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Instagram Tips & Resources

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

Updated on November 4, 2020
9 minute read

Have you reached a creative block on Instagram? In this post, we look at 7 strategies for what to post on Instagram when you’re fresh out of ideas.

Published November 4, 2020

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 #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.

Take the clean and conscious haircare company @briogeo for example.  They encourage their community to share their selfies using the hashtag #Briogeo.

In a way, their digital shoutouts are kind of like “mini case studies.” They use them to highlight their audience while also showcasing the products used.

@wework also often shares digital shoutouts, 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!

Look at @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:

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 here.

What to Post on Instagram #3: 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 a creative, engaging, and 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.

There are tons of free and paid diverse stock photo websites you can use, like Nappy, TONL, Pexels, and Pixabay.

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.

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.

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.

Looking for more social media trends, tips, and tricks? Subscribe to Later's free weekly newsletter today.

What to Post on Instagram #4: 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:

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

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 2020 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 #5: 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:

Take a look at @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:


@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:

What to Post on Instagram #6: 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, 55% of consumers trust user-generated content over any other form of marketing, making it a surefire way to boost your sales and improve brand loyalty.

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 Herschel’s #welltravelled) to give your community a unified place to share their you-related content.

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:

Like some of the other strategies we’ve discussed, there’s really no limit to what you can do UGC. You can even share UGC on your Instagram Stories:

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.

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 feature, which lets you easily find, collect, and share valuable user-generated content right from your Instagram community!

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 #7: 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.

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

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!

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

The 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.

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About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist

Benjamin is a Content Marketing Strategist based in Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day on Instagram @benjaminchacs.

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