3 easy ways to add your own GIF stickers to your Instagram stories

By May 23, 2019 September 4th, 2019 Design, Photoshop

In my previous post, I taught you how to create your own animated GIFs from illustration elements in Photoshop. Now it’s time to put them in use.  

In this post, I’m going to show you how to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Stories – which is one of the coolest ways to use animated GIFs. 

This post also comes with a freebie: 5 animated floral GIF Stickers from my upcoming product, that are perfect for spring and summer posts. 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

WHY SHOULD YOU ADD YOUR OWN GIF STICKERS TO YOUR INSTAGRAM STORIES?

Good question. You can certainly have lots of fun just by using the default stickers that Instagram provides. There’s even a new feature that lets you add GIFs from Giphy.com, one of the biggest GIF repository sites. 

But when you add your own sticker, you can benefit from additional advantages: 

  • The look of the sticker can perfectly blend with your brand identity – same colors, same fonts, same graphic style 

  • Clearer message – your GIF can have the exact words or graphic elements that best describe your message 

  • You control the quality – the GIF will be as good as you make it, you won’t depend on other people’s design skills 

  • Brand recognition – by using your own GIFs over and over again, you’ll help your followers recognize and memorize your posts and your brand easier 

  • No more wasted time – you won’t have to waste time by searching for the right Giphy sticker  

In addition, when you create your own GIF stickers, you can make it available for your followers as part of a marketing strategy. 

One brand who did this extremely well is CAUSEBOX.  

In their Spring CAUSEBOX Instagram campaign, they asked their customers to share their CAUSEBOX unboxing experience on Instagram Stories and use the special animated GIFs that their Spring featured artist, Alja Horvat created. 

The customers loved using the beautiful stickers. They spread the word and improved brand recognition while also having fun. The stickers also matched the Spring CAUSEBOX packaging and message.  

HOW TO ADD YOUR OWN GIF STICKERS TO INSTAGRAM STORIES? 

There are actually 3 ways to do this and I’m going to guide you through all of them. 

Please note that I only had the chance to test these methods on iPhone. If you see differences or other methods on Android phones, let me know in the comments so that I can update this post. 

METHOD #1 - ADD A GIF STICKER FROM YOUR CAMERA ROLL 

For this you’ll need: 

  • A GIF: can be animated or static and preferably on transparent background. For static images you can also use PNG files which result in nicer edges  

  • Your smart phone 

  • A cloud storage app (Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive) or email or AirDrop 

  • Your Instagram account 

This is the animated GIF that I’m going to add to my Instagram Stories, and it’s also part of the FREE animated floral GIF Stickers  that come with this blog post: 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

STEP 1 

Save your own GIF Sticker to your Camera Roll. You can do this in many ways: 

  • Email your GIF Sticker to yourself, open the attachment on your phone and save it to the Camera Roll 

  • Add your GIF Sticker to a cloud storage app, like Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive and save it from there to your Camera Roll 

  • AirDrop your GIF Sticker to your iPhone (in case you use an iPhone) 

On my iPhone, I used OneDrive to do this. I navigated to the location of my GIF and then clicked on the little “share” and “save” icons to save it to my camera roll: 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts
How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

STEP 2 

Open your Instagram, go to Instagram Story and prepare to create a post, but don’t post it yet. 

STEP 3 

Go to your photos. You’ll find your GIF saved there. Select it and tap on the share icon. Choose “Copy” from the sharing options. 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts
How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

STEP 4 

Go back to Instagram. Your Story should be still in draft and you’ll notice a pop up in the bottom left corner showing your recently copied GIF. Tap on it in order to paste it into your post. 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

STEP 5 

Finish up editing your Instagram Story post as usual. You can scale, rotate your sticker and change the background the same way as with Instagram’s default stickers. 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

Your Story is ready to be shared. 

METHOD #2 - SET UP A GIPHY CHANNEL 

This method won’t differ much from the first one but it’s an important step if you want to have a Branded Giphy Channel that syncs with Instagram (see in method #3). 

For this you’ll need: 

  • A GIF: can be animated or static and preferably on transparent background. For static images you can also use PNG files which result in nicer edges  

  • Your smart phone 

  • Giphy Channel (see below) 

  • Your Instagram account

STEP 1 – SET UP A GIPHY CHANNEL 

Giphy lets you store your GIFs in one central place and also make it possible to share a link to your GIFs. In addition, when you make your GIFs public, others will be able to use them.  

It’s important to know that only Branded Giphy channels sync with social media apps like Instagram and Twitter. But in order to get accepted as a branded channel, you have to set up a regular Giphy Channel first. 

Go to https://giphy.com/login and click on Join Giphy to set up your channel. 

STEP 2 – UPLOAD YOUR GIFS 

Click on the Upload button at the top of the page and upload your GIF file. After this you can add your website URL as the source (if you created the GIF) and tags that make is easy for you and others to find your GIF on Giphy. 

Use some specific tags that help you easily find your GIFs. For example, I added “botanica”, the name of my product that includes these GIFs beside more general tags like “floral”, “flower” and “spring”. 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts
How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts
How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

STEP 3 – SET UP YOUR INSTAGRAM STORY POST 

Just like in the first method, open your Instagram, go to Instagram Story and prepare a post, but don’t post it yet. 

STEP 4 – GET THE GIF FROM YOUR GIPHY ACCOUNT 

Go to your Giphy Account on your iPhone (either in your web browser app or the Giphy App).  

Locate your GIF and Tap & Hold on it to open up the Sharing Options. After this, Tap & Hold again to copy the GIF. 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts
How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts
How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

STEP 5 – INSERT INTO YOUR STORY 

Now head back to Instagram. As soon as you’re back, the copied GIF will pop up in the lower left corner (be quick to grab it, if it disappears you have to do the copying from Giphy again). 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

Size and rotate your GIF as you’d like. Note that you can paste it on any background (I pasted it on a plain white background in method one, while here I used a photo). 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

METHOD #3 – OBTAIN A BRANDED GIPHY CHANNEL 

This final method is the most seamless, but it’s not available for everyone.  

The GIFs from branded Giphy channels are available as stickers inside Instagram, so you don’t have to go through the whole copying process. You just search for your GIF in Instagram Story and insert it. 

In order to get accepted as a branded Giphy Channel you have to do the following:  

  • Upload at least 5 GIFs or stickers to your Giphy channel 
  • Your uploaded GIFs or stickers must be usable for others (e.g. they aren’t just your animated corporate – that’s not really useful for other users). They should also represent your intention well with your branded Giphy channel (what type of GIFs you are going to share there) 
  • You have an email address with a corporate domain (e.g. your.name@businessname.com) 
  • Your username reflects your business name 
  • You filled your Giphy account with all the correct information for your full name, location, social media accounts and website 
  • Have a corporate website. Social media profiles aren’t enough 
  • Upload an avatar 

Please note that getting accepted takes some time. Also, I’m just started playing with my own GIF stickers, so I don’t have a branded Giphy channel yet. As soon as I get accepted, I’m updating this post with my insights. 

Here’s the site where you can apply for a Branded Giphy Channel. 

And you can get more guidance on this page. 

AFTER YOU GET ACCEPTED: 

Open Instagram and start creating a story. When it’s time to add your GIF, open up the Stickers and click on the search GIF icon. 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts
How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

Here you’ll be able to search by keywords or by your brand name. Make sure to add some keywords to your GIFs that make the search easier. 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

And voilá, your story is ready to be posted. 

This last method is awesome if you want to let your followers play around with your stickers the same way as CAUSEBOX did during their 2019 spring campaign. 

OTHER GIF RESOURCES 

Want to know more about GIFs? Then go and check my previous post where I show in a video tutorial how to create your own GIFs using Photoshop. 

And don’t forget to download the 5 free animated GIF stickers I created for you. I hope you’ll have as much fun with them as I had on my Instagram account. 

How to add your own GIF stickers to Instagram Story Posts

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