10 Types of Visual Content that performs well on Instagram

Everyone is trying to stand out from the crowd and gain more followers and engagement. There are so many types of visual content you can create to help promote your brand and attract new followers and engagement. 

But what works best for Instagram? What types of images typically get more engagement?

In this post we’re going to look at ten examples of visual content that we think generally perform well on Instagram, and how you can tailor them for your business and your followers. 

Type 1: Visually pleasing professional photography.

We’ve found that visual content of high-quality and professional standards performs better than images that look like they were quickly taken on an old phone that could end up out of focus or even off-centred. 

People love an aesthetically pleasing photo, and this could be simply down to the classic photography technique that is the rule of thirds – the idea is to put the object of focus in one of the major third quadrants – this creates visual appeal.

If you need professional photography, make sure to get a specialist that knows the best way to capture your product, your brand, or even your physique.

Type 2: Multi-image carousel posts.

Carousel posts that contain multiple images are a great way to share more with your audience – potentially even when the post doesn’t fully align with the aesthetics of your profile and brand.

You could use a multi-image carousel post to show some behind-the-scenes action and appear more transparent to your followers. You could show the final photo but a carousel of how you got that final photo. If you are Personal Trainer, this could be a carousel of training routines to show different exercises to go along with an explainer caption. 

To ensure you have lots of content to use, take a look at our membership plans, where you can get regular and consistent monthly visual content that ensures you have lots of images to share.

Type 3: Moving images and GIFs to catch scrolling eyes. 

Moving images like GIFs and boomerangs are fun and can really boost your brand. Adding a moving image like a GIF to your Instagram grid or stories is a great way to add more character to your content, capture your audience’s attention and have more fun with your content.

By capturing your audience’s attention in a more creative way than a still image, you’ll be building a more memorable personality for your brand and business. You can make your still images come to life, by combining images to create engaging and fun GIFs.

Next time you’ve got a shoot with us, ask us about also creating a product GIF for your socials. 

Type 4: Lifestyle photos on location to show you in action.

There’s a whole lifestyle component on Instagram. Lifestyle photos in a natural or relevant location are great for product photography and the perfect visual when you want to connect with your customers. When choosing your location, you want to think about the kind of locations and backgrounds that relate to your audience – it’s all about showing that “real-world” side of your business and brand. 

If you’re trying to build your personal branding, it’s good to get lifestyle photography on-site. Whatever your facility, venue, office, or home style, with on-site photos you can show off your positive atmosphere and personality. Using an on-site photo means you get proof in a visual format that does all the talking for you.

Type 5: Use Reels to reach wider audiences.

It may be a Gen Z trend, but Reels for your business and brand have become integral in marketing strategies now. Reels are providing a new opportunity to create engaging visual content that can gain you new followers and potential leads. Video Reels are creative but short, and impressive but addictive videos lasting 15-60 seconds.

Instagram prioritises reels, so it’s the perfect opportunity to reach and impress wider audiences. If you’ve got a shoot with us, ask us about also creating a Reel of your shoot for your socials – such as a behind-the-scenes, or even a quick promotional video.

Type 6: DIY and education how-to content.

How-to visual content is dominating the social media world as we love to see little life hacks, or even know how to use certain products, or understand what people do or even eat in a day – and this content is performing well on Instagram. If you can show new ways to use a product, especially when it looks easy, fun, and accessible, you’re on to a winner. 

You could simply post a single photo and your Instagram caption can be used as a call to action to drive traffic to the details of the how-to elsewhere or get a quick and engaging video – longer than a reel, but short enough that it isn’t long-winded either. Ask us about our video services.

Type 7: User or client-generated visual content.

Using social media influencers is where your next piece of visual content will come from for your Instagram success. Visual content that is created by someone else will be seen as authentic, and it can connect and resonates with audiences. 

If you have a product, ask your users to take photos of them using the product. If you provide a service such as a Personal Trainer, ask your client to take a picture of themselves training, or making your suggested meals.

Always make sure your influencers tag your account. You can then share these photos on your own Instagram which will work as social proof and show others that people are raving about you and your business!

Type 8: Creative photos that stand out.

It’s good to think outside of the box. Instagram has a lot of content, and people are scrolling fast. Creative photography is one way to catch people’s attention – it’s all about being bold and standing out. Bold colours will make your Instagram photos pop, while some creative re-touch would take your images from the ordinary to something people will not see coming.

Not sure what could be done with creative retouches, such as CGI enhancement or creative backgrounds? – contact us to discuss.

Type 9: Flat lay images to show a different viewpoint.

Protein Rebel Flat lay product photo with props

Flat-lay visual content can be used for all sorts of brands and businesses! From laying out your product to promote to laying it out for a giveaway – you could also create a flat lay image to show an “outfit of the day,” your training equipment, or even your meals for the day! 

Using props and different backgrounds, and how you place the objects you are capturing can really grab someone’s attention. We love a creative flat lay, and we have an entire prop cupboard to play with for each shoot – see what’s in our prop cupboard.

Type 10: Seasonal launches and themes to stay on trend.

Visual content that includes current events or seasonal holidays is a great way to get some additional exposure for your Instagram posts. You may have a product launch that fits a certain season where you can theme your visual content campaigns. Including certain trends are good to show your personality but also for making connections with audiences. 

These types of posts might not work for everyone but playing off popular culture trends can boost the awareness and reach of your posts. We suggest having a creative strategy to hand that could help you prepare for certain monthly trends, or even review any current trends to be involved in. 

Here at Picture Perfect Photography, we are a creative studio that provides you with more than just an image. We provide creative strategy sessions to help give your visual content the best creative direction using our vast knowledge in photography, editing, marketing and sales. Find out more about our creative process.

In Conclusion…

The 10 types of visual content that perform well on Instagram are:

  1. Visually aesthetic professional photography
  2. Multi-image carousel posts
  3. Moving images and GIFs to catch scrolling eyes
  4. Lifestyle photos on location to show you in action
  5. Use Reels to reach wider audiences
  6. DIY and education how-to content
  7. User or client-generated visual content
  8. Creative photos that stand out
  9. Flat lay images to show a different viewpoint
  10. Seasonal launches and themes to stay on trend

If you’d like to explore professional product photography for your business, ask us about our membership plans – saving you time, money and stress as we produce you consistent and fresh content each month. Get in touch today and let’s discuss how we can help you create, striking creative photography for your growing business and brand.

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