It’s always a sour sight to see an unpopular, but very interesting Instagram profile. There are countless communities and personalities that post outstanding photos, talented works or just do something fun and creative, while not receiving even a fraction of the attention the multi-million pages have.
Attracting followers is a crucial part of managing an Instagram page. Neglecting the subscriptions may lead to an early death of an otherwise promising profile. It is a complicated subject, of course. If you want the absolute audience, you may even conduct a full-scale research.
The more complicated methods are part of the SMM routine. Before we delve into complex marketing, we can examine simpler methods that can help grow the audience of your Instagram page. All of these methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but some are ultimately better in the long run.
A straight-up purchase of followers usually means you pay for bot accounts to subscribe to your Instagram page. These followers are worthless, usually. They are just names, needed to increase the subscriber count on your page. If you care about appearing popular, it’s an option.
You can buy alternative numbers, such as leaving comments and likes, but only piecemeal. What these accounts will lack is activity, and that’s exactly the problem.
You want your subscribers to be active, leave likes, comments and send your posts to their friends. This won’t just spread your posts around, but also improve your community in the eyes of the algorithm. That, in turn, means your posts get recommended to an audience that may like them.
That’s where most of your user visits should come from. So, if your subscribers are inactive, the number won’t grow, either. In short, buying bots is pretty much a money dump. It will buy bare numbers, but they won’t create anything besides an illusion of size for your page.
Don’t confuse it with buying subscribers from marketing platforms that can help you grow in exchange for money.
By directly invites other people to your page, you increase Instagram followers for free. Direct invites are ads that you place outside of the in-built marketing instruments of Instagram.
That can include several such methods:
- PR-posting with other pages;
- Comments and messages that motivate people to subscribe;
- Special ad posts/pictures aimed to appear in recommendations
✓PR-posting is an activity, in which a post is published in a community in hopes that it will attract people from that community to the page of whoever created it. It can be a straight-up ad, a joint post with a tag of a promoted community or a post with a little note somewhere to subscribe to it. The efficiency varies, and it’s very often a mutual exchange of posts, done for free.
✓Comments and messages aren’t effective. You can urge people to visit the page or just leave these messages on behalf of the community for visual presence. It’s an obsolete form of direct marketing that doesn’t really suit most communities. Some pages are part of a niche area where communities are small and well-known. There, you can just scoop up what little target audience there is and enjoy the small success.
✓Special ads are posted on the page that needs promoting. In this context, it’s not done through the usual marketing mechanisms of Instagram. These posts can be marketed, of course, but it’s about the message itself. You can add a picture to the post or dedicate the whole post to inviting people over to your page. It can be pretty effective.
You usually don’t pay (or pay very little) for these advertisements, and they can produce modest results. You won’t be able to attract thousands, but dozens or hundreds are very possible. A chief advantage of this approach is that you often can handpick your audience by posting in a particular community or posting comments there.
Creating original content
You should note that, regardless of your marketing approach, the page needs to have original, well-made content. There are specific principles that define what an original, well-made post is, and if you keep coming up with them, the algorithm will keep putting them in the recommendations of your other users.
This approach isn’t mutually exclusive with the other ones. In fact, keeping the content flow, while using different marketing methods, is the healthiest way of growing your audience. That will ensure you have an active pool of followers, whose interests align with the type of posts you release.
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Suffice it to say, post activity, such as likes, comments and reposts will attract real followers. So, take care to create interesting posts on a regular basis. It’s not as effective if you release bunches of content in intervals. Moreover, taking posts from other pages and posting it as your own will also diminish their effectiveness.
In social media, marketing is usually done by ordering an advertising campaign. It involves one post, and you can thoroughly tweak its settings and parameters. That includes stuff like:
- Who sees the post;
- How long you want it up;
- How intensely you want to advertise it
The first option means that you can customize the target audience to some extent. You can designate what sort of demographic you want to see you pos. Moreover, there are advanced settings if you want to delve even deeper, but you need to know how they work. If you don’t, it’s better to leave it up to the professionals.
The second option and the third option are combined. To show your post to your potential followers, you need to invest some money into the ad and turn it on. The money will essentially keep spending until you turn it off, put simply. That will increase the number of views, but they’ll only be effective if you have the right target audience.
If the target audience is mildly or not interested in the post, there’ll be a high percentage of follower churn. The ad will be shown to them, but they will either ignore it or quickly get disinterested upon visiting the page. That’s why it’s also important to pick a captivating, interesting post for you ad or even create a special ad post. This is also a job that a professional would do best.
More intricate settings of the Instagram marketing instruments require professional help. It’s not for nothing that there are so many SMM services. You need an acute understanding on how everything works in this system and what can create an effective marketing post.
Such services take fees, but it’s essentially an investment into a better future for your page. Their products include everything from proper targeting to post designing to ad management. More often than not, such deals are included into packages, and the more complex they get the more you have to pay for them.
Oftentimes, you can’t produce a truly effective post without paying up to professional marketers. Unless you have years of experience behind you, you won’t really know which decision and setting is best for the current situation. You can follow your intuition here or just not use the direct means instead of marketing, but this approach guarantees the best results.
The best approach
What you pick really depends on how much you want to bother with the marketing, how much money you’re willing to invest and whether or not you have any experience increasing followers.
The best course of action would be to combine several methods, but that’s not for everybody. You don’t need to combine all of them, as well, but using two or more will already increase the rate of growth for your audience. If some of these are either uncomfortable or unaffordable, you can leave them out.
It’s not a good idea to just keep using the same method to increase your followers. It in itself decreases effectiveness, because some of these methods are applied in different areas, you can expand your follower pool by using multiple instruments at the same time.
The usual problems
Regardless of what you choose, everything must be done with originality, creativity and moderation to gain real, organic followers. There are two general problems that people encounter while trying to boost their community.
Instagram is oversaturated, naturally. It’s likely that the niche your page is trying to occupy is already filled with many other communities that provide similar content. You really can’t escape this, but it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve success with proper marketing strategies.
The one thing you can absolutely do to decrease the effects of competition is avoid posting mundane pictures. You can do that if you so wish, but if you wish to uphold high quality of your content, you’ll need to avoid them. It’s a question of your desired content vs. the content your page needs. The secret is to combine the two.
- High chance of failure
It’s really easy to fail when you try to increase the audience with conventional means. High investments and low output can seriously damage your morale, which is why you need to either learn how everything works (both in marketing and in direct advertising) or use professional help. It’s a popular choice with guaranteed results.
The job of increasing one’s followers on Instagram can vary in difficulty. It can be a simple trick of exchanging posts with other communities or paying experts to do marketing for you. Depending on what your goals for the page are, you can choose different means.
If it’s just for you to express yourself, you don’t need big, professional marketing strategies. You can just exchange followers (or actually buy ads) from other communities such as your own. But if you want a sales page, then you’ll likely need to invest some money into a proper promotion.