You’ve likely heard that Instagram is the place to go if you want to increase engagement with your target audience. It’s the best social platform when it comes to boosting engagement with the potential of reaching a billion active users each day.
However, not everyone sees the engagement that they were promised when starting. If you’re not reaching your engagement goals, the problem is likely your content. If you have the right content, followers will come to you. Otherwise, you’ll stay stagnant.
Whether you’re introducing a new content strategy for the upcoming new year or you want to replace some outdated strategies with more modern ones, here are some content creation tips that will undoubtedly lead to more followers.
1. Use Instagram Automation
You’ve likely heard some negative stories about the option to buy Instagram followers, but don’t dismiss it too quickly. There are accounts on Instagram that exist for the sole purpose of being purchased. They’ll engage with your followers and improve the overall image of your brand. You’ll also use automation bots to comment on and like posts from your followers to maintain a positive image.
This strategy is extremely effective at growing and engaging your following, but it comes with its risks if you don’t know what you’re doing. You must understand the process of purchasing high-quality automation software and creating bots that will read context clues and act like real people. Otherwise, you risk your account being banned or suspended.
2. Use Templates
Who says that you have to create all of your content from scratch? Some of the best performing posts on Instagram have come from ready-to-use templates from online design tools like Canva, Spark Post, and Venngage. These tools help you create beautiful content, even if you’re not graphically design-minded.
If you want to improve the quality even more, you can use the Adobe suite to create Instagram posts. You can download templates to Photoshop or Illustrator or create your own.
3. Ask for User-Generated Content
If you’re seeking maximum engagement, try asking for user-generated content. Loyal followers seeking their two-minutes of fame will jump on this opportunity to connect with a beloved brand and potentially receive broad recognition from your other followers.
The simplest way to get user-generated content is to create a hashtag and ask users to post photos, videos, memes, etc., with that hashtag in the caption. A great example of this is the beauty brand Frank Body, which used a campaign with #Let’sBeFrank or #TheFrankEffect to promote its coffee ground body scrub.
Thanks to this well-planned promotion, they generated more than 25,000 images and 350,000 followers in the space of a year.
4. Create Your Own Filters
Mega influencers like Khloe Kardashian and Rhianna have created their own filters with rousing success. Although you may not see the same engagement they did, it’s still a great tool for interesting your loyal followers.
If you have a development team at your disposal (or can hire someone freelance), have them create a trademarked filter that’s associated with your brand or a product you’re promoting. Ask followers to use a hashtag associated with your brand while they use your filters for maximum exposure.
You can also increase positive attention to your brand by consistently using the same filters for your photos. A study from Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech found that engagements increased 45 percent for brands that used filters on their photos.
5. Know Your Followers
You’ve probably already run some basic audience analyses of your follower base, but it never hurts to go a little deeper. When your engagement starts to trickle off, it’s likely because you’re not creating content that’s relevant enough anymore, and you need to reevaluate where you stand with your crowd.
“Using analytics and automation software, you can take a closer, real-time look at your followers,” says a growth expert at Plixi. You’ll learn their ages, when they’re on, and other demographics. You’ll also learn what content they like and ignore based on their engagement with each post. This in-depth look at your target audience can be absolutely vital to your success at creating deeper engagement.
6. Let Your Captions Take the Stage
Your high-quality photos will indeed capture the eye of each follower first, but the caption often seals the deal. Use your captions to tell a compelling and complementary story with each photo. It might highlight the mission statement of your brand or subtlety promote a product.
It would help if you used relevant hashtags in your captions, but don’t let them overtake your text. Hashtag stuffing can appear spammy to users. If you’d like to add additional hashtags to improve your posts’ categorization, put them in the comments section where they won’t overshadow your text. However, they’ll still contribute to your brand’s searchability.
7. Join Existing Conversations
When you’re contributing to a specific niche, remember that you’re not the only one with content to share. Other influencers in your niche have undoubtedly published content on similar topics, and they’ve probably garnered significant engagement with their efforts. This isn’t something you should ignore.
Join other brands in your niche in creating a thought-provoking conversation around a topic. Let your content complement what others have posted and address questions or controversial topics. Your comments and acknowledgments will get you more visibility and make you appear more credible.
8. Be Yourself
If you look at what the largest Instagram accounts have in common, you’ll notice that they’re each driven by unique personalities. No two people on this earth are exactly alike, and your Instagram accounts should be the same.
Let your voice come out. Breakthrough the noise with the value that only you can add. Don’t post content that doesn’t align with your brand, and don’t make comments that you don’t believe in. Your authenticity, relevancy, and passion for your brand will do all the work for you in creating engagement.