Creating interactive and engaging content on Instagram goes beyond getting a bang for your back, as a popular Instagram account can result in the creation of an entirely independent stream of revenue and an enduring personal brand. Sounds easy? Well, it’s not. Formulating a sustainable content strategy takes more than selecting the best graphics on landing on the right font.
When it comes to Instagram, you are dealing with a crowd so diverse that tailoring content to suit a certain demographic is near impossible. Instead, the key to creating an engaging, scroll-stopping Instagram feed is to have a clear idea of your audience and all the ways in which you can position your account to be of the best service to them. Let’s explore how.
Instagram is the 4th most used social media platform in the world. When we crunched the statistics of the most engaging posts of accounts with a modest following, we derived some concluding points on what works on Instagram, and what flops. As per collected data, people flock over to IG for imitation, social cognition, reward processing, and attention. In layman’s terms, an average Instagram user will stop the scroll at posts that either educate, validate, or inform them about something they have partial knowledge of.
Keeping these data points, we can formulate the type of posts that people want to engage with on Instagram. Here are some of them:
- Anticipatory countdowns: People love to look forward to things, even when it has nothing to do with them. Countdowns to a reveal or a giveaway is a sure-shot way to stop the fingers and initiate positive interaction with your followers.
- General affirmations: Pluck out the most common denominators and post content that’s positive and affirming to the truths they already believe in. It’s not to say that you should cocoon them in your ideas and never present challenging information or confront bias, but ultimately, your IG profile should be an oasis in the world of conflicting posts.
- Info Pockets: Posts with information about the general state of affairs or a particular field of expertise will always garner more attention. Sharing your learned expertise in bite-sized info pockets drives up your engagement and sustains your account’s growth most organically.
- Carousel posts: Uploading multiple photos in a single go made things a lot easier for average IG users. Carousel posts with a building narrative are gripping and maximise a user’s presence on your post. Multiple photos, like open loops, intrigue the user into learning more, thus stopping the scroll.
- Call to action: A call to action is a doable task that can be accomplished with a single click. CTA posts garner massive engagement on the Internet because it is human nature to comply with tasks laid out in front of them.
- UGC content: “Lesser models, more me” is the driving content behind the demand for UGC content on Instagram. When it comes to a brand, a constant source of user-generated content through question stickers, polls, comments, and other forms of engagement is a great sign of vitality and growth. Transforming this data into content makes for an intriguing post that immediately grabs user attention.
- Brand-centric posts: Building a brand on Instagram will never be a waste of your time and efforts, as the results of it will only compound over time. Because familiarity attracts, posting content with a theme will make a lasting impression on the user.
- Satiate the narcissist: The foremost question that crosses a user’s head as they decide to follow you is: “What’s in it for me?” Plan your content in a way that centres your followers, and not your product. In your quest to help your followers out, you’ll be able to create the most engaging posts for your account.
- Post professionally edited videos: More than 85% of active Internet users are expecting more video content from brands they wish to interact with. But posting I’ll-crafted videos will backfire in a quick motion. Pay extra attention to the thumbnail, pacing, and initial volume of the video and invest in a professional Instagram video editor.
- Follow the hierarchy design principle: When it is critical to grab the attention in the fraction of a second that it takes to scroll, you need to learn to master the hierarchy and put the most valuable nugget of information first. Visual hierarchy is all about arranging your posts in a way that highlights the most important piece of information.
- Prepare open-loop content: In the age of instant gratification, a user sitting down at home feels entitled to learn the entire story within a single glance. An open-loop post generates curiosity and hooks the user because it presents a question but doesn’t answer it.
- Optimize your posts for Instagram: IG feed is constantly adjusting to its changes, and repurposing your content on the platform can backfire. Before posting your content on the platform, make sure it is IG-friendly in terms of size, quality, visuals, and design.
- Develop memes based on your brand’s style guide: Cashing in on the latest trends works well in growing your brand’s Instagram account. But posting generic content will repel your audience. Instead, develop a thematic meme style for your brand and stick to it.
- Stay foolish and unpolished: Ultimately, social media is all about being social, and having a cold and corporate outlook is a recipe for failure. Instead of chasing a pristine feed with an astute theme, experiment with your content and showcase the team of human beings working behind the screen.
- Study the data. The best thing about social media is it’s not unilateral. You get to engage with your target groups in real-time and establish a relationship with them, which opens gateways for instant feedback. Post, evaluate, examine, experiment, and come back to posting. While this is great advice, every Instagram account is different.
Since attention is the new currency, most Instagram accounts try to become the jack of all trades. Instead, they should study the data, pick a lane, and master it to create the most engaging, scroll-stopping content for their audience. This is a pretty good list to kick things off — Hope it lands you somewhere.