20 Content Ideas for Your Instagram

    July 21 2021

    One of the most common Instagram challenges is creating enough content to post weekly. You want to provide both valuable content geared towards your audience and relevant content that incorporates popular social media trends. And by leaning on each Instagram content type you're opening yourself up to more ways to create unique and relatable content. Still in a creative rut? Not to worry!  We’ve got you covered with 20 Instagram content ideas for each content type. Each is designed to get you out of your head and into content creation mode in no time. You can thank us later.

    Let’s get started!

    1. Create a Memorable Content Series 

    Start a memorable, weekly content series to your list of content buckets. Think of things like a weekly ask-me-anything on Instagram Stories or a Reels showcasing your product. Having a  content series is a surefire way to regularly and consistently keep your audience engaged and knowing what to expect next. For example, every Tuesday, PLANOLY shares a marketing tip on Instagram as a part of a weekly content series. Content series can be any type of content posted consistently on the same day for how often you want. Make sure it aligns with your business, brand, or industry. 


    2. Instagram Story Polls 

    Instagram has a wide variety of features to help its users create content without ever having to leave the app. One of our favorite features is Instagram Polls. Instagram Polls are spontaneous, meaning they don’t have to be as curated as your Instagram feed. Ask your followers anything like what they think about a specific product of yours or if they’re on the latest social media app. 

    In general, Instagram Stories is a good place to share quick and easy content without a lot of effort. And adding Instagram Stickers like the music sticker, the emoji slider sticker, countdown sticker, quiz sticker are simple ways to engage your followers without much brainpower. 

    Related: How to Use Instagram Polls to Grow Your Engagement

    3. Instagram Story Q&A 

    As mentioned in the section about Instagram Polls, Instagram Stories has a question sticker that allows followers to ask questions through Stories. You can look at your responses by swiping up on your story. Pick the responses you want to answer by tapping and clicking ‘Share Your Response.’ Sharing will automatically add the question to your Story where you can type or film your response. For example, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, hosts Story Q&A’s answering his followers’ burning questions about Instagram. The latest one was on the Instagram Algorithm, where he shared a little more transparency into how it worked. You can tailor this approach towards your industry or brand. After the Story Q&A, you can pin it to your Story Highlights for your followers to refer back to. 

    4. Tutorials on Reels 

    Followers are always interested in educating themselves about new industry-related topics or products. By sharing tutorials or how-tos via Reels, you can easily break down your educational content. Reels allows you to add text and transitions and edit your video content, so it’s more accessible and digestible for your audience. Heyday Skincare shares Reels tutorials for skincare routine tips. 


    5. Try Out a Few Dance Challenges 

    Short-form video content is reigning supreme on the most popular social media content to consume. Lucky for you, Instagram Reels is full of tools to help you perfectly execute a popular dance challenge trend. If you’re not familiar, check out the popular dance challenge below. 

    6. Branded Memes 

    There’s nothing quite like a well-conceived brand meme or, in this case, a meme that directly ties back to your industry, business, or product & service. Taking popular viral memes and making them your own is an easily relatable, shareable, and likable way to approach content creation. The bonus is that memes maintain your cultural relevance for your followers. 

    And if you’re worried about a meme format not fitting your grid aesthetic, we have a blog dedicated to incorporating memes into your content strategy. Hint: Keep it simple by sticking to a text format using your brand colors. 


    Related: We Meme Business: How to Leverage Memes in Your Content Strategy

    7. User-Generated Content (UGC)

    Adding user-generated content to your content mix is a way to add a trustworthy and community-driven element or “Instagrammable moment” to your grid or Story. Start by resharing posts or Stories you’re tagged in by loyal customers or followers. Not only can this expand your reach, but it can turn more followers into customers.  

    Regramming share-worthy content from other creators like beautiful photography or anything that will make your followers stop scrolling and feel good when they see it adds variety to your grid.

    Note: Make sure you’re asking for permission to reshare on your grid and always credit the original creator by tagging them or giving them a shout-out in your caption.  


    PLANOLY Pro-tip: Use PLANOLY’s discover feature on IG Planner to search user-generated content. Search either by username or hashtag. Available on mobile and web.

    8. Share Recaps of your Instagram Lives or In-Person Events  

    Hosting Instagram Lives can increase discoverability, connect to your followers, and broaden your audience by hosting discussions, sharing and demonstrating new products, or answering questions from your followers in real-time. But in case your followers missed your Live, you can recap it on your feed. Create a summary of everything discussed. You can even save your Live session and post it to your story or Instagram TV for followers who weren’t able to attend. In your recap, you can link to the video to learn more in-depth than your recap slides. 

    9. Behind-The-Scenes (BTS) 

    Followers love a behind-the-scenes look into your brand or company. Share BTS content on your grid or Story. Former Special Projects Editor for Instyle, Peyton Dix, shared a BTS look for a photoshoot she pitched and helped direct. Try this out with your product photoshoots. 


    10. Team Highlight 

    Followers love learning more about your company. By spotlighting your team members, you’re giving your followers a glimpse into one of their favorite companies while increasing more visibility and transparency among your audiences. For example, we have a content series called Hacks from PLANOLY People, where our employees share their favorite PLANOLY features and how they use them. This series not only highlights our team members but is educational too. Businesses looking to try this out can tap on a team member so they can share a little bit of themselves and the product they can’t live without.

    11. Community Highlight 

    A great way to thank your community for all the support they’ve given you is by spotlighting your community members. Thinx, an underwear brand for people on their periods, highlights their community member stories about why they use and trust Thinx underwear during their time of the month. Community highlights or testimonials help bring new perspectives and voices into the conversations surrounding periods. 


    12. Instagram Story Takeovers with Local Businesses or Influencers

    Instagram Story Takeover can expand your audience. Partner with influencers, creators, or other brands & businesses to take over your story for the day. Make sure they relate to your industry or cater to your specific target audience. For example, Bon Appetit gets creators in a related industry to share helpful tips on the Bon Appetit Story.

    13. Instagram Live Q&A

    Like Instagram Stories, this is your chance to answer any follower or customer questions. Instagram Live allows you the opportunity to respond in real-time. Followers can directly ask their questions in the live-streaming chatbox. To promote your Live Q&A, share countdowns on your Story or create posts that promote the live event.


    14. Breaking News 

    Share Stories or posts about breaking news in your industry or your brand. Ask your followers to respond in the comments about their thoughts.


    15. Audiograms 

    Audio is starting to make its way on social media. Apps like Clubhouse or Podcasts rely heavily on audio to educate and update their users and listeners. Share a soundbite from a Clubhouse discussion or a podcast you were on and relay it back to your Instagram followers in a post. In addition to a soundbite, you include text to make it more inclusive for every audience. For example, share valuable insights on an industry topic, etc. 


    16. Mental Health & Wellbeing Content 

    Audiences love a good inspirational quote or wellness tip from time to time. It’s the perfect way to break up a user’s feed and stop them from continuously scrolling while brightening their day or offering some much-needed advice.


    17. Astrology, Enneagrams, or Personality-Based Content

    Astrology memes and other personality-based posts bring in engagement. Even if your users aren’t into astrology, etc., they can still relate based on their zodiac sign or personality type.  Popular meme accounts and brands often base this type of content on popular tv shows, holiday themes, etc. Tie it to relevant pop culture moments.


    18. Repurpose High-Performing Content

    Don’t break what’s not broken. Repurpose your previous high-performing content by updating the copy and graphics, so it remains fresh and relevant. To find your high-performing content, you can use Instagram analytics. For more in-depth Instagram insights, check out PLANOLY's analyze feature. 

    Related: Instagram Insights: Guide to Monitoring Your Instagram Performance

    PLANOLY - Blog - 20 Social Media Ideas - Image 1


    19. Product + Lifestyle Shots 

    Shoot your product in various ways. Product shots are perfect for an up-close view of your product. Lifestyle shots put your product or service in real-life situations that better relate your product to your audience.

    20. Brand Videos Using IGTV

    Share more professional longer-form videos on Instagram TV. This is your opportunity to share a more in-depth glimpse of your company. Filming brand videos allow your audience to learn more about you and what you do. You can reshare your IGTV video to your grid whenever you want to reintroduce yourself to your followers or new followers. 

    We hope our list of 20 social media ideas for Instagram helps you find inspiration and fill up your content calendar, so you can continue growing your audience and engagement.  

    Learn more about Carrie Boswell, on PLANOLY

    Carrie Boswell

    Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

    More by Carrie Boswell

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