Initially created as an app for communicating through images, Instagram wasn’t considered a powerful marketing platform at first. But the idea was so successful that the app gained over a million followers in just two months.
After being acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has become a powerful platform for business. Moreover, it’s a home platform for many e-commerce companies. Now, there are over 25 million business profiles on Instagram with 90 percent of the top 100 world-famous brands already having a successful Instagram account.
The number of Instagram users continues to grow. At the end of 2018, the number of active Instagram users reached one billion. Here’s the progression of how fast the Instagram following base has grown over the years.
Image credit: Statista
Furthermore, out of one billion Instagram users, 80 percent already follow at least one brand, which makes Instagram the ultimate marketing platform for any business. However, there’s one tricky obstacle to the success of your Instagram business account: creating content.
It may seem like taking a pretty picture, using a filter and writing a catchy caption is enough, but it’s not. Instagram users are rather spoiled, and saying that they’ve already seen it all wouldn’t be an exaggeration. Creating high-quality content is a prerequisite of the success of your Instagram account.
There are five major traits for high-quality Instagram content:
High-quality content is also up-to-date and something every follower can relate to because it follows the latest world trends. Followers want to see a brand that exists in the same universe they do and creates something they can and want to relate to. When you keep that in mind, every time you post on Instagram, you can be sure that you create high-quality content.
Let’s take a look at the ways high-quality is created, what tools are used and some ways to engage your followers and grow your Instagram audience.
The best and the most genuine way to create high-quality content to attract your followers is to ask them to contribute. Use your Instagram audience to crowdsource content for your Instagram Business account.
Storytelling is one of the winning strategies for creating good content. Look at the latest trends: people love watching vlogs following someone else’s journey and experience. Stats support the desire of internet users to see more storytelling content: More than 90 percent of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story.
Using storytelling and asking your followers to share their experience is a great way to make your brand relatable. Your followers want to have a little sneak peek into how everyone else is using your product and what they have to say about it.
You can ask your followers to share their experiences and stories by either
Airbnb is a great example of an Instagram business account that loves to share the stories and experiences of their followers:
Storytelling format is not only a good fit for travel-related businesses, like Airbnb. You can always find a follower who has a great experience using your product, which is a good marketing strategy for your brand. Just don’t forget to give credit to your followers, thanking them for supporting your brand.
Starting a campaign where you share the experience of your followers requires the use of hashtags through which other followers will be able to track the updates. The best strategy here is not to create one or two branded hashtags, but to add multiple ones to increase the channels through which other Instagram users will be able to reach you.
Adding multiple hashtags to a post is a common strategy for social media campaigns, during which companies collaborate with their followers to create shared content. The Instagram algorithm is very friendly toward adding multiple hashtags to a post, or a comment section under it, helping it appear more frequently in searches and on the Explore page.
Tip: Make sure all the hashtags are relevant to your campaign and can be easily read and singled out. Also, try to create one or two hashtags that will help your campaign stand out.
Once you launch your hashtag or share your inquiry on Instagram stories, you may get results that need to be categorized for your use. The effective way to do this is to connect your Facebook business account to your Instagram business account.
By doing so, you’ll be able to:
This is a universal way to keep your Facebook and Instagram communications in one place:
You can also categorize your incoming Instagram notifications by putting them into various folders, helping you find necessary information easier and faster. Connecting your Instagram and Facebook business accounts is a great way to manage the activity of your followers. And by sending timely replies, you’ll be able to grow your following as a brand that is known for being an active communicator.
Influencer marketing is an established marketing strategy that appeared thanks to Instagram. It is a great way to create high-quality engaging content without putting in any effort of your own.
Instagram users love following influencers for different reasons, including:
Collaborating with the influencers is one of the key strategies for Instagram ads, as it makes an ad look non-intrusive and creates an image of a brand that understands the current trends on social media and supports independent creators.
People love the influencers they follow, and they will be more likely to trust your brand if you collaborate with their favorite influencer. For example, Scramble Brand collaborated with Jenna Marbles and Julien Solomita (online YouTube influencers with a big Instagram following), issuing rashguards with a unique design:
The sales went so well that the brand had to restock the training tops by popular demand. The overall trust of the brand has increased and more people are interested in testing their other products.
Tip: Where do you find influencers?
The majority can be found directly on Instagram, most of them you can DM directly, and others have representatives and marketing teams. But there are other tools that can help you find your perfect influencer for future collaborations:
Image credit: Hype Auditor
Your followers love free stuff! Having regular contests and giveaways is a great way to attract new customers to your Instagram business account. According to Brand24, #giveaway is also the highest-performing hashtag on Instagram, meaning that Instagram users search content categorized by this hashtag on a regular basis:
Contests and giveaways are generally intended to boost activity on a certain social media page. If you want to attract more followers to your Instagram business account, this is a surefire way and a good self-promoting strategy. These posts also get the most activity in terms of likes and comments. For instance, the activity on Cluse’s (watch brand) regular Instagram posts is around 7, 000 likes:
Image credit: Instagram
But if you take a look at their giveaway posts, they all have over 40,000 likes, which is a staggering increase in activity:
Image credit: Instagram
Don’t disregard contests and giveaways as a strategy to attract more customers. You’ll give your customers what they want and boost their activity on your Instagram business account.
When thinking about the ways to increase your follower base and attract new customers through Instagram, creating high-quality content is the best answer. Instagram users are always looking for inspiration from brands, as well as value and visual appeal. The platform offers many tools for brands to be creative with their content, including stories with an option to create polls and add creative stickers that help your stories stand out. The possibility to post carousels to upload both photos and videos in one post is also one of the most versatile Instagram features.
But it’s all about the value of your posts. As long as your content remains relatable and informative, you’ll be able to maintain high follower activity on your Instagram business account.
Daniela McVicker is a passionate digital marketer. Daniela is interested in everything related to SEO and blogging. She collaborates with TopWritersReview and other websites where she shares her experience and helps marketers make their name in the online world.