With over a billion monthly users, smart algorithms and lots of clever creative brands on Instagram, it’s simply not easy to get more Instagram followers in 2019. If you want to grow your account and boost your following, well then get ready for it’s a competitive place.
In this blog, we are sharing you a few ways you can reach your targeted audience to gain more followers and take the Instagram marketing game to the next level.
Brand your Instagram profile the right way.
How your Instagram looks as a whole is going to be a deciding factor when it comes to gaining followers, likes. You should make sure your Instagram feed is on point because that is the top factor which decides if a person wants to follow you.
On average, it takes only a few seconds for a new visitor to decide whether they want to follow you. The key factors that are going to affect their decision are:
You need to have a consistent format or style for whatever content you post on your page. For starters, you need to have a great Instagram DP, an effective bio, active stories, coordination cover pictures for your highlights and a consistent editing style for the photos you post. Its is easy to build a professional looking feed with a well-curated and cohesive Instagram aesthetics.
What’s important is that you make sure every aspect of your feed and every post align with the aesthetics you’ve chosen for your brand. It need not be all white, picture perfect, minimal aesthetic for Instagram to be successful. It just needs to be consistent. So whether you post as feed or stories or IG TV or creating highlight make sure everything aligns.
You can plan the look of your Instagram by using a scheduling tool of any kind. We at Growth Associates use grum.co to schedule all ours as well as clients contents. There are many other tools like “later” for free which helps you schedule as well as drag and drop your posts on the visual planner to create the look you want. Using a scheduling tool will definitely make your Instagram marketing easier.
Let's look at what we can do to help improve the aesthetics.
2. Editing your contents
Adobe Lightroom is the go-to software for many when it comes to editing your photos. No doubt, it is the most powerful editing tool available. Purchasing Lightroom and Lightroom presets from professional photographers is a great investment to make. We also love using VSCO, because it is so much easier and the presets are powerful enough for your contents to look great.
If you’re running on a tight budget, don’t worry, there are free tools like Snapseed by Google which is a great tool and is very easy to use. It comes with pre-loaded filters as well as tuning tools. We suggest you give it a try.
One major tip and this is a tip that you won’t be able to find much out there, is that did you know Instagram’s algorithm compresses whatever photo you upload there? A lot of quality and colours are changed due to this process. So, what do you do to retain those colours and make your image look the best? Once you’re done with your editing, open the image in Photoshop and convert the image to sRGB. For this go to “edit” >> “convert to profile”. Change the “profile” to “sRGB” (scroll through the list to find sRGB) and hit “OK”. Next thing you have to do is make sure your image is “8-bit”. For that go to “image” >> “mode” >> click “8 Bits/Channel”.
3. Use templates for Instagram marketing (mainly for your stories)
Try using Instagram templates for your feed and stories. If you’re a person who posts Instagram stories regularly (which you should be) you might want to start using Instagram stories template. This helps make your stories more uniform, more attractive and complementary to your feed posts. There are many different apps like Canva and Unfold that can help you with creating templates.
Not sure what to post on your highlights? Think of your Instagram highlights like landing pages on your website. If you’re an online store, you could create separate highlights for dresses, tops, and shoes, or sort them by collection, and then create other highlights for FAQs or shipping information.
Don’t forget to make sure that both your Instagram Stories content and the icons you’re using for your cover images are in line with your overall Instagram aesthetic! As we mentioned before aesthetics is a key tool for Instagram marketing.
4. Use tags in your stories and posts
If you take a look at the improvements that Instagram brought to stories lately, it’s another huge step thanks to features like GIFs, Stickers, Polls, Questions, Countdowns, chats and more! And with so many new creative tools, brands are getting more and more creative with their Instagram Stories and Instagram marketing as they try to reach new audiences and boost their followers.
But it’s important to remember the basics when it comes to optimizing your Instagram Stories while you’re busy testing out all the new features! Instagram Stories appear on the Instagram Explore page, which means that people who don’t even follow you can still find and watch your stories.
And if they like what they see, they might even tap follow on your profile!
But besides appearing on the Explore page, your story can also appear in the stories for different locations and hashtags! If you didn’t know, most Instagram geo-locations and hashtags have their own stories attached to them too. So you can watch any recent stories that were published using a location or hashtag sticker, even if you don’t know that user or follow their account.
This is hugely under-utilized by brands on Instagram, so if you’re looking to get more followers, it’s time to start using these features! All you have to do is add a hashtag or location sticker to your Instagram Stories posts!
You can also “hack” Instagram by adding hashtags and then hiding them by reducing the font size, using the same colour as the background of your image, or adding a GIF or sticker on top of the hashtags.
This is the time when people are more invested in seeing what’s happening in real time on Instagram, so making your story discoverable by others is a great way to get new eyes on your Instagram profile.
When your story is added to the location’s story, you’ll usually receive a notification from Instagram. When a photo or video from your story is visible on a hashtag or location page, you’ll see the name of that page when you look at who’s seen your story.
If you go to your Instagram Explore page, you’ll see the live story for the current city you’re in – but your story only has the chance to be added to this if you add a location sticker to your Instagram Stories. So you don’t want to miss out on that opportunity to be in front of new audiences!
5. Share more ‘personal’ content
There’s no denying that Instagram is still a very social place. And people want to follow accounts that they can relate to, regardless of whether that’s a brand, Influencers, or person they went to high school with.
So it’s important to make your Instagram account as personable and relatable as possible, and really show off what your business and brand is all about if you want to get more Instagram followers.
Fun fact: Did you know that photos with faces get 38% more likes on Instagram?
One of the easiest ways to introduce new audiences to your brand is through video. You can immediately set the tone, share some behind-the-scenes footage, and show off what sets your brand apart. In 2019, people want to know the people behind the brand, just as much as the business and products.
Plus, there’s no better spokesperson for your business than your employees! Why not ask your team to post and share content about your business plans, launches or special campaigns this year? cashkaro.com is a perfect example of this. If you follow their page on Instagram, you for sure know that they feature their employees a lot. This gives the audience a sense of what is going behind the scene and gives a more personal touch rather than a professional feel to it.
If you can get your team involved in creating company content for your brand, it adds more personality and behind-the-scenes insights for your followers. You may find your page will be seen by new audiences that already have connections with your employees and interest in your brand! This helps a lot with your Instagram marketing.
So next time you’re crafting an Instagram story, or planning an IGTV video, think about including more face-to-face screen time and introducing your followers (both old and new) to your brand.
6. Cross promote
Instead of thinking about how your other marketing channels — like your website, email newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube — can lead your audience to your Instagram page, it’s time to think about your Instagram strategy as a part of your wider marketing efforts and look at how you can grow outside of the Instagram app.
Cross-promoting your Instagram content on other channels is a really easy way to guide your existing followers to your Instagram page or introduce yourself to new audiences if they’ve found you from a different platform.
Here are a couple of tips on how to start cross-promoting your Instagram content on other platforms:
Integrate your Instagram feed into your website design: this is such a simple change that could really help you get more Instagram followers. Check out this blog page for example. You can see our Instagram feed on top of this blog page. Now every visitor that comes to this website will see our Instagram aesthetic and might just want to see more and follow!
Invite audiences to ‘find out more’ on Instagram: If you have a platform, like YouTube, for example, that’s really thriving with an engaged audience, you can use this follower-power to invite audiences to check out your Instagram feed, especially if you’re sharing something exclusive there. For example, if you’re a video creator on YouTube ask your viewers to check out your Instagram page for all the behind the scene actions. And this is something more personal to you and your viewers would be more than interested to check them out.
Add Your Instagram to Your Email Marketing Campaigns: Whether you have a small footer with links to your social accounts, or send an entire email focused on increasing your followers, don’t ignore the power of your email list if you want to get more Instagram followers!
7. Instagram Ads
Running your own Instagram ad campaign isn’t that difficult, but it can be intimidating to many small business owners and Influencers who haven’t done it before. There’s a real opportunity to build your followers if you present the right type of ads to new audiences.
There are lots of new types of Instagram ads, the most important thing is that you target the right audience. But, targeting the right audience with a sponsored post is very easy because Instagram does all the hard work for you.
Instagram lets you can easily create your own audience in the app by choosing an interest, age range, and the genders you want to promote to. But remember, half the battle with Instagram ads is knowing what kind of content resonates most with your audience. So spend some time investigating whether your audience enjoys video content over still images in their feed, or if Instagram Stories is where you get the most engagement. Also, don’t forget to create a strong call to action.
8. Create a Custom Instagram Stories Filter For Your Brand
When someone uses your branded filter in their stories, viewers can see who created it & they’ll be prompted to try out the filter, which is a creative way to get more Instagram followers and get your filter in front of a new audience in a lighthearted and fun way.
At the moment, Facebook is in the testing stages for Spark AR Studio, so only some brands can join and start creating custom AR filters for their brand.
But, we’re hoping it will be rolled out to more brands in 2019 so that once approved by Facebook, your filter could be used and shared by thousands of Instagram users.
9. Collaborate with other brands and Influencers.
Teaming up with like-minded and complementary businesses and brands will introduce your profile to a new and engaged audience you may never have reached before. So when an Instagram user discovers your profile through a co-marketing effort, they’re likely to hit that follow button if they have similar interests or are the right demographic for your brand.
Plus, co-marketing campaigns don’t have to be complicated or costly! What’s more important is who you partner with. You want to make sure that you have a mutually beneficial partnership and that both your audiences will benefit from your collaboration efforts. And some of the best collaborations come from brands and businesses that are in completely different industries!
Influencer marketing is all about building genuine trust and loyalty with your followers. And if you partner with an influencer for your brand or business, they act as an ambassador for your brand.
But the key to getting more followers on Instagram with Instagram Influencers is having a long-lasting project, instead of one-off #sponsored posts.
Instead, work on year-long projects with your brand ambassadors, and try different growth tactics like Instagram giveaways or takeovers to capitalize on your Influencer’s audience.
A one-time post from an influencer mentioning your brand could come across as just another ad. Instead, you want to really build trust and brand loyalty for the long-term, so collaborate with an influencer who has a genuine passion about your brand and can show this off to their audience all year round.
Their honest and genuine energy for your brand or business will come across in their posts, especially if they’re posting regularly!
Remember it’s a combination of creative content, targeting the right audience, and promoting your business in the right way. Try out some of these tips in 2019 and see how much your account can grow this year!
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