Finding the best Instagram content ideas for your brand
Instagram can be intimidating from a marketing perspective because as a platform it’s constantly evolving. There’s always a brand-new feature to learn about and some businesses are overwhelmed at the first attempt because Instagram is such a competitive place – there’s a lot of action going on and it’s easy to get lost in the search for the right Instagram content ideas for your brand.
Finding your place amid all the noise is something that will happen over time. Dedicate yourself to posting regular content and once you do find your groove, the rewards can be fast and fabulous.
How important are great Instagram content ideas for business?
A well-managed Instagram account can get your brand message out to a much larger audience thank you might imagine. Moreover, when it’s done extremely well it will push your sales and engagement to another level.
Searching for Instagram content ideas that will resonate with your audience and prove valuable to them is something that gets easier with time. Posting valuable content is becomes second-nature once you tune into your audience.
Clearly, Instagram is now a vital marketing tool, so your account must be managed as professionally as possible.
Let’s look at some data
- 1 billion people use Instagram every month
- There’s an even split between genders
- 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily
- 62% of people say they have seen a product they liked in Stories
- 130 million users click on shopping posts every month
The struggle is real but surmountable – how to generate great Instagram content ideas
So, your Instagram account has been somewhat neglected; it’s not quite as sleek as you’d like it to be. Posting new content can feel like throwing random ideas into a dark room… you’re never quite sure where it will land.
What should you do to improve things? Firstly, you should take comfort in the fact that even the most popular accounts sometimes struggle to find really cool Instagram content ideas.
It’s not something that just happens naturally – it takes a lot of creative thinking plus some heavy research into your market. Hiring an Instagram management service can be a big help, but if you’re taking it on yourself, there are plenty of things you can do to make things easier.
Brand strategy and Instagram
If you’re willing to fully commit to using Instagram as a powerful marketing tool, you just need to take the first steps. It provides an extremely valuable platform that can ultimately expand your audience and boost your brand awareness.
It’s important to remember though, that simply trying to find Instagram post ideas for likes won’t work in the long-term. You’ll need to think strategically, engage in forward-planning, and really understand your target audience.
To help you along your Instagram journey, we’ve compiled a list of 27 Instagram content ideas to really power-up your account.
We’ve used examples from some of the biggest brands out there in addition to some from smaller businesses. No matter what the size of your enterprise, there are always lessons to learn from others in your field.
Check the list out and make use of the content ideas for Instagram that appeal most to you. Once you hit your stride, you’ll find it easier with every post.
If you’re just starting on your journey towards a more successful Instagram account, the first thing you should do is follow similar businesses. In this way, you will be more visible to people interested in what you’re selling.
Here are your 27 unique Instagram ideas to get your feed buzzing!
Run a contest
First on the list is a powerful one. It’s also a great way to begin your new winning Instagram routine. Running a contest on Instagram can be a great way to attract more attention and new followers to your Instagram account. It’s also an excellent way to share your company’s ideologies and build brand awareness. Make sure you thoroughly check out the rules of running a contest on Instagram as they are quite specific, and falling foul of them can result in a closed account. Hashtags are another essential part of running a contest on Instagram; use branded hashtags as well as generic hashtags so that you can track the interest as it grows. Another tip is to share the details of the contest in your profile; that way, more people will see it as many new visitors won’t bother scroll through all of your pictures.
IGTV (Instagram TV) is a very powerful tool, and it’s hotting up. It provides a useful and creative channel for brands that may not previously have thought about using video. Monetization options are currently being rolled out to select accounts, Instagram ads are up and running, and it is reported that top creators will receive 55% of revenue from advertising. Sephora makes excellent use of IGTV in their tutorials. These posts are practical and extremely popular with Sephora’s followers.
By using real members of their team to give tutorials, Sephora remains ultimately approachable and relatable to their mostly young audience. The video is well-produced, but the presenter is friendly and very approachable in her manner. This is appealing to an audience that wants to find products and tutorials that are realistic but aspirational.
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Sephora team member Deanna has perfected the sleek-and-straight hairstyle and is sharing her must-haves for her go-to look. Products Featured: @ghd_northamerica Platinum+ Professional Performance 1" Styler @briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Strengthening Treatment Hair Oil @moroccanoil Perfect Defense Heat Protectant @sc GLOSS: Dual Boar Bristle Brush
Invite people to look behind the curtain
Behind the scenes, videos are very popular, and if you’re looking for fresh Instagram content ideas for smaller businesses, then this is a relatively easy way to showcase your work. It doesn’t matter what sector you’re in, it’s always fascinating to peep into another world. Choose an interesting aspect of your product creation, or perhaps an exciting event in which your team is participating. Here, artist Warren Pickering of A Small Art Factory shows what goes into the construction of one of his metal sculptures.
It’s fascinating because it’s beyond the realm of most people’s experience. Sharing videos of you or your team working on the construction of products is a great tool for those looking for good Instagram ideas for guys because it’s interesting and practical.
The National Theatre share their behind the scenes videos to a somewhat different audience, and they do this very well with exclusive snippets from rehearsals which allow their audience to feel part of the magic that makes theatre. As far as good Instagram content ideas go, this is something that’s easily implemented but holds a lot of value.
Showcase your products in-use
Studio photographs are beautiful and definitely have their place on Instagram, but people also enjoy seeing products being enjoyed and especially if the people using them are real people rather than models. Good Instagram content ideas aren’t always studio-produced.
Always a winner. No matter what you’re selling, there’s always room for laughter and people are more likely to share content that has amused them. Definitely choose content that your audience will relate to and also content that is pertinent to the time of year or current hot-topics. However, it is best to clear of risqué or offensive humor as this could alienate your audience. Here, a popular network for Freelancing Females gets to the core of what amuses their audience, and they manage it without pretty pictures too.
Don’t be shy of simply showing off your newest products or even very specific details of best-selling products. It’s always fun to share beautiful photographs and graphics simply because they’re nice to look at but place your product front and center and you will instantly improve the way followers relate to your brand. It’s easy to get lost in the search for the best Instagram content ideas and forget that ultimately it’s the product that really matters.
Share your social responsibility
Whatever issues align with your brand philosophy, make sure you highlight them as Ben and Jerry’s do. On the International Day of Transgender Rights, Ben and Jerry’s show how, as a brand, they are clear about who they support. Being super transparent about your advocacy is always a powerful way to market your products or services.
Influencers and celebrity endorsements
These are incredibly effective tools when it comes to getting your brand seen. It’s not easy if your budget is small, of course, but if you approach the right celebrity with a sample of your product, you might get lucky. Choose celebrities who already use similar products; don’t send things randomly. Be patient though! Celebrities get a lot of ‘stuff’ sent to them to try out and it can take weeks or even months before they get to yours.
Share your staff
Let people meet the faces behind the brand. This fun post by Chewy showcases a valued team member in a cool, graphic fashion that followers instantly reacted to and enjoyed. People can see when a brand values its team members, it gives them even more to relate to and the brand instantly appears more trustworthy.
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This week, in honor of International Women's Day, we’re celebrating female veterinarians who’ve blazed their own trails—and forever changed the future for pets and people alike. Dr. Justine Lee is the first-ever emergency critical care specialist who’s also double-boarded in toxicology. Basically, she’s an emergency room expert who treats every condition under the sun. In the ER, “anything can come in, from a poisoning, to trauma from being hit by a car, to organ failure or even a cancer patient.” When she’s not in the ER, Dr. Lee helps other vets improve their skills with her online education platform @vetgirlontherun. Read more about today’s International Women’s Day pet hero, Dr. Justine Lee #IWD2020 #EachforEqual
Remember the holidays and celebratory days enjoyed across the globe – not just Christmas and Valentine’s Day, but all of the many important festivals which your customers are part of. Diversity is vital in today’s global marketplace and people who might not know about a certain holiday will appreciate the learning opportunity.
Covid-19 might not be the most cheerful subject, but people want to know about it. The general public are always interested in how other people are coping during difficult situations, so share your thoughts about whatever is happening in the world. This is also an excellent way to really stamp your brand philosophy and vision onto your Instagram account. Farrow and Ball make use of the idea of staying at home to promote their brand in the wake of lockdown with this post, and the caption “Staying at home has never looked so good.”
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Staying home has never looked so good. 🌞 Now’s the perfect time to make the most of your outdoor spaces, head to the link in our bio for some of our most colourful ideas! Featuring #ScotchBlue and #DutchOrange in Exterior Eggshell, both from our latest Colour By Nature collection. #FarrowandBall #ADailyDoseOfColour
Share some good news
People love a happy story and they love stories of people who have beaten the odds. If you get stuck or are looking for fresh Instagram content ideas for business, look around for something inspiring to share. Share this type of post regularly. Choose stories about people or places that will resonate with your audience and which align with your brand so that your audience will relate to the content.
Ask for opinions
Asking your audience which color they prefer from a selection of fabric swatches or even checking-in with them to ask which font they like best can yield surprising results. People love to share their opinions and if a brand they already enjoy does this, then they’re likely to align themselves with it even more strongly because they see that their thoughts are valued.
Users who take on challenges are more likely to share because they want others to see what they’ve achieved. Vans did this well recently as a reaction to Covid-19 by asking followers to share the art they’ve created during lockdown. #OffTheWallsChallenge is proving very popular.
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We’ve all found ourselves with a bit of extra time indoors lately, and we want to see how our Vans Family is keeping it creative. Filmed a full skate part in your bedroom? Made some rad Vans art? Customized your favorite pair of Slip-Ons? Recorded a new song with your pals over video chat? Anything and everything that you’re making, we want to see it. We will be featuring all of our favorites at vans.com + we may surprise a few people who submit with free Vans Custom Codes to design their own pair, on us. Ready to share something with us? Post your creation in your feed with #OffTheWallsChallenge now. Full rules at vans.com/offthewalls
Ask your audience to share how they use your product or ask them to take part in a special challenge. Converse came up with a great way to encourage people to generate content during lockdown with their #Createathome idea in which they ask followers to share their artwork via a post titled “Creativity can’t be Quarantined.”
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We want to work in new ways to create progress together. Our Instagram, Twitter and TikTok will showcase emerging creative talent—and select creative work will be commissioned to help tell the Converse story. Along the way, we’ll also provide access to the best of our community: tools, products and collaborators. Want to get involved? Share your creativity with #CreateAtHome and stay tuned for more.
Everyone loves some beautiful art and for those in creative industries, this is an obvious posting choice. Ultimately, for anyone searching for Instagram post ideas for artists, it’s vital that they showcase their work to the world without getting too repetitive. This is something that Joseph Grazi does very well. His posts are extremely varied and are never boring thanks to the fact that he showcases his life as an artist in addition to his work.
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Epic night with these legendary brothers⚡️ @thomasjhilfiger @andyhilfiger ⚡️ Massive congrats to Andy on another phenomenal show! Been a total honor to know you for so long and watch your creativity continue to grow and prosper. You and your family are an inspiration! And thanks as always to @norwoodclub for letting us get our after party on inside you 🤘🏻🎸 Always a magical night. #familyfirst #brothersUnited #ArtistiX #andrewcharles #norwoodclub
Ask your users a question
especially valuable ones, which may lead to more insights on your product or service. You can do this via a poll on your story or as a post with an image. Equally, if you want to encourage participation, you can combine this with a giveaway.
Show your workspace
People enjoy seeing work spaces and take inspiration from a well-planned desk or even a chaotic one! Be sure to share what your studio or work bench looks like. Artist Dana Kinter does this well with her vivid photograph here.
Share other people’s content
Especially if it relates to your brand or your brand ideals.
Do you have expertise or inside-knowledge that sets you apart from competitors? Then share it. Get yourself noticed with industry insights and don’t be afraid to share your opinions either. Specialized, expert-led opinions or advice are highly valued.
Share a tutorial
It doesn’t matter which business you’re in; there will be some aspect of it that you can share creatively. Ultimately, if you’re an arts-based business, there’s lots of scope with drawing, painting and crafts, but even the most practical of industries can still share a how-to video that’s useful and shareable. Gardening tool manufacturers could share tutorials on the care and storage of tools for example. Paving specialists could share guidance on the cleaning of pathways and patios and pet businesses can share health tips for animals. The options are endless.
Use inspiring quotes
They’re not very common on Instagram, but they can be extremely relatable. People are inspired by and comforted by a good quote. It helps people to feel that they’re not alone. Find little-known quotes from people whose ideologies align with your brand. If possible, relate them to your audience and what they’re likely to enjoy as Forbes has done here.
Use Instagram Stories properly
In a nutshell, Instagram Stories allows users to share content that disappears after 24 hours. It’s an ephemeral platform that gives a different view of your brand that your followers can enjoy briefly. Many brands use it to share more casual or fun content. You can also create polls on Stories and use stickers to make your post more visually appealing. The fact that these posts disappear after 24 hours makes them perfect for keeping people up-to-date on your brand’s journey. Topshop used stories to allow certain members of their team to participate in “Topshop Takeovers” and shared the videos on their main feed.
Add a shopping cart
If you sell physical products and you’re not already selling through Instagram then you need to fix that. Instagram Shopping offers a virtual storefront so people can browse your products easily. You can share featured products through your organic posts and Stories. You can also allow people to find them through a search function. It’s easy to maintain and shoppers who click-through will be taken to the product description page where they’ll be shown the item in more detail. Aimee Song is a master of selling via Instagram.
Get on the viral bandwagon
Some viral trends are annoying and some won’t resonate with your brand, but if there’s a trend happening that you relate to, it’s likely your audience will too. You’ve got to be quick to join in though! There’s nothing worse than tagging on to the tail-end of a viral trend when everyone’s already tiring of it.
Share your “Doh!” moments
Made a mistake? Had a bit of a fail with your latest product or process? If it’s funny it can be worth sharing because people really enjoy a brand that’s relatable. Let people see the human side of your business. The best Instagram content ideas are sometimes the unexpected ones.
Above all, don’t be shy
There’s nothing to be gained on Instagram by indulging in false modesty. Don’t hesitate to blow your own trumpet and push your products or services to the fore. Posting on Instagram can become an enjoyable part of your day. It’s a fun platform, and if you’re not looking to hire a social media manager just yet, it’s something everyone can learn to love. Let the public know that your business is the best out there with every single post.
Thoughts to take away
Hopefully, you’ve now got some fresh perspective on approaching your Instagram account from a more productive and creative place but just in case, here are some bonus ideas for more specific help.
- IGTV can be used for absolutely any content that you think will be valuable to your audience. Start with interviews and tutorials and move on to branded content that has a regular slot on your channel. This is a great way to position yourself as a thought leader.
- Ensure any stats you share are relevant to your audience. International audiences don’t want information on numbers that don’t affect them.
- Look outside the box for creative ideas. Run polls for your existing audience to discover what they already love about your business and use those as a starting point for new content.
Remember, hiring help for your Instagram account needn’t be difficult. Here at Speedlancer, we manage a carefully curated team of Instagram experts who love nothing more than a challenge.
Your Instagram account represents your brand; it makes sense to invest in it and here at Speedlancer, we’re with you every step of the way.
LEARN MORE about hiring a team to manage your Instagram account.