Instagram Carousel 101: How To Create The Best Instagram Carousel
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Instagram Carousel 101: How To Create The Best Instagram Carousel

Elena Cucu
Elena Cucu
Table of Contents

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

And here’s a hint for you: as the data from our Instagram engagement study shows, carousels are a top-performing organic piece of content.

Therefore, what better way than employing them to showcase your value proposition?

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 an Instagram carousel

3. Strategic steps for creating an Instagram carousel

4. How to create the best performing Instagram carousels

5. Instagram carousels post ideas:

1. An overview of Instagram carousels

So, if you've had some great visuals that you wanted to share with your audience and too little space to fill in your posting schedule, there's a good thing you can post multiple photos on Instagram under the form of one post, which is an Instagram carousel.

Or you can play a little with the materials, try video carousels or even mixed carousels with photos and videos.

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.

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.

Oreo carousel

This unique feature allows users to upload multiple photos on Instagram, up to 10 different materials, actually either photo or video, 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.

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.

Another great reason for choosing carousels, is that this particular type of post increaseses the one that usually sparks the most conversations.

This is a chart showing what's the median number of saves for different content types on Instagram in 2023.

2. Requirements to create an Instagram carousel

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.
  • The pictures or the videos should be of the highest quality and the file format should be JPG or PNG.
  • When creating your captions remember to keep them under 2200 characters, which is Instagram's limit.
  • 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.

3. Strategic steps for creating an Instagram carousel

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, Creatopy 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

Another key point that has to be taken into consideration when developing a strategy for creating Instagram carousels is defining the carousels’s purpose.

Educative carousels are a goldmine for the users, through which they acknowledge best the added value brought by a brand.

These are a how-to based type, when you offer your users tips and teach them how to do different things.

Depending on your message, you can make informational carousels, maybe for when you organize an event and you announce the speakers.

Another type of carousel that seems to be close to people’s hearts is the inspirational one.

Through the everyday’s life hardships, they sometimes need to be reminded of their value.

This is an inspirational Instagram carousel from Under Armour.

And of course, there’s also the entertaining one, for when people need to escape a bit from the routine and relax their minds.

Since by now, you must have a pretty good idea about Instagram carousels and the requirements you need to keep in mind, in the next segment we'll go over some tips about how you can create amazing Instagram carousels for your followers.

4. How to create the best performing Instagram carousel

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.

5. Instagram carousel post ideas:

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

They're a great chance to let your creativity go wild, but in case you’re lacking inspiration, here are a few types of carousel posts that typically perform well.

All of these can be done in either a photo carousel or a video carousel, you just have to let your imagination go wild.

Put together a user generated content Instagram carousel

One of the first and biggest mistakes of brands on social media is to think everything is about them.

But truth be told, people are tired of impersonal posts, sponsored partnerships and all that selling.

They thrive for something more, they want to have their needs taken into consideration and listened.

We’re passed the era of one way communication, and by now businesses should already know that creating relationships with the customers is crucial.

And what better way to prove their opinion matters than through an Instagram carousel of user generated content in which you incorporate your community into your brand’s story?

This is an example of user generated Instagram carousel posted by Americanstyle.

This is the world-of-mouth-version of the online, and it’s something customers rely on a lot.

For being more humanizing, it’s a great way of earning your audience’s trust.

Use behind the scenes moments

Yes, we all know brands put a lot of money into making their image perfect and their materials top-notch.

But somewhere along the way, it all becomes a bit fake in the consumer’s eyes.

As hard to believe as it may be, people actually prefer more realistic approaches.

Humour and emotions are the two elements that trigger people, usually in a good way, so when you’re thinking about creating an Instagram carousel with behind the scene moments you should keep in mind these tactics.

Weave a story

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

You don't need to 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.

This is an Instagram carosel posted by Uber that highlights the storytelling technique.

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.

Be bold and creative! And also, when you have the chance try out the Instagram video carousel type as well.

Christina Garnett

Show some before and after scenes

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, home renovation brands, to name a few.

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

Repurpose content

Marketers put a lot of time and effort into creating content, either we’re talking about blog articles, videos or social media posts.

Now, with everyone constantly looking for that fabulous, evergreen content, once you succeed in producing a quality piece, imagine what a shame it would be not to repurpose it.

Since not everyone reads your blog or subscribes to your Youtube channel, by repurposing content as an Instagram carousel you broaden your opportunity of reaching more people.

And guess what, by reaching different audiences you increase your brand awareness.

Isn’t it great?

In case you need a short example, here's how we, at Socialinsider, repurpose content through Instagram carousels.

This is a post from Socialinsider's Instagram shwowing how content can be repurposed in an Instagram carousel

Final thoughts

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.

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

And here I'm talking about both a photo Instagram carousel, as well as about video Instagram carousels.

Creating an Instagram carousel is easy if you have the right planning in place. Just do your best to get creative, diversify and engage.

Elena Cucu

Elena Cucu

Content Writer @ Socialinsider

Mixing the words with the data is how a digital marketer should play the game of brands. And that’s me, a driven-born digital storyteller!

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