What to post on Instagram: 12 things to keep in mind for an engaging Instagram profile
Creating a steady stream of content for Instagram can be a bit daunting; the good news is we are here to help you with it. There are a number of ways to keep your Instagram audience engaging and here is our trial and tested list of 15 creative Instagram post ideas. In this post you can find ideas and examples for Instagram content which you can use for your business.
If the post idea suits your brand and you think you can actually get it out of the park, then go for it!
Ask your audience a question to start engaging with them
Asking questions gives your followers opportunities to share their thoughts and ideas on practically any topic. These user insights can help you come up with even better content in the future.
If you ask the right questions, they can also help you come up with new product ideas.
For example, if you run a fitness coaching business, you might ask, "What do you struggle with within the gym?" The answers your followers give you help you create lots of new content - from new products to Instagram posts, and more.
Show a tutorial
Great digital marketing provides valuable, engaging content to audiences and readers.
Instagram posts give brands the opportunity to make quick suggestions on almost any topic. For example, in the post above, fitness coach @thechriscoulson shows his followers how to perform an entire late pulldown.
You also see this concept in practically any edible Instagram account, such as @foodminimalist. She offers her followers a stunning picture of the dish with each post with delicious recipes.
Imagine different tutorials that your target audience might like — even if they are not fitness-related — or food-related.
Share Behind the Scenes
Want a great way to humanize your brand? Just show your followers what is going on in your office. By allowing your followers what is going on behind the curtain, you help them emotionally invest in your company.
And no, don't snap a picture of a flock of sleepy faces at a scary meeting at 10 am on Monday morning.
Show the fun side of your workplace.
This could be anything from an employee working at their desk, an office dog sitting in bed, or even a Bollywood-style dance number acting all over the office.
Take a look around your office. Ask yourself, "How can I show this workplace to my followers?"
Operate an AMA
AMA stands for "Ask Me Anything". The AMA is a great opportunity to connect directly with your followers. It can also be a way to share thought leadership and build engagement on any topic related to your brand.
It's simple: Create a post to ask your followers questions and start answering them in the comments below. While your followers may ask anything, fortunately, you do not need to answer everything.
This Instagram post idea is especially great if you are an influential person, or if there is someone in your company who is a thought leader in your industry.
Speaking of thought leadership…
Share valuable thought leadership
Idea leadership sharing is a great way to establish your brand as a major source of great ideas and trends.
Thought leadership often comes in the form of great suggestions, hot takes, or lessons on a topic. Once you share it, your followers see your brand as a reliable and relevant source of information. This is great for engagement and brand authenticity.
For example, personal finance and development expert @ramit often resorts to Instagram to share a lesson or insight with his followers. In doing so, his followers know to rely on him as a source of personal finance knowledge.
If you are not a thoughtful leader, no problem! You can still share great insights for your readers from leaders considering our next tip…
Conduct an interview with an industry leader
Sharing insights from leading innovators and thinkers in your industry helps your followers immensely. And if you choose a big name in your industry, and Instagram post can attract new followers and create more engagement.
And you don't have to bring a thought leader in front of your phone camera to do it. You can share a snippet of a podcast or YouTube interview done with them.
In the example above, Matt Anderson of The Road Not Taken Podcast interviews Matt LeBris on his best lesson in business. He provides a creative Instagram post for his followers.
Jump on a trend
Trends, mimes, and challenges are great ways to add some fun and relevance to your brand.
Great examples of this are the Bottle Cap Challenge above — or this is where @Ellen challenged the effigy.
Of course, you should avoid anything that can hurt you or otherwise harm your brand, such as challenges that require you to eat laundry detergents or spicy food in profanity.
You can also share a funny meme or — if you have the courage — create a meme for yourself. If you choose to do the latter, you better make sure it is good. Otherwise, you are about to enter the / r / fellow kids sector (when a brand tries to relate to modern trends but fails miserably).
Share user-created content
A sure way to engage your followers while showing them some appreciation is to share the content they have created — especially if it showcases finished projects using your product.
A great example of this is @adobe (see above). They often share designs, photographs, and other projects finished by their users using their editing software.
@Apple also does a great job of this with their #ShotOnAnIphone post where they encourage users to share their iPhone photos and videos on Instagram using the hashtag.
Crowdsourcing the post directly and connecting with your followers is a great and easy way to create content for your brand's Instagram feed.
Bonus: Download a free checklist, which reveals the exact steps a lifestyle photographer can take from 0 to 600,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.
Create a photo collage
It's a fun one, but it's a little hard to pull off.
Make a big picture on your Instagram profile page using personal Instagram posts. Think of it as nine Instagram post ideas in one.
The above example from @truedotink shows how he used his Instagram profile to create a photo promoting his digital product.
To begin with, use an app such as Layout from Instagram or software such as Photoshop to take an image and cut it into individual images to post.
If you want to be very ambitious, take notes from @ jppm.fr. He created a "never-ending mood board" that consistently forms on the final set of posts.
Instagram grid mood board
Use daily hashtags
Daily hashtags are dedicated hashtags for specific days of the week — and they are a great way to build engagement with your followers.
They also provide a huge well of Instagram content ideas that you can draw from. This is not a joke. In fact, here are 40 daily hashtags you can start using for your Instagram posts today.
The most popular of all daily hashtags is definitely #throwbackthursday or #TBT. As of writing this, there are approximately 9.6 million #TBT posts on Instagram. Every time you post using a hashtag, you have the opportunity to jump on the trend and open yourself up to a wider audience.
This means that using #TBT helps you:
Grow your followers
Improves your brand awareness
For more information, see our article on how to use #TBT in your posts.
Share Your Mistakes
Want a great way to humanize your brand? Human beings are not perfect. Do not hesitate to accept odd failures.
No, you do not need to share details of the litigation process if your company is sued or on a customer email annoyed by a bad order. Instead, show small accidents around your workplace — and add some excitement to it!
Maybe you have a bakery. Show the results of that batch of cookies you had left in the oven for too long.
Or maybe you own a marketing agency. Show a newsletter that you sent with the typo and how upset you felt about it.
However, the most important thing is that you show your mistakes and then show how you corrected them. Only then you can build trust with your followers by humanizing your brand.
At the end, you're sharing content to increase your Instagram following and brand recognition. The goal should be consistently sharing valuable content on the platform, that keeps your audience engaged. Creating a content calendar is a great place to start.