Marketing is the most undervalued part of any business plan but is the most important part that deserves the most attention. What good is it if you have the best product in your industry but nobody knows about it? Marketing used to be all about billboards and posters but now social media has given us the opportunity for us to reach a much bigger audience at a much cheaper rate. It is crucial that you start to build your brand on social media right now before it becomes oversaturated and harder to compete. Instagram is the best platform right now to organically grow an audience because it isn’t overcrowded like Facebook.
I successfully grew an Instagram page focused on finance to around 50K in less than 6 months and made it a very profitable business before I sold it (@MoneyMarketeers). These are the few things I learned were essential to growing an organic Instagram page.
Establishing Your Niche
Niche Definition: Denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
When starting your Instagram page you have to choose a specific niche that you are going to target and be able to stand out from the rest. When choosing your niche, keep in mind to find one that has an audience but is also not overdone. If you choose an overdone niche, you will find it harder to grow because you will be competing with many other accounts that are much more established. The content that you publish can only cover your niche and nothing else. This will keep them constantly engaged and not skip your posts.
Your Instagram profile is your “first impression” for viewers so you need to make it a beautiful and unique impression to convert a viewer to a follower to eventually a customer.
Your profile needs to have a nice simple logo that clearly defines your name and what you are involved in. I chose @moneymarketeers because you can clearly see that my page will focus on Money and Marketing and will involve some sort of business page.
The biography of an Instagram page is the most underutilized part of any page. You have 150 characters to describe what your page is about and to stand out. This is the first thing you see when you click on a profile so you need to have a descriptive engaging bio that will captivate your viewer to keep looking through your page. (google copywrite words to find the best words to use)
Theme is the most important part of your profile. Growing on Instagram right now is all about having an aesthetic appeal. The best way to attain this is by using the same format or filter for all your posts. Each post on my fiance page had the same exact format. A black infographic that used the same font, same color schemes and had my logo at the bottom. Using the same format just gives it a nice structured look when just scrolling through your page.
Content is what will separate you from your competitors. You need to be creating and posting original content that deals with your specific niche. Reposting other content onto your feed is lazy and will only hurt your brand. Use free tools like canva to create easy infographics or VSCO to make a preset filter for all your photos. Make sure to brand your post (logo) because if it is quality content, other accounts will repost it and you want their followers to be drawn to your page. If you can make quality content and post once or twice every day your page will grow consistently and be the top page in your niche eventually.
Caption & Hashtags
The Instagram algorithm is always changing so the effective use of your caption and hashtags are always being affected differently. Your captions need to contain three parts.
- Contain information or a narrative- The information in your caption should be able to explain your content so well that it leaves your followers with no further questions.
- A Unique call to action- What good is your post if it doesn’t have a call to action. People like to be told what to do. So you need to insert things such as “Like this post if you want more content like this and click the follow button for more posts”
- Less than 5 specific hashtags- Hashtags in your comments will not rank you on the explore page. You need to chose 5 hashtags that specifically do with your posts. The more engagement you get on that post the more your post will show up on the explore page for others.
You should follow the same structure for all your captions
The key to getting more views on your Instagram story is to start posting on here from the very beginning of your account. This is one mistake I made and only posted on here after growing my account to 10k which made it hard for me to get tons of views. Post on here consistently no more than 3 times a day. Make the story stand out from the rest of these other accounts who just spam useless information. Have engaging graphics that captivate the viewers.
Social Media is meant for you to engage so take the extra step to leave organic comments on other niche related accounts and they’ll be more willing to do the same for you. You can’t expect to grow if you don’t engage with other account’s posts. Start a DM Group with other accounts in your niche where you all can send each other’s latest posts to be able to like and leave organic comments for even better engagement results.
A great growth hack is a S4S. A S4S is when you and a similar account will both send each other a piece of content that you want the other to post, and you will agree on the terms of the post. Network with other accounts that are in the same niche as you, with a comparable amount of followers. This way you can ensure that both parties are benefiting from the transaction. One of the more common strategies for this is a 24 hour Instagram story. A lot of accounts don’t want your content on their page forever, so they put it on their story as it disappears.
These growth hacks can be summarized in three words. Value. Quality. Engage. I could talk about different growth methods for days but this is the general idea of how to successfully grow your page. I would really recommend that you make and plan your content for a month before you start posting so you can focus tons of energy on engaging with your followers and other niche related accounts. I will be soon starting my new finance page @monetizingmentor and challenging myself to get to 50K within 4 months. Please check it out and DM if you have any more questions.