It is not at all surprising when we look at Google’s search data that shows more than 3,000 people search [ what to post on Instagram ] every month. The onset and growth of social media channels has quenched customers’ thirst of instant gratification, and one platform has stood the test of times in the most prominent fashion – Instagram.
Time and time again we have stressed the importance of social media marketing playing a massive role in overall growth for small businesses. We have looked at how social media strategies can grow your business and have also discussed specific social media tips for small business owners.
We are always committed to helping entrepreneurs understand the power of social media in connecting their brands with target audiences. Through this article we want to share some effective Instagram specific content marketing tactics that will help you get answers to your questions about what to post on Instagram and be successful.
Before jumping into answering the query what to post on Instagram, we need to look at what exactly makes Instagram the social media powerhouse it is today and why small business owners need to take note and enhance their presence here.
According to social media studies, a user spends close to 3 minutes on Instagram per session compared to 1.5 minutes on Facebook. And if this piece of data showing the average amount of time spent on the platform isn’t proof enough, its $1 billion acquisition by Facebook in 2012 should encourage you of its rising popularity among younger audiences.
After engaging 100 million additional users every year, continuously for the last 6 years, this mainly photo-sharing social channel is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. Experts believe this platform will keep growing in popularity among audiences owing this increase to a number of new features and updates. Small business owners, too, are jumping on the bandwagon to get their products advertised on Instagram. And rightly so. Instagram not only conveys your timeline and story through pictures but it has been successful in capturing and retaining the imagination of a large audience that has always yearned for visual gratification.
Instagram not only now has more than 800 million active users, but it also has some of the most active users out there that are producing content and engaging with brands. Some say 3 times more than its nearest competitor, Twitter. Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, on the other hand has reached 2 billion monthly active users.
This immensely popular social media channel has not only kept audiences captivated with its photo and video sharing capabilities but also helped business owners create an army of followers for their brands.
In this blog post, we are going to take a look at the most asked question that small business owners want to know about this platform – what to post on Instagram?
What to Post on Instagram
Let’s takes a look at what to post on Instagram that is engaging and will grab the attention of users all the while making your brand’s content resonate with them. We will give you a detailed understanding of what you, as a business owner, can expect out of this social media platform. We will also share examples of what to post on Instagram that will keep your target audience engaged. In short, present you with engaging content ideas that will work on Instagram.
Quality photos & videos
Instagram is all about creative representation of your brand and how you engage your target audience by consistently posting content that is visually appealing. Using quality images and video will go a long way in increasing your post’s reach.
You will soon see users interact with your brand.
The most effective photos have a width of at least 1080 pixels with an aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 4:5. For videos, a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080 is most effective. Regardless of dimension, photos appear as a center cropped square in the photo grid on your profile. So make sure you post images that are still visually pleasing in this format as well.
- Show them what you do but in a creative way
Remember that your business is on Instagram to make a connection with your audience, not hard sell them on your products. Compel them to follow your brand journey rather than having an Instagram presence just to patronize your followers. Looking at some recent statistics, almost 50% of Instagram users conduct product research on social media and a user’s brand engagement is 10 times more than that on any other social media channel. With new innovations coming to the IG business platform, you can now post shoppable images.
You simply tag your popular products in an image and users can tap the image to see more details about the product. Tapping that information will then take them to your website, all while still within the Instagram interface, and allow them to make a purchase. This feature allows businesses to boost revenue and gives them new options of what to post on Instagram while sticking to Instagram’s creative medium.
Engage them with posts around their favorites
People are always favorable towards things they love. So posting about their favorite season, flavors, childhood memory, etc. will strike the right chord. After a little research about your ideal target audience, you’ll know more about what to post on Instagram that your audience will like. You can create posts that talk about your business and their favorite interests at the same time.
Take this Starbucks post, for example. They know many of their patrons value healthy fruits and vegetables in their diet. You can’t purchase a carrot at Starbucks, but you can purchase a healthy smoothie. They successfully combined audience interests and their products, and the engagements on this post shows that customers like the content!
- Tutorials & Demonstrations
Everyone loves how-to videos. They are a great way to capture audience attention, share information about your products, and build user engagement.
If you’re a makeup artist or salon owner for example, you’ve probably encountered tons of “how-to” questions from clients at work. If your clients are asking these questions, then so are thousands of other people on social media.
Use Instagram as a chance to answer those questions and demonstrate a new hairstyle or product to your followers. These tutorial posts are just one of the ways you can improve your customers’ experience while using your product. That in itself can prove to be a highly effective answer when you start wondering about what to post on Instagram.
- Go Behind the Scenes
If you are running a business, you are bound to engage in various happenings from product testing and marketing launches to customer experiences. Whether you are a consumer facing business or a B2B service provider, chances are you already love organizing events that engage your customer, clients, and employees alike.
These sources make for great content that you can use to engage your fans on social media. Think of all the creative ways you can cover these events and meet ups.
Show behind the scene footage of building up a product or event. Create edits and bloopers or simply ask employees to pretty pose for pictures. Post these on your story and then repurpose for content posts later after the story is gone. The more you brainstorm the more you’ll realize you have a multitude of content to post on Instagram.
- Capture Different Moods
With video & photography at its base, Instagram can be a breeding ground for creative energy. Make your business postings no different. Users love to see pictures and videos that capture different moods. If it is something they relate to, you’re in for an impressive return for your efforts and will soon see traffic increase.
Capture different moods and moments from your employees or customers and reveal your product story or brand values.
For example when Starbucks launched their new drink flavor around Easter, they had some employees dressed with bunny ears pose with the new drink. This type of on-the-spot fun, while capturing the current mood around the product, can also increase post engagements and traffic for your brand.
- DIY projects around your products & service
Lego as a brand has always wanted to connect with kids to make new products with Lego blocks. They invited kids and let their imagination run wild by providing its products and captured all their creations.
DIY projects have the power to connect with an ever inquisitive audience. Let alone a great execution. Explore how your products can be used by a DIY audience and if you find a match, create a project presentation to post on Instagram.
You can also utilize and repurpose posts that your audience has tagged you in. People love to show off their creations on social media and love it even more when the brand they follow recognizes their efforts. This technique is a great way to capture the imagination of DIYers. Your product explorations in itself will answer the evading question – what to post on Instagram.
- Use trending props in posts
From fidget spinners to Pokémon Go suits. We have found it interesting how a brand’s Instagram posts featuring the latest trends that people relate to can increase engagement on posts. Instagram is still a safe haven for businesses who do not want to pay to be seen much like the other big players. In our own experience, organic Instagram posts typically generate 3 times more engagement than the other social media channels.
For example a brick and mortar sweets store in Manhattan shared employees pictures dressed up as Pokémon Go characters right when the viral game was trending. This was not only a smart idea to tap into a nostalgic audience but also a great way to keep up with the current trends in context to their brand offerings.
- Instagram Ads that your customers want to see
A recent study related to Instagram revealed that using colored visuals in your content increases people’s willingness to engage by more than 65%. Even if you are using paid advertising solutions on Instagram make sure you are aware of not only your target audience but also the graphics you use in your posts, from cropping to colors.
Firstly, make visuals a rule of thumb when deciding what to post on Instagram and what not to. You cannot get away with shabby visuals that don’t represent your brand in a positive light.
Secondly, use relevant calls to action in your posts. It is not necessary for every post to have a call to action, but it is encouraged if you want to interact and have conversations with your audience. You can also boost posts on Instagram, which features a variety of call to action options. You can schedule a free chat with our team to learn more about how you can grow your business using Instagram’s organic and paid tactics.
- Using Popular Hashtags
Hashtags are still one of the most popular forms of tagging used in Instagram posts for individuals and business alike. The power of these keyword tags in posts is invaluable and will help make your posts more visible in trending circles. An important aspect of writing posts for your business should include researching trending hashtags that your target audience is following. Then include those hashtags as keywords in posts. For example when Taco Bell was launching their $1 menu, they used a trending hashtag that was followed by their target audience for this post – #Breakfast. Hashtags have also been used powerfully by social movements like the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp.
- Collaborate and mention others
If you are a new business that is just getting started or you just don’t really know what to post on Instagram, you definitely want to look beyond what other big brands are doing. It is important to understand why you need a social strategy in the first place. Every business is unique, with a unique set of customers and identifiers. Play by your own strengths and have a little fun while you are at it.
Collaborations and tagging is another great way to engage your target audience. It is a way to piggy back on existing profiles that are strong which eventually will can give a boost to the visibility of your post and help any of your local marketing efforts too.
For example when Nike was launching a new range of teen sneakers, they first posted them on their Instagram feed and tagged popular teen artists asking them for their opinion. This is a great way to take advantage from the visibility of already established profiles but make sure to be as relevant as possible and your content is interesting enough for them to engage with you.
- Giveaways and contests
Another effective tactic is to start thinking about what to post on Instagram in terms of contests and giveaways for your customers. Think of all the ways your customers can be engaged through an epic Instagram contest that offers a giveaway for posting cool pictures while tagging your business.
There are more than enough examples of brands doing this well. They are successfully engaging their target audience with their business on Instagram. Much like how a cookie brand decided to attract users to try out their brand and increase brand awareness through a contest offering a free shirt rather than the more traditional way of giving out free samples at the mall.
- Live Videos
Instagram has a built-in Live video feature in its feed that lets users share a live video of their activity during the day. This is can be used by brands to talk about their events and launches. In 2017, research notes that 65% of consumers are more likely to buy a concert ticket after viewing a live video and 70% prefer watching a brand’s video versus reading a blog post for example. These statistics can’t be ignored and show that live videos should definitely be included in your Instagram content arsenal.
- Influencer marketing
It is more probable than not that your customers are socially influenced, follow, or even idolize a fellow Instagram-er. We are not talking about national celebrities or film stars. We’ll leave those to the big companies like Nike and Capital One.
Micro-influencers are regular people like us who have generated a strong following on social media by their consistently witty, interesting, and quality content. Such micro-influencers can be found after a little research.
It is always a good idea to partner with them to help get the word out about your products through a trusted member of your target audience. Chances are their post about your product will be seen by many more people than when you post about it on your profile. And this can be a good tactic to have in your arsenal.
15. Spread the cheer of national holidays & festivities
Whether it is Thanksgiving or St. Patty’s, everyone loves a brand that is celebrating their favorite holidays along with them. As a business owner you can take advantage of the easily available online annual festivity calendar for small businesses. Post about special promotions your business may be hosting around these days or just celebrate the day with your fans through branded content. Connecting with your customers during these common celebrations is an effective tactic that can be used to post on Instagram.
Wrapping it Up
We hope you found our advice on what to post on Instagram useful. Using these methods will give your brand and content strategy the boost you need to see greater results. Our staff is always willing to discuss the future of your business on Instagram. Take the time to talk to us and learn how our social media marketing company can help your brand grow in today’s competitive digital landscape.