instagram Story Highlight Design

Assuming you have the app downloaded on your phone and account created, the first thing you’ll want to do is to create a new design by selecting “Instagram Story.”

Instagram Story

Step 2: Add a Background and Icon/Text

You’ll start with a blank canvas, so the next thing you’ll need to do is select a background color and image or text to make your highlight.

Click the plus button in the lower right-hand corner.

adding element on Instagram

Then select the first box below labeled “text.”

add text to instagram highlight cover

When you select text, you’ll need to choose a font. This is where you should use the font that your brand uses, or something close to it.

Note: if you wanted to use an icon instead of text in this step, select “graphic” instead of text in the step above.

adding text to Instagram story highlight

To add color, tap on the background to pull up the color palette selector.

add color to instagram highlight cover

If you know the html hex code of the color you want, you can enter it into the little grey box on the lower right. Otherwise, you can just use the little white dot to move to the color look you’re going for. Again, it makes sense to use your brand/Instagram theme colors in this instance as well.

changing colors on Instagram story highlight

When you’re ready, download the story to your camera roll by clicking the download arrow in the upper right corner.

download instagram highlight cover

When you’re done, your next step is to go to your Instagram account. In order to add each of your new Instagram highlight covers, you need to first share them as a story. Below are the steps to sharing your new Instagram highlight covers to your story.

Step 3: Add a New Story

Go to your profile and click the blue plus “+” button on your logo.

create new instagram story

Step 4: Select the cover from your camera roll

This step is pretty self explanatory.

choosing image from camera for instagram highlight cover

Step 5: Send Highlight Cover to your Instagram Story

When selected, click “send to” in the lower right to send to your Instagram story.

send to Instagram story

Step 6: Share your Story

Last step is to click the blue “share” button. You can also click “undo” after sharing if you happened to share the wrong image.

share story on instagram

Step 7: Create New Highlight

Now that you’ve shared it to your story, to get it featured on your profile as a highlight, you need to click “new” under “edit profile.”

create new instagram highlightStep 8: Name your Instagram Highlight Covers

Here is where you’ll set the highlight cover (the image you just saved to your camera roll from Canva) and name the highlight. In the example below, we named our highlight “reviews.”

name new instagram highlight

Repeat this process for each highlight you’d like to add to your business profile.

add instagram highlights to

I hope this tutorial was helpful for you. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions. Also, we’d love for you to share your newly created Insta story highlights. Screenshot yours and leave it below in the comments!

Curious how we may be able to help you do this for your business? Learn more about our small business marketing packages, or get in touch here.

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