Finding yourself stuck in a content rut? Break out of it fast with these unique Instagram content ideas for your brand’s channel.
Let’s face it, it’s pretty tough trying to compete on Instagram as a brand. Whilst you know it’s a great tool, when it works well, how do you cut through all the noise? How do you come up with creative Instagram content ideas that attract new audiences and keep your followers engaged?
The one thing you can be sure of is that people want more than just products. They want value.
Any piece of content you post should inspire, inform, educate, entice, or entertain. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask yourself, what would they want to see? And, to go one step further, what would they want to share?
If your account is looking like one giant product pitch, it’s probably time to mix it up. Here are seven unique Instagram content ideas to get your creativity flowing.
Be a tease💅
People always want to know more. Think about it. Someone tells you they have an exciting piece of news to share, but won’t tell you what it is right there and then. Even if it ends up being a total anticlimax, you’re still dying to know, what you don’t know. Use this theory on your Instagram and keep your audience guessing. Instead of just posting about a product or service when it launches, post some teaser content first.
If you’re opening in a new location, for example, take some creative photos and videos around that city and ask followers to guess where it is. Or, set up a guessing game with hints about a new product using Instagram stories: use the Question feature and you can even repost people’s answers for extra engagement. Maybe even offer the first 5 people who guess the correct answer a free taster of the product.
Starbucks are one brand who kill it when it comes to teaser content. They always find ways to generate excitement by hinting to fans about new or returning menu items.
Jump onto hashtag trends#️⃣
Let’s expand by taking a look at some examples from the recent #BottleCapChallenge.
Celebrities and athletes have probably been roundhouse-kicking their way in your feed as they try to remove a bottle cap with their feet. Some quick-thinking brands have joined in the challenge in unexpected ways — like Audi Germany, who posted a video of a bottle cap being popped off by the force of a car exhaust; or Lego, who took on the challenge with an animated Lego ninja. Both videos have had upwards of 250,000 views.
Getting in on the action of hashtags like these has two major benefits. Firstly, it can get your content seen by new audiences. And secondly, it shows followers that your brand has a finger on the pulse of what’s culturally relevant and isn’t afraid to have a little fun.
Tie in with events and holidays🎃
Sure, there are the obvious ones, like special offers for Christmas or spooky themes for Halloween. But there are so many events and holidays you can leverage as a way to spread a positive message and get creative with your Instagram content ideas.
Celebrate your female staff on International Women’s Day, show your support for Men’s Health Week or Plastic Free July, or give your followers a promo code simply because it’s #InternationalCatDay (why not 🤷)?
Fact is, there’s always some day of something going on somewhere. Hit up Days Of The Year to find out every weird and wonderful celebration and schedule them into your social media content plan; or explore hashtags to find out what’s popular.
Here’s an example from fitness brand Fabletics having fun with #NationalFrenchFryDay:
Or this ode to oat milk by Oreos on #NationalMilkDay:
Host an account takeover📲
If it’s not something you’ve considered yet, maybe now’s the time. Hosting an Instagram account takeover is a terrific way to generate unique content and raise the profile of your brand at the same time.
Think about it: you’re not only leveraging the audience of the person doing the takeover, you’re leveraging their creativity as well. They might just bring the fresh perspective and unique voice to your account that you need right now to mix things up.
Who should take over your account? Depends on your brand, but you might engage a relevant influencer who reaches your target audience, a collaborating brand or partner, or maybe even a staff member or fan. If you hand over your account entirely (known as a full takeover) make sure the person is aware of your brand’s content guidelines and policies, knows the ins and outs of Instagram hashtags and captions, and understands what your expectations are. You’re temporarily putting your brand in their hands, so it’s important to make these things clear.
Do it right, and you have a lot to gain.
Here’s an example from Canon Australia, who regularly get pro photographers to take over their account and share the stories behind their photos.
View this post on Instagram
#TAKEOVER ‘Persistence, patience and love pays off’ “I’ve always had a special connection with turtles. My whole family has. My dad takes people on turtle tours everyday. Photographing turtles…any animal, is just like photographing people. If someone runs up to you with a camera and starts clicking away at your face, you will naturally be anything but natural, and run away. I always approach turtles or any subject slowly. Let them adjust to my presence. If they shy away and race off, don’t chase them. It’s like picking a flower. If it doesn’t come off naturally don’t fight it, let it be. This series of photographs mean so much to me. I have a special connection with each turtle photographed. Names for them. Before clicking the shutter I always take time to give them love, appreciate their beauty, vulnerability, connect with them. Somewhat ask them for their permission to be photographed. Tips for other underwater photographers is not to rush. Get close to the subject, to eliminate backscatter and increase contrast. Always ensure the sun is behind your back, to bring out the turtles natural colours. Best time to photograph turtles or any marine life is early mornings. They will be waking up and most playful, and wanting to come up for a breath. Position yourself under them and shoot upwards focusing on the turtles eyes. Make sure your shutter is on silent – from my experience with turtles they definitely can hear the shutter go off and it does disrupt their natural behaviour. Move slowly. Enjoy the journey to each magical moment captured. Give an animal love and it will give it back to you.” – @charlottepiho, our guest curator this week. Shot on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens @aquatech_imagingsolutions housing
Get wordy with quotes, quizzes, memes, and more🤓
One way to mix in some different Instagram content ideas is to create text-based posts like quotes, questions, tips, facts, stats, or memes. What you choose will depend on your brand—it could be something serious and informative, or something humorous and viral, the important thing is to be consistent with your brand’s personality and voice.
Don’t forget that these can temporarily light up your Instagram Stories if you don’t feel they fit as permanent posts.
Lilybod are a great example of how to give a brand personality using quotes and memes. For every 4-6 posts about their product they throw in something textual that’s funny, relatable, and shareable.
Questions are another great way to get creative and generate engagement. They can be purely-for-fun hypothetical questions (like “what would you do if…” or “would you rather…”), questions about issues that prompt thoughtful discussions or self-reflection, or even questions for market research.
Go for graphics and visuals📊
Think decision trees, Venn diagrams and flowcharts are the stuff of boring reports? Think again. These things exist for a reason: visual cues aid in comprehension, make abstract concepts more tangible, and stick more easily in memory. They can also be surprisingly fun.
Infographics have boomed in popularity for exactly these reasons. If you have a bit of graphic design flare, or can hire someone who does, it’s well worth experimenting with different types of graphics in ways that fit your brand. If you can’t do either of these things, try a platform like Canva, which can help you create your own.
Check out this example from The Equality Institute, who frequently use visuals to present meaningful issues in lighthearted ways:
Or this one from ClassPass, who do a great job of mixing simple, visually-attractive and fun graphics into their account:
As these examples show, graphics and diagrams don’t have to be dry.
Ready to get out of your content rut?
We hope these Instagram content ideas have sparked some “aha” moments for you and helped you to work out what’s lacking from your brand’s account. The key is to experiment with different types of content—that way you’ll gain a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t for your specific audience.