Instagram is among the most popular apps in the world with ranking on place 4, right between Whatsapp and Youtube. It is about time to take Instagram seriously, especially when it comes to powerful marketing.

The complete guide for Instagram marketing

Whether you want to grow your own business on Instagram or you want to leverage Instagram as a powerful tool to send traffic to your website, you should follow specific steps to achieve your goal.

The basics

First of all, make sure you have turned your account into a business account in order to get insights. You can see how here.

Build a strong media presence

Post high-quality pictures and add value to your captions. Instagram is flooded with beautiful pictures, but very little posts contain actual value. You can give value in spreading valuable information and tips in your relevant niche. If you have a marketing firm, you should give free marketing advice. If you have a food business, you should share nutrition information or recipes. In any case, you should give more value than just uploading a photo.

Make sure your timing is right

To reach the highest possible amount of followers, you have to check your insights to see when they are most active. Usually, they are most active in the evening. So schedule all your posts to the most active time of your follower.

Build a harmonic gallery

Use tools like Inpreview to make sure your gallery looks harmonic.
Your gallery gives an overall impression and you should make sure that it gives a good one. Unfortunately, you’ll never know how a newly uploaded picture looks above and next to your old pictures, that’s why Inpreview is a powerful tool to solve that problem. You can easily upload your pictures there first, without actually uploading it on Instagram. This way you make sure that you upload your pictures in the right order to make your gallery look harmonic and nice.

Use your story and leverage hashtags

Stories are a way to give personal and direct insights into your business. However, most of us don’t have the time to “blog their daily life”. Still, you should use your stories whenever you upload a new picture and announce it on your story, stating f.e. “new post up”. This way you encourage your follower to check out your profile to engage with your latest post. Ideally, you use two hashtags in your story, one with the “Sticker menu” and one with the text field.
If you use more than two in your story all of the hashtags will be inactive and useless.

Use the right hashtags in your posts

Using the right hashtags is not as easy as it first appears. One has to use the right amount and the right hashtags in your specific niche. That being said, you should use less used hashtags in your specific niche and not the most popular ones, since your post will go under in those. Search for hashtags with less than 1M posts and ideally, something between 50k-200k. This way you make sure to get the best exposure.
Also, you should not use more than 20 hashtags, since every hashtag gets less powerful with an additional hashtag. If you try to post more than 30, it will result in posting no hashtags at all. In addition, you can use tools and the following form to make your post look cleaner:

#instagrammarketing #nooverusedhashtags #keepitsimple

Answer your DMs

Direct messages are time-consuming, but they are important to give your follower a feeling of importance. They will feel sincerely amazed by the real engagement from your side. Simply use shortcuts to use your time more efficiently. Prepare those shortcuts by going into Settings > Business Settings > Quick replies. Now you can prepare several perfect answers for your costumers’ questions.

Keep your engagement rate high

Follow dozens of people until they follow you back, was a powerful strategy two years ago. Nowadays, Instagram recognizes this behavior and bans you from the explore page, meaning your hashtags are useless and you get less new exposure. This can go so far that a vast amount of your follower can’t see your posts anymore unless they visit your profile directly. Moreover, profiles with huge amounts of “following” look spammy and unauthentic. The follow/unfollow game is widely known and not much respected either. To solve this problem, you can either hire someone to like and comment posts of your niche, f.e. liking all kind of content of specific hashtags, or, the way of my choice, run a bot which likes and comments in the name of your account. To set-up this powerful bot please follow the guide by Tim Gross.
If you are going to comment posts, make sure your comment has at least four words, since everything below is marked as unauthentic activity by Instagram’s algorithms.

Use engagement groups

Engagement groups are groups of several accounts with a high number of follower and some of them even have the blue mark. You’ll find these engagement groups by asking Influencer about it or by going to Telegram (the messenger app) and searching for the terms, “engagement group”, “engagement pod”, “like and comment” etc.
These groups will give you real engagement on your post and will make your profile look authentic. Also, receiving likes and comments from profiles with big amounts of followers gives you a higher chance of ending up on the explore page. The rules of the groups are simple: Like and comment with four words on the latest X amounts of posts, afterward, you will receive the same number of likes and comments. The best of these groups are run by a bot, meaning the time of the engagement is scheduled. This is powerful because Instagram’s algorithms care deeply about the very first minutes of engagement after you’ve uploaded a new post. As a consequence, posting right before a round can get you on the explore page.

Use powerlikes

This is one of the unethical and bad sides of Instagram, but it’s a business like every other. There are communities you can join for a fee, resulting in 500-2000 likes in a matter of seconds. I don’t know how it exactly works, but it works. Some of them are run by bots, but others are definitely from real accounts. This is still a mystery for me but if you are searching for powerlikes, I am sure you can find something. Since everyone in Instagram is doing this (especially the 200k+ accounts), your chances of targeting new audiences via the explore pages are ridiculously small, since everyone is ahead of you with such tools.

Reach out to influencers

Reach out to Influencers, especially micro-influencers. Micro-influencers have profiles with something between 20k and 80k followers. Make sure they have a high engagement rate, which you can check by inserting their usernames into the search bar of hypeauditor.
The smaller influencers have a high chance of accepting your offer of showing your product, advertising it or selling it via provision based personal discount codes. Slide into their DMs and make them feel like you searched exactly for them and no one else. Make them feel special and that they are absolutely perfect for your product. This way there is a high chance that they will accept your offer without asking for much money. They usually accept your offer by receiving a free product.

Join influencer platforms

There are agencies designed to bring together both influencers and brands. They work hard to give you collaborations with brands fitting into your niche. This is a great way to get sponsorships and brand collaborations. These influencer agencies look for high engagement accounts, since having a lot of followers is not attractive anymore, due to fact that there are plenty of unauthentic accounts which have bought thousands of followers. To give an idea what these platforms are all about, I suggest checking out one of them.

Use shoutouts as the voice of your brand

Shoutouts are a simple concept. You reach out to huge profiles and ask them how much they charge for a shoutout. There are plenty of community accounts, meaning the content is about a specific niche, like vegan recipes, nature photography or fitness models, but not solely about one person or brand. This means these accounts make a living off stranger’s content and they are happy to get money for a shoutout. You shouldn’t pay more than 20€ for shoutout though. Optimally, this gives you a lot of exposure and brings you, new followers.

Running ads on Instagram

When running ads on Instagram, you need a facebook business account. You can find a guide here.

Assuming you’ve set up everything you need to do, we can go ahead with what’s important about running the right ads.
Of course, you want to target the right audience and send them to the right place. If you want to attract new users and gain traffic to your profile, the strategy is significantly different to achieving a great conversion rate in sales.

How this works in detail, is explained in my other guide right here.

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