Updated June 2022
If you’re going to post one photo to Instagram, you might as well post two…or ten. This is the beauty of an Instagram carousel post.
The popular feature was rolled out in 2017 and allows you to combine up to 10 photos, videos, or text graphics into a single post.
And when I say popular. I mean POPULAR!
According to Search Engine Journal, a study of over 22 million Instagram posts finds carousels are the most engaging type of post. (Though I have a feeling Reels will undoubtedly take the top spot soon). So if you want to boost your Instagram engagement don’t neglect carousel posts in your content marketing efforts.
The Instagram carousel post format has an average of 1.92% engagement per post. The engagement rate per post goes over 2% when all ten carousel slides are used. However, most carousels have between 2 to 4 slides. I’d suggest at least three.
Paired with a strong content strategy, you can boost engagement levels, increase brand loyalty, and drive sales.
Creating more than one slide can feel like a lot of effort, but it’s not as time-consuming as you’d think.
Plus, you’ll get a big payoff from designing a few extra slides. This article will outline how to design a highly engaging Instagram carousel post.
Think of carousel posts as a visual representation of your caption. This is great for the visual learners in your audience, and let’s face it, not everyone is reading the captions that you worked so hard to craft.
Your intro slide needs to be eye-catching. Use high-quality images and a font that stands out. You want your slides to be self-explanatory, so be sure your font choices contrast against the background. The text needs to stop the scroll.
The intro slide should say the topic you’re going to explain with an eye-catching headline AND a subhead with why people need to swipe through.
Headline: How To Batch Your Content
Subhead: The Magical Time-Saving Technique You Need in your Marketing Strategy
Too much industry jargon makes readers scroll by. Use the second slide to spell out your subject. The best content communicates clearly, which is why this step is so important.
Headline: What is Batching?
Subtext: The definition of content batching
Name the benefits of the topic you’re explaining. You can include one point per slide. Remember, these posts need to be readable, so it’s better to have more slides than one slide with too much text.
Wrap with up by summing up the point of the point on the second to last slide.
The last slide can include a Call To Action. Anytime someone interacts with your content, Instagram takes it as a sign to push more of your content to them. A strong call to action (CTA) encourages people to interact with your posts in a meaningful way.
Generic CTAs are like white noise on Instagram. Blanket statements such as “like,” “comment,” or “tag me” are most likely going to ignore your post.
What you can do instead is ask a question or a request specifically related to your post.
If you write a post about Content Pillars, use call to actions such as:
These actionable CTAs make it easier for people to respond, and therefore they’ll be more likely to engage.
I also like to include a headshot on my final slide to humanize my brand. You can see some examples on my Instagram @ascent_storycraft.
Pro Tip: Consistency is critical in all things, and content creation is no exception.
A go-to templated format ensures that everything you’re putting out into the world follows a style guide. Plus, it is essentially a checklist for making sure you didn’t miss anything.
Tools like Canva make the design process so simple. Customize plug-and-play templates to make creating carousel posts practically effortless.
Instagram carousel posts are great for sharing in-depth educational content, but it’s not the only way to use the format. Here are three more ways to use Instagram carousel posts in your small business content strategy.
Carousel posts are often shown twice in someone’s feed. So basically Instagram gives a carousel post an extra chance for engagement that other posts don’t get.
Example: The same quote in different colors on each slide.
Photo dumps are a trend taking over Instagram — hey, even the head of Instagram is doing it. But can it work for your brand?
Think of it this way: Recap your month. Round up screenshots of client wins, snapshots of you working on exciting projects, how you’re unwinding, and what you are reading. It’s best to keep it low effort.
What’s something easier to show than explain in detail? That’s the concept of a storytelling carousel.
Examples: Show how you created your signature process based on your customer journey experience.
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