Are you worn out from the constant pressure of having to create more reels? If you’re a business owner, you probably experienced how powerful of a tool Instagram reels can be for business growth. But it’s not the only powerful tool out there.
Today, I want to dive into an Instagram post-type that’s just as effective, and FAR less stressful: Instagram carousels!
Instagram carousels are like a hidden treasure on the platform. Besides the fact you can create them comfortably in your sweatpants — no need for makeup or showing up on camera! — carousels are fantastic for telling your story, showcasing your brand, connecting with your audience, AND even getting you featured on the explore page.
I’ve been sharing carousels every week for years, and often, they get MORE non-follower reach compared to my reels!
This is just a glimpse of what Instagram carousels can do. So first, let’s define exactly what Instagram carousels are. I’ll then walk you through 5 brilliantly simple Instagram carousel types you can use to grow your business on Instagram.
What are Instagram carousels?
Instagram carousels are posts where you can swipe left to see more images or graphics on Instagram. In total, you can combine up to 10 images or videos in one post.
I LOVE posting carousels because, well, first of all, you can create them in comfy sweatpants! They don’t require you to get all dressed up for the camera (like Instagram reels do).
I also love carousels because they keep your audience engaged longer compared to static posts. As your audience swipes through the slides, they’ll naturally spend more time reading through them, saving them, sharing them, or leaving comments.
If it performs well, Instagram might feature your carousel on the explore page, where new followers can discover your account!
Plus, because of its format, carousels allow you to share more in-depth information about your brand compared to static photos or fast-paced reels.
But how can you use Instagram carousels for your business?
I’ve got five strategy-driven post examples to share that have worked well in my business, so you can apply them to yours:
5 Instagram carousel post ideas
1. Carousels that involve your audience in a brand-related vote
For instance, I used this approach during my business’ rebrand. In a carousel, I shared three photos from a recent brand shoot and asked my audience to help me choose my website’s homepage cover photo. It was such a fun way to get everyone’s input!
For you, it could also be selecting the perfect website banner photo or it could be getting input on a newsletter graphic for an upcoming launch. It might even be something as simple as having your audience choose the packaging for your next product.
All you have to do is include several photos or short video previews in your carousel. Then in the caption, say something like, “I NEED YOUR HELP! Help me choose…” and then list exactly what you need help choosing.
Not only does this keep your audience engaged — it makes them feel part of your brand while piquing their interest to see the final decision. Plus, it’s a subtle way to introduce your products and services without being salesy.
This is a common strategy for community-building on social media. If you want to learn more about how to build a community on social media, Pat Flynn has a great book called “Superfans” that talks all about it. Highly recommend it!
2. Carousels that share the story behind your business (or your business’ name)
Your story creates a personal connection with your followers. By sharing it, you can help them understand WHY you’re passionate about what you do (and what makes you good at it).
No matter how you share your story, make sure to reveal those little snippets of you that make you, well, YOU! In an Instagram world where everyone is trying to sell something, your story will stand out because it’s more genuine, heartfelt and gives your followers a breath of fresh air.
You can also use this format to show how your business has evolved over time — almost like a journey your audience can follow!
With this strategy, think about the stories you can share around your business that your ideal audience can relate to. Something that will help them either get to know you or your business better.
Which brings me to point number three.
3. Carousels that show behind-the-scenes of your business
When you peel back the curtain and show your audience what’s happening behind the scenes, it humanizes your brand. Your followers get to witness the passion, expertise, and the hard work that goes into everything you do. It’s a chance to let them in on the quality and care you pour into every aspect of your business.
Aaaand not to mention, it builds trust and authenticity. It’s another way to educate your audience about your product or what you do, without pushing it on people. You’re simply taking them behind the scenes to make them more familiar with what you sell.
On days when you’re not in the mood to record content or you’re simply short on time, find pictures from your camera roll, add text using Canva or even Instagram stories text bubbles. Then you can download those images and upload them as a carousel showing a day behind the scenes in your business. Boom — a fast and simple piece of content ready to go live!
Bonus tip here: If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to start building up a content library with photos and videos, and organizing them into albums on your phone. This way, you can quickly find photos and video clips to reuse for later.
Alright, let’s talk about the next post:
4. Carousels that serve as a personal reintroduction
You might not realize it, but you’re likely gaining new followers every single day. So, while many of your current followers know you, some might not have received a proper introduction yet. For new followers, a reintroduction carousel post can get them up to speed. For old followers, it can be a friendly reminder.
But how do you reintroduce yourself with an Instagram carousel? Time for a good old photo dump!
Share those uncurated, real-life photos of yourself to show the face behind your business. This is a chance to highlight your personality, your values, and more about your business in general.
In the caption, reintroduce yourself and thank your audience for being on this journey with you. Then, invite them to do the same by introducing themselves in the comments.
You don’t want to reintroduce yourself all the time, though. That would be like introducing yourself to your neighbors every time you walked outside! Instead, I suggest a reintroduction carousel once every three months. This allows enough time for new followers to gradually join your audience.
Now, on to the 5th Instagram carousel post-type.
5. Carousels that provide helpful tips or tutorials about your product or service
Friends give each other tips alllll the time, right? Well, you can be a trusted friend to your followers by sharing helpful tips or tutorials about your product or service. Think of these as quick wins that’ll make your ideal follower’s life easier!
So, consider what practical tips you can offer about your product or service that would genuinely benefit your followers.
- If you have a local flower shop, you could share maintenance tips for longer-lasting blooms
- If you’re in the candle business, a checklist for extending your candle’s life could be super helpful
- Or if you’re a makeup artist, why not create a “Flawless Makeup Application” checklist?
The key here is consistency. When you keep offering solutions that make your followers’ lives easier, you’re not just saying you’re knowledgeable. You’re showing it. That’s when your followers will start thinking, “Hey, this person really knows their stuff!” It encourages them to engage with your content because you’re offering value and inspiration, not just pushing your product or service.
By doing this, you’re not only building expertise, but you’re building something even more precious — trust. And trust, my friend, is what you need to convert social media followers into loyal customers!
Ultimately, Instagram carousels can help you build trust with your audience
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you already know that promoting your business on Instagram today is more than just showcasing what you sell. It’s about serving your audience, connecting with them on a personal level, building relationships, and creating content that makes them genuinely care about what you have to say.
The 5 Instagram carousel examples I covered today will help you do just that! So let me sum them up one last time for you. Share carousels that…
1. Get your followers involved by having them vote on something part of your brand — Think about the small decisions your audience can help you with, so they feel included in your business and can learn more about what you do
2. Share the story behind your business (or the name) — Think about other stories you can share with your audience, too. Don’t forget, you can create a photo carousel using tools — like Canva or Instagram story text bubbles — to create graphics and edit photos from your business already on your phone.
3. Show behind the scenes of your business — Naturally this will showcase your expertise, the quality of your work, and all the effort that goes on behind the curtain.
4. Share a personal reintroduction with a photo dump — Show the human behind your brand and ask your audience to do the same in the comments.
5. Share tips and tricks that make your ideal followers’ lives easier — Become that trusted online friend who offers helpful tips or tutorials around your product or service
I hope these ideas get your creative juices flowing! Feel free to keep brainstorming on what other carousels you could create for your business.
Pay attention to what’s working for other businesses in their carousels and think about how you can apply those concepts to your own. Then, add those ideas to your carousel list for those days when you’re planning content from your sofa in your sweatpants, no camera required!
Want more Instagram carousel post ideas to help grow your business? Tune in to today’s podcast episode here 🎧.
And if you need more help growing your business on Instagram – you are in the right place! My Instagram program – Instagram for Small Business Academy, just opened for enrolment, and I’d love to see you inside and help you make the most of your Instagram efforts!
If you have enjoyed my content until now, I promise you will LOVE what is inside Instagram for Small Business Academy even more. Click below to read more and join before the doors for enrolment close again.
Hope to see you inside!