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Instagram, Marketing

What to Post on Instagram When You’re Fresh Out of Ideas

Have you ever stared at your phone wondering what to post on Instagram, and come up blank?

“Instagram block” is totally normal, especially if you’re looking to maintain a consistent stream of posts and a busy content calendar.

So what should you do on those days where you know you should post but don’t have any ideas?

To help spark some creativity, we’re looking at 7 strategies for what to post on Instagram when you’re fresh out of ideas, as well as tips for keeping your filler content on-brand:

what to post on Instagram

What to Post on Instagram #1: Share Highlights From Your Community

The next time you’re in a pinch for ideas, consider spotlighting a member of your community — it’s a great way to build trust and affinity with your audience!

What’s really great about this strategy is that your posts can be about anything. From highlighting success stories to sharing inspiring accounts, there’s really no “wrong way” when it comes to community spotlights.

For example, at @latermedia we use our branded hashtag #laterfeature to highlight interesting ways that businesses are using social media and the Later app.  

In a way, our digital shoutouts are kind of like “mini case studies.” We use them to educate our audience on topics like Instagram marketing tips and how to best use Later’s features:

You can also use digital shoutouts to simply highlight inspirational members of your community like @ritual does:

@wework also often shares mini-interviews and quotes from inspirational members of their community:

These kinds of community spotlights are a great way to build more trust, loyalty, and community with your followers — and they’re super easy to create!

What to Post on Instagram #2: Share Quotes

People often think of quotes as good “filler content” — the kind of thing you post when you’re completely out of other ideas.

But quotes can be used for all kinds of marketing reasons, from driving sales to building brand affinity!

Take @aestheticsofjoy for example. The design-focused brand often posts colorful, happiness-inducing quotes to their feed to engage their audience and build deeper relationships:

If that doesn’t work for your brand, you can take a page of out @girlboss‘ book and share inspiring quotes that appeal to your audience and also engage them in conversation:

You can also use quotes to educate your audience and build product awareness.

Take @supergoop for example. The natural sunscreen company often shares Instagram quotes to answer some of the more common questions they receive: 

Direct-to-consumer mattress brand @casper also often shares engaging and humorous quotes that get people thinking about their products:

View this post on Instagram

Sleep is our love language.

A post shared by Casper (@casper) on

What’s so great about this strategy is that you can really take it any direction that you please.

Just make sure that the quotes and design style you use matches your brand and aesthetic — that’s something you can’t compromise on!

Learn more about how to use Instagram quotes in your strategy and discover some of our favorite photo-editing apps for creating them for your feed!

What to Post on Instagram #3: Share Your Favorite Social Media Holidays

From #NationalDonutDay to #InternationalCoffeeDay, there are TONS of social media holidays that are perfect for filling out your content calendar when you’re in a pinch!

More than that, social media holidays are great for sharing relevant, timely content that relates back to your brand and products. 

Take @allbirds for example. The eco-friendly sneaker brand often shares content on important environmental dates like #WorldWaterDay:

@gloryholedoughnuts shared several posts this year to celebrate #NationalDonutDay and even used it as an opportunity to run an Instagram giveaway!

View this post on Instagram

Contest closed!! 🍩🍩 GIVEAWAY TIME 🍩🍩 Celebrate #nationaldoughnutday with GHD this Friday (June 7th) and you can win all this swag from our favourite local businesses! We have 2 prize packs available for in-store giveaway (one per location, enter your name in-store on Fri June 7th *only* for a chance to win). We also have 2 prize packs to give away on Instagram (4 prizes to be won!) . RULES: 1. Like this photo 2. Tag a friend in the comments and tell us your all-time favourite doughnut flavour 3. Follow every account tagged in this photo #supportlocal (10 total) – we will be checking! . 2 random winners will be chosen on Tuesday June 11th and contacted via DM. Must be available to pickup prize from either of our locations. . WHAT ELSE? . • We are giving away 100 mini cake doughnuts at *each location* to celebrate this special day!! • Freebies are first come first served, 1 per person, while supplies last! • Our pre-orders for this Friday are now closed 🤦🏻‍♀️ but don’t worry, we’ll have lots of doughnuts available for walk-in//pickup this Friday (subject to availability… there’s only so many doughnuts we can physically make by hand!) • We are expecting a busy morning, so please plan accordingly (if you hate lineups come in the afternoon) • Our staff are working extra hard this day, so good vibes only pls ✨✌️ • We’ll keep you updated on our stock levels throughout the day (via Stories) • Don’t forget to tag us in your photos!! We love to see your happy faces 😚💕 • Prize packs may vary slightly and valued over $350 – wow!!!

A post shared by Glory Hole Doughnuts (@ghdoughnuts) on

Regardless of what social holiday you decided to celebrate, make sure the cause is aligned with your brand’s ethos, mission, or something you playfully want to enjoy with your followers.

Just like your regular posts, your social holidays content should also bring value to your feed and be something your followers want to see and engage with.

Need some help planning your social media holiday content? We created a free social media holidays calendar for 2019 with all the important dates! 

Download our free social media holidays calendar to keep up with all the holidays and big events!


What to Post on Instagram #4: Share Lifestyle Content 

“Lifestyle content” doesn’t really fit a specific genre or category. It can be anything from a food overlay to photos of a beach at sunset — or something else entirely!

What’s important when sourcing lifestyle content for your account is that it matches your brand identity and aesthetic — as well as the interests or personality traits of your target consumer. 

For example, if you’re a bathing suit brand, it wouldn’t make sense to post photos of a bleak cityscape. Instead, you should focus on sharing lifestyle content that relates back to your brand and products, like photos of people surfing:

The good news is that there are TONS of great brands on Instagram that use lifestyle content to spiff up their feeds.

Take @faithfulthebrand for example. The Insta-famous clothing brand has mastered the art of creating the ultimate jet setter style on their feed using lifestyle content:

Faithful the Brand - Lifestyle Shot


@artifactuprising also shares a ton of gorgeous lifestyle content — from cute interiors to cafés and nature shots — which keeps their followers engaged and has them coming back for more:

Is your camera roll running low on lifestyle shots you can use on your feed? Keep reading — sourcing user-generated content and stock imagery can help you out here too! 

What to Post on Instagram #5: Share User-Generated-Content (UGC) From Your Community

Sharing user-generated-content is a great way to fill your feed with beautiful content, but it’s also hugely valuable to your audience.

In fact, according to research from Suzy, UGC is 50% more trustworthy than any other type of media!

Of course, simply re-posting every Instagram post you’re tagged in isn’t the most effective strategy. Instead, we recommend creating a branded Instagram hashtag (like Hershel’s #welltravelled) to give your community a unified place to share their you-related content.

what to post on instagram

Once you’ve collected enough content, you can then cluster your UGC into different themes, like product photos, reviews, and more.

Take @summerfridays for example. The cult skincare brand often reposts content from their community to highlight their products in a more authentic way:

Food and wellness publisher @iamwellandgood also shares a ton of UGC to highlight members of their community:

Like some of the other strategies we’ve discussed, there’s really no limit to what you can do UGC.

That being said, it’s still important to have a strategy and goal — whether that’s reaching a wider audience, giving back to your engaged social community, or showcasing your content and products to your followers.

If you need some more help integrating UGC into your strategy, check out our 7 Tips for Reposting Instagram Stories & User-Generated Content blog post!

Not sure where to start when it comes to collecting user-generated-content for your account?

One of the best ways to repost UGC to Instagram is by using Later’s Search by Hashtag tool, which lets you easily find, collect, and share valuable user-generated content right from your Instagram community!what to post on Instagram

All you have to do is type your branded hashtag (or any hashtag!) into Search by Hashtag. When you see a photo or video you love, just click it, select “Add to Media Library,” and voilà, you’re ready to schedule it to your Instagram feed! Want to check it out?

Search by hashtag is available to all Later users with an Instagram business profile—free.


What to Post on Instagram #6: Share Behind-the-Scenes Content

If you’re looking for a solution to those “what to post on Instagram” blues, you should consider diving into some behind-the-scenes content.

Your followers are curious about how your products are made, the people behind the business, and what you have planned for the future — so take the time to share this info with them!

Not only does this open up great opportunities to create engaging content your followers will love, but it gives you another way to be authentic on Instagram and build a deeper connection with your community.

View this post on Instagram

all day i dream about sets

A post shared by Studio Sophomore (@studiosophomore) on

For example, you can share a “day in the life of…” style post like @wework to give your followers a glimpse of the people who are involved in running your business each day:

Sustainable fashion brand @kotn does this quite often, bringing their followers along to meet the people behind the brand:

If you’re just getting started as a business, you can also share behind-the-scenes content related to the struggles of growing your brand and some of your proudest moments to date like @elsewhere.retreats:

Whatever direction you take, sharing your behind-the-scenes moments on Instagram is a sure-fire way to build a more human brand that your followers can relate to!

What to Post on Instagram #7: Share Stock Photography, Animations, and Videos

While stock photography may have had a bad reputation in the past, the times have changed and using stock photos on Instagram has actually become a big trend!

Now stock images, videos, animations, and illustrations are creative, engaging, and an easy way to add more content to your Instagram feed, without the extra work.

Once you find the right style, using stock photos on Instagram is a great strategy for building a strong Instagram aesthetic, posting more often, and showcasing your brand’s message.

Most stock photography websites come with “free to use” rights, which means you can post stock photos and videos to your feed outright — no credit needed! But it’s often worth checking the usage rights just in case there are limitations.

You can also level up your stock content posts by adding in some branded elements, like Instagram overlay stickers to match your usual feed style, or incorporate some of Instagram’s features!

Check out how @latermedia recently posted to Instagram by using stock imagery and edited it with Instagram’s countdown timer:

You can also use stock videos on Instagram as a background or as b-roll for your videos.

For example, if you’re a travel company announcing a sale, you may want to deliver your video message with info on the sale and discount, plus stock footage of a family packing their luggage, boarding the flight and arriving at their destination!

There are also tons of free and paid stock photo websites that you can use, like Unsplash, Stocksy, Bloguettes, and Mixkit.

When sourcing stock content, try to pick images and videos that best matches your Instagram aesthetic — often you can filter your search by theme like “boho” or “minimalist”, or search for a specific hero color if you have one for your brand.

Learn more about how you can use stock photos and videos on Instagram!

Also, remember to use stock content sparingly. While we 100% support mixing in some stock content to your feed to enhance it, too much stock imagery can dilute your own personal style and vibe.

If you’re unsure if you’ve got the balance right, you can use a visual planner like Later to preview and edit what your future feed will look like. It’s a great way to make sure you’re always posting awesome content that matches your Instagram aesthetic, even if you’re stuck in an Instagram rut!

At the end of the day, there’s no limit to what you can post to Instagram — all it takes is a little creativity!

So next time you’re feeling lost or unsure what to post, think about incorporating these ideas by drawing inspiration from your own brand and community.

Just remember to always focus on sharing content that resonates with your audience and adds value to your feed.

Ready to start growing your business with Later? Sign up for a free account today!


Written By

Benjamin Chacon

Benjamin is a Content Marketing Strategist at Later and recent transplant from Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day on Instagram @benjaminchacs.

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