Earlier this year, Instagram stepped it up once again with their newest feature – carousel photos. Forget overwhelming your followers with one too many Instagram posts. Now with this update, you can now share up to 10 photos and/or videos all in a single post. While this feature is exciting for all Instagram users, it presents a great opportunity for business owners who want to better leverage their Instagram strategy.
But first, how does it work?
In many ways, Instagram’s carousel feature functions as a mini photo album. To use the feature, select an image and click on the icon in the bottom right corner. Then, you can simply tap on the photos and/or videos that you want to share. Your first photo or video you pick will serve as the “cover” for your multi-image post. If you want to rearrange it, just hold down the image to move it.
But we can’t forget about filters! Similar to your typical Instagram update, you can add filters to your images. You can put one filter on all your posts or edit each photo individually. Just remember, you want your mini photo album to have the look and feel of your other Instagram content – consistency is still important. Consider the story your Instagram carousel is telling and what will inspire engagement from your followers.
Share more Instagram-worthy photos
As Instagram explained on its blog earlier this year, “You no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember.” Whether you’re hosting a special sale or giving a behind-the-scenes tour of your town, carousels can work wonders for your Instagram feed. Check out these seven ways you can incorporate multi-image posts into your Instagram content.
#1 Before and after
Sharing your finished products or recipes with your followers is amazing, but if you really want to see strong engagement try getting them involved in the process! Instagram carousels allow you to walk your followers through your creative process, from the first brainstorm to the beautiful result.
Interior design accounts, like @tweakyourspace, use before and after carousel images to further illustrate their company’s ability to turn even the drabbest rooms into beautiful living spaces. But before and after images are not limited to home design. From jewelry makers to personal trainers, before and after images are a fun way to spark a conversation with your customers while demonstrating your amazing skills.
#2 Promote events
Promoting gatherings and special events for your business on Instagram shouldn’t be limited to the night-of. Get your followers hyped about your event from the start! Whether you’re promoting ticket sales or giving them a sneak peek at the planning process, using carousel images saves precious Instagram space while still getting eyeballs on your content.
@Kjp does a spectacular job using carousel images to show exactly why his charity events cannot be missed. Kiel uses a combination of photos from previous year’s events as well as lifestyle shots to generate buzz about his event. He lets his carousel images tell the story of the event, giving him the additional exposure he needs to make sure it’s a sold out event every time.
#3 Give more info about your products
If you’re on Instagram for your business, then it’s obvious that you’re serious about getting more eyeballs on your products or services. But don’t let people guess what you’re selling, tell them. People are unlikely to read lengthy caption descriptions, so it’s important that you convey it clearly with your Instagram images.
One of my absolute favorite businesses, @thedrybar, does this by using a combination of shots featuring their gift cards and amazing styling tools. They know that their followers are scrolling quickly, so they use themed carousel photos to be front and center.
#4 Show off your location
Anyone who knows me is well aware how much I love Boston! But Boston is more than a place that I call home, it’s the backdrop that inspires me to keep building my dynamic, awesome business. If you’re proud of your location, make sure you’re sharing that with your followers.
Deep in the heart of Texas, @magnolia is using their beautiful location to tell a compelling, relatable story about their brand. Even when they’re not showing the beautiful silos, Chip and Joanna use Instagram carousel images to tell the bigger story of their love for Waco. Want to make it even easier for your followers to learn about your location? Make sure you tag your Instagram carousel with your location, so you’ll show up in the location hub.
#5 Tease products before they launch
Much like the hype before an event, Instagram is an amazing way to get your followers excited about your newest products and services. You can even create buzz by showing small sneak peeks of your upcoming content.
@Loracosmetics does this often with their new makeup collections. Instead of dedicating a ton of their Instagram feed to tease their newest Beauty and the Beast inspired line, they used a combination of single posts and carousel images to show off the individual elements of the collection. Collectively, this strategy beautifully highlights each product while creating cohesion on their Instagram feed.
#6 Show the process/how it’s made
Creating greater transparency between you and your customers is one of the best ways to foster stronger trust and long-term customer relationships. If you’re a foodie or someone who specializes in healthy eating, you know that your customers are always eager to learn more about what they’re consuming. Don’t just tell them it’s healthy and delicious – show it!
@Hellofresh stays true to its company’s mission of providing wholesome, delicious meals to its customers by sharing step-by-step carousel images of their various recipes. From spicy salsa to protein-packed smoothies, Hello Fresh’s carousel images tell a compelling story about exactly what their customers can expect, and why they are the brand that is committed to helping its customers live healthier lives.
#7 Promote a giveaway
Have you tried promoting a giveaway on your Instagram feed only to find it completely underperformed? One of the biggest hurdles to sharing a great Instagram giveaway is making sure your followers know exactly what they can win.
Much like @davidstea does with its giveaways, Instagram carousels allow you to walk your followers through every amazing product up for grabs. Use your “cover photo” to hype the collective giveaway, while utilizing the other images to tease exactly every product included in the giveaway. This will not only encourage greater engagement from your followers, but also gives you another chance to highlight each of your amazing products.
What story is your brand telling?
Instagram carousels are a fantastic way to tell a cohesive story about your brand without overwhelming your customers. Take time to brainstorm and consider how you can use Instagram carousels to tell a memorable, mini-story about your brand. If you’re still stuck on how to kick off your Instagram strategy, be sure to download my Instagram Strategy Guide.