Looking for unique content ideas to spice up your Instagram grid?
Gone are the days when a spontaneous ‘Happy Friday’ post will earn engagement. Unless the prize is enticing and the concept is clever, even Instagram contests have become played out. The secret to earning engagement on Instagram in 2023 is combining a beautiful asset with a unique idea.
It just so happens we have five content ideas for Instagram that are guaranteed to earn you likes, comments and maybe even a few new followers.
#1 Give a Glimpse Behind The Curtain
A behind-the-scenes post is not new to Instagram but it remains one of the best ways to connect with your followers in an authentic way. People on Instagram connect with brands when they feel like they know them on a deeper level.
Behind the scenes content pulls the curtain back and lets your followers get a more intimate look at your brand personality and processes. It also humanizes your brand and allows customers to emotionally invest in your story.
Examples: Every brand on the planet has the ability to do a behind-the-scenes post. For a restaurant, it might look like a video tutorial on how you make one of your most popular in-house sauces. For a graphic designer, it might be a series of photos that document your process — from sketches to the finished product.
Spark & Pony Hot Tip: Shooting a behind-the-scenes video or doing an Instagram Live might feel overwhelming because there is more room for error. Stop aiming for perfection.
In fact, the less 'staged' something is, the more intimate the post can feel. Some brands have huge budgets and can hire a video team to do content for them. Don’t let that stop you from shooting something yourself. You might be surprised that your post will get a lot more engagement because your followers feel far more connected to your content because it feels authentic.
#2 Ask Your Followers For Their Opinions
People love giving their opinions. Even more so, they love feeling a part of the process. While brands have been running polls and asking questions on Instagram stories for a while now, there are ways to spice up this content idea to make it feel more unique.
Examples: A restaurant could share two sandwiches and ask their followers which one should be the weekly special. A realtor could ask which local charity they should donate a portion of their commissions to next month. A jewelry designer could ask which stones to use in their next necklace launch. Be sure to give good visual examples and ask clear questions. The engagement will roll in.
Spark & Pony Hot Tip: Keep it as simple as possible. People are busy creatures with short attention spans. Get right to the point and make it easy to get involved. The less time it takes to engage with your content, the more engagement you’ll get.
#3 Share a Hot Tip or Trick
One of the best things you can do for your followers on Instagram is provide value to their lives. Did you just discover an app that saved you hours of time this week? Is there a unique way to use your products?
If you’re a small business owner or sole proprietor, sharing personal life hacks can be even more engaging.
Examples: A local jeweller that also sells hair accessories can record a Reel on different hairstyles that compliments their products. A marketing agency can share free apps or online tools to edit photos so they look more professional.
Spark & Pony Hot Tip: Make sure the tip or trick you plan on sharing is in the image or video content — not the caption itself. People can often scroll over long captions so keep it short and draw attention to the asset itself.
#4 Get Committed To A Cause
Connect with your followers by getting involved with a cause that matters to you. This content idea is more campaign-based than a single post and requires planning. But the payoff in engagement and good feels is so worth it.
Remember: People feel more connected to brands that care about the same issues they do. So finding clever ways to express your values can pay dividends.
Examples: A nurse turned clothing designer wants to show her support for the profession. She decides to run a campaign during Nurse’s Week where 10% of all proceeds go to the Canadian Nurses Foundation. Additionally, she shares a featured nurse on her stories each day. She might even run a small contest asking people to nominate a nurse for a $100 Gift Card.
Spark & Pony Hot Tip: As you can see, this type of content has several moving parts. Which means your campaign needs to be well thought out and planned in advance. Make sure your branding is consistent and the posts make sense. Even more important, make sure the cause is something you actually feel passionate about. That will translate through the content and have far more appeal with followers than not.
#5 Celebrate Your Wins
Announcing accomplishments or milestones online allows your followers to celebrate with you. New followers will enjoy the positivity and your earliest supporters will feel proud knowing they were a part of your success.
Examples: Celebrate your first business birthday with a campaign. Take a video of you printing a label for your first international e-commerce sale. Make a heartfelt post acknowledging your first fully booked weekend as a massage therapist.
Spark & Pony Hot Tip: While celebrating your successes can be hugely impactful online, be sure not to come across as braggy. Remember to thank your followers for their support and try and centre them in your content as much as possible.
Making an effective content calendar for your small business can take days — sometimes even weeks. Between coming up with unique ideas to capturing assets to coordinating the posts and managing the comments, it is a full time job.
These suggestions are meant to help you level-up your Instagram feed. And if you still need help managing your small business social media feeds? Connect with us via email or Instagram. We specialize in social media management for small businesses.