Instagram can be a highly targetable, instagram follower’s visual marketing channel for your brand and an opportunity to build a loyal audience that grows with your business.
In fact, over 500 million Instagram users browse the app every day, making it home to some of the most engaged audiences around.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to grow your Instagram follower profile and increase engagement, while growing a massive following over time—one that’s full of real fans, not bots or fake followers.
Reels are fun videos you can share with followers on your Instagram account. They have audio, effects, and creative tools. You can share them on your feed and publicly in Explore to reach new audiences.
Reels are new territory for brands. Instagram’s beauty partnerships manager, Kristie Dash, stated in a Glossy forum that Reels are still a relatively new way to publish content, and there isn’t one formula for success. But, she does suggest the following tips to gain traction:
Keep content unique and trend drive. Identify trends on Instagram and TikTok and put your own spin on it. This increases the chance your Reels will go viral and get in front of new people.
Make content relatable and simple. Not every Reel needs to be a production. Lower quality videos can perform the same, if not better, than highly produced Reels.
Educate your audience. Find the balance between education and entertainment in your Reels.
Social media marketing agency owner Trilce Jirón Garro, of TBS Marketing, agrees. “Don’t sell your products through Reels content. Share facts. Provide tips about the industry you’re in. Entertain viewers,” she says.
Trilce suggests that both new and existing brands incorporate entertaining Reels into their Instagram strategy. “Reels give anyone the opportunity to reach new target audiences. There’s no learning curve because Reels content is lo-fi. And creators can produce community-driven content that builds trust, gains followers, and makes sales over time.”
Trilce also loves the Instagram Insights Tool introduced for Reels. “Reels have become an integrated part of any Instagram marketing strategy. Analytics tools for Reels has made it easy to track metrics and analyze data to see if your Reels are working. Now, you can understand exactly what your audience likes and dislikes, when to post Reels, and what calls to action resonate with viewers.”
Using Reels Insights, you can see patterns and understand different spikes in engagement that affect your visibility on the platform. That way, you can create higher-quality content that gets even more engagement and followers.
Cross-promoting involves posting similar content across various social media channels. It’s a tactic used to save time and resources. It’s also effective at increasing brand awareness and growing an audience on Instagram.
Mobile users are spending an increasing amount of time with video and entertainment apps, with video content on social media platforms accounting for the biggest increase. Whether it’s a short-form video or lengthy tutorial, you want to improve the reach of your Instagram content.
Justin Bieber’s holiday dance challenge is a great example of successful cross-posting. During the 2020 holiday season, the Canadian singer posted the same dance challenge on both TikTok and Instagram. On TikTok, his video short received 9.8 million likes. The same content on Instagram received 4.8 million likes. He was able to get in front of more people just by posting the same video on two different platforms.
Nadya Okamoto, founder of lifestyle period brand August, has found that TikTok naturally cross-pollinates to Instagram and YouTube. She says in an interview with Modern Retail, “As we’ve grown on TikTok from August, we’ve also grown to 175,000 followers on Instagram.” Actively posting on multiple platforms has “affected our overall cost of acquisitions to be super effective,” allowing the brand to steer away from paid media as a main acquisition channel.
TikTok isn’t the only channel you can cross-post on. The Instagram Reels format translates well to YouTube Shorts and Pinterest Stories. It’s important to note that Instagram’s algorithm won’t promote Reels that have a TikTok watermark. So if you’re going to cross-post content from Instagram to other channels, ensure the content is high quality and doesn’t promote a competing platform through watermarks.
Most of your followers won’t follow you for what you posted in the past but for the promise of what you’ll post in the future. Your audience wants to know what they’re going to get if they hit that Follow button.
Having a feed with a consistent theme and a consistent posting schedule can have just as much of an impact in growing a following as many of the other growth strategies we’ve covered above. Even a simple pattern can entice new followers, as long as it’s communicated at first glance to anyone who lands on your profile.
Consider your Instagram bio and your last nine posts as your first impression on Instagram. Do they effectively communicate some degree of consistency through personality, filters, colors, or layout? Does the clickable link send people to the same homepage every week? Or are you linking out to fun and exciting content too?
The layout of your grid is an often underestimated way to get creative with the aesthetic of your feed while adding a rhythm to your publishing strategy and consistency that’s worth following.
In fact, many accounts that adopt this approach are often able to spend less effort on creating content by focusing on converting visitors into followers, producing text graphics or other content with a faster turnaround, and streamlining the overall production of their Instagram content.
Don’t want to pay the celebrity influencer big bucks to market your brand? Works with brand ambassadors who have anywhere from a couple hundred to a few thousand followers. Ambassadors are people who genuinely support and believe in your brand and will tell their friends about it.
Luxury shoe retailer Sarah Flint reports seeing success with its brand ambassador program, which has over 500 women. Each ambassador has their own unique discount code, which gives them a free pair of Sarah Flint shoes after five new customers use it.
Ambassadors like Holly Hollon attest to the quality and comfort of the brand’s shoes. Her posts are authentic and relatable to regular Sarah Flint shoppers. This helps the brand grow its Instagram following and earn sales.
Retailers are increasingly launching loyalty programs, repeatedly encouraging consumers to shop with their brand over another. It’s worked for brands like Sephora and Blume. One way brands are capitalizing on loyalty programs is by rewarding those who follow them on Instagram.
When luxury retailer Rebecca Minkoff launched its rewards program, RM Rewards, it gave shoppers the option to earn points by following the brand’s Instagram account. Brands like Blume are also finding the value in rewarding Instagram followers. Program members can earn Blume Bucks for becoming a friend on Instagram versus Facebook or Twitter.