Wondering what to post on Instagram?
You’re not the only one.
Most businesses know that if they want to thrive in today’s social media market, they need a substantial presence on Instagram. After all, it’s one of the most popular social channels out there – and the top platform for visual content.
However, figuring out what sort of Instagram niche you’re going to serve, and how you’re going to deliver consistently fantastic material to your audience is tough. After all, Buffer and other social marketing experts suggest that you should be posting more than once a day if you want real results.
So when you’re getting tired of posting pics of your food and pets, how can you ensure that you’re keeping your followers engaged?
In this post, we’re going to cover some handy content ideas for your Instagram, to kickstart and maintain your marketing schedule.
1. Make your Products Shine
As a business with an Instagram account, your followers will expect to see you posting dozens of pictures of your products and services. The question is, how you make these marketing-style posts more appealing. You don’t just want to post the same pictures time and time again, after all.
Think of ways that you can get creative with your product pictures. For instance:
- Show them in a new light: Rather than just posting a picture of a new dress for sale, offer insights into how you might pair that dress with a stunning pair of shoes and a cozy shawl.
- Give them a human touch: Show people interacting with your products. If you sell shoes, snap a picture of someone running or jumping in them.
- Share your inspiration: What inspired your latest product? Perhaps looking at the summer sky encouraged you to design a new range of lipsticks. Publish a picture with a caption explaining what makes it essential.
Remember, it’s not just the shot that counts for product pictures either. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re making your material stand out with compelling captions and relevant #Hashtags too. Even a location tag could make your product more appealing, by showing people where they can pick it up.
Check out how @ModCloth manages to publish endless product-based pictures without making their content feel boring or stale.
2. Go Behind the Scenes
Have you ever wondered why makeup tutorials and cooking videos are so popular?
It’s not so much the jazzy music or the bright colors. Rather, people love seeing how the items that they buy and the looks they try to mimic are created. A behind-the-scenes insight into what it takes to make your products or deliver your services is an excellent way to attract attention on Instagram.
When you’re wondering what to post on Instagram, ask yourself what your customers might like to know about your business and the work that you do to serve them the items that they know and love.
Remember, behind-the-scenes content doesn’t have to be as polished as some of your other content, which makes it easier to deliver quickly when you have a gap in your content calendar. To produce excellent behind-the-scenes content:
- Make sure you know what your customers want to see/learn about you.
- Focus on showcasing your unique personality and human side
- Consider exploring different kinds of media, including pictures, Stories, and videos
Check out this fantastic behind-the-scenes video from @6abckarenrogers
3. Invest in User-Generated Content
If curating, designing, and publishing all of your own content ideas for your Instagram feels too exhausting, why not seek out help from your audience? User-generated content is when you ask for permission to repost the content published by people in your Instagram niche or follower list. This content is fantastic for marketing purposes, mainly if the UGC shows someone interacting with your brand or products.
When it comes to figuring out what to post on Instagram, user-generated material takes a lot of the pressure off your shoulders, by allowing you to take advantage of content that already exists. You also show your customers that you care about them by giving them a shout-out and showcasing their photos.
If your brand is still pretty new and you don’t have a lot of organic UGC available, you could try reaching out to influencers for help instead. Ask them to snap a picture of themselves using your product or service that you can share with your followers.
You might need to give away some free products to get this material at first, or even pay a little bit of money, but it’s worth it in the long-term.
4. Teach People about your Company
Every brand has a history.
Whether you started as a mom-and-pop business and grew into something incredible, or you branched off from another global company, there’s a tale that took you to wherever you are today. One great way to earn the attention of your Instagram Niche is to give them a chance to get to know you.
Content that shares your story with your follower makes you more human and engaging. It shows people that you’ve overcome challenges and trials to get to this point in your growth.
For instance, the JM&Sons brand shows pictures of their main crafters working behind the scenes and coming up for ideas for new products.
Aside from giving people a chance to learn about your company, story-based content also gives more depth to your brand, making you appear more relatable. In a world where people are less attracted to massive corporations, a human story could help to improve your sales.
Remember to take advantage of hashtags when you’re sharing your stories too.
#TBT or #ThrowbackThursday is an excellent excuse to talk about your history. Additionally, location tags will allow you to build a deeper relationship with local customers by showing your involvement with your community.
5. Ask Questions (and Provide Answers)
When you’re searching for content ideas for your Instagram account, your biggest goal will probably be to drive engagement from your audience. Engaged followers share your material, introduce you to new potential leads, and make it easier for your brand to develop online.
One of the easiest ways to get your customers and fans involved with a real conversation is to ask questions that drive discussion and even debate. For instance, you might ask:
- What kind of product should we introduce next?
- What do you like best about our customer service?
- What do you want us to improve?
- How do you feel about (trending topic in your Instagram niche)?
To make asking questions even easier, Instagram provides a range of stickers you can add to your Stories posts. You can also publish polls and surveys if you’re concerned that your audience won’t want to spend too much time interacting with your brand. Polls are much quicker and more convenient to get involved with than a standard question.
A great way to take your questions strategy to the next level is to ask your audience to submit queries that they want you to answer. Collect as many questions as you can and host a weekly or monthly Q&A session. The details you gather from your audience may even inspire you to create future videos or blog posts addressing their concerns in more depth.
6. Tease New Products and Services
What better way to generate hype for your new offering than to get people talking about it on Instagram?
If you’re about to release a new service or product, then you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding content ideas for your Instagram. You can publish artistic pictures that show small portions of the product and get customers guessing about what’s going to come next. Alternatively, you might publish videos from designers and other members of staff talking about what encouraged them to make the new item.
Think about what kind of content will appeal best to your Instagram niche.
One excellent example of an Instagram master that’s great at showcasing new products without giving too much away is Netflix. The Netflix brand is constantly publishing pictures and videos about the upcoming shows that will appear on the streaming service.
Not only do Netflix get people excited about what’s to come from their service, but they also showcase their unique personality too. Check out this fun post promoting the upcoming new series of “Stranger Things,” for instance:
7. Run a Giveaway or Competition
If you’re wondering what to post on Instagram when you want to get a lot of engagement and excitement brewing amongst your audience, a contest could be a great bet.
Who doesn’t love getting something for free, after all?
Competitions get your followers hyped up and talking about your brand. Often, they can also lead to excellent user-generated content and social proof too. After the person who wins your competition receives their prize, ask them to join you for a quick interview on Instagram Live, or record a video of them opening their package.
There are plenty of ways to create contests for your Instagram followers. You can:
- Ask them to send a picture that’s relevant to your Instagram niche and choose the best image
- Tell followers to like your photo and tag a friend for the chance to win (this gives your brand more exposure)
- Get customers involved with a branded hashtag that improves the shareability of your contest.
Check out this awesome competition from @lisadanielle__ for instance:
8. Experiment with New Media
Often, when companies and individuals are struggling to figure out what to post on Instagram, it’s because they’re accidentally restricting themselves. When you don’t have a lot of time that you can spend on your Instagram campaigns, it’s tempting to assume that you can only invest in photos.
However, experimenting with different kinds of material is one of the best ways to keep your Instagram profile looking fresh and interesting. For instance, you can try:
- Live video: Ask your followers to join you for Q&As or interviews
- IGTV: Work on amazing videos that you can publish to give people a better insight into your brand.
- Photo carousels: Show off multiple new products at once and tag your items with shoppable links to improve your sales potential
- Instagram Stories: Take advantage of the most popular feature on Instagram and draw more people to your account with Instagram Stories. You can even save snippets of your Stories as highlights
It does take a little more time to play around with new content, but it will be worth it in the long term. Look at how @CheapCookieCutters delight their audience with frequent videos showing people how to use their products:
9. Get Seasonal with Hashtag Holidays
There’s a good chance that your posting schedule already includes content ideas for your Instagram account that revolve around specific holidays. Celebrations like Easter, Christmas and more come with plenty of inspiration for new ways to spruce up your social channels.
So, what do you do if there are no big upcoming holidays to celebrate?
The good news is that Instagram and countless other social channels now celebrate a range of international and playful holidays too. For instance, if you’re in the food industry, then it makes sense to celebrate #NationalIcecreamday with your followers.
If you’re struggling to find new ideas to work with, check out some of the available national holiday lists online. There are hundreds to choose from. The key to success is making sure that you pick a holiday that’s relevant to your brand.
Some of our favorites include:
10. Show your Community Side
Finally, today’s consumers are committed to finding companies they can resonate with.
In an environment owned by millennials, you can expect that most of your clients, customers, and Instagram followers will be looking for socially-conscious brands. While there are many ways that you can show your followers that you care about them and their community, one of the easiest ways to gain their trust is to show how involved you are.
Look for a local event you can attend and take plenty of pictures and videos of what you do when you’re there. Produce content that showcases your commitment to your social responsibility initiatives, recycling, and other issues that you know your audience care about.
Making sure that your customers know how much you give back is essential if you want your social brand to thrive.
If it helps, you can always team up with other local companies too so that you can have a bigger impact on your community. Usually, multiple businesses working together have a broader reach than just one company.
Make the Most of your Content Calendar
No matter your chosen Instagram niche, figuring out what to post on Instagram can be tough.
Your customers and followers expect fresh, high-quality content every day. If you don’t deliver, then you could end up losing your chance to grow on Instagram.
The good news?
There are plenty of content ideas for your Instagram out there. As well as the options we’ve outlined above; you can always check out what your competitors are doing for inspiration or follow some of your customers to see what kind of content they interact with most.
Remember, a well-balanced content schedule will also help to ensure that you stay on track with your plan and keep producing consistent material for your audience. For more help building out your content plan, visit FollowerGrowth today!