How to generate free content for Instagram?


23 Jan How to generate free content for Instagram?

Instagram is clearly booming. Currently it has more than 600 million users of which 100 million came from the last 6 months. It is safe to state that its marketing influence is increasing and you better be part of it. In 2015 a long list of Instagram updates were implemented yet the biggest change is the new algorithm. We wrote about it, click here in case you missed.

While other parts of digital marketing are getting increasingly automated content creation is still an absolute manual job. How often you do post depends on your Instagram goals. The general rule for a healthy Instagram page is 1 post per day. You should also keep in mind that visual marketing is the still the core of success.

So how can brands manage to push posts out without spending vast amount money and time while maintaining quality content?

Here is a list of tips and tricks that helps you to create free content for your Instagram page:

1. Regram already posted pictures from the past.

Instagram stated in 2015, that people missed on average 70% of their feed. Just simply look into your feed from 2014 or 2015, select the pictures that performed well add a new filter, crop if necessary and post it again.


In addition open up your old folder with professional photo shoots (if you did one) and search for images that did not make it into your feed. Things to consider here is to either reediting the picture or cropping it down to show some details. One of the best thing you can do to you Instagram gallery is to fill it with content that is worthy for your audience. So do not be hesitant reusing photos that you already put great effort into.

2. Search mistyped hashtags

Once you exploited entirely your user-generated content (UGC), this could be a saver. Everyone mistypes. On Instagram most of the people do not double check their list of hashtags. As an example RadissonBlu has 161.000 branded hashtags plus almost 10.000 RadissonBlue hashtags which is spelled incorrectly. So if all else fails, try to research your mistyped tags.

3. Get your customers to use your branded hashtags 

Regramming your UGC could not only save you cost, but also helps to increase sales and trust. Read more about it here. Appreciate your customers’ contribution. Not only do they feel gifted when a brand show love for its customers but also 40% uploads a image of a product with branded hashtag specifically to share the purchase with their friends (Olapic, 2016 Consumer trust survey). UGC also helps to tackle the changed algorithm by increasing engagement rates considering that user generated content is the most trusted one. Good stuff.

But how to find the best content?

Here are two tested methods we suggest using to gather the best possible user-generated content.

3.1. Host contest/giveaway campaigns with hashtags.

Generally it is very efficient way to create a buzz on your page. To design an effective campaign always go through the basic steps:

  • Set an objective/goal for the campaign
  • Research the target audience
  • Create a traceable hashtag to see how the campaign performs

If you follow these steps, it’s almost granted that you will collect content you can “freely” use later.

3.2. Research Hashtags that is connected to your page

It’s a fairly simple method, yet very effective. Unfortunately the number of tools is very limited, but Instagram’s search engine is super powerful. Simply search for the hashtags and Instagram will automatically sort “Top Posts” and “Recent Posts”, making it easy to find the content you are looking for.

Note:  Always be cautious and do not abuse your audiences content and ask for permission first to earn trust.

Next Step?

User-generated content is a powerful tool, so the question is no longer if you should do it – but how to do it and how you can maximize the impact of this content. Still a bit stuck on how to create content using your audience for your brand? Our marketing strategists at Ducksuite will help guide your UGC campaign. Request a demo on the site and we will get you started.