While you may not use Instagram yourself, there’s no way to deny it’s authority in the social media marketing world. In fact, almost two out of three adults between the ages of 18-29 are using it. Coming up with a treasure-trove of fresh Instagram post ideas may not always be easy, but fortunately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to grow your following and keep your current followers interested.
Here are 12 unique ideas for your next Instagram post, and two tools that will help you create them easily.
Instagram Post Idea #1 – Motivate Your Audience
Everyone has a rough day sometimes. While motivational posts shouldn’t make up the majority of your Instagram feed, these posts can help to spread a smile across your audiences’ faces when they need it most. You can find quotes about every subject on sites like BrainyQuote.
Tip: Try to pair these posts with actionable tips or questions to increase engagement.
Instagram Post Idea #2 – Share an Interesting Fact
As industry professionals, we can often take certain truths for granted. A great way to educate your audience is to debunk a popular myth or shine a light on some fascinating statistics that are relevant to your product or service. This may even alert your audience to a potential problem they have that they didn’t know existed.
Tip: Don’t make the statistics too obvious or something that ‘everyone knows’. These should be something that makes your audience go “Huh!” and inspires them to read more. If you can leverage your own data that’s a great plus!
Instagram Post Idea #3 – Create an Instructional Video
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”― William Arthur Ward
While we may think of Instagram as a platform that exists purely to share pictures, it can also be used for another important purpose – tutorials! Aside from giving value by sharing knowledge with your audience, tutorials also allow you to showcase your product or service without being overly pushy or sales-y. They can also inspire existing customers by showing them new and inventive ways to utilize your offer.
Tip: Keep your tutorials as simple as possible, otherwise your audience might become overwhelmed. Break down complicated ideas into smaller tasks, and always have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Instagram Post Idea #4 – Capitalize on Current Trends
One of the easiest ways to gain traction and increase your reach is to capitalize on current trends. While this in and of itself isn’t enough to make your account or brand go viral, it can be another way to use the Instagram algorithm to your advantage.
Tip: The key to these posts is to create this in a quick and timely manner in order to ‘ride the wave’ of the algorithm. Time is of the essence!
Instagram Post Idea #5 – Instagram Giveaway
If you’re just starting out on Instagram, you might feel overwhelmed by the big fat 0 next to your follower count. One of the easiest ways you can increase that is to create an Instagram giveaway. In addition to giving away your own products or services, you can also collaborate with another company (as you see above in the Passion Planner example) or influencer in order to increase the reach of your campaign and piggyback off of their followers.
If you’d like to learn how to create your own Instagram Giveaway, check out our guide here.
Instagram Post Idea #6 – Share Content From Followers
If you’re struggling to create your own content, look no further than your own customers and followers. By following hashtags related to your business, you can find and share content created by your own community. One recent study found that US Gen Zers and millennials trust influencers’ recommendations when deciding to make a purchase – so this type of post can also help you gain trust and recognition in your industry.
Tip: Make sure to give credit to the original creator of the content.
Instagram Post Idea #7 – Support a Cause
In this day and age, there are thousands of different causes to support – from LGBTQ+ rights to the Australian bushfires. Take a moment to showcase a cause that your business supports, and how you have helped support it. This strategy helps to show a more personal side to your business and further the cause itself.
Tip: Make sure to do your research before you pick a cause to support. You can use Inc.com’s 8 Tips for Finding a Cause to help guide you toward the right decision.
Instagram Post Idea #8 – Ask a Question
Interaction and engagement are huge two factors when it comes to success on social media, and the easiest way to encourage both is to reach out to your audience personally by asking questions. These can be fun quiz-like posts (as we see above) or a simple Q&A.
Tip: Try and keep your questions easy to answer in short form, or use a fun quiz like the Starbucks example above.
Instagram Post Idea #9 – Share a Before and After
Humans love a good story – and there’s no better story than a transformation tale. By using videos or images that show before and after shots, you can help your audience envision what their life could be like after your business solves their problem.
Tip: This should go without saying, but make sure your results are real and authentic. Many brands have been caught up in ‘Photoshop fail’ scandals which can put a negative spin on your brand.
Instagram Post Idea #10 – Share a Failure and What You Learned
Since the birth of social media, people have used platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase the highlight reels of their lives and businesses – but as we all know, life isn’t all roses and sunshine. Try to showcase a recent loss and what you learned from the experience. After all, studies have shown that failure is an important component of success. Not only can you help your followers navigate their own potential pitfalls, but you’ll come across as authentic and real and garner more respect.
Tip: Make sure your failure is genuine – don’t be afraid to be too real with your audience.
Instagram Post Idea #11 – Showcase Your Employees
While you may think it’s your brand/industry/value prop that makes your company unique, you might be missing one critical element too – the people who work there. Take the time to give a shoutout to a new employee, or shine a light on someone who has made a huge impact on your organization.
Tip: You can also use this opportunity to show off your company’s culture as well.
Instagram Post Idea #12 – Behind The Scenes
What goes on behind the scenes can be just as interesting as the face our brand presents to the world. Showing action shots, sneak peeks, and candid moments can add an additional layer to your brand’s online identity.
Tip: When in doubt, always show an office dog or cat.
2 Tools to Create Engaging Instagram Posts
Now that we’ve given you a few ideas to tuck under your hat, it’s time for the hard part – making those ideas come to life! While you may not be design-savvy or have an extra pair of hands to create these posts for you, there are a ton of tools out there to help you do just that.
Instagram Tool #1 – Canva
If you need a full suite of ready to use templates, stock photos, image editing tools, AND an interface so simple a child could use it, look no further than Canva. With Canva, creating an image for your Instagram post is as easy as drag and drop. This tool not only provides hundreds of templates for any type of social media post, downloadable, or print advertising asset but it also comes with access to over 2 million stock photos.
Canva is free for 30 days, and $12.95/month after – meaning it’s perfect for those who are on a small budget.
Instagram Tool #2 – Magisto
While Canva is a great tool for images, Magisto goes where it cannot – video creation. While editing is traditionally laborious and needs the hands of an expert, Magisto aims to ease this process by allowing you to upload several images (or selecting a stock photo) and harnessing the powers of AI to create a video for you. In addition to using a collection of stock photos, you can add background music and select from a wide range of video effects with just a few clicks. Magisto starts at $19.99/month making it more affordable than, let’s say, going to school for videography.
Putting It All Together
In this article, we’ve given you 10 unique Instagram post ideas and two great tools to create stunning images and videos with just a few clicks. With this handy list, you’re now able to generate engaging content for your business. But how do you go about doing that? The easiest way is to see what your competition is doing.
While copying their posts word for word won’t work, this will allow you to see what’s currently trending in your industry, and most importantly, what their followers are responding to before you start posting.
For example, we can see that the 6 most recent Hubspot posts contain three of the post ideas we covered here today.
Other brands, like Nike, stick to more visual components that showcase the human side of their product. Their most recent examples are all images or videos of people with stories, quotes, and insights into the lives of athletes using Nike all across the globe.
After you’ve plotted out the posts you’ll use, you can then start to work on a content calendar. Make sure to plan not only for major holidays but for fun ones as well! You can check out this article from AdEspresso to learn how to do just that.
If you’re looking for more insight on how to properly conduct this type of research, you can check our recent article on how to use competitor research for content marketing here.
Do you have a favorite type of Instagram post that isn’t mentioned? Share it in the comments below!