Instagram has gone mainstream.
I know this because Phil, the octogenarian equipment manager from my high school football glory days, just liked nine of my photos and posted a picture of his toes.
Face it: if you’re over 35 “Insta” may not come naturally. If you’re not careful, you could end up posting a picture of your toes.
And even if you’re a social media savvy millennial, keeping your Insta feed fresh with diverse content can be taxing. While you may know full well how to post pictures on Instagram, how do you know what to post on Instagram? Is your IG profile everything it can be? And what about social media marketers? The folks behind the brands? You guys need inspiration too!
Let’s be honest, you can never have enough content ideas. Personally, I’m always running out of stuff to post. So I put together this exhaustive list of 27 Awesome Post Ideas from Instagram’s Most Compelling Brands.
(Just don’t blame us when you have to turn off your IG notifications because your feed is blowing up.)
So if you’re wondering what to post on Instagram, or if you need some ideas for your next IG post, or just want to make sure your next picture is cool, funny, cute – whatever! Our massive list of Instagram post ideas is sure to delight.
What to Post on your Instagram Feed: Our Coolest, Cutest & Funniest Ideas
The Go-Tos // “Basic” Ideas for your Next Post
1. Cool Photos of Landscapes
Start with Landscapes. Of all the different types of photos on Instagram, Landscapes get the most engagement. Bonus points for water, nature, landmarks, exotic locales, and bridges.
- A strange phenomenon in which the photographer is also the subject of the photograph, in a subversive twist on the traditional understanding of the photograph.
- The beginning of the end of intelligent civilization.
- The bread and butter of Instagram. Something to post when you run out of somethings to post.
3. Artsy Food Pics
Nom nom nom. Who doesn’t love some good food porn? The brands below are masters of this class of Instagram photo. Bird’s eye view shots are popular.
As are so-called food-selfies where the hand of the photographer extends forward to imply imminent inhalation.
The UNFAIR – PICTURE IDEAS GUARANTEED TO GET YOU MORE LIKES
4. Cute Pictures of Puppies
There’s just something about puppies. See a puppy on your Insta feed and I guarantee you’ll double-tap. If you are fortunate enough to own or have access to one, by all means, take full advantage and let the world know by posting a photo to your Instagram account. Time is of the essence! In about 6 months that little rascal will have turned into a full-sized terror, who knocks stuff over and ruins your furniture.
Recommended reading: 33 Ways to Get More Instagram Engagement
5. Cute Posts of Babies
Babies are like puppies, but human. Enough said.
6. The Risqué
Sex sells. The best Instagram brands don’t just post boobs, butts, and abs unabashedly – their photos showcase their products as well as the beautiful people who use them.
Just ask your favorite Instagram influencer!
7. Cool Pictures of Cars
Vroom vroom. Ever since the days of Henry Ford, cars have been the epitome of cool.
Now they are a cornerstone of good Instagram content.
If you’re into cars, you need to check out @american.supercars. They are a company that buys and sells high-end American cars, and their Insta is a perfect example of how great content can drive sales. Pun intended.
Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside you should be sitting under. Actually, scratch that. Never waste any amount of time when there is a sunset outside you should be Instagramming.
INSTAGRAM POST IDEAS FOR BUSINESSES & BRANDS (THE OBVIOUS)
Take a look at @stadiumgoods, a sneaker shop in NYC, to see how a great brand uses IGto promote their products. A combination of great photos, consistent posting, and a DJ Khaled celeb endorsement has gotten them to over 269k followers.
For more inspiration, check out @taylorcatherwood. She is a puppy loving handbag designer that absolutely kills it on Instagram.
10. Your Venue
Many restaurants on IG only post pictures of their food, but they’re missing out on a huge opportunity. The best restaurants also show off their interiors. A restaurant is much more than just food after all.
11. Pics of your Employees
Why should you post pictures of your employees on Insta?
A. They are really, really, ridiculously good looking.
B. So they will share with their friends.
C. To show prospective employees your awesome company culture.
D. Because great people make great companies.
E. All of the Above!
12. Your Signage
@DelawareAndHudson, a Michelin starred restaurant in Brooklyn, uses a chalkboard to announce new specials, events, and to make people laugh. They share pictures of the chalkboard on IG to reach more customers. We love it.
Recommended reading: 11 Ways Instagram is Transforming the Modern Restaurant
13. Customers & UGC
Your customers are great. Show them you care! Post a picture of them, they’ll share it with their friends, and everyone wins!
You don’t even need to take the photo yourself. You can repost customer photos (also known as user-generated content or UGC) just be sure to follow the guidelines if you decide to try this post idea.
MORE POST IDEAS FOR BUSINESSES & BRANDS (THE NOT-SO-OBVIOUS)
14. Behind the Scenes (for Small Business Instagrammers)
“Behind the Scenes” posts set IG apart from other advertising outlets and social media platforms. Customers love to see what’s going on backstage.
@TSA (the same TSA that made you miss your last flight) gets our vote for best “Behind the Scenes” content. They post pictures of all the strange things they confiscate at the airport security line. Hilarity ensues.
15. Partner Showcase
Even Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s company @Square is on Instagram. They post great photos of the businesses and people that use their products, which makes their customers very happy. Happy Customers = Healthy Company.
16. Products in Action
Don’t just use your stock product shots. Go above and beyond by showcasing your products in action.@Frank-Bod’s line of body scrubs are perfectly Instagrammable. Obviously, you can get some pretty funny Instagram photos this way, but you can also up the drama, the color composition, and several other factors by getting products off the table and out into the wild!
When I go to cool events, you bet I”m going to humble-brag about them on Instagram. If your company hosts special events, be sure to feature them on your feed.
COOL ALTERNATIVE FORMATS // VISUAL EFFECTS FOR UNIQUE IG POSTS
Did you post a video in the last month? If not, try it.
Recommended Reading: The 85 Best Instagram Apps & Tools to Set Your Content Apart From the Rest
19. The Inception Shot
A photo within a photo? This is one of those artsy picture ideas that will definitely cause people to stop and scratch their heads. Leo ain’t got nothing on you…
In 2015 Instagram debuted Layout, an app that lets you easily combine multiple photos within a single image. It’s fun, it’s simple and it gives you a new way to flex your creativity.
21. Big Grid
In the words of Macklemore, this is freaking awesome! There are tons of apps out there that let you splice a single photo into many photos so you can stand out on Instagram. (We like Instagrids.) This is especially useful if you’re using Jumper Media to drive new customers to your page, and really want to make a memorable first impression. @ChefPepeCarmel thank you for this gem.
CREATIVE POST IDEAS + IMAGES WITH TEXT / WORDS
22. Quote Posts
Quotes get some of the best engagement of all posts on Instagram. They might be cheesy. They might not be interesting. But they work.
Ok, but how do you post quotes on Instagram? Exactly how?
Pablo by Buffer is an awesome online tool that lets you add text to any image. Adobe Spark Post is another. Try them out and see which one you like. Then go ahead and go quote-crazy!
23. Blog Posts
Want to drive more page views to your blog? Look no further than Instagram. Use a photo of your latest post to let your followers know it’s live. Just don’t forget to put the link in your bio.
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Every other article on Instagram's Algorithm tells you all the same, generic, worthless advice you’ve heard before, like “focus on quality content,” and “post at the right time.” Yeah…we’re not gonna do that. Swipe up on our story to read "Our Stupid Simple Guide to the Instagram Algorithm" to get the real scoop!
24. Announcements / Instructions
@Coachella uses Instagram to get the word out to festival attendees with instructions, announcements, and everything in between. With over 100,000 festival attendees, logistics can be a nightmare, which is why they use Instagram to complement their other communication channels.
25. New Podcast Episodes
26. Reposting Viral Content from the Explore Page
If you’re wondering about the ethics of this, don’t fret. This is actually 100% Kosher on IG. Just be sure to tag the original creator. This is an easy go-to for brands who don’t want to spend a lot of time creating original content. And it totally works!
27. Something Completely 100% Original
Do you think you have an original Instagram post idea? Drop us a link in the comments!