And India has the most active users in the world with 150 million users. Why no utilize it to its best.
Inevitably, when it comes to digital marketing, Instagram occupies one of the top positions among different marketing mediums.
The first thought that comes to mind when talking about promoting your brand on Instagram is to gain followers but before that, an important question needs to be asked- why?
The answer to your why will determine your purpose in building a solid Instagram marketing strategy and once the why is clear, you can handle any how. (*High fives Nietzsche*)
Why do you want to increase your Instagram followers?
What do you hope to achieve after having more Instagram followers?
A few possible and obvious answers could be-
- Build a brand and boost brand awareness
- Drive sales
- Building a loyal customer base
- Drive traffic to your website
All these answers should be a part of having one integrated, well-curated Instagram strategy and social marketing objectives.
Having a ‘one size fits all’ approach for all social marketing channels is a way to doom yourself even before you start. Instagram requires its strategy and we start here will attracting new followers to fulfill our larger goals.
Now we move onto the purpose of this article,
How do we increase Instagram followers?
- Trace your target audience: After answering some of the following questions, you will have an idea to what audience you are targeting.
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What is their occupation?
- Timings of their availability on Instagram.
- What are their pain points and challenges?
What is the use of all this? Well, you will have an idea of what kind of content you should create to engage the right kind of audience and what kind needs to be consistently delivered to maintain the audience base you already have.
- Creating a consistent brand story: Everybody likes a good story. It is possibly the best method to engage someone with your product. It could be anything-
- Telling your audience what inspired you to start your business.
- Sharing your customer’s experience
- Sharing your struggles so your audience feels closer to your product
These are only a few examples of what story you could choose to share. It will connect your audience to your content and brand like nothing else.
- Creating a unique brand personality and look: There are some Instagram pages that gain a unique identity in your head only because of their aesthetic consistency and content look.
It is one of the most effective strategies that famous Instagram pages follow. When we look at their posts, even before reading their handle, we intuitively know which product it is. This is how Instagram marketing is done at its peak.
You can always get an idea of how to pull this off effectively by studying Instagram pages of the brands that are successfully doing so.
- Optimize your Instagram bio, username and highlights: Your Instagram bio should give an idea to a visitor of your profile of what product you are related to and what is your outlook. You don’t want to miss out on a potential follower because your bio didn’t catch his attention.
The usernames you use for your handle should be searchable as well as should give out information about your services. Stuffing of keywords in a username is not generally recommended but you could always make it concise and catchy.
The story highlights option on Instagram gives a great opportunity to give a quick glance of your products and services through saved stories. Make sure to categorize it and give it informative and attractive covers and answer the question as to why they should give your page a follow.
- Use effective hashtags: One common trend nowadays is to use hashtags like #follow, #followme, #followback, #pleasefollow, #follow4follow, etc. for quick follower gain.
What needs to be understood is you gain no real followers through these hashtags. You only gain empty ones who are looking for followers too.
When you start strategizing to increase your follower count, always keep in mind that you should want a real audience who wants to engage with your product and not followers who follow you only because they want you to follow them back. This will result in no increase in engagement.
Then what hashtags to use?
Attract followers who have the potential to become your customers.
Use hashtags related to your industry. Search for what qualifies for the most effective ones.
You can get as specific as you want and as general as it can get. Just make sure you do a quick hashtag industry-specific keyword research before posting that picture!
- Get offline: Instagram provides a scannable tag that the users can use directly to follow you. To use it effectively, get it printed on your packing slips, product packaging, etc.
If you are a brand with big hoardings on highways, you can get your brand hashtags printed to build and attract an offline audience to come and follow your online world.
There is always an impulse to buy followers on Instagram when it is talked of increasing followers. But these will always be hollow followers. Quality engagement is always a winner against hollow quantity.
It is a slow and steady process. But, with the right approach, you will not only end up increasing followers on Instagram but gain quality leads eventually increasing your customer base for your product.