In 2020 it’s really hard to stand out in the competitive social media landscape, and even the best of brands are always on the lookout to try something new. Are you also looking for ways to boost your marketing on Instagram?

To fuel your social media strategy, experimenting with content formats and new ideas is the first place to start. Content is what makes you different from your competitors, adds value to your brand image, and lets you engage new users once you know what works for your particular audience. 

Most brands invest heavily into Instagram due to its rising popularity among internet users and the marketing potential with the platform. It’s easier to generate leads and find new customers since Instagram is all about visuals.

With all the limitations in the photo and video production taking place these days, you can always opt for stock photography websites as your source for authentic and engaging images. However, if you want to try your hand in creating your own content, these are the best content ideas that will make your Instagram account relevant and interesting to follow in 2020.

1. Storytelling through ephemeral content

Ephemeral content is an integral part of a brand’s strategy on Instagram. An average user’s attention span is becoming shorter and shorter every year lasting just a few seconds, which is why Instagram stories are so popular.

They are short, addicting, and entertaining. More and more Instagram users these days pay more attention to stories rather than feeds, with some not even checking their feeds at all. Instead, they spend hours per day watching stories, and anxiously wait for new ones.

What this means is that it’s not enough to just post random stories from time to time. To really capitalize on stories in 2020, you should pay your attention to storytelling. Try to engage your audience with a series of stories that relate to each other.

With elaborate and artistic storytelling, you will be able to keep your audience entertained and focused on your brand for a longer period of time. Invest your efforts into a different approach to your stories and make them more elaborate to fuel your social media marketing efforts.

2. Stop-motion videos

Stop-motion videos have seen a rise in popularity this year with tons of accounts offering their lessons on how to shoot such videos for social media marketers and bloggers. It’s not surprising since this format is really popular among Instagram users.

Stop-motion videos look cute and entertaining and are usually short, which makes them a perfect content type for Instagram. Although stop-motion videos might seem complicated to make and there are surely some tricks in creating them, you can totally try to shoot such videos yourself.

Once you’ve stabilized your gear, don’t move it since each image needs to be shot from the very same position. Make sure your camera is fixed and steady and use a tripod. To make sure the position of your gear won’t change at all, you better shoot with a camera’s remote controller or from your computer using programs such as Lightroom.

For a several-seconds-long video, you will have to take hundreds of photos since you need at least 24 images for a second of your final video. That’s why you need to adjust your camera settings manually, choose the exposure and aperture, and have the same parameters for each of the shots. When you’re done shooting, you can use any program that lets you create slideshows and then save them as videos.

3. IGTV-videos and live streams

Today video accounts for more than 60% of overall internet traffic globally, and this number is definitely going to rise in the near future. With video being super popular on social media platforms, you should research the video formats you can use in your marketing strategy.

For example, to add some expertise to your brand image, you can create interesting and insightful videos for IGTV. You can shoot your working process with your own smartphone, record 3-5 minute interviews with your colleagues and employees who will share their insights, or come up with other video ideas that will appeal to your specific audience.

Another interesting video format to try out this year is live streams. Instagram sends notifications to users when an account they follow starts a live stream. You can capitalize on that opportunity to engage more people, especially if you live stream something that is valuable and interesting for your followers.

Sure, these days, with every offline event postponed indefinitely, it’s not so easy to find a good topic for a live stream. However, if you dedicate some time to brainstorming, you will find something relevant to your brand to appeal to your audience.

4. Infographics

If there is one content type that people share more willingly and often, it’s infographics. People do love infographics because they present difficult data in an entertaining and easily comprehensible way. If you don’t have infographics as a part of your content strategy, now is the time to try it to see if it influences the engagement rate on your Instagram.

You can hire a designer who will create infographics for you in their own visual style. That will let you make sure your infographics appeal to many people. However, if you can’t afford to add an extra person to your team, you can try to create infographics yourself. It’s not easy without any design background, however, there are fun and easy online tools that allow you to create graphics and animations without going nuts. One of them is Crello – and it’s free to use.

5. Collaborations with niche influencers

With Instagram influencer marketing being a multi-billion dollar industry, for many marketers, it might seem like a waste of your whole marketing budget paying influencers to be in your campaigns. However, there is a growing trend in 2020 in regards to collaborating with influencers and content creators that will help you both save money and appeal to many different audiences.

Instead of inviting one big influencer, you can collaborate with several niche bloggers. Their audiences are smaller, but put together they will bring you more engagement than the large audience of one influencer. What’s more, usually followers of niche influencers are more devoted than followers of celebrities since they specialize in something more particular and can help you with a more authentic way to promote your product or service.

6. Sponsored posts for your feed

Sponsored posts in collaboration with other brands can work depending on the nature of your business. Sponsored posts with new brands allow you to tap into a new pool of followers that might be interested in your products or services. Collaborations of this sort are a win-win situation for both sides, and you might actually be surprised by the results and traffic it brings to your account.

You can collaborate with a very unexpected brand for your mutual ad campaign. Do you remember the outstanding guerilla marketing case when Colgate collaborated with local pizzerias? The toothpaste manufacturer printed their ads inside pizza boxes to remind people ordering pizza to keep an eye on their dental health. Not a conventional collaboration but it did stand out and is still remembered among marketers and clients.

7. Personalized promoted posts

According to Kahuna, 86% of customers note that a personal approach significantly influences their decision whether to purchase a product or not. That’s why more and more brands are jumping on the personalization trend this year. It is really important to make sure your content and posts don’t look boring and impersonal so that you can see the engagement you are hoping for.

Instagram allows you to really personalize your ads, choosing different locations, gender, interests, and preferences of users who will see your post. Research your target audience and segment it into different groups.

When you set up a promotion for your posts, don’t make a generic ad for all of your target audiences. Instead, you should create several posts for different groups within your audience. They don’t necessarily have to be direct ads – you can just set several of your interesting posts as promoted for different groups of clients (or buyer personas).

An afterthought

With Instagram, you can always go back to experimenting with content formats as you adjust your strategy. It’s the one social media platform that allows you to be creative with your marketing strategy because you have to think outside the box to execute a visual content strategy (even if your business is super serious). Don’t be afraid to test different content ideas and formats this year to appeal to more people, generate more leads, and attract more loyal followers.