We love Instagram! This platform offers endless possibilities to be inspired, share stories, and connect with others through amazing photos and video. If you’re one of the 500+ million users with an Instagram account, you probably know what we’re talking about. And chances are you also follow several brands, even if you don’t think about it. Actually, if you have to scroll through the accounts you follow to check if they’re a brand or a person, the brand is doing a good job! Your customers are on this platform to discover and be inspired, and not to be reminded to buy anything. In return, Instagram gives you a unique opportunity to take your audience on a journey and listen to your brand’ story– which is more valuable than any sales post!

We know it can be difficult to know what content to create, and have therefore put together 6 ideas for Instagram content that works, inspired by Hootsuite’s post ideas here.

Behind the Scenes

Social media is a channel where users turn to follow the lives of their friends and family. They expect to see personal, interesting and up-to-date content they can engage with, also from the brands they follow. This means they can quickly recognize impersonal, generic content and will not want to engage or follow. However, if you give users a peek into the daily life of your business, this takes users beyond the logo and humanizes your business. by showcasing your team, production and even ups & downs, your customers will feel truly connected to your brand  and community on a personal level.

Some examples of posts that work:

  1. Candid photos of employees in their daily work, avoid unnatural posing
  2. Production processes, both before, during and after a product is created
  3. Employee profiles (even CEO)
  4. Photos from events your brand is involved in (no event is too small, workshops are also interesting!)
  5. Customer meetings

Lifestyle Shot

Part of the storytelling is to place your followers in the right mindset – in what settings do your customers use your product? How does your product look when being used in the real world? Rather than just posting photos of your clothes on a hanger – dress up a person and place him or her on a beach. The product is still the same, but the users will also be able to feel the sand between their toes associated to your brand. Remember to analyse who your customers are, and post content that resonates with their interests and lifestyle– instead of jumping on all new visual trends, look at what content your audience engages best with.

Product Feature

Even though lifestyle photos help tell your brands story, users still want to be reminded of what products you can offer, and what sets you apart from other brands. We know we said people don’t want to be sold anything, and this is still true. However, you can still showcase your products from their best angle, and remind followers of your best offers. Just remember to balance out the promotional posts with a bigger focus on other types of posts. Also, stick to on one product or service per post, and keep photo quality as high as for the other content – meaning: if you need text in the photo, such as “20% discount”, this should never take up more than 20% of the photo area. Too many products in one post may take focus away from the one offer or product you really want to showcase.

User Generated Content

This may be the easiest content you create – we are talking about social media after all, and users are often more than happy to share their lives and experiences. Encourage users to connect with your brand, and share photos of your product using a dedicated hashtag. Monitor and engage with the photos the users post, and feel free to regram a few on your official account. This will also motivate your followers to keep posting content with your products.

Seasonal/Daily Hashtags

We know sometimes it’s simply impossible to come up with ideas for content. In these times of trouble you can always rely on daily and seasonal global trends. You have regular daily hashtags, such as #tbt, or “throwback Thursday”, and more seasonal, such as Star Wars-themed #maythefourththbewithyou. These global hashtags can help you join larger conversations and be discovered by new users who engage with this hashtag. On the other hand, you can create your own trends and hashtags to showcase your content, such as #MotivationMonday and #CookieFriday. Do some research in advance using analysis tools such as Hashtagify to find out which hashtags are being used in the conversations you want to join!


Who doesn’t like freebies? Many brands use contests as a way to increase visibility and followers, and it can often work very well as a boost to your brand. However, overdo it and you may end up with a lot of followers and engagement from users that are only interested in the giveaway, and not your brand. Therefore, use contests only once in a while, make sure the price is something proper (no makeup samples or pens!) and related to your brand (one products perhaps?) and set clear guidelines for the contest. Also look into the policy for contests on Instagram to stay within the lines.

Examples for contest:

  1. Photo contest with user generated photos (using your brand’s hashtag)
  2. Suggestion contest (ask users to suggest name for product, mascot, etc)
  3. Improvement contests (ask users for ideas on what they want to see more from your brand, such as new products, topics for tutorial videos, events to attend – you name it!)
  4. Giveaway (simply give away a relevant product and ask users to engage with the post or a hashtag to win. Easy engagement – but be aware it may not lead to relevant followers and sales)


We work with Instagram on a daily basis, and see how valuable this platform is to advertisers. If you want to leverage this platform to bring value and visibility to your business, get in touch with us for a chat!