Case Study: From 0 To 10k+ Followers On Instagram

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Today, I’d like to share the strategy that I apply towards reaching 10k+, up to hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram.

This will be an extensive post, as it covers almost every aspect of Instagram growth, including advanced mechanics that regard diverse reach sources.

As the 10k mark represents a desirable milestone in brands’ online presence and authority when it comes to their Instagram page, as well as for influencer that are aspiring to become brand ambassadors and make a living off their Instagram page as the main asset.

It’s a highly desired mark to achieve and as someone who has done it for several pages in diverse niches, both both individuals and small businesses, I’d like to share exactly how I do it:

1- Stick to one niche and only post niche-relevant content with viral potential: This is such a basic aspect, yet it’s one of the core elements that separates effectively growing pages and stagnated pages.

Make sure that you exclusively post content that is related to your niche and that has a high viral potential, regardless if you run a reposting page or a personal page.

Your page’s reach starts with your posts’ reach. Therefore, going for viral content is the best way of optimizing your content’s contribution for your page’s growth.

Here’s how to find viral content within your niche:

Find 10-15 large pages of your niche;

  • Analyze their last 20 posts;
  • Calculate the average number of likes of those posts;
  • Multiply that by 1.5 and you will reach the minimum value in terms of virality;

Any post that’s surpassed this value may be worth reposting, as it has proven to perform extra well amongst that niche.

If you are a content creator, here’s how to improve your posts’ viral potential:

Analyze the type of content that successful creators’ pages are posting;

See what type of content is performing the best for them and apply that into your page – recreate what’s working for them, without taking away your own originality, your captions, your locations, etc.;

Make sure that your content’s quality is aesthetically pleasing, as Instagram is a platform for showcasing highlights, therefore being a very graphic platform, which implies that your content should speak louder than your text.

If necessary and possible, invest in better film / photo equipment and learn media editing or outsource it. When you’re talking about bigger figures, in terms of followers, it’s fundamental to adjust to its requirements.

Experiment new ways of presenting your content. Try anything, from doing videos in different places, angles and times of the day. This can be substantial in regards to getting a reaction from your audience and adhesion to your posts, so that you’re able to have a clear notion of what works better for you.

It’s much about trying out different ways of producing content and experimenting dissimilar ways of delivering it.

2- Diversify and adapt your content format to maximize reach from various sources:

This is a very extensive topic, and it covers the basics in regards to sources of reach on Instagram and how to maximize reach from them.

Firstly, it’s important to retain that after you’ve built your audience to its first few thousands of followers, you shall proactively look for ways to captivate a new audience while keeping your current audience engaged.

The goal is to leverage as much reach and engagement as possible through your content and through a competent use of Instagram’s features.

In the following bullet points, I’ll explain exactly how you can do that.

That said, here’s how to maximize reach and engagement from home:

HOME

Publish content in diverse formats: This will extend the possibilities of your audience’s awareness for your content output;

Use Polls in your stories:This will allow your audience to interact with them, enhancing their engagement levels;

Reply to your dm’s: As you get in touch with your audience, your relationship will mutually deepen and you’re more likely to retain a loyal following base that won’t miss a post.

Incite your audience to turn on post notifications: This will make sure that they’re up to date with your posts and that they’ll know every time you post a new one.

The way you can keep your audience interested with your content and leverage high reach and engagement levels from “home” (people who are already following your page), is through being innovative with your content and versatile with its delivery.

Leveraging a higher reach and engagement levels from “home”, increases the traction that your posts register in the first few minutes after its publication, which directly contributes towards ranking on bigger hashtags or in the explore page, therefore being one of the main precursors of your posts’ performance.

That said, “home” is the pillar of your posts’ performance. If you can’t leverage a strong initial reach from this source, you’ll find it much harder for your content to be exposed to a wider audience, such as through the explore page.

See it as the “crowdfunding / kickstarter” of your posts, but in the form of engagement, of social proof for the algorithm to transform into more reach potential.

LOCATION

This is an underrated and many times forgotten feature of Instagram.

Through location, you’re able to leverage that extra reach that can play a massive role towards your posts’ overall performance.

This is a simple element, there’s not much to it.

Although, I strongly recommend you use it in your favor and maximize your reach potential by:

  • Setting location tags in your posts
  • Setting location tags in your stories.

As simple as it gets and, sometimes, as crucial as it gets – which is why I always advise using every feature that Instagram has to offer to your favor.

OTHER

I have already made a post regarding this source, although here’s what you should know about it, as well as how to maximize your reach from it:

It consists in forms of engagement such as saves, shares to story, people tagging each other in your post, etc.

The reach that comes from “other” is highly convertible to followers, meaning that it is healthy for you to leverage high reach levels from this source.

In order for you to optimize the reach from “other”, set up your content and its delivery in a way that privileges the type of interactions specified in point number 3, namely people tagging each other or sharing your content with their friends, for instance.

As a practical example, insert a CTA (Call To Action) in your posts’ caption that invites / encourages people to tag their friends / siblings / parents / significant others, etc. or for them to share your post on their story.

Do a market research or content research and see what type of posts do better in terms of leveraging reach and engagement from this source, as it easily converts to new followers, given its engaging nature, by its sense of community, which is an asset that almost every huge page has.

THE EXPLORE PAGE

Having your posts featured in the explore page isn’t an easy task, although it has a LOT to do with the aspects mentioned for “home”, “other” and “location” – because it is through maximizing reach from those, that you’re able to have your content in the explore page for up to 24 hours (as it usually refreshes for every user after such timeline – Instagram wants you to always be engaged with fresh content, so that they can also stay updated about your browsing patterns and interests – this is how they keep providing you with content that you find to be enticing on your explore page) – but this isn’t all:

Maximize your reach from “home”, “location” and “other” by applying the steps I’ve mentioned above;

Publish longer length videos on IGTV: The regular use of this feature benefits your page’s health score, and it’s the channel through which you’re able to post longer length videos on your Instagram.

This format is particularly convenient if you want to post tutorial videos or any sort of showcasing that justifies and requires a longer format.

IGTV videos have a limited featuring in the explore page, thus reposting viral IGTV videos enhances the likelihood of doing so, as they may not be featured as often, but when they do, their reach is usually WAY HIGHER than regular posts, for its exclusivity and lack of competition as it reaches the “throne” of the explore page.

These will be monetized soon, as there will be IGTV ads soon, so use these as much as possible - Instagram benefits users who entice its use.

Publish content in the carousel format: On the other hand, the type of content that currently has a wider featuring likelihood on the explore page is through the carousel format. You’ll probably notice that this is the content format that is more frequently feature in the explore page.

That said, variating between regular, individual posts and carousel posts will enable you to display more diversity of content output, while maximizing the likelihood of having your posts reach the explore page.

Instagram ads: These are one of the best methods towards targeted and fast growth.

If you’re willing and able to invest in ads, they will allow you to exponentially increase your page’s growth, while leveraging fully targeted growth, as through performing these on Facebook Business Manager, you’re able to segment your audience in terms of its age range, geographical location and gender.

The most exciting part, however, is that you’re also able to sort your audience by its interests and behaviors, exclusively narrowing it down to the keywords that resonate with your niche.

Instagram ads should be used as a boost for your page’s already increasing performance, so before using these, it’s fundamental to perfect your growth within Instagram.

Keep in mind that if your content doesn’t have quality or if for a number of reasons it just doesn’t resonate with your audience, there’s some fixing to do within your page before you adventure yourself through ads.

BONUS INFO TO RETAIN:

 If you’re stuck and insisting in one type of content format, while it isn’t providing the desired results (such as not hitting the explore page), then there’s some experimenting to do."> BONUS INFO TO RETAIN: If you’re stuck and insisting in one type of content format, while it isn’t providing the desired results (such as not hitting the explore page), then there’s some experimenting to do.

Don’t stay in the same lane if it’s not working – alter your strategy and your content delivery. Stop only posting feed posts in the form of a pic and start trying videos. Try with and without hashtags.

What I’m trying to say is: experiment and adapt to whatever works the best for your page’s specific case. Try until it works. If it simply doesn’t work for you, it’s because your page is rather harmed from past mistakes, your content isn’t interesting / entertaining / good enough, or you need help from someone who knows what’s going on with your page and get you on the right track.

How to get 10k followers on instagram

Many instagrammers want to become influencers or brand ambassadors. Although many of them aren’t willing or able to invest in their pages’ growth – or they don’t know how to properly invest their resources (time and money) in a way that allows them to save both, while leveraging very significant, game changing results.

As I mention in past posts, Instagram story ads are the most powerful tool that you can apply into your page’s growth, as they allow you to leverage a drastic follower-gain when performed effectively, as well as a quality follower-gain, in the sense that they allow you to segment your audience in an undisputed manner, through selecting its geo location, age range, gender, interests, behaviors, language, and more.

Performing Instagram Story Ads is an accessible way of leveraging a high follower-gain, as with just a few hundred dollars, you can increase your online presence tremendously, as shown below, which doesn’t happen with any other method (in my experience).

This is the method that I am using to reach my clients' goals.

I've been helping them grow as much as 10k followers per month, on average and, from then on, their game has changed.

In order to effectively perform story ads, there are 3 essential elements:

Knowing exactly what your target audience looks like

If you want to become a brand ambassador, it’s mandatory that you know exactly what audience-type you want to lock eyes with your ad and, consequently, with your page and what it has to offer.

Knowing what your ideal audience-type is, definitely consists in the very first step towards an efficient targeting, as you will have a deeper understanding of who should see your ad, so that no ad spend budget goes to waste.

Knowing where your target audience’s attention is at

This is what also separates a well performing ad and a waste of money type of ad.

Social Media Marketing is a business in which communication plays a pivotal role. That said, it is fundamental to know how to position your ad and how to speak your brand through it (and through your page, obviously).

Following this thought process, it is mandatory to know where your ideal audience’s eyes are most likely and actively at.

From here, you adapt your ad to it by setting the placements to manual (as automatic placements are, by default, the option that Facebook business manager provides you with), and select the placement that is more coherent with your ad format and your audience.

Knowing how to captivate your audience

Following point number 2, it’s essential to create an attractive ad that is likely to make the most out of your audience’s attention span, as the most natural behavior that is will have is to slide through your ad 2 seconds after they see that it is an ad.

People’s attention span is extremely short, and they usually are not on Instagram to be sold or to sign up for any specific cause. They are most likely there to see their friends and what they are up to, or just to have a laugh.

That is where good creatives come in handy. If you know how to set your ad in a way that counters this behavior, you’re maximizing the chance of maximizing link clicks and, consequently, page visits, which leaves your audience one click away from following your page.

Bonus Tip

When it comes to Instagram story ads, keep your text to a minimum.

Let your picture or video do most of the talking, as it must be attractive and compelling enough to lock your audience’s eyes and get their attention for more than 2 to 3 seconds.

What has been working the best for me is to simply add a question and a CTA, while adding a 8-10 second video that’s not static, but dynamic and aesthetically pleasing.

Hope this helps! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!

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