How to Use Instagram Carousels for Maximum Engagement (A Complete Guide)

How to Use Instagram Carousels for Maximum Engagement (A Complete Guide)

Instagram carousel posts are the goldmine of engagement. Here’s a guide equipped with the best tips and more to help you master and maximize the impact of this dynamic content format.

Leverage Instagram Carousel Posts for Maximum Engagement

Instagram Carousel post has emerged as a game-changer, offering a unique way to engage with audiences on Instagram.

According to the latest statistics, Carousel posts stand at the top, gaining the maximum average engagement rate of 1.92%, outperforming single images/videos (0.59%) and even Reels (1.45%). 

It seems that users are more likely to interact with posts that offer a variety of images or videos in one go.

In this guide, we’ll unravel the basics of Carousel posts and take a dive into eight effective Carousel strategies to boost your Instagram engagement.

Ready to revolutionize your Instagram game? Let’s dive in!

What is an Instagram Carousel Post?

Instagram carousel posts are an innovative format that can have a series of up to 10 photos or videos in a single swipeable post.

So, yeah, it’s basically a slideshow!

Each swipe reveals a new image or video, creating a cohesive and interactive storytelling experience for the audience. Mobile app users can simply swipe to go through every slide, while desktop users can click the right-side arrow on their screen for navigation.

Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

This feature empowers content creators and businesses to showcase a diverse range of visuals, narrate compelling stories, and deliver valuable information to their followers, all within a single post.

See how we leverage Instagram carousels at SocialPilot to unveil our latest product upgrades and demonstrate diverse use cases.

Instagram carousels at SocialPilot

But what makes Carousel posts truly stand out in the bustling realm of Instagram? It’s their versatility and potential for increased engagement.

They can be used for tutorials, data and educational content, spotlights, and even behind-the-scenes peeks. This versatility makes them a powerful tool for brands to connect with their audience on a deeper level.

Studies have shown that Carousel posts garner more reach and engagement than regular posts on Instagram, making them a powerful tool for brands to connect with their audience on a deeper level.

Why Use Instagram Carousel Posts?

Instagram carousel posts are the goldmine of engagement. They are great scroll stoppers and engage people to dwell on your post for some time – something that Instagram algorithms like a lot. 

Convinced about including Instagram carousel posts in your posting calendar? If not, let’s go through some reasons that will surely convince you.

  • Storytelling: Carousels enables you to weave a comprehensive, cohesive, and engaging story by using multiple images or videos in a single post.
  • Versatility: Carousels can serve various purposes. You can use them for product showcases, tutorials, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and user-generated content. 
  • More visuals: With the option to mix and match videos and carousels, you can make your posts more diverse and visually appealing experience for your audience.
  • More informative: You get more space with carousels to share more information. You can easily share step-by-step guides, lists, infographics, and product collections or make any complex information more digestible by dividing it into different slides.

Now you know the perks. But personally, for your business, where can you use Instagram carousel posts? Let’s check out so you can see if your Instagram content marketing plans have anything that can be posted as a carousel.

When to Use Instagram Carousel Post?

As discussed above, Instagram carousel posts have plenty of space to fit in ample information. But how do you use that space? Here are some of the best ways to use the content format.

  • Step-by-Step Tutorials
  • Product Showcases
  • Before-and-After Comparisons
  • Storytelling
  • Educational Content
  • Highlighting User-Generated Content
  • Event Recaps
  • Portfolio Presentation
  • Trivia or Quizzes
  • Mini Blog Posts
  • Data and Infographics
  • Brand Updates
  • Photo Dumps
  • Behind-the-Scenes Looks

With all those options in your hand, you’re ready to craft compelling carousels. But there is one more thing you need to take care of, and that is making your carousels in the right shape and size. 

Instagram Carousel Sizes and Specs

We know how much effort goes into making a single image. Imagine creating 10 images and videos and finding out that the size or specs don’t match Instagram requirements. 

The results? You will end up getting cropped or stretched images and videos. So make sure you use the right Instagram image and video sizes

Instagram Carousel Image Sizes

  • Landscape: 1080 x 566 pixels
  • Portrait: 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • Square: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Aspect Ratios: Instagram carousels support various aspect ratios, including landscape (1.91:1), portrait (4:5), and square (1:1)
  • Recommended Image Size: For images, ensure a width of 1080 pixels and an adaptable height, ranging from 566 to 1350 pixels, depending on the orientation (landscape or portrait).

Instagram Video Carousel Specs

  • Video Length: Carousel videos can range from a minimum of 3 seconds to a maximum of 60 seconds
  • Recommended Video Formats: Instagram accepts video formats such as .MP4 and . MOV
  • Aspect Ratios: Like images, you can use landscape (1.91:1), square (1:1), and vertical (4:5) aspect ratios in the videos as well
  • Maximum Video Size: Keep video file sizes within 4GB to maintain smooth uploading and playback on Instagram

It’s time to upload your carousel post!

How do You Create a Carousel Post on Instagram?

Once you are done creating all the images and videos in the right sizes, start crafting the Instagram carousel post using the tips below:

  • Step 1: Inside the Instagram app, tap on the ‘+’ icon located at the bottom center of your screen. You will reach the create post screen. 
  • Step 2: Tap on the “Select Multiple” icon and start selecting the images and videos you want to add to your carousel. You’ll see numbers appear on the images indicating their order in the carousel.
    Select Multiple
  • Step 3: After selecting the images, tap on ‘Next’ to edit each photo individually, apply filters, or adjust their order by holding and dragging them. 
  • Step 4: Once you’re satisfied with how your images look, tap ‘Next.’ Here, you can add a caption, tag people, and add a location to your post.
    images look
  • Step 5: Finally, tap on ‘Share’ to post your carousel with the Instagram world.

There is another way to post your carousels. A better way! Let’s find out…

How to Schedule an Instagram Carousel Post?

Carousels are already too much. The time between brainstorming content ideas, crafting the perfect carousel images and videos, and finding just the right filter and caption is a lot. 

That’s why manual publishing of a carousel will never be a good choice for a marketer like you to remain consistent.

So, what to do?

Well, you can leverage the Instagram scheduling tool to plan and schedule your carousel post way ahead of time and manage a consistent publishing calendar.

There are two ways to schedule your Instagram carousel posts:

The best option, though, is to use SocialPilot. Why? Because its functionality goes beyond Instagram scheduling and enables you to schedule multiple posts across different platforms.

Check out how you can easily schedule Instagram carousel posts using SocialPilot’s Instagram scheduler. 

Step 1: Once you have connected your Instagram account with SocialPilot, click “Create Post.” It will take you to the “Post Composer.”

Step 2: Here, switch to the Instagram tab and start adding your caption. In addition to your caption, you can incorporate hashtags or additional text as comments. Simply utilize the “First Comment” box on Instagram to do so.

First Comment

Step 3: Next, upload multiple images or videos to craft your perfect carousel post. You can upload the media from local storage, cloud storage, or third-party libraries like Giphy and Unsplash. Once the media is uploaded, you can easily adjust the order to ensure each slide tells a part of your story.

cloud storage

Step 4: Once your carousel is ready, you can check the preview of how it will look once published in the “Post Preview” section.

carousel is ready

Step 5: When satisfied, pick a date and time to go live. Hit ‘Schedule,’ and you’re done!

Schedule

Want to try our Instagram scheduling capabilities and more? Start using SocialPilot today for free.

8 Tips to Maximize Engagement With Instagram Carousel Posts

Ready to take your Instagram game to the next level?

Carousel posts could be your secret weapon. Here are eight tips to help you maximize engagement with Instagram Carousel posts:

Tip 1: Tell a Story with Your Carousel

Humans are natural storytellers, and stories have an incredible ability to captivate and deeply connect with people. So, why not weave captivating narratives through your Carousel posts? Here are some techniques to help you create an engaging story:

  • Sequential Flow: Arrange your images or videos in a logical order that takes viewers through a connected storyline. This makes it easy for your audience to follow along and stay engaged.
  • Emotional Appeal: Connect with your audience on a deeper level by appealing to their emotions. Evoke feelings of joy, inspiration, or curiosity that resonate with them.
  • Call-to-Action: Encourage your viewers to take action by clearly guiding them towards the next step or inviting them to engage with your content.

Here’s an example of an Indian food blogger, @riotofflavours, who has successfully leveraged a Carousel post to showcase the process of an Indian dish.

riotofflavours

Tip 2: Showcase a Variety of Content Formats

One of the great things about Instagram Carousel posts is that you can showcase a wide variety of content formats. This gives your audience an exciting and dynamic experience.

Consider including:

  • Photos: Beautiful and captivating photos that effortlessly grab attention and skillfully convey your message.
  • Videos: Engage your audience with short and impactful videos that communicate your brand’s personality and values.
    impactful
  • Infographics: Share knowledge and insights with your followers using visually appealing formats that present valuable information in an easily understandable way.
  • GIFs: Enhance your Instagram Carousel posts with animated GIFs that bring creativity and humor, connecting deeply with your audience.

Tip 3: Share Tips, Tricks, or Tutorials

In today’s fast-paced world, individuals crave valuable and practical content. By generously sharing tips, tricks, or tutorials in your Instagram Carousel posts, you establish yourself as an expert in your specific field and deliver genuine value to your audience.

Here are some ideas you should consider.

  • Step-by-Step Guides: Share complex things by breaking down processes into easy-to-follow steps to help your audience achieve specific goals. For instance, check out how Canva offers a quick tutorial in each image of the Carousel post for users to create astronomy designs on Astronomy Day.
    canva design school
  • Life Hacks: Share practical and time-saving tips that make your followers’ lives easier. A fitness brand, for example, could share workout hacks that can be done at home.
  • Product Demonstrations: Showcase the features and advantages of your products or services using a collection of images or videos. This could be a tech company demonstrating how to use their latest software.

Tip 4: Highlight User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content (UGC) can help you establish trust, foster brand loyalty, and boost engagement. By including UGC in your Instagram Carousel posts, you can highlight genuine experiences and viewpoints shared by your happy customers.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Testimonials: Positive customer reviews and feedback are valuable assets for your business. Showcasing testimonials allows you to highlight your customers’ positive experiences and opinions.
  • Showcase Creations: Display customer-created content that features your products being used in innovative and imaginative ways through photos or videos. Here’s an example of how Nike shares UGC through Carousel posts.
    Before and After
  • Before and After: Share before and after visuals to illustrate the remarkable results achieved by utilizing your products or services.

Tip 5: Create Themed Carousel Posts

Organize your profile with themed Instagram Carousel posts to enhance its visual appeal and create a sense of unity. Grouping related content allows you to tell a consistent story or highlight specific themes.

Explore these suggestions:

  • Seasonal Themes: Make your Carousel posts even more exciting by aligning them with holidays, seasons, or other relevant events. This way, you’ll create timely and engaging content that truly captivates your audience. Check out another Carousel post by Canva offering unique gifting ideas for Father’s Day.
    Instagram Carousel
  • Color Themes: Create an eye-catching Instagram Carousel post by selecting a color palette that matches your brand or sets the desired mood. This will create a visually captivating display that aligns with your unique style and evokes the right emotions.
  • Topic Series: Dive into a particular topic or theme through a series of Carousel posts, enabling your audience to explore and engage with the subject matter on a deeper level.

Tip 6: Utilize Captivating Cover Images

The first image of your Instagram Carousel post acts as a preview and plays a vital role in appealing to your audience to swipe and discover more. Craft engaging cover images that capture attention and spark curiosity.

Look at the cover images of some of the most engaging Carousel posts below. Each one of them clearly is an introduction to what’s about to follow.

Captivating Cover

Explore the following approaches:

  • Bold Visuals: Use striking visuals or eye-catching design elements to make your cover image stand out from the crowd.
  • Captivating Text: Engage your audience by including captivating text or headlines that spark curiosity and encourage viewers to learn more.
  • Consistent Branding: Ensure your cover images align with your brand’s visual identity to maintain a friendly and professional look.

Tip 7: Optimize Your Carousel Captions

Visuals are important, but compelling captions can enhance your Instagram Carousel posts and inspire more engagement. Craft thoughtful and engaging captions that beautifully align with your visuals, encouraging your audience to take action.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Attention-Grabbing Opening: Start your caption with an attention-grabbing opening that immediately captures the interest of your readers.
  • Be Conversational: Connect with your audience by writing in a friendly and relatable manner, using language that feels like a natural conversation.
  • Clear Call-to-Action: Encourage your followers to take action by incorporating a clear call-to-action that warmly invites them to interact with posts or visit your website.
  • Hashtags: Research and find hashtags that are relevant to your content. Include them strategically in your captions to increase the chances of reaching a wider audience.

Too many things to take care of? Fret not! Use our Instagram caption generator to create compelling caption that checks all the requirements and deliver a clear, attention-grabbing caption with hashtags in mere seconds.

Instagram Caption Generator

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Tip 8: Analyze and Optimize Your Carousel Performance

For continuous growth and improvement, it’s important to analyze and optimize the performance of your Instagram Carousel posts. Utilize Instagram’s convenient analytics or third-party tools to gather valuable insights into your audience’s behaviors and preferences.

Here are a few things you should consider:

  • Engagement Metrics: Monitor likes, comments, saves, and shares to gauge the performance of your Instagram Carousel posts. These metrics offer valuable insights into their effectiveness.
  • Audience Demographics: Understand your audience demographics to create content that resonates with their preferences and interests. By exploring this valuable information, you can personalize your content and make it even more captivating for your wonderful audience.
  • Keep Exploring: Try various methods, content styles, and captions to discover what connects best with your audience.
  • Refine and Optimize: Use the insights from your analysis to make informed decisions that enhance your strategies and maximize engagement with your Instagram Carousel posts.

Bonus Tip: Encourage Audience Interaction with Quizzes

Quizzes are a great way to engage your audience, ignite curiosity, and provide valuable educational or entertaining content. Try creating an interesting Carousel post with a set of questions (that are related to your brand or field) and multiple-choice answers.

Each question on a separate slide will keep your audience interested and eager to join in. This not only helps assess their knowledge but also generates excitement and anticipation.

So, why not take advantage of this wonderful chance to connect with your audience enjoyably and interactively?

3 Instagram Carousel Examples You Can Learn From

How about inspiring your carousel-making by learning from the best? Check out the amazing Instagram carousel examples we have curated for you.

1. Merriam-Webster: Informing Word of the day

Merriam-Webster, mostly known for its dictionaries, uses the Instagram carousel format to share their word of the day with definitions and examples. 

Merriam-Webster

Source

What can you learn?

Merriam-Webster’s carousels get straight to the point in their first images, giving you the lowdown immediately. You can take a page from their book and post similar carousels based on your industry lingo.

Also, look how Merriam-Webster smoothly created a word-to-picture connection by giving a background image that perfectly matches their word of the day. 

2. Adobe: Showcasing Product Features

Adobe effectively used the carousel format to promote its Generative fill feature. They added a delightful twist by injecting humor, pondering a “what if dogs wore pants” scenario, and then using their AI feature to show it. 

Adobe

Source

What can you learn?

Just like Adobe, you can use the carousel format to show the different use cases of your product in a fun and creative way. A creative approach can make seemingly complex topics more digestible.

3. SocialPilot: Rounding Up Monthly Updates

At SocialPilot, we use the expansive visual canvas of Instagram carousel posts to provide a monthly roundup of our latest features and updates. 

Adobe

Source

What can you learn?

Like SocialPilot, you can create monthly carousel posts to showcase new features, updates, or highlights to keep your followers up-to-date with your offerings.

Conclusion

Instagram Carousel posts are not just a feature; they’re a secret weapon to captivate your audience and keep them hooked!

We’ve explored some powerful tips that will help you maximize the potential of these engaging posts and build a genuine connection with your followers.

Remember, telling captivating stories, diversifying your content, and crafting compelling captions is key. Don’t forget to leverage the power of user-generated content (UGC) and create themed Carousels that will leave your audience in awe. Keep a close eye on your performance, experiment with new strategies, and continually refine your approach for outstanding results.

So, brace yourself. Your Instagram engagement is about to skyrocket!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many images or videos can I include in an Instagram Carousel post?

You can include up to 10 images or videos in a single Instagram Carousel post.

Can I schedule Carousel posts in advance using social media management tools?

Absolutely! You can use social media management tools like SocialPilot that conveniently schedule and publish Carousel posts at your preferred time.

Do Carousel posts receive higher engagement compared to regular Instagram posts?

Instagram Carousel posts can boost engagement by offering more content and storytelling options. This captures users' interest and encourages them to engage more with your post.

Can I boost or promote Carousel posts with Instagram ads?

Yes! Instagram lets you enhance or advertise your Carousel posts using its promotional tools. This allows you to expand your reach and encourage even greater engagement from a broader audience.

Are there any size or aspect ratio requirements for Carousel post images or videos?

Yes, to ensure the best appearance, Instagram suggests using square images or videos with a 1:1 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1080x1080 pixels.

Can I rearrange the order of images or videos in a published Carousel post?

Once you publish a Carousel post, you can not change the order of your images or videos.

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