Do you want to boost your engagement? Increase your followers? Increase your business’s exposure and therefore, increase your revenue? Then you need to start implementing carousel posts across your social accounts. But first…
What is a Carousel Post?
A carousel post is a post that has multiple images or videos where you can showcase your products or use it to share a story. Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn all have a carousel feature and can be utilized in similar ways. Personally, we focus on Instagram content and lead generation, so we will use that for examples going forward.
Why Your Business Needs to Start Using Carousel Posts
Carousels, as we suggested above, are a great way to increase engagement on your posts, as well as having the ability to increase followers and increase revenue. You might be asking a few things, like when is the best time to post? What should I post about? What if I’m not good at design? These are all going to be answered soon. First, let’s look at…
How Carousel Posts Boost Engagement
Compared to a standard post, either a 60-second video or a single image, Instagram gives you the ability to have a group of 10 images that can be used to tell more of a story. They can also be designed so that each image flows on to the next, creating intrigue for the user to swipe to the next slide. This means that if you have an interesting story people will stop scrolling in their feed, and swipe through your post, therefore spending more time looking and reading each slide.
However, stopping someone scrolling can be a bit of a challenge as the first image of the carousel must capture their attention. Then keeping that attention is equally difficult if your slides are not interesting enough. Lastly, for people to want to engage you will have to finish the post as strong as you started it. This means…
You Need Content with Impact
What exactly is content with impact, Impact is the cross-section of information and entertainment. This means your content must do both, since people come to Instagram for two reasons: to be entertained, they are either at work or are killing time. The second reason that they want to learn something about a topic they are interested in. Ask yourself the questions: 1) is my content entertaining? And 2) am I providing information that may not be widely known?
When you can be happy with both of those answers then you will know that the post should do well. So, Is that it? Well not exactly, there is a lot more to creating engaging content, we will now dive into a model a lot of Instagram designers use.
THE A.I.D.A MODEL*
AIDA has been borrowed from marketing and sales, with one small adjustment as taught by Chris Do. What would usually be Attention, Interest, Desire and Action is now, for the purposes of a carousel post, the following:
Attention: This is your first post, the one that viewers will first see. It has to be powerful enough to stop them scrolling. You can achieve this by using an eye-grabbing image and bold text and colours.
Interest: Now that you have someone’s attention your have to keep it for enough time for them to get to the juicy details and complete your desired actions. You can do this by providing bite-sized bits of information to keep them swiping to the next slide. Delay telling the punchline of your story. This will take up to the next six slides.
Detail: The juicy part of your carousel should be placed in the next two slides. This is where you can give your viewers actionable items, some steps that they can use to apply what they have just learnt in the first 7 slides of your carousel. For example, you could use a checklist like @uxsteven does below.
Action: In your last slide this is where you can add a CTA (call to action), tell your viewers what you would like them to do. You could ask them to simply like the post, or comment, share, follow, bookmark. Or like @winart.design does here you can ask them to consider doing a range of tasks.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO POST?
Well, that depends, not on your followers, for instance not when they are most active. But it more depends on you, and how consistent you can be. Pick a time a be consistent. If it’s every day then stick to your program and post every day. If it’s twice a week, then pick two days to post on and those are your two days. The main thing is consistency. A tip here is, do not overextend yourself if you want to post once a day, but it takes you a day and a half to create content, then you will fall behind and become discouraged.
WHAT IF I’M NOT A GRAPHIC DESIGNER?
You have two options in this scenario, you can either pay someone or learn how to create them. There are pros and cons to each. For example, if you are low on funds then it will be best to learn how to create them. However, if you want the best product out of the box, then you should go with a graphic designer or content creator.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN CAROUSEL POST.
There are a few ways and tools that you can use to create your own carousel posts. You can use tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, Canva, Figma, Sketch, the list goes on. What does that mean? You can use whatever tool you are comfortable with… this also means you have no excuses.
These will work for most of the programs mentioned above.
CREATE A NEW DOCUMENT
Here you will set the width and height, resolution and make sure that you can use a feature like the artboards in photoshop. Standard Instagram post size is 1080x1080px, use a high resolution since downsampling is easier than upsampling (images can get fuzzy).
CREATE MULTIPLE ARTBOARDS
The maximum slides for a carousel post on Instagram is 10 images, so you can have up to 10 artboards. Using Photoshop as an example, click on the artboard title to select it and a plus sign should show up next to the artboard. Click that to add a new artboard, once that is created drag and snap the artboards together.
PASTE AND ARRANGE
You may want to show a full panoramic shot and use three artboards to showcase the full image. So, in this instance, you would create three artboards and past the image in each. Arrange the image so that they cover the artboards, and this is where you can put text over the image if you feel it necessary.
EXPORT AND POST
That’s pretty much it, once you have exported it all you have to do is post it. The main tip here is to post it in the correct order.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CAROUSEL POSTS
These types of posts are my bread-and-butter, however, like everything I do I am always wanting to improve. So, don’t think that you have to always post similar things, get creative with them, see what works for you and what works for your followers. You could focus on one specific type of carousel post, for example, educational posts where you teach something new to your followers each time. Or you could use them to tell jokes or to tell a story.
These might be some questions that you ask yourself before diving down the rabbit’s hole of carousel posting:
Does it make sense for me/my company to use carousel posts?
Will I be able to add more value to my followers with these types of posts?
What topics do I want to cover in these posts?
How will I bring value? By being interesting, educational, funny, etc?
If I need to work on skills, which ones are they? (photoshop, storytelling, etc.)
I hope you got some value from this article, if you did, then consider following my Instagram @dainwalker and signing up to my email list for more info on Instagram growth, digital marketing, design and business.