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Instagram Carousels 101: How To Create The Best Instagram Carousels

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Instagram Carousels 101: How To Create The Best Instagram Carousels

All brands are looking for something appealing that will click with the audience and get them talking about the product or the content.

What better way than employing Instagram carousels to showcase your value proposition?

We have a hint for you: carousels are top-performing organic content on Instagram, data proves.

Some of the major goals of business houses are to generate leads and gain high visibility which can convert into sales.

If this aim can be fulfilled in an organic and affordable way, it will be a win-win situation for both the business and the target audience.

In this article, we will tell you the best way to create alluring Instagram carousels. This segment will give you an idea about what is an Instagram carousel and the guidelines that you need to follow.

How to leverage Instagram carousels

1. An overview of Instagram carousels

2. Requirements to create Instagram carousels

3. How to create the best Instagram carousels

4. Instagram carousels post ideas:

5. How to design Instagram carousels

1. An overview of Instagram carousels

When Instagram announced its carousel feature that allows the users to have 10 pictures and videos in a single post, it made headlines all over the world.

And carousels have gotten a massive growth in popularity from one year to another, with more and more posts surfacing. In fact, brands publish more carousels than videos.

The growth of carousel posts

You can already understand the massive benefits of the Instagram carousel. If you want to go for a product launch or talk about your travel experience, you can weave your story through the carousel.

View this post on Instagram

Nature in Focus: Aerial Alaska ❄️ In the era of the drone, aerial photography from an airplane has taken a bit of a backseat, however in a place as vast as Alaska, for me it still reigns king. Ever since Alaska became our 49th state, the best way to appreciate the magnitude of the beauty contained within has been from a small plane, and it's still by far my first choice. From the ground, all sense of scale is lost, but from a plane you can start to comprehend the scale of what you are looking at, such as the image of Tustumena glacier (pictured with the rainbow), which disappears into the Harding Icefield 20 miles up canyon, or where the width of the glacier (near the rainbow) is a mile and a half across. Aerial photography also allows us to truly appreciate the interconnectedness of a place. It allows us to understand how a single glacier can shape a canyon, or feed life into a lake, or for everyone downstream, provide freshwater and recreational opportunities. It takes an extra bit of courage everytime I step into one of those small two seaters and bounce around on the winds, but I'm always mesmerized by the images I am able to create and so thankful for the opportunity to see the world from above. Click the link in bio to watch how these were captured. Photo + Caption: Ian Shive (@ianshivephoto) #kenainationalwildliferefuge @usfws @usinterior #nationalwildliferefuge #knowyourrefuge #alaska #natureinfocus #rainbow #landscape #glacier #aerialphotography #Tustumena #HardingIcefield #majestic_earth

A post shared by Discovery (@discovery) on

This unique feature allows Instagram users to upload 10 pictures or videos in a single post that will run like a slideshow.

The viewers can swipe through the pictures or videos which have been put up by any blogger or a business house.

However, most brands tend to limit themselves to 2 slides.

Number of slides used in carousels

Many times, if a business posts an advertisement through a carousel, it inserts call-to-action tabs which will redirect the Instagram users to the business website.

The look and feel of the high definition pictures attract the audience towards checking out the value propositions of different brands.

In many cases, it further tempts the target audience to know more about the company.

Besides, the Instagram carousel engagement can be very impressive if this feature is utilized strategically.

2. Requirements to create Instagram carousels

To create a beautiful Instagram carousel post, you need to keep certain things in mind. Think of it as a sort of checklist:

  • You should post a minimum of 2 photos or videos to qualify it as a carousel.
  • The video duration should not be more than 1 minute and the size should be restricted to 4GB.
  • To increase Instagram engagement and reach, restrict the content to less than 20% of the picture within the image.
  • The content of the post should be restricted to 2200 characters amounting up to 2 rows. This enhances the reach of the post.
  • The pictures or the videos should be of the highest quality and the file format should be JPG or PNG.
  • Hashtags are the lifelines for every post. You can use up to 30 hashtags, but please ensure that the hashtags are relevant to your brand.

By now, you must have a good idea about Instagram carousels and the requirements you need to keep in mind.

The next segment will deal with some tips about how you can create amazing Instagram Carousels for your followers.

3. How to create the best Instagram carousels?

Here are some pointers you can follow to make your Instagram carousels very happening.

Technically, there are a few things that work best from an engagement’s perspective, as shown in the Instagram carousel research:

  • Think of your intent and the scope of the carousel post before creating it. For example, if your aim is to start conversations on a topic, know that video carousels tend to gather more comments.
  • Make use of all 10 slides. Using more slides gives you the opportunity to create a story through your post. Take advantage of that. It works.
  • Mix both videos and images in your post. By now everyone knows that users’ attention span isn’t very long. But when you’re mixing videos with images, it makes your post more dynamic and keeps followers locked in.
  • Encourage viewers to swipe. Any messages that tell people there’s more to see in a post triggers action. Most followers actually listen, swipe through, and engage with your post.

Engagement by type of carousel

Instagram carousel post ideas:

While carousels are amazing opportunities, this very fact cranks up the pressure to create great content.

It’s a chance to let your creativity go wild, but in case you’re having an off day, here are a few types of carousel posts that typically perform well.

A string of facts or recommendations

People always look into online portals or social media sites to get certain answers. What better way to lure them to your page than by publishing interesting facts or recommendations.

You can create a series of interesting ‘Did You Know' facts about the product you are offering.

Recommendations are another way to attract the eyeballs of the audience. For example, if you are into a cosmetics business or a tea business, you can showcase various options and their benefits to your target audience.

You can recommend a number of lip shades that are trending, or top tea flavours to beat stress, among many others.

View this post on Instagram

🌈It is so important to choose the perfect shade that suits you...the skin tone u carry...and flaunt it with those perfect lips.....skintone plays a very important role for the lip shades to be chosen...here are different lipsticks according to ur skin tone and makeup look...i.e sweet bold or nude looks....❤❤❤ . . . #FAIRTONE : lipsticks that blend beautifully with fair or light skin tones are light pink,corql,peach,nude,dusty red shades.🌼🦋 . #MEDIUMTONE : rose berry,cherry red mauve lipsticks go great with girls with medium toned skin.🌼🦋 . #TANTONED : girls with this skin tone can rock the shades of coral,deep pink,bright red, and most other colors except for browns and purples🌼 🦋 . #DEEPTONE : brown ,purple shades like plum,caramel,wine and blue based reds...look great on these toned skin.🌼🦋 . . . Hope the info will help u guys to pick the right tone for urself....and make ur lips perfect for ur makeup.🌈❤❤ #beautybyvaishnaviii❤#beauty#makeup#perfectlips#lipsticklove#lipshades#beautiful#skin#skintones#shades#red#pink#mauve#nudelipstik#purple#makeup#makeuplook#makeuplip#love❤

A post shared by @ vaiiishastic_touch on

You can also upload a small tutorial about the usage together with the pictures. This will make your carousel interesting and a complete package that your target audience might refer to for suggestions.

Weave a story

Marketers are storytellers, and Instagram carousels provide an amazing platform to narrate a story through pictures and videos.

View this post on Instagram

My top 20 destinations • ⠀ #6. Bali • Have you ever seen a picture and thought to yourself I have to see that in person?! That’s exactly what inspired our trip to Bali! There is so much history, religion and culture to see in Bali, our week wasn’t nearly enough! I did a lot of research before we went and set up private drivers every day to be able to cover as much of the beautiful island as we could!! One of the best things about Bali is how affordable everything is! Hiring a driver for 12 hours cost us $60 a day! We didn’t spend much time at the beaches but this gives us a good reason to go back! . . . . #bali #indonesia #travel #explore #adventure #travelgram #traveltheworld #travelphotography #travelholic #asia #skymileslife #instatravel

A post shared by Brooke 🌏 Kansas City Traveler (@thekansascitytraveler) on

Bloggers and businesses alike can create teaser carousels to promote their content.

If you are able to catch the attention of the Instagramers through your teaser carousel, they will be tempted to go to your page to read the entire content.

Christina Garnett

You can make your stories hilarious by using cartoons or doodles with speech clouds.

You need not use all the 10 slots to convey your story. Keep it short and crisp so that the interest is maintained, but use enough slides to best highlight your story

Try to incorporate a panoramic view

You are into the tourism business or working in the hotel industry. Your selling point can depend on how you portray your offerings in the most appetizing manner possible.

You might be selling a package tour so the best way you can tempt the audience to visit the place is by showing mind-blowing pictures.

You can insert a panoramic view of the place within 2 to 3 slots. This will prompt the audience to view the subsequent pictures.

A panoramic view of the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the Alps in Switzerland, or even Versailles will simply put the audience in awe.

Similarly, you can try this if you are in hotel business. You can click panoramic pictures of your large deluxe rooms with warm lighting. This will give the impression that your rooms are big and cozy.

Your target audience would love to swipe through the panoramic shots to see what all your rooms have to offer.

An added advantage of panoramic shots of the hotel grounds makes your Instagram feed look great.

Stop motions are lit and eye-grabbing

Instagram is filled with thousands of posts and stories. Viewers tend to just scroll down quickly or click through the stories unless they see something very different or attractive.

You need to make people take a pause when they come across your carousel and make them swipe through the pictures.

Stop motion is a very attractive way to grab eye-balls. Your audience would enjoy the experience and would want to see it till the end.

This is a great way to advertise your products. Stop motion kind of looks like a video but it is not. It is just a series of pictures continuing in a fast motion.

The final revelation - before and after story

People love to see fascinating transformations. 'Before and After' stories intrigue the audience to know more about the end result.

It even goes on to energize and motivate them to try and achieve the 'After' feat. This is a great way to advertise the value propositions for weight loss brands, cosmetic brands, Photoshop software, home renovation brands, to name a few.

The final revelation is very satisfying for the target audience. It instills a hope that the effect is possible for them as well.

You can utilize 3 to 4 slots for this. The 1st picture will definitely be the raw image before the transformation starts.

The next 1 or 2 slots can show the transformation progress or process. The final slot will be the ultimate revelation.

Feedback carousel

For a brand, there is nothing more heartwarming than a string of positive reviews for its products.

You can create a carousel having the best customer reviews projected with the pictures of the customers using your product.

This type of feedback carousel is very fruitful for book reviews, tea or coffee brands, cosmetic products, electronic gadgets, and many more.

Good customer feedback drives positive reinforcement. A potential customer will believe a product user more than the company advertisements.

So a string of positive feedback presented in your carousel will go a long way in increasing your Instagram engagement.

Try to incorporate videos from time to time

Videos can help to increase engagement with the audience and gain high visibility. You can put a series of  'How To' videos where you are showing product demonstrations.

Videos can be a great way to show certain workouts. A potential customer looks for answers in the online world.

Your product video carousel can help in answering a lot of questions for your viewers.

A video of cooking a recipe is bound to intrigue the aspiring chefs. It will make them view the entire video with delight.

Similarly, make-up can be highlighted in a video & image combo post.

5. How to design Instagram carousels

Design has a large role to play in such a visual platform as Instagram. That’s why images, animations and videos need to be eye-catching and as visually appealing as possible.

But great designs can take up quite a bit of time. That’s where templates come in. Do some research and find out what tools are available, and which ones are a fit for your needs.

There are also a few pointers to keep in mind.

For Instance, Bannersnack advises to use the AIDA principle:

  • Attention: carousels need to catch the viewer’s attention
  • Interest: viewers must be interested in your post
  • Desire: good carousels create feelings of desire to get your product,
  • Action: prompt some kind of action

Instagram carousels

Final thoughts

Creating an Instagram carousel is easy if you have the right planning in place. You need to have a proper content strategy for social media platforms to attract the right audience.

Instagram carousel posts are a great way to attract viewers and increase engagement, offering more opportunities to connect with your audience than you could ever imagine.

Be creative. Diversify. Engage.

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Teodora Lozan

Teodora Lozan

SaaS Marketer @ Socialinsider

I like to let curiosity lead the way both professionally and personally. In love with stories and facts, so I always try to get the best of both worlds.

Instagram Carousels 101: How To Create The Best Instagram Carousels
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