Do Instagram Carousels Boost Engagement?
. . . but first, what are carousels?
You might be picturing the fun little children’s ride where they sit on ponies and go around in circles until their heads are spinning. Thankfully, that is not what we are talking about.
Carousels were launched by Instagram back in 2017 as a way to post several pictures or videos at once. Too good at photography to choose just one photo? This solved your dilemma and gave you the ability to create a photo album in one single post. Since then, carousels have gained a new role as a clever tool with which businesses and influencers can draw an audience, tell stories, and grow their reach and engagement simultaneously.
Carousels are a clever tool with which businesses and influencers can draw an audience, tell stories, and grow their reach and engagement simultaneously.
The goal of carousels is to keep your audience engaged with you and your content for as long as possible. And the more intriguing the content you have in your carousel, the longer they will keep their eyeballs on you and even share it with their friends. The longer your audience stays and views your posts, the higher the Instagram algorithm will rank your content in their feeds, thus boosting your content naturally. Needless to say, if your carousel is not engaging, the opposite will happen.
Carousels are highly effective because they create intrigue. Think The Wizard of Oz. Everyone wants to see who’s behind the curtain. That’s exactly the intrigue you are creating for your audience when your carousel has an eye-catching front picture – your viewers automatically want to see what’s next.
Let’s go over some different types of carousels. Depending on your audience and your business, there are three you can use: themed, informative, and storytelling.
Themed carousels are typically playful. They work really well for a targeted audience because you are sharing a condensed and consolidated selection of what that audience is interested in, highly concentrating a certain product, message, or idea.
Did your business just come out with a new line of shoes? This is the perfect way to display them in one spot, but in multiple ways. Does your blogging community love memes? Pick your favorites and post them all together on a carousel. Trust us, you will be amazed at the level of engagement that this type of carousel will bring. Keep themed carousels light and happy.
Trust us, you will be amazed at the level of engagement that this type of carousel will bring.
If you have information and knowledge that your audience is after, carousels will soon be your best friend. They are a great way to take information and artistically, strategically package it for your audience. Is there a method to all this creativity? We’re glad you asked.
To start with, pick any topic that you want to share with your viewers and break it into eight bite-sized chunks. Why eight, not ten? You will need the first slide to draw the audience in and the last slide to conclude and call them to action.
Pro tip: make sure to save the juiciest information for slides eight and nine. You want to build your audience’s interest through the first seven slides and then satisfy their curiosity at the end.
After you’ve chosen your topic and broken up the information into eight pieces, work on your cover page. The cover page must be attention-grabbing. Use it to capture your audience with a striking image or thought-provoking question.
Keep in mind when creating a carousel that three is your magic number. Instagram algorithms keep track of how many “scrolls” your carousel gets, and if your audience stops scrolling at slide three, the algorithms will flag your carousel as boring and pull the throttle on showing your content to a larger audience. How to make certain that your audience will scroll past number three? Make sure to dangle the carrot and build interest from the second slide to the eighth slide, so that they are curious about what the conclusion will be. Story-building is story-delaying.
Story-building is story-delaying.
Once you’re through the initial interest-building of slides two to eight, it’s time to create your final-details slides to satisfy your viewers’ interest. For these slides, you want to make sure to add in actionable information, so they can apply what you have taught them. A great way to do this is by incorporating lists, steps, or instructions.
Your pièce de résistance is your final slide. This is your call to action; the whole post has been brought to boil at this point. You’ve caught their attention, you’ve built their interest, you’ve educated them, and now it’s time to direct them. Tell your audience what you would like them to do. It can be simple, like commenting, liking, sharing, or subscribing.
Telling a story in a carousel is a great way to expand your audience, as they can share and repost your story with friends and their own audiences. If you have a captivating story, this is the place for it. Your audience can’t help but be sucked into the post and swipe through to the end.
Storytelling carousels will involve the same method used for the informational carousels in terms of grabbing attention, building interest, and delaying the juicy details until the end. This is a great way to share what would normally be shared in the description area of a post and can create more engagement and reach a larger audience.
This is a great way to share what would normally be shared in the description area of a post and can create more engagement and reach a larger audience.
Don’t miss the magic that using carousels brings to your feed and to your audience. Make sure to try some out and see how they make your Instagram platform take off!
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