There are many different things for businesses to consider for social media marketing and when establishing and maintaining a presence on Instagram. Brand and product promotion are definitely important, but audience engagement must be a priority here as well.
With the multitude of brands touting their wares on the social media network, how do you make yours stand out?
If you’re feeling stuck for ideas regarding what types of content to share, don’t worry. Keep reading for a bit of inspiration that’s sure to help you liven up your Instagram feed in no time!
1. Product teasers
Build anticipation for a new product that you plan on launching by announcing its arrival on Instagram. Whether it’s via your posts or Stories, whet your audience’s appetite by giving them a peak of what’s to come for your online store.
Add a few juicy details to your post or let your followers’ imaginations run wild by sharing a cryptic yet enticing photo that will make current and potential customers alike curious, as recently done by beauty brand Farmacy Beauty when posting a product tease for their new lavender-hued night mask.
Participating in a challenge that’s currently trending on social media or even creating one of your own can be a great way to connect with your audience on Instagram. Either way, make sure that the challenge makes sense for your brand.
Back in 2014, Burberry participated in the popular Ice Bucket Challenge to promote ALS awareness, giving their version a creative spin. Filmed outside the company’s headquarters in London, the video shows the participation of several team members, many who were sporting the brand’s classic trench coats.
3. Puzzles or quizzes
Boost your audience engagement with puzzles or quizzes that are both fun and informative!
There’s no limit to the different formats you can choose for this type of content to share on Instagram. Puzzles and quizzes are excellent ideas for breaking away from the standard image post and can increase brand awareness while simultaneously sharing knowledge.
For instance, in July 2021, pet product company Blue Buffalo’s Instagram account featured a quiz to help people determine if they were ready to welcome a pet into their family.
An infographic is a visual that conveys information or data in a way that’s easy for the viewer to understand. Infographics often combine the use of text, charts, and images to better explain a concept, process, or other idea.
Sharing infographics on Instagram can assist in building your authority and increasing customer trust. This type of post may also feature how-to instructions designed to meet the needs of a specific audience, as shown in this WiziShop visual.
5. Limited-time sales
Let your customers know about special offers going on by promoting them on your Instagram account via regular posts or Stories. This marketing tactic idea can drive traffic to your ecommerce website as well as sales for your business, especially if it’s a flash offer that only lasts as long as your Story—24 hours!
Consider adding a link directly to your online store in your Stories, as done in the Cult Beauty example below, to make it even easier for shoppers to find your products.
6. Audience Q&A in your Stories
Another fun way to boost audience engagement on Instagram is by posting questions and answers in your Stories. This can be done multiple ways.
You could for instance, allow your followers to ask you questions and then share the answers to those questions in separate Stories. In addition, you could alternatively do what fragrance company Commodity did here: ask an open-ended question and allow your audience to respond.
This type of content can be really helpful for boosting engagement, as it makes people feel that they’re part of the brand’s community and that the brand really cares what they have to say.
7. Instructional videos
The perceived simplicity of a product’s operation will depend on a wide range of factors. However, even if your product is super easy to use, you can still get creative and craft how-to videos to aid in educating your followers.
For example, you might create a video on how to care for or maintain your product to keep it in great condition for years to come. If you sell food- or kitchen-related items, you might share recipes and post videos on how to make those goods, such as in this video by Mr. Coffee.
You could even take this idea a step further and do a Live video. This would allow people viewing the video to comment and/or ask questions in real time for additional engagement opportunities.
8. Behind the scenes
Beneficial for businesses of all sizes, photos or videos that give followers a behind-the-scenes peek into a brand or creator’s world are a fun way to mix things up on Instagram.
Possibilities for this type of content include demonstrating how a product is made, showing what orders look like as they’re being packed, featuring what day-to-day office life is like for your team, etc.
In this Martin Guitar example, the brand provides a brief glimpse of the process of neck fitting a ukulele.
9. User-generated content
The benefits of sharing user-generated content (UGC) on Instagram are many. For starters, it encourages audience engagement, boosts brand awareness and trust, and helps change up your feed.
Whether you’re working with an Instagram influencer or a regular user who’s a fan of your products, just be sure to ask permission before sharing the user’s content, and ALWAYS give credit to the original creator.
GoPro does a really nice job with showcasing content created by users working with their camera and video equipment, as seen in the photo below.
10. Before-and-after images
Offer your audience proof of your product’s effectiveness by sharing before-and-after photos on Instagram. This action can help to demonstrate your brand’s impact and how your products benefit customers.
Hair care brand Philip Kingsley exhibits how one of their products can improve the condition of users’ hair in a before-and-after post shown below.
Another route to take is to show before-and-after images of your company logo, office, or your team to highlight how your business has evolved over the years.
Answering your followers’ most common questions shows that your brand wants to connect with your audience and help solve any issues they may be having. Again, there are several ways to go about this.
If you notice a particular question being asked in the comments of your posts often, you might dedicate a post to answering that question in detail. You could alternatively do what beauty brand Drunk Elephant does every Sunday and create a post where users can ask questions in the comments, and the company’s founder, Tiffany Masterson, answers them.
12. Team introductions
Shoppers love seeing a face behind a brand. Spotlighting your company culture is especially important when it comes to ecommerce. Introducing yourself or members of your team helps to humanize your business.
With this post idea, note that it can be as simple or detailed as you want it to be. You might include interviews, share team members’ favorite products from your online store, have your team create fun playlists for your audience, or anything else that works for your brand!
For instance, in a recent series, IKEA highlighted different team members and asked them a few questions regarding their roles in the company and their expertise.
Memes are a hit with audiences on social media everywhere. Users love them because they’re relatable and entertaining. Furthermore, memes are perfect for switching things up from the standard slew of product posts on a brand’s feed.
Used correctly, they can help skyrocket your engagement! Just be careful to only share memes that make sense for your audience and are relevant to your business.
BarkBox, a subscription-based company offering products for dogs successfully makes frequent use of memes in their social media marketing strategy to keep their followers entertained.
14. Inspirational quotes
Similar to memes, inspirational quotes can work well on social media because they’re easy for large groups of people to relate to. In addition, consumers are increasingly interested in buying from brands that share their values, which inspirational quote posts can help validate.
Besides inspirational messages, you can also share quotes from you and your team members, customer testimonials, or even interesting excerpts from articles on your blog.
Keep in mind that your use of inspirational quotes should be limited, though, as too many can quickly bore your audience.
15. Special events and holidays
Sharing your experiences regarding special events, whether your brand is hosting the event or simply attending it, keeps your audience in the loop regarding what you’re up to and demonstrates your engagement in your industry and/or community.
Don’t forget to supply your audience with a few details on what the event was about, other notable attendees, and how they can attend the event in the future (if applicable).
Posting about holidays can also be a great way to connect with your followers. If you’re using this strategy, note that creating content for out-of-the-ordinary or lesser known holidays can bring your brand even more engagement. This works especially well when posting about holidays tied to your brand, such as World Pasta Day for Barilla.
16. Detailed product explanations
Shining the spotlight on one of your products can do wonders for boosting sales on your ecommerce website. If shoppers are unsure about purchasing a particular product, sharing a detailed post on the item can aid in convincing them to add it to their shopping carts!
This tactic can be used to promote a new product or one that’s been around for a while but could use a bit of extra attention.
Beauty company Herbivore Botanicals is a wonderful example of successful content marketing on Instagram. Check out one of their posts discussing the brand’s Coco Rose Soft Glow Body Oil. In addition to the appealing product image, the post features a caption detailing the product’s key ingredients and their benefits for skin.
17. Your views on current events
Today, consumers are becoming more and more concerned about events going on around the world. Many of them also want to make sure that the brands they buy from have values and opinions that align with their own.
In fact, Sourcing Journal notes that 94% of members of Gen Z and 87% of millennials expect companies to address important social and environmental issues happening globally.
While it can be difficult to know how to address a hot-topic issue, sometimes saying nothing at all is even worse and can be taken for apathy. Most importantly, though, ensure that your actions are in line with your words, as hypocrisy has gotten many big-name brands in hot water.
In this example below, cosmetics company LUSH declares the brand’s support for the Global Climate Strikes.
Liven up your Instagram presence by promoting a special giveaway involving your online store’s products.
This can be used to celebrate a special occasion or milestone, such as a holiday or the attainment of a certain number of followers, the launch of a new product, or really just whenever you want to increase engagement!
19. Unique product displays
Catalog photos are all well and good for your ecommerce website’s product pages, but your Instagram feed and followers deserve better. Make your photos more interesting by adding props, people, or other elements that can help potential customers picture using the product.
Once again, we see the benefits of UGC, as using this type of content allows you to easily obtain creative images involving your products, as shown in this adorable image on luggage company Away’s Instagram account.
20. Content series
Boost audience engagement by starting a content series that’s curated specifically for your followers. Often a weekly post, a content series should revolve around a topic that interests your target market.
In addition to Drunk Elephant’s #socialsundays series mentioned earlier, in which people can ask the company’s founder questions, the brand also encourages users to use the hashtag #barewithus to share their own experiences with the company’s products.
Drunk Elephant then shares these images and videos as UGC in a content series to promote their products and show their appreciation for customers.
21. Industry leader interviews
Although one of the main goals that you might have for using social media networks like Instagram is to promote your products, why not also post content that aims to assist your audience?
Sharing interviews with leaders in your industry provides your followers with helpful information and can boost your credibility at the same time.
In the below example, REI shares a video reel of fly-fishing guide Hilary Hutcheson explaining how to easily prepare Ochazuke Nori while enjoying the outdoors.
As you’ve seen from this article, Instagram can help boost your ecommerce sales in countless ways. Furthermore, there is a vast array of Instagram post ideas from which to choose. No matter what industry you’re in or what products you sell, you’ll find that there are many different ways to promote your business and connect with your customers on social media.
Instagram statistics indicate that the platform isn’t going anywhere soon, so it’s a good idea to have a strategy in place for your efforts on the network. As you curate content to share on your online store’s Instagram feed, always keep your target customer in mind.
Which of the ideas mentioned above are you most looking forward to trying for your Instagram posts? Do you have any favorite types of content not mentioned here? We’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below!