20 Creative Instagram Post Ideas [+ How to Create Them]

May 29, 2024
instagram post ideas

An inventory of Instagram post ideas in your content calendar is crucial for achieving success and maintaining a consistent posting schedule on the platform. And despite the rapid growth of video-sharing platforms like TikTok, Instagram retains its appeal even among the elusive Gen Z, making it an essential tool in your marketing strategy.

If you’ve run out of inspiration or simply don’t know what to post, keep reading as we share over 20 Instagram post ideas to keep your calendar full, and your followers engaged!

19+ Creative Instagram Post Ideas & How to Make Them

instagram post ideas

While it’s important to stick with what works for you, introducing new types of content on Instagram can provide a boost of inspiration and refresh your overall social media strategy

For marketers and brands hoping to build a presence on the platform, it’s crucial to have fresh and compelling Instagram post ideas that capture the interest of your target demographic.

Below, we share 20 post ideas to help you stand out from the competition. Try some of these yourself and see the difference that it makes for your profile’s reach and engagement.

#1. Fun Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels are arguably the most popular post type on the platform, generating the most likes, saves, and reactions. In fact, despite their declining reach in recent years, Instagram Reels still outperform regular posts by more than 50%.

Reels are quick, fun, and highly relatable, making them an effective way to boost your profile’s engagement. They’re quite versatile as well, and you can make different kinds of video content depending on your target audience.

One of the best ways for brands to do this is by creating videos that lean into popular trends while maintaining relevance for their audience, like this short but effective skit.

Other great Instagram post ideas for Reels are Q&As, tutorials, vlogs, and behind-the-scenes content, which we’ll also cover in this article.

When executed well, short-form videos can help enhance your brand’s reach and discoverability on Instagram. Plus, after you’ve created your Reels, you can even share them on your Instagram Story to further improve visibility.

#2. Behind-the-Scenes Content

Behind-the-scenes content is a great Instagram post idea that can help you establish trust with your audience and improve your authenticity as a brand. Plus, it can be a welcome break from all the promotional content on Instagram.

In fact, a simple video or some candid photos of the team during a product shoot can be very effective at engaging your audience. But these don’t have to be limited to product shoots; they can be anything that gives your audience a glimpse into your brand’s production process.

For instance, this Reel from Birch & Bramble Design offers a backstory for the subject to evoke an emotional response in the audience while showcasing the process of making the product.

Because behind-the-scenes content is often unpolished, it’s perfect for short-form videos like Instagram Stories and Reels.

#3. Instagram Carousel

Aside from Reels, carousels get the most engagement on Instagram, which isn’t surprising given their interactive nature. Unlike single-image posts or videos that users can simply scroll through on the feed, they have to swipe through Instagram carousels to see the full post.

With an Instagram carousel, you can share up to 10 photos or videos in one post, allowing you to weave a story and draw the user in. Some excellent Instagram post ideas for this post type include before and after transformations, photo dumps, and step-by-step tutorials.

You can even break down long posts into easily digestible content and then encourage users to read the full article in the caption, just like we did here:

#4. Tutorials

Aside from making step-by-step tutorials in your carousels, consider creating how-to content in video format as well. According to a survey by Brightcove and Ascend2, product demonstrations and how-to videos are the most popular video content across all generational groups, and for a good reason.

People love to learn how to do things, which is why sharing a video tutorial that can break down a complex task into easy steps will always be popular. For instance, this how-to video from Canva is quick, informative, and highly engaging.

You can even turn your how-to videos into a series so you can create recurring content that your audience can look forward to. This is a chance to promote your product, appeal to your audience, and convert followers into customers.

#5. User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is one of the leading Facebook trends this year, and it likely won’t be long before other social media platforms like Instagram follow suit. What’s great about UGC is that it’s already available, which means you won’t have to spend any time creating it.

So, if you’re out of Instagram post ideas, consider sharing UGC. A great way to incorporate UGC into your branded content is by creating a dedicated hashtag that people can use. This can create a sense of community among your audience and act as proof of the quality of your products through the reviews of real customers.

Sephora is a great example of a brand that utilizes UGC in its Instagram content while still occasionally posting targeted content.

Plus, UGC is extremely popular and effective at engaging your audience. An Edelman survey reports that advertising only has half the impact of earned media, with at least 70% of their respondents avoiding blatant ads and preferring “to hear directly from … people like themselves.”

#6. Product Promotion

With UGC’s continuous rise in popularity, it wouldn’t hurt to post promotional content once in a while. Creating product spotlight posts will allow you to highlight their unique features and key selling points, inform your audience about the different products you offer, and encourage them to make a purchase.

This product post by Clocks and Colors is a great example. The photo used is of high quality, but its caption appeals to the user’s emotions by mentioning springtime, which is mirrored in the intricate forest details in the ring.

The key to promotional content is to avoid making it look like an ad. Be sure to show your products in a polished yet still relatable setting that your target audience can connect with. Don’t forget to use some engaging captions and relevant hashtags to capture the viewer’s interest and improve your post’s reach.

#7. Questions and Polls

If you want an Instagram post idea that engages your audience and encourages interactions among your community, try posting a question! Instagram even has specific stickers for polls and questions that you can use in your Stories.

You can also create a post posing a relevant question to your followers and then provide points of discussion in your caption, like this carousel from MindfulMFT.

While the first image alone is enough to make the viewer think, the following slides continue to emphasize the point made in the first photo, making it much more impactful.

#8. Memes

Everybody loves a good meme; they’re relatable, highly entertaining, and funny. Moreover, according to a recent survey by Statista, around 50% of Instagram users want to see funny content on their feeds.

When done right, memes can help you connect with your audience. Plus, they show your followers that your brand isn’t all serious business and that you also know how to have fun, making you seem more authentic.

We find that the best Instagram hack to capitalize on the popularity of memes is to inject your branding into them to maintain relevance to your target audience, like our selection of timely Met Gala memes.

This way, in case your post goes viral, you’ll boost brand awareness on the platform and likely gain new followers.

#9. Giveaways or Contests

Holding a giveaway or a contest is a surefire way to get likes and engagement. Brands usually have users tag their friends or share the post to take part in the contest, as these help generate interest in the business and allow them to reach new audiences.

Aside from these, there are other ways to hold a contest on Instagram, like this Instagram contest idea from GoPro.

By incorporating UGC into their contest, they get content to post for their brand and advertise their product at no cost. Plus, since there’s a winner every week, the contest can continue indefinitely.

If you really want to hook new audiences and reach your target market, consider offering a prize that’s related to your brand, like a product or a free service. GoPro’s contest, for instance, allows users to win both cash prizes and GoPro gear. This helps them appeal to the general population and to their existing customers.

#10. Event Coverage

Instagram is where people go to find content about brands and people they are interested in. And what better way to connect with your target audience than by covering an event they would want to attend?

To effectively engage your audience, be sure to make the post as immersive as possible and give your followers a sense of what it’s like to actually be there. Snap photos of the event highlights, memorable attendees, and even some branded content like this celebratory post of the Miami Grand Prix by Monster Energy.

This Instagram post idea is great for all content formats, but to really improve the experience, we recommend posting these on Instagram Reels or carousels. You can even schedule an Instagram Live to take your followers with you to the event.

#11. Collaborations

Brand or influencer collaborations are an excellent Instagram post idea for a business looking to reach new audiences. WARC’s report shows that 23% of the winners at the annual Cannes Lions leveraged influencers as the core of their campaign ideas.

And with the continued importance of UGC and “real experiences” online, influencers can be your key to success and brand recognition.

This collaboration post by Warby Parker and Katie Duke is a good example. It combines two popular content ideas, UGC and behind-the-scenes, into one engaging post.

These collaborations don’t have to break the bank, either! In fact, collaborating with micro-influencers can sometimes be more effective than big brand deals as they have a closer relationship with their viewers. More popular names, on the other hand, are often associated with traditional ads.

#12. Trending Topics

Want an Instagram post idea that’s sure to drive engagement to your page? Utilize current social media trends and topics in your posts! You can also put your own spin on a viral topic to boost your brand’s appeal and reliability.

Airbnb’s take on the Barbie craze that took brands and audiences by storm is a prime example. They not only capitalized on the popularity of the Barbie movie for their post but took it one step further by actually offering a product that fans would be interested in.

Knowledge of your target audience and their interests is key to succeeding with this kind of post. With this specific Instagram post idea, girls were the target market, and it worked perfectly, as evidenced by the hundreds of comments that the post received.

#13. Announcements and Updates

Launching new products or updates on Instagram is a powerful way to generate excitement among your audience. You can do this with a post featuring an interesting visual or an Instagram Story that instantly captures their attention.

If you have to announce multiple updates at once, consider using a carousel to highlight each one, like this exciting post about our upgraded analytics feature:

By utilizing eye-catching graphics in your posts, your product announcements become a more immersive experience that can encourage comments and interactions.

Also, company-related posts like these don’t have to be all business—you can use inspirational, funny, and sassy Instagram post caption ideas to engage followers as well. If none of these work for your post, Publer also has a neat caption generator that you can use to create top-notch captions with just a few clicks.

#14. Seasonal Posts

What list of Instagram post ideas would be complete without seasonal posts? They’re relatable, engaging, and a great way to humanize your brand. Whether you’re posting about a holiday-themed product or a photo of your office decked out in decorations, seasonal posts are sure to deliver high engagement rates.

If you don’t offer any seasonal products, you can always just post content about your team’s holiday celebrations, like this festive Reel from our Christmas party.

However, because seasonal posts often have a distinct look, aligning them with your branding on the platform can be difficult. Our tip for maintaining your aesthetic for this Instagram post idea is to plan your seasonal posts well in advance.

You can utilize a scheduling tool like Publer to create your posts now and polish and review them later to fit your aesthetic. This way, you’ll have a perfectly optimized post ready to be published at any time.

We also know how busy the holiday season can be, so you don’t have to manually post them yourself; Publer can do it for you! Our tool allows you to bulk-schedule up to 500 posts in advance and edit them whenever you need.

#15. Timely Posts

Your seasonal Instagram post ideas don’t always have to be about official holidays. From World Chocolate Day to National Coffee Day, there are a ton of social media holidays that you can celebrate!

Plus, these events are always widely recognized online, which means great engagement and visibility for your posts—just make sure that you use the right hashtags to reach your audience.

While you can always jump on a generally popular holiday, choosing an event that’s related to your brand will make your posts even more effective. For instance, this post by Bark Social combines National Hug Your Dog Day with a contest promoting their business.

You can easily keep track of all the official and social media holidays for the current month with Publer’s visual calendar view. Clicking on a holiday in the calendar will automatically create an empty post with a relevant hashtag, so you don’t miss out on any post opportunities.

#16. Cross-Posted Content

With both Instagram and Facebook available on Meta, you can easily cross-post your content between the two platforms. This is an excellent time-saving Instagram post idea that allows you to enhance your content’s reach by targeting two different social media user bases.

Aside from helping you save time, cross-posting also helps improve your overall online presence. In fact, if you manage multiple social media accounts, you need a social media management tool like Publer to easily share your content across all platforms and maximize results.

Take this post by Spotify, for instance.

When they posted this tweet, it garnered over 2,203 likes and 1,763 comments. By reposting a screenshot of that same tweet on their Instagram, they gained an additional 43,577 likes and 5,694 comments.

#17. Tips or Informative Posts

Creating informative posts on Instagram is a great way to establish credibility in your specific niche. Informative posts are quite versatile as well, as they can be a full Reel explaining the topic at length or simple text on a background, like these timesaving tips we shared to boost your social media efficiency.

What’s important for this Instagram post idea is knowing how to capture your audience’s attention. Since its content will likely be more detailed than the other ideas on this list, it will be harder to sustain the interest of the viewer.

Whether you’re posting about beauty hacks, productivity tips, or some industry insight, be sure to make the post as captivating and engaging as possible through visuals and other elements.

#18. Challenges

Participating in online challenges is an excellent Instagram post idea for personal and business accounts. These allow you to quickly grow your following and generate interest in your brand. Some notable viral challenges that most accounts participated in are the ALS challenge and the Mannequin challenge.

But there’s no shortage of challenges to try apart from these two. For instance, our very own team tried the particularly tasty Tim Tam Slam challenge.

Aside from joining a challenge, you can also start one! Chipotle’s #LidFlip challenge was started by an actual employee who masterfully assembled the brand’s burrito bowl. Chipotle then capitalized on its virality by collaborating with popular influencers and creating branded content.

#19. Answers to Questions

Aside from posts with a question directed to your followers, you can also make posts answering common questions that you get from your audience. This is an effective Instagram post idea for likes and engagement, as you are essentially creating content that your audience wants to see and know about.

These can be done in several ways, such as through Instagram Lives, Instagram question stickers, or a Reel where you address all the questions at once, like this fun Q&A from artist and designer Kris Andrew Small.

By addressing the questions you get from followers, you show that you value them and your community. These kinds of posts can also help attract new followers, as they improve your relatability and allow viewers to learn more about the human behind the brand.

#20. Teasers

If you have an upcoming product to launch, you can create an Instagram post to generate interest in the topic. This gameplay sneak peek from PlayStation markets their upcoming game perfectly by showing high-action scenes to get users excited about its release.

Another effective way to post teasers is by following the “less is more” ideal. Avoid putting too many details in the caption, and let your followers speculate on what the post is about. For instance, a simple countdown timer can be a very effective way to get users to engage with your post and discuss it in other circles.

Key Takeaways

  • Having a variety of Instagram post ideas is key to succeeding on the platform.
  • Some great Instagram post ideas for Reels include tutorials, behind-the-scenes content, and viral challenges.
  • By posting Instagram carousels, questions, polls, and giveaways, you can boost your profile’s engagement rates.
  • Covering events, collaborating with influencers, and posting memes and seasonal or timely content can improve your brand’s relatability and help you appeal to your target audience.
  • When out of ideas, you can’t go wrong with cross-posing content or resharing user-generated content on your feed.

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