How to Create Engaging Instagram Carousel Posts

Great design matters

Every year, Instagram is gaining more and more popularity, and it’s easy to understand why—the nifty, visually oriented platform provides many options for brands to advertise their products and services.  

With the average attention span getting shorter and shorter, it’s easy to understand why Instagram carousels, which deliver more information in a shorter time, are so popular nowadays.

The carousel upload feature debuted in 2017, and it allows users to upload up to 10 photos or videos as part of the same post. Since then, this feature has been quite popular, since it enables brands to advertise multiple products or services in one post, to master visual storytelling and to build meaningful relationships with target audiences.

Socialinsider and Bannersnack examined 22,360,021 total Instagram posts from January 2017 through July 2020, from handles with at least 5,000 followers, and 2,949,312 were carousels, with the percentage made up of carosuel posts rising from 3% in 2017 to 19.44% this year.

Carousel posts get the highest engagement rates of all posts, with an average of 1.92%, compared with 1.74% and 1.45% for single post images and videos, respectively. Carousels featuring only videos get more comments, reaching an average of 26 per post. The highest engagement rate per post (2.33%) comes from mixing images and videos in the same post.

Data shows that the most successful campaigns have something in common—great design, and carousel posts are no exception.

Sticking to a few basic design principles can make or break your Instagram carousel posts. Here are a few design tips and tricks:

  • Use the AIDA principles, focusing on attention, interest, desire and action. 
  • Keep brand consistency in mind by using your signature color palettes, fonts, visual elements and shapes.
  • Writing compelling copy and readable content is essential.
  • Choose the right size for your carousel posts, whether you opt for the square (1,080 pixels by 1,080 pixels) or portrait (1,350 by 1,080) format.
  • Use margins to ensure that all carousel slides are aligned, symmetric and aesthetically pleasing. Make sure to adjust your margins based on the format that you choose (square or portrait).
  • Both vertical and horizontal margins can also be a great help toward achieving a well-balanced design, allowing you to frame the design elements that you plan to include within the carousel post with ease.

Carousel posts with great design and copy can help brands stand out from the crowd and tell unique visual stories, and the data confirms it.