50 Engaging Instagram Post Ideas for Online Businesses

While pretty photos and curated feeds are helpful for catching the eye of potential customers, great content is the key to generating engagement and reaching a larger audience on Instagram.

But coming up with high-quality posts on a regular basis is no easy task. 

So I rounded up 50 engaging ideas for your Instagram feed (along with examples) that will benefit your followers, drive traffic to your website, and keep people interested in your online business.

50 Engaging Instagram Post Ideas for Online Businesses | Elle & Company

1 | Quote

You don’t have to have all the answers. Share some wisdom from others who’ve gone before you through a simple quote! You can pair it with a photo and share it in a caption, create a quote template with your brand fonts and colors, or write it in your own handwriting. But be sure to include your handle or website’s URL at the bottom; posts like this are often shared!

2 | Clever idea or action step

Many people scroll through platforms like Instagram for inspiration, whether it’s for their home, business, or children, so pique their interest by sharing some ideas and action steps. Consider the time of year (back-to-school, holidays, etc.) to make your post even more pertinent.

3 | Feature

Were you featured in a blog post, podcast episode, or magazine? Share the feature in an Instagram post! Not only will it point people to the person/business who mentioned you, but it will legitimize your business and expertise.

4 | How-to

You know many tricks of your trade that your audience can benefit from, so share your knowledge! It doesn’t have to be ground breaking; it can be as simple as this quick tip from Batch Nine Coffee about your coffee filter. Many times it’s easy posts like this that get the most engagement. 

5 | Concepts

People enjoy getting an inside look at what you’re working on. People also love sharing their opinion. Sharing a few concepts for a recent project allows people to get a sneak peek at your work, and inviting them to choose their favorite project gives them a reason to comment and engage with your post. A win-win!

6 | Sneak peek

Creating hype and anticipation for a project can generate excitement for your online business. Something as simple as a sketch of a logo or a screenshot of a new website can leave people on pins and needles for the final reveal. So start sharing more sneak peeks of your work! Not only will it give you some post ideas for Instagram, but it will create some hype around new projects.

7 | Recent project

If you have a visual product you’re handing off to clients and customers, you would be crazy not to share it with your followers on Instagram. Share bits and pieces of your work in an Instagram post and point people to a blog post with a more in-depth look at your process and finished product.

8 | Past project

You don’t always have to share recent projects, either. Take advantage of a Throwback Thursday and share some of your favorite past work from your portfolio. To create even more engagement, ask people which project or feature is their favorite.

9 | Fill-in-the-blank or “caption this”

People are more likely to engage with your posts when you give them a reason to participate. Fill-in-the-blank posts or “caption this” posts are great for creating a two-way conversation.

10 | Routine and habits

We all love getting a glimpse into someone else’s day, especially if it’s someone we respect or admire. So share your routine with your followers! Whether it’s how you go about your mornings or how you structure your workday, others will enjoy getting an inside look.

11 | Product

Instagram is great for organically marketing your business. When you share photos of your products and demonstrate how they can be used, you’re helping your followers envision what their life would be like if they purchase them.

12 | Inspiration

For those in a creative field, it’s always fascinating to see the things that helped spur on the creative process. What is your starting point? Where do you gain inspiration for your work? Share it on Instagram! Posts like these are always a follower favorite.

13 | Encouragement

People love a feel-good post. Share some encouragement and build people up through the content you’re sharing in your feed. Posts like these often generate a lot of engagement through likes and shares, which leads to a wider reach. 

14 | Tip

Similar to a how-to or an action step, a quick tip that benefits your audience will empower them and give them a reason to keep coming back for more. When your followers see your transparency and know you have their best interest at heart, they’ll start to trust you and connect with your brand.

15 | Request for feedback

Are you having a tough time making a decision? Do you want to invite people into your process? Ask for feedback! People love having a say and chiming in with their opinion (and most times they’ll give you better ideas than you could have come up with yourself!). 

16 | FAQ

Do you receive similar questions about your business on a regular basis? Answer those FAQs in your Instagram posts. Chances are there are many more people following you who are wondering the very same things.

17 | Countdown

If an event or launch is on the horizon, starting a countdown is a great way to generate excitement and keep your followers on the edge of their seat. It’s also a good way to remind your followers and continue to put your event on their radar screen.

18 | Behind-the-scenes

You may get bored with your day-to-day setup, but your followers have no clue what it looks like unless you let them in! Behind-the-scenes posts are often a favorite because they give people an “in” to the more private facets of your business.

19 | Blog post

Don’t let all of your hard work go unnoticed; point people back to your blog through your Instagram posts! After all, using this platform as a funnel to point people back to your website should be one of your primary objectives of using Instagram in the first place.

20 | Podcast episode

The same goes for podcasts! Let people know about any recent podcast episodes you’ve recorded or taken part in as a guest. Risen Motherhood does a great job of not only sharing new podcast episodes but consistently pointing people back to older ones.

21 | Workspace

Your followers often see the finished result of your work - projects, content, etc. - but not the space you created it in. So give them a glimpse into your workspace! What do you have to have around you in order to get work done? Where do you spend your time while you ship orders or record new episodes of your podcast? Give your followers an inside look.

22 | Event

It’s always fun when relationships are built off-screen and you get to meet your social media followers in real life. Do you have an upcoming event that you want to draw attention to? Share about it on Instagram. When it’s over, post a recap and share some highlights.

23 | To-do list

It’s always interesting to see what others are working on, especially if it’s someone whose work you admire. So what’s on your agenda this week? Give others an inside look at your work week by sharing a snapshot of your planner or to-do list. Then you can always follow up with a post on your progress (there’s two post ideas in one!). 

24 | Challenge

A weekly or monthly challenge is a great way to come up with Instagram post ideas, especially if you’re in a creative field. There are many challenges out there that you can take part in or you can go the extra mile and start a challenge yourself!

25 | Tool

Which tools do you use on a regular basis for your trade? People are always curious to see your process and how you create your work, so post about a tool and share how you use it. (This is also a great way to use affiliate codes!)

I've gotten a lot of questions lately about how I manage my custom clients, so I wanted to share an incredible tool with y'all: @honeybook. HoneyBook is the client management system I use to easily send invoices, contracts, timelines, and questionnaires - and it also has an amazing messaging center where I can chat with my clients (keeping our inboxes free!) and send design proofs. . I recorded a behind the scenes insta stories series for y’all to show you how easy it is to use their workflows & templates to take a custom design client from start to finish, in a way that loves on them well AND saves you time (win win!). I saved it to my highlights (it’s called $200 off, and you’ll learn why in a sec!), and also wrote a blog post sharing the same details if you prefer to read rather than watch videos. (PS - Oscar did something weird while I was recording, and a lot of y’all messaged me saying your dogs do it too 😂🐶) . If you see how I’m using HB in my business and know it would be a huge help in managing your own client workflows, you can try HoneyBook for free for 7 days, and get $200 off when you commit if you use the link in my insta stories or in my blog post via the link in my profile! I’m also giving away my “new couple introduction” questionnaire template to everyone who officially signs up with HoneyBook (after the free trial) - which is perfect for fellow wedding artists/stationers/calligraphers! . I always love recommending HB, because be fore I used it, my organizational system was laughable. I had a non-interactive private "client page" (aka, an unlinked page on my website) to upload design proofs, communicated via email (long email chains that were hard to keep track of), and sent invoices via PayPal. While there might be nothing wrong with that - it was haphazard for me and for my clients. . With HoneyBook, I finally feel that my client management system matches the professionalism of my business, and I've been able to connect with my clients on such a more personal level by using it, too! If you have any questions about HB, leave a comment below or send me a DM, I’m happy to chat! 💕 #simplyjessicamarie #honeybook

A post shared by Jessica Peddicord (@simplyjessicamarie) on

26 | Introduction

Sometimes, whether it’s through a mention on Instagram or an influx of traffic on your website, you’ll gain many new followers. Or you might find that some people stumble upon your account and follow you without really knowing much about you. So share a brief introduction with some fun facts about yourself and your business! New followers will get to know you better and old followers might learn some things they never knew before. 

27 | Announcement

Whether it’s a big project that’s about to launch or a huge milestone that’s about to be reached, Instagram is a great place to share the news and generate excitement for your business!

28 | Update

Did you share inspiration for a new project or make an announcement that you haven’t followed up on yet? Maybe you’ve been stuck in a content rut and haven’t posted to Instagram in a while. Share an update on your progress or give your followers an inside look at what you’ve been up to. (And if it has been a while since you’ve posted, don’t apologize or call more attention to your absence - just jump right back in!)

29 | Team

Not a one-man operation? Help your followers get to know the faces behind your brand through an Instagram post or a series of Instagram posts! Not only does this humanize your brand but it forges more personal connections and helps your followers feel like they know you.

30 | Process

People love to read stories and see transformations, so it makes sense that they would enjoy seeing your process. You can share the steps you take to see a project through from start to finish in one post, or you can create one post for each of the steps. 

31 | Piece of your story

Starting and maintaining a business is a journey, and I’m sure there have been many events that have gotten you to where you are today. Sharing a piece of your story in an Instagram post helps your followers relate to you and gives them a glimpse into the hard work you’ve put into your business. Posts like these are inspirational and make your business more enjoyable to follow along with!

I think you fall in love with someone even more when you get to stand beside them and watch them living out their gifts in this world, doing the thing they were BORN to do. And there is no question, my Justin was born to be a photographer. We have an actual photo of him in footie-pajamas when he was two years old... holding a camera. Like I always say, some people do photography as their business, and some people just ARE photographers ALL of the time (it’s just some of the time they happen to have a camera in their hands). And that is who my Justin is... a photographer down to the very threads and filaments of his soul. It’s something he can’t turn off. I don’t know if you guys ever look at something and can instantly see how it’s going to play out in the future, but when I look at these photos that Justin took on his #gowlandflex while we were in #neworleans to speak at the @risingtidesociety leaders retreat a couple months ago... I can already see them hanging in a gallery one day. I can see the sixty or seventy year old us, holding hands as make our way through the twists and turns of walls lined with photos and turning the corner to see this one of the man in the hat staring back at us. And I’ll say, I remember when we were there. And I was me and you were you, and we chased these dreams together. And there will be so many people who will get to see a life’s work and a Legacy well spent unfold on those walls that day... but I’ll get to be the one who says, I was there when it happened. #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephoto #bringingblackandwhiteback #filmisnotdead

A post shared by Mary Marantz (@marymarantz) on

32 | Story

Has something humorous or insightful happened to you in the past couple weeks, months, or years that’s pertinent to your business? Storytelling is a great way to build connections and engage with others on Instagram.

(Grab a coffee & settle in. This is a long one...) When I was in college I interned at a prestigious gallery in town (Greenville, SC). I was there for a few weeks, getting to work closely with the gallery curator, selling work to collectors, when it struck me that there were only two female artists represented - and one of them was in a partnership with a male artist. Odd... 🤔 Before you jump to quick conclusions, I have to tell you that this gallery only represents artists that are local (or originally from the upstate), well-established, have a high level of creative work, and are working on their art full-time. ▫️ I asked the curator why there were so few women and she let me know that there just weren’t any well-established female artists in our area (I was shocked by this). She said that most of the good female artist step back from their role as an artist to focus on motherhood and then life just gets in the way, and then they stop creating well rounded bodies of work. ▫️ Now, this was over ten years ago, I was still in college, kids weren’t even in my mind at this point, but hearing this put a strong and quiet desire in my heart; a desire to create a blended life that allows children, ideas, focused creativity, and a whole-hearted life to thrive simultaneously. ▫️ I don’t blame the lady-artists that came before me who chose a different focus (because when it really comes down to it, of course family comes first, in a heartbeat) And I also don’t really begrudge the gallery for having such underrepresentation of females — though I would like to see that change 100% and think that they could/should change their standards a bit if needed to make that happen. ▫️ CONT IN COMMENTS (keep scrolling to the top of alllll the comments - then leave your own! 😘) // image taken in my studio by @_paigefrench (Another amazing artist/mama)

A post shared by Emily Jeffords // artist (@emily_jeffords) on

33 | Flashback

It’s fun to see a business evolve and take a look back at where you started. So share some of your old work with your followers! It might be slightly embarrassing and a little humbling, but it’s rewarding to show others how far you’ve come.

34 | Timeline

Have you been in business for several years? Come up with a timeline to highlight big milestones and share them with your followers. This works especially well when you're celebrating a big milestone or reached an anniversary. 

35 | Map

Do you ship orders out to people all over the globe? Maybe you have webinar viewers or podcast listeners in different states that you’re able to track through analytics. Posting a map is a great way to show your reach (and further legitimize your business!). 

36 | Anniversary

Whether it’s the anniversary of when you launched your business or brought on a new team member, it’s fun to celebrate these milestones with your followers on Instagram and draw attention to them!

One year ago today, I became the owner of the Society for Creative Founders. We didn't announce it publicly until the end of the month, but today being what it is, I wanted to give a little nod to today's date as well. This past year has held SO much learning for me - I'll be sharing more of what it has entailed in a blog post at the end of the month, but for today, I simply wanted to say thank you. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thank you for continuing to support the Society for Creative Founders as we have adapted and changed things in the last year. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thank you for letting anything we do here be a part of your business; if you have experienced one our Conferences, taken a class, been a part of the community, or even simply joined in on conversations taking place on social media. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And, thank you for supporting me as I worked through learning how to run everything behind the scenes ... I am so glad that God gave me the courage through the nerves to say yes to the tremendous adventure that learning to "steer the ship" of the Society for Creative Founders has been in these last 365 days. And also, @jennifer_faught, thank you for trusting me to continue to carry the legacy on that Stationery Academy/Creative Founders has been for all of the years before me. I personally have learned SO much, and wouldn't trade any of it for anything. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So thank you for being along for the journey that this year has been, and cheers to each and every one of you for continuing to support it in the future as we bring more and better ways for it to help you support you in your business. Wherever you may need it in the season you are in, whether you've been in business for 3 days or 10+ years, I hope we can continue to help you in your business journey as well. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ May this next year and all of the ones that follow continue to be as wonderful as this one has, serving each and every one of you in the best way we know how. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sincerely, Kristin ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #creativefounders #iamacreativefounder {📷:@annafilly}

A post shared by Society for Creative Founders® (@creativefounders) on

37 | “Work in the wild”

Whenever you see your “work in the wild,” whether it’s a client’s logo or a photo of your product on Instagram, share it in a post! This is a great way to highlight your work and recognize your clients and customers. (It also encourages others to share about your work if they know that you often repost images!)

38 | Before and after

Who doesn’t love a good before and after? If your line of work involves big transformations, sharing a post with a picture of where the project started and where it ended is highly engaging and a great way to showcase your work.

39 | Goal

Is there a big goal you’re trying to reach in your business? Sharing about it humanizes your business, allows others to relate to you, and holds you accountable. It also invites people to follow along on your journey and gives them a reason to continue following along.

40 | Progress

Maybe you’ve already shared about a goal or a project in the past. If so, post about your progress! It’s always fun to see bits and pieces of the transformation.

Half done but the blooms help 😂❤️🌸

A post shared by Sherry Petersik (& John) (@younghouselove) on

41 | Experience

Similar to sharing a story, posting about an experience you’ve had helps your followers connect with you. Many of them might be able to relate with your experience, which forges deeper connections. And even if not, it makes your business more human, invites people in, and allows them to get to know you just a little bit more.

42 | Another account

Do you know of any other Instagram accounts that your followers would enjoy? Share the love! “Follow Friday” is a popular series on this platform, so jump in and link to some of your favorite accounts and “sister businesses.”

43 | Roundup

Roundups are a popular blog post format, and you can totally take advantage of them on Instagram, too! Roundup some of your favorite tools, resources, tips, phrases - the possibilities with this idea are endless.

44 | Screenshot

Taking a quick snap of a screen allows others to see what you’re working on, reading, or looking at. Just another fun way to give your followers an inside look at your day-to-day.

A day on my desktop. #maemaescreen

A post shared by Megan Gonzalez (@maemae_co) on

45 | Meme

Who doesn’t love some good humor? Memes and similar graphics are a great way to lighten up your feed and make your followers smile as they’re scrolling through Instagram.

46 | Hack

Do you use something differently than the way it was intended? Or maybe you know a way of doing something that’s different from what people expect. Sharing hacks is a helpful way to build trust and authority with your audience.

47 | Review or testimonial

If you’ve received some positive feedback from a client, customer, podcast listener, or blog reader, post it on Instagram! Not only do posts like this legitimize your business, but they encourage others to leave reviews, too.

48 | “Where’s Waldo?”

When I saw this idea on Nicole Yang’s feed, my jaw dropped. What a clever, interactive way to engage followers on Instagram! My challenge to you is to put your own spin on this concept and come up with something just as interactive for your feed (then tag me in the post - @laurenelizhook - so I can see it!)

49 | Freebie or content upgrade

One of your primary objectives for using a social media platform like Instagram is to drive traffic back to your online home base - your website. Freebies and content upgrades are a great way to funnel people back to your online homebase and collect their email addresses through something that will benefit them.

50 | Outtake

Posts like these are some of my favorites. They combine many of the items mentioned above - humor, relatability, an inside look, a humanizing touch. Whether it’s a photo or video clip, outtakes are a great idea for Instagram posts.

There you have it! 50 engaging Instagram post ideas that you can turn to time and time again for your online business.

Be sure to bookmark this post and pin it so you can refer back to it in the future!

Which of these ideas is your favorite? Do you have any other Instagram post ideas that weren’t mentioned in this post?