Figuring out the types of Instagram content to share can feel more-than-a-little overwhelming. There are so many options. As a business owner trying to do it all yourself, you might wonder what’s the point.
Before you decide to just throw in the towel and only post photos like the Instagram of yore, know this: The more variety in the types of content you are able to create, the better off your account will be. Some people enjoy learning from video. Others prefer graphics with text, and some opt for photo. Utilizing multiple content types in your strategy allows you to appeal to all the segments of your audience.
Despite what many an “IG Expert” would have you believe, reels are not *necessarily* the most successful type of content to share. Success is going to look different for everyone based on what their goals are; Not only with that specific piece of content, but also their overall strategy. While according to Later, photos are still the most popular type of Instagram content, you also shouldn’t only post photos.
If I could get this question & answer on a billboard in Times Square, I would be the happiest social media manager in the world. Yes, video marketing is a KEY aspect of your social media strategy. 54% of consumers want to see more video from brands, and in one experiment video led to an 11% higher conversion rate than photo. But NO, you should not only post reels.
If you only publish reels, you miss out on content that is better at nurturing your community. Video gets you in front of more eyes. But you need more than one type of content to build the types of connections that lead to followers spending $$$ on you.
Despite all the snarky reel audios claiming otherwise, Instagram doesn’t hate static photos. While there are many more options for Instagram content than there were in 2011, photos can still perform well on the app. Use photo posts to show off your brand’s visual identity. They are also an easy way to show your face. Finally, for certain businesses – like photographers – static photos are expected.
Story content lasts for 24-hours. They’re also typically only seen by your warmest audience. Use stories to connect to your consistent supporters, share behind-the-scenes moment of your business and life, and to convert. Conversations sparked from stories have been, in my experience, more likely to lead to clients than feed content.
Jumping off of stories, highlights are the way to make a temporary type of Instagram content evergreen. Save your most important information to highlights. The ones I recommend all businesses have is an About Me/The Biz, Services/Products, Client Love, and Behind the Scenes. You can also add one for PR features, results, or give particular product or services their own highlight. Their purpose is not to make you discoverable or gain more followers. Highlights should give viewers the most important information about your business.
These multi-slide posts can be made up of photos, graphics, videos, or a combination of all three. Use carousels for educational posts with lots of information. Typically, this type of value-packed Instagram content is what generates the most saves.
Reels shouldn’t be the only type of post in your content strategy. However, ya girl loves a good reel. I tell my clients to harness their power for reach and discoverability to get new eyes on your account while showing off your personality! The sweet spot for reels is “edutaining” content – where you entertain, while also educating on something.
IG Lives are loved by some, hated by others. They are great for authority building, and can also be used for content repurposing – for example, by recording podcast interviews on IG live or transcribing lives into blog posts. If you collaborate with other business owners on IG live, you can grow your network and expand your reach through these lives as well.
Graphic-based posts add some variety into your content. You can create easily shareable content like memes, tweets and quotes. Think of this type of Instagram content as the way to create posts that your audience will find relatable, don’t take a lot of time to consume, and are on topics they would want to share with their audience.
(Need an example? This week, during the fun Instagram glitch on Halloween, I shared a Taylor Swift meme that got a great amount of reach I typically don’t see on feed posts).
Guides are an extremely overlooked type of Instagram content, probably because they don’t appear immediately on your profile. They live in a separate tab of your profile (the icon that looks like a book), and serve to categorize content. You can use guides to organize your content by topic and, similar to highlights, extend the lifetime of your posts by making them evergreen. Think of common questions you hear or themes you create content around, and organize guides based on those. You can also create guides from other people’s posts to share their information as well.
Before you start sitting down to plan and create content, you need a strategy and a purpose behind that content. If you don’t have this strategy in place yet, check out this blog post all about Instagram strategy to help you craft one from scratch.
Once you’ve mapped out your content strategy, planning becomes easier if you have a tool to help you stay organized. I use Airtable to plan out content for me and my clients. (P.S. you can download the exact content calendar template I use here, for free!) And if you need content
You don’t have to use every single one of the types of Instagram content. Some of them shouldn’t be used that frequently (you definitely don’t need to be sharing a guide every single day, or even every single week). But what I want you to take away from reading this post is that incorporating a variety of content into your posting schedule will allow you to reach and connect with more of your audience, and share your story in more than one way.
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ABC Social Media Management® is a Florida-based social media management company serving female entrepreneurs worldwide through comprehensive management and strategy services.