Instagram is a platform that has over 1 Billion users. That’s nearly a seventh of the world population.
No matter what niche your account fits into, the likelihood that there’s someone out there who is doing a better job with their content, who is more interactive with their audience and has a bigger following base is extremely high.
It is a platform that has such a tremendous level of competitivity that, in order for you to be able to make a name for yourself, it requires a lot of dedication, work, investment and, mostly consistency.
But it also requires something that is not in everyone’s reach: to be creative and innovative while producing quality content.
Creativity and innovation don’t necessarily imply that you must invent something.
It fundamentally implies that you do what most people aren’t doing, or willing to do.
And that is what will allow you to stand out in the platform.
#1: How To Stand Out From The Crowd On Instagram
Here’s how you can do it:
Proactively post video content
There are many so called influencers that don’t put themselves out there in any way that’s outside their comfort zone.
Essentially, they feel resistance towards showing their face or displaying their voice on their Instagram page. And that’s a huge part of what being an influencer consists of.
To influence people, you have to communicate what you stand for and what you believe in – that’s how you communicate who you are – which is what an audience is ultimately looking for, when it comes to a personal page.
So, if you’re confining your content output to static pictures or carousels, you’re missing out, and so is your audience.
You’re missing out on an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your current followers and to convert a new audience more easily into followers, and your audience is missing out on content that may resonate better with them and that allows them to know you better.
Diversify your video content output
Use your creativity as your ally.
Maximize the number of formats and corresponding stages that your Instagram video content can show up at.
Use IGTV to produce longer format videos like tutorials, or for storytelling purposes.
Use regular videos to provide your audience with a teaser of something that you’ve recently uploaded to your YouTube channel, or simply to showcase your regular content in a different manner.
Use Reels to share a series of highlights or a transitional content format.
Doing this will enable your content to show up in more areas of Instagram and to be spread throughout a wider audience.
Most people don’t do it and that’s why most pages lack organic growth – due to their lack of momentum, leading to a minimal reach potential, which leads to poor engagement and, consequently, poor growth levels.
#2: The Power Of Geotagging On Instagram
If you run a business that operates in a specific area, then make sure you are taking advantage of the Geotagging abilities of Instagram.
Most companies will operate within a specific location, so if you want to be found by new followers in that area, it is crucial to use geotags.
Geotagging shows each Instagram user your business address, category of the business, hours of operation, website, and phone number.
Pictures of the business and videos that other users have tagged in their images are also readily available to see.
Providing the most information to users will increase the chances that they’ll want to visit you! It’s a part of any intelligent Instagram growth strategy and will expand your Instagram audience.
To do this, simply add a Location Tag when creating a post. Your post then becomes searchable for that location. This used to be true for both Instagram Stories and posts, so geotagging both can be very valuable, although, you don’t need to do it on Stories anymore, as locations aren’t currently searchable on stories.
Go all in on the feed posts!
#3: The Shadowban: What It Is And How To Recover From It
The shadowban state is one which your Instagram account gets in when your reach through hashtags is severely minimized by Instagram.
When can you get shadowbanned, you may ask?
When inappropriate activity is being taken on your account and Instagram detects it.
In more practical terms:
- When Instagram detects botting patterns in your account;
- When Instagram detects posting that goes against their guidelines (such as nudity, drugs, sex, etc.;
How can you know if you’re Shadowbanned?
A shadowban is usually reflected by Instagram deleting one of your posts…
… Or when the Instagram algorithm detects that your account is disabled or very inactive (I’m talking about large months without any activity);
It’s important not to confuse slow growth with being shadowbanned. You may be having a hard time growing your following because your content and overall strategy sucks. Harsh, yes, but that may be the case;
For you to make sure that you’re shadowbanned, see if you can post hashtags and rank on them;
To be able to check this out, click one of the hashtags you’ve used and go to the “recent” section. If your post doesn’t show up there, it means that you’re most likely shadowbanned.
Now here’s the million-dollar question:
How do I get out of a shadowban?
Being shadowbanned isn’t the end of the world. Or of the Instagram world, rather. It usually takes about 14 days to completely get rid of it. It’s as if your Instagram page catches a severe cold and has a high fever. It sucks, but you will eventually get past it and the worst thing to do is to let it defeat your momentum and the hard work that you have been putting in to come this far.
It usually takes around 14 days to start getting ranked again on hashtags.
- If you are using any form of automation, put it to the side and run your account manually and organically as you would normally do.
- If you aren’t using any form of automation (yes, powerlikes do count), just post twice a day without using any hashtags.
- Be prepared to see your reach going down a lot, almost as if you had 500 followers again.
- Therefore, be patient and let the account “heal” itself like a crust to a wound.
Can I still grow and get descent results while shadowbanned?
Absolutely. You will still be able to leverage high reach from the explore page or from “other”.
You should still post content with high viral potential (I would go for viral vids when shadowbanned) and amp up those results by including engaging captions.
And here’s a final tip…
Learn how to play by the rules of Instagram so that you won’t ever get shadowbanned.
#4: Top 3 Misconceptions About Instagram Growth
Many people still see Instagram growth as this linear process of posting content that looks cool to them, plus using good hashtags.
This vision of Instagram growth rises a set of unrealistic expectations, which often leads to people quitting their goal of becoming influencers, brand ambassadors or building their brand on Instagram.
That said, here are several common assumptions that are erroneous and recurring in this strand:
The moment you hire a social media manager, you will leverage massive results overnight.
Instagram growth is a methodic process that takes time. It’s not uncommon that people’s expectations don’t correspond to the reality of what social media marketing is all about, and Instagram growth is no exception to the rule.
This process implies a deep understanding of your page or brand’s current situation and goals, as well as who your target audience is, and building a solid strategy that revolves around getting that audience to lock eyes with your page as often and as effectively as possible, so that this eye lock transits into growth.
The development of an effective strategy takes its time. It is the social media manager’s job to put it in place competently, and to make sure that the clients’ expectations are congruent with the results that one can provide.
There’s always a magic pill for Instagram growth
If you want to build a solid following base on Instagram, you should always aim for a targeted audience and you must be patient.
As Gary Vee often says, patience is a huge piece of the puzzle and it’s a big part of what’s missing in terms of perspective for Instagram growth.
So, here’s the harsh, yet obvious truth, when you decide to look at Instagram growth the right way – the way it is – there’s no shortcut or magic pill.
It will always involve time and money to grow your online presence on any platform if you’re willing to make something great out of it.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was anything worth building.
No matter what I do, it’s impossible to grow on Instagram nowadays
People often associate their lack of growth on Instagram to the algorithm.
I understand why, as it’s factual that it’s becoming harder and harder to grow on Instagram, as organic reach is more and more limited.
Although, it’s the same as blaming a low wage on the government, if taxes are enhanced.
It does suck, although there’s always a way of not being as trapped and depended on your taxes… make more money. It’s not that easy, I know. Although, even if that means creating a side hustle or saving up on superficial things that you don’t actually need, there’s always a way if you’re not in a disastrous position.
Same applies to Instagram growth, in a sense. As Instagram’s “government” – its algorithm – limits your organic reach more aggressively, you can do one of three things:
- Move to another “country” (platform) that has a “government” (algorithm) that allows a more organic reach, such as TikTok and LinkedIn;
- Complain and give up because you’re not willing to invest in the growth of your page;
- Acknowledge the situation and adapt by improving your strategy.
I took action by going with number 3 and I’m getting better results than ever for my clients, through refining their pages’ strategies and applying Instagram story ads, which is, by far, the most powerful method for targeted and fast growth that’s out there, when applied effectively.
If I can do it, you can do it too. Hope this was insightful! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!
#5: The Viral Content Formula
Regardless if you repost content or if you create it yourself, this post is for you…
People often confuse viral content with a piece of content that got an extra thousand reach from hashtags.
Viral content is that which clearly over-performs your average content, taking in consideration its engagement levels.
How to find viral content within your niche:
- Find 7-10 large pages of your niche;
- Analyze their last 15 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.
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 types of delivering it.
All the content that you search and use has to match your niche, otherwise it’s just incongruent and useless for your page, as your audience won’t know what to expect from it anymore. And if you want to set yourself in a certain niche, that’s not a good thing.
It will also damage your page’s categorization and credibility before your following base.
This may seem tempting to do, sometimes – if you enjoy a certain picture or video, or it has leveraged lots of reactions and popularity, you can eventually think to yourself that you should repost it for your page’s own good.
Even if that’s the case, don’t do it.
Think about how you’d react if a page you dearly followed for the kind of content that they post, posted a picture or a video that had absolutely nothing to do with it. You’d probably not enjoy it, as you didn’t “subscribe” for that.
That said, I insist that you always stick to your niche, if you take your page at least somewhat seriously and want to build a solid following base.
#6: The 7 Instagram Deadly Sins
On Instagram, there are several rules to be followed, and some can be as subtle as it gets, as they’re not written anywhere – they’re detectable through reference experience.
In this post, I will cover exactly what is preventing you from growing your Instagram account’s reach, and the strategies to apply in order to get your account from zero to hero.
Let’s call these “black hat strategies”:
We’re starting off strong! – This is the worst of all Instagram sins.
Many people use this as a shortcut to have a big following base or to have a lot of likes on their posts, although don’t take this route by any means.
This is the worst thing you can do to your page, as it may be deleted by Instagram – they’re very strict with any source of fake followers or engagement providers – or (at best), your page’s health score will drop massively and there’s no way that your page is getting back to its normal momentum.
What good is it to have 10k followers without any engagement? That won’t bring any good to your page, nor to your brand, if that’s the case that you’re trying to grow it through your Instagram account. It’s much better to slowly but steadily grow and be at 1000 real, loyal and engaging followers, than to have a fake, shady account that has no hope and no organic reach.
Not posting consistently
Yes, not doing something, is a sin on Instagram. Instagram’s algorithm “punishes” pages that are inactive, to the extent of shadowbanning them.
Why? Because it’s Instagram’s goal to keep people in the platform for as long as possible.
That’s how the platform stays relevant and that’s how people spend more time watching ads and more ads, and more ads.
And that’s why people keep spending money on ads, and more ads, and more ads.
Bottom line – that’s how Instagram makes their money.
And they have an algorithm that, among other things, monitors each account’s activity.
If you don’t post consistently, not only are you going against Instagram algorithm’s “will”, but you’re also not providing your audience with enough content to consume.
Using banned hashtags
This is a tricky one, as many people are not rather aware that this exists or aren’t familiar with the referred hashtags.
Using banned hashtags will cause severe damage to your page’s health score, which can easily translate into a shadowban.
In order to know if a hashtag is banned, apply the following steps:
Go to your Explore page;
Type the hashtag in the search bar;
If the hashtag page (at the very top) displays a short annotation about their “blocking” (hiding recent content due to community reports), then that hashtag is banned and won’t show on recent posts.
Using the same hashtag sets over and over
Not only will this harm your posts’ performance, as they won’t rank on bigger hashtags due to spammy behaviour that’s associated with constant hashtag set repetition, but it will also harm your page’s overall performance, as its health score will drop significantly.
Make sure to use different hashtags and hashtag sets in the space of 24 hours, otherwise, you’ll have a hard time getting that momentum back up again.
Also, you should use niche-related and post-related hashtags, therefore, you have to vary between hashtags in every post, as your posts aren’t the same.
If you’re applying the strategy of commenting in lots of big pages of your niche, and you do it abusively, you’ll become action blocked, which lowers your health score, temporarily compromising your page’s performance.
Many people do this as a way of trying to get attention from other people who are engaging with the post, and trying to get them to follow due to an eventual sense of relatability with the comment that they have submitted.
Posting content against ICG (Instagram Community Guidelines)
If you post content that includes sexual content, violence, drug use, alcohol, nudity, etc., your post will most likely get deleted and your page can become shadowbanned or even be deleted by Instagram.
You can check what kind of content you can’t post on Instagram’s Privacy and Safety Center.
Scrambling your niche categorization
See, if you post content about travel, food, cars, random stuff, memes, a selfie, your dog, etc., Instagram’s algorithm will have no clue which niche category to associate your page to.
Which pages do you see doing this the most? – That’s easy: Generic personal pages.
And what’s the usual follower / following base of a generic personal page?
Let’s be generous, yet realistic: 739 followers – 451 following.
You probably know hundreds of pages that show levels like these.
And it’s no wonder why they’re usually stuck at those levels.
If your page’s niche categorization is on point, your posts are more likely to be spread to a targeted audience whose pages have the same niche categorization – thus, are interested in the same of content, as they exclusively, or almost exclusively, interact with pages in your niche as well.
Getting your niche categorization on point is one of the key elements that enable you to increase your reach and engagement quality.
Avoid these at all costs and the likelihood of Instagram success will increase.
#7: 15 Big Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Instagram Page’s Performance
After years of experience with managing several Instagram pages of diverse niches, it’s not uncommon to observe people doing all sorts of basic mistakes that are ultimately ruining their Instagram pages’ performance.
The worst part is that, most of the time, people aren’t aware of these and of how harmful certain actions can be towards their page’s overall performance, from reach, to engagement, to growth.
In this post, I’ll go over the 10 main mistakes that I find to be the most common ones on Instagram:
These will make your page become action blocked, which reduces its health score, making it harder for Instagram’s algorithm to allow your posts to rank as high on bigger hashtags and to feature in the explore page, as your reach will decrease:
Deleting too many comments on your page or on someone else’s (commented by yourself);
Unfollowing too many of your current followers in a short period of time;
Interacting too much with pages that are out of your niche (damages your niche categorization, disallowing your content to reach your ideal audience);
Deleting posts – ALWAYS ARCHIVE your posts and stories, NEVER DELETE them;
The Instagram algorithm values pages that are consistent with their posting, which is no surprise, since their goal is for people to spend as much time as possible in the platform, which runs from user-generated content, such as yours or anyone else’s.
By archiving your posts, you’re not necessarily deleting them from Instagram. You’re deleting them from your feed / stories.
They will still be on your archive section, though, which rightfully tells the algorithm that it still exists, despite being hidden from your audience;
Liking too many posts or comments;
Commenting on too many posts;
Sending to many messages through the dm’s;
Following too many people in a short period of time;
Repeating the same hashtags consecutively;
These will make your page become shadowbanned or even deleted:
Sharing phishy links with anyone, being from your dm’s or via comments;
Displaying phishy links in your bio;
Every type of content that displays nudity or any type of sexual content, violence, drugs, etc;
Any kind of (excessive) automation;
The broad existence of fake input into your page, such as fake followers / likes / comments / reach / views, etc.;
Reposting content and not crediting the original page / creator, if reported by him / her.
#8: How “cameraphobia” Is Preventing You From Growing On Instagram
If you are an aspiring influencer, putting yourself out there and showing your face is a requirement, not a simple advice.
In fact, posts that showcase faces leverage 38% more engagement, on average, within the platform.
This number comes from the fact that people are on Instagram to see faces, to connect with other people.
And if you want to be an influencer, you have to get through this barrier that is “cameraphobia”.
A lot of people come to me asking for help, claiming that they’re content has quality and that they want to become influencers but don’t know what’s wrong, as their page is stagnated, not just in regards to its follower-gain, but also in what concerns its overall performance, which includes reach and engagement.
The most common reason for this to happen is that they’re not actually engaging or interacting with their audience.
They’re just posting static content. And you can’t expect to be an influencer if you just post static content, as you’re not really influencing anyone, except if you are a celebrity – in that case, you don’t even need this kind of content to create or establish this type of connection.
It’s not impossible to grow a successful page on Instagram without video content if you’re an influencer – don’t get me wrong – lots of people are able to do this. Although, statistics don’t lie, nor does your audience, when you register the way that they engage with video posts and regular pictures in which you show your face – yourself.
Many times, the only thing that’s separating you from success is yourself. Or the lack of it, in this case.
Put your shyness or your fears away and put yourself out there. Start with small things. A short Instagram story in which you just talk about a topic of your interest, or in which you ask a question to your audience, for instance.
Then, as you become more and more competent and at ease with it, extend your content production to your feed and, at a certain point, it will feel like nothing.
Hope this was helpful! Who here has “cameraphobia”?
#9: Instagram Niche Categorization
This post is about one of the most important characteristics of your page when it comes to Instagram organic growth.
Your page’s Niche Categorization consists in the niche category that Instagram’s algorithm puts your page under.
If your page’s niche categorization is on point, your posts are more likely to be spread to a targeted audience whose pages have the same niche categorization – thus, are interested in the same of content, as they exclusively, or almost exclusively, interact with pages in your niche as well.
Getting your niche categorization on point is one of the key elements that enable you to increase your reach and engagement quality.
How do I know that my page’s niche categorization is on point?
Simply check out your explore page. If only content that has to do with your niche shows up, then you’re good!
Essentially, it should look like a feed of a page in your niche.
What to do to improve your page’s niche categorization:
- Exclusively interact with pages that belong to your niche;
- Exclusively post content that is related to your niche;
- Exclusively visit pages that are related to your niche;
- Exclusively use niche-related and location relevant hashtags;
Make sure that your niche categorization is on point from the day that you create your page, otherwise your health score can be harmed and your page’s reach potential and, consequently, growth potential, will be severely compromised.
Benefits of effective niche categorization:
Having your page’s niche categorization on point benefits your page the following ways:
Your posts are more likely to feature in the explore page of people who are already interested in your niche, therefore in the type of content that you share;
Your content will be recommended to users that interact / engage with content pages which niche categorization is like yours (pages that exist within your niche).
In consequence, your reach and engagement quality will improve, contributing to a more targeted follower-gain.
#10: One Essential Instagram Quick-fix
After analyzing thousands of Instagram accounts, I still come across one very common aspect that is compromising many people’s Instagram pages in what concerns their SEO.
Yes – SEO applies to Instagram too.
It does in many ways, being that the one that I’m referring to, has to do with your Instagram page Name.
Don’t confuse it with your Username.
Your Username is the one that shows up on the top left corner of your page.
Your Name is the one that shows up on the bottom of your logo.
What most people do is set their Name the same as their Username.
If you’re doing this too, you’re wasting reach potential through “Profile”.
The reason for that is that Names are searchable. That’s right, Usernames aren’t the only element that’s searchable.
Try this: Go on your Instagram page, click on the search option (the magnifying glass), as if you were to check out your Explore page, and type a keyword that matches a niche that you’re into.
Let’s imagine that you type the keyword “Travel”.
What you will quickly notice is that many pages that show up as you scroll down, don’t have the word “Travel” on their Username.
But they still show up.
The most likely ones to show up first are accounts that you already searched for or have interacted with at some point.
But then, notice how you start finding several pages of all kinds of “sizes”.
The point here is that you’re only able to find those pages because they have the keyword(s) that you’re entering, in their Name.
In that sense, they’re enhancing their pages’ SEO by doing so – otherwise they wouldn’t be in position to be found by users who search for such keywords.
That being said, setting your Name as 2 or 3 keywords (depending on how many can fit) that match your niche and subniche is what you should be doing.
This way, when people search for the keywords that you’ve set as your Name, they will be (much) more likely to find your page, which ultimately enhances your profile visits (reach from Profile) and, as a consequence, your organic follower-gain in autopilot.
#11: Instagram Content Output Ideas For Personal Pages
Running a personal page is a lot about putting yourself out there and sharing who you are and what your lifestyle is about.
It’s about creating a connection with your audience, with the goal of letting them feel like they already know you simply due to the fact that they are avid consumers of your content.
That said, I’d like to provide you with several content ideas that you can apply to your page in order to keep its momentum while providing value to your audience:
Share before & after posts that showcase your work: By doing this, not only are you showing what you’re capable of, but you are also providing your audience with a realistic expectation of what they may expect from your work.
Share educational posts about your products or services: Through sharing this type of content, you’re able to position yourself as an expert in your niche and you’re providing value to your audience. The more you give, the more you get.
Share Client Testimonials: There’s no better way of becoming an authority than having other people claim how awesome you are at what you do. I always advise publishing video testimonials, as they provide a much more organic and personal touch to them.
Share your client’s use of your product or service: This differs from a testimonial in the sense that it provides a practical overview of how your communication looks like, as well as your clients’ onboarding process – fundamentally, what the process of working with you would look like. This is so important because it rises a sense of familiarity and trust around your business. It should serve as a way of creating a “If people are working with him / her already, I’d like to give it a try as well” thought process.
Sharing behind the scenes photos or videos in regards to your work: Just as with personal content, the reason why people are usually enticed to see behind the scenes content is that it reveals a more personal and raw version of people.
Your audience is much keener to keep in touch with this type of content as it’s more relatable to them, enabling a deeper connection with the creator.
Go live in your Instagram page: Even if you run a reposting page and never showed your face before – this is the ideal moment to do so.
This is also a great way of you giving back to your audience in the form of a free, yet valuable currency: attention.
By giving your audience the attention that it deserves – it is the core pillar of your page – it will feel valued and be much more likely to stick around.
Ask them questions that allow your relationship to be deepened, such as:
How they discovered your page;
What enticed them to follow your page;
What type of content they like seeing the most from you;
What type of content they’d like to see next.
This way, you can also capitalize on the information that you retain from the best possible source – your audience – and adapt it to their preference, if intended.
#12: Want To Become A Successful Influencer? Do This!
Many people describe themselves as influencers simply because they have somewhat of a following on Instagram.
But that they don’t realise is that for you to be an influencer, you have – as the name suggests – to influence people.
And just sharing pics of you and of your lifestyle here and there isn’t influencing.
It’s more like flexing or just showcasing yourself.
When I mention the word “successful”, I’m particularly referring to 2 elements:
Generating influence & Generating income
Let’s talk about each and how you can achieve them:
Influencing people isn’t about posting pretty pictures.
It’s about setting a trend and creating a real sense of community around your page.
Apart from celebrities that have made their way into stardom and set their trend and persona outside Instagram, the top-performing influencers are those who communicate with their audience on many different levels.
Now, ask yourself:
What’s more powerful? Sharing pictures and having a static feed, or sharing reels, videos, going live on stories and documenting your day-to-day life through stories?
This is what I mean when I’m referring to different levels of communication with your audience.
If you want to influence, putting yourself out there and letting you audience know you in a much deeper level is essential.
That’s how they will feel much more enticed to stick around and feel like they know you.
Have you ever had the feeling that you already know a certain celebrity or influencer, just by following them, despite not actually knowing them?
That’s what it comes down to.
Influencing requires familiarity, it requires trust.
It requires putting yourself out there and communicating yourself. Speaking your being forward.
And if you’re not building that with your audience, then you’re not an influencer.
You’re an Instagram user – that’s all.
Or, if that’s not enough for you, you can call yourself a “content creator”, which may be the vaguest description of a human being as possible. At the end of the day, if you create content, despite its niche, quality, and purpose, and you post it, you’re a content creator.
And, following that thought process, even my dear grandma is a content creator.
Despite this being a goal of yours through your Instagram page, it’s a relevant indicator of success, as to be paid for what you’re doing on your Instagram page, it generally means that you’re doing something right.
Taking in consideration what I’ve covered within the previous topic, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re much more likely to grow a wide following base and to leverage high engagement levels if you actively put yourself out there. If you create that connection with your audience.
The same applies to trust, as I mentioned.
And that applies to both your “regular” audience and to brands.
When a brand is looking for an ambassador, the person who’s in charge doesn’t just look for numbers – if they do, they’re not doing a great job.
They usually look for a good fit – someone that they can trust to be a proper representative, a face of the brand.
Numbers obviously matter, a lot.
And numbers, primarily, come from interaction.
If you post a short video in which you talk to your audience and ask them a question, you can usually expect much more engagement than if you post a static picture with a lazy or selfish caption.
Bottom line, putting yourself out there entices interaction.
Increased interaction creates trust.
Interaction also creates added reach potential.
Added reach potential improves engagement.
Improved engagement provides more page visits.
More page visits result in more followers.
More followers result in a bigger sense of community.
A bigger sense of community results in more attention from brands.
More attention from brands results in more brand deals.
This ends up being a big snowball, as everything you do on your Instagram page creates a compound effect, as briefly contextualized above.
So, moral of the story, if you’re not putting yourself out there and interacting with your audience actively, you’re not actually a successful influencer, nor can you expect to be so easily.
#13: 5 Ultimate Instagram Tips For Fashion Influencers!
I have worked with hundreds of fashion influencers, so far, and I have my 2 cents on how to go about building a really strong following base in this niche.
1- Optimize your reach from hashtags
Apply niche-relevant hashtags: Apply hashtags that are related and relevant to your niche. If you go for hashtags that don’t resonate with your niche, your results will most likely be mediocre, as Instagram’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) system won’t recognize the connection between image patterns (content) and associated keywords (hashtags). By only applying hashtags that are relevant to your niche, you’re also going to reach out to an audience that is more likely to engage with your post and, consequently, to follow your page, as they are interested in your type of content (that’s why they have searched for those hashtags in the first place).
Apply post-relevant hashtags: This will augment your reach and is ideal for attracting a local or national audience. Set location tags that are congruent with your post and its location tags and you will maximize the likelihood of an effective reach from the source “Location”.
The hashtags’ snowball effect: Apply a mix of small, medium, and big hashtags. The reason why this is so effective is that it’s easier for your page to rank higher on smaller hashtags on a first instance, as the level of competition on those is much lower than compared to bigger, more popular hashtags. As you rank on these smaller hashtags, you will already leverage a significant reach traction, which will result in a snowball effect around your post.
Allow me to explain – Instagram’s algorithm allows posts that are highly engaged with, to reach a wider audience, as it perceives it as viral content. The reason for this is because it is Instagram’s goal to keep users in the platform for as long as possible – that’s how their platform survives and prospers (their ads are all over the place these days, it even gets a bit overwhelming, but hey, that’s just how it is, they’re a business).
Apply hashtags manually and experiment again and again: You don’t need any software or automation to find great hashtag sets for your posts. What if one day those tools disappear or cease to work? It’s much more resourceful and worthwhile to get intuitive with your hashtags. The more you experiment, the best you will become at knowing what kind of hashtags you should use for any given post. It becomes this intuitive process that will ultimately occur naturally. After a few months, you will be applying hashtags on a no-brainer mode and you won’t even be surprised by your results anymore. It will become the norm.
2- Use Instagram story ads
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 behaviour 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, (2.6 seconds per story, according to a study driven by Missouri university), 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 good time.
That is where good creatives come in handy. If you know how to set your ad in a way that counters this behaviour, you’re maximizing the chance of maximizing link clicks and, consequently, page visits, which leaves your audience one click away from following your page.
That being said, when it comes to Instagram story ads, I strongly recommend keeping 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.
After all, Instagram is a graphical platform and there isn’t much room for text – this is why knowing how to showcase content and communicate within each platform is essential towards being a competent social media marketer or manager.
What has been working the best for my clients is to simply add a question and a CTA that portrays why people should follow your page, or what they can expect if they do so, while adding an 8 to 12 second video that’s not completely static, but dynamic and aesthetically pleasing.
Lastly, what has been working tremendously as to what the ad creative is concerned, is to add several pictures that portray an accurate and realistic overview of that the page showcases, so that when people click the swipe-up feature, they are much more likely to follow, as they see a loyal representation of what has been showcased in the ad.
Don’t “catfish” your audience – they should follow your page for what it showcases, and they will do so if it has quality or brings value to their table, if it matches or surpasses their expectations from what they’ve seen in your sponsored ad.
3- Make sure your strategy within your page is on point
This is an absolutely key point.
It’s as straightforward as this: If your content doesn’t provide any sort of value or interest, or if your page’s layout and overall aspect isn’t suitable for your audience, you won’t leverage drastic results and you will be making your ad spend budget go to waste.
Therefore, no matter how well set your ad campaigns are, if your strategy within your page isn’t on point, then address that first, and then run ads, otherwise it will just be counterproductive.
Ask yourself the following questions: If I were my audience, why would I follow my page? (Put yourself in their position). If your answer is truthfully convincing enough, then you’re good to go.
4- Double down on Reels
The regular use of this feature benefits your page’s health score, as Instagram privileges users who actively use their newest features, and it’s the channel through which you’re able to post short-length videos on your Instagram.
This format is particularly convenient if you want to post any sort of showcasing that justifies and requires a format that induces repetition and that endorses entertainment more than, necessarily, information.
Reels have a massive featuring in the explore page, therefore the likelihood of leveraging a high reach from the explore page through this type of content format is WAY HIGHER than for regular posts of any kind, for its exclusivity and dimension, as it occupies the “throne” of the explore page, thus providing an unprecedented reach potential.
It is a format that is particularly appealing for fashion influencers, as it’s fairly accessible to create high quality content in which you showcase yourself wearing different outfits on different scenarios – and this type of content is extremely powerful and has a high viral potential.
5- Make use of your creative strand
Creativity in your content producing and output is an essential asset for many content creators, and creativity is a characteristic that often defines fashion influencers’ success – the ones that are up there are usually extremely proactive, creative, and good looking.
Their feed is aesthetically pleasing – not simply because of the influencer in cause – but especially for the way that they plan out their content output and the way they curate it, in order to build an outstanding feed that makes a real impact and entices new visitors to stick around and become new followers.
Also, be diverse in your content output, but use your feed as a way of showcasing you at (almost) all times. Posts that feature your face, your body – a person – usually perform much better than posts that just feature a piece of clothing.
Use stories to interact with your followers and new audience, ask them questions, ask them about outfit preferences, shops that they can buy fantastic clothing at, for instance.
Tell them about the fashionwear that you just bought, how great it looks, and showcase it in video format, with and without you wearing it. Let them know the materials, the price, etc.
Be entertaining, relatable, informative, and inspiring.
Successful fashion influencers are the ones that apply all of these consistently and with expertise.
Hope this was insightful! Feel free to tag a fashion influencer or aspiring influencer.
#14: Let’s Talk About Igtv For A Moment
As everyone probably knows, IGTV is the less popular “step-child” of Instagram Stories and has had mixed success so far on the platform. However, it is worth considering as a way to grow your video content. It’s shown that video posts receive nearly 40% more engagement than images alone.
Think of IGTV as a YouTube built into Instagram. It uses video to compliment the functionality of the phone and is given extra press whenever an IGTV episode is published.
If you are creating video content, then consider cutting or re-purposing content for the IGTV platform as it will become more relevant in 2021 and beyond. Instagram has invested heavily in the platform (IGTV even has its own individual app), so we are likely to see growing engagement in 2021 and beyond.
After all, Instagram is proceeding towards becoming a platform that emphasizes video content as the preferred or more predominant format.
Another tip: be sure to promote your IGTV videos with Instagram Stories (Instagram allows you a link to do this). This is a great way to grow interest in the videos by showing small snippets of them through your stories.
#15: “How Often Should I Post On Instagram?”
Reposting Pages – Feed Posts
First and foremost, it’s fundamental to understand that quality must be your main standard, as opposed to quantity, when it comes to running a reposting page.
Performance-wise, in my experience, posting just once a day at a peak timeline is ideal, as you will be able to get the most out of that post. Posting daily is enough for your page to maintain a healthy momentum in the eyes of the Instagram algorithm.
Posting twice a day may ruin your first post’s momentum if it does perform well. If it doesn’t, then you may give it a chance to post another one and see how your audience reacts to it.
Keep in mind that you shall always use different hashtag sets to your posts, otherwise you may get action blocked or shadowbanned, which strongly affects your page’s health score negatively.
I also recommend posting at least 1 Reel for every 2 static posts, as it’s a viable strategy at the moment, because it enables your content to spread throughout different audiences in different features of Instagram. It also contributes to a more interesting feed and diverse content delivery.
Reposting pages – Stories
For what concerns reposting pages, I’d recommend sharing 3 stories per day at a maximum. Stories should serve as a way of entertaining your audience and showcasing a secondary type of content that doesn’t necessarily feature as a highlight – leave that to your feed posts.
Remember to add polls, quizzes and location tags in your Instagram stories.
Make sure you always tag the author in them as well, for a chance of getting a response from them, which improves your page’s health score.
Personal pages – Feed posts & Stories
For personal pages, it may not be as easy to post daily, especially if you’re in a niche that involves going outside for content creation, due to the current circumstances we’re all living in. Although, you can always post content that showcases a more authentic or personal side of your life or of your niche.
Posting once every 2 or 3 days on your feed is completely fine, as you should take this time to deliver content via Instagram stories and step up your game in that sense. Through stories, you’re able to interact with your audience (and to allow them to do so), in a much more personalized manner, while showcasing a more real and personal side of your page, including your day-to-day life while at home, sharing tips to apply while in quarantine, doing Instagram live sessions, asking questions to your audience or letting them ask you questions, etc.
Although, if you really want to maintain your focus on your feed and want to keep posting daily, here are some tips that may be useful:
- Post throwback content;
- Repost viral content of your niche, as long as it’s congruent with your page;
- Post leftover content that you saved and never posted;
- Tell stories about real life events that happened to you or to someone you know;
- Do collabs;
- Experiment! There’s no better time to do it than now.
#16: How To Close Your First Brand Deal In 5 Steps
I am often surprised at the amount of people that run pages with a significant following base in diverse niches on Instagram but aren’t monetizing them.
Brand deals don’t just happen to people who run pages with a huge following base – there are many more elements to it, such as timing, engagement (this one is pretty key), your audience’s characteristics, your page’s layout, your niche, your posting frequency, among many others.
If you haven’t closed any brand deals and are having a hard time doing so, here’s the plan of action that has been working wonders for my clients, enabling them to earn a comfortable living through these:
1- Grow a significant following base
There’s no right answer when it comes to what number of followers is enough to close your first brand deal.
Most people would claim that it’s the 10k mark, although, I’ve had many clients who closed their first deal at 5k, 6k and even 1k to 2k here and there.
Quality is definitely more important than quantity, although you absolutely must have a somewhat significant following base, otherwise you won’t have a proper audience to showcase the brand’s product or service to.
I’ve made dozens of posts on Instagram growth, so feel free to search for those, as they’ll guide you towards accomplishing it.
Alternatively, you can also access my Instagram growth course, in which I coach exactly how you can grow 10k+ followers per month, with practical examples from clients of mine.
2- Build an engaged audience
If you already have a significant following base, one of the main reasons why you haven’t closed your first brand deal yet may be related to its engagement levels.
This implies both stories and feed posts.
Engagement is the main indicator of a page’s “health” or quality, therefore it isn’t surprising to know that it is the second aspect that brands look at, when analysing if your page is a good fit for them or not.
Right after they look at your layout and number of followers, they will see if your engagement levels correspond to that amount of followers in a matching way. In a way that assures them that the page is actually what it looks to be.
It’s way too easy to spot a page with fake followers these days and the most obvious way to do verify it is through studying its engagement levels.
Now you may ask, how do I improve my engagement levels?
I’ve also made several posts regarding this topic, but here are the main takeaways:
Engage with your audience (Engage to then be engaging), by replying to comments and dm’s;
How many times do I see this happening… so many people post stories on a daily basis and almost never use Instagram’s features on their stories.
Make sure to use Instagram’s features in your stories for enhanced reach potential and to entice engagement (Polls, Location Tags, Quizzes, DM, Question), etc.
You don’t have to do it on every story – be calibrated. Use it when it makes sense – when it adds value. Because if you barely or never use it, the only action that your audience can perform is scroll through them or reply to them.
Which is way too short on an engaging and on a creative standpoint.
– Produce engaging captions and add CTA’s (Calls To Action), to complement your posts’ (as it should be) already engaging strand. This will add an extra layer of interest on your posts and will welcome people to participate, to join the party.
If a brand sees that you have an engaging audience, they will feel safer and better about investing in it. Remember – this is an investment for them, not a favour that they decided to do to you. It’s a transaction. Their products or money for your audience’s attention and trust.
3- Stick to your niche and don’t undersell yourself
If you’re sharing content that goes all over the place in terms of its niche category, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
And that applies to your page’s niche categorization, which is a huge part of its organic growth, as well as to how brands will perceive your page.
If you share content about cars, food, travel, fitness, skincare, and whatever else comes to mind, you can’t expect to close any brand deals whatsoever, as your page isn’t fit to any niche category, nor will your audience be.
Brands want to put their money where the right eyeballs are and, if you stay in your lane, by posting content that resonates with your niche, by staying committed to it, you will leverage more – and better – brand deals, as they will be the right fit for you, the creator, for your audience, as it will be of their interest too.
Last but not least, don’t accept any little brand deal that may come your way.
You may be asking yourself “But I should start somewhere, right?” Yes, that’s right.
But somewhere isn’t anywhere.
Remember: It’s your page, and it certainly took time and dedication to grow an audience with it. It’s your face, your personal brand’s image, and credibility that’s at stake.
Surely, it’s worth more than a pair of cheap jeans or a cheap iPhone cover, just to state a few examples of what you see around quite frequently.
I know that it may sound like sugar on your lips while you’re on a diet, but are you in this for the long run, or the best that you want to take out of this and deserve are a few items that you could just easily buy yourself?
Make sure to position yourself properly and, as the great Dr. Jordan Peterson would say, “stand up straight with your shoulders back”.
Settle for no less than what you actually deserve. And if you’re not getting that yet, keep working and investing until you do.
4- Have a strong presence on other platforms, such as YouTube and Clubhouse
This will not only enable you to be found by brands in other platforms, as you are fundamentally expanding your social media presence, but it will also provide them with a much higher understanding and feel of what you’re about, as an influencer, as a personal brand and as an individual.
A presence on YouTube and Clubhouse is and will be very appetizing for brands, as it provides a much clearer notion of what they can expect from you as their eventual brand ambassador.
You will have a much stronger voice upon their choice.
5- Master your outreach
Essentially, and, as you may have understood by now, you preferably want brands to reach out to you, and not otherwise. It’s a matter of authority and it also plays an important role on a sales’ perspective.
Although, you’re obviously a tad more likely to close your first brand deal if you reach out to brands proactively – at some point, some will say yes to your conditions.
For that purpose, it’s fundamental to have an outreach method that is as effective and converting as possible.
I have created a document called Brand Collaboration Secrets in which I guide you step-by-step through what brands want from you, how you should reach out to them, with practical, highly converting email templates that you can use yourself to do outreach, and how to calculate your page’s value-per-post, so that you know how much you should charge per post, taking your following and its characteristics in consideration.
#17: The Ultimate Instagram Engagement Hack
One of the main struggles of Instagram users these days is to enhance their engagement levels, as Instagram’s algorithm is more and more strict in what concerns organic reach.
In this post, I’d like to talk about one of the methods that I apply for my clients’ Instagram pages in order to completely revolutionize their posts’ engagement levels.
That method has 2 parts:
Part 1- The Performance Within Facebook Business Manager
Facebook business manager is a tool that provides the capacity of creating advertisements that can reach thousands, millions of people.
Here’s what you’ll want to do through your Facebook Business Manager:
Advertise your posts to your ideal audience.
It’s fundamental to know how to properly do so:
Set “Engagement” and “Post Engagement” as your ad campaign’s marketing objective;
Segment your audience according to your ideal geographic location, gender, age range, and then select 1 to 3 keywords that match what’s being showcased in your post, specifically.
It’s very important to understand that ads that are designed for engagement have to regard each post when it comes to segmentation, whereas ads that are designed for growth have to regard your page as a whole, making it very specific to your page’s niche and what it has to offer;
Select the post that you want to advertise (you should have this in mind prior to the segmentation, obviously).
I’ve been performing and teaching hundreds of clients on how to apply this method effectively, and the example given down below is just one out of the hundreds of ridiculous engagement improvements that this method provides.
Part 2- The Performance Within Your Page
Meaning, how well you use Instagram’s features to organically maximize your post’s reach.
Here’s an overview of how you should use Instagram’s features one your post:
Use hashtags (the way I’ve mentioned already in other posts and videos);
Use location tags to enhance people’s likelihood of finding your post through searching for the location that you set in your tag (yes, locations are searchable through posts and stories). You can check it out by:
Going to your explore page (the little magnifying glass icon on the bottom of your screen within the Instagram app);
Click on the search bar;
Click on “Places” on the top right corner (the last option);
Search for any location;
Now think about it: anyone who does just what you did, may find your post on the “top” or “recent” section.
This will only happen if you use a location tag.
Otherwise, you’re missing out on extra reach.
Be creative with your caption as it is a fundamental part of your post. It should complement it. That’s how you will communicate your post with your audience, on a deeper level.
That’s it. There’s no need to over-complicate your strategy. Just stay faithful to these steps and your posts will leverage an unbelievably higher reach and, as a consequence, engagement.
#18: Don’t Be The Sheep On Instagram
If it’s true that following trends may still provide you with results, that was much more the case a few years ago, once reposting or recreating viral content was the most common way of leveraging a higher reach potential, namely through the Explore Page.
This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work anymore, because you can easily see this pattern and subsequent results.
These days, though, the type of content that wins and that will keep winning in the long term is fresh, original, and unique content within the platform.
Why? – Because it’s rare.
Observe the content you see through Reels on your explore page, no matter what your niche categorization is.
The likelihood of it being always kind of the same thing over and over again is extremely high.
And with that, you may ask yourself “Well, if I see it a lot, then it has to work, right?”
Not necessarily. Reach doesn’t always equal conversion to followers.
The fact of the matter is that reposting and recreating content has its place on Instagram (a bit too much, honestly, eh?), but it’s not a viable strategy in the long run.
The best example of this comes when you observe the kind of content that is being shared in some of the most competitive and “populated” niches, such as the travel niche, for instance.
The pattern is almost always the same:
Reposting pages posting pictures of generic travel hotspots
Sub-niched reposting pages posting pictures of just beaches, or just sunsets, or just hotels, or just of a certain city or country.
Point is, if you want to attract a new audience and retain a large following base over time, you must break this pattern through your content output.
Here’s how you can do it:
Produce content in different formats
This will enable you to amplify your presence on the platform, within different areas of it, enhancing your content’s reach.
For instance, if you share content in the format of an IGTV video, a Reel, a static picture and also put out content in your stories, you will be spreading it throughout all these different areas of the platform, which implies that you it will be more likely to be seen, to be engaged with, by both your current following base, and by a new audience that is all over the platform.
Don’t post what everyone else is already posting
This (obviously) mainly applies to personal pages. Don’t try to follow a trend – build yours.
Many people perceive trends as this series of sensations or actions that became popular overnight.
And that happens from time to time – that’s what going viral is about.
But is it enough to create a trend? Usually not.
So, in order to build a powerful trend within your niche, it has to come from you, it has to be your trend.
And they way to do it is through standing out from the crowd.
And in order to stand out, your content has to be outstanding.
Outstanding doesn’t necessarily mean of the highest quality.
Sometimes, it means different, irreverent, outside the box. For whatever reason. But mostly, it means original and authentic. That’s what attracts an audience and makes them feel like they already know you just out of constantly consuming your content – which is one of the most powerful forms of impact you can have through your audience.
Add your trademark elements to your content – present it in an original manner. Study why some people are successful with their Instagram pages and try to figure out what they’re doing that’s unique, that’s allowing them to stand out.
And go all in in what you’re good at and passionate about – that will make everything flow, it will be a natural process and you will be excited about going your own way – and have others start to follow you on your own trend.
Stick to it and improve it over time
Everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Look at some of the biggest creators in the world. Doesn’t have to be on Instagram. Let’s talk about Good Mythical Morning; Casey Neistat; Cody Ko… their content wasn’t outstanding in the beginning of their journey.
They maintained 3 extremely important features about their content, though, which played (and still do) a pivotal role towards their success: consistency, authenticity, and innovation.
The same applies to successful Instagrammers.
Trends can be about an opening that you have, such as the “Let’s talk about that” from GMM, a popular phrase such as “Mr Struggle” from Cody Ko and Noell Miller or “Let’s get those miles” from Casey Neistat. These simple things add up and create these kinds of inside jokes within their community, allowing their audience to feel a real sense of community around the creator(s).
Stick to your niche, if you’re passionate enough about it, consistently produce content and share it, do it in a way that stands out, and take your audience in with you – they should be the main reason why you’re putting out content, so treat them as such.
#19: Good Hashtags + Viral Content = Recipe For Success
In this post, I will share an example of how to maximize your posts’ reach and, consequently, your page’s growth.
This post was published when the account in analysis was at 8.4k followers.
Here are the two methods that I use in order to obtain such results:
Viral Content Strategy
As this case refers to a reposting page, the process of selecting the content to post inhabits in doing a market research, or how I like to call it, to simplify, a content research.
A content research is performed by studying the content that some of the top performing pages of your niche post. The goal is to observe what kind of posts perform better for them and to repost those on your page, as long as they resonate with your page’s subniche.
The reason why this strategy works so well for reposting pages is that these pieces of content are already proven to perform well, be it for their impactful context, be it for their aesthetic or interesting nature.
However, the fact that a certain piece of content performed greatly on a certain page, doesn’t imply that it will perform as great on yours.
In-Depth Hashtag Strategy
A lot of people struggle with hashtags, which is normal, as hashtags aren’t a very linear, exact science. That said, there are certain action patterns that lead to better results with hashtags.
But first, let’s break some common misconceptions (as I already did in other posts, but I can’t stress this enough, as it’s so key):
“Using the same hashtag sets for different posts is a good strategy, it saves you time and it works.” WRONG ❌
CORRECTION: If you use the same hashtags / hashtag sets for each post, Instagram’s algorithm will perceive this action as spammy, which may lead to your page becoming shadowbanned or action blocked, at best. Keep in mind that this applies to any overly repeated action within Instagram.
“If certain hashtags perform well on a post, being it mine of any other page’s, it means that they will perform well on any post.” WRONG ❌
CORRECTION: Hashtags’ results are different for every page and every post, as each page displays a certain momentum – a certain growth or engagement level – which affects its overall performance.
That said, a post from a page that is growing effusively will most likely perform a lot better than a post from a page that is stagnated in terms of growth, while both use the very same hashtag set.
“If I only apply huge hashtags, I will get a lot of reach from them, as more people will see my post from them.” WRONG ❌
CORRECTION: Remember those “#instagood”; “#amazing”; “#ootd” hashtags? At some point in time, everyone though these hashtags were the thing. That these would be the ones to bring you the brand new ten thousand followers that you’ve dreamt about, as they have millions to billions of publications associated to them. This is probably one of the most common misconceptions and mistakes that I see people doing with their posts.
Here’s what I did in this post
I applied niche-relevant hashtags:
If you go for hashtags that don’t resonate with your niche, your results will most likely be mediocre, as Instagram’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) system won’t recognize the connection between image patterns (content) and associated keywords (hashtags).
By only applying hashtags that are relevant to your niche, you’re also going to reach out to an audience that is more likely to engage with your post and, consequently, to follow your page, as they are interested in your type of content (that’s why they have searched for those hashtags in the first place).
I applied hashtags that are relevant to the location that this post displays:
By placing a location tag in your post, as well as applying hashtags that resonate with your post itself, you will leverage substantially better results with your post maximizing its reach. This is also great when it comes to reaching a specific audience for a local business, for instance.
Hope this was insightful! Feel free to leave a comment in case you have any questions!