7 Instagram Post Ideas: The Killer Content That Works!

Struggling for new Instagram post ideas? It happens to the best of us…

Creating a consistent flow of engaging content for social media is a challenge! It can sometimes feel like you’ve hit a dead end for Instagram post ideas, or that your profile is getting repetitive. This becomes even harder once you have a feed theme or colour palette, as you’re restricted by the aesthetic of your content! It’s something social media and marketing managers will be used to the world over: the modern age writers’ block.

That’s why we’ve put together 7 content suggestions and real-life examples that you can take, and make your own! Say goodbye to the same old posts and hello to a whole lot of #InstaInspo 💁‍♀️

#1 Use social media holidays for Instagram post ideas

One of the simplest solutions when struggling for Instagram post ideas is to plan campaigns around upcoming social media holidays and events that will be getting a lot of traffic on a specific day (because everybody should get involved with #NationalPetDay).

These trending hashtags are typically in 3 categories:

  • Commemorative Days i.e #EarthDay, #WorldBeardDay, #WorldVeganDay
  • Current Affairs i.e #Superbowl, #BlackFriday, #USElections
  • Instagram Trends i.e #MondayMotivation#WCW, #ThrowbackThursday

The commemorative days, or ‘social media holidays’ as we call them here, is where there’s the most potential for brands, influencers, and creatives to get Instagram post ideas.

Regardless of industry or audience demographic, there are social media holidays for everyone, and some of the less obvious ones allow brands to get creative and think outside the box. Naturally a cafe will be posting on #InternationalCoffeeDay, but so might a shop who sells mugs, or even a B2B company celebrating their office caffeine! Just from searching that hashtag on Instagram, here are some of the unlikely posts I found from last year:

instagram post ideas

Tech and fashion giants utilised the trending hashtag to come up with new Instagram post ideas! This shows how you can get a slice of the traffic on most social media holidays, despite their relevance to your business.

Coming up with Instagram post ideas around social media holidays increases your reach, as so many people are using and browsing the same hashtag. It also allows you to be organised and plan in advance, schedule posts and save any rushed last minute content. So if you’re ever struggling for Instagram inspiration, look at the month’s upcoming trends and see how your brand can think of Instagram post ideas around those topics!

Calling all social media managers!

Bookmark our free 2019 Social Media Holiday Calendar to refer to throughout the year, and never miss an Instagram content opportunity again:

social media holidays calendar

#2 Go behind-the-scenes

As humans we are naturally curious, and enjoy getting to know the people and clockwork behind a brand. If you’re trying to think of Instagram post ideas, or are realising you can’t maintain the high-cost product shots and don’t want to compromise, why not break the fourth wall and let your audience in!

Shoot some content that shows something personal about your team, business, and company culture. Whether it’s behind-the-scenes preparation for an upcoming event, a sneak peak into your creative process, or just a snap of your colleague drinking from a funny mug, it will certainly give your followers the chance to see who you are or what your brand is truly about.

instagram post ideas

So if you’re feeling uninspired for Instagram post ideas, consider a series of photos or videos you could produce that tells the stories of the people in your company and how you work! This kind of content will connect with your audience and is likely to grow your community on Instagram.

Plan & schedule social media ahead of time.

Video, gallery, image & text only posts

Calendar, feed & grid preview

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

START PLANNING YOUR POSTS NOW

#3 User-generated content

If you’re out of Instagram post ideas, give your audience the chance to step up to the plate and repost their photos! Not only does user-generated content help with what to post Instagram, it also creates and fosters a sense of community with your audience and customers. UGC is one of the most effective content sources on social media today today, receiving up to 70% more engagement as a result of being more authentic than branded content.

In order to successfully use UGC on Instagram, you need to encourage your audience to post photos of your brand. Create a unique community hashtag for content submissions, such as River Island’s #ImWearingRI (pictured below) and monitor the hashtag as well as any posts you get tagged in. Put it in your bio on your profile with a compelling call to action to ‘tag to be featured’ or something similar!

Make sure you always ask permission before re-posting somebody else’s content. It’s not only polite and legally necessary, but it’s a great opportunity to start genuine conversations with your customers! Drop a comment on the post or send them a direct message — or if you’re Starbucks, do both (see below).

instagram post ideas

UGC has so many benefits for growing your account, particularly if you’re running low on Instagram post ideas! If you have a collection of photos your customers have taken, you can turn to them whenever you need some fresh content. You can bet the person whose photo it is will comment and share with their friends too, so naturally UGC will increase your reach. Wins all round!

Read more about UGC and other types of content in this guide: 

⭐️ How To Produce Epic Instagram Content For Your Business ⭐️

#4 Time for a quote

A simple Instagram post idea is to create text-based images that complement your feed. Regardless of industry and audience, a quote or meme is a great way to convey information and emotion to your followers and boost engagement. Rather than scraping the barrel for Instagram post ideas or resorting to posting repetitive images, use a quote post to break up your feed and give something different to your audience.

The possibilities are endless with text posts! They could be humorous, informative, emotive, or simply some nice looking typography, and the best part is that any brand can use this Instagram post idea and make it relevant to their audience. Check out the examples below!

instagram post ideas

Wordswag, PicLab, Phonto are only some of the many apps you can use to create your own quote image. Or try templates on Canva, Venngage or PicMonkey if you prefer to get creative on your desktop!

Plan & schedule social media ahead of time.

Video, gallery, image & text only posts

Calendar, feed & grid preview

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

START PLANNING YOUR POSTS NOW

#5 Host an Instagram contest

This requires a bit more planning and promotion than our other suggestions – but trust me – the payoffs can be huge! When thinking of Instagram post ideas, a good way of mixing up your feed is by hosting a contest on your profile. Contests and giveaways are one of the most effective tactics to quickly increase engagement and grow your audience. The post will naturally receive more engagement than normal as there’s an incentive to like and comment, and your audience will tag their friends thereby increasing the reach of your post (and contest!). 

In order to pull off a successful Instagram contest, make sure you have an appropriate prize ready, provide clear steps to enter for participants, set a deadline and decide how you’ll select the winner! 

instagram post ideas

For a step by step guide to running an Instagram giveaway, check out:

🎁 How To Run An Instagram Contest: A 5 Step Guide 🎁

#6 Pets of Instagram

Instagram loves pets. Pets love Instagram. When brainstorming Instagram post ideas, if you reach a dead end don’t be afraid to think outside box for a different way to get your message across. Using animals in your posts is a guaranteed way of increasing engagement, with one study finding an 295% increase in comments on content featuring pets posted by a brand.

The best thing about incorporating pets into your marketing campaigns is that they are effective across all industries and audiences. It also shows the human and loveable side of a brand, similar to the behind-the-scenes approach. So next time you’re feeling low on Instagram post ideas, put your furry friends in the spotlight and watch your engagement soar!

instagram post ideas

(Disclaimer: other animals are equally effective, I’m just a dog person)

Plan your social media posts.

Visually plan your posts. Drag and drop everywhere.

#7 Foodporn

One of the few things that unites the whole world is food. We all need to eat. Photos and videos of food perform so well on Instagram because the target market is everyone! If your Instagram post ideas hit a wall, think of some food content you could create as a mouth-watering filler in your feed.

The best thing about using food as an Instagram post idea, is there are so many ways to do it. You could plan to publish a food post on a social media holiday like we spoke about in tip #1, or repost a local eatery or customer’s photo to help build community! Check out our best food hashtags guide for more inspiration.

instagram post ideas

Happy posting 🎉


Hopper HQ is a visual planning and scheduling tool for Instagram, bringing the creativity back to social media management and freeing up time to focus on the areas of marketing you love most 💙 Try it free today with our 14 day trial.

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