Using Instagram the right way can help boost your brand, attract new customers, and generate buzz around your products and services.
Having a great Instagram feed isn’t just about highlighting your company culture or promoting your brand online; it’s about connecting with your audience and starting a conversation that will drive business growth later.
Not sure how to attract new viewers and followers on Insta?
Overwhelmed with all the work you have to do?
This guide will help you get started with professional and fun content that will spice up your Instagram feed and hone your social media marketing skills at the same time. (Of course, you could just hire an Instagram expert on Fiverr to do this for you!)
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing for Small Business
7 simple but effective Instagram post ideas
One thing we have to address right away, getting attention on social media is hard.
Instagram is no different. When you’re planning to post infographics on Instagram or thinking about your yearlong marketing campaign on the platform, you must remember that you are competing with roughly 95 million other posts every single day.
You need to keep your content fresh, exciting, and engaging. Don’t try and stick to any one format or posting style, and expect your follower count to grow. Always try to cycle through ideas and keep things fresh.
New content is almost always more engaging than the same kind of content over and over again.
With that in mind, let’s dive into concrete steps on how to keep your brand fresh and relevant on Instagram.
1. Current events posts
Plan your posts around current events and calendar events that affect a lot of your followers.
Not only do recent event posts catch attention, even things as silly as Sticker Day or Donut Day, they also show that your company and brand are engaged with things that are happening right now.
It is important to make sure you’re treading carefully here, though.
Instagram might not be known as a political social media site like Twitter, but being too political can damage your brand online if you’re talking about that kind of current event. Of course, not talking about political events that impact your brand and your customers can be just as dangerous.
Try to keep things light and celebratory as often as possible, but don’t be afraid to get a little more serious if you need to.
2. Humor posts
Everyone needs a laugh now and then, and a good humor post can drive engagement.
Netflix is a master of this craft, though admittedly, it does help that they have the rights to a vast content library full of meme-able quotes, but injecting a little fun into your posts can attract more followers.
Self-deprecating humor tends to go over particularly well, especially for small businesses and influencers. Make sure you’re talking about yourself or ‘punching up’ in your jokes, though. Consumers are more aware than ever of a misplaced or badly timed joke.
3. Statistics posts
Did that chart jump out at you?
There’s a reason for that. Statistics are interesting.
Posting about your brand statistics (or occasionally humorous made-up statistics) with a great graphic can attract a lot of attention to your brand. Try to keep your statistics interesting and relevant to your market.
You probably don’t want to post a statistic about motherhood if your company mostly sells gourmet chocolates. But maybe your audience would be interested to know that the average American eats 10-12lbs. of chocolate a year!
4. Video posts
Video gets more engagement on Instagram than any other kind of post. It has a higher engagement rate on average than photo posts, and videos perform significantly better than text alone.
There are a lot of kinds of video posts you can make. Showing off a new product? Make an explainer infographic video. Want to talk about your corporate culture? Show it off in a video. Want to get the word out about something you just learned? Post a video.
Videos are one of the best ways to attract new followers and drive better engagement on Instagram. It’s even better if you can post videos related to your other recent posts and drive more engagement for all of your posts.
5. How-to posts
How-to posts can be one of the best options out there for product-centered brands. You don’t have to post about how you make your product (but you absolutely can). Instead, share how to use your product, or list down the different ways your product is being used out in the ‘wild’.
You can even post business tips and other kinds of how-to advice as well. Not everything has to be about your product. Influencers can post how to attract new followers, and marketing experts can talk about how to develop a positive relationship with your customers.
Just make sure your how-to posts are useful and that they say something about your brand. A how-to that isn’t related to your company image or product might get engagement, but it won’t boost your company.
6. Product posts
This might seem simple, and it’s probably where a lot of companies start, but product posts are one of the most important kinds of Instagram posts you can make. These are the posts that turn viewers into buyers, so it’s essential to add them into your mix.
The caution here is that product posts should be incredibly well made. Find great images or videos to show off what you do and why you’re the best at doing it.
You should also remember that product posts can get old fast. Worse, they can make your company and brand seem desperate for buyers. Sprinkle product posts but try not to add them too often or your Instagram feed will appear too salesy.
7. Behind-the-scenes posts
If something is truly unique about your company or your corporate culture, you should absolutely show that off. Instagram works like most social media, which means that it’s about aspirational identities as much as it’s about anything real.
The something special that makes your company great could be precisely the thing that connects your brand to your customers’ aspirational identity about who they could be, who they want to be, or who they think they already are.
Showing off your process, culture, and commitment to key values will attract people who share the same values. These are the posts that tell people what your company is all about.
Pay attention to them and use them sparingly to boost engagement and create a clear image of who you are and what your company is about.
Pay attention to your competitors
These seven post types will get you started and should give you some ideas for the next Instagram posts you should make. Rotating through this list of 7 kinds of posts will serve your company well and help you stand out.
Real quick, here are those 7 post types one more time:
- Current Events Posts
- Humorous Posts
- Statistics Posts
- Videos, Videos, Videos!
- How-to Posts
- Product Posts
- Behind the Scenes Posts
With that in mind, there’s one last thing that you need to remember if you want to succeed on Instagram. Pay attention to your competitors. Watch what they’re doing well and the things that are working. Be on the lookout for posts that don’t work or, even worse, upset their audience.
You’ll learn a lot about what kinds of posts connect with your audience doing this. You’ll also learn how to avoid the common pitfalls of posting on Instagram.
Don’t feel like you need to copy a successful competitor, but remember what makes them stand out and see if you can make it your own. As long as you’re doing that, posting regularly, and keeping your content relevant, you’ll do well on Instagram.
Guest author: Kai Tomboc is the resident wordsmith for Easelly, makers of a simple infographic maker tool, and an information design service studio. When not engrossed in a book, she’s most likely taming tardigrades or trying really hard to perfect her one-handed kettlebell swing.