The growth of Instagram does not seem to subside. 200 million, out of up to one billion everyday active users, check one business account or more daily. Apparently, this platform is fantastic for entrepreneurs and marketers.
Yet, there are more than 20 million Instagram business accounts, which means many brands have been in a fierce battleground, particularly if they fail to bring up a proper growth strategy.
Are you struggling to find a way to stand out in this overcrowded space? The fact is, you are not alone. Amid the intense competition on Instagram, some brands have resorted to dubious practices such as generating likes with bots, buying followers, and automate engagement by using third-party apps.
In response, Instagram employed a “shadowban.” There is a resulting restriction to posts of the guilty brands from appearing in feeds of followers or search results, causing a dip in engagement.
Still, do not worry. It is unnecessary to fall back on shady techniques and run the risk of being shadowbanned. Growing your follower count as well as engagement on this social media channel organically is not a big deal. Without having to spend a cent, you can optimize the visibility and penetration of your posts. The following guide will tell you how.
Best Ways to Grow Your Instagram Organically
Every talented marketer sticks to one rule: kick off a campaign only after defining your goals. Then, which Instagram metrics matter? How to know whether your brand is growing?
A couple of common KPIs are website traffic, engagement per follower, clicks to the link, comments per post, hashtag usage, and Instagram Stories engagement. Before you start, realizing which goals to focus on is crucial.
After having the goals laid out, you can refer to several or all of the below strategies.
Make Your Posts Optimal
As always, content is the king. More so on Instagram and other social channels that are exhibiting sub-standard content to a great degree. By adhering to some time-tested posting habits, you will be able to make the best out of your posts. They can attract eyeballs as well as creating an impact that way.
Crack the algorithm of Instagram
This network uses AI to rank posts (i.e., determine which posts will show up first in the feeds of its users. Posts from those appearing to be “family or friends” have a higher ranking when compared to random pieces of writing, image, or other items of content published online. Hence, you should like, DM, or comment on your target audience’s posts.
What is more, Instagram ranks the content which is relevant or exciting to a user higher. Its algorithm prioritizes newer posts as well.
Thus, what does it mean for your account? You had better post consistently. To present fresh content ideas, learn about your intended audience’s user behavior, and next generate relatable content.
Make the most effective use of visual content
The content in your Instagram should be high-quality and has optimal size and duration (when it comes to videos). To produce appealing visual content without cost, you can leverage professional-quality editing tools. You can style your images with filters and overlays.
Bear in mind that images must conform to the sizes that Instagram recommends:
- Square images: 1080px X 1350 px
- Landscape images: 1080px X 608 px
- Square images: 1080px X 1080 px
Besides, limit the duration of your IGTV videos to 15 minutes. MP4 should be their file format, and for the cover photos, .png or .jpg formats are recommendable. It will be best if you keep their resolution at 720 pixels at least and aspect ratio at 9:16.
Optimize times to post
Thanks to Instagram Insights, you can develop a complete buyer persona for the followers on your Instagram. It allows you to figure out your followers’ most active times. By changing to a Business account, you can access these insights.
Content creators and influencers have it more accessible as a result of their Instagram Creator accounts. It is simple for them to discover the most favorable posting times by looking into the graph for when their followers are on the platform.
Maintain the Engagement of Your Followers
Have you discovered the algorithm of Instagram, generated attractive visuals, and posted at the right times? Yet, are the engagement numbers not as high as you have expected?
The insufficient flavor of your content may be the problem. Your followers are either dismissing or ignoring your posts. Stepping on the accelerator is necessary. You need to come up with great ideas so that your followers can notice your content. What if you do not feel inspired? How to unblock your creativity? Here are some ideas for your inspiration:
Why do you not rely on Instagram Stories to tell the personal story of your brand? Compared to images, stories are more impactful, and they will not crowd the feeds of your followers. For people owning a Business account with over 10K followers, you can create a “swipe up” link to the Stories as well as redirecting traffic to the website. The engagement will improve owing to Stickers in Stories.
Instagram Live, as its name suggests, is for your live videos. It is considered an effective way of landing in the first position in the Story section of your followers. Live videos appear candid and attract viewers’ interest for longer. For this type of video, you can include product demos, interviews, and Questions & Answers with the viewers. Be sure you stay away from goof ups with a basic script.
Instagram TV (IGTV)
Like Stories, IGTV is intended for more extended videos with cover photos. They can help you do promotions aside from influencer takeovers. A lot of free sophisticated movie-creating apps are available out there for you to utilize to shoot fantastic videos. – for example, FilmoraGo and iMovie
For the follower count expansion, you should explore new pastures. With hashtags, your posts are highly likely to pop up in trending circles. Note that you use the relevant hashtags to your audience and brand. HashtagsForLikes is a reliable hashtag tracking tool that helps you discover trending tags for your product/ service.
Contests and Giveaways
One of the smartest strategies to gain new followers is contests and giveaways. You can guide contest entrants to tag their buddies and/or to become the followers of your page. With this win-win strategy, the brand will be able to get more visibility, and those who follow you can win great goodies.
You can share your behind-the-scenes videos to involve your viewers in your journey. Creating buzz regarding the next events and products through related teasers is welcome as well.
It is regarded as an excellent way to boost awareness of your brand. It does not cost anything while bringing huge engagement potential. All you need to do is create a branded hashtag and encourage people to follow it and post their content with its addition. By doing so, you can put together plenty of valuable content to repost in your Stories.
Make Use of Instagram Shoutouts
It is a kind of co-promotion on Instagram. Why not swap shoutouts with influencers who are relevant for a mutually beneficial strategy?. By the shoutout, we mean brand mentions, more often than not done with a link to the brand’s profile in the caption. The publicized brand’s picture usually accompanies the mention of your brand.
We suggest using reliable influencer marketing tools or hashtag searches to seek for those being in your industry. Follow with scanning their feeds to find out people who often give shoutouts that gain substantial engagement. After liking and commenting on their posts, ask them whether they have any interest in a shoutout exchange with you.
Regramming technically means reposting the Instagram content of others – it is useful for increasing your followers and cementing co-marketing relationships.
That being said, unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram does not feature a “Repost” or “Share” button. Further, if you share the work of someone on your account, you risk a copyright violation.
It will help if you obey regramming etiquette. Attribute the original creator when you repost someone’s content. Do not share the work of a professional creator, designer, photographer. Develop a relationship with the brand whose posts you plan to regram. Also, ask in advance if you can repost their work.
To deal with the lack of a handy button to allow for reposting, you can count on free apps such as Repost for Instagram. They should be able to enable you to save posts for later or repost instantly.
Even if you post user-created content on your Story and feed, you should ask for permission from that user.
Hobnob with Top Influencers
You may be familiar with the term ‘Influencers.’ They are brands or people with the ability to hold sway over the followers. As they have developed trust among their followers, they can exert a considerable influence on the buying decisions of people who are following them. By partnering with them, you will be able to earn plenty of mileage when it comes to follower count, engagement, and even sales.
When the influencer promotes or recommends a brand, the followers may be interested in it and get inspired to give your products a try or follow your Instagram accounts.
Still, why would they promote your products? What can be their motivators to become your mouthpiece? Relevance cum compensation is the answer.
You can provide influencers with free services/ products or a commission for their hard work to sweeten the deal. Also, several nano and micro-influencers accept the compensation in the form of exclusive offers, goodies, or shout outs.
The fittest’s survival is apter these days than ever. The palpable competition on social networks like Instagram has urged brands to search for innovative marketing methods. The organic growth addressed in this post will be helpful for you to lead the pack. As a bonus, these strategies will not take away a large part of your profit margins because they are little cost or free. You will be making a great deal of money very easily!