With 2 billion active users, Instagram* is one of the most used social platforms. Only Facebook, Youtube and WhatsApp can boast a larger audience. Almost every Instagram user follows at least one business. Instagram regularly introduces new tools for business, such as shopping tags and the Shop tab. No wonder, 44% of people use the social network to shop weekly. All these stats make Instagram a valuable platform for promoting your business.
In the post, we will discuss how to promote Instagram in 2023 using paid and free methods. You'll also find a couple of tips on what not to do.
Prepare your account for promotion
You can't start promoting on Instagram with an empty profile. Users should instantly understand who you are, what you offer and what your advantage is.
The right Instagram page includes:
- Profile picture with a readable logo or photo if it is a blogger or expert account.
- Profile name that is related to the business, but not a random set of characters.
- Creator name (author or organization). It is filled out in the special field of the profile header. The business category is also selected here.
- Instagram bio, or account description. What the company/expert does, your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). If this is an individual person's Instagram blog, also explain what topics you cover.
- A link to a website or other resource that represents your business or project.
- Highlights. These are pinned stories under the bio. Design highlights to answer possible questions from your customers. Share your prices and experience. Tell followers how to find you, when you work and what about shipping. Highlights sometimes include a profile navigation.
- Geolocation for offline businesses.
What else is important to do before starting the promotion:
- Switch to a business account - statistics will become available.
- Clear your profile from bots and inactive followers. Social network algorithms consider a high percentage of subscribers who do not respond to your posts as a sign of boring low-quality content. Such an account does not get additional audience coverage.
- Analyze what your existing audience likes and create well thought out content.
Instagram is no longer a social network with pictures, but also a video platform for short videos, known as Reels. That's why, when people ask how to promote Instagram from scratch, more often they get answers about using this format. The social network is actively promoting Reels. Instagram marketing has changed due to short videos. It used to be nearly impossible to get additional reach without ads. Now Reels are primarily shown to users who, although do not follow a creator, may find their content interesting. Besides, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company plans to "more than double" the amount of recommended content.
How to promote Instagram with Reels:
- Post unique content that has never been used before on Instagram.
- Follow the rules and guidelines of the social network. If you don't, your account may be temporarily or permanently blocked.
- Start promoting Instagram with a public account. Otherwise Reels will only be seen by your followers.
- Add specific niche hashtags under videos. They work in the same way as in posts (we'll talk more about this below).
- Release videos regularly. This is important not for users, but for algorithms that quickly "forget" inactive creators. However, you should not annoy your followers, so post no more than 2 videos per day and 3–4 per week.
Don't delete Reels, even if their reach is low. Sometimes the algorithms pick up the video again after a while, so they bring the result.
How to get followers on Instagram with Reels
People don't follow all the accounts that are recommended in their feeds. The competition in Reels is high, so it is not enough just to make a good-looking video.
Rules for successful Reels
- Don't make long videos. If the video is too long, users may not watch it to the end. In this case, the algorithm will decide that this content is not interesting enough. Such Reels have less chances to be recommended. The optimal time is 5–15 seconds.
- Generate interest in the first seconds. For example, take some unexpected action or say an engaging phrase ("The secret to successful promotion …", "No one knew about this …", and so on). But don't fool users. If there is nothing of value after an appealing opening, the audience will not subscribe.
- Add text to your video, because sometimes Reels are watched with the sound turned off. Captions also make the content easier to read.
- Use a CTA in your Reels. Ask users to read the description, subscribe, leave a comment, and so on.
- Make covers that show the essence of the video. Better to have a short description. Reels has two options - choose a frame from a video or add a photo.
- Shoot videos only on the topic of your blog.
- Check the quality of the videos. Meaning is more important, but a fuzzy picture and shooting with shaky hands are unlikely to please anyone. Sometimes Instagram decreases the quality of the video.
Life hack. Turn off data saving to improve video quality: Settings → Account → Mobile data use.
Where to get ideas for Reels
The first and easiest thing is to find a trend and adapt it to your account. But don't think too long. Popular videos quickly lose relevance, and competitors will have time to go far ahead. The second way is to shoot answers to questions and objections from users. Sprinkle video with a bit of humor. Ideas can also be found in movies, ads or other platforms (TikTok, Youtube Shorts).
Influencer marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness and get the interest of your target audience.
Influencers continue to develop their pages on the social network, and the influence of micro- and nano-influencers will grow in 2023. These include accounts from 10 to 200 thousand followers. The audience trusts micro- and nano-influencers more than those who have millions of followers. This is confirmed by the fact that they have the highest engagement rate - 5%. Besides, their advertising is cheaper.
To find Influencers, use hashtags relevant to your business niche. Choose those whose publications get the most engagement.
Users share content they like, and that's how they attract a new audience to the accounts. People repost memes, inspirational posts, useful information and news. There is no formula for how to promote an Instagram account through viral content. So watch the success stories and test your options.
Sometimes it works to ask users to recommend your post or account. Loyal followers will do it just like that. You can offer a bonus, such as free stuff or a discount. Reposts can be the condition of contests held by companies and influencers.
Hashtags and geotags
Hashtags are unlikely to bring thousands of followers, but a certain percentage of the audience will find your account by tags. Important:
- Add to posts only niche hashtags that match your account. Use services for selection or search manually in the Instagram search.
- Do not put high-frequency tags for which there are more than 100 thousand publications in the search results. There is too much competition there. Choose low-frequency (up to 50 thousand) and mid-frequency (50–100 thousand).
- Don't turn a post into a canvas of tags. This is visually unpleasant for the user and ineffective for promotion. Enough 8–10 tags in different combinations.
Geotagging is another way to expand your audience. It is especially relevant for offline businesses.
How to attract followers on Instagram through geotagging? Motivate customers to tag the location of your company, store or salon. Specify a place in your publications (posts, stories, Reels). Then other users will be able to use the tag to find reviews of your organization and your official account.
Cross-promotion is a collaboration between two business or influencer accounts that focus on related topics. Authors work together to create content, such as webinars, live streaming or Reels. Instagram has a co-creator tagging feature - Collab. When a creator uploads a post or a video, they can tag a collaborator. Then the post will show on both profiles, and followers of both accounts will see it in their feed.
This format of Instagram account promotion works if each participant already has an audience. It is better that both collaboration partners have about the same number of followers.
Traffic from other platforms
You may have just started your Instagram account, while you already have a large audience on other social media platforms - Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter. In this case, you can invite a loyal audience to follow you on Instagram. But there is one nuance. Your content on different platforms should not be repeated, otherwise the user will not see the point in reading your next channel. Cover different topics and experiment with formats.
In 2023, Instagram continues to generate revenue for brands and bloggers. To promote your account on the social network, you should try Reels - short videos that are recommended to other users who are not your followers. Influencer ads are still effective.
Cross-promotion is also an effective way to build an audience. You create collaborative content with other authors. Additional account promotion methods include hashtags, geotags (especially for offline businesses), users who recommend your content or account.
The article was originally published here.
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