Instagram Carousel Ideas That Will Increase Your Engagement (With Examples)

Spice up your social media strategy with this must-try Instagram Carousel ideas.

Hazel Butler
8 minutes read

With Instagram refocusing on a more video-centric approach, you’re probably going all out creating Reels. But don’t discount the power of carousels as you’re planning your content. Capable of supporting both images and video, carousels are a versatile content format that can do wonders for your Instagram engagement.

Almost 20% of Instagram content consists of carousels, and carousels command higher engagement than either images or video. 

In addition to proving popular with users, carousels can also help you reach new people and expand your audience. Across up to ten slides you can educate your audience, showcase your expertise and win the valuable trust of potential customers.

But what should you include in your carousels on Instagram? We’ve rounded up a few Instagram carousel ideas to supercharge your engagement. Let’s get started!



Instagram Carousel Idea 1. Promote a Product

A lot of products naturally lend themselves to carousels. Taking a series of snaps or videos of your product in action is a great way to showcase what you have on offer. 

Demonstrate the benefits of your product visually. Give it the wow factor. What functions does it have? Are there different color or size variations of this product? What cool features does it have and how can you flaunt them?

It’s great to post an image of your product or even a video. But one just isn’t enough to show how awesome your product range is!

Instagram carousels were pretty much invented to show things off from every angle. Flaunt your color variations. Exhibit every model. The whole point of them is to show more of your original image. 

Plus, potential customers are likely to have common questions – so use your carousel to answer them. Make the decision to buy as easy as possible.

Promote a Product

Take Collectif Clothing as an example. They frequently use carousels to show off their beautiful dresses. They begin with an eye-catching shot that shows a model wearing the dress in the ‘real world’. Then, they use the carousel slides to showcase various components that come with it, like a matching bolero, and color-coordinated accessories. They can also include additional items created in the same cool print.

Don’t forget to tag every product you feature so they’re easily shoppable!

Instagram Carousel Idea 2. User-Generated Content Round-Ups

User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most powerful forms of trust-building content. It’s right up there with reviews and testimonials because it shows real people using your service, or product and loving them.

An effective UGC strategy is an easy way to increase brand loyalty, reach a wider audience, and really build a sense of community around your brand. Plus, it drives sales – win-win!

User-Generated Content Round-Ups

For example, FairyLoot runs a monthly competition for subscribers to their book box. Customers happily share photos of their book boxes and the cool swag within. FairyLoot showcases a random selection of them in a carousel to show thanks.

Most of the FairyLook community are avid #Bookstagrammers. Having their photos shared by the brand boosts their profiles, gaining them new followers. Meanwhile, FairyLoot gets to show off just how many people buy and love their boxes every month.

Instagram Carousel Idea 3. Before and After Reveals

People love to see the real-world results of what you’re up to. Using a carousel to show before and after photos for a project or product capitalizes on this curiosity. 

Start with your ‘before’ pic and clearly mark it as such! This will pique curiosity and compel people to swipe for the results. This is great, as the Instagram algorithm rewards that extra engagement by showing it to more people. You can then show the various stages before the final reveal.

Adding more user-generated content can work well here. It will inspire those who haven’t bought from you yet, convincing them they can transform themselves in the same way.

Before and After Reveals

Take Mane Painters, a hair salon that reveals the results of their cuts and colors using carousels. This is the perfect inspiration post for anyone looking for a hairdresser. The before picture presents a relatable view of dull hair; the after shows lush, shiny, model-worthy locks. 

Instagram Carousel Idea 4. Tease Your Other Content

If you’re creating other content on your blog, YouTube, or a podcast, the carousel format is a great way to repurpose it. Snippets of that content can be reused and repurposed, saving you time and resources on your content creation. At the same time, you get plenty of engaging content and drive traffic to your other platforms.

Tease Your Other Content

Omstars are a great example of this. Each newly published blog post is accompanied by an Instagram carousel featuring a cover image for the blog, and a quote image from the blog. The caption teases the content but doesn’t give too much away – just enough to convince people to go and check out the blog post.

Top Tips For Maximum Impact On Instagram Carouses

Ready to start creating Instagram Carousels like a pro?

Here are a few quick tips to help you get the maximum benefit from your carousels:

• If possible, use all ten available slides – the more people swipe, the more engagement you receive!

• Resist the urge to start making all your posts carousels after reading this, once a week is more than enough!

• Mix and match your images and videos: having at least one video in each carousel will maximize your engagement.

• Don’t forget that people won’t always notice it’s a carousel: add a ‘swipe left’ instruction on your images, and include it in the first line or two of your caption.

• You can use carousels in your Instagram ads and on your organic posts. If you intend to use a post as an ad, it will have to conform to the image size and text ratio guidelines. You’ll save yourself a load of time if you plan. Create your carousels so they can also function as ads, rather than trying to reformat them to meet the guidelines after.

• Use design to encourage swipes. Make the most of the carousel format by creating grid posts or an Instagram carousel panorama.

One Genius Hack for Instagram Carousels

Once you’ve got your carousels posted, rearranging the images can seem impossible. Sure, deleting an image is easy, but changing their order? No chance.

Until now.

This simple hack lets you temporarily delete any images you want to move to the back of your carousel, and restore them so they’re in the right place. Just follow these easy steps:

1. Go to the top right of your screen. Click the three dots, then select edit and the delete button (it looks like a little trash bin). 

2. Decide which image you want to be your cover photo and delete any images before this. You will need to leave at least two images on your carousel.

3. Tap the three-line ‘hamburger icon’ and select ‘settings’, ‘account’, and ‘recently deleted’.

4. If the ‘recently deleted’ option doesn’t show, search for it in the search bar of your ‘settings’.

5. Restore the images you deleted from the front of your carousel in the order that you want them to appear at the back. 

6. Repeat as needed until your carousel is in the order you want.

Final Thoughts

Your Instagram carousel is a perfect way to tell your story by showing off your brand personality. They also show you’re worthy of their trust and attention. Remember to have fun with them. Be authentic in what you share – you’ll get the best engagement from content you enjoyed making yourself!

Worried posting will be a hassle? Wondering how to schedule carousel posts on Instagram? 

Don’t forget Plann now supports auto-posting for Instagram Carousel posts. So, they’re as easy to include in your schedule as a single image! 

What are you waiting for? Sign up to a 7 day free trial on Plann Pro today!


Engaging Instagram Captions You Can Use Right Now
Engaging Instagram Captions You Can Use Right Now

Streamline your social media game with these ready to use captions!



Latest Blogs

Instagram Tips

Social Media Strategy

Does Instagram Notify When You Screenshot a Story, Post, or DM?

What happens when someone screenshots a story, post or DM on Instagram? We dive into your burning questions in this complete guide.

Social Media Strategy

The Best Ways To Remove TikTok Watermarks

Wondering how to download TikTok without a watermark? Dive into our complete step-by-step guide to remove TikTok watermarks from your content.

Content Creation


Trending TikTok Songs To Use This Week (+ Reels)

Check out the trending TikTok songs and trending Reels that have been growing in popularity this week!

“So much information packed into a small amount of time”
As an artist, I always knew TikTok was an important platform for me to be on to connect with potential clients. I left this course feeling so confident and excited to create and grow!
Arden Interiors
Jenn Evans

Getting Started with TikTok

Up your TikTok Strategy with
Greta Rose
Greta Rose
IT’S HERE!   |   Schedule Your YouTube Shorts With Plann!