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15 Instagram Post Ideas to Cure Creative Block

For those in charge of their company, brand or organization’s Instagram account, important decisions are made daily. One of the toughest tasks is delivering a full schedule of Instagram content to promote and share.

And for the majority of these folks, it’s insanely easy to fall into creative block for new post ideas. Coming up with Instagram post ideas is a challenge, but also something that just needs a little creative thinking.

If you use Instagram management tools to accurately detail what content, hashtags, analytics and posting times are the most successful, you’re immediately ahead of the game. However, just getting the Instagram post ideas on paper can be what’s holding you back.

In this article, we want to help free your creative hiccups and provide you with some of the best recommendations. Here are 15 Instagram post ideas to get you over your creative block:

instagram management gif

1. Lift the Curtain on Your Daily Operations

You’ll read about behind-the-scenes content often when searching for new Instagram post ideas. But when it comes down to it, these types of videos and photos work.

For highly visual and engaging content, you have to entice the viewer and ultimately create a sense of pleasure or intrigue. More likely than not, people are interested in how your company works on a daily basis.

Try to highlight quarks or unique happenings that occur with your business. If it’s a retreat, a company event or something silly your staff does every Friday, tell your audience about it. When you make your brand unique, you inspire curiosity.

Instagram is a great place to show how something very specific to your company is made. Even some of the more typically “boring” brands are able to entice excitement or wonder by showing off some of the daily operations.

2. Make a Collage of Images for Your Profile

It’s not uncommon for Instagram users to judge a book by its cover instead of a single page. Your Instagram profile is what you ultimately want to drive people to mostly because it’s your one spot for a link.

And while links are important in your Instagram bio, so to is the first view of all your images and videos together. Collaging images together–whether it’s a color theme or like Reynold’s Wrap, who endlessly connects all images–can attract more followers and hype around your profile.

reynolds wrap table example

Following this Instagram post idea will help you keep the content coming for weeks with your new theme.

3. Provide the Story Behind the Image

Do you have an amazing image or video to share? What about a boring or plain piece of content, but the story behind it is crazy? It’s not a bad idea to post content where the story drives the image.

Instagram itself commonly uses in-depth stories to drive its imagery. The point is to move you with the image and the context of the post. Your brand can easily do this by explaining why this image is important or what significance it has with your brand.

Today President Obama took steps to protect America’s cultural and natural treasures — including designating 3 new national monuments that honor our nation’s civil rights history, while expanding 2 existing national monuments in California and #Oregon. That includes the stunning #California Coastal #NationalMonument (pictured here). Established in 2000 to protect marine wildlife habitat just offshore of California’s iconic coastline, the monument was expanded in 2014 to include Point Arena-Stornetta — its first onshore unit. Today’s expansion of 6 spectacular places along the coast will preserve important habitat for coastal plants and animals, and protect cultural sites that provide insight into the people who lived along the California coast thousands of years ago. Photo by Bob Wick, @mypubliclands. #findyourpark #usinterior

A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

If it’s truly engaging, people will read it, follow and look for content like it in the future.

4. Show a Truly Unique Angle of Your Product

Your product is what makes your company unique–so use Instagram to showcase it. For example, Post It frequently uses its products on Instagram content to show fun and inventive ways to turn boring tasks into exciting ones.

Turn household chores into a game with this fun, bingo chore chart! #Postit #makeitstick

A video posted by Post-it® Brand (@postit) on

By taking liberty to get a little creative with your product, you not only give readers a good idea, but you also show how your product can get them there. You don’t have to only use stock photos of products in good lighting.

Instead, push creative content through Instagram and show users how your product is used by different people in the industry. Forever 21 isn’t trying to sell you items for your dog in the example below. The company is pushing the cuteness of the dog and the headband together.

SUNDAY MOOD ??? @duckytheyorkie (Shop link in bio)

A photo posted by forever21 (@forever21) on

5. Let Your User-Generated Content Shine

There’s no doubt user-generated content is one of the most powerful content sources for social media today. And on Instagram, more brands than ever rely on UGC to promote their products and services through others’ voices.

In fact, a report from Social Annex discovered brands with Instagram and Facebook UGC content see as high as a 50% click-through-rate over branded images. Some businesses like GoPro, BarkBox and Adobe only publish UGC in efforts to promote their product.

There's no place like breakfast. ✨ #regram @gaylinnicole (link in profile to shop this shot)

A photo posted by Anthropologie (@anthropologie) on

Other brands like Anthropologie, use UGC because it not only interacts and engages the user, but it promotes beautiful content for free. Just remember to ask to share before you Regram.

6. Promote a Positive Message

As a brand, you have to value positive communication between your customers. Our Sprout Social Q2 2016 Index discovered people are 75% more likely to share positive social media interactions with brands.

Sprout Index Charts Q2 2016-07

This same notion should go toward your content strategy for Instagram as well. You don’t have to create a political barrier between you and your audience. But it’s always a great idea to promote a positive message.

When your audience feel comfortable or empowered by your brand’s message, there’s a good chance they’ll follow you or become customers. Being positive on Instagram can take your brand a long way if done correctly.

7. Give a History Lesson or Throwback

Throwback Thursday’s and Flashback Friday’s are some of the most popular types of content you’ll see on Instagram. However, you can take it a step further by giving a history lesson about your brand in a “flashback” piece of content.

For example, the Cincinnati Reds often use history to get fans excited about the team (especially during the offseason). Your brand can take these exact same Instagram post ideas to promote content based on your history.

You don’t have to be a century-plus old baseball team, but reflecting on your brand’s history could be a great source of content for your followers.

8. User Teasers to Promote a New Release

For brands about release a new service or product, it’s smart to consider how you plan to hype the announcement. Instagram provides the perfect platform to promote teasers for a new major release.

Cleanse before the binge. @SantaClaritaDiet, February 3.

A photo posted by Netflix US (@netflix) on

For example, Netflix does an amazing job promoting new shows without going overboard on the description. To promote the show Santa Clarita Diet, Netflix has released several small teasers about the show that will surely turn heads and inspire intrigue.

Get people interested and hyped for your new releases with teaser videos or images. This is a great source of content for those releasing new products or services every month.

9. Ask a Question That Drives an Answer

Asking questions on Instagram is one of the best ways to drive engagement. Like we’ve mentioned before, being overly promotional can be off putting to your audience. However, asking a question invites your users’ opinions.

United promotes its travel locations by asking questions around specific cities. Just this small amount of engagement promotes hundreds of comments per post. Ensure you monitor your incoming messages with a social media monitoring tool like Sprout.

sprout social monitoring example

It’s easier to track positive and negative sentiments as well as those who simply need customer support or could be referred to your sales team.

10. Get Your Audience Laughing

Much like promoting a positive message, get your followers to laugh and enjoy your content. Instagram is a space built for positive and humorous content. Whether it’s memes, funny videos or inspirational quotes, Instagram’s creative space can be welcoming.

This gives your brand a great chance to show its funny side. We know this doesn’t apply to every brand, but there are ways to show humor without going overboard.

*empties savings account* . @digbyvanwinkle

A video posted by BarkBox (@barkbox) on

BarkBox relies on hilarious videos and images of dogs, while attracting its biggest demographic–dog owners. You don’t have to be the class-clown of Instagram, but showing your humanistic side can make you seem less robotic and stale.

11. Create a Video Theme or Series

One of the newer trends on Instagram is using specific themes with content. Much like the collage tip we mentioned earlier, video series are a popular way to spark content on Instagram.

Get to know our friend, cacao.

A video posted by Califia Farms (@califiafarms) on

Califia Farms uses videos to educate its audience about the ingredients in its products. The video series is engaging and likely to get users to stop and watch the video when scrolling through.

You can also use videos to tell a story to your audience. This Instagram post idea helps keep users coming back for more information or to get more of the story.

12. Get an Influencer to Take Over

Hiring social media influencers to take over your profile can bring some new light to a feed. If you feel like your content is getting a bit dull for readers, bring in an influencer who can create hype, build brand awareness and get users to trust your brand.

A Tapinfluence and Nielsen study discovered influencer marketing efforts produce up to 11 times higher return on investment compared to traditional digital marketing efforts. You also don’t need major celebrities to promote content. Look for influencers who are popular on social media and who’s audience aligns with your brand.

Free People often uses influencers to promote content related to its audience. Be sure of your audience’s hobbies and interests, and get influencers who can drive your brand on Instagram.

13. Build Content Around a Hashtag

Did you know 7 of 10 hashtags used on Instagram are branded? Stats like this should get you on board to using branded hashtags to engage new and current followers.

Hashtag campaigns can help increase brand recognition and with the right tools, you can monitor them to see who’s talking about you. Hashtags have the ability to spread quickly, which is why so many brands use them.

Before you start your visual content strategy, think of a branded hashtag your company can use to build around your Instagram account. Urban Outfitters implemented #UOonYou to build user-generated content of people using its products.

Creating ways for your audience to interact and spread their own content will always be a smart marketing move. Using a hashtag to track action around your brand could work even better.

14. Use Content to Drive Readers to a Blog Post

A great way to push users to a specific site is through social media. According to Shareaholic, at least 30% of referral traffic comes from social media. Why not use Instagram to drive your traffic to your website?

While you only have one link to use on Instagram (within your bio), it’s smart to make the most of it. Make sure you constantly update and remind your audience where they can make purchases or find out more information.

It’s easy to forget about links while scrolling through Instagram. So keep your audience updated and post content that can drive them to something specific like a blog post.

15. Highlight Co-Marketing Efforts

If you’re still stuck on coming up with Instagram post ideas, simply build off your current marketing efforts. For example, Canada Goose is currently working with the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Festival Base Camp #views ?❄️#CGxSundance

A photo posted by Canada Goose (@canadagoose) on

The location is cold, which makes the winter apparel company a great co-marketing partner. Canada Goose uses amazing shots and videos of all things Park City to promote the film festival and their marketing efforts.

You can use the same strategy to build content around your most recent marketing efforts, while seeming less promotional.

Let Your Creativity Flow

Hopefully these 15 Instagram post ideas helped get your creative juices flowing. Experiment with different types of content and use Sprout’s Instagram Analytics tools to find out what your audience resonates with the most.

This post 15 Instagram Post Ideas to Cure Creative Block originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

Even the most seasoned content marketers make mistakes. In the world of SEO-driven content, with constant algorithm tweaks and changing search patterns, it’s nearly unavoidable. However, those same mistakes can often lead to discoveries that enable even better content performance.

The key is being able to recognize those easy-to-fix SEO mistakes and address them. As a result, your content will become an optimized, integrated network of metaphorical highways, leading searchers to best-answer content in a strategic and purposeful way.

So, what are the most common SEO mistakes, and how can they be addressed? Below, I’ve singled out the ‘usual suspects’ along with guidance on how to fix them while setting yourself up for long-term SEO success.

SEO Mistake #1 - Choosing Target Keywords Based on Volume vs. Relevance

How Keywords Affect Content Marketers: Great content isn't great unless people see it. But when content marketers overemphasize high-volume keywords, they miss out on meaningful engagement.

It’s tempting to plug into your keyword research tool of choice and select keywords with the highest search volume as your focuses for new content. But if the content you’re creating doesn’t match the search intent for that high-volume keyword, it’s unlikely to perform to your expectations.

The Fix: Google it! All jokes aside, evaluating the first ten search results for your target keywords can help you understand what searchers are trying to find, and what supporting content you should provide to truly be the best answer for that query.

While you’re analyzing those top results, pay attention to key factors that will shape your content creation and promotion strategy:

  1. What type of information is NOT included in top content, but is topically related? This can help you inform how you differentiate your content.
  2. What’s the content demand for that keyword? For example, are mostly top of funnel blog posts ranking, or are you seeing mostly product or service pages?
  3. How many backlinks and referring domains are pointing to the top search results? This can help you understand how competitive the first page of results is, and whether or not ongoing link building should be part of your content promotion strategy.
  4. How long is the top-ranking content for that keyword? This will help you determine ideal content length for your own post.

SEO Mistake #2 - Targeting the Same Keyword with Multiple Pages or Posts

How Same-Topic Targeting Affects Content Marketers: Pressure to create comprehensive content on a topic can actually result in dilution within search.

The conventional wisdom that more is better doesn’t apply universally — especially when it comes to SEO-driven content. Creating multiple pieces of content that target the exact same keyword is a surefire way to stand in your own way of success. There’s enough competition out there for B2B marketers without having to compete with your own content.

For example, a B2B technology company that wants to rank for B2B software consulting should optimize their service page for that term based on what is currently being served in search results. But, if they also create a series of blogs or resources that are targeting that specific term, search engine bots will be confused about which page is the best answer for that query. This could result in none of the content appearing in the top 10 results, in favor of competing sites with a more clear ‘answer’ to that query.

The Fix: Determine which of your pages or posts is the best answer for that particular query by analyzing ranking and analytics data. Which post or page sees the greatest amount of engaged organic traffic for your target keyword, and most closely matches the associated search intent?

Once you’ve determined your target page, it’s time to evaluate the remaining content targeting that keyword. Look for opportunities to:

  1. Remove or prune low-value or outdated content. Is there a blog post full of stats from 2009 that’s hindering your priority page’s chances of ranking? It might be time to consider removing that post and implementing the proper redirects.
  2. Optimize existing content for related, but different, keyword targets. For example, if you have a priority post for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and another post that more closely relates to ‘Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, consider optimizing that post for the latter and implementing internal links back to your priority cookies post.
  3. Combine closely related content. For example, if you have several blog posts around your targeted keyword(s), consider combining those posts into a longer, more robust piece of content.

SEO Mistake #3 - Ignoring Internal Link Structure

How Internal Linking Affects Content Marketers: Links are like electricity on the web, lighting up content for people and search engines alike.

Content is discovered by links. Your site’s internal linking structure tells bots (and users) which pages are most important, and which pages are most relevant to specific keywords. If you link to several pages from the same anchor text, for example, there will be some confusion about which page is truly ‘about’ that topic. Other times, you could have pages or posts on your site that are orphaned, with no internal links directing users or bots their way. This can confuse your site users, search engine bots, and even your own team. Confusion is not a ranking factor!

The Fix: Make sure you develop and continue to update your site’s keyword map. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists your page’s URL and associated target keyword(s). This keyword map will help you determine what anchor text should be used to link to your target pages.

Next, conduct a site audit to determine:

  1. If there are orphaned pages that need internal links
  2. If you are linking to multiple pages with the same keyword-rich anchor text
  3. Where there are opportunities to create additional supporting content
  4. Where you might have opportunities to reduce and prune existing supporting content

Next, you’re going to want to crawl your site to find any orphaned pages. Then, map those into your overall keyword strategy and implement internal links.

SEO Mistake #4 - Ignoring Data from Other Digital Tactics

How Marketing Data Affects Content Marketers: Inspiration often drives ideation for many content marketers, but data drives optimization for ideal content performance. Marketing performance data can provide both.

Any data you can collect about how your audience engages with your content has the potential to be an SEO gold mine. For example, analyzing the keywords from your paid search campaigns can give you insight into which keywords are your best converters, and what content best suits searchers for those terms. Social posts that get the greatest amount of engagement can tell you which topics your audience is most interested in. Ignoring data from your other marketing and sales channels means missing out on an opportunity to better engage your prospects.

The Fix: Meet with different teams or departments to find out what kind of content performs best on their channels. Look at the data each platform or channel provides and compare that with your site analytics data for a full picture. And, be sure to share your channel performance data with the rest of your marketing team. The more information available related to content and marketing performance, the better equipped you are to optimize.

SEO Mistake #5 - Giving Up

How Persistence Affects Content Marketers: Content performance in search is a long game and persistence is essential for success.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes a lack of results can feel demoralizing, but giving up is simply not an option. You wouldn’t stop building your house just because the nearest lumber yard ran out of wood, right? You’d find another lumber yard and keep plugging along.

The Fix: Take a step back. Re-evaluate the search landscape, your competitor’s organic presence, and your site’s overall health. Being able to remove yourself from the frustration can help you find opportunities you may have missed and additional whitespace to tackle.

Next, seek out advice from other SEOs. Ask questions on social media, in specific groups or forums, or send a question to your favorite SEO blog. If budget permits, enlist the help of a consultant or SEO agency that can help you break through your roadblocks.

Finally, we have two big SEO bummers that are tougher to fix, but absolutely necessary to address.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Migrating Your Site with No SEO Plan

How Migrating Without a Plan Affects Content Marketers: A bad migration can effectively undo your hard work, reducing content visibility and creating more user friction.

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of SEOs cringing around the globe. A botched site migration can wreak havoc on your organic positioning and torpedo your results. It can take months, even years to recuperate organic visibility to pre-migration levels.

The Fix: Always, always consult your in-house SEO team or SEO agency when you’re considering a website migration. Before you move forward, it’s imperative you have a plan for technical, on-page, and off-page factors.

If you’ve already migrated your site and have experienced a loss of organic traffic and rankings, start with a site audit. Check for the basics, like whether or not your site is being indexed, first. Then start to evaluate technical factors like broken links, crawl errors, and duplicate content.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Recovering from a site migration is a challenge for even the best of SEOs, and sometimes those big challenges call for a little teamwork.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Not Optimizing for Mobile

How Not Optimizing for Mobile Affects Content Marketers: Even the greatest content can’t stand up to a bad mobile experience. Users will bounce, reducing engagement and sending negative signals to search engines.

Mobile accounts for about half of web traffic worldwide. Knowing this, in March 2018 Google started migrating sites to mobile-first indexing. Providing a seamless mobile experience is no longer optional, especially when you’re living in the wild world of search.

Sites that didn’t properly prepare for this can and will likely see some declines in organic search traffic and rankings as a result. And, as more sites follow mobile best practices, more users will notice and become frustrated by poor mobile experiences. This leads to declines in other pivotal ranking factors like on-page engagement. In short, if not properly addressed, a poor mobile experience can wreak havoc on your search visibility.

The Fix: The first thing to do is to conduct a mobile audit on your site. Understanding your site’s mobile performance is step one toward making improvements. Look for things like:

  1. Mobile site speed. A couple great tools for this are Google Page Speed Insights and Pingdom. These tools can tell you where to look for issues like slow-loading code, images that aren’t optimized, and other technical issues.
  2. Mobile experience. Visit your site on your phone. Ask someone who doesn’t use your site regularly to do the same. Record your experience, take notes on where you get stuck and why. Click on everything. Turn your phone into horizontal mode. Try to think of every single way a user could browse your site. And, don’t forget to try a site search on mobile.
  3. Look at mobile analytics. This will tell you key metrics like mobile bounce rate, mobile time on page and pages per session.

These steps will help you build a hypothesis to test against. Is your mobile bounce rate crazy high? Does your site take a long time to load? Is your time on page way out of line with desktop traffic? Then, use A/B testing to root out the discrepancy. Use these same metrics to test if the fix is working. Then, repeat with another element.

So, What Does This All Mean for You?

Ultimately, following SEO best practices as a content marketer can reduce performance-related headaches and set you up for long-term success.

For example, when Innovatech Labs decided it was time to make major changes to their website, they worked with our team at TopRank Marketing to implement a safe website transition strategy, minimizing their risk of reduced content visibility on Google. This assessment involved avoiding many of the big risks mentioned above, including linking, use of data and keyword research which allowed us to act quickly post-migration to combat organic traffic declines. The result? Double- and triple-digit increases in organic traffic (and increased conversions, too!).

A best-answer content strategy focused on creating content with the most relevance to their audience was the ticket to better marketing performance for a martech SaaS company. Working with the team at TopRank Marketing, long-tail and hyper-relevant keywords were researched for a comprehensive content strategy to help the brand content become the best answer for those queries. The “best answer” approach and topics were applied across organic and paid efforts. As a result, the volume of both paid and organic MQLs increased, leading to better content performance and spontaneous proclamations of love from the client’s sales team.

Fixing these big SEO mistakes aren’t only for short-term wins. Our longtime partner Antea Group USA has achieved amazing triple-digit growth over three years by avoiding these big mistakes and implementing an ongoing commitment to SEO-driven, best answer content.

As I mentioned earlier, even the most experienced content marketers can make these common SEO mistakes. But, with the right SEO strategy driven by diligent execution and monitoring of results, you can get back on track. The key is to be intentional about your site’s architecture, as well as the content you create, and to never, ever give up.

Still feeling stuck? Or maybe your team doesn’t have the resources to take on this battle alone? Check out our SEO services, tweet us your thoughts @toprank, or drop me a line in the comments. We are here to help!

The post 5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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