Instagram has come a long way since its first post by Kevin Systrom (@kevin) on July 16, 2010. In 2020, this social giant is now the home of visual media. Suffice its to say, Instagram has won our hearts, advertising dollars, and our time. Quite frankly, everyone these days is “Doing it for the Gram”. There is no better time than now to grow your Instagram in 2020.
At Ampfluence, Instagram marketing is at the center of everything we do. This is why it’s so important for us to outline the smart path to growing your Instagram account in 2020. Because we don’t just talk about Instagram growth, we do it for ourselves and clients daily. More importantly, the landscape has changed so dramatically that today’s Instagram is no longer the same Instagram you experienced in 2017. So let’s dive deep into how you can grow your Instagram account in 2020.
Instagram Growth in 2020
To promote your product(s) or brand on Instagram, vanity metrics have always been the driving force behind the gram. The number of Instagram followers and likes per post defines the power of any digital influencer. Essentially, the more followers you have, the higher the chance of your post reaching enough people. Fast forward into 2020, you’ll find a few things have changed on the Gram that will require you to also change your marketing tactics. This includes:
- Engagement matters more than junk growth
- Bots and automation are too big of a risk
- Native app use and manual feature use are important
- Good & Consistent content drives growth
- Hashtag strategy is essential
- Organic growth differs from paid growth
These fundamental concepts will guide your growth strategy in 2020.
Instagram Marketing 101 Still Matters
Instagram marketing basics still matter. No matter how much time passes you should always remember that any social platform is an excellent opportunity to introduce new fans to your brand. In short, our Instagram account is your brand billboard. Therefore, always treat it as one. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my bio clearly represent my brand (personal or business)?
- Do I give people an opportunity to engage further (links, hashtags)?
- Am I using Instagram features to drive the greatest possible growth?
These basic questions help you explore your brand’s existing presence and subsequently improve on that presence in 2020.
Brand and Bio
Before opening an Instagram account understand how and why it will be used is essential. For example, some of our clients use Instagram purely to build awareness for their brand or product. In contrast, others use Instagram to drive sales. In both cases, the way you use the platform and what you showcase in your bio and content will differ.
The first thing anyone visiting your account will see is the bio section. As Will Rogers says, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” ― Will Rogers.
Describe what your brand is about in the Bio ― emojis are allowed. Let people know why they need to follow you. Imagine it like a short advert that reads nothing but, “follow me or miss out on lots of my updates”. P&G, as can be seen in the screenshot above, informs anyone visiting its Instagram account to follow or miss out on the latest news and info about its brand. To clarify the full name of its brand, the company also included “P&G (Procter and Gamble)”. This is a simple way to grow your followers.
On the marketing side, because we will be highlighting how and why all of these tips can help you to market and at the same time grow your Instagram account.
- Attach links
Instagram understands the importance of Bio. This is why it allows you to include a single link directing your audience to a third-party platform. It is a good idea to direct them to your official website. Many successful marketers use bio links as a source to multiply the promotion of their business through a single link. For long-term retention of these users, use the link to direct them to giveaways or your recently launched products. For instance, you can use a link to your free e-book. Artists also use it to promote their event tickets and album. Looking at the screenshot above, Chris Brown leveraged the bio section to lead people to his album.
- Profile Picture
The profile picture is displayed along with the Bio, and it is as important as the Bio. There is no better place to promote your brand logo on Instagram than using it as your profile picture. This will increase your followers because it can go a long way in proving the authenticity of your brand. There is a big take away from Amazon’s choice of picture in the screenshot above. The company has lots of products, while the arrow design features on all of its products starting from the retail products to cloud computing service.In essence, anyone familiar with the Amazon brand will surely not be in doubt of the account. To market your product using the profile picture, use the product as your preferred profile picture.
- Contact Details
If your business major marketing operation is offline, just as in the case of a physical store, include your office address in the Bio. That can substitute for the use of links or along with the link.
Scrolling down your Instagram account, after the Bio section, you will see the stories section.
Instagram invented this feature as a competitive response to Snapchat, a rival of the platform. Ever since it was launched, it has gathered more than 300 million active daily users. Definitely, use it!
- User-Generated Content
Convert your user’s comment on your post to GIF or videos to post in your stories. It makes them feel part of your brand and encourages loyalty.
- Promote your products
Keep your audience engaged by letting them know of your products. The stories feature comes with swipe functionality that can be linked to your website (if you have any).
The Instagram highlight is similar to stories only that stories will disappear after 24 hours while highlights will always remain on your page. Consider placing evergreen stories content here.
Instagram is a photo-sharing platform. Images posted on the platform gets an average of 20 percent more engagement than Facebook. And your success on Instagram is measured by the amount of engagement you can gather over time.
Your Instagram post section is the most active section on your page. This is why it has to be engaging as much as possible ― more than any other segment of your account because there are more than 90 million Instagram posts daily. And it is important to note that, there are lots of other accounts contesting for the attention of the same audience you are targeting. There are more than 3.5 billion Instagram likes every day. This is why you need to be consistent in your posting, and also make your posts as attractive and attention-grabbing as possible to get many of these likes you can gather.
Getting a professional designer might be expensive but there are ways to go around it without going out of your budget.
Quotes are one of the simplest creatives to come up with. Search for quotes related to your brand and use tools like Wordswag, Phonto, and Typorama to design it. With some moves of the cursor and clicks, you will be able to create a quote picture your audience will like.
Many internet users prefer video to written content. In 2015 alone, video made up 55 percent of mobile traffic and that number is expected to reach 75 percent in 2020. Convert pictures to videos or occasionally upload a short video about your product. It might be a guide on how to use it.
Ways to Grow Instagram Account in 2020
Follow Relevant Accounts
There are popular and established Instagram accounts for brands in the same industry as yours. Follow them and interact with their page. Following them helps you to keep track of what they are doing that you can incorporate into your strategy too.
You may also follow accounts that might be interested in your business. Based on how frequently you interact with them; they might follow you back and interact with some of your posts. This can give you a wide exposure overnight.
Make Use of Popular Hashtags
You can increase your post visibility (impression) with the use of hashtags. There are lots of Instagram followers that search for photos and who to follow using hashtags. It is very easy to get confused on which hashtags to choose from to include in your post since there are thousands of hashtags shared on Instagram daily. To filter through the thousands and choose the best for your account, check the influencers in your industry and the hashtags they are using.
Since people search hashtags majorly for pictures, checking the hashtags these influencers use along with their picture is great to start with. The psychology behind this is that, since the audience of these influencers is more likely to be interested in your product, this gives you the opportunity of getting your account in front of them. Posts with at least one hashtag gains 12.6% more engagement.
Convince Influencers for a Shout out
A mention of your account by the influencer(s) brings you to the notice of their followers. Try as much as possible to convince an influencer in your industry to give you a shout out. Most of the time, you might need to pay them. But depending on how innovative and convincing you can be, it is possible to get them to do it for you any monetary commitment.
Run Instagram Contests
If your budget permits, the contest is another innovative strategy of promoting your Instagram account. It can increase your followers and at the same time promote your product. The reward for the winner of your contest can be a percentage discount on your best selling or new product. For a comprehensive contest, you can use platforms like Gleam.io to design your contest form. The link to the form can be placed in your Bio for easy accessibility for anyone visiting your page.
Include Call to Action in Posts
Sometimes, people need triggers to take action. Enjoin them to like your post or click link whenever you publish. To avoid appearing desperate, get creative about the way you relay the “call to action” message. Instead of telling them to like for an instance, tell them to double-tap if they agree with your picture-quote. Tell them to swipe your stories for more information.
Reply Your Followers Comment
At least for the start, to show how you appreciate your followers, reply to their comment most of the time. Angry comments are better left out unless you have a perfect explanation that you’re sure that will convince the commenter.
Run Instagram Ads
No one knows how to target users better than the developers of Instagram themselves. For a guaranteed reach of your targeted audience, you may consider placing an advert with Instagram. Instagram Ads dashboard allows you to select the criteria of your ads such as demography. Determine your audience’s age, interest, location and the best time they are likely to be online. Use all of these to set your Ads for optimal ROI.
The best part is that Instagram belongs to Facebook. And these two platforms share information, therefore, you can be sure that the compilation of data from the two platforms will help your Ads reach the right audience.
Final Thoughts on Instagram In 2020
As stated earlier, all of these tips will not exponentially increase your Instagram followers overnight. It takes some time and with patience and consistency, you will surely get the number of Instagram followers you want. Instagram is a platform any business owner must not neglect. The number of brands with an Instagram account is more than 25 million.
Also, about 80 percent of the 1 billion active users on Instagram follow at least one of these brands. Likewise, 90 percent of the top 100 brands in the world have an Instagram account.