Blog header that says Instagram Content Ideas for Interesting Posts and Better Engagement.

Instagram Content Ideas for Interesting Posts and Better Engagement

I know. You open the Instagram app and then stare at a blank screen not knowing what to post. I hear it all the time. That’s why I’m sharing tons of Instagram content ideas with you.

Having a visually appealing Instagram feed, that has a range of content, is one of the best ways to catch the attention of potential followers and stop people in their scroll. But with so many photo editing apps to choose from and tons of content options, the task might seem daunting.

In this blog post I’m going to tell you five ways you can shake up your content strategy so people will stop, double tap, and engage.

#1 Lifestyle Photos

You can never underestimate the value of a quality, well-planned professional photoshoot. But if you’re only sharing photos from a photoshoot, people are likely to keep scrolling. While your photos might be beautiful and on-brand, people usually experience photo fatigue after one too many shares.

A good way to diversify the look of your Instagram feed is to use lifestyle photos. What do these photos look like? Their often more relaxed, personal photos that might show different seasons and locales.

Take VancityWild, for example. Brie and Rueben’s Instagram account is brimming with photos that document their adventures exploring Canada and beyond. Part of what makes this account so memorable isn’t just the stunning locations that Brie and Rueben feature, but the kind of lifestyle photos they document. All of their photos, including their sponsored posts, feel organic and true to their brand.


Brie sits on the coast of Vancouver Island looking at the sunset.


#2 Different Creative Elements

Now, what if you can’t wander the globe like Brie and Rueben? You can still have visually interesting photos by using different creative elements. That can include:

  • Lighting
  • Composition
  • Text overlay
  • Saturation

You might even use different photo editing apps until you find the visual aesthetic that best fits your brand. Adding these different elements is a subtle, yet effective way, to catch people’s attention. This strategy can also work in the post descriptions by using emojis and symbols.

This is exactly what Cayaline does on her account by using a combination of her original artwork and photos of what inspires her. Paired with the art tools she uses, Cayaline’s account feels like an escape into her artistic mind and always keeps people tapping in to learn more.


Cayaline shares a close up photo of a pink and white cherry blossom.


#3 Expressive, Extreme Photos

Another way to mix up your content strategy is by sharing expressive, extreme content. You’re probably wondering what the heck this means. I’m not just talking about in-your-face content, but the images that are bolder and designed to push the content norm.

There are a ton of different apps and tools that can help you achieve this effect. Experimenting with creating these kind of images, even if you decide not to share them, can really challenge you to think more creatively.

Fuckology does this really well. While this account might not be everyone, I love the way it is both consistent but still shares a variety of content. Even though they always share text graphics, Fuckology uses different type styles to grab your attention.


Fuckology shares a text graphic in a bold font on a white background.


#4 Behind-the-Scenes Peek

Sharing the finished product is all well and good, but why not show people the effort it takes to create your one-of-a-kind product? The goal is to give people a deeper appreciation of what you do, and why it’s worth the investment.

No matter what kind of tools you use, or where you create, people love to feel like their seeing something exclusive. It’s important to remind your followers that you’re a unique brand who puts thought and work into everything you create.

An artist that does this effectively is James Lewis. Since he specializes in lettering and logos, James uses a variety of tools and techniques while he’s in the midst of the creative process. Just look at the way he uses a paintbrush to keep his hand straight! That’s sure to grab people’s attention.


James Lewis shares a video where he uses a paint brush to steady his hand as he works on a visual design project.


#4 Inspirational Posts

Whatever product or service you sell, you have to be passionate to run your business. If you have that entrepreneurial fire, why not show it to your Instagram followers? In between your product shots, you need to remind people that there is a face behind your brand.

I’m not just talking about sharing fun selfies, which I love to do, but truly going deep with your content. Your posts don’t necessarily have to be focused on selling … because you shouldn’t be selling in the feed anyway!

One of my go-to accounts for inspiration is my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Tara McMullin. As the founder and host of the What Works Podcast, Tara’s posts are always delivering the zest of inspiration that business owners need. Whether she’s hiking mountains in Montana or showing her love for fitness, inspiration is woven through her entire Instagram feed.


Tara McMullin shares a black and white photo of her proudly standing in the gym post-workout.


#5 Location Based Businesses or Events

No matter which content you choose to share, there are some things that you can do to make sure that your posts are seen by your community. It’s important to share Instagram content that shows your neighborhood, city or wherever your travels might take you.

The story you share about your community is just as important as the content you post, so you want to make sure this is part of your content strategy. Even if you’re not a brick and mortar business, geotags and hashtags can help you find new leads, increase visibility among potential local clients, and generate new leads.

For example, Boston Seaport is always out-and-about on the Boston waterfront. But they’re not just focused on promoting the events they sponsor. A lot of their Instagram content highlights the people (and adorable dogs) that support this thriving community. By shining the light on others, Boston Seaport strikes the perfect balance between promotional and lifestyle Instagram photos.


A woman with her back turned is exploring Boston Seaport two corgis walking beside her.


Pay Attention to the Comments and Likes

Planning out your Instagram aesthetic in advance is really going to help you map out the shots you need and how it fits together. But even when you’re focused on creating the perfect Instagram photos and captions, don’t forget about the people taking the time to like and comment on your posts.

Taking the time to respond, and even @ mentioning people in the comments, can go a long way in helping to connect with potential clients and business collaborators. This is a strategy that I regularly use on my business account, The Instagram Expert, to make sure that the individuals I want to see my post get a notification. Tagging people and responding to comments also really helps you with the algorithm, which favors higher engagement.


Sue B Zimmerman shares a post where she has @ mentioned a few of her clients.


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