An Instagram carousel is a post containing more than one photo or video, which users can view by swiping left on a post through the phone app. Instagram carousels allow you to share several photos, videos, and graphics all in one post – so they are a great way to introduce something specific, like a product or event, to your audience.
By splitting content into frames you can showcase variations of style or colour, or walk your audience through the stages of a customer journey. Or you might show them what to expect from an event or new product line. Engagement time is longer, and when the frames are viewed at the same time, carousels tell a complete and compelling story, regardless of whether or not the caption is also read.
Do carousels work, or is it video all the way? Well, the lovely people at Later.com analysed more than 44 million instagram feeds in April 2022, and they found that carousel posts are the most engaged content format on Instagram. Carousel posts really do have the highest average engagement rate of all feed post types, and it’s easy to see why.
With several frames of content to scroll through, there is more content to consume, so readers naturally stay a little longer. And because each frame contains limited content, it’s easy to digest and instinctive for us to swipe for the next part of the story until we reach the final frame.
Instagram carousels are a great way to bunch images together as a photo dump or tell a 3-step or 5-step process. But there are so many other ways that marketers can get creative with carousels that will really drive engagement with your content and build relationships with your brand. It really pays off to think about using carousels for more than photo dumps.
So why do carousel posts only account for 19% of social media content?. Seriously – this means 81% of brands and marketers are missing out on a clear opportunity to post really engaging content that readers will love.
Read on for five brilliantly easy ways to use Instagram carousels to share content that your community will really love.
1 STORYTELLING It’s true… in 2022 we can’t get enough stories and readable content. And Instagram carousel posts are a lovely way to tell a story. Even the most complex processes or busy launches can be broken down into clear, simple frames and told in a really engaging way that your audience can’t help but scroll through.
2 USER CONTENT Sharing user generated content (UGC) is a really good tactic to nurture brand advocacy, measure social proof and see your brand being used in real life scenarios.. By grouping shared content together in carousels, you can deliver this earned content with real impact. Think about how carousels can be used to share positive testimonials, show how your product (or service) is used day-to-day and celebrate the community behind the hashtags. User focused carousels are some of Instagram’s most readable content – and if you’re not sure where to start with carousels, UGC is a good place to kick things off.
3 DATA Graphic carousel posts are a really effective way to share data or educational content. Carousels are a great way to break valuable data down into bite-sized chunks, even if the results or numbers you’re communicating are a little complex. Readers find it easy to digest numbers when the words are punchy and short and the images are clear and easy to understand. So, it’s much easier to read data in a carousel post than it is to digest a long caption post that is explaining a single image.
4 PERSONAL BRAND Who is the personality behind your brand or business, and what is their story? Profiles don’t always get read from start to finish, and even the most interesting interviews won’t capture everyone’s attention. But carousel posts are a really accessible way to share founder stories or champion brand values.
5 CANDID SHOTS If you want to tell more of your story by showing processes or sharing behind the scenes content, to build a relationship with your customers, carousel posts are your friend. There is always a difference between the finished, polished product and real life. So, carousel posts are a great way to fill in the gaps and give your audience some more insights into the way you work or the steps you take to create your beautiful product.
Have we inspired you to get creative with carousels? We hope so! Our top tip is to include a video in your carousel, because Instagram carousel posts that mix video frames in with photos have the highest engagement rate. Video adds to dwell time and in a series of longer carousels, the movement is a really good ebay of maintaining attention and encouraging readers to stay with your content until the final frame.
We can’t wait to see what you come up with – so do tag #DigitalWomen in your carousels so we can check in with how you’re getting creative with your content.