Feeling stuck on what to post on Instagram? With the overflow of Instagram trends, the ever-changing algorithm, and the ongoing battle to grow engagement, boosting your brand’s awareness on Instagram is no easy feat.
Learning how to overcome these challenges is worth the struggle, though. With more than 500 million daily visitors, Instagram is one of the best platforms for nurturing a relationship with your target audience. With the variety of tools available on Instagram, it’s getting easier to create and share content that will convert your followers into paying customers.
The enemy of Instagram engagement? Monotony. A feed that is overflowing with content that all looks the same will bore your existing followers, and won’t get you new ones, either.
Posting a mix of engaging content, however, will appeal to all the scrollers who come into contact with your brand on Instagram. They’ll notice you, follow you, and then, hopefully, buy from you. You can post:
Today, I’ll share with you ways to refresh and diversify your brand’s Instagram account and keep your current followers entertained while bringing new ones in. We’ll go through Instagram post ideas for your feed, Stories, and Reels. Plus, I’ll share some of my favorite Instagram trends that could help you spice up your personal feed.
People don’t trust brands, they trust people. That’s exactly why I just bought an air fryer an influencer recommended (she’d never lie to me, right?!). So, if you want to win over more customers, you have to show the humans behind your brand, and Instagram is the perfect place to do it.
Show your followers the faces behind your brand. If you have a team, do a spotlight series on them: their role, their special talents, and why you appreciate them (with their permission, of course).
If you’re a small ecommerce business owner, and it’s just you running the show, all the more reason to tell your story! Showing a more personal side of your brand will build a stronger connection with your customers.
Build trust and create a more personal relationship with your audience by showing the behind-the-scenes of your business. Show how your products are made, or share your day-to-day with your followers. This will make your customers see your work and the quality of your products.
Instagram is a visual platform, so beautiful, high-quality pictures and videos of your products are a must for your brand account. Share content featuring your products in all their glory—this will help you drive sales and promote your business.
Your Instagram account is your portfolio, so make sure your account shows what your brand can offer. Consider posting eye-catching product shots that will get the attention of potential customers as well as engagement from your existing audience.
And while a beautiful product photo is what will catch your customers’ eye, the caption is what will sell that product. Use that space wisely. Pitch your product by discussing features and benefits or highlighting what makes the product special. And don’t forget to add hashtags!
Pro tip: When photographing products for your feed, try to show them in an aspirational but relatable setting—somewhere your followers can picture themselves in. Check out these product photography trends for some more inspiration.
Posting videos on Instagram provides a great opportunity to show your product in action. Plus, one study says 84% of customers chose to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video.
Social media platforms have recently been shifting towards online commerce, offering their users checkouts within the platform.
With Instagram Shopping, you can integrate your product catalog with your Instagram profile. This allows your followers to shop your products directly on Instagram through tags, and a special Shop tab.
Pro tip: To use Instagram’s shoppable tags, you need to set up an Instagram shop. Follow this guide to get started.
It’s like with movies: first comes the teaser, then the trailer, then the premiere. You too can build this kind of anticipation for an upcoming product or collab by teasing the launch on Instagram. Sometimes it works so well that brands sell out even before the launch.
To organize a countdown on your feed, publish reminders about it. Create a visual for each day you want to post, and then combine these posts with your other content.
I love how illustrator Emily Cole from @emilycoleillustrations teased her new homeware and gifts collection. Each countdown post gave a sneak peek of the new designs, ending with a post that announced and showcased the whole collection.
Think about ways to spruce up your reminders so people will want to check in with the next one. They won’t be able to wait for your new product launch!
Use the Instagram countdown sticker in Stories to get your followers excited for an upcoming announcement, or get them ready for a sale event. With this sticker, you can set a reminder any day and time, up to 1 year later.
Once your story goes live with the countdown sticker, viewers can sign up for reminders by tapping the sticker. They also have the option to share the countdown to their own story where their followers will see it.
Posting on-brand memes to your feed will give your brand a witty voice and could help grow engagement. Why? Because the perfect, cookie-cutter Instagram feed is out, and a more unpolished, relatable content is in. And brands big and small are using this trend in spades.
Social media users appreciate content that speaks to them on their level, so show them what your business is all about in a relatable way. Memes can help you with that.
I love how the vitamin brand @ritual uses pop-culture memes that work for their brand by showing off their values of self care and sustainability.
No matter what your brand is about, you can make memes work for you. All you need is the image or video that speaks to your brand values to build your message around.
Creative, out of the box Instagram content will help you grow the most important metrics like engagement, likes, shares, and saves. And Instagram Reels, a feature that allows you to create and share short-form video content, is a great way to show the fun side of your brand.
You can create and edit Reels directly on Instagram. Show off your brand style and voice with creative text fonts, AR filters, and audio features.
Whether you’re sharing insights about your industry, or interesting ways to use your products, a short Reel is a great way to put valuable and educational content out there.
A jump cut is an abrupt transition from one scene to another and has become one of the most popular editing techniques on Instagram Reels. You can use this trend for all kinds of posts. For example, a “before and after” featuring your product that shows it in its beginning stage (for example, a bare t-shirt), and the final product (same t-shirt, but with your design on it).
You can also use this trend to showcase your product selection, or introducing yourself to your followers.
Here, the text’s the most important part. The actual video plays a secondary role, and can even be unrelated to the text that appears on screen.
This trend is surging in popularity, and brands are quickly jumping on this train with both educational and promotional text over video Reels. Use this type of Reel to show how your products are made and what makes them special, or share fun facts about your brand—the opportunities are endless here!
Pro tip: Instagram says it’s prioritizing “entertaining, funny, and interesting content” in its Reels suggestions. Before planning your content, make sure to check out the best practices to get discovered on Reels.
Posting user-generated content on Instagram will boost your credibility as a brand and create more trust between you and your audience, as customers are more than twice as likely to trust user-generated content over brand-created content. Below are a few ways to do it.
Make it a habit to post product reviews and feedback from your customers.
On Printful Instagram Stories, we share customer reviews weekly as part of our Feedback Fridays series . Each post is saved to our Story Highlights under Feedback, where new followers and customers can check out what our current customers say about us.
Encourage your followers to feature your products in their posts and stories. Create a hashtag they can tag you with and then repost the content they’ve created!
Pro tip: Thank your followers for tagging you by giving a discount code for each post you feature on your account.
People love to share their opinions, especially online. Grow engagement by getting your followers talking. Plus, if you ask the right questions, you might get some valuable insight on what your customers want to see on your account, and even get some new product ideas.
Pro tip: Give your post an additional boost by asking your followers to tag their friends in the comment section).
Each season brings its own set of holidays, which gives you new opportunities to connect with your audience on Instagram.
Customers love to get into the festive spirit, and we’re not just talking about major holidays like Christmas, but unofficial ones, too.
Here are some ideas for your holiday-themed posts:
• Share posts that promote your seasonal products;
• Tease a holiday sale on Stories;
• Post a fun holiday meme that will make your followers laugh.
Most of us spent more time at home last year because of the pandemic, and for some of us that meant we had more time for reading. I’ve loved seeing my friends share their reading stacks on Instagram!
If you love to read, this Instagram post idea is perfect for you to start some interesting conversations with your friends in the comment section.
This challenge is one of my favorites. The idea is simple—you recreate your old favorite photos now, making it look as close to the original as possible. This is a fun way to get your family or childhood friends in on the action, and sure to get some laughs from your followers.
Another trend that was born out of the pandemic is the photo dump—an Instagram carousel (or a set of Stories) of multiple photos that show your week or your month. These photos aren’t related to each other, nor do they necessarily capture big moments. The images capture the small things in life: the blue skies against sun-streaked buildings; a WFH outfit mirror selfie; that perfect cup of morning coffee.
This trend is a response to our circumstances in the last year. Our camera rolls are emptier than ever, with social events and gatherings put on hold. Instead, we find ourselves appreciating the small things that we might’ve taken for granted before the pandemic.
Successful brands on Instagram post a variety of dynamic content. I hope these ideas helped you come up with some ways to prevent your account from looking overly promotional, or worse, boring.
While your content should have variety, your brand voice and values should always stay consistent. Just because something is trending, doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit your brand and get you the audience you want. So remember to always stay authentic to your brand’s voice and have fun using these trends.
Let’s continue this discussion in the comments section. What type of Instagram posts work best for your audience?
Diana is a content marketing specialist at Printful with an interest in all things marketing, ecommerce, and social media trends.
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