Written by Ashlyn Brooks

May 27, 2022

Looking for ways to boost engagement on Instagram without changing up your entire marketing strategy? It may be more about your post type rather than the content you are producing. 

Have you ever tried reading a spreadsheet and being completely lost as to the end result? Or maybe the concept didn’t have the impact you were trying to achieve. Sometimes simple visualization tools like a bar chart can make all the difference in achieving the total view of what you’re trying to communicate. The same is true with Instagram. 

Unlike static posts that force you to choose one image/video to capture a story, you have the option to introduce multiple visual images. These are known as carousels and they have outstanding engagement when compared to other post types. Let’s visit the world of Instagram carousels and find out how that can help you achieve success in your marketing strategy.

Instagram carousel posts allow all users to share up to 10 photos or videos in one post. This is great for everyone especially brands looking to bump up their engagement. Carousels have a higher engagement rate than any other post type on Instagram. 

According to research, the average engagement rate for carousels was 1.92% compared to 1.74% for static images and 1.45% for videos. Keep in mind that this survey was from July of 2020 so we strongly feel that this number has grown in recent years.

Apart from engagement, brands have the benefit of also appeasing the Instagram algorithm by incorporating multiple post types. But even with this evidence of success, only a small percentage of users are taking advantage of carousel posts. 

Carousels with 10 slides have the highest engagement rate, which may be surprising to some, especially considering users have more swipes to complete in order to see all the content. Yet despite their benefits, just 6% of carousels take advantage of all 10 slides.

instagram carousel engagement rate

Interestingly, while Instagram refers to carousels as “multiple image posts,” they can also combine images and videos. Research found that carousels with a combination of both images and videos generate higher engagement rates (2.33%) than video-only (1.86%) or image-only carousels (1.80%).

Adding carousel posts to your Instagram feed is simple, much like adding a static post or video. Plus carousel posts can be square, landscape, or portrait. But whatever size you start with you have to stick to it throughout the post. Here are the steps to create the post:

  1. Tap the plus (+) sign to create an Instagram post
  2. Select the layered square icon
  3. Choose up to 10 photos/videos
  4. Tap next
  5. Edit each photo
  6. Tap, hold and drag photos to rearrange the order
  7. Tap share

There is no secret sauce to the perfect carousel posts, but there are some enlightening tips you can use to increase engagement. The better engagement, the more likely they are to be shown multiple times in Instagram’s feed. 

Captivating first image

Place your most intriguing image first in the carousel. Make sure it’s well designed, captivating, and ultimately secures interest. The more interest the user has the more likely they are to swipe to see the other associated images. A great example of this is before and after carousel ads. We’ll get to that later in our examples section.

Use all 10 images if possible

As long as it’s relevant and captivating and you have the images to share be sure to put as many images or videos as you can fit into the post. As we mentioned previously, only a few carousel images actually take advantage of the full 10 image/video allowance. But those that do see much higher engagement than those that don’t. 

Don’t force content that doesn’t go together like mixing two different image types (like a before and after mixed with a behind the scenes). 

Add a CTA in the caption

Don’t trust your audience’s intuition to swipe left on your carousel post, be sure to make it known. Introduce a CTA within the caption. Something like, “want to see the final product, swipe left for the grand revel. Then leave us a comment and tell us what you think”. 

This not only keeps them engaged but it gives you a chance to hear from your audience. 

Add a CTA on your last slide

Take it a step further and lock in your follower with a call to action on the last slide. For example, here’s a post where a brand asked user to DM them the term “ebook” 

This opens up a whole new door of marketing. Once you ask a user to DM you, you now have the ability to use Instagram DM Automation through ManyChat to trigger a conversation in their DMs once they use your keyword. 

Then you can point them to products they may like, and ask for their email address to be synced to your email marketing platform. 

Having trouble coming up with ideas for a great carousel post? Don’t worry it can take some practice, but here is several great carousel posts that we love and think got it right the first time. 

Before and after

These types of posts are extremely popular and can work for all business types. The only thing you need is to use an example of a change your product or service has implemented. Here’s a great example from Nooshins Hairgoals:

Step-by-step instructions

Tutorials or DIYs are a great place for carousel posts to make a splash. They can be put in order and swiped through for a detailed breakdown of a process. This also encourages users to swipe through the entire carousel for the final product. Here’s a great carousel example from the graphic designer Logobrew which teaches people how to create isometric text in Adobe Illustrator:

For more inspiring ideas around creating carousel posts check out our article “Here’s Why Instagram Carousels Drive Engagement (And How to Use Them Effectively)

Final thoughts 

Make use of carousel ads in your marketing strategy for a more powerful reach. Then incorporate your ManyChat tools for increased engagement and close more sales. Carousel posts don’t just add content to your feed, they help build trust and relationships with your followers. You can use this trust to promote yourself as the “go-to” brand in your niche. 

Learn how ManyChat can improve Instagram carousel post engagement here:

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.