On a daily basis, 95 million photos and videos are posted on Instagram. And with 1 billion users per month, the platform attracts all kinds of brands… including your competitors. Right now, more than 2 million companies communicate on this social network. So, how can you stand out and above all, regularly offer quality content to your followers?
At first, Instagram simply allowed you to share pictures. Today, it offers many other features that have attracted millions of users.
Below are tips to help you grow your followers and strengthen your Brand Awareness:
Increase your reach with Instagram ads
Every year brands spend millions of dollars on Instagram ads, and this amount is expected to increase in the future. Regardless of size, all brands know Instagram ads reach a very specific user population. If you want to quickly grow your tribe of followers, creating Instagram ads is a smart strategy to execute.
Create a trendy hashtag
One of my favorite Instagram features is the ability to follow specific hashtags. Once followed, that hashtag will show up on a user’s feed like it was a normal account. This can really be an effective strategy for you. Because of this feature, you must develop trendy, unique, easy to remember hashtags to encourage users to follow them. If the hashtag is specifically associated with the brand, it can really help increase your awareness, reach, and ultimately your following.
Enhance your post with appropriate hashtags
By adding the maximum number of hashtags (30) to your posts, you can increase their reach. Adding good, relevant hashtags improves the visibility of your content. These hashtags can be dedicated to days of the week, emotions, hobbies, special occasions, etc. The more common, the higher the reach. Oh, and don’t forget to add your location.
Try different types of content
If you’re a marketer, social media manger, or small business owner, working on social media gives you a whole range of content types. This includes photos, videos and even stories, and you have to try them all. The variety of formats makes it possible to make your followers more engaged, which is essential if you want to peak the interest of other users.
Invest in Instagram statistics analysis tools
It’s essential to have a good analysis tool if you want to refine your Instagram strategy. Some platforms can even help you understand what types of content or strategy change will allow you to attract more followers. Here are some of the most popular ones to check out:
- Sprout Social
- Simply Measured
- Instagram Insights (Comes free with the Instagram app)
- Facebook Ad Manager
Convert to a Business account
An Instagram Business account gives brands more flexibility, making it easier for them to get new followers. For example, profile managers can have access to account performance statistics (Insights), they can also boost posts with an ad or set up a button that allows users to contact the company via a direct message, a call, an email or an SMS.
Try to get a grasp on how the Instagram algorithm works
If you want to develop content that will go viral on Instagram, you need to understand how its sorting algorithm works. The platform uses a variety of factors, including the frequency of posts, the reactions they generate and their location, to determine where the post will be on the user’s timeline and whether it’ll be on the Explorer tab. No one really knows the exact algorithm and things are always changing, but be sure to stay attentive of changes that really effect you.
Ask for feedback from your audience
To better understand how you can improve your Instagram marketing strategy, it’s always a good idea to request feedback from your current followers. By sending direct messages to your most loyal followers, you can get quick and constructive feedback to refine your strategy. As a thank you, think of something you can give them in return for their help.
Thank your regular followers frequently. Doing so encourages them to engage with your brand
Like I said before, content that’s very engaging tends to attract new followers. Frequently show some love and mention your brand evangelist in your Instagram posts so they remain enthusiastic and look forward to engaging with you. You can maintain the activity of your followers on your page by regularly showing them your appreciation through shout outs and giveaways.
Follow Instagram trends by subscribing to influencers and top brands
Trends are changing fast on Instagram. A hashtag or a specific filter can be closely followed at a given moment, but this craze can very quickly fall. To stay at the forefront of fashion on Instagram, follow recognized influencers and leading brands. Often, the most popular accounts on Instagram are those who decide new trends on social networks.
Produce content for your Instagram story
Only two years after its launch, Instagram Stories has more than 400 million daily users. In fact, more people use Instagram Stories than Snapchat. Think about making shareable, relevant content for your story, if it’s not already done.
Show some of your Instagram posts on your website
You can increase the visibility of your Instagram account by integrating some of your posts into your website. Each Instagram post has an embed code that can be easily incorporated into the source code of most websites. You can also use website plugins that will allow you to easily integrate your Instagram feed.
Offer promotions to your Instagram followers
Encourage your customers to follow your Instagram account by offering promotions open only to your followers. Some e-commerce systems can help you know if your customers are following you on Instagram. Or you can simply send exclusive discounts to your followers via direct messages. This strategy will encourage other users to hit that ‘follow’ button.
Choose Instagram to premier exclusive posts
Exclusivity feeds interest. If you’d like to encourage people to watch your Instagram profile, share the top posts from your business on Instagram first.
Set up a contributor content campaign related to your Instagram profile
Encourage internet users to visit your Instagram profile by creating links to articles that are read a lot. For this, you need to partner with bloggers, writers, and magazines to curate a base of contributor articles that will be published in relevant magazines or blogs. This new strategy will allow you to quickly gain new followers.
Work with a professional photographer/videographer to create unmatched content
In order to stand out, you have to put out content that is above and beyond the competition. The quality of images and videos greatly influence the success of Instagram posts. Consider using an independent photographer and/or videographer to create professional-quality content.
Use an influencer to quickly expand the reach of your Instagram account
Influencer marketing is one of the most popular social media strategies today. Think about it, partnering with someone with a huge following that has high conversion is really a no-brainer. Influencer marketing really works. So, think about partnering with an influencer or micro-influencer to cross-promote your products and services.
Go LIVE to reach a new audience
Instagram manages lives videos much better than other types of content. Followers receive a notification (if their Instagram notifications are enabled) and live videos are positioned at the top of the app in the stories area (you can’t miss it). Brands can quickly reach a new audience this way.
Share your Instagram posts on other social networks
Use other social networks to amplify the reach of your Instagram posts. Since Instagram has hundreds of millions of users, it’s quite possible a majority of people who follow you on other social networks have an Instagram account. When they see your posts, they can go to Instagram and visit your profile.
Mention your Instagram account in your profiles on other social networks
This might sound simple but, believe me, it’s very effective. By adding a link to your Instagram account on other social media platforms, interested people can easily find you on Instagram.
Make a schedule of posts to ensure a good distribution of shares over time
Remember, one of the IG algorithm factors is post frequency. So, if you know the basics of your content strategy well in advance, then it’ll be easier to ensure that your posts are published in a way that’s relevant to corporate announcements or holidays, for example.
Watch your competition for inspiration
You can find a lot of tips by watching your competition, whether their marketing strategy on Instagram works or not. By watching them closely, you can get inspired by Instagram campaigns that work well with your target audience. Plus, you can avoid setting up marketing campaigns that have not worked well.
Showcase the story of your brand in a noticeable way
Big brands use different types of Instagram content to tell the same story. You need to develop a compelling and consistent story in order to communicate effectively with your Instagram users. For example, Apple produces user-generated content highlighting what users can do with their products (#ShotoniPhone). The format and topics of Apple’s posts on Instagram change regularly, but the story remains the same.
Make captivating videos, even without sound
About 85% of Facebook users watch videos without sound, the same goes for Instagram. Make sure you make videos that are as captivating without sound, and add subtitles for easy comprehension.
Try Instagram Shopping to enhance your subscribers’ experience
Recently, Instagram unveiled its new feature: Instagram Shopping. It allows brands to embed links to items for sale on online retail sites. The user can click on the link and buy the product without ever leaving Instagram. The e-commerce companies that use Instagram Shopping have achieved incredible results. Marketers working for online retail sites should use Shopping to satisfy their customers, increase the reach of their posts and gain more followers.
Celebrate the evolution of your follower count on Instagram
Don’t forget to celebrate the milestones in the evolution of your subscriber count. You’ll give them the recognition they deserve and this will help to establish credibility for your Instagram profile.
Encourage content made by your followers
Like Apple, user-generated content allows you to show social proof of your credibility while simultaneously sharing relevant content. If you are looking to grow your brand, do what the big brands do and repost what other users are saying about you and your products/services.
Get used to producing visual content yourself
The best marketers on social networks can produce impressive content themselves. Learn how to take good pictures using your smartphone and use editing tools like Photoshop.
Write an Instagram marketing manual to be followed by your employees
When you’re sick, who handles your Instagram account? Write a manual outlining best practices on Instagram so your entire team is able to respond to unexpected events.
Ask for advice from social marketers who have a proven track record
Contact the social media marketers of large companies or accounts and ask them for advice. Most of the time, they’ll be happy to help you. Some may even be surprised and flattered by a well-written email.
Review yours captions carefully before hitting publish
The slightest typo can destroy a perfect post. Make sure to always review captions, hashtags and even locations so you don’t taint the credibility of your Instagram account.
Get help from artists to help tell your company story
Remember, on Instagram, the key to success is to present unique content that tells a consistent story. You can partner with an artist who can tell this story artistically.
Use humor to make your posts go viral
Humor has long been used on Instagram. Brands that can deliver truly entertaining content will have better reach and more followers.
Organize live events for your subscribers
Be grateful to your followers by having live events reserved for them. This way, potential followers suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out) will have to follower your Instagram account (and turn on notifications) to not miss anything in the future.
Get ready for some changes from Instagram regarding suggestions
Recently, Instagram started adding suggestions directly to users’ news feeds. Marketers have to stay ahead and expect a change in this area. If these changes take place, it may be more difficult for brands to reach their own followers; on the other hand, it may be easier to reach potential followers.
Watch your own Instagram profile on a smartphone
Make sure you regularly check what your Instagram account looks like on a smartphone. Most marketers work on computers, but they have to make sure the representation is the same on the different media used by users.
Reply to comments
The content that makes you react is best redistributed by the Instagram algorithm. Respond regularly to comments from your followers to preserve their reactions and ensure the visibility of your posts.
Discover more about your audience
The more you know about your target audience, the easier it’ll be to put in place a relevant strategy. Take the time to question your current followers to better understand what interests them. Utilize the “Questions Sticker” in your stories to get some good feedback from your followers.
Rome was not built in a day, and Instagram accounts are not either. Instagram Marketing takes time to start to gain momentum. Be patient and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
There are many strategies for brands that want to see more followers. Remember, Instagram’s most successful accounts tell a consistent story with the brand’s image through a wide variety of carefully crafted and precisely organized content.