It is time to take to the drawing board. You need to rethink how to promote your Instagram account. With Instagram’s rapid growth, what worked in the past is not going to score you the same sort of engagement today. Instagram stats show the space is becoming more and more crowded. As a result, it is vital to have as many tactics as possible to promote your Instagram to your fans.
In this guide, I will break down 10 actionable ways to do exactly that. From optimising your posts and profile to rethinking your approach to content promotion. Any combination of these tips are fair game when it comes to Instagram promotion.
1. Ramp up your content production to promote your Instagram
There is no shortage of Instagram content you can publish to fill up your feed. Customer photos, memes and bite-sized videos. However, that does not even scratch the surface of what is available to you. To figure out what performs the best among your fans, you are going to need to trial and error. That means ramping up your content and posting more often. Publishing to Instagram at least once a day is within the platform’s best practices. Major brands like TopShop and H&M post up to three times per day. As you roll out more content, it is vital to squeeze more engagement out of your fans. You can do this by following the best times to post on Instagram.
Publishing a photo every once in a while is not going to cut it if you want to stay fresh in your fan’s feeds. Speaking of which, that is also why Instagram Stories are so valuable. Off-the-cuff content via Stories essentially allows you to ‘skip the line’. It allows you to appear front-and-center in people’s feeds. Not only that, but you can freely post snap after snap without being concerned that you are spamming your fans. The takeaway here is that Instagram is moving much quicker than it once did in terms of content. Brands should ramp up if they want to keep up.
2. Cross-promote your Instagram posts across other networks
The effort it takes to snag the perfect snapshot and craft a clever caption is not something that should go to waste. Cross-posting your content to other social platforms is a no-brainer. This way, you can get even more of an ROI out of your Instagram presence. For example, you can promote your Instagram content across the likes of Facebook and Twitter. This will help you to maximize your content’s reach. Cross-promoting is a clever move. However, you need to be aware that each social platform has its own best practices. For example, Instagram tends to go heavier on the hashtags. So, you might want to craft a slightly different description for images posted to Facebook.
3. Focus on people-centric content to promote your Instagram
Although Instagram is a place to score sales, it is still first and foremost a place to share experiences. The popularity of selfies on Instagram speaks for itself. In addition, so does customer photos and pictures of people using products in real-world settings. Much of the appeal of Instagram is that brands are capable of advertising in a more human way. This is without bombarding followers with messages that scream ‘BUY NOW!’.
On a related note, this is exactly why user-generated content such as customer photos are such a goldmine for brands. Not only do users on Instagram love it when brands shout them out, but customer photos represent marketing firepower. This marketing firepower proves that people dig your products. In order to spot and curate user-generated content for your feed, you are going to need to understand how hashtags can help you promote your Instagram.
4. Experiment with branded and industry hashtags to promote your Instagram
Brands both big and small should create a hashtag. This will encourage sharing and promotion on behalf of their followers. Doing so does not have to be rocket science, either. For example, Ernie Ball displays their #iplayslinky and #colorsofrocknroll hashtags loud and clear in their bio. In return, they use the tag to promote their own posts. This is in addition to thousands of loyal fans promoting the brand organically.
See how that works?
Beyond your own hashtags, you should always make an effort to promote your Instagram using more general, community hashtags. Ones that are specific to your industry such as #6strings (music) or #unicornhair (beauty). Putting on extra tags essentially makes your posts searchable by tag-followers. Not to mention, it instantly boosts your reach. The takeaway here is that you with hashtags can certainly use less or more. However, at the very least you should add something.
5. Publish Instagram content on-site
When it comes to ads, what better billboards are there than your own customers? Featuring Instagram content on-site is an effective way to boost conversions. Why? Because when people see purchased products in real-world settings, they know that the brand in question has satisfied customers.
Consumers can better visualize and understand a product for themselves when they see it ‘in the wild’. This explains the rise of lookbooks and brands featuring user-generated content on product pages. For example, Casper uses an Instagram slideshow on-site to show off their satisfied sleepers. Of course, this all circles back to the need to promote your Instagram hashtag. In addition to their Instagram bio, #TopShopStyle is plastered across the brand’s site and marketing emails. This helps to increase their tag’s exposure. The end result is more user-generated content and people promoting TopShop organically.
6. Carve out your creative trademark
Creativity is a crucial skill for Instagram. Having some sort of niche or theme is an effective way to inspire your Instagram content. In addition, it can make you stand out from the crowd. For example, Yeti is known for its feed full of high-res photos of the outdoors featuring adventurers enjoying their products.
Meanwhile oVertone boasts a bold color-coded feed. That is based on whichever shade of their product they are currently promoting. If you have no inspiration for your creative trademark, do not sweat it. There are tons of Instagram apps such as VSCO that can help you add some creative flair to your photos. By using consistent gradients, colours and filters, you can make your feed feel more you.
7. Work with influencers to extend your reach
As mentioned earlier, Instagram benefits from being a platform where brands can essentially publish ads without shoving them in their followers’ faces. Enter the rise of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing involves a paid relationship with another Instagram account. Influencers’ audiences should ideally mirror your own or allow you to tap into a new range of audiences. Influencers are similar to ads in the sense that the relationship does cost money.
However, finding the correct influencer can be an incredibly cost-effective way to both sell products and grow your following. Brands can spot influencers through hashtags and manual searching. Alternatively, you can try Instagram analytics tools such as Tapinfluence or search an in-depth database related to your business. Remember: when identifying influencers, just ensure they have a following that actually engages with their content. Engagement rate calculators can help give you peace of mind about any influencer in question.
8. Run a contest or giveaway
Here is some food for thought. Brands that run contests grow their following 70% faster than those that do not. You may notice that many brands’ contest and giveaway-related posts receive insane amounts of engagement. That is no accident. If correctly completed, social media contests can result in followers and fans. Although they can also attract freebie-chasers. We recommend running a one-time contest promotion on Instagram to test the waters. This will help you to determine whether or not contests are something you want to try for the long-term.
9. Optimise your profile for promotion
As you work through how to promote Instagram to new fans and followers, ‘looking the part’ is absolutely vital. This also applies to brands looking to attract more attention organically. Orlando’s East End Market is a prime example of a simple yet optimised profile. For starters, their username ‘eastendmkt’ is short and sweet. All the while, easy to find for locals searching for it.
Their bio also ticks the boxes of an optimised profile. Including a clear profile picture, compelling bio, branding hashtag and trackable URL. Everything about this Instagram bio lets us know what to expect from their feed. They also feature their email and phone number. This is something to take into consideration when running a business account. East End also regularly tags other businesses and events to expand their profile’s reach. Not to mention, their awesome visual content that their local followers love.
10. Take advantage of Instagram Stories and its latest features
Stories are by far Instagram’s most popular feature. They are used by over 500 million users daily. Brands need to take advantage of Stories as often as possible when promoting on Instagram. For many businesses, this means publishing user-generated photos. In addition to behind-the-scenes content. The beauty of Stories is that you do not have to worry as much about your visuals being polished or ‘perfect’.
That said, creativity still counts when it comes to Stories. Among Instagram’s latest features, Stories are always at the center of them. For example, new interactive stickers such as the new Quiz stickers represent fresh ways that brands can engage with followers. This allows for a more unique and interactive type of Instagram promo. Keeping up with Instagram means staying active. In addition, being on top of its latest features. If you are regularly publishing to Stories and watching what other brands are doing, you will always be in-the-know.
When it comes to Instagram promotion, you have plenty of tactics to experiment with. Making sure that your feed stands out means understanding the platform’s best practices. In addition to evolving alongside Instagram itself. Sticking to the tips above can help you maximise your engagement as you promote your Instagram to new followers and customers.