Every social media manager has experienced creative block when brainstorming ideas for Instagram posts. No matter how temporary this creative block may be, it can have a drastic impact on brand performance because you need to constantly engage your audience to remain Instagram-relevant.
Instagram users are uploading over 100 million posts a day, so it’s very easy to get lost in the noise. Missing just a couple of days in your posting schedule could set you back significantly.
In addition, Instagram has updated their algorithm to ensure that posts from your most valued accounts get top priority. This means you also have to drive meaningful engagement through your posts if you want to maintain organic visibility.
Considering all of these factors, you should always be prepared with a set of content ideas so you always know what to post on Instagram. Take a look at these 12 creative Instagram post ideas that will help you build a robust content calendar. And if you haven’t already, pick up a copy of the Social Media Planner to help you map out all of these posts.
#1: Creatively flaunt your product features
If you’re managing a brand Instagram account, there’s no doubt that you’ll be creating product posts. However, people may not like it when you’re blatantly promoting the product in a way that’s too salesy. So you need to get creative and find a way to strategically showcase your product features without pushing the audience too much.
Adding humor to your captions is one of the best Instagram post ideas when you’re planning to promote your products. But if you want to make this work, don’t try too hard. Keep it laidback, natural, and in alignment with your brand voice. If humor doesn’t really fit your brand image, you can always try captions that highlight the value your product offers.
Denny’s Diner does a great job of creatively flaunting the items on their menu using humor. The company’s Instagram feed is filled with food-related posts that get tons of positive responses because of the wit and humor
#2: Create shoppable posts to simplify paths to purchase
When you post images of your products, many followers may be enticed to buy them. But they’ll have to go through a lengthy process of visiting your site separately and then searching for the products in your posts. This can be a hassle for them and you could lose out on a ton of potential sales as a result.
Instead, start tagging your products to create shoppable posts so people have an easier time completing their purchases. The Instagram Shopping feature lets you create posts with product tags that people can tap on to find out more information such as descriptions, prices, etc. They can then directly check out the product through this process, helping you increase traffic and sales.
Magnolia Boutique CEO Susan DelPriore sees Instagram Shopping as a major game changer for her business, one worthy of promoting with its own content strategy. “To promote it, we included specific instructions on how to shop our feed in our email blasts,” she told BigCommerce. To push it further, DelPriore said, Magnolia “Did an Instagram Live video telling people about the debut of Instagram Shopping. We also included instructions in the posts in our feed, had several Instagram stories reminding people to shop our feed and cross-promoted on other social media channels.”
Estimates from a BigCommerce analysis suggest that brands are experiencing exponential growth through shoppable posts. Brands like Natori saw a 1,416% increase in traffic from Instagram. Native Union increased their Instagram traffic by 2,666%. Magnolia Boutique increased their Instagram revenue by 20%.
#3: Help your followers learn something with tutorials
Establish the value of your brand’s Instagram account by satisfying your audience’s informational needs. Tutorials and tips are among the best Instagram content ideas that double up as a way to educate your audience. You could teach them how to use your product to do a certain task, how to set up your product, etc.
Califia Farms, for instance, regularly shares fun recipes that use their products and teach followers how to recreate them.
#4: Create original graphics for interesting stats and facts
Got any interesting facts and stats to share with your followers? Turn them into aesthetically-pleasing visuals that fit your brand image and stand out in your followers’ feeds. While the information you’re sharing may be very interesting, Instagram is a visual platform, so users may not pay much attention to it unless it’s in visual form.
You can use free tools like Easil to create fun, high-quality graphics to share your data or information like the Dollar Shave Club does in the following post. The brand regularly shares interesting grooming-related facts through eye-catching graphics.
#5: Create original visuals for famous, relatable or funny quotes
You don’t necessarily have to use your original visuals to convey data and information; you can also use them to entertain your audience and develop creative Instagram posts. Share fun and relatable quotes, jokes, or even relevant quotes from famous people using original visuals.
You can create customized graphics like in the previous point. Or you can even follow the lead of Letterfolk, which uses their products to creatively share relatable quotes and jokes with their followers.
#6: Tell real stories through user-generated content
Infuse some social proof into your Instagram posts by sharing real stories of real customers. This is a great way to show your appreciation to your loyal customers while winning the trust of prospects.
You can build a strong brand community when you share the content generated by your followers about your brand. Plus, it helps you fill your content calendar when you’ve run out of ideas for Instagram posts.
Desenio is a company that sells posters. They use photos submitted by customers to showcase the brand’s posters in action. This gives followers visual confirmation of how great the posters look in real life.
#7: Humanize your brand by giving employees the spotlight
Forming an emotional bond with your followers can help them remember you better. One of the best ways to do that is by showing the human side of your brand and spotlighting the people behind it through creative Instagram posts. You could share their individual stories or simply show them working behind the scenes if you ever run out of Instagram post ideas.
Shake Shack did a great job of humanizing their brand by featuring LGBTQIA employees for Pride Month.
#8: Don’t miss out on seasonal posts and national holidays
Creating posts related to a season or a national holiday is a great way to seize the moment and capture your audience’s attention. You may be able to brainstorm creative Instagram post ideas on how to infuse your brand and your products into the occasion. Plus, using the holiday hashtag could boost your content visibility and help you attract more followers.
You can use the National Today calendar to keep track of upcoming national holidays that would be relevant to your brand. In addition to historical holidays and well-known festivals, this calendar also keeps track of unusual occasions such as National Frozen Yogurt Day, Random Act of Kindness Day, and more. So you’ll have tons of ideas to come up with creative Instagram posts.
Here’s an example of The Honest Company’s content for National Donut Day.
#9: Showcase your contribution for social causes
Another excellent way to appeal to your audience’s emotions is by showing your support for a cause. A study by Mintel shows that 84% of consumers believe companies should support charitable causes. And 64% believe it’s a company’s responsibility to have a moral and ethical viewpoint. 50% of Americans would even switch to a brand if it supports a cause they believe in.
So showing just how charitable and ethical your brand is would be one of the most creative ways to post on Instagram. Highlight some of the causes you’ve been supporting so your followers know the kind of work you do beyond promoting your products.
Here’s an excellent example from Sprout Social, showcasing the company’s support for eco-friendliness. The caption explains what the company did for Earth Day and the picture shows Sprout employees decorating the “Build Together” wall.
#10: Feature famous faces to show credibility
Famous faces—whether it’s celebrities or social media influencers—can significantly lift your brand credibility. If you know of any famous people who are loyal supporters of your brand, see if you can feature them in your Instagram posts. Some of them might even tag you in their posts when they’re raving about your products. Try to get their permission to repost this content.
Otherwise, you could even strike up a partnership and recruit them as influencers for your influencer marketing campaign. Co-create content with them and share it on Instagram to boost the credibility and visibility of your feed.
Heinz’s partnership with Ed Sheeran is the perfect example of this tactic in action. What makes the partnership so authentic is that the singer has been vocal about his love for ketchup. He even reached out to the brand himself because he wanted to work with them. Heinz announced the partnership by reposting Ed Sheeran’s post.
#11: Entice followers with teaser videos and graphics
If you’re going to launch a new product, Instagram is an excellent platform to entice your audience with visual teasers. You could come up with Instagram post ideas to give followers a sneak peek of what you have in store. Macro images of the product details, short clips of the product in action, visuals of the product being made, etc. are some ways to tease your followers.
EOS Products posted a few short clips to tease their new hemp seed oil lip balm before it launched. The first video only contained some text telling people to “get ready for some green goodness.” It also displayed the launch date, which matched the theme of the product being launched.
#12: Take your followers behind the scenes
One of the best Instagram post ideas is to show your followers an exclusive look at what’s happening behind the scenes. You could show them your workspace, your factory, your ingredients, your employees in action, your photo shoots, and more. If you’re organizing an event, you could even show them what you’re doing to make it happen.
This helps your followers feel like part of the brand because they don’t just see the finished product but get a glimpse of what’s involved in making the product. It helps them get involved from start to finish, which is highly effective in forming a stronger bond with them. Showing what’s going on behind the scenes also helps you maintain transparency and win the trust of your audience.
Here’s an excellent example of a behind-the-scenes look from Tonlé Design. The brand prides itself on ethical employment and sustainable production. In the following post, they showcase weavers in Cambodia weaving textiles for the brand’s products.
These are 12 creative ways to post on Instagram and engage your followers. A lot of these Instagram post ideas focus on establishing stronger bonds with your audience, which is essential for brand growth. Make the most of these ideas and develop a robust content calendar so you never run out of ideas again.
If you’re using The Blog Planner, you can coordinate your planned blog posts with your Instagram channel to further leverage your content.