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Develop your visibility

18 Instagram ideas to help your business stand out

16 April 2024

Lift your Instagram game with 18 fresh ideas to make your brand shine. Boost engagement and sales—starting now!

Alrie Velleman

Creating content for social media can be a daunting task, especially if you’re managing everything yourself. From brainstorming to research to crafting compelling posts, it’s time-consuming to say the least! But in today’s digital world, having a strong social media presence is essential for businesses.

To help you overcome the challenges of content creation, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide with ideas specifically tailored for Instagram. Whether you’re aiming to connect with your audience, promote your products, or drive engagement, our suggestions are designed to help you achieve your goals effectively.

Instagram post ideas for your business to help you connect with your audience

Standing out and becoming the go-to business for your customers is crucial. Social networks, especially Instagram, offer powerful tools to help you differentiate yourself. Today’s consumers are eager to connect with brands and understand their values.

Instagram provides various types of posts that cater to this need.

1. Show yourself!

As an independent retailer, your brand is a reflection of yourself. In your customers’ eyes, your shop embodies who you are! Therefore, don’t hold back—introduce yourself to your audience. Share your background, your values, your passions, what brings you joy… Providing this insight will help your customers connect with you on a deeper level, fostering trust and loyalty, and ultimately driving them to visit your shop.

→ Recommended formats: Publication (post) or Reel (video).

2. Celebrate your team

If you’re lucky enough to have a team working with you, don’t hesitate to present them too. After all, your employees represent you to your customers, some of them as much as you do. Introduce them to your subscribers through short portraits.

→ Recommended formats: Publication (carousel) or Reel (video).

3. Glimpse behind the scenes

Tap into the natural curiosity of your audience! The daily activities of an independent retailer are a source of intrigue and fascination for many. Don’t hesitate to give them a peek behind the curtain of your business! Whether it’s installing new decorations, showcasing the latest product arrivals, or reorganising the shop with your team, these everyday moments make for engaging content that will captivate your followers.

→ Recommended formats: Story or Reel (video).

4. A day in the life of a retailer

Similar to the previous idea, consider filming yourself throughout a typical day as a retailer. With dynamic editing and background music, offer your subscribers an immersive glimpse into your daily routine. From opening the shop to interacting with customers, handling inventory, and closing up for the day, showcasing these moments in a lively and engaging way will provide your audience with an authentic view behind the scenes. 

→ Recommended format: Reel (vlog-style video).

5. Q&A

Fostering curiosity among your followers and customers is a cornerstone of your Instagram strategy. To cultivate a two-way relationship, consider opening up a virtual “question box” about your products or services to your followers. This initiative not only strengthens your bond with existing followers but also serves as a welcoming introduction for newcomers to your profile. Encouraging interaction through questions creates an engaging dialogue that enhances your brand’s accessibility and appeal.

→ Recommended format: Stories (using the “Questions” function).

6. Your presence at trade shows

If you also want to publish content for your B2B audience, you can announce your presence at the various trade fairs or events you attend. This is an opportunity to connect with your network both online and in person. Think of the typical “come say hi” posts.

→ Recommended format: Story

7. A touch of humour

By sharing a meme or a funny video with your subscribers that relates to your shop or your industry, you’re injecting humour into your content that not only showcases your lighter side but also creates a relatable and entertaining experience for your audience. Whether it’s a witty meme poking fun at common retail experiences or a lighthearted video showcasing the quirks of your industry, humour is a powerful tool for engaging your followers and fostering a sense of connection.

→ Recommended format: Publication (post) or Reel (video).

8. Use preconceptions

Share your perspective, experiences, and feelings to dispel or confirm preconceived notions about your business or sector. Whether it’s addressing common misconceptions or reaffirming positive stereotypes, sharing your authentic voice will help you stand out. 

→ Recommended format: Publication (post) or Reel (video).

Instagram post ideas for your business to help sell your products

In addition to enhancing visibility and brand awareness, social networks are indeed an invaluable tool for driving sales. From product presentations and launches to offering discounts and tutorials, these platforms provide an ideal avenue for highlighting your products and persuading subscribers to make a purchase through high-quality content. 

Turning your followers into customers is achievable with the right publishing strategies. See our expert tips below to maximise your sales potential:

9. Presenting your products

Instagram is the perfect social network for presenting the products you sell in your shop. It offers you a number of ways to do this successfully: Zooming in on small details, important information in the caption, etc. All the tools you need to showcase your products are at your disposal. If you have a website or an online shop, you can also add the link directly to your bio.

→ Recommended formats: Publication (post), Reel (video) or Story

10. Your products in action

Presenting a product is all very well, but showing it in action is sometimes even better. If you’ve already introduced your product in a post, consider supplementing it with images and/or a video showcasing the product in use. For instance, demonstrate how to apply a skincare product, incorporate an ingredient into a recipe, or suggest where to install a decorative item.

→ Recommended formats: Publication (carousel) or Reel (video).

11. Before and after

A classic marketing technique for years, the ‘before/after’ is a must for one reason: it works! Don’t hesitate to share a carousel of images or a video with your community to illustrate this.

→ Recommended formats: Publication (carousel) or Reel (video).

12. Customer testimonials

In order to convince your followers to buy from you, whether it’s in-store or online, you first need to gain their trust. To do this, you can rely on your existing customers’ testimonials. By sharing them, you’re using a lever called “social proof” in marketing. As Hubspot explains in their blog, social proof is a powerful tool as it is rooted in psychology: “Rather than relying on their own intuition, they look to other people for guidance on what they should do.”

Reviews left on your site, on Trustpilot or on Google will be the perfect vote of confidence to share with your subscribers.
Don’t forget to create a visual in your brand’s colours to highlight these reviews.

→ Recommended format: Publication (post)

13. User Generated Content

Also known as UGC, this refers to content created by your customers using your products. They’re the ones who take the photos, share their opinions, publish videos… All you have to do is share them on your account. Authenticity guaranteed with your followers.

Remember to never share content without first asking the author for explicit permission. It is also recognised as good practice to identify the author on the publication/story in question.

→ Recommended formats: Publication (post), Reel (video) or re-sharing as a Story.

14. A partnership with an influencer

Collaborating with influencers who align with your sector is an unparalleled way to boost your visibility. These partnerships can easily be showcased on your account using Instagram’s dedicated collaboration feature. By teaming up with influencers who resonate with your brand values and target audience, you can leverage their credibility and reach to expand your own presence on the platform.

→ Recommended formats: Publication (post) or Reel (video).

15. Discounts

They work just as well online as offline! Announce the introduction of discounts on your products to highlight your offers. Indicate the percentage, the dates, the conditions and don’t hesitate to create a visual in your own colours. You can also set up a countdown in your stories before the start of these discounts.

→ Recommended formats: Publication (post) or Stories

Instagram post ideas for your business to help create engagement

Engagement is one of the most important performance indicators on social networks. The more your followers interact with your content, the more it will be shared with a large number of users. Likes, shares and registrations is the secret sauce.
Check out our post ideas below to boost your engagement on Instagram and motivate your community.

16. Competitions

Competitions serve as an effective method for gaining new followers. However, it’s crucial to adhere to certain rules: clearly outline the competition rules in your post, specify a deadline for participation, avoid hosting competitions too frequently to prevent potential backlash or penalties from Instagram, and so on. By following these guidelines, you can leverage competitions to drive engagement, expand your audience, and ultimately increase visibility on the platform.

→ Recommended format: Publication (post)

17. Polls

Ask your audience. With the poll feature, now available in both stories and posts, you can consult your followers directly. Opinions on upcoming events, product preferences, or decorating choices… Any excuse is a good one to poll your network. As well as increasing your engagement, these surveys are also an opportunity for you to gather relevant information directly from your customers or prospects.

→ Recommended formats: Publications (post) or Stories

18. Quizzes

Quizzes are the perfect tool for elevating your engagement rate, offering an interactive element to your content. Whether it’s about your products, your shop, or an upcoming event, quizzes provide a fun and easy way for your audience to learn more. Plus, setting them up is a breeze—simply utilise the feature directly available in Instagram Stories. With quizzes, you can spark curiosity, drive interaction, and keep your followers entertained while simultaneously gathering valuable insights about their preferences and interests.

→ Recommended format: Story

Top community management tips for your social networks

  • Ensure to include your website link in your profile bio to direct traffic to your website.
  • Keep an eye on social networks for inspiration. Regularly browse through content from competitors, influencers, and other brands for fresh ideas.
  • Place your audience at the forefront of your strategy. Analyse which posts perform best and adjust your content calendar accordingly to meet their preferences.
  • Maintain a consistent publishing schedule to stay on the radar of Instagram’s algorithm.
  • Utilise Canva’s pre-made templates for creating visually appealing content. Customise them with your brand colours and style to enhance your posts effortlessly.
Increase your visibility online and offline - from social networks to e-mail campaigns and in-person events. Discover our expert tips to help you stand out from the crowd.