5 Inspirational Ideas for Instagram

September 11, 2019 - Reading Time: 6 minutes

Managing your brand’s Instagram account is like running a marathon – you need stamina. There are times when you run out of creative steam and find yourself stuck in a rut. It happens to the best of us. That is why we have scoured Instagram and compiled a list of cool ideas to help you get those creative juices flowing again.

Let’s dive in.

1. Play with aesthetics

Andy Warhol was famously quoted saying: “I never read, I just look at pictures.” It’s safe to say that the famous artist would have loved Instagram.

Primarily a visual medium, Instagram is a place for people to share things that look good and view things that look good. To do well on Instagram, brands need to invest in producing awesome visual content. For inspiration, take a look at what Canva is doing.

Canva’s Instagram account is a colour fanatic’s dream. Each post is carefully calibrated to the colour wheel, making the colour transitions between posts nearly flawless.

via Canva

As fellow designers, we have to applaud the effort.

via GIPHY

Now, you don’t have to do this for your brand’s Instagram account; it’s not for every brand. It does, however, suit Canva’s brand image perfectly. Canva prides itself as the go-to resource for design. It houses plenty of beautiful templates for everything, from identity cards to web banners. Therefore, it makes sense that it would take aesthetics seriously, even on Instagram. If this makes sense for your brand as well, give it a shot.

2. Tips & Tricks

What’s better than a post that looks good? One that looks good and teaches you something new.

West Elm, a furniture and décor store, intersperses showroom shots with recipes for drinks and snacks.

West Elm also has a special Story Highlight dedicated to these recipes. Followers can click on them to get instructions on how to create some really yummy fare. Should they fall in love with the aesthetic, they can always click on “see more” to view all the West Elm products featured.

 Via West Elm

Another brand that provides tips and tricks via Instagram is GoPro.

Via GoPro

GoPro teaches fans how to use its cameras to create amazing videos, like time wrap ones.

Be sure to do some research on what kind of educational content your audience would be interested in. Providing tips and tricks is a good way to give back to your fans, as well as to keep them coming back to your Instagram account.

3. Behind-the-scenes footages

Another way to spice up your Instagram account is to show your audience what goes on behind the scenes. InOut Atelier, a local brand in the business of botanical products, gave fans a sneak peek into the work that goes into creating a moss wall.

We’ve also given our fans (and clients) a look into how we create bespoke characters for print collaterals and animated videos.

Behind-the-scenes shots are entertaining and, at times, mesmerising. They also act as a way to educate your audience on your products and practices. This builds a form of respect and intimacy between your brand and your fans. When people find out how much work goes into creating your product, they will hold your brand in higher esteem.

4. Contests

Contests are a great way to boost audience engagement and to reward your fans. With its poll and quiz features, Instagram is well-equipped to host an online contest. Many brands have already experimented with this idea.

Instagram and animals go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s almost as if Instagram was built just so we can show off our pets to the world. Shake Shack understands this well. In fact, it organised an Instagram contest that tapped into this primal instinct. Dog owners were encouraged to post pictures of their pooch at Shake Shack’s restaurants to stand a chance to win dog-friendly snacks and toys.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

@scoobsthecorgi havin’ a doggone good time. 🐶 We’re still spotlighting our fave four-legged fans ‪through 8/31! If you want a shot at scoring the ultimate Shack bundle for your pup (complete with @boccesbakery ShackBurger biscuits, our Shake Shack x @bark collab toys and an exclusive printed bandana), just:⁣⁣⁣‬⁣ ‪⁣⁣⁣‬⁣ ‪1. Post an original pic of your pooch at the Shack to your public IG profile⁣⁣⁣‬⁣ ‪2. Include the hashtags #DogsOfShack+ #Contest⁣⁣⁣‬⁣ ‪3. Make sure you’re following @shakeshack⁣⁣⁣‬⁣ ‪⁣⁣⁣‬⁣ ‪We’ll be featuring your submissions throughout the month + will pick 15 winners on 9/3! 🐶⁣⁣⁣‬⁣ ‪⁣⁣⁣‬⁣ ‪The fine print: No purchase necessary to enter or win. Limit one (1) submission per person. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Winners will be announced on September 3, 2019. This Contest is no way sponsored, endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Instagram. See Official Rules for more details (linked in bio). #shakeshack‬

A post shared by SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) on

 

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Friday afternoon feels. 💤 The dog days of summer are here + through the end of August we’re celebrating our cutest canine fans! If you want a shot at scoring the ultimate Shack bundle for your pup (complete with @boccesbakery ShackBurger biscuits, our Shake Shack x @bark collab toys and an exclusive printed bandana), just:⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ 1. Post an original pic of your pooch at the Shack to your public IG profile⁣⁣⁣ 2. Include the hashtags #DogsOfShack + #Contest⁣⁣⁣ 3. Make sure you’re following @shakeshack⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ We’ll be featuring your submissions on our Story throughout the month + will pick 15 lucky winners on 9/3! 🐶⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ The fine print: No purchase necessary to enter or win. Limit one (1) submission per person. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Winners will be announced on September 3, 2019. This Contest is no way sponsored, endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Instagram. See Official Rules for more details (linked in bio). #shakeshack

A post shared by SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) on

For a case study closer to home, check out local indie cinema, The Projector, on Instagram. It holds caption contests on its Instagram account. Fans are encouraged to submit the funniest caption they can think of based on a screengrab of an upcoming movie.

This caption contest effectively kills two birds with one stone. It is a way for The Projector to promote its movie screenings and a way for fans to have fun with the brand.

5. Quotes

Everyone loves a good inspirational quote. Quotes make us feel warm, fuzzy and empowered all at the same time. Throwing in a quote or two is a good way to mix things up on Instagram but try not to rely on them too much; only do it if it fits your branding. In Brit + Co’s case, motivational quotes are well-suited to its lifestyle brand image.

 

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Like a diamond. In the sun. Covered in glitter — okay we think you get it. ✨✨✨

A post shared by Brit + Co (@britandco) on

Don’t forget to spruce up these posts with eye-catching typography and design.

There you have it – five ideas to get you through that creative dry spell. As always, apply them in a way that is consistent with your brand image. Keep an eye on this blog for more interesting ideas on marketing and social media!

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