The Best Types of Instagram Content to Drive Engagement

Let’s be honest. If you’re not on Instagram, you’re losing out on some big ROI.

As of May 2019 there were 22 million Instagram users in the UK alone. That’s A LOT of potential eyes on your business. 

We’ve covered in a previous post that social media requires more than just posting and hoping for the best. It requires an understanding of your audience, their interests and their pain points. 

It also requires an understanding of the Instagram algorithm.

But wait…does anyone understand the Instagram algorithm?

Although Instagram announced they hadn’t made any changes to the algorithm since 2016, many users have noticed a dip in engagement over the past year.

And with the more people tweeting their frustrations, Instagram was forced to acknowledge the issue in a series of tweets.

So that’s where we stand. We create our own feed depending on who/what we engage with the most.

The logic behind this algorithm is somewhat questionable, but that’s a blog post for another day.

For now, we’re talking Instagram content. And for that, we’ve got to work with what we’ve got.

Instagram Content that will boost engagement

When boosting engagement on Instagram you should aim for your content to be one of three things: entertaining, inspiring or educational. 

Instagram users aren’t there to be sold to. They aren’t there for your ads. They’re there to see quality photos, funny captions, inspiring stories and answers to problems. By knowing what a user will typically engage with, you can begin to create content which ticks these boxes. So what types of content should you include?

Instagram Stories

Stories are the most popular type of content on the platform. In fact, over 400 million users are using the feature every day, with twice as many active users than Snapchat.

What was created as another form of sharing within the platform has now transformed into an interactive, authentic way to connect with others. 

With the algorithm supposedly not touching stories, you can be sure that your content will reach your audience (all of your audience!). Posting consistently will also ensure that your brand is pushed to the front of your followers’ feed, again and again, increasing familiarity and trust.

If you’re not sure how to get started with Instagram stories, we’ve listed some engaging content ideas below:

BTS

Behind the scene posts are made for stories. With your best photos posted on the feed, your story is the place to show people there’s more to your brand than meets the eye. 

Show your fail moments. Your laugh out loud moments. Your working hard moments. This is a chance to show your audience that you are people too. Check out Lush North America’s #BTS story showing them taking their products to the streets. Not only does it show the fun, interactive side to the brand, but it also encourages viewers to get out to see them!

Tutorials

You can create a tutorial for just about anything. Think product demonstrations or how-to videos. 

Tutorials are all about adding value to your customer’s life, and the sequential nature of stories lends itself perfectly to step-by-step videos.

Polls

One way to make your stories fun and interactive! 

Adding a simple poll is a perfect example of entertaining content. Keep it as lighthearted as you like or ask questions which also work as market research! 

There are also plenty of ‘this or that’ templates that work perfectly on Instagram stories. Your audience get interactive content, and you get to know your audience – win-win!

User generated content

When in doubt, let your customers do the talking. 

The beauty of social media marketing is the fact that everyone has a voice. And boy, do people like to use that voice. By having an Instagram page, people have the option to tag you in their stories promoting your product or service. Providing you with free Instagram content to repost to your page! Not only is it word-of-mouth marketing, but it also serves as a testimonial to your business. Win-win!

Instagram Highlights

For those who don’t know, an Instagram highlight is the immortal version of your story displayed front and centre on your profile. 

Businesses of all kinds are using highlights to keep their carefully crafted content visible to their audience. Being able to neatly organise your stories into categories is perfect for your audience coming to your page, giving them All the freshest, newest and importance information immediately.

There is really no limit to how you can categorise your highlights. Perhaps you have fixed prices for your product or service? Highlight them! Or maybe you own a restaurant and want your audience to easily see your food, did somebody say highlight? Whatever you think your audience will want to see, there is a highlight to be made.

Video Content

We all know that Instagram content is 100% visual. But visual doesn’t just stop at images. In fact, we are entering the age of video content, using animations, vlogs, how-tos and the likes to capture the attention of our audience.  Some of the most successful Instagram pages are primarily made up of videos! 

Videos on Instagram autoplay in the feed, so in a land saturated with static content, your video will grab attention like no other content. And, in-line with the IG algorithm, a video encourages a viewer to stop and linger on our profile, increasing the importance of our page. There is really no limit to how you can categorise your highlights. Perhaps you have fixed prices for your product or service? Highlight them! Or maybe you own a restaurant and want your audience to easily see your food, did somebody say highlight? Whatever you think your audience will want to see, there is a highlight to be made. It’s worth noting too that you don’t need to invest in a ton of editing equipment or an expensive video camera. A boomerang is as simple as it gets and does the job just as well.

 

In the examples shown you can see there is video content saturating their feeds. So what are you waiting for? Get recording!

Go Live!

And on the topics of video content, it’s time to up your live videos! 

Just like stories, your live videos have no real bearing on the algorithm. But have you ever received a push notification that someone you follow has just started a live video? Well, that could be you. Your followers will be notified every time you go live, increasingly familiarity of your brand and pushing your story to the front of their queue! The beauty of going live can be found in the off-the-cuff nature of the content. It shows your authentic and not just another faceless business.

Contests and giveaways

You probably see these EVERYWHERE! 

And for good reason. A simple contest or giveaway is a great way to increase brand awareness and engagement. You can also request your audience to generate content as part of the contest, giving you a whole catalogue of content ready to be posted whenever you need it. 

 

Are you ready to up your Instagram content game? Let us know what you think of these tips, or check our content marketing services here!