How To
11 min read

How To Create Great Instagram Content That Engages [Examples Included]

Mariana Denmanty

July 12, 2022

Did you know that 90% of the over 2 billion monthly active users on Instagram follow at least one of the 200+ million businesses on the platform? Also, seven out of ten U.S. marketers and business owners use the platform to promote their companies. These figures make it clear—if you want  to build your brand presence and grow your community, you need to be on Instagram.

So how should you go about reaching a huge Instagram audience and enhancing your brand awareness both globally and locally? 

The answer is simple: Post regularly. This will help you increase exposure, build a following, and draw the attention of both existing and potential customers.

Image Source

As simple as this may sound,  it takes a lot of thinking, planning, and monitoring to fully benefit from the potential of Instagram marketing. And most of all, it takes fascinating and captivating content your audience loves. 

It’s estimated that each business shares 1.56 posts per day. Considered globally, this means that more than 300 million business posts flood the feed of Instagram users daily. Your content needs to be truly irresistible to stay ahead of the competition.

Let’s look at the ways you can make your Instagram content work for your business, from creation to engagement.

We’ll explore engaging Instagram post ideas and examples that could be the inspiration you need to unleash your full potential. 

Also, you’ll gain some valuable tips to get the most out of your work with effective, AI-powered writing tools designed to enhance your creativity and productivity. 

Let’s dive right in!

How to create fascinating, branded content for Instagram

The 2022 Instagram Engagement Report by Mention and Hubspot states that 2021 saw a doubled average engagement rate of 5.86% as compared to 2.93% in 2020.

What is Engagement Rate? In social media, engagement rate measures how many interactions your content receives per follower. Calculate engagement rate by dividing total interactions with your content by total followers and multiplying by 100%

So, what kind of content does it take to reach these figures?

Your Instagram content must be interesting and relevant to your audience

Heavily-filtered photos have stayed in the past, and new categories, such as Reels and Stories have been growing in popularity. In addition, the feed supports not only images but carousel and video content as well. 

You have plenty of options for the form your content can take. But the most important question is…

What content does your audience prefer?

Mention’s report clearly points at video as the most engaging type of content, with each video post receiving 1097.9 likes and 24.25 comments on average. This is closely followed by carousels, generating an average of 933.7 likes and 23.2 comments.

Data Source

So, how can you make this medium work for you?

Use creative visuals and engaging copy to attract attention

This is the age of information. Therefore, keep in mind that most of your followers are already overloaded with it. They don’t want their feeds crowded with huge blocks of text. . Offer bite-sized chunks of engaging copy distributed in the caption and a visual with a concise verbal message. Keep it brief, and make sure the image and text complement each other.

Tip:

Feeling unsure about crafting your Instagram copy? Try using a specialized tool to craft your post in an engaging and creative way. With the free Instagram Caption Generator, you can access a multitude of options. 

The Product Description tool or any of the Sales Copy tools can help you draft your Instagram posts.

You can select the most suitable writing framework to structure your Instagram posts

Simply copy and paste the suggestion that you like most or use the ideas to come up with your own version. 

Let’s now turn to the other essential component of your posts: the visuals.

Undoubtedly, they are a vital component of your social media strategy. To do it right, there are several factors you need to consider.

  • Study your audience's interests. Do some demographic research to get to know your audience. What are they interested in? What types of visual content do they want to see? Such details will help you build visuals that are likely to engage your existing followers and attract new ones.
  • Put together a mood board. Use a consistent style to build your brand. Add key images, color palettes, and words that best convey the essence of your brand.
  • Pick up your themes. Identify your pillars and blend them with the current content. 
  • Mind your timing. Posting at peak times is important, but so is developing a content schedule. Plan ahead and think of the occasions when you’ll need more content, such as special events, product launches, or holidays. This will help you avoid last-minute production stress and stay on track with your timeline and budget.

Bring your post to life with emojis and hashtags

Use consistent hashtags and emojis to engage with your audience. 

Not only do hashtags help Instagram users find your posts, they can also increase engagement. Adding at least one of them to your post can bring in an average of 12.6% more engagement. 

Tip:

If you’re struggling to think of relevant hashtags to use for your post, let our AI Instagram Hashtag Generator help you out. It doesn’t require signing up and offers multiple options to jumpstart your creativity and save you time. 

All you need to do is copy and paste your favorite suggestions to add to your post.

Emojis, on the other hand, supply tone of voice and body language to make your post livelier, which can boost interactions with it by up to 47.7%

Benefit from the positive impact of a little 💙🙏🌸🌅🎁—but don’t overdo it.

Tip: 

Adding between six and ten emojis doesn't contribute to a greater engagement, and using more than ten can considerably impair it. So, emoji-fy your post, but stick to five or less.

Use a sales funnel to guide your audience to conversion

Your Instagram marketing efforts are part of your overall strategy, and building a sales funnel will help you convert by producing well-targeted content tailored to every stage of the buyer’s journey. 

It’s vital to create Instagram content that works for the awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty stages of the funnel.

Five ways to improve your existing Instagram content

It’s not about attracting more vanity followers; it’s about building an engaged following. Users interact with brands that they know and like. It’s your content that helps them learn about your business and decide if they like you as a brand or not. 

So, what can you do to enhance the content you’ve already created on Instagram? Do an audit of your profile and adjust it accordingly.

  • Think about what your followers want to see. Keep the content that corresponds to your audience’s preferences and discard the rest.
  • Use hashtags to attract new followers. Inspect your posts, story highlights, reels, and videos. Do they feature relevant hashtags? If not, try adding in some #location, #yourbrand, #industry, and #yourproduct tags to #gainmorefollowers.
  • Tag other people and brands to increase your social reach. This will make your post visible and accessible to their followers as well, expanding your audience and improving your chances of attracting new followers.
  • Use multiple formats like videos, photos, and stories. Your followers may differ in their content preferences. Meet their expectations by diversifying your content. It will also contribute to establishing a robust and well-rounded presence on Instagram.
  • Don’t just post about yourself. Create the content that your followers need and love. Remember that it has to bring value. This is how you’ll be able to build trust and loyalty. Position your brand as the support your followers need to face their challenges by showing your concern and offering helpful information.

Tips for generating more engagement on Instagram 

There are a few simple tips to keep in mind to drive more likes and comments on your posts.

  • Be authentic. This will help you genuinely connect with your audience.
  • Don’t be a robot. Avoid coming across as a chatbot, and add a human touch to your message by including some natural humor, entertaining element, or anything that will make you sound more personal. This is your brand’s face—make it appealing and relatable to your followers.
  • Don’t be too promotional. Relating all your content to what you are trying to sell can end up annoying your audience and work against you by coming across as spammy. Incorporate promotional elements into your content as naturally as possible.
  • Use stories. To spice up your content, you have to become a fascinating storyteller able to meld words with visuals and create a narrative that will capture users’ attention and interest.
  • Be interesting. Share some curious facts, note latest industry trends, or come up with original pieces of information. Make sure to deliver content that is relevant to your followers’ interests and present it in an engaging way—no one likes to read boring posts, and the chances are that you’ll lose your audience for good if you don’t live up to their expectations.
  • Add value. “What’s in it for me?” Remember that this question is at the forefront of your followers’ minds as they view your content. Make following you worth their time by including special events, must-have deals, or helpful tips.

How to create interesting Instagram stories

You can use Instagram stories to promote your products, company events, or even posts. Here’s how:

  • Be creative. Master the art of storytelling.
  • Be consistent with your values. People with similar values will flock to you.
  • Be engaging. Create content that starts conversations.
  • Use video to your advantage. Tie it into your narrative to really bring it to life.
  • Make your story interactive. By using polls and quizzes, you can drive engagement and prompt your audience to respond to your content.

Why you need to map out a plan for your branded content on Instagram 

Building a plan for your Instagram content will help you ensure that your Instagram activities correspond to and work toward your overall marketing goals. 

What should you include in your content plan?

Start by clearly identifying your Instagram goals. Why are you on this platform? Are you looking to expand your audience, increase engagement, boost sales, drive more traffic to your company’s website, or create a community? 

Your goals will determine the type of content you’ll need, which leads us to the next step. 

Identify your Instagram content theme that is consistent with your brand image. It includes:

  • Your feed theme with filters, fonts, and colors that speak for your company.
  • Post formats that help you achieve your goals (Instagram stories, lives, videos, carousels, or images).

Build your content. Create types of content in line with the content marketing matrix, which provides an effective framework for your efforts. 

Data Source

Everything you post should serve the purpose of helping your audience overcome their pain points. 

How to create a content plan

Now, it’s time to bind your various types of content to the respective stages of your prospects on their buyer journey.

The awareness stage

This is where you need to attract new followers and let them know more about your brand. 

So, take a close look at your Instagram bio and optimize it. What do you do? What’s your purchase process? How can your customers contact your team? Your audience should be able to find the answers to these questions effortlessly.

You can take advantage of a specialized AI tool to help you craft your company bio to make it fresh and catchy in a matter of seconds.

Remember to include:

  • A brief introduction stating your industry.
  • A link to your website to help your prospects learn more and make a purchase. You can also include contact details, such as a phone number or an email address (using buttons is a handy option).
  • Tags that can be used by customers who want to be featured in your content.
  • Story highlights showcasing your latest product launches, collections, or company news.
  • A Shop button allowing your customers to look at your products and buy directly through Instagram.

Mango is a great example of an effective bio:

  • Educate or entertain your audience with your content (share behind-the-scenes stories, answers to common questions, how-to tips) and use hashtags to be easily discovered.
  • Have your product or brand supported by influencers.

The consideration stage

Your content creation at this stage should aim at building trust and establishing your brand as an industry expert. 

To do so, share expert advice and demonstrations or tutorials on how your product works. 

Other types of posts suitable for the middle of the funnel are free demos and lead generation campaigns to collect your potential customers’ contact details. 

Let your users test your product themselves or offer them lead magnets, such as guides, white papers, insights into latest industry developments, or case studies. In this way, you’ll get their email address or phone number in exchange for content that brings them value.

The decision stage

It’s time to prompt your lead to actually make a purchase—and they can do it without even leaving Instagram. 

The platform offers the Instagram Shopping feature, which allows you to build an in-app storefront containing your collections and product listings. Tag your products throughout your content to make your store even easier for your followers to access.

Image Source

By simply tapping the Shop button, followers are directed to the storefront without leaving Instagram.

Post your limited-time offers, set up sales campaigns, and use Instagram Drops to entice your followers with announcements of upcoming products before their official launch.

The loyalty stage

Express your gratitude to your buyers in your posts and make them feel like part of your community. This builds closer relationships and makes your customers return to you. 

You can also run loyalty programs on Instagram and offer exclusive discounts for the members.

Creating a content calendar 

Having identified the particular types of content you want to create, decide on a posting timing and frequency that will best contribute to your strategy. You can use your competitors’ Instagram practices as a benchmark to start from. 

Create a posting calendar and schedule your posts for the time of the highest Instagram activity. When filling your calendar, keep your post topics in mind. Stick to what’s relevant to your:

  • Audience
  • Brand
  • Niche
  • Goals
  • Industry

Also, post educational content as well as a mix of fun and serious content.

For example, Lufthansa’s feed combines airplane photos, destination shots, travel tips, and engaging quizzes. On the other hand, Nikesportswear shares motivational posts, tips for maintaining their products, and activity shots, along with videos and photos of their products.

How to add a link to an Instagram story 

Instagram lets you use a sticker to add a link to your stories. Upon tapping, it will lead your followers to the linked website.

How to add links to stories on your Instagram page

Follow these steps to insert a link sticker to your story.

  • Create a story by tapping
create new
  • . You can upload photos and videos from your device, or you can capture your story in the moment by selecting your camera roll.
  • Tap the sticker option in the navigation bar at the right top of your screen.
  • Locate and hit the “Link” sticker.
  • You’ll be able to insert the desired link. Confirm it by tapping “Done.
  • You can place the link sticker anywhere on the story.

By tapping on your link sticker, you can select from the color options.

Tip:

Switching to a business Instagram account gives you the opportunity to use Instagram insights and view how your prospects interact with your content, including your stories. 

These insights are accessible through the Instagram app. You can explore your metrics and a summary page. Selecting the metrics, you can see different screens and check each figure by hitting the (i) at the right top. Choose the period you want to get data for through the drop-down at the top. Insights are available for the past 90 days.

Five examples of great Instagram story posts that grew a following

Now that we’ve covered the nuts and bolts of creating engaging posts, let’s take a look at some outstanding examples of brands that leverage Instagram's marketing potential to the fullest. The numbers speak for themselves!

1. Asos

The fashion retailer reached a 3-point increase in engagement and awareness by using videos in their Instagram stories. They make it easy for followers to complete purchases by hitting the link button in their stories.

Image Source

2. Nike

The brand has built an Instagram strategy that drives staggering engagement reaching more than 12 million views, 500,000 likes, and 28,000 comments.

In the story below, they engage with their followers by offering entertaining content, inviting fans to respond.

Image Source

3. NASA

With Instagram stories, Nasa shares extra details. They use a friendly yet informative tone to keep audiences engaged.

Image Source

4. Sephora

Created by nearly 500 thousand contributing users, Sephora’s stories in 2014–2016 led to almost 264 million likes and comments. The company still uses its successful Instagram strategy to drive engagement, simplifying the purchase process for its followers.

Image Source

5. Buffer

The tech company uses Instagram Stories to keep their community engaged by sharing valuable statistics, surveys, and white papers. This is an example of a highly effective way to connect with your audiences through delivering discussion-provoking and informative content.

Image Source

Takeaway

Instagram offers businesses of all sizes and industries the opportunity to connect with existing and potential customers in a direct and unobtrusive way. 

You can engage followers with company news, product launches, or industry insights through Instagram stories while still letting them control the communication—your followers decide whether and when to see your posts and interact with them. 

To take advantage of this powerful marketing tool, you need to craft content that is visually appealing and guided by this key principle: bringing value to your audience. 

With the Instagram post ideas and tips we discussed, you’ll be able to build an Instagram marketing strategy, develop a posting plan, and create targeted content in line with your business goals.

Time to put your imagination and creativity to work and come up with your original ideas. Roll up your sleeves, and #happyposting!

Ready to level-up?

Write 10x faster, engage your audience, & never struggle with the blank page again.

Get Started for Free
No credit card required
7-day trial of Pro
90+ content types to explore