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Create Instagram Content that Wins Your Customers'❤️s [2024]

The best Instagram content that you should invest in this year to get more engagement, and more traffic and leads. We cover giveaways, best practices and more.

Octavia Drexler
By Octavia Drexler
Ben Kazinik
Edited by Ben Kazinik

Updated April 14, 2024.


Instagram didn't invent the infinite social media scroll -- but they sure made it an art.

Burbn, which is what Instagram was called before, was originally just a check-in app that allowed users to share their location with friends. But the founders of Burbn, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger soon realized that the photo-sharing feature was more popular than any other.

So they went all-in on that and built the social media platform we all know and love. Today, Instagram users spend roughly half an hour on the app. And there's 1.4 billion of them!

If you sell something, you should be on there, meeting your ideal customers halfway through. And if you're aiming for that, the greatest "hack" will always be quality, engaging Instagram content.

How to nail that?

Keep reading and find out more.

the number of instagram users worldwide from 2010 to 2055


How to nail Instagram content on static posts

Although Reels, lives, and stories make up a big chunk of the entire Instagram experience, static posts remain a fundamental part of the platform. Simple image posts, carousel posts, and other similar content types are still a very valid option and it can drive excellent engagement rates. 

Here are some ways to make sure you get your Instagram content in tip-top shape.

Use templates

Templates provide a consistent look and feel for your posts, making your feed visually cohesive and appealing. They also save time in content creation by offering a pre-set layout that you can customize and use repeatedly.

Find high-quality stock images

High-quality stock images can elevate your Instagram content, making it more professional and inviting. By utilizing reputable stock photo sites, you can find a vast array of images that suit your brand's aesthetics and message, ensuring your posts stand out in a crowded feed.

Leverage AI for imagery

AI tools can generate unique and eye-catching images that resonate with your brand's identity and message, offering a fresh perspective on visual content. By incorporating AI-generated imagery into your Instagram posts, you elevate your content's creativity and distinctiveness, setting your brand apart.

Some of the most common tools for AI image generation include: 

Midjourney example

(An example of how Midjourney works)

Reposting content where your brand is mentioned or featured can significantly boost audience engagement and foster a sense of community around your brand. It's a social media strategy that not only shows appreciation for user-generated content but also amplifies positive feedback and experiences associated with your brand.

Create a branded hashtag

Creating a branded hashtag can serve as a powerful tool to unify all user-generated content and conversations about your brand in one easily accessible place. This not only enhances brand recognition but also fosters community engagement by inviting users to participate in the ongoing brand narrative.

Run contests and giveaways

Contests and giveaways are highly effective strategies to boost engagement on Instagram by incentivizing users to engage with your content, follow your account, or tag friends. These activities not only increase your audience size but also create a fun and interactive experience that can significantly amplify your brand's visibility and appeal.

Run a UGC campaign

User-Generated Content (UGC) campaigns encourage your audience to create and share content that features your brand, products, or services. This not only increases engagement and reach but also adds authenticity to your brand image by showcasing real users' experiences and endorsements.

an example of an Instagram influencer campaign

Work with small influencers

Collaborating with micro - influencers can offer your brand niche audience access and authenticity, as these social media influencers tend to have highly engaged followers. This strategy allows for personalized and trustworthy endorsements, enhancing your brand's visibility and credibility among potential customers.

Ask creators and customers if you can post their content

Before posting any user-generated content that you wish to repost or use for your brand's Instagram feed, always seek permission from the original creator. This not only respects the creator's rights but also fosters positive relationships within your online community, enhancing your brand's reputation for ethical practices.

How to create Insta-worthy designs and photos

Instagram is a very visual social media platform, so you must make sure your designs and photos look enticing. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Choose your focal point

Every image or design should have a clear focal point to immediately draw the viewer's attention. This ensures your content is engaging and communicates your intended message effectively. So, for example, if you are taking photos of a product you're selling, the focal point should be the product itself.

an example of focal image on Instagram

Keep the rule of thirds in mind

The rule of thirds involves dividing your image into nine equal segments by two vertical and two horizontal lines. Positioning the subject of your photograph along these lines or at their intersections makes the composition more engaging and aesthetically pleasing.

an example of an instagram post

Leave white space and borders

White space and borders can enhance the overall look of your images or designs by providing a clean and minimalist aesthetic. This also helps draw attention to your focal point, making it stand out more prominently.

Instagram content example

Use the right contrast and balance

Contrast and balance play crucial roles in making your Instagram photos and designs visually appealing. By properly adjusting the contrast between elements, you can create a harmonious balance that captivates viewers and ensures your message is clearly communicated.

contrast and balance on Instagram

Instagram videos

Instragam used to be a static-only platform, but now it has become a hub for engaging videos too. In fact, Instagram research shows 91% of the users engage with video formats on the platform, showing there's a clear preference for this type of content.

Here are some tips to make your Instagram videos stand out:

Types of Instagram videos

The main types of Instagram videos are as follows:

Instagram Reels

Reels are Instagram's answer to the short-form video craze, allowing users to create and share 15 to 30-second video clips set to music or other audio. They offer a range of editing tools, effects, and the option to engage with a global audience, making them a powerful tool for personal expression and brand promotion.

Instagram Stories

Not all stories are video, but Instagram allows users to post both. Stories offer a more casual and ephemeral approach to sharing content, with videos lasting up to 60 seconds and disappearing after 24 hours. They also provide various interactive features like polls, quizzes, and questions that can help boost engagement.

Instagram story example

Instagram Live

Instagram Live allows users to stream video in real-time, directly communicating with their followers and providing an authentic, unedited view of their lives or brands. This feature encourages active viewer participation through comments and reactions, fostering a deeper, more human connection between the broadcaster and their audience.

Instagram live example


Tips for Instagram videos

There's a lot of work and creativity that goes into Instagram videos, so here are some tips to make them stand out:

Weave in your brand’s personality

Your brand's personality should shine through in every video you create, establishing a consistent and recognizable image that resonates with your audience. This can be achieved by maintaining a consistent tone, style, and message across all content, ensuring that viewers can immediately identify your brand.

Be consistent

Consistency in posting Instagram videos is key to maintaining audience engagement and building a loyal follower base. By regularly sharing videos that align with your brand's identity and values, you help establish a predictable and enjoyable content rhythm that audiences can look forward to.

Tone of voice

Your brand's tone of voice in Instagram videos should reflect its unique personality and core values, making it instantly recognizable to your audience. It's essential to choose a tone that resonates with your target demographic, whether it's friendly and casual or professional and authoritative, to ensure your messages are both engaging and effective.

Lego Instagram example

Posting rhythm

Finding the right balance in your posting schedule is crucial for keeping your audience engaged without overwhelming them. A consistent rhythm helps set audience expectations and can significantly improve your brand's visibility and engagement on Instagram.

Color scheme

A thoughtful and consistent color scheme enhances the visual appeal of your Instagram feed, contributing to a cohesive and recognizable brand aesthetic. Using a specific palette of colors in your social media posts and videos can evoke specific emotions or associations, making your content more memorable and aligned with your brand's identity.

Instagram color scheme example


Make it visually attractive

To make your Instagram videos visually engaging, focus on the quality of the visuals and the uniqueness of the content you present. Incorporate captivating visuals, dynamic editing, and unique perspectives to ensure your videos stand out in a saturated feed.

How to create a content calendar for Instagram

An Instagram content calendar helps you stay on top of your posting schedule, plan out your content in advance, and ensure consistency. Here are some steps to help you create an effective Instagram content calendar:

Define your goals

Before creating a content calendar, it's essential to establish clear objectives for your Instagram account. These could include growing your following, driving website traffic, or increasing brand awareness.

Identify your target audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial for creating content that resonates with them and drives engagement. Identify their demographics, interests, and behaviors to tailor your content specifically for them.

Brainstorm content ideas

Based on your goals and target audience, brainstorm different types of content that would appeal to them. This could include product photos, behind-the-scenes glimpses, user-generated content, or educational videos.

To run successful brainstorming sessions, consider involving team members from various departments to bring diverse perspectives and ideas to the table. Additionally, look at popular trends in your industry or on Instagram to inspire new content concepts.

AI tools can help, but beware of sounding too much like everyone else on Instagram. Here is an interesting way to use ChatGPT to get a starting point on Instagram content ideas, for example: 

Chatgpt for instagram example

Plan out a posting schedule

Decide on a consistent posting schedule that works for your brand and audience. This could be daily, every other day, or specific days of the week.

Use scheduling tools

There are many scheduling tools available, such as Later, Buffer, or Hootsuite, that allow you to plan and schedule posts in advance and schedule them to be published automatically. Even if you just want to put out a single post a week, this type of tool can help you make sure you publish it at the perfect time. 

Be detailed

You want to be as detailed as possible with your Instagram content calendar. At the bare minimum, it should track:

  • Date: The specific day the content will be posted.
  • Post type: The overall type of post: product post, awareness, funny, enticing, etc. 
  • Theme: The general idea or message behind the post. 
  • Format: Type of content (e.g., Reel, Story, Live).
  • Visual: Main visual element (e.g., photo, graphic).
  • Text/Caption: Brief description or message accompanying the visual.

Want to create a social media plan that rocks? Check out our quick guide for that. 

social media strategy template

(This is just one part in our social media strategy kit, by the way -- you can download it for free and use it however you want.)

Track performance

Keep track of your post engagement and use this data to adjust your content strategy as needed. This could include experimenting with different types of content, posting at different times, or utilizing Instagram's various features.

How to write good Instagram captions

Great visuals are only part of the game -- most often, if you want to actually engage your audience and make them want to take an action, you will need good captions too. Thankfully, if you're looking for inspiration, we have a list of 385 Instagram captions we're keeping up to date -- check them out!

Start with the most important info

Captions should immediately grab the audience's attention by putting the crucial information or hook at the beginning. This strategy ensures viewers are engaged from the start, making them more likely to read the entire caption and interact with the post.

Use the same tone of voice

Maintaining a consistent tone of voice in Instagram captions is vital for brand recognition and audience engagement. It ensures that all content, regardless of format or message, reflects the brand's identity and resonates with its target demographic.

Keep it short and sweet

The key to winning at Instagram captions is a combination of brevity combined and impactful messaging is key. This approach not only maintains the viewer's attention but also enhances overall engagement by making the message easily digestible.

Use simple, direct text to encourage action

Using straightforward and uncomplicated text in your Instagram captions can effectively inspire your audience to take a desired action, such as visiting your website or engaging with your content. This direct approach makes your call-to-action clear, increasing the likelihood of audience participation and interaction with your brand.

Use the right hashtags

Hashtags serve as a powerful tool for increasing the visibility of your Instagram posts, connecting you with users interested in your content or niche. By carefully selecting relevant and popular hashtags, you can significantly boost your reach and engagement on the platform.

instagram hashtag example


More tips on nailing Instagram content

To go the extra-mile and create highly engaging Instagram content that stands out from the crowd, consider these additional tips:

Study your competition

There's no point in copying your competition.

But studying it to see what works for them can give you great ideas on:

  • Content: Which types of content are resonating with their audience?
  • Engagement: How are they interacting with their followers, and how can you replicate this to increase engagement on your own posts?
  • Aesthetic: Does their feed have a cohesive aesthetic, and if so, how can you create a unique one for your brand?

Collaborate with influencers

Collaborating with influencers can significantly amplify your brand's reach on Instagram by tapping into their established audience. This strategy not only increases visibility but also enhances credibility through association with trusted personalities in your industry.

Engage with followers & brands in other niches

Engaging with both followers and brands in different niches broadens your Instagram network and opens up new opportunities for collaboration and audience expansion. It's a strategy that allows for the exchange of ideas, increases your brand's visibility, and fosters a community of diverse, yet interconnected, interests.

Go for the smaller influencers

Partnering with smaller influencers can offer brands a more targeted and engaged audience, often resulting in higher rates of interaction and genuine interest in your products or services. These influencers, with their niche followings, can bring a level of authenticity and trustworthiness to your brand that resonates deeply with potential customers.

instagram influencer tier


Predict audience behavior

Understanding your audience's behavior is crucial to tailoring your Instagram content strategy effectively. By analyzing patterns in engagement and preferences, you can predict what content will resonate best, optimizing your efforts for maximum impact.

Be strategic with your calls to action

Calls to action (CTAs) are vital for converting Instagram engagement into tangible outcomes for your business, whether it's website traffic, sales, or another goal. Positioning these CTAs strategically within your captions can guide your audience on the next steps, encouraging them to interact further with your brand.

Make use of your website traffic

Leveraging the traffic from your website to bolster your Instagram presence is a smart strategy. You can do this by featuring your Instagram feed on your site and including calls to action that encourage website visitors to follow your Instagram account.

Focus on your story

Your brand's story is not just a background narrative but a powerful tool to engage and connect with your audience on a personal level. Sharing your journey, challenges, and successes on Instagram can foster a sense of community and loyalty, making your followers feel like part of your brand's ongoing story.

Instagram storytelling

Use paid ads

If you see a post perform well, boost it with the help of Instagram's social media advertising options to reach even more people who are in the same segment as those who already engaged with it. This will help you build your following and reach more potential customers. 

Repeat, collect data, adjust

No strategy is perfect off-the-gate. And no marketing strategy can work forever. Using analytics tools (like SproutSocial, TapInfluence, and others) to collect data and adjust your strategy accordingly is essential for continued success on Instagram (or...elsewhere.)

Keep on experimenting with different types of content, captions, and hashtags to gauge what works best for your brand and audience. Use this data to make informed adjustments that keep your engagement levels high and your Instagram presence thriving.

More than anything, make sure you build authentic content on Instagram. Treat this platform like an original content creator, not a brand trying to hack the system and achieve thousands of followers in no time. In the end, your follower count doesn't even mean much if it's all fake followers or people who are simply not that interested in your content. 

Build a content strategy around the messages that matter to your audience.