Instagram is ideal for business promotion and promotion of personal brand. If the processes of registration and posting photos are understandable even for beginners, the promotion raises a lot of questions. How to gain subscribers, how to monetize them, how to properly maintain an account? We answer in this article.
The article tells about 33 ways to promote Instagram in 2021 by yourself and almost for free.
Where to start promoting your Instagram page
Start with the most important thing – write down the goals of promotion. For example, for bloggers – these are subscribers and an asset (which can later be monetized). For a company – sales on Instagram, brand awareness, expanding the customer base, increasing customer loyalty, changing the habits of using the product (determine the primary and secondary goals).
Goals can be divided into 4 groups and written down in order of importance:
- Business goals: increase profits by 35%, change the company’s position in the market, increase the average check.
- Marketing: to launch an additional sales channel, to increase the percentage of repeat purchases, to expand the customer base, to bring new goods to the market.
- Communication: increase brand awareness, increase loyalty of the target audience, establish communication with customers, get feedback.
- Media objectives: increase coverage, increase content engagement.
A simple example of goal setting for a psychology expert who earns by selling books and conducting webinars:
- Provide a 40% increase in subscribers from the current number by the end of the year;
- to sell 500 copies of books by the end of the year;
- enroll 1,000 students in webinars by the end of the year.
Based on this, create an Instagram promotion strategy. The main stages of creating a strategy:
Setting goals (written above)
We choose direct and indirect competitors. Evaluate their pages according to several parameters: the number of subscribers, quantity and quality of content, activity under posts, how they communicate with their audience, which Instagram tools they use (e.g. posting storis often, using all stickers, running games for storis). Be sure to analyze the product itself, prices, advantages and disadvantages. For example, the product is objectively competitive with yours, but the seller takes a long time to respond to messages and offers only 1 method of payment.
Draw up a portrait of your audience
You need a clear idea of who your audience is, how they behave on Instagram, and what kind of a pitch will help to attract and retain subscribers. Instruction to help: making a portrait of your target audience.
Coming up with a visual packaging concept
At this stage, you need to develop a corporate style of the page. What the product photos will look like (if it’s a product sales page). What images and photo processing to use if you’re promoting a personal brand or blogger.
Example – we’ve already mentioned in a couple of articles the blogger @codymillers, who calls himself the king of yellow. His recognizable thing is that yellow is a must in content, either in composition or in treatment. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to necessarily invent something exceptional or take color as a basis. At a minimum, you need to choose a common style of photo processing (for example, a particular Lightroom preset) and images that will look great together on the page. But a recognizable chip increases the likelihood that people will want to know more about you, for example, start looking for who the “king of yellow” is.
Develop a content plan
What and when we will post. It is advisable to make a plan for a month or at least for a week.
Important: Instagram has become more complex, with new functions. Now, you need to think through all the content: posts, storis, Reels, long IGTV videos.
Plan ways and tools for feedback from subscribers
You need to think in advance how you are going to communicate with your subscribers. For example, you are going to communicate only in Direct and in the comments. Or you will provide additional channels for communication, for example, through messengers. We advise using multi-link services to add more contacts, links to other social networks, a YouTube channel and a website.
Important: At the initial stage of promotion you can handle messages and comments by yourself, but with time you simply will not have time for this.
Thinking through an advertising strategy
Launch one of the stages of promotion in Instagram. Not mandatory, but effective (if you do it right). You can run targeting advertising in Instagram through Facebook, Promotions (a simpler type of advertising in terms of settings and running RC), advertising from bloggers. Since the topic is quite extensive, read more in paragraphs 18 and 19 of this article.
Important: you have to buy ads after you have the first subscribers on your page, who will be active. And when you have enough content on the page. If you run ads on a half-empty page with 10 photos and 300 subscribers, which has almost no comments, there’s a good chance you won’t get the expected effect from the ads.
Analyze the effectiveness and make adjustments to the promotion strategy if necessary.
As a minimum, you need to monitor and analyze the internal statistics of Instagram. You can use more informative paid services. Data analysis will help to understand in what direction you are moving and what should be changed in the promotion strategy.
Now let’s look more closely at ways to promote the account – from registration and design to the launch of advertising.
How to promote Instagram from scratch: 33 ways to promote the account
In this article, we will describe the basic steps to follow at the very beginning of the work to promote the business in Instagram.
By the way, if you are already on Instagram and have noticed a drop in coverage or engagement, we recommend checking your account here for bot and garbage recruitment, they may be the ones who ruin your account. The more you will have an active and live audience, the higher the engagement, coverage and of course sales. The account should be cleaned after any kind of trickery, especially if you’ve been tricked by bots. Cleaning Instagram from bots can be done through the service InstaHero.
1. Creating an account and connecting a business profile
If you are starting promotion from scratch, the first step is to register your company in Instagram. You can do it both from your phone and computer.
The next step is to switch to a commercial profile or author’s account. To do this, create a business page in Facebook, go to the “Settings” section of the Instagram account and switch to the business profile.
So why do you need a business account? Because it has advantages compared to a normal profile:
- Availability of statistics (views, likes, comments, engagement, reach and more);
- contact buttons (phone number, e-mail and directions);
- specifying a category (a special block in which you can specify the field of activity);
- Showing the actual address of the company (by clicking on it, the client immediately gets to a page with a map).
So no matter what you will promote: a business, a personal blog or a publick, the first thing to do is to go to the professional account of the company.
Also, if there is no desire and time to promote the account yourself, you can use this service to promote in Instagram – Doctorsmm.com. You can buy likes, followers, views and comments on Instagram very cheaply. To order, you do not need to transfer data from your account, perform tasks and register.
2. Nickname (username)
This is a unique set of characters in Latin (our nickname in Instagram: postiumru), as well as the url address (https://www.instagram.com/postiumru/), by which you can be found.
In the nickname should use the name of the company, your name or surname, a keyword or a link to the region. In a compound nickname, use an underscore to separate words. Using a period is allowed. To change your nickname, click “Edit Profile” and change it in the “Username” field. When you’re finished, save your changes. If the nickname is occupied, a notification will appear.
Examples: adidas, design_interiera, sushi_spb, buzova86, stroitelstvo.domov.
3.The name of the account
The name can be written both in Latin and using Russian letters. Here you can also enter the name of the brand, a keyword that you can be searched for by potential customers or the name of the product. For personal blogs, it’s best to use catchy, provocative names or your real name/surname.
When you use a unique name or title, you are working for brand recognition. If you choose a keyword, your profile will be more demand and search oriented.
To change your account name, click “Edit Profile” and enter text in the “Name” field. You can use emoji. The maximum length is 30 characters, you can change the page name no more than 2 times within 14 days.
4. Description (section about yourself).
The description should include basic characteristics of your business: the types of products you offer, benefits of working with you, work experience, and so on. If it’s missing, post links to communities on social networks.
5. Profile picture
When choosing an image, keep two nuances in mind: the final version of the picture will be presented in the form of a circle, which means that the original version will be cropped around the edges; the avatar must necessarily evoke an associative line associated with the services you provide (or with the brand as a whole).
6. Contact information.
Go to your profile settings and provide: phone, email, address and website. If there is no website, put a link to messenger.
Also, you can duplicate the phone number in the profile description.
7. Filling with content
Promotion of Instagram is primarily based on creating attractive visual content. It is what encourages subscribers to get acquainted with the text accompaniment of the sales offer.
Characteristics of graphic content for Instagram:
- high quality (apply the rule of daylight (natural) light: the light should fall on the subject of the photo (result: images are sharper, brighter; when you process the photo, use the built-in Instagram filters, they will help to eliminate existing flaws))
- a fascinating storyline (make a short story out of each photo, telling about the peculiarities of the production of the product, the life of your team outside the work process;
- a unified style (a single color scheme, repeating stories or visual components all contribute to the designation of your identity, independence (result: attracting the attention of a diverse target audience)).
Perfect example of perfectly crafted and designed content from @cartelldesign
8. Texts for posts
Instagram has long ceased to be only a visual platform. Text plays no less of a role in promotion.
How to write texts for posts – recommendations:
- Think of topics for posts in advance. Be sure to read our instructions: How to look for themes for posts on Instagram + 33 examples for every day.
- Remember the rule: one topic/thought – one post.
- Structure your texts. Divide them into paragraphs, use emoji, make lists. Don’t post canvasses of text – no one will read them. Read the article “How to make a beautiful text for Instagram + 16 examples”.
- Create different types of posts: entertaining, selling, expert (e.g., how-to’s and picks). Take into account that there should be more useful content. For example, for 2 selling posts, 6 useful and 2 entertaining posts. Helpful article: How to create an engaging Instagram post.
- Engage users from the first lines of text.
- Use calls to action at the end of the text. Get people to be active under the posts. For example: “Write your experience in the comments,” “What do you think about this topic?”.
- Add hashtags to the text of the post wisely. Recommendations on hashtags are described in more detail in paragraph 27 of this article.
9. How to use geolocation for posts correctly
Geolocation is a tool that allows you to mark the place where a photo was taken. To “enable” the feature in a post, you need to click the “Add location” button in the caption block and then enter the required geolocation data.
As a geolocation you can use not only the place where your organization is located, but also popular places of the city (shopping and entertainment centers, places of cultural rest, parks and squares, museums, etc.), which will allow you to reach an even larger audience. If the search doesn’t yield the right geo-location, you can add your geolocation via Facebook.
10. Create a guide
Guides or guides are a tool that allows you to combine up to 30 publications into a collection. This is handy for when you want to link posts on the same topic. You can also include other accounts’ posts if their privacy settings don’t prohibit it.
After creating the first guide, a separate tab with all the guides will appear on the page. Guides can be bookmarked, reposted and forwarded.
Example of use: you design interiors. You can create a compilation of interior design of small apartments or individual areas, such as the kitchen.
11. more stories
Post stories more often. Since Reels came out, stories have dropped a little in coverage, but they’re still popular. Users are so used to stories that pages without them (or where they are rarely posted) are perceived as abandoned. Such accounts may be less likely to be subscribed to. Some authors post storis every day or every two days. At a minimum, you should post at least a couple of storis a week.
You’re also advised to keep important posts up to date – then they won’t disappear after 24 hours. You can create entire collections of themed posts. For the sake of promotion, use a unified style for such sets.
Example: actual storis of interior design studio @cartelldesign, styled in the same way:
12. use Reels
Right now, Reels work on the principle of Tick-Tock by popularity set. This means that by posting Reels, you can attract new subscribers very quickly. Since Reels appeared in Russia recently (in mid-summer 2021) in the next year and a half you can count on a large number of video views. This is because Instagram is always actively promoting new features, and now it is also trying to compete with Tick-Tock. Now Reels is like Tic-Toc in the beginning, when you could quickly become popular and get a lot of free views from recommendations.
To promote on Instagram, Reels should not only be used by bloggers, but also by companies. For example, a construction company can use a short video to present a house built.
For Reels, you can generate both new ideas and take old content, and adapt it to the new format. The main thing is to shoot a separate video for Reels, and not just re-post content from Tick-Tock – Instagram threatens not to show such videos in recommendations.
13. Customize your store
Relevant for online stores. Connecting the store and shopping tags in Instagram will allow your customers to buy products directly from posts and storis (and soon from Reels). This shortens the path from product selection to purchase, thus increasing conversion rates.
That is, just surfing on Insta and getting a nice picture or storis can bring you a customer.
Example: store in the official Prada account:
14. Plug in quick replies
Quick replies are needed if you get a lot of single-type questions in your personal messages. You can use this tool to create multiple generic responses and instead of typing each time, respond with a template.
If you have a few messages a day, it’s not critical, but if you get swamped and even have a community manager working, it will help close a small layer of chore.
15. Set up frequently asked questions
A tool that echoes the previous one, and it just allows you to create a list of questions that the user can select when they first contact you. Something akin to a chatbot.
Useful in that if a person doesn’t know what to write or ask, they can choose a ready-made question to which you already have an answer prepared.
16. Hire a person responsible for promotion
If you are promoting a page in Instagram on your own, sooner or later you will need to delegate this task to others.
It is not always easy to find a good performer, so we have prepared a detailed manual – who is a specialist in promotion, what he does, where to look for him.
17. Take a course yourself
To promote Instagram or monitor the work of others, first of all, you need to thoroughly understand this issue yourself. Courses on Instagram promotion, as well as SMM can help you with this.
18. Start official advertising.
Targeted advertising is one of the most effective tools for promotion in Instagram, with the caveat that it is a paid method. The main thing that targeting allows you to achieve is an instant return compared to free promotion methods. You run an ad, and thousands of users will see you immediately. But, of course, it is important to set everything correctly, so ads are shown to the target audience, not everyone. For you, we’ve written an article about setting up targeting advertising on Instagram via Facebook.
To understand more about targeting, you can take a course – it will come in handy when setting up any targeting ads, not just Instagram.
If targeting is still too complicated for you, you can try with simpler advertising campaigns – running promotions in Instagram. There are minimal settings – GEO, interests, demographics.
19. Order advertising from bloggers.
You can find bloggers who have your target audience as subscribers. If the blogger has an influence on his audience and is an opinion leader, placing ads with him will be effective.
The nuances of advertising with bloggers:
- look not at the number of subscribers, but at their quality (activity, ability to pay);
- Placement with micro and nano-blogger can give more effect at a lower price than that of a millionaire blogger;
- the blogger can work out his own post/story for his own style of content, or take your ready version – discuss this point in advance;
- you should also discuss the issue of payment in advance – post placement, barter, payment for the result on the CPA model;
- you can search for bloggers manually (by hashtags, geolocation, recommendations) or through exchangers;
- Not all bloggers are fair game, so before you start cooperation, we advise you to check them for fraud;
- To collaborate more effectively and control the blogger, add him as a partner and create co-branded content with special tags.
20. Run a contest
Contests help to raise coverage, increase engagement, attract new subscribers, and increase brand awareness.
What you should consider before holding a contest:
There are one-time contests and there are marathons stretched over several days.
Choose a product or service as a prize that will be interesting for your target audience. For example, if you are a psychologist, you can raffle off a free consultation or book. A typical mistake with contests is to raffle off some iPhone and attract a non-target audience. In essence, you get a giveaway. The consequences of this – you get a large influx of untargeted subscribers to the day of the contest, and after the contest they begin to unsubscribe in droves. As a result, you ruin your stats.
Specify clear rules for the contest, such as being subscribed and leaving at least 1 comment under the post.
You can hold contests among customers, where one of the conditions is to buy a specific product or make a purchase for a certain amount. That way you won’t just get reach and subscribers, but real sales.
Using branded hashtags during the contest allows you to increase brand awareness online.
21. Increase your reach
To attract more followers, you need as many people as possible to see your content. Similarly, the rule of retention for old ones applies – the more followers interact with your content, the more often you’ll be flashed in their feed.
There are dozens of ways to increase your content reach on Instagram:
- Cleaning your account of bots (more on that below);
- Using interactives;
- Publishing all types of content;
- running ads;
- communication with the audience in the comments;
22. Protect yourself from possible blocking
It would be a shame to do promotion work and then get your account banned. To avoid this, you need to know three things:
- What Instagram can block an account for, and what types of bans there are;
- How to protect yourself from account theft and hacking. If you get hacked, attackers can delete all content or perform actions that will result in a ban;
- How to regain access to your Instagram account if you can’t access it.
23. Clear the account of bots.
We’ve already written above that clearing your account of bots helps raise your reach and improve your stats.
Why it’s important: Bots, massfollower, commercial and abandoned accounts don’t usually show activity on your page. That is, they just hang around dead weight. For Instagram, this is a signal that your account and content are not of interest to users, and this has a negative impact on promotion. In addition, such accounts don’t buy anything.
That’s why it’s more important to have active followers than the number of followers.
24. Create masks
AR mask in Instagram is a special filter that is used in storis. The advantage of this tool for promotion is that on the mask itself or in its name can be an element of your brand. Accordingly, if the mask goes viral and is used by a large number of users, other people will learn about your brand. An AR mask is a good tool for increasing brand awareness.
25. Conduct live broadcasts
Live broadcasts are necessary to retain your audience and attract new ones. During the broadcast, you can communicate with subscribers, answer their questions, show the process of work (for example, beatmakers make music live). This increases the audience’s loyalty to the author. If you post announcements of live broadcasts, advertisements, and joint broadcasts with other authors, you can attract a new audience to your account.
In addition, you can earn money during live broadcasts by getting donations, advertising, or selling products and services right away. A simple example is the authors of educational courses often lead live broadcasts on Instagram and YouTube, where they present information on the topic of the course in a stripped-down form. And on the air itself they offer detailed, paid training.
Live broadcasts can be saved in IGTV, where they can be watched by users who were not able to get to the broadcast on time.
26. Make ads offline
If you do TV and radio ads, you can mention your Instagram username in it and make a call to subscribe. If you’re ordering outdoor or print ads – add your username and QR-code to them. It’s also advisable to include a QR-code on business cards and packages of goods. People will be able to scan it on their smartphones and link to your account.
27. Hashtags for promotion
Hashtags help authors to systematize content and users to find relevant publications in Instagram search. And if your content hits the hashtags at the top, you additionally get extra coverage and the opportunity to attract subscribers.
A few hashtag tips:
- Don’t use too many hashtags below the post – canvases of tags don’t work anymore, 3-5 is enough;
- Tags should match the theme of the post and the account. If you just post trending tags, people will find your content by them and close because it doesn’t match their interests. Instagram’s algorithms will think that the content is of poor quality, and this will have a negative impact on promotion;
- create your own branded hashtag – so you can not only increase brand awareness, but also influence the promotion of the product as a whole);
- do not place too many words (no more than 3) in the hashtags;
separate elements in the tags with an underscore (alternative: concatenation).
28. Make a lead-magnet
A lead-magnet is a free useful material that can be “exchanged” for CA contacts or other purposeful action on their part.
A lead magnet can be a checklist, instructions, manuals, books, a mini-course, a free consultation, a product catalog, or a case study of a customer problem. For example, you offer your subscribers a checklist on weight loss. To get it they should write to you in Direct or leave an application on the site. In the future, you can make mailings to these contacts or immediately make a favorable offer at the stage of sending the lead magnet.
Example – you were contacted to receive a check-list for weight loss, you sent it and were immediately offered a 20% discount for a consultation with a nutritionist.
The value of a lead magnet can be more than just a quick contact. The material itself can be an offer. For example, a checklist can list dietary supplements and links leading to pages of these supplements in your online store.
29. Format testimonials
Testimonials increase the confidence potential customers have in you and your product. Often a person makes the final decision about the purchase after reading the reviews.
30. Strive to get into recommendations
Recommendations is a section in Instagram that shows content and users who match your interests. It includes posts, storis, accounts, and more recently, Reels. That said, Reels also has its own recommendation feed.
That is, you can be displayed in the recommendations of users who are potentially interested in your content and subscribe.
31. Services for promotion in Instagram
Instagram refers negatively to the majority of services with which you can run automatic actions, such as masliking, masluking, massfolloving, mailing and others. However, if you do not abuse them and use them competently (connect proxies, observe the limits), then they are very good helpers in promotion. Consider several useful services:
- Instaplus.me is a multifunctional service. You can run as a mass activity, set up auto-posting or do direct mailing.
- Leadfeed – a service that specializes only in direct mailing to Instagram. There is an autoresponder, multi-account mode, but the main feature is sending messages to open conversations. +The promo code POSTIUM will add 5 days to any tariff.
- Zengram – automated promotion service in Instagram: likes, followers, comments. Plus there is a set of additional services: parser, cleaning from bots, instatracker and spy.
- Bridgit.me is another online service focused on automating the promotion of an Instagram account.
- Tooligram is a versatile service with which you can make a newsletter, run activities, set up auto-posting and track comments. Free analytics on the account are shown and multilinks are available.
- Parasite is an online service whose main specialty is delayed posting. It is possible to set up scheduled postings, videos and even storis.
- Hipolink is a multilink service. In the free version, you can add one link, one social network and one messenger. On paid plans, the number of links, social networks and messengers is unlimited.
- Livedune – the service allows you to collect important information about an account and check bloggers for tampering. Monitors over 40 parameters.
- Trandhero – allows you to deeply analyze your profile and other people’s accounts, checks Instagram-bloggers for click-fraud.
- InstaHero – service for analyzing Instagram subscribers, cleaning from bots and garbage.
32. Scooping Subscribers
One of the easiest ways to get your first 100-1,000 followers is to simply tweak them. Here are a few services that allow you to do this:
- Bosslike – one of the most functional sites for sharing likes and getting followers on Instagram.
- LikeInsta is a site where you can gain Instagram followers without tasks or registration.
33. Analysis of the effectiveness of promotion of the account in Instagram
Analysis of the effectiveness of promotion of the account in Instagram involves the study of such indicators:
- reach (the number of subscribers who read the content of the post); views (the number of views of the post);
- profile views – the number of users who visited the profile page;
- user engagement (it is a measurement of the interest of the audience in the content of a certain type; formula for calculation:
- likes, comments, reposts, number of subscribers – 100%);
- number of clicks (people who clicked on the link in the header of your account)
- user actions (daily followers’ time on Instagram).
Promotion in Instagram involves a whole complex and, in fact, it should be done constantly. Use our recommendations to promote the account from scratch and with minimal (or no) costs. In the future, you can hire an employee and delegate some powers to them.