Instagram should be part of every online store’s marketing strategy. It’s popular, visual, and gives you the space to flex your creative muscles.
But Instagrammer’s block happens — fact. Finding inspiration for a regular Insta content strategy takes time and effort, and sometimes that’s hard to do.
But you don’t have to take it lying down. If your ecommerce store’s Insta feed has lost that loving feeling, read on for some great visual ideas that will give it the shot in the arm it needs.
Recommended reading: Free Instagram Templates for Easier Instagram Content Planning
The old hook and reel ‘em in
Your customers scroll through Instagram at lightning speeds, flicking through countless images and videos with every scroll. Consequently, only the best and most eye-catching content will make them stop in their tracks.
Take a high-quality photo of your product, office, or something else with a quirky angle to it. It might be a breathtaking shot, or one that confuses the viewer, making them want more information. Once you’ve got your customer’s attention with an eye-catching image, reel them in with a great deal or cool new product launch. Easy.
The behind-the-scenes glimpse
Customers love peeking behind the scenes at the brands they know and love. A candid glimpse into the inner workings of your business makes your customers feel part of your brand, increasing engagement and strengthening your relationship.
High-end fashion brand Hermès are especially good at this, taking it one step further with artfully-shot snaps of their craftsmen and women hard at work:
Beautifully-shot and eye-catching, the post above gives luxury fashion lovers a behind-the-scenes glimpse with a difference. Create a short video showing your office culture, or perhaps a sneak peek at your team attending an industry event. Be real, playful, and informal. This shows your customers that you’re more than just a business — you’re a personable and unique brand.
The user-generated quick-fix
Pushed for time? Why not get your customers to do the hard work for you with some user-generated content? It’s authentic, plentiful, and easy to source, and strengthens your customer relationship considerably. User-generated content also drives more click-throughs that branded content, up to twice as much. Invite your followers to submit their posts with a branded hashtag and share the best on your Instagram feed (with their consent). Your UGC could be of anything, but the best idea is to get your customers to show off themselves using your products for some free advertising.
The product insight
Instagram is the perfect platform to show off your product and take a deep dive into what makes it so great. Many of your customers might not even know half of the cool stuff that your product has to offer. Hone in on one specific feature or function and highlight how it benefits your customers. As well as showing off existing features, you can use these posts to show off new features that are in the pipeline.
The Q&A session
Nothing generates engagement like a question post. Customers love to share their thoughts on social, so asking your followers for their input drives a frenzy of comments. Your question could relate to products or features your customers want to see, or even about their favorite book or film. Whatever the question, you should reply to as many as you can. Of course, depending on the engagement your post gets this could be difficult. But by responding to your customers, you show them you value their input, reinforcing your customer love and enhancing your branding. Top tip: use the questions sticker on your Instagram Story to create dynamic Q&A sessions across your channel. Share the best responses and see your engagement levels soar.
The #ThrowbackThursday post
The #ThrowbackThursday hashtag is wildly popular on Instagram, and it’s not just for your customers either. Brands too can embrace #ThrowbackThursday to create conversations with their customers. The Cincinatti Reds are particularly good at this:
View this post on Instagram
The sports team regularly shares old photos of the team from way back when. It gives their followers a taste of their history and strengthens their fan community into the bargain.
Create a throwback post that harks back to your early days as a business. A snapshot of your bedroom office or your first dollar earned makes for great #throwback content that show your customers the passion and history behind your brand.
The #FeelgoodFriday post
Everyone loves a feel-good post: an uplifting quote here, an inspiring story there. It’s popular with customers, and promotes positive brand recognition with your followers. It gives your brand a heart, and that’s gold for positive customer relations.
Avoid divisive themes such as politics, and opt for empowering messages that everyone will love. Use the #FeelgoodFriday hashtag to earn your brand some well-deserved love.
The sneaky teaser
Have you got a new product coming out? Or are you launching a new collection? Build some hype in advance with an enigmatic teaser post. Use images or a short video clip to get your followers interested and commenting eagerly for more information.
Netflix often use short clips to tease viewers about upcoming releases:
The teaser for ROMA, above, is enigmatic and generates hype. And the quirky newsflash-style caption really adds to the anticipation — Alfonso Cuaron fans, watch this space!
Remember, less is more with teaser posts. Include just enough information to pique your customer’s interest and tell them to watch this space.
The educational post
Let’s be honest: as an ecommerce brand, you know your stuff. If you’re a coffee store, you know caffeine inside and out. And if you’re a fashion retailer, you’ve got an eye for style like no other.
So why not share that knowledge with your customers? Create short videos that deliver some insightful tips that your followers will benefit from. As ever with social, keep it short and snappy. Or, failing that, pique their interest and get them to click-through to your online store.
The brand love spotlight
Share the love! Highlighting a non-competing brand in your niche is a great Instagram post idea that shows your followers that you’re a team player, and it’s a great way to grow your Insta account too.
For example, let’s say you’re an activewear brand. Use related niche hashtags (e.g. #FitnessAddict, #GetHealthy, or #FitnessMotivation) to find individuals and brands related to your industry.
Create a post promoting the best accounts, tagging them in a shoutout. You might get a follow in return, or even a shoutout of your own on their account too.
The influencer invasion
Influencer-brand collaborations are hugely rewarding. They expose your brand to a whole new audience, drive traffic to your store, generate hype, and enhance your ecommerce branding.
Find an influencer that operates within your niche and get them to take over your Instagram feed for a day. As well as creating unique new content for your feed, get your influencer into your office or at an event and share their experience on your Story.
The cross-content promo ad
You’ve likely got a strong content strategy that regularly delivers interesting blogs to an engaged audience. But you can always boost your readership, and Instagram is the perfect place to do just that.
Everytime you upload a new piece of content, create an Instagram post to promote it. Use a relevant image (always original — never diminish your Instagram feed with a stock photo!) and include a text overlay so your followers know what they’re going to get.
So there you have it: twelve great visual ideas to get your ecommerce Instagram feed on-point again. Armed with the ideas in this article, you’ll never again struggle to create beautiful Insta posts that your customers will love.