6 Instagram Post & Story Ideas + 1 Bonus to Spice up Your Account
The decline of Twitter and Facebook, due to internal and external factors, happened in tandem with the rise of Instagram. This visual-led social media platform has images in the forefront of how people experience the content. Videos or pictures speak 1000 words or more than what a long blog can ever hope to communicate, and that’s exactly what IG (Instagram) is all about – along with some hashtags, of course!
With more than 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram is one of the social media platforms you have to be on, especially if visual content is crucial to your brand’s marketing strategy. It provides a way for you to engage with your customers and target them in a focused manner.
But the most important reason you need to relook your IG feed strategy is the introduction of the ‘shoppable’ feature – this essentially turns your brand’s account page into an e-commerce platform where your customers can just click to purchase your products that are featured on your IG posts.
Here are 7 Instagram Post & Story Ideas that will help your brand stand out against competition. Keep reading – don’t miss the bonus at the end of this list.
1. FIND YOUR COLOR(S) AND AESTHETIC
This is the first step for any brand. Scroll through your feed and find out if you can instantly spot your brand colors. If yes, you have a good start. If no, you have to define what colors best represent your brand. Your posts should reflect these colors all the time – consistency is the key to winning on Instagram.
And the second step for your brand to take is defining the aesthetic. Do you want your brand to be minimalistic or modern or basic or bold or carefully-careless? This look or aesthetic will also reflect on your posts and stories all the time.
Any deviation from the color and aesthetic is a brand faux pas. A shortcut to finding your color and aesthetic is using filters.
2. STRIKE THE GRIDS
This is the best way to bring the customers to your brand feed instead of your appearing as singular posts on your customers’ feed. The grid pattern display is something unique to Instagram and most of the creative brands have already started experimenting and excelling at these layout-based posts.
∙ Horizontal Lines – Usually one image/concept split into three posts
∙ Vertical Lines – This is about setting a pattern in a column format
∙ Checkerboard – This is about alternates
∙ Square board (3×3) – the most popular – one image/concept sliced into 9 posts.
Using a grid layout makes you start thinking long term about the overall look of your brand’s IG feed, based on each square/post on the grid.
3. GET THE WORD OUT
Quotable quotes, inspirational messages, funny jokes and millennial memes – IG audience cannot stop themselves from ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ these. Though Instagram is primarily for image-based content – text-based posts have started to strike the right chord with millennials too. Be it a simple quote post or a typographic post, your brand can advertise and communicate effectively with your customers on their feeds. Another great way to engage your audience is by staying on the trend by using the trending hashtags. This also improves the discoverability of your brand.
Even though a picture is worth a thousand words or maybe more on the Instagram feed, there are times you have to write out exactly what you mean so people get to read what they want.
4. SHORT VIDEOS – GREAT STORIES
Shorter, the better – Instagram feeds are scrolled at the rate of millennials’ interest, which predictably is pretty fleeting. When you post your videos on IG, tryout Boomerang, time-lapse or slow-motion – these have better interactions due to their interesting formats.
Earlier, Instagram used to permit just short video clips (<1min). But now with the launch of Instagram TV or IGTV, most users can upload up to 10 min-long video content and verified accounts can upload up to 1 hour-long videos.
When creating videos for Instagram, remember to be mobile-first – as this is primarily a mobile app. This means your IG video dimensions should be either vertical (1080×1920) or square (1080×1080)—not horizontal which is the norm for other media and platforms.
5. FRAME IT WITH BORDERS
Get some consistency in place with borders. It is a great way to make your posts stand out in your audience’s IG feed. Ideal to set your brand apart and promotes recall. There are many third-party editing apps that can be used to craft the perfect border for your posts – whether they are images or videos.
And remember color and aesthetics have to be the basis for deciding the kind of border you want to use for your brand posts. Also, this feature needs to be maintained throughout your feed.
Some border options to explore: simple white borders, bold rectangular borders and colored graphic borders.
6. TELL THE STORY WITH STORIES
This has heavily changed the social media landscape and with good reason, too. Over 300 million view Instagram Stories every day and one-third of the most viewed Stories come from businesses. It’s no longer a question of whether you should use Stories in your Instagram strategy, but how you should do it.
∙ Story Highlights – A great way to introduce your brand and keep it on your profile
∙ Story Takeover – Keep it authentic and let others, like influencers and customers, advocate for your brand
∙ Immediate Polls – Forget market researchers and get the pulse of your customers with polls and Q&A
∙ Go Live – Have an event happening? Go live and connect with the audience in real-time.
7. Bonus – Inspiration
And the bonus for reading and readying to spice up your IG account is ‘inspiration’. Take a look at how these five brands are applying the aforementioned 6 ways in their IG accounts.
With these 6+1 ways, you are all set to put together your brand’s Instagram strategy and create an awesome feed that can attract your customers and help your brand succeed.