Instagram is a social media platform that if managed correctly can help any business thrive. Many brands expand through Instagram, others even opened their businesses through this platform. Building Instagram presence is an essential part of many marketing campaigns in the 21st century and overall effort to promote company on social media.
What differentiates Instagram from other social media platforms is its focus on visual content. And that’s why marketers need to learn how to use visual means to tell a story, deliver a message, or offer a solution to customer’s problems. Instagram content isn’t limited by traditional photos, there is a place for videos, GIFs, animation, illustrations, infographics, reposts and so on.
If you are running out of ideas or maybe just looking for some inspiration, here is a list of things you can try and post on your Instagram together with tips on how to make your Instagram page more compelling and as a result more engaging.
Reposts from followers
Sometimes your followers and fans can be the authors of some truly amazing and interesting shots. Ask people to tag you in related posts, check on it regularly, and see the results for yourself! You will surely find some pictures that you just won’t be able to ignore and basically have to post. Doing so will show your audience that you care about them and what they have to say, which is always good. Just make sure that a picture you are about to repost isn’t blurry or grainy and wouldn’t ruin the aesthetics of your brand’s profile.
ASOS used reposting very wisely, adding their own caption with instructions on how to be featured on their page and the name of user who took the photo.
If you are new to a repost feature, here is a quick guide. You basically can screenshot what you see and edit it after, or you can use special apps for reposting on Instagram, like this one.
It’s cool to mix up your content with some statics or infographic that could be relevant or useful for your audience. If you are a slow-fashion brand, for example, you might want to share some of the problems fast-fashion approach brings and statistics on its impact. You can conduct your own researches and surveys, or use already discovered data. Don’t forget that even this type of content shouldn’t be just entertaining or educational, it still has to imply your brand’s message, and show people why they should follow you and be part of your community.
Here is a nice example by a popular meditation app called Headspace. It’s neatly designed, has relevant and motivational information, so there is something to learn from.
What’s behind the scenes?
Sometimes it’s great to remind your audience that you and your company are real living people, and not just a name or a structure. And what is a better way to do that than to share your behind-the-scenes photos? It can be from one of your photoshoots, it can reveal how some of your products are made or the working environment in your company.
Just look at this adorable photo by Aeronaut Brewing
brewery, it’s full of life and shows regular people, just like your customer,
who stand behind the brand.
There are so many things to worry, why not make your audience laugh? They sure will appreciate that. Pabst Blue Ribbon, for example, posted this hilarious picture of a dog wearing a ski outfit.
As a viewer, you just want to repost these things easier, if you like them. So that’s another reason why to add humor to your posts. People want to share something funny.
Another thing to know about good and engaging posts is that sometimes it’s not just about the content, it’s also about timing. Posting the right thing at the right time can naturally manifest itself in higher engagement rates. Maybe it’s news that people are talking about, maybe it’s a holiday season that the audience cares about, or maybe it’s just Friday? Talking about Friday, it’s actually good to make your posts match your followers’ mood. So if you post something positive on Friday, people are more likely to react to it.
Here is how Starbucks wisely used this rare holiday to showcase their product.
Collaborate with illustrators
Illustrations are recently becoming more and more relevant. Original and unique illustrations are more likely to catch someone’s eye than typical over-edited filtered Instagram shots. So give your designer a new task or collaborate with someone whose works and style your audience would enjoy seeing.
Check out this simple yet imaginative illustration in Oreo’s post.
Illustrations are particularly good for telling a story or a specific emotional message, as you can see in the example above.
Promote your products
Yes, maybe you shouldn’t turn your Instagram page into an online shopping catalog, but there is definitely a place for showcasing your products. That’s why we are on Instagram – to make our products and services visible. Using social media to advertise your business – that’s what it all boils down to, but you need to have a balance between effective for you and entertaining for your audience. Probably, following the commonly known 80/20 rule is the key here (80% of educational and entertaining content, 20% of direct self-promotion). There is nothing shameful about
But Instagram is the place where even your product-centric content must look good, be likable and evoke interest and attention.
Here is one more example from ASOS with an interesting caption.
Giveaways and contests
Want to make your audience more active during the launch of a new product? Giveaways or simple contests can help a lot and add a lot of engagement to your promotional content. Don’t forget to state clearly what they need to do and add a link in your bio (make it trackable and see how much traffic you have driven). Generally, through giveaways, people are asked to follow, leave a comment, like. You can adapt it to your own marketing needs.
Posting videos on Instagram is a way to be noticed in the huge stream of content. But there are a couple of things to consider before making and uploading a video on your page. First, videos uploaded on Instagram page cannot be longer than 60 seconds. Second, when a user sees a video it starts without sound, the user has to turn it on manually. So your video should not need a soundtrack to be comprehended, or be interesting enough for people to click and turn the sound on.
GIFs are used very actively throughout the Internet, and there are no reasons for you not to use them in your Instagram content. They are mostly funny, and they portray emotions, behavior, or ideas in accurate yet hilarious way. Using GIFs is a great way to show that you are relatable.
“Tag a friend”
Other social media platforms have this feature as well, but on Instagram tagging a friend is the whole culture. People do that when they see posts that they feel might be liked or useful for the friend, or something in it reminds them of their friendship. Anyway, it is a great opportunity to boost both your engagement and reach. You can simply write “tag a friend” in the caption and motivate them to do so.
Rent the Runway did a great job at that, bringing memories that most girls have of the times with their BFFs. It’s hard to resist and not to “tag your BFF”.
Promotion of your other accounts
There is nothing special about this tip, but it’s just a reminder that you should let people know that you have different social media accounts through your Instagram from time to time, especially if it’s the most active platform for your business.
As you can see, making your content engaging and effective isn’t that hard. Because even you give away all the money in the world for paid promotion on social media, or more specifically on Instagram, you still need to have a good page and quality content to sustain your audience and, of course, attract new audiences organically.