The Best Instagram Strategy For 2021
In this guide we will cover an overview of the strategy we used to grow our instagram account @itsourculture. Topics covered include setting up your account the right way, daily actions you should take to grow your account and the do’s and dont’s of Instagram explained.
Right now is probably one of the hardest times to grow an account due to many restrictions and Instagram being more saturated but do not fear, it is still possible! Our platform went from 0-20k followers in under 4 months and we will be sharing the method we used to grow our Instagram presence.
Instagram can be a very powerful tool for promoting yourself if done right, our aim is for our community to understand the strategy behind it.
Pick a niche and stick to it.
Wether you’re a photographer, model, performer or anything else creative, you need to figure out what type of content you want to be known for. Your followers will be attracted by the content you post, and although you may love that beautiful photo of your sisters baby, no-one else really cares. So, find what content your audience likes, create content that will attract the response you want, and keep posting it! You want to make yourself into a reliable source for good content, visitors will be put off if the content you post is not defined or lacks a structure. Do your research, pick a niche and stick to it.
Consistency is key
It is recommended to post between 2-5 high quality posts per day for maximum growth. It is common sense that posting more = faster growth but don’t oversaturate your feed and give your audience so much that they cannot take it all in. It is not an issue if you do not have this amount of content to post but it’s important to keep your profile looking active with stories, lives and other ways you can reach out to your audience easily on a daily basis. No-one wants to follow an account that hasn’t posted in 3 weeks.
Reels are still a relatively new feature to Instagram and for that reason alone you should be using them. Because it is still new Instagram’s algorithm seems to push reels to a lot more people than usual to create awareness of its new feature.
Use this to your advantage by creating appealing video content that people will want to watch. If you are struggling for ideas on content then check out your competitiors to see what they are creating.
Reels are by far the easiest way to go viral at the moment, therefore if your business plan allows it – MAKE REELS!
Reply to every comment you get, interact with your audience, search relevant hashtags and engage with new people. Instagram is a social platform so keep it that way. By engaging with others you are not only increasing your profile visibility but also let your followers get to know you. In a world of terrible customer service, stay friendly.
Hashtags are important
Do not underestimate the power of hashtags! They are a very powerful yet often overlooked strategy that we urge you to include in your daily tasks. Using well researched, relevant hashtags can add tens if not hundreds of thousands of extra impressions that you could be missing out on by not using them! We wrote a guide on why you should use them and what the best way to find relevant hashtags for your niche here.
You may have heard about the infamous F/UF and for good reason. There are definitely benefits and disadvantages of this method, but if you’re creating an account that isn’t a personal brand, this may be worth a try.
The psychology behind it:
You follow people that may be interested in your content in hopes that they will repay the favour. The idea behind it lies in the law of reciprocity, if someone feels like you are helping them out, they are much more likely to return the favour. Although this may be seen as bad practice, it is the best way to get your account off to a good start.
We will be creating an in-depth guide on how to do this efficiently and find your target audience easily.
If you are a personal brand then this method could still work but you’re also more likely to annoy people as there is a face to the name, unlike a brand that can remain anonymous. Although still viable, you may want to lower the amount of actions.
Once you have around 5-10k followers, posting regular, high quality content and staying in Instagrams good books you should start to hit the explore page and by doing so get an extra funnel of traffic to your content. The more posts that hit the explore page the more your reach will snowball which is why it’s important to keep posting to a regular schedule. We still get followers from posts that hit the explore page a week ago!
Have more than enough content
We understand that having enough content to keep consistent can be hard but it doesn’t have to! There are many ways you can create content for your page without spending hours doing so. Personally we use two apps: Mojo and Canva to create visually pleasing stories of our features and also to let our followers know of any announcements we may have, using canva’s simple yet stylish graphics. We highly recommend downloading both of these (for free) and start creating extra content in your downtime.
Other ways to grow
Instagram story ads can be a powerful tool to reach a new audience and entice them to your profile. Using the apps, above you can make professional looking stories that you can pay to promote in the app itself. Do your research on finding the right target audience and spend a bit of money (start out with £10) and see if it works. This method works amazingly for some people and not for others, the only way you’ll find out is to do some testing yourself.
Story Ads are by far the cheapest form of advertising considering you can reach tens of thousands of people for £10, no other paid methods of promotion come close.
Getting Featured On Big Pages
This method is aimed at visual artists that can submit their work to feature pages (like ours) in hopes of getting your work posted on their feed. The obvious appeal of this is that is completely free and can be quite easy to get featured if your work suits the feature profile. Find relevant pages, take note of their personal hashtags and implement them into your hashtag strategy.
The same as above but instead of hoping to be featured you can reach out to pages and ask to pay for a feature. A lot of pages will accept payment to post your work on their profile which may be a good idea to give your account the head start it needs but the results are also dependent on a number of things, such as quality, if it fits the page aesthetic and if it was posted at peak time for not and more. Prices vary a lot and we recommend paying no more than £25 per post.
Don’t Do Black Hat Methods
Blackhat methods are practices that are against Instagram TOS that provide fast results. Although they are enticing due to their get rich quick approach, we recommend steering clear of anything that breaks Instagram’s rules. All accounts recieve a ‘trust score’ by Instagram that can diminish or grow, depending on your interactions on the app. You always want to be on best terms with the Instagram algorithm and by using black hat services you put yourself at risk of lowering your trust score, not reaching on hashtags or even getting banned.
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