By Harneet Kaur
Image credit Hobo.Video
Who does not want to be a top Instagrammer with viral posts and videos and thousands of followers? Almost everyone! Be it a wanna-be model, a small business owner, a singer or an artist, everyone is out there looking for the perfect recipe that shoots them (and their profiles) to the stars. Seldom is it easy to post a couple of posts and get viral. It happens, but it’s rare. Building an Instagram base takes patience, a lot of time, and some skills. You’re targeting your audience, potential buyers and business connections. Hence, the image you portray on your Instagram should reflect your business, your values and what you desire to attract and achieve. Your IG will help drive your business growth in the future.
This article will help you gain insights on how Instagram works and how your content can work on it. Read on further to find out!
Instagram Statistics To Look At
Demographics provided by omnicoreagency.com come very handy when looking at what brands and creators need to look for when promoting their products and services. They also give a view into the reach content gets, enabling the creator to target a greater audience.
Instagram Content: Nearly 8.95 million photos and videos are being shared every day on Instagram. In the midst of such huge volumes of content being shared, your content, especially if it’s from a new or novice user, gets lost. To overcome this, and to stay ahead in the competition, your content needs to be unique, exciting and engaging.
Algorithms: Instagram algorithms help you to increase your brand and profile reach too. These internally curated algorithms target a post’s engaging capacity, it’s reach and the impressions it has got to push the post to the limelight. They also review the relevance, interest and timeliness of the post.
Product Discovery: more than 200 million users visit at least one business profile per day. This helps both the business and the shopper because according to omnicoreagency.com, 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram for product discovery.
Shopping Posts: shopping posts see a great engagement and reach with over 130 million accounts tapping on them to know and learn about products. Moreover, 50% of visitors visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product in Stories!
9 Worthy Tips To Spice Up Your Instagram Feed
As we read above, Instagram can be a great tool to kick-start your online presence and attract potential customers and networks to view and buy your product or services. It has emerged as a marketplace of ideas where everyone can take part.
Below are some tips worth trying out to enhance your posts and feed, read on!
1. Instagram Content Aesthetic
This might seem like a dismissable aspect, but aesthetic plays an important role in appealing to the eyes of your viewers. A profile’s aesthetic can be established by using a colour palette for the posts. This is especially helpful for informatics, demographic focussed accounts whose posts often include written content. Look below to see how Her Incredible Mindset used a pink and white alternate theme on their Instagram page.
It can also be done by using a consistent colour theme or a harmonious theme in photographs. Check out Black Robin Photography’s Instagram account. Their account reflects their business and their photography style with elegant photoshoots.
2. Instagram Content Layout
Another crucial factor in the visual appeal of your Instagram is layouts. Having a colour theme can be helpful in making the audience remember your content and be able to identify it from the numerous other content being added.
For first time viewers, they may find your content via the Explore tab of Instagram. If they like it, there is a good chance that they’d visit your page. Once there, your page has to make them scroll further and eventually hit the like.
The best way is to make the content impressionable and unique but also relatable. The subtle way is to organize your content in a synchronized manner, aligning your posts systematically to entice the brain. In the psychology of perception, systematic stimuli appeal to the eye. Rupi Kaur does this with alternate posts of photographic and illustrated content.
3. Engagement Through Stories
Instagram has a Stories feature where a story, something you share, stays up for 24 hours and then vanishes. It could be a photo, a post, someone else’s post or story, anything. The possibilities are endless on how you could use it for yourself.
Over the years, Instagram has kept updating and adding features to Stories. Using some of the recent features, you can ask your viewers a question and seek their feedback, conduct a poll, add music, shop stickers and Direct Message stickers to Stories.
Instagram stats show that reach and engagement increases a great deal if you’re actively using the Stories feature and engaging your audience through it.
According to HootSuite.com, 58% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.
Stories can also be used to do a mini how-to series. Be it cooking, baking, crafting, Stories eventually increase user interest in your content. One perfect example is Chrissy Teigen’s food account- Cravings By Chrissy Teigen where she has a dedicated Story Highlight for recipes she cooked and showed through Stories.
Ruth Gilmour uses stories to do a Q&A session regarding photography on Ruth Gilmour Photo Education .
4. Participate In Challenges
Another way to increase your engagement is by participating in challenges going on Instagram. Some challenges are related to the days of the week, like the famously and widely used #ThrowbackThursday and #MotivationalMonday. An occasional post related to these can work well with views.
However, there are some more uniquely and individually crafted challenges hosted by big accounts to kick start the creative process and in a way help up and coming, new accounts to garner attention.
Some examples of such challenges are Lauren Hom’s #HOMwork which challenges traditional and digital artists to come up with a post related to a weekly prompt.
5. Create Video, IGTV Content
Video content sees a greater engagement rate on Instagram than photos. And there are no limits on how it can be used. Just like IG Stories, videos can be made to show process videos, instructional content and even product descriptions!
The tiny difference between videos and IGTV is that the videos which go up on your feed can be just under 1 minute while IGTV videos can be longer than that. Hence a blend of a teasing post of what your next IGTV is being about would keep your followers engaged and anticipated.
Black Forest Wood Co. has increased their account followers in just a few years. The trick? Using process videos of their woodwork and resin art. They’ve now expanded their content into IGTV Series.
6. Reel It, Feel It
The newest feature added to Instagram is Instagram’s response to the widespread boycott of TikTok. Reels are 30 second or less videos that work amazingly to-
1. Spread your content impressions
2. Increase engagement
3. Show your niche
4. Help others learn
Every above thing happens in just half a minute! Hobo.Video is using Instagram Reels to showcase humorous, engaging and instructional content to millennials and Gen Z who are sure to love it.
Since Reels are a new feature, engagement rates increase through their use. That is, your profile is more bound to have an appearance to the audience if there’s consistent content being turned, or made into, Reels.
Artists, cooks, influencers, everyone is making Reels. Time-lapse videos are particularly popular along with the ASMR ones. Some of the ways through which content has been shared include:
Photography: Influencers like Courtney Randall and The Minimalist Model are using this feature to give posing and photography tricks and tips to girls to make their shots pop.
Art: Bianca Rosen and Kolbie have been posting mini process videos of making watercolour art in a quick way.
Food: Food accounts like Buzzfeed Tasty share food tips through reels by collaborating with other influencer and celebrity accounts whereas Chelsey White makes process Reels of her baking up delicious looking desserts!
Beauty: Instagram, being a hub for beauty bloggers, there’s no shortage of beauty content to be found. Beauty Blogger Charmie Janee creates product swatch and quick makeup look Reels which are magical. Blogger An Nguyen uses reels to share her tips about various products ranging from skincare, hair care and makeup which are audience-focused.
7. Clever Captions
Your pictures or videos are among the first things a user sees, your caption is the next. Every picture tells a story and the trick is to tell it in a fascinating, mind gripping way. Many times the caption goes on and on. There’s nothing wrong with it unless what you’re discussing requires it. But that should not be the case for everybody.
Your captions should be long, but not boring. Short, but not insufficient. Captions reflect your communication style, your interaction with your audience and that’s why they should not be offensive, vulgar or hateful in content. You should relay your thoughts to your audience using a polite, kind, humorous, witty and quality way.
Captions can contain a quote, a product description, something going with your life, a question of the day and whatnot. They can also describe your photos, be used for product teasers, upcoming events, countdowns and reviews.
Book Blogger Manon’s Instagram posts show how captions can be compact but also all-inclusive. She enables user participation by asking a Question Of The Day (QOTD) and after answering, asks for the user’s answers in her comments. Then goes on with a description of her post (usually a book review).
Beauty Blogger An Nguyen uses her caption space to illustrate her brief Instagram Reels. In a way, they give the audience a glimpse of what the content is about and they can know about it in detail by going to her posts.
Another sub-aspect of captions are hashtags. Instagram allows space for maximum of 30 hashtags per post. They increase searchability and reach. One thing to keep in mind is to keep the hashtags used relevant to the content. You can either use all 30 of them or a lesser number.
8. Conducting Giveaways
Giveaways are a great way to make a win-win situation for both yourself and your followers. They are a polite way to appreciate your followers and even make great leaps in your content engagement by generating organic followers and impressions on your account.
Giveaways usually consist of the host/influencer account giving something away to one or more of their followers. It can be a bundle of high-end cosmetics, niche accessories, art supplies, mentorship opportunities and even a bundle of to-be-launched books.
Entering into giveaways involves a follower to direct their friends to the host’s page by tagging them in a comment and liking the giveaway post, saving it and sharing it on their Stories. Winners are chosen by a random draw.
Niki Welch conducted a giveaway to promote her Nfinity Arts by Fibonacci paintbrushes when she reached the milestone of 1k+ followers.
Many influencer accounts conduct giveaways since they usually have a stock of sponsored stuff they received from brands, or they sometimes even collaborate with brands for this. This way, they can promote both the brand and themselves.
Manon conducted a 24 Days of Giveaway series during Christmas to giveaway books in collaboration with publishing houses and even authors themselves.
9. Behind-The-Scene Action
There are thousands of final result photos being added on Instagram. Whether they’re product launches, model looks, fashion collection, anything, each thing has a story that led from its conceptualization and the final result. And behind the scene shots are the perfect way to share those with your audience and let them take part in that journey.
Many brands like Chanel and Dior use Instagram posts and stories features to show b-t-s shots of them making lifestyle garments, products and fashion shows.
Instagram life looks extravagant, luxurious, happening and perfect. However, Instagrammers and influencers have taken an initiative to show the reality behind their posts.
Many famous Instagrammers are using Instagram-VS-Reality campaigns to promote body positivity. One such Instagrammer is Jamie Otis Hehner who shares her Postpartum Body Positivity posts to encourage new moms and those in their term to accept their bodies after such a life-changing miracle.
Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm is hard to keep up with and sometimes, people get too caught up in gaining followers and likes that they unconsciously sacrifice their talent and creativity. That should not be the case as your talent and creativity should never be dependent upon how well it is doing on Instagram.