Let’s face it, who isn’t on Instagram? It's a place for businesses to engage with their target audience, where they already are. You can reach a lot of people there who are genuinely interested in what you do, and how you do it. Using it can help you to stay top of mind, and build an interest in your brand. But we’ve learned that ideas on their own won’t cut it.
A viral post could bring people to your profile. But content that inspires or informs makes people stick around. And we’re still learning about new ways to do this ourselves.
When it comes to creating content, there’s plenty of shortcuts. But sharing your story in an authentic way is the best way to stand out. In the long term, it makes you more relevant to people who care about what you do.
So without further ado, here’s 7 of our favourite ways to inject some punch and personality into your Instagram feed.
1. Give Your Followers the Inside View
No one does things quite the way you do it. You can play on that with a sneak peek into your process. What might seem ordinary to you is totally new to many of us tuning in for the first time.
What’s a day in the life like for you? What’s the magic sauce that makes your product or service tick? What does your working environment look like?
Content like this is a certified winner for reels. If you’re the band, then content like this is the backstage tour. As people learn more about your business and engage, they’ll build a deeper connection with your brand in the long term.
2. Re-Share User-Generated Content
We all feel special when someone likes our content enough to share it. It makes sense to do this when your brand is involved, because everyone wins. Plus, it helps others to see the benefits of working with you. If you’re early on in your journey, try re-sharing posts and stories that align with your point of view. It gives people a sense of who you are.
The likes of WeTransfer and Dropbox go one step further, creating content that shines a spotlight on their users. This helps potential new users see themselves connecting with the brand more easily.
3. Start a Collaboration
We’ve got a lot of juice from this one. We tripled our follower count in less than 3 months. But posting is only one part of the puzzle. Collaborating with people who are influential in our space has improved our reach. We’ve gained as much as 20x more visibility on our posts by working with the right creators.
The more you know about a creator and their audience, the better. There's plenty of tools, like AppSorteos and Modash that can give you added insight. After all, everything needs to make sense for everyone to get the best outcome.
“We’ve tripled our follower count in less than 3 months. But posting is only one part of the puzzle.”
-Anne, Social Marketer at Designstripe
We’ve learned that collaborations have mixed results. But you will up your chances with a clear process, a budget and a good relationship with collaborators. Our tip is to work with other small businesses whose vision and mission align with yours. But this topic alone could be an entire blog post, so let us know if it’d be useful content for you!!
4. Get Talking
Engagement is a two-way street. The best way to hear from your followers is to get them involved in the discussion. You can invite your followers to ask you anything (AMA) on Instagram Stories. To make it easy for people to respond, you could go a layer deeper, asking questions like:
- What’s the one thing you’d like to know about [x] industry?
- If you were us, what product would you launch next?
- What is your favorite [x] and why?
Still struggling with topics to talk about? Look at trending topics or hashtags related to your industry. Your take on these topics will give you an authentic voice. And don’t just engage with the big guns. Networking with other small businesses always helps. The bigger your circle, the better your reach.
5. Show Use Cases and Explain Concepts
Try showing how people are actively using your product or service, or how they could. It doesn’t have to be too glamorous. Authentic user-generated reviews and how-tos are the perfect fit for Instagram. It doesn’t even have to be user-generated. You can do it yourself. Complicated ideas can be much more simple when a real person is guiding the process.
Before, this approach was necessary for small businesses that didn't have much of a marketing budget. But we’ve actually seen some bigger brands jumping on user content that has an organic feel. That’s great proof that it’s effective when it’s done right.
If being on screen isn’t your thing, then using visual assets in your posts can help to bridge the gap. We often break down some top level ideas from our blog posts into carousels. Then we add relevant visuals that make them extra engaging.
6. Inspire Your Audience With an On-Brand Quote, Fact or a Stat
Quotes that align with your brand can show your followers what you value most. A great quote can also be widely relatable. Facts and stats can also be genuinely valuable if you pick an interesting one. They help to dispel some myths about what you do, or show an entirely new side to it. We created one of our own above, using our mockups tool.
7. Create Posts for Calendar Events that Matter to You
Not all calendar events are made equal. We can all fall into the trap of posting about a public holiday because other people are doing it. But without a reason, or an angle that makes it relatable to your brand, it’s just noise.
If you’re going to post about an event in the calendar, it’s more authentic when it’s meaningful to you. If being environmentally conscious is a big part of your DNA, then you can talk about why Earth Day is important. Attractive, on topic visuals will always help, too. Of course, we’ve got plenty of them in our catalog, so have a dig.
Serve your community, don’t just feed the algo.
Saying things when you’ve got value to add will instantly elevate the standard of your feed. We decided some time ago to not create content for content's sake. Why? We craft better content when there's something interesting to say.
With that in mind, we hope these ideas can stimulate some great post topics for you! Which of them resonated most with you? We’d love to know, as we’re actively creating tools to make your social media game easier. Get in touch!