Have you ever seen a post on Instagram that has more than one photo? Or swiped right on someone's Instagram post to see the following picture in line?
Or maybe you've wondered what the heck those tiny dots are at the bottom of someone's photo.
Well, those are called carousel posts.
The word carousel is a fancy word for a series of photos linked together to form one post. These can be a series of images or videos, and they're pretty fun to watch when done right.
Even though Instagram carousels have been around for a few years, they are quickly rising in popularity amongst brands and influencers because of their high engagement and success rates.
Research finds that carousel posts get 1.4x more reach and 3.1x more engagement than regular posts on Instagram.
But, listen to this...
When we started using Instagram carousel posts this year, our engagement rate peaked at 21.46%, with an average engagement rate of 8.72%.
That is over 8x the industry standard!
So I had to create a blog post to show you what we learned and teach you how to create your very own Instagram carousel post.
What Is A Instagram Carousel Post?
An Instagram carousel is an Instagram post with multiple photos or videos that can be viewed by swiping or clicking left.
A carousel is a collection of images that automatically rotate - think of it as flipping through a magazine or a book.
They are perfect for storytelling, showing several different angles of the same picture or showcasing multiple products in one post.
And the fantastic part is carousel posts are just like any other Instagram post.
You can add a witty caption, geotags, product tags, fundraisers, and tag people, and other users can still like, comment, and share your post.
Why Use Carousels On Instagram?
Instagram does something a little special with carousel posts.
Suppose a person doesn't engage with your post the first time they see it. They don't like, comment, or share it -- they keep on scrolling.
In that case, Instagram will automatically show them the following photo or video in your carousel post to further encourage engagement.
That gives you a free and easy way to get your post seen over and over without having to do much extra or having to pay for advertising.
Content creators and brands have to remember that everyone does not like to consume content in the same way, and sometimes our audiences are on more than one platform.
So, exploring the different options that social media platforms have is a great way to discover what type of content your audience loves best.
You may also want to try polling on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about your audience.
How Are Brands Using Instagram Carousels?
Plus how three brands are using carousels in real life.
Brands all across the world are starting to incorporate carousels into their online marketing strategies.
Why? The engagement rates are through the roof, and it's a creative way to stand out from the competition.
All you have to do is find a format and style that you love creating and your audience resonates with.
How brands are using carousel posts on Instagram:
Showcase products and services
Show before and afters
- Tell a story
Explain a process or list steps
Showcase client testimonials
Share blog content
Share podcast clips and podcast audiograms
Share memes and quotes
- Recap of business event
How Three Brands Are Using Carousels On Instagram
Parentezi uses carousels to feature clothing collections and showcase their new clothing drops.
They use each slide to show their softest tank differently. Which creates almost a magazine feel for the person viewing the page.
Having multiple photos of their tank shows how versatile it is and allows us to see what their clothing looks like a person.
That could be the selling point for someone.
The O:live Boutique Hotel uses a mix of fun interactive videos in this carousel to showcase what one of their hotel experience looks like.
They were innovative and used their guests to create unique user-generated content for their Instagram page.
Using footage that includes your customer's experiences or social media influencers is an excellent way to get an insane amount of engagement on your posts.
It's basically like getting a live video testimonial of people giving you mad props, and those are hard to fake, making people trust them more.
When you use user-generated content, you can tag those people in your Instagram posts and ask them to share your content to their Instagram stories and main feeds so they can share it with their audience.
Cross-promoting audiences is a free way to reach new, highly engaged audiences.
And let's be honest, how could you not engage with that post with a view like that?
We use our blog content to create Instagram carousels.
Here's what you do.
Write a blog post on a topic your audience is already interested in, take the most significant points from the blog and create professional-looking graphics, and upload the content as carousels on Instagram.
And even better if you already have a bunch of blog posts written. You can repurpose your old content into different formats and publish it to various social media sites like Instagram.
Here's how we did it.
We wrote this blog, the hottest new social media app Clubhouse, and created all of these carousels for Instagram.
To create the graphics, we used Canva. Once we had an excellent prototype, we went on to make all of these other carousel posts:
What a Clubhouse moderator can do
How to organize a Clubhouse event
Tips to following on Clubhouse
Building your Clubhouse bio
Learn the Clubhouse lingo
Let's curate your Clubhouse experience
Now, let's dive into how to make a carousel post!
How To Post A Carousel On Instagram
How to create an Instagram carousel in six simple steps:
Create a new post
Choose photos and/or videos
Arrange and filter your photos/videos
Add a caption and all details
Share + promote (if you wish)
How To Post A Carousel On Instagram In Six Steps
Step 1: Open Instagram
Log in to the Instagram app on your device.
At this time, make sure you have all of your photos and videos ready for your new post.
Remember, Instagram allows you to upload up to 10 photos or videos to any carousel post!
Step 2: Create A New Post
Tap the + icon at the top of your screen to create a new post.
Step 3: Choose Photos Or Videos
Select up to 10 photos and videos that you want to use from your camera roll.
Don't worry too much about getting the order of your photos perfect. I will teach you a nifty trick in the next step to easily change the order of your photos.
If you can, try to use all ten slides! Research has proven when you use all ten carousel slides; the average engagement rate goes over 2%.
Once you have selected the photos and videos for your Carousel post, click on 'Next.'
And don't be afraid to use a mix of photos and videos in your carousel.
Carousel posts with a mix of images and videos have the highest engagement rates per post at 2.33%, and carousel videos have been proven to get more comments.
Step 4: Arrange + Filter Your Photos
If you need to change your photos' order, you can easily rearrange your posts' order with the drag of your finger.
Press down on the photo to rearrange the order.
Then choose any filter to make your photos or videos look unique and professional.
Instagram has many pre-built filters you can choose from, but you can also take it a step further and use a professional photo editing app.
⭐ Related Post: The Best Photo Editing Tools For Instagram Photos
Step 5: Add Caption And All Details
Now it's time to add all of your information and description to your Instagram post!
Include any relevant details and tag any relevant people.
When you tag other people in posts, it will help get your posts exposed to their audience, especially if they have a large following.
You can also click one button and automatically share your post to Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.
Pro Tip: Including ‘swipe left’ in the caption brings the average engagement rate from 1.83% to 2%.
To make that engagement rate go even higher, make sure you add relevant hashtags to your post!
Hashtags are a great way to get extra exposure to the audiences of those hashtags.
Step 6: Share + Promote
And that's it! Hit share and publish it to the world!
Make sure you regularly check how well or how poorly your Instagram carousel posts are performing.
How to view Instagram post insights:
Click on any carousel post on your Instagram page
Click 'View Insights' in the bottom left-hand corner
Swipe up to view more post insights
Once you click View Insights, swipe up to view more detailed post insights.
Carousels are a great way to encourage two-way communication with your audience on your Instagram profile.
Remember to be you and to interact with your audience as much as you can. That means respond to all of your Instagram followers when you can.
Reply to their comments and DMs. Go a step further and start engaging on their Instagram profiles and comment on their stories and Instagram posts!
When you give and support others freely, they are more likely to do the same for you.