How To Use Instagram Carousels To Improve Brand Engagement

Feb 2, 2023 9 min read

Instagram Carousels have become a popular way for businesses to increase their reach and engagement. With compelling visuals, an attractive design, and well-crafted copy, carousel posts can make your content more impactful and increase your engagement rate.

This article will explain why Instagram carousels are highly engaging for users, how brands can leverage them to build an audience, and best practice tips for creating them.

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What Is An Instagram Carousel Post?

A Carousel is a type of Instagram post that contains more than one picture or video. Instead of looking at a single, fixed image, users can swipe left to view multiple content slides.

Instagram Carousels get their name from the revolving effect you get when scrolling through a post. Each Carousel post comprises a series of photos or videos, with a maximum of 10 photos or videos.

Carousel posts are one of the most effective types of content on Instagram because they provide the user with multiple perspectives and different pieces of information all at once. The feature was first released on the app in 2017 and has since become a go-to tool for individuals, influencers, and brands alike.

Making an Instagram Carousel is super straightforward, but it’s different to how you’d create a typical post. Follow this five-step process of creating a Carousel post on Instagram.


Step 1: Tap The Create Icon On Your Instagram Account

The first step is easy. Just open the page you'd use to post any other picture or video on Instagram with the '+' icon.

Step 2: Select Multiple-Image Post

Once on the Create page, you'll see a ‘Select Multiple’ icon on the bottom right corner of the screen. Select it!

Step 3: Choose And Order Your Carousel Content

With the ‘Select Multiple’ Post icon tapped, the images and videos in your gallery will appear with checkable boxes. Select the content you'd like to use for the Carousel in the order you'd like them to appear. Instagram allows up to 10 photos and/or videos per Carousel post, so choose wisely!

Step 4: Add Any Necessary Edits

Hitting the 'Next' button at the top right of the screen will take you to the fourth step, where you can edit the photos and videos you've selected. Swipe through your content and tap their individual overlapping circle icons to change things like sizing, orientation, and filters.

Step 5: Get Ready 5o Post

After adding the finishing touches, you'll move on to the final stage: posting your Carousel. Here you can add some text and hashtags to accompany the post if desired and tag any other Instagram accounts you'd like. When you’re ready to post, select 'Share,' and your Carousel will go live! If you got a content plan in place, scheduling Instagram Carousels would be a very efficient way to hit those goals.

Instagram Carousels have many potential applications. Users of all kinds can use the feature to share content, whether that be in a personal, informative, or creative format.

Below are some of the most effective ways that today's Instagram community is using Carousels to engage followers on the app.

1. Promote Product Benefits

With the introduction of features like 'Shopping,' Instagram has become a hotspot for brands looking to promote what they have to sell. Carousels offer sellers a super engaging way to do this by allowing up to 10 visuals that highlight product features, display customer reviews and ratings, or give buyers a step-by-step tutorial on how to use an item.

For instance, Vans recently posted an Instagram carousel promoting one of its newest shoes.

2. Display A Wider Canvas (Single, Large Image)

Remember when an image had to be a perfect square to fit on Instagram? Well, those days are over. Carousels are one of many ways creators can now post pictures of varying sizes on the app, specifically those that are wide. Panoramic shots, for instance, can be split up into several slides and arranged in a Carousel post to display their full beauty.

This ad from Airbnb is a great example – each image in the Carousel is part of one wider photo.

3. Tell A Story

Many Instagram users have begun using Carousels to engage audiences with storytelling. The feature's slideshow-like, page-turning style makes compiling and sorting information to tell a story easy, while its sheer number of slides also allows users to tell more complex stories.

4. Explain A Process

Similarly to storytelling, Instagram Carousels can also work as a way to explain ideas or processes in a single post. Back in the old days, doing so would mean typing everything out in the caption or figuring out a way to include it all in a single image. Carousels allow creators to present their ideas in an organized manner by breaking them up into several slides, each one featuring essential pieces of information.

5. Highlight Different Features From The Same Product

The Multiple-Image Post function allows brands to show off different aspects of their products in a single post. Instead of just highlighting one feature, companies can now use Carousels for displaying multiple angles, sizes, colors, or even customer reviews of a single item.

6. Show A Variety Of Products That Lead To Different Landing Pages

You can use Carousels to direct followers to different landing pages, depending on which product they pick from the post. This is especially useful if you have a lot of products to showcase at once, as it allows viewers to quickly and easily find what they are looking for without having to scroll through long captions.

7. Use Instagram Carousels Along With Brand Merchandise

Instagram Carousels are a great way to showcase custom merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, or other branded products, that can be created using print-on-demand or dropshipping services. These services allow businesses to offer a wide variety of custom products to their customers without having to maintain a large inventory or handle fulfilment themselves.

By using Instagram Carousels to display the various options available, businesses can showcase their custom merchandise in an appealing and interactive way, encouraging followers to engage with the post and potentially make a purchase.

How Can Brands Use Instagram For Marketing?

Instagram has become a leading resource for marketers in the twenty-first century. The app is incredibly relevant among businesses that use it to grow and measure everything from their brand's visibility to their sales figures.

Below are some of the most effective ways to use various features on Instagram for marketing purposes.

  • General Posts: Instagram posts provide an easy way to reach out to your followers and potential customers with timely updates about products, services, or events.
  • Stories: Instagram Stories use a combination of visuals, text, and videos to engage with followers interactively by posing questions, hosting polls, and encouraging clicks to blogs and other content
  • Carousels: Carousels are an excellent tool for marketers to showcase multiple products, explain processes or stories, and promote the benefits of their products.
  • Reels: Reels are a newer addition to Instagram, inspired by the success of short-form videos on TikTok. These short video clips allow businesses to create content that generates engagement and is entertaining for followers.
  • Live Videos: Live videos let businesses connect with their customers in real-time, providing a unique experience and allowing them to answer questions on the spot.

How To Get More Engagement On Instagram?

It's worth noting that Instagram isn't an effective marketing platform by default - brands need to have a strategy in place and perform proper planning to reap the app's full benefits. We've compiled the following tips to give you an idea of what this looks like.

Improving Instagram Post Engagement

There are many ways you can increase Instagram engagement and a post's chances of being seen. Hashtags have been one of the most effective ways. Since the app's inception keywords help users find your content and attract potential customers who have yet to discover you or your brand. Additionally, paying attention to content trends can be vital to success. The trick is to hop on whatever trends users are currently paying attention to, and then tailor your post to fit this narrative.

Improving Instagram Story Engagement

Stories are a great way to personally engage with your followers. Try using polls and quizzes in your stories, or use the Q&A feature to encourage conversations. Additionally, running contests with unique rewards can significantly increase engagement and bring in new followers. Lastly, make sure to use relevant hashtags in your stories as well - this will help you expand your reach even further.

Improving Instagram Carousel Engagement

Although the same general best practices for basic posts still apply, there are plenty of ways you can optimize Instagram Carousels for engagement. For starters, beautiful visuals are key - make sure to put the best-looking images at the front of a carousel so that users will be more likely to keep scrolling. Additionally, using catchy phrases and transitions can help draw viewers in while they're viewing the carousel. Consider using an Instagram Carousel template if you’re unsure about the layout or require guidance.

Improving Instagram Reel Engagement

Instagram Reels have become increasingly popular over the last year and can be an excellent tool for businesses. To get the most out of Reels, focus on audio and trending sounds. The feature is based mainly on these two elements, so it's essential to make sure you are using them to align with your brand and appeal to current trends. Use captions and hashtags to spread your content to potential customers and encourage people to share their thoughts in comments. Reply to every other Instagram comment; this way, you can inspire further conversation and, at least, double the number of comments under your Reel.

Improving Instagram Live Video Engagement

Live videos have become a great way for businesses to connect with their customers. To maximize the effect of your live content, make sure to give viewers an incentive to stay tuned in - whether it be exclusive giveaways, Q&As with experts or influencers, or essential tips, do whatever you can to keep people engaged. Additionally, try to keep your videos short - no one wants to sit around for 20 minutes waiting for you to finish.

Carousels are particularly valuable as ads on Instagram. They offer brands a way to maximize the amount of content they put out there while remaining engaging and visually pleasing. When creating Carousel ads, keep the following tips in mind:

Show Best-Performing Content First

Ensure the initial image in your Carousel ad is eye-catching and aligns with the overall theme of the ad. This will help capture viewers' attention and ensure they click through to see the rest.

Incorporate Several Links

Carousels offer the unique opportunity to include multiple links in one ad. This means you can link to different pages on your site, direct users to a specific product page, or even link to another social media platform. This can be useful for driving traffic across different pages all from the same content.

Use Eye-Catching Images And Videos

The visuals you use in your carousel are the main focus, so ensure they're as attractive as possible. Use colors that stand out and that match with your brand. Additionally, if you're using video content in your carousel, ensure it is brief and has a straightforward narrative.

Tell A Story Using Sequence Components

The key to a successful Carousel ad is to tell a story that draws viewers in as they swipe through. To do this effectively, be sure to sequence components properly. Start the ad with an intriguing image, then add copy below to explain what's happening. As viewers keep swiping, build on the story until you reach your desired conclusion.

Keep Content Tightly Focused

While telling a story is important, it's also essential to keep the Carousel focused on one main message. This will help viewers better understand and retain the point you're trying to communicate. Additionally, ensure that each image and its corresponding copy complement each other - this will help keep viewers engaged as they move through the Carousel.

Use A Large Product Set

Using a large product set in your Carousel ad is a great way to show potential customers the full range of your offering. Showcase different colors and sizes of a product and any other variations. This allows customers to get an up-close look at the item they might purchase.

Instagram Carousels are just one powerful tool in a sea of online marketing strategies. Using the above tips, you’ll create an effective carousel ad that will attract customers and get them to take action.

Know more about 18 Instagram Marketing Tools To Boost ROI & Engagement [Free & Paid]

Final Thoughts

Instagram Carousels are just one powerful tool in a sea of online marketing strategies. The best part about Instagram carousel posts is that it helps to increase engagement as it keeps people swiping on your post for longer! The longer you can keep people engaged with your posts, the better the Instagram algorithm will work for you. So don't hesitate to use Instagram Carousels from now on to improve your brand engagement!

Use a social media management tool like Statusbrew to easily schedule your Carousel posts, manage engagements under your posts, and analyze results, all from one dashboard. Book a free demo to learn how we can help!

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Alina Midori Hernández

Journalist-turned-content marketing writer at Envato. Alina is passionate about design and the creative industry. She’s a metalhead, jazz enthusiast, and hardcore Tori Amos fan.

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