How to Use Instagram Carousel Posts: 10 Tips

How to Use Instagram Carousel Posts: 10 Tips

When opening Instagram, how often do you "swipe left to see more?" Maybe it’s to see that a blog post from your favorite media site was uploaded. Or to watch the entire trailer for the latest season of "Stranger Things" (guilty).
Whether you double-tapped on a "Throwback Thursday" post or commented on how helpful that newsletter on managing spreadsheets was, these engagements are an excellent use of Instagram’s Carousel feature, an expansive tool that fits into countless marketing campaigns.

Instagram Carousel Ads

Instagram’s Carousels allow an account to use multiple media (images or video) in one post. This is indicated by a post having the icon of two squares in the upper-right corner.
instagram-carousel-iconImage source: TechCrunch
Businesses are using the Carousel feature on Instagram to serve their current customers and generate new leads. As the number one social network for organic engagement, it’s a cost-effective, succinct, and engaging way to communicate your marketing message.
Carousels don’t necessarily have to be ads. In order to create a Carousel Ad, there are two requirements: switching to an Instagram Business account and having a connected Facebook Business page. That way, you can create Instagram Carousels from your Facebook page.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a Carousel Ad:
  1. Open Facebook’s Power Editor.
  2. Select the campaign you want to be in the ad, click "Create Ad Set."
  3. Fill out the information requested, including targeting and placements options.
  4. In the placements stage, make sure only Instagram is selected.
  5. Proceed with Facebook’s instructions and click "Create."
  6. Your Carousel ad will then be published on Instagram, in either a Story or on your main feed.
Instagram offers two types of Carousel Ads for Stories that cater to your objective, assets, and target audiences: Native Stories and Expandable Stories.
For Native Stories, all of the cards are automatically displayed, meaning viewers won’t have to "swipe to see more," the ad will autoplay. Because these cards are automatic, there’s a max number of three for each ad.
Expandable Stories are more traditional. Viewers can tap to keep watching and can tap through a max of 10 cards. Expandable Stories are great for mixed media ads and audiences who usually buy on mobile.
Both Story formats support mixed media and allow one CTA per ad. If any card, or all the cards, are seen by the same viewer, only one impression is counted. Finally, these ads can either have different web destinations per card or one destination for the entire ad.
New to the Carousel feature? We’ve put together 10 ways you can start using Carousels to promote your business.

10 Ways to Use Instagram Carousels

1. Product launch

Instagram is a perfect way to tease your followers with your next product launch. Use the Carousel to include pictures, specs, and even a first look, like Audio-Technica did below with their new headphones.
Since Instagram is known for business engagement, (about 80% of Instagram users follow a business), this is a great chance to answer questions and build hype. For instance, if a customer asked, "Are these headphones available for purchase?" Audio-Technica could mention them in a reply comment so others with the same question can see the answer.
Image source: Audio-Technica

2. Full-length videos/images

Have a full-length commercial or photo that’s too big for Instagram? Give it the Carousel treatment. TechCrunch highlights a packing robot from Amazon in the two-video Carousel featured below. Sometimes full videos can do what a commercial or quick clip can’t.

3. Before and after

One of the first questions asked when releasing a new product – or marketing an existing one – is "How does it work?" The Container Store uses Carousels to answer that question. Visually showing the benefits of your product gives your target audience the chance to see how your product fits into their lives.

4. Recap

If your business hosts events, and you’d like to boost attendance and thank attendees, consider using Carousels to recap those events. Followers can swipe through and reminisce on that rooftop dinner or RSVP for the next one. Take this example, from INBOUND:

5. Blog content

A secret weapon to promoting blog content? Teasing it on Instagram. IBM does this well by using the Carousel to tease their blog posts without giving the message away – a throwback theme for a throwback post.




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