No need to remind you of generic stuff like relevant hashtags, sharing posts in stories, using CTAs, and alike. Some of the things we'll cover in this piece are not news – you've already heard about all these many times over. Yet, consider this as a checklist of activities you need to include in your current Instagram marketing strategy.
Instagram Algorithm, Explained
Quick crash course on how the Instagram algorithm works in 2022.
According to Instagram itself, content is ranked based on what kind of posts you interact with, your history of interaction with the user who posted this content, the information about this account, and the details about a single post – how popular it is and what the content is about.
In 2022, Instagram gets back to the chronological feed but not in the way it used to. It now allows users, brands, and creators choose between the two options – Favorites and Following which are basically recommendations to your feed based on your interests and followed accounts.
💡Suggested read: New Instagram chronological feed – 2022 update
It means that Instagram is pushing for more ads, since the increased competition for users' attention that comes from added content can lessen the impact of ads. Besides, this new approach means that you should now invest into a good-quality, optimised and appealing content even more than before and create top-notch advertisements that will draw your audience's attention.
What Is Reach: Impressions vs. Reach on Instagram
Many aspiring marketers, social media managers, and creators can't tell the difference between the two. In fact, reach and impressions are two different metrics. If a user has viewed your post two times, Instagram Insights show this: 1 reach and 2 impressions.
Reach is the number of unique users who saw the post, and impressions are the total number of times it was viewed.
💡Suggested read: Crucial Instagram KPIs and how to track them
What Influences the Reach on Instagram?
These factors determine the reach:
- When you post: the more users are online when you post, the more people see your content, the greater your reach.
- What you post: videos typically obtain more reach than images and carousels.
- Growth in the number of interactions. The more likes, comments, saves, and shares your content piece gets, the more users will see the post.
Why Instagram Reach Might Drop
Your reach and other crucial Instagram metrics might drop when you violate the community guidelines by posting inappropriate content, improper behaviour towards other users, spam-like behaviour, illegal marketing activity, such as mass liking and buying bots, hashtag abuse, and alike.
How to Reach More People on Instagram
Post at the Right Time
To learn the exact time when your audience is active, go to Instagram Insights, Audience, and find the tab Followers that contains information about the hours and days when your audience is active.
Being aware of the time when your audience is online is vital, even though Instagram doesn’t rank publications chronologically. This influences the whole algorithm for showing your content to followers.
Make a content plan to streamline your content marketing efforts. Combin Scheduler is a solution that can help you do exactly that. You can plan your posts, stories and reposts hours, days, and months ahead to save time for more important marketing tasks. Along with this, you can add a caption, location, hashtags, and link in bio to be posted as soon as the post goes live.
💡Suggested read: When to Publish Instagram Content If Your Audience Is Global?
Make Reels & Remixes
Reels are Instagram's analogue of TikTok: short videos to which you can apply effects, transitions, or background tracks. They now also have a Remix feature similar to TikTok's Duets that allows you to record a response to someone else's Reel, showing your clip and theirs side by side.
To increase your Reach with Reels, consider this:
- Take part in trends and challenges: stay on top of Reels' trends; this increases your chances of getting discovered by other users.
- Add popular music to your Reels;
- Use overlay captions in Reels;
- Share Reels in stories.
💡Suggested read: Ways to increase Reels views
Post Videos Instead of Images
Short videos, almost as short as GIFs, grab attention and increase the post's engagement.
Instagram's algorithm is favouring video content, so static image memes posted as 1-2 second long videos are gaining a huge boost!
An example of such a video is:
One of the most effortless ways to grow your organic reach on Instagram is to take advantage of the other accounts' reach. Simply put, motivate other accounts to post about you or share your posts. Easy to say, right?
Here are a few ideas on how you can get others to share content about or mention your brand:
- Tag people in your posts. In Combin Scheduler, you can tag posts upon planning them for publication.
- Run Instagram giveaways and competitions that motivate people to tag you in their posts.
- Pay for user-generated content by liking, sharing, and commenting on posts that mention you.
This strategy of inviting others to share this content will take time to assemble. You can fuel your efforts by running giveaways with targeted, desirable, and relevant prizes or by motivating people to use a dedicated branded hashtag for UGC.
With Combin Growth, you can find UGC searching content by:
- Branded hashtags;
- Using demographics and user analysis;
- Leveraging advanced filters and sorting;
- Leaving likes and comments on creators' posts.
With the software, you can find mentions of your own brand, interact with these posts and increase your reach organically.
Create Paid Ads
Leveraging targeted ads on Instagram and via Facebook Ads Manager is one of the easiest and most actionable ways to boost your Instagram's reach. The drawback is clearly that you have to pay for the advertising.
With Instagram ads, you can right away increase your reach, but this instant effect won't be organic. If you strive for organic reach, you will have it later but keep this in mind: if you make your ad creative relevant to your target audience, this ad will pay off greatly in the long run. This interested audience will engage with your content which will help you have your posts discovered by similar audiences (see there how the Instagram algorithm works?).
💡Suggested read: A Comprehensive Guide to Reels Ads
Make Original Content Specifically for Instagram
To motivate people to follow you on all social media accounts you manage, create original content for each of the platforms. If you don't have such a possibility – financially or you don't have an extensive content crew – you can repurpose your old content specifically for Instagram: create Reels from your blog posts, make Instagram Guides from Twitter threads, make sharable infographics from website content, and alike.
Concerning the content, here are a few other things to keep in mind:
- Don't forget about caption titles: the title should be intriguing, interesting, yet enlightening what the post is about. You can also put a title in the post's image.
- Strive for the daily activity in stories and use overlay text in them.
- Tag other accounts in your posts and stories.
- Add music tracks to stories: this might increase your stories' reach since users watch stories with appealing tracks more than one time, pause, and save them.
Come Up with Viral & Sharable Content
Another way to increase your reach is to come up with highly shareable content.
Shareable content is different for different niches: from inspirational quotes, questionnaires, puzzles to memes.
You can also boost shareability by creating content related to some events, such as national days, major holidays, or annual brand events. Don't stick to every event from your real-time marketing calender, though but choose a few the most relevant events instead.
Here are real-time marketing calendars you can use to start with:
Collaborate with other brands and media
Not just influencers.
You can partner with other companies who you share a target audience with or reach out to small media. Find small businesses, creators, or media on Instagram with Combin Growth's advanced filters and analysis and reach out to them for collaboration.
Get Rid of Bots and Ghost Followers
Buying or acquiring such followers any other way will do no good for your account. At best, it won't do anything to your profile at all. In a worse scenario, your account will gradually lose its reach and engagement, and on top of that, it might even end up being blocked by Instagram.
The most actionable way to clear your Instagram of fake followers is to report them or remove them from your followers' list.
To do this, simply follow these steps:
- Find the profile you want to report.
- Tap the three dots at the top right of their profile (on iOS or Android).
- Hit Report or Remove.
💡Suggested read: Spot Fake Instagram Followers and Check If Your Audience Is Legit
Talk to Your Followers
Your followers are your best asset to higher organic reach on Instagram. They interact and share your content with a far wider audience than you could ever achieve on your own.
You can maximise your effectiveness and show your gratitude by being responsive in return. Follow your followers if they have public profiles like their posts about your brand. Share their stories that include your products or a brand mention. Answer their comments and keep the conversation going in the replies. Monitor your direct messages and never leave them hanging.
Use Different Geotags
Don't forget to place location tags on all of your posts. When other brands pr creators with extensive reach tag the same place, this boosts your chances of getting discovered by other Instagrammers clicking the same geotag, checking your profile, and following you if the account is interesting.
Another tip is to use tags of different locations in your posts unless your business is bound to one certain area:
Leverage the Full Range of Instagram Content
Instagram always adds new features. By now, you can share:
- A single photo, photo carousels, and short video clips in your feed. Make mutual posts with other accounts.
- Stories, including options for AR lenses, polls, questions, links, shopping, and fundraising tags.
- Story highlights.
- Instagram Live video streams, including shared streams with other accounts.
- Guides, which are collections of posts around a specific topic.
- Products in an Instagram shop.
When it comes to social media, businesses are typically advised to pick one or two channels to focus on. But within that channel, you should use all of the different formats available to maximise your impact. Posting across these formats creates a consistent presence and steady flow of content and ensures you reach potential followers wherever they are on the platform.
Instagram now offers several features that allows you to be inclusive. Here are some of the essentials:
- Add captions manually for stories and video posts.
- Use alt text for your Instagram images. Alt text is a scrap of text that describes images for anyone who can’t view them. Instagram may also use it as a source of information about the post’s content, which feeds back into the algorithm.
- Use a checker such as Who Can Use (free) to ensure your color palette is comfortable to see and read.
- If you manually add your own captions to your stories, make sure the text is clear and large enough to read.
- When you record a video, make sure your face is clearly visible to people who lip-read and keep background noise to a minimum.
Use Branded Content Tags
Did you know that other businesses could tag you in their Instagram ads and sponsored posts? This setting is designed for brand partnerships and sponsorships. But it also means that you could benefit organically from another brand’s paid reach. A single branded content tag could bring thousands of new product views to your account.
You can find branded content tags by followimg this path: Instagram settings > Business or Creator (depending on which type of an account you have) > Branded content.
You can choose to enable all content tags, manually approve each one, or create a list of approved business partners who can tag you in their branded posts and ads.
Increase Your Instagram Reach: Takeaways
Some of these tips you definitely knew before; some, we hope, you found new. Leveraging all of them will increase your reach organically in no time. Let's briefly touch on them once more:
- Post Instagram content at the right time.
- Use Reels, Remixes, and basically every new feature Instagram launches.
- Post more videos.
- Leverage user-generated content.
- Use paid ads.
- Create original content specifically for Instagram or repurpose old content.
- Share viral content.
- Collaborate with other brands and media.
- Get rid of bots and ghost followers.
- Talk to your followers.
- Use different geotags.
- Use all content types Instagram offers.
- Be inclusive.
- Use branded content tags.