How to Get More Shares & Engagement Through Viral Instagram Content

If you’re struggling with creative content ideas for your platform, then this post is for you.

Going viral on Instagram is no longer a far-fetched dream. While chance definitely plays a role in it, there are methods and techniques that can help exponentially grow your reach and visibility. We’re talking about triple digit growth in engagements and it all starts with the type of content you are posting.

Think of it this way, why do you subscribe to the accounts you do on Youtube? Or even better, why do you turn on push notifications for certain accounts on Instagram?

It’s simple, you don’t want to miss out. You want to be in the know because the content being produced is valuable to you. That’s how you build a LOYAL following. By providing them with content they can’t get enough of.

But producing valuable, high-quality content can seem daunting, especially when you’re just getting started. We’ve all been there but we can assure you that once you get it right, it’ll get easier and easier to do overtime.

In this post, we’ll cover all the binge-worthy types of content and what makes up a viral post. Use it as a guide to help you with content creation that is relevant and valuable to your niche. So let’s jump right in, shall we?

First of all, we need to define the characteristics of viral content. It has to be catchy, high-quality and valuable.

People mainly share three types of content: content that inspires, teaches them something or is entertaining.

Keep that at the top of your mind as we break down the types of content you can use in your social media marketing.

Turn your followers into clients


Don’t forget the ultimate goal of all your social media marketing content:

To turn your followers into paying clients.

Make it easy for followers who are ready to book you to do just that. Just add a link in your bio that connects to your HoneyBook contact form. When a follower hits submit, they’re automatically funneled into your HoneyBook pipeline so you never lose track of a lead again.

Best of all, you can set up an automation to respond to your inquiry ASAP (and even send out follow-up emails if they don’t respond!)

START FREE TRIAL

3 Types of Content for Instagram and Social Media Marketing

Type 1: Inspirational Content

Who doesn’t need a little motivation once in a while (ok, every day)? Letting your audience know regularly that the problem you’re helping them solve can indeed be overcome. If you have overcome obstacles related to your industry, share them. The good, the bad, the ugly. For example, if you’re an aspiring business coach for female entrepreneurs, share when you failed, the time you invested in yourself and how the ROI made your business flourish. When you open up to your audience about your truths and how your beginning looked just like theirs, you inspire them to keep pushing.

The greatest part about your story is it’s yours! No one has the same as yours and your story is what sets you apart from others in your industry, and it should be used to your advantage. It doesn’t mean you’re inferior or superior to anyone else; rather, it means you can stand out in a crowded market.

Finding an emotional connection to your audience will inspire them to share and tag their friends. This will let Instagram know your post is valuable and up your chances of landing on the explore page.

What to share? Opt for quote graphics. They are a highly effective way to connect with your audience and spark interest in your post. The goal is to make them branded so when they’re shared by others they can be traced back to you and you start to establish brand association. They are hands down the easiest type of shareable content to create! Check out this tutorial showing you exactly how to create branded quote graphics that boost engagement and increase shares.

Type 2: Educational Content

Content that seeks to inform your audience is commonly structured as “how-to” posts. How-to posts can be written to teach your audience how to implement a strategy or how to use one of your favorite products or services. This post you’re reading is a great example of an informative educational post. You might also record a podcast episode titled “How to Convert Followers To Clients” or write a blog post titled “How to Create The Most Productive To-Do List.” 

How-to posts tend to be highly valued because they directly help your audience solve a problem that they’re having (or aren’t aware they’re having). And as a bonus, when these posts are well written (meaning that they are easy to digest and easy to implement), how-to posts help to build your position as an authority in your industry. Don’t be afraid of oversharing, or “giving away your secrets.” As we mentioned, providing highly valuable content is key to building loyal customers and increasing your chance at virality in social media marketing

What to share? Opt for Carousel posts on Instagram. Carousels are the best way to share your educational content because they allow up to 10 images in a post giving you a lot of real estate to get your point across. Carousels also see higher engagement and shares. For example, when our friend Glo Atanmo of Glo Graphics started leveraging carousels to share her expertise about allyship and racial injustices, she saw an increase in her engagement rate of 350%. Wow!

“I realized that people are hungry for knowledge, no matter the subject. Though Instagram is a virtual platform, carousels allow you to use typography to make slides visual. The growth has been unbelievable and it’s encouraged me to continue sharing, teaching and leading with this format.”

Not convinced yet? Not only did Glo’s engagement skyrocket but so did her followers… by 205%.

Type 3: Entertaining Content

Humor is relatable and something we could all use more of right now. This type of content brings out positive emotions. Memes, GIFs and Reels have taken over Instagram because they’re easy to digest, relatable and oftentimes, funny!

Do you remember life without them? *crickets*

Yeah, us either.

Producing or sharing content that is relatable and humorous is a sure way for it to be shared. Content that’s shared puts you in front of potential new followers and increases your reach. Make someone smile? Make another’s day? Win, win, win!

And when it comes to creating Reels, Instagram is definitely rewarding “creators” and prioritizing that content on Explore and users feeds. They even gave it its own menu button. And if it’s important enough for Instagram, it’s important enough to be a part of your content mix.

What to share? To keep things on-brand, grab imagery in your brand colors that have plenty of white space like something scenic or textured, and position your favorite gif or animation right on top. This allows you to get in on trends without compromising the look and feel of your grid. Using on-brand images are also an excellent way to create compelling covers for your Instagram Reels.

Here’s your next step toward viral social media content

People mainly share three types of content: content that inspires, teaches them something or is entertaining.

So, when creating content with virality in mind, always remember it has to be catchy, high-quality and valuable.

This will increase the likelihood of your content showing up on the Explore tab, being shared often and of others tagging their friends like crazy on your post. All signs that a post is picking up steam and the virality score is rising.

Getting in the habit of creating high-quality, valuable content is key for your overall Insta-sucess anyway. Once your profile is discovered, it will give your followers more of a reason to stay knowing they can always count on you to deliver.

Looking for scroll-stopping, high-quality images for your brand? Get a 14-day free trial to Social Squares and see what we’re all about. Click here.


Ready to increase revenue and grow your business with Social Media? Get our Social Media Marketing Ultimate Guide.

Shay Cochrane

After eight years as a successful wedding and portrait photographer, Shay felt her passion and creativity beginning to wane. In 2013, a light bulb moment in Homegoods convinced her to make the almost overnight decision: Jump head first into the unknown world of commercial styling and product photography. She’s never looked back.

Her commercial clients span the globe (brands like Sugarfina, Pure Fiji, Truffle bags and Simplified Planner to name a few). However, she’s most known for kickstarting the “styled stock” industry with the SC Stockshop, the first styled stock shop of its kind back in 2014.

Now creative brands everywhere use her styled stock imagery membership @SocialSquares to build their brand’s visual presence online. She has been married for 13 years to her best friend and fitting counterpart, Graham. Together, they have two little girls and call sunny Tampa, Florida their home.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This