I'm about to make a bold statement: Of all the types of content you can create on Instagram, carousel posts (multi-slide posts) are the most effective overall. "Of ALL types of content?! Even Reels?" I hear you ask doubtfully. Yes, even Reels! I'm telling you, carousel posts are where it's at. Not only for your organic Instagram strategy but also with paid ads! Let's talk about it:


On average, carousels receive up to 5% more engagement than single-image posts! This is due in large part to their very nature. This format capitalizes on people's need to "know the ending" while also playing to people's short attention spans.


Carousels get about 1.4 times more reach than single-image or single-video posts. This is because people often spend more time consuming carousels than a single image or video post, which the algorithm will pick up as being "more valuable," thus resulting in the post being shown to even more users. And although Reels can result in high reach too, I find that the Engagement to Reach percentage (Reach Rate) is significantly higher on carousels than on Reels (and often results in higher conversions than reels too, which is what most wineries REALLY care about)


What's even greater about carousels is that you aren't limited to using only images or only videos. You could use both images and videos to tell a story more completely. You can even put some graphics or maps into your carousel if it will help you get the point across better!


With Reels, we are limited to a <90s time frame to tell a story, which can feel rushed and incomplete, and with longer videos, we often lose people by note “getting to the point” quickly enough (freakin' short attention spans! Moreover, with single-image posts, we only have one opportunity to capture people's attention. However, with carousels, we can bring people along on a journey that they can consume at their own pace, allowing them to swipe to the next slide when they are ready or stay on a slide that has captured their attention. 


If we miss folks with our cover image, Instagram will automatically swipe to the second or third image in your carousel the next time a person passes it, making it look like a whole new post, thus giving you a second chance at a first impression.


Finally, though carousels can take a bit more effort to make than single-image or video posts, they are much easier to create than reels! No need to dance, point, or try to find a copyright-free sound to use. Just pull together up to 10 images and/or <60s videos into a slideshow, add a caption, and Bob's your uncle! You've got yourself an awesome, engaging, and valuable post that your audience will love.

Bonus: One of my favorite ways to jazz up a carousel post is to use the (free) app SCRL. It allows you to create super beautiful collage-type carousels and can even allow you to show a single image across two slides in a seamless scroll.

P.S. Here's an important thing you need to know for the next time you make a carousel post on Instagram:

The thing you need to remember about carousel posts is that whatever orientation/dimensions the first image in your carousel has will dictate the orientation of the rest of the images/videos in the carousel.

For example, if your first image is a 4:5 vertical oriented image, then every other image you select after that (regardless of their original orientation) will be forced into that 4:5 vertical orientation (even the images that were originally landscape images).

One way to get around this is to use the SCRL app, which can help you make either seamless scrolling images of your landscape images (where your landscape image spans two 4:5 slides) OR will help you put a white border around the landscape image so it fits on a single 4:5 slide.