As reels are the Instagram algorithm’s latest favorite, most creators and brands prioritize these short, catchy videos to increase reach and engagement. But it still doesn’t make the good-old Instagram carousels irrelevant.
If done right, these simple visual slides can be a boon to your engagement. By showcasing multiple images and videos in a single post, you can get your audience hooked and deliver information smartly. Since viewers have to swipe through all the media, it improves your engagement further.
Instagram carousels are also an excellent tool for storytelling and creating compelling guides. You can explain concepts into bite-sized pieces and make them more digestible. The bonus? They enhance the aesthetic value of your Instagram profile too.
But how do you create Instagram carousels that work as well as trendy reels? Here’s how —
Table of Contents
- What is an Instagram carousel?
- When to use Instagram carousels
- What is the ideal Instagram carousel size?
- How to create an Instagram carousel?
- 13 Best Instagram carousel examples for inspiration
- 1. Feature your products
- 2. Highlight your collaborator
- 3. Showcase the upcoming launches
- 4. Share event highlights
- 5. Promote competitions and giveaways
- 6. Use storytelling
- 7. Share product suggestions
- 8. Share tutorials
- 9. Highlight client success stories
- 10. Leverage trends
- 11. Show important data
- 12. Break the monotony with videos
- 13. Collect and compile UGC
- Easily create Instagram carousel templates
What is an Instagram carousel?
An Instagram Carousel is a posting format that lets you add up to ten photos or videos in a single post.
The users can view by swiping left on the Instagram app on their phone.
Alternatively, desktop users can go through the media by clicking on the arrow buttons on the post.
When to use Instagram carousels
Instagram carousels are more interactive than traditional Instagram posts. That’s why they can be an excellent strategic tool to get more engagement. But for that, you must know when to use them.
Some of the best content types for Instagram carousel include:
- Data and infographics
- Event highlights
- Photo dumps
- Product suggestions
- Before-and-after reveals
- Product launch
- Brand updates
- User-generated content
- Customer testimonials
- Behind-the-scene content
- Brand storytelling
What is the ideal Instagram carousel size?
Before publishing an Instagram carousel post, you must ensure it looks good on your profile. That requires you to understand the ideal Instagram carousel size.
Here are the three aspect ratio options you need to keep in mind to optimize your Instagram carousel:
- Square (1:1)
- Horizontal (1.91:1)
- Vertical (4:5)
Instagram recommends a resolution of 1080×1080 pixels for images. If you are adding videos, their resolution should be between 600×600 pixels and 1080×1080 pixels.
How to create an Instagram carousel?
First, decide the images or videos you want to add to the carousel. Once you line up the media, follow the below steps to create your Instagram carousel post:
1. Go to your profile and select the + button at the bottom of your screen on the right of your username.
2. Select the “Post” option.
3. Tap and select the pictures and videos you want to add to the carousel. You can select up to 10 visuals.
4. Tap on “Next”.
5. You will get the option to edit and add filters to each of the selected visuals. Make sure they all look cohesive and have the same or similar filters.
6. Tap on “Next”
7. Now, you can add a suitable caption for your Instagram carousel post. Add relevant hashtags to make it more discoverable. You can even tag people on individual slides and add a location and music to the post.
8. Finally, you can scroll to the bottom and click on “Advanced settings” to schedule your post, hide comments, or hide your Instagram likes.
9. Once you have added everything, tap on “Share.”
Voila! You have successfully created an Instagram carousel.
13 Best Instagram carousel examples for inspiration
Now that we know how to make a carousel, here are some Instagram carousel examples that will inspire your creative process:
1. Feature your products
Instagram carousels are the best format to showcase your products from different angles. You can use each slide to detail the featured products’ benefits and usage. Add shoppable links to each and turn the carousel into a product catalog.
Ad Instagram carousel posts allow multiple images and videos. It can be a great way to introduce your new launches to the audience. You can share product variations, such as different colors or styles or other essential details you want to highlight.
The skincare brand Rhode often shares carousels to feature its products, launch new items, and detail their benefits. For example, the above carousel features Rhode’s hydrating lipgloss.
Each image describes the USPs of the product and informs the audience about the four new shades and flavors. As the features visuals deliver valuable information about the product, the viewer would stop swiping and engage with the carousel post.
2. Highlight your collaborator
Want your carousel to get the desired engagement? Partner with relevant public figures and highlight them in your Instagram carousel.
Besides making your collaborator feel appreciated and ensuring future partnerships, it will also bring cross-promotion opportunities. When you tag or mention your collaborators in your carousel, it makes your content more visible to their followers. It helps you reach a wider audience, increasing the visibility of your post and potentially gaining more engagement.
For example, Nike partnered with professional basketball player LeBron James and launched a breathable sportswear range named after the beloved athlete himself. Among other campaigns, the brand published Instagram carousel posts highlighting the name of the collection in the caption.
3. Showcase the upcoming launches
You can use Instagram carousels to give your audience a peek into your upcoming product. It is an excellent way of creating hype before the official launch.
If you have multiple launches in the pipeline within different product categories or segments, carousels let you showcase them in a single, space-efficient format. It ensures no information gets overshadowed.
For example, streaming giant Netflix frequently posts carousels to showcase its upcoming releases.
If you host brand events, showcase event highlights for your social media audience. It makes your brand more relatable and boosts engagement and reach.
What’s the best way to showcase your event highlight? Turn them into Instagram carousels.
Instagram carousel posts let you emphasize the most important or memorable moments of the event. It ensures they don’t get lost in the noise of a busy social media feed.
The above post by Notion is an excellent Instagram carousel example highlighting their community event. All the pictures have a similar color theme and style and portray a cohesive yet relatable brand image.
5. Promote competitions and giveaways
You can use Instagram carousels to promote competitions and giveaways since it keeps all the relevant details about the competition under one post. Visitors can easily skim through the visuals and understand the rules and requirements, optimizing proper participation.
For instance, Canva frequently hosts competitions and promotes them through Instagram carousels like the above post.
The carousel slides detail the rules, and the caption mentions the prize clearly.
6. Use storytelling
Stories connect people. If you share compelling and relatable narratives about your brand, your audience will feel more connected, bringing more engagement.
Carousels are excellent for sharing your brand story without running your carefully curated profile aesthetics. Simply ensure the first image in your carousel matches the vibe of your profile.
It can include images of your first office, product development sessions, the founder’s journey, employee stories, etc.
Refinery29 publishes carousels describing inspirational stories of everyday women. The above post is a part of their “Today’s Money Diary” series.
You can post Instagram carousels to suggest products or share your new finds. It helps you establish expertise in your niche and attract engagement through valuable information. However, your suggestions should be relevant to your niche and target audience.
For example, Zapier shared the above carousel to educate its audience on the best distraction-blocking apps. Being a SaaS brand, the content is right up in Zapier’s alley and provides brief but practical insights into each app’s functionality.
Instagram carousels are an excellent posting format for brief tutorials. As they have multiple visuals, it’s easier to break down the steps of an elaborate process into the slides and make the tutorial more comprehensive.
For example, Fitness creator Ania Tippkemper shared the above headstand tutorial. As she explains each step of the exercise through the carousel, the task seems more manageable for beginners.
9. Highlight client success stories
To establish credibility, nothing works quite as well as customer testimonials and success stories. However, presenting individual posts for each client story will make your profile monotonous.
Here, using a carousel to feature multiple client stories will act as compelling social proof without compromising your profile’s individuality.
For example, Mileide Marques, a popular beauty expert on Instagram, posts Instagram carousels to showcase client testimonials.
10. Leverage trends
You can create carousel posts describing the latest viral trends in your industry. This way, you will remain relevant as a brand while showcasing your expertise in the industry.
Design Perspective shared the above carousel and made it more interactive and engaging by asking the audience’s opinion in the caption.
11. Show important data
Sharing datasets with captivating data visualizations can make complex information more accessible and interesting to a large audience. But amid reels and vibrant pictures, single posts of datasets can get lost.
Here, an Instagram carousel of important datasets and graphs can do wonders in increasing visibility. You can use them to compile data infographics and make it easier for your audience to refer to them.
For example, Statista uses carousels to showcase its studies and latest data.
12. Break the monotony with videos
You can add videos between images to make your Instagram carousels more vibrant and engaging. It lets you showcase product features in more detail. Moreover, as the Instagram algorithm favors videos, it pushes your carousels to more feeds. It is especially useful for travel bloggers.
Viaggio Italy is a travel blogging Instagram page showcasing the immaculate beauty of Italy. Along with pictures, the profile features captivating videos documenting the country’s scenic beauty.
13. Collect and compile UGC
User-generated content is more authentic than carefully curated branded content. When your audience sees others engaging with your brand positively through fun Instagram posts, they become more likely to trust your business.
Moreover, UGC creates a sense of community, brings diverse perspectives to your brand, and uniquely showcases your products. They are also a very cost-effective form of social media marketing.
But posting every UGC individually can overcrowd your feed. With Instagram carousels, you can compile a particular hashtag or UGC into a single post and keep it organized.
For example, GoPro compiled their giveaway UGC into the above carousel. They have tagged the creators in every picture as well.
Seems overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be.
There are simple solutions to help you create carousel posts that captivate your audience.
Easily create Instagram carousel templates
First, carefully pick the media you want your carousel to showcase. Remember, you must maintain a consistent feed with high-quality pictures and videos for a consistent brand image.
An Instagram carousel template can help by acting as a framework for your carousel posts. That way, you can use a consistent color scheme, fonts, style, and design elements to ensure that the media complements each other and creates a cohesive look. With a ready-to-use base, all you need to do is customize it with text, graphics, pictures, and videos to create a new carousel post.
You can use stock photos to save time on template creation. If you aren’t particularly fond of or good at designing, these are great options to get professional-looking high-quality templates.
Websites like Canva and Adobe Stock also offer carousel templates, available for free or for a small fee.
In the crowd of reels, Instagram carousel may seem irrelevant — but it could not be further from the truth. They are an excellent format for keeping similar pictures and videos organized, breaking down complex processes, and showcasing the different facets of your brand identity.
Moreover, they are interactive and easily skimmable, holding a particular appeal for Instagram audiences.
Hosted a community event and want to post the highlights? Make them into a carousel.
Tired of losing visibility on your research data in the sea of content? Instagram carousels will keep them organized and bring more engagement.
However, tracking the performance of your Instagram carousel posts is also important — and Keyhole can help you with that.
Our social media monitoring tool will measure important engagement metrics for your carousels and generate actionable insights. This way, you can pinpoint areas of improvement, tweak your approach, and increase ROI.
Want to see how your Instagram carousels are performing? Start your free trial today!