Stumped on what to post today on your Instagram Story? Consider making a fill-in-the-blank Instagram Story template! Also known as "Instagram Games," Fill-in-the-blank Instagram Story templates are a fun, light-weight way to add personality to your Instagram Story strategy.

Two examples of Instagram Story Templates

Unlike most IG stories, fill-in-the-blank templates are based around text, not photos or video, so you don’t to capture original footage to make them. As a result, it’s often cheap and quick to make a fill-in-the-blank Instagram Story template. Templates are also reusable, so you could run a series of them for a different subject, person, or event.

Use an Instagram Preset Template

Instagram recently launched a set of pre-made templates in Story's "Create" mode. These can give you inspiration if you need to make content quickly on the go and add variety to a Story.

To access the template gallery, go to the Story Camera, swipe into Create mode, and click on the four box grid to browse all of Instagram's templates. There are seven different options:

  • What am I watching? and What am I listening to? where people can share their favorite show and music
  • Top Three Accounts to Follow for Instagram superfans
  • Quote of the day for inspiration
  • Quick Draw Challenge for doodles and sketches with friends
  • Woke up like this template for showing off your first-thing-in-the-morning selfie
  • Pizza Toppings, Ranked

Once you find a template you like, click the Camera button to capture and use Instagram's drawing, text, and image tools to fill in the blanks before publishing.

Design a Custom Template

For a blogger, designer, or social media consultant, Instagram Story templates are a trendy way to flex your design skills and show off your social media cleverness by making something that other Instagrammers can use. When someone downloads and shares your watermarked Instagram Story template, they endorse your brand and help spread awareness. This can lead to more clients and a larger audience.

Constraints breed creativity. If you give people a fill-in-the-blank Instagram Story template, you’ll be shocked and impressed by the clever ways that they remix it across the internet.

Step 1: Design Your Template

Start by sketching out your Instagram Story template concept in a notebook. How will people fill out the template? How will they give their answers? Remember that Instagram Stories let creators draw on the image and type on the image before publishing, but very small, precise drawing is difficult on a small phone screen.

Here are some types of reusable Instagram Story Templates to kick off your brainstorm:

  • Circle the best option: Give people a set of things to choose and have them circle the best or their favorite
  • Fill in the blank: Leave a blank space for people to type their own answers, mad-libs style, or upload a photo
  • Checklist: Make a bucket list, prep list, or preference list that people can tick off
  • This or that: Put a line down the middle of your template, and make each section of the screen a choice between two things. The creator can circle their preference.
  • Bingo: Give creators a grid of options and have them tick off the spaces if they've seen them
  • Scorecard: Have your audience score each one of a set of options out of 10

There are many other types of Story games or templates. Let your creativity loose as you brainstorm!

Step 2: Set Up Template Canvas

Once you're ready to create the template, open Kapwing's Studio and start with a blank canvas. When the white, blank canvas opens, use the buttons to change the canvas size to be the right ratio for an Instagram Story: 9:16.

Then, set the background to be the color you want it to be. You can input a custom hex code that it matches your website or brand colors, or you can upload an image for the background instead. If you have a particular texture in mind, use the "Images" tool to search through backgrounds on the internet.

I searched for wave textures in "Images" to find this drone shot

Step 3: Create the Template

Now that the canvas is set up, you can create your design! Insert text boxes and choose the font and color you want for the text. Then, drag the corners to position it where you want it on the screen.

A "This or That" Game I made with Kapwing Studio

Add shapes and stickers to your design. You can add lines, boxes, GIFs, and more. Make sure to leave your watermark somewhere on the template so that you'll get tagged when people repost it on Instagram.

Make sure to leave enough space for people who use the template to input their own voice. Your template will only be successful if it gives people enough flexibility to make it their own!

A fill in the blank template

Step 4: Create and Share

After the design preview looks good, click "Publish" to save and download the template. Kapwing will process your design then return a file that you can post on your website, share with you audience, or send to friends. If you notice a typo or mistake, just click "Edit" to go back and adjust your design.

Thanks for reading! Kapwing is a startup trying to help digital storytellers, entertainers, and educators. I hope that this tutorial helps digital media designers reach a wider audience and represent their personality on social media. Don't forget to tag @KapwingApp in your Instagram creations for another follower.