Instagram is an endless scroll of beautiful visuals: mountains in a foreign country, fashionable people strolling the streets, and the occasional cat photo.
That’s all well and good for consumers, but as a brand, you have to think hard about what to post to your Instagram.
And if social media doesn’t feel second nature to you, well, deciding what to put on Instagram can feel like an eye-rolling chore.
But it’s really important to post engaging photos on Instagram: customers are 68% more likely to recommend your brand to their friends if they find your Instagram engaging.
That’s the powerful word-of-mouth marketing you need to stop thumbs and boost sales.
If the ol’ Instagram marketing idea fountain has run dry, consider posting these 6 things to your account to boost engagement, deepen relationships, and get more sales.
6 Instagram Marketing Ideas For Your Brand
1 - Create A Theme
It’s easier to post something on Instagram if you have a predetermined theme. On Instagram, a theme is a color palette, filter, or design aesthetic that screams, “This is who I am!” to your followers.
Since Instagram is a visual platform, a theme gives your account a sense of consistency and identity, which helps you find followers more quickly.
Plus, a theme makes it way easier to brainstorm Instagram posts.
Consider a theme that fits your brand. That might mean posting images related to:
A certain color palette. Cleancult's pastel-colored aesthetic is a great example.
Certain subjects. That could mean photographing the same model, object, animal, etc. consistently. Lil BUB's Instagram features, unsurprisingly, photos of Lil BUB.
Specific landscapes or locations. Fursty’s Instagram showcases landscapes with a consistent color pattern and filter.
Still starved for ideas? No worries, boss. Check out these Instagram theme ideas to get the creative juices pumping.
2 - Product Shots
You can’t talk about your products all the time as a brand, but every now and then, you should mention your products on your Instagram page.
Don’t be afraid to throw in a few shots of your products. The key is to do this in a way that’s not salesy or spammy.
Instead of posting photos that say, “Buy yours now!” or some variant, showcase your product’s interesting features or benefits.
That’s especially important if you have a product that needs a demonstration.
Look at brands like Ta Ta Towel for inspiration here. They show photos of their products in use, but their 200,000+ followers love it!
Mimic their strategy and show off your products’ benefits.
Also, if you want to not-so-sneakily boost eCommerce sales with an Instagram post, you can also create an Instagram Shoppable Post.
Shoppable Posts look like a normal post, but you can tag products in the photo. Users can tap on the photo to go directly to your eCommerce shop and make a purchase.
This is a great way to give info to users who are interested in buying without being in-your-face salesy. But it’s still best to keep the Shoppable Posts to a minimum and focus on organic posts.
3 - User-Generated Content
The great thing about running out of Instagram marketing ideas is that you, alone, aren’t responsible for your content. You have an army of followers you can tap for help.
User-generated content (UGC) is not only easier on your social media team in terms of time and money, but it’s an incredibly effective content strategy. 90% of customers say UGC affects their shopping decisions.
So give UGC a go for your Instagram marketing. That might mean:
Reposting photos shared by your customers.
Giving regular shoutouts to your followers.
Hosting a contest to generate more UGC.
Asking followers to take a selfie of themselves with your product.
Creating a UGC hashtag to quickly source your content.
4 - Inspirational Quotes
The internet can often feel like a cesspool of misery, but that’s not always the case.
In fact, inspirational quotes are one type of Instagram post that leaves your followers feeling motivated, engaged, and (dare we say) happy.
If you have a fitness or nutrition brand, it’s a great idea to include quotes on your Insta. Companies like Peloton occasionally post inspirational quotes to their pages and get a ton of engagement.
Quotes are great because they’re relatable, easy to understand, and generate positive feelings.
This doesn’t have to be fancy, either. Here’s how you can generate inspirational quotes in 10 minutes:
Get a Canva account.
Pull up their Instagram Post template.
Paste that quote into your template (with proper attribution for the quote, of course).
Download the Instagram post and share it on your page.
That was easy, huh?
5 - Collaborate On A Contest
Need to get more followers, and fast? Throw a contest!
But not just any contest. You need to conduct a contest with another brand to get more traction.
Reach out to a company in your niche that sells complementary products. If you sell shoes, partner with a sock company. If you sell kitchen utensils, partner with a subscription dinner service like HelloFresh.
You get the idea.
Here are a few quick ideas to run your contest:
Run a “Caption this image” or “Choose your favorite item in this photo” contest. This immediately invites engagement and it’s an easy ask from your followers.
Require participants to follow both your account and your collaborator’s account to enter.
Require participants to post a photo, tag an account, tag friends, comment on the contest post, or a combination of these
Oh, and don’t forget to follow the FCC’s rules for giveaways. You don’t want to be on the wrong end of the law!
6 - Stories
Instagram Stories are short, 15-second posts that exist for just 24 hours. Stories can be either static photos or videos, although static photos often include animated features to jazz things up.
15 seconds isn’t a long time, though. What unforgettable, interesting content can you share in a Story?
When in doubt, try:
Filming your employees at work.
Demonstrating an event setup.
“Sneaking” your followers backstage before an industry show.
Showing how you source products or materials.
Featuring a customer testimonial.
Doing a “day in the life” quick clip of your CEO’s day.
Chopping up an interview with a thought leader and sharing it in 15-second clips.
Filming your process, like LUSH does.
Remember, make the content short and digestible. It’s hard to tell a full-blown story in 15 seconds, so if that sounds hard, share special access or quick tips.
The Bottom Line
Instagram marketing is all about creativity, but it can be hard to post regularly if you’re running out of clever ideas. Keep your engaged followers around with these 6 Instagram ideas.
Isn’t it time to get the Instagram results you’ve worked so hard for?
If you’re putting in a lot of work into your social media and just aren’t seeing engagement, try something different. Source high-quality influencers and UGC to not only boost your Instagram following, but repurpose that content across your brand.