Instagram Highlight Covers: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

First, what are Instagram highlights, and what are their covers? No, we aren’t talking about their markers or the covers on their bed. 

Instagram highlights are a perfect way to keep your followers active and up-to-date on your latest goings-on, but did you know that you can also add highlight covers to make your highlights stand out even more?

This blog post will explain what Instagram highlight covers are and why they matter. Keep reading to learn more!

  1. What are Instagram highlight covers, and what do they do?
  2. How can you use Instagram highlight covers to improve your Instagram profile and marketing strategy?
  3. What are the Dos & Don’ts of Instagram highlight covers?
  4. How can you create your own Highlight Covers for free or at a minimal cost?
  5. Examples of businesses and individual brands who have used Highlight Covers to great effect!

What are Instagram highlight covers, and what do they do?

If you use Instagram regularly, there’s no doubt that someone has posted one of those random stories from their phone at least once in your life. 

They’re usually short clips with only the most essential info about what was going down when it happened—and sometimes even less! Unlike normal Instagram stories, which disappear after 24 hours unless users choose otherwise (or save them), these “highlights” stay permanently attached as an icon below your Instagram bio!

Instagram highlight covers are perfectly placed on your Instagram profile, serving as the perfect indicators to show users what your brand is all about. You can have the best Instagram stories you re-share from your followers and build ideal user-generated content highlights as social proof of your brand’s quality.

The main attributes of highlights are: 

  • Option to add custom image or icon that represents story saved inside 
  • The choice between names for each highlight (such as “My First Dog” vs. my dog) 

*Note they appear under bio text and profile photo on Instagram once created


How can you use Instagram highlight covers to improve your Instagram profile and marketing strategy?

Whether you are selling products or offering services, you can promote them by using your highlights.

The primary reasons why you need to use Instagram highlights and Instagram covers are the following:

  • Use this feature to tell an ongoing story
  • Make the content of your stories easily available to followers
  • Educate followers about your former activities posted in your Instagram stories
  • Highlight your products or services in a structured and categorized way
  • Provide a library format of helpful content that you’ve already shared

You Can Post Your Products or Services

For example, let’s say you own a food brand and want to promote a new organic spice on Instagram. You can do this by:

  1. Creating a new Highlight 
  2. Naming it ‘New Spices’
  3. Posting pictures of the spices on your story   
  4. Saving the stories in your new highlight 

If you’re offering a service, you can post more details about the service, like the service’s features, the pricing, the benefits, or your USP (unique selling point).

Instagram stories are one of the main channels for brands to connect, engage, and gain actual results from their digital marketing activities. 

Understanding Instagram stories and highlights for businesses can be one of your main competitive advantages for your 2022 marketing activities.

Therefore, having hard-produced story videos or images saved for future followers to view anytime makes the highlights feature very important for community managers and digital marketers.

If you’re sharing information of value in your highlights, your covers play a significant role in whether they are seen. Additionally, they add to your overall brand aesthetic.

What are the Do’s & Don’ts of Instagram highlight covers?

We all noticed that bloggers, brands, and businesses went crazy a few years ago when they all started to upload their Instagram story highlight cover images, all at once, like there’s no tomorrow. They were on to something. These, for the most part, weren’t just thrown on their account willy-nilly but were perfectly curated, organized, and were on brand.

So, is there a right and wrong way to do Instagram highlight covers? You bet there is!

It’s important to keep in mind the importance of branding when creating Instagram story highlight cover images. If you already have a brand, it should be evident, but if not, some ways can help reveal your personality and creativity through colors or designs that match what we know about our brands!


Stick with your branding! We all know branding is everything, so choose colors and designs that are an extension of you, your blog, and/or your business! Make sure you stick with the colors and elements you usually use for your brand.


It’s another way to let your personality shine. So show off your personality and brand personality through fun patterns, icons, and emojis while staying true to your brand. 


Be strategic and categorize your story highlights and cover images by different topics in a manner that makes sense to those watching them. Additionally, it makes it easy for followers to go directly to that category on your feed based on what they are looking for; no one likes to waste time. 

Make Custom Cover Images

DO NOT simply copy what everyone else is using. Make (or even buy) custom cover images to reflect everything we talked about above. Again, DO NOT simply use text in place of icons. Just DON’T!

How can you create your own Highlight Covers for free or at a minimal cost?

Canva: The best tool there ever is, period! It is our go-to tool for creating all custom backgrounds, marketing materials, and more. Most of all, it is FREE, and it is easy to make everything on the computer rather than on my phone. 

Grids: This app has many features, is easy to use and has several templates you can customize. You can use it on your phone and iPad. 

A Design Kit: This app has fewer features, and we do wish they had more icons available, but hopefully, they will introduce a few more popular ones soon. 

Typorama: Another easy-to-use free app. The best thing about this app is that it allows you to resize the image based on the platform, in this case, Instagram Stories / Highlight Cover Images. 

Instagram Story Feature: With the latest introduction of a few new fonts and background colors on stories, you can simply use the native Instagram app itself to create your highlight cover images. 

Good Old Google: Do it the old-fashioned way; Google search your favorite backgrounds, templates, and icons (choose the ones with transparent background-png), save them to your phone, and create story highlight cover images in minutes. BOOM!

*If creating your own highlight cover images is not your thing, then you could also pay someone to make them for you or buy them on Etsy (they are available for as low as $5).

Examples of businesses and individual brands who have used Highlight Covers to great effect!

  • Natural Earth Products has successfully implemented on-brand icons with brand colors for their Instagram highlight covers.
  • No Wrong Answers took some fun icons to display information about their game and categorized them by age and type.
  • Hello Cake has used its brand emojis to categorize and organize information about its company and a product highlight cover.
  • Mosaic Birds used their yellow brand color and a simple black icon to convey what the highlight tells effectively.
  • SknH20 used a water background with black icons to stay on brand and highlight business information.
  • The Players Trunk went with their simple brand color again and black icons to display who, what, and where.


Instagram highlight covers are a splendid way to improve your Instagram profile and marketing strategy. They allow you to showcase your products or services excitingly and engagingly. By following the Do’s & Don’ts of Instagram highlight covers, you can create high-quality images that will help promote your brand. If you need help creating your own Highlight Covers, contact Power Move Marketing for assistance. We would be happy to help!

Author: Kristi James