Instagram's algorithm is going through several changes (once again) and it's fundamental to keep up with these and to know how to position yourself so that you're able to keep growing your page at a steady pace.
Here's how you can do it:
Diversify and adapt your content format to maximize reach from various sources:
This is a very extensive topic, and it covers the basics in regards to sources of reach on Instagram and how to maximize reach from them.
Firstly, it’s important to retain that after you’ve built your audience to its first few thousands of followers, you shall proactively look for ways to captivate a new audience while keeping your current audience engaged.
The goal is to leverage as much reach and engagement as possible through your content and through a competent use of Instagram’s features.
In the following bullet points, I’ll explain exactly how you can do that.
That said, here’s how to maximize reach and engagement from home:
- Publish content in diverse formats: This will extend the possibilities of your audience’s awareness for your content output;
- Use Polls in your stories:This will allow your audience to interact with them, enhancing their engagement levels;
- Reply to your dm’s: As you get in touch with your audience, your relationship will mutually deepen and you’re more likely to retain a loyal following base that won’t miss a post.
- Incite your audience to turn on post notifications: This will make sure that they’re up to date with your posts and that they’ll know every time you post a new one.
The way you can keep your audience interested with your content and leverage high reach and engagement levels from “home” (people who are already following your page), is through being innovative with your content and versatile with its delivery.
Leveraging a higher reach and engagement levels from “home”, increases the traction that your posts register in the first few minutes after its publication, which directly contributes towards ranking on bigger hashtags or in the explore page, therefore being one of the main precursors of your posts’ performance.
That said, “home” is the pillar of your posts’ performance. If you can’t leverage a strong initial reach from this source, you’ll find it much harder for your content to be exposed to a wider audience, such as through the explore page.
See it as the “crowdfunding / kickstarter” of your posts, but in the form of engagement, of social proof for the algorithm to transform into more reach potential.
This is an underrated and many times forgotten feature of Instagram.
Through location, you’re able to leverage that extra reach that can play a massive role towards your posts’ overall performance.
This is a simple element, there’s not much to it.
Although, I strongly recommend you use it in your favor and maximize your reach potential by:
- Setting location tags in your posts;
- Setting location tags in your stories.
As simple as it gets and, sometimes, as crucial as it gets – which is why I always advise using every feature that Instagram has to offer to your favor.
I have already made a post regarding this source, although here’s what you should know about it, as well as how to maximize your reach from it:
- It consists in forms of engagement such as saves, shares to story, people tagging each other in your post, etc.
- The reach that comes from “other” is highly convertible to followers, meaning that it is healthy for you to leverage high reach levels from this source.
- In order for you to optimize the reach from “other”, set up your content and its delivery in a way that privileges the type of interactions specified in point number 3.
- Instead of inserting CTA's (Calls To Action) in which you invite people to tag their friends on your post, provide value through your captions, be it informational or entertaining. This has been having an outstanding effect in my client posts' performance for the past few weeks.
- Do a market research or content research and see what type of posts do better in terms of leveraging reach and engagement from this source, as it easily converts to new followers, given its engaging nature, by its sense of community, which is an asset that almost every huge page has.
THE EXPLORE PAGE
Having your posts featured in the explore page isn’t an easy task, although it has a LOT to do with the aspects mentioned for “home”, “other” and “location” – because it is through maximizing reach from those, that you’re able to have your content in the explore page for up to 24 hours (as it usually refreshes for every user after such timeline – Instagram wants you to always be engaged with fresh content, so that they can also stay updated about your browsing patterns and interests – this is how they keep providing you with content that you find to be enticing on your explore page) – but this isn’t all:
- Maximize your reach from “home”, “location” and “other” by applying the steps I’ve mentioned above;
- Publish longer length videos on IGTV: The regular use of this feature benefits your page’s health score, and it’s the channel through which you’re able to post longer length videos on your Instagram.
This format is particularly convenient if you want to post tutorial videos or any sort of showcasing that justifies and requires a longer format.
IGTV videos have a limited featuring in the explore page, thus reposting viral IGTV videos enhances the likelihood of doing so, as they may not be featured as often, but when they do, their reach is usually WAY HIGHER than regular posts, for its exclusivity and lack of competition as it reaches the “throne” of the explore page.
These will be monetized soon, as there will be IGTV ads soon, so use these as much as possible - Instagram benefits users who entice its use.
- Publish content in the carousel format: On the other hand, the type of content that currently has a wider featuring likelihood on the explore page is through the carousel format. You’ll probably notice that this is the content format that is more frequently feature in the explore page.
That said, variating between regular, individual posts and carousel posts will enable you to display more diversity of content output, while maximizing the likelihood of having your posts reach the explore page.
Instagram Ads: These are one of the best methods towards targeted and fast growth.
Here’s everything you need to know about these:
1- They are created and managed through Facebook Business Manager;
2- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Geographic Location;
3- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Age Range;
4- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Gender;
5- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Interests;
6- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Behaviors;
7- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Language Display.
That being said they are, by far, the best asset for targeted follower-gain, as unlike any other option, they offer an incredibly accurate, specific and, at the same time, wide range of segmenting options, which are essential towards having your ideally selected audience locking eyes with your ad and responding positively to your CTA.
In order to effectively perform story ads, there are 3 essential elements:
1- Knowing exactly what your target audience looks like
If you want to become a brand ambassador, it’s mandatory that you know exactly what audience-type you want to lock eyes with your ad and, consequently, with your page and what it has to offer.
Knowing what your ideal audience-type is, definitely consists in the very first step towards an efficient targeting, as you will have a deeper understanding of who should see your ad, so that no ad spend budget goes to waste.
2- Knowing where your target audience’s attention is at
This is what also separates a well performing ad and a waste of money type of ad.
Social Media Marketing is a business in which communication plays a pivotal role. That said, it is fundamental to know how to position your ad and how to speak your brand through it (and through your page, obviously).
Following this thought process, it is mandatory to know where your ideal audience’s eyes are most likely and actively at.
From here, you adapt your ad to it by setting the placements to manual (as automatic placements are, by default, the option that Facebook business manager provides you with), and select the placement that is more coherent with your ad format and your audience.
3- Knowing how to captivate your audience
Following point number 2, it’s essential to create an attractive ad that is likely to make the most out of your audience’s attention span, as the most natural behavior that is will have is to slide through your ad 2 seconds after they see that it is an ad.
People’s attention span is extremely short, and they usually are not on Instagram to be sold or to sign up for any specific cause. They are most likely there to see their friends and what they are up to, or just to have a laugh.
That is where good creatives come in handy. If you know how to set your ad in a way that counters this behavior, you’re maximizing the chance of maximizing link clicks and, consequently, page visits, which leaves your audience one click away from following your page.
4- Elevate the bar for your ad’s graphics and lower the bar for text
According to research carried out by Missouri University, it takes only 2.6 seconds for a person’s eye to decide where it’s going to focus on a particular online page. So, if your ad campaign is going to be successful, you’re going to need some strong, high-quality visuals that grab your audience’s attention quickly.
When it comes to Instagram story ads, they are not an exception to the rule – keep your text to a minimum.
Let your picture or video do most of the talking, as it must be attractive and compelling enough to lock your audience’s eyes for more than those 2-3 seconds.
What has been working the best for me is to simply add a question and a CTA, while adding a 5-6 second video that’s not static, but dynamic and aesthetically pleasing.
5- Make sure your strategy within your page is on point
This is an absolutely key point.
It’s as straightforward as this: If your content doesn’t provide any sort of value or interest, or if your page’s layout and overall aspect isn’t suitable for your audience, you won’t leverage drastic results and you will be making your ad spend budget go to waste.
Therefore, no matter how well set your ad campaigns are, if your strategy within your page isn’t on point, then address that first, and then run ads, otherwise it will just be counterproductive.
Ask yourself the following questions: If I were my audience, why would I follow my page? (Put yourself in their position). If your answer is truthfully convincing enough, then you’re good to go.