What makes a top-performing Instagram post?
It’s a blend of different elements that all work together to make your content stand out, attract the right people, and grow your influence online.
Understanding the nuances and scrutinizing your analytics is the secret sauce to making your posts stand out on a user’s Instagram feed and boost engagement without spending one dollar on ads.
Ready to dissect your posts and try some social experiments with your content?
Here are the five must-have elements to create engaging Instagram posts!
5 Elements of a Top-Performing Instagram Post
Starting from top to bottom, these elements will help you craft posts your Instagram followers will love, generate brand recognition, and teach you how to create better content that has an impact.
1. Use Eye-Catching Visuals
Imagine you’re walking down the street. Someone catches your eye, and you almost walk into a pole and trip over your feet.
That’s the feeling you’re trying to recreate with your own Instagram posts and visual imagery.
Whenever you post, you want to stop Instagram users mid-scroll and grab their attention.
How do you do that?
• Use high-quality photos or videos.
• Clean your iPhone camera before capturing content.
• Use the Rule of Thirds to create visually appealing content.
• Include a visual or text-based hook at the beginning of your Reels.
• Use visuals that align with your brand story.
• Making sure the visual content entertains, educates, or inspires your audience.
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2. Write an Engaging Instagram Caption With a Call-to-Action (CTA)
Want to know a secret?
You can write the best caption ever, but it won’t mean much without a call-to-action.
Your CTA is what monetizes the post for YOU and is a trigger for Instagram engagement.
Think about it.
You’ve probably spent a good chunk of time writing your Instagram captions, agonizing over the details, and making sure it provides value and aligns with your brand voice.
But all that brand exposure doesn’t really go anywhere without a call-to-action. Here are a few CTA ideas to get you started:
• Want to start a discussion about mental health? Ask a question to boost community involvement.
• Looking to boost your engagement statistics? Remind your followers to save and share.
• Got a few spots left on your coaching program? Slide in some cheeky self-promo and tell your audience to apply.
Let’s look at an example from The Holistic Psychologist.
In her Instagram captions, she usually includes CTA’s to encourage comments like:
• If you’re doing around healing your attachment style, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
• Bookmark this post and tag your partner.
• What’s your go-to response to cope with stress?
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By encouraging her community to have a discussion in her comment section, she’s crowd-sourcing her next Instagram post idea (hello user-generated content), improving engagement, and exposing her brand to thousands of new people.
3. Use The Right Hashtags to Attract Your Tribe
Want more eyes on your Instagram content?
These are your amplifiers and can help your post on Instagram find the right audience.
…But to do that, you can’t slap on a #instagood and call it a day.
You must put in time and effort to find hashtags that align with your brand, mission, and target audience.
It’s like SEO (search engine optimization).
You want to use relevant hashtags that’ll attract people looking for what you’re posting about. Plus, there is search volume.
If a hashtag only has a total of 50 posts, it’s not going to bring in a tonne of traffic. You’re looking for hashtags that have more engagement but aren’t so popular your post becomes buried in under five minutes.
Psst…Plann has a free hashtag tool packaged with thousands of handpicked, high-performing hashtags to help save you time.
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4. Geotag Your Instagram Posts to Grow Your Audience
Imagine you’re a solo traveller, fresh out of college and planning your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Namibia.
The number one spot on your bucket list? Dead Vlei. A white clay plan located inside Namib-Naukluft Park and home to 900-year-old petrified trees.
You open up Instagram to search for photo inspiration, type in the location and start scrolling through the hundreds of photos taken in the desert.
One of the photos catches your eye. You open it up, and it’s a mini-travel guide with tips on how to get to Dead Vlei, the best time to arrive, and a secret photo spot.
That’s not all.
After tapping into the user’s full profile, you discover an entire series on Namibia with even more travel tips.
You’ve hit the jackpot and tap the “follow” button.
That’s the power of geotagging your Instagram posts.
You’re giving users more chances to discover your content and attracting the people who will appreciate your content to your page.
5. Analyse Your Analytics
The final element of your Instagram posting strategy? Data.
Without it, you won’t know:
• The best time to post.
• The best days of the week for maximum engagement.
• Your top-performing posts by likes, plays, saves, shares, and reach.
• Your account growth metrics.
Each one tells a story and helps you figure out if you are getting results from your strategy or if you need to mix things up.
For example, let’s say you’re posting three Reels and one carousel post on Instagram each week.
You check your analytics and see accounts reached, accounts engaged, and total followers are all up by 20%. That’s an indication your posting frequency is working and those content formats (like Instagram carousels) are a good fit for your brand.
Then, you dive into the analytics behind your Reels and notice that your how-to videos outperform your weekly vlogs in terms of saves and shares. That’s a sign you should keep prioritizing how-to videos if you want to continue growing your brand awareness and trust with your audience.
Plann Your Next Instagram Post
Let’s take your Instagram strategy to the next level.
Sign up for a 7-day free trial of Plann Pro today. Grab our free content calendar, strategy planner, content prompts, and Instagram post ideas, and start creating Instagram posts that:
• Grow your following
• Engage your followers
• Convert social media lurkers into paying customers