Instagram is one of the top social media channels at the moment, and the marketing importance of it is only growing. It’s no news as the platform provides all needed tools for showcasing and interaction, while the number of active users reached 500 million people, and counting.

If your business or hobby can be represented visually, Instagram is a perfect place for promoting it. However, marketing even on single social media platform is not easy — you have to figure out the strategy of content creation, target your brand’s audience, draw the attention and keep the people interested.

What can really lighten this digital marketing burden is getting a helping hand — a specialized application for Instagram audience growth. It could take the responsibility to find the right audience and to interact with it, while you are spending time with the loved ones or focusing on other business activities.

Previously we have demonstared how an organic Instagram growing tool Combin can aid professional photographers, as well as shared a success story of Russian tattoo artist, who used Combin to widen his audience and find inspiration for his work.

This time we spoke with yet other satisfied Combin clients, owners of an aspiring indie music reviewing YouTube channel, Meanwhile On the Other Stage. Alina and Sasha, the creators of MOTOS sat down with us to talk about the idea behind the channel, how they got into digital marketing, the experience with Combin, and elaborated on the possibilities of growing a YouTube channel with the help of Instagram.

How did the whole thing start? What brought you about creating this YouTube channel/music reviewing project?

Alina: Sasha and I have been friends for ages and we always were very into indie music, regularly searched for new interesting artists, went to both foreign and local music festivals and concerts together; music was and is our prime interest. We regularly got requested to share our opinions, recommend good artists, introduce to new music styles, etc. It happened so often, we decided to put all we know and think about music, our festival reports, new albums impressions and reviews into one place. That’s how our YouTube channel started.

The cherry on the cake is that we get the chance to be accredited to go to concerts as music journalists for free. (laughs) But really, sharing our passion for music with other people is the biggest pleasure for us, I’m glad we didn’t let the idea of starting out our own review project slip and actually put it into action.

How did you come up with the channel name?

Sasha: We spent so much time discussing the possible name, this one just came to me in a dream one day.. (laughs)

Alina: Jokes aside, ‘The Other Stage’ is literally the name of one of the stages on Glastonbury, the world’s most known music festival. This stage introduces underground artists that couldn’t help but become mainstream, or more or less popular after their performance there. Even though our project has no direct connection to the festival, we spread knowledge about lesser known artists to wide audience, just like it’s done on the Glastonbury’s Other Stage.

Awesome idea! Did you try to promote Meanwhile On the Other Stage after creating the channel?

Sasha: We weren’t actively engaged in promos that much at first. We registered the project’s accounts on social networks: Facebook, VK, Twitter and used the native advertisement systems once in a while for posts related to important topics and events.

Alina: Sometimes we are offered a promotion or asked to promote other music related projects on our social media pages, that’s another way to get a handful of new intested people. Detailed video reposts from foreigh festivals got a lot of attention and added to our audience as well.

Why did you decide to expand the YouTube audience through Instagram?

Alina: We ourselves are big fans of YouTube and watch various video creators on the regular. We tracked the marketing ways other YouTubers use to grow their channels with, and noticed one interesting thing in common: everybody from comedians to make up gurus are as active on Instagram as they are on YouTube.

Sasha: Yeah, all of them published teasers of upcoming YouTube videos, shared extras, backstage photos, previews of all kind, as well as informed the audience about life updates and useful thematic tips and recommendations.

We know from personal experience that if you are a fan of a particular YouTube channel, you are always eager to know the video upload schedule. Other than that, you want to learn more about the persona behind it in general. It makes the creator feel much more real, like it’s your cool friend, and a viewer begin to relate to the them much more, and then becomes more and more of a fan, shares his love for the channel with others, etc.

Alina: Plus, the whole idea of Instagram is creation and sharing of visual content, which connects it to Youtube directly.

How does Instagram help you personally in this matter? What content do you post to your account?

Alina: We post highlights and funny moments of our YouTube videos to Instagram. Everything that we find the most interesting and entertaining in our YouTube content we crop out and transfer to Instagram. We believe it represents our channel’s format in the best way to old audience, new comers and passers by.

Sasha: Actually, we registered on Instagram right after we stumbled upon Combin. We learned what it was about and loved its organic approach to growth, how safe it is in comparison to other Instagram activity automation tools, moreover, it’s really easy to use.

Alina: As soon as we decided to promote on Instagram and found the right tool for the task, we registered an account, uploaded some videos to it and started searching for the audience through Combin.

How did you use Combin to grow the community? What was your strategy?

Alina: We searched by hashtags and a combination of hashtags and location. We used hashtags related to the type of music we review (#indie, #indiemusic, #newmusic, etc.), as well as hashtags of specific artists, albums, types of videos (#stvincent, # albumreview).

Sasha: We also searched for active audience of Instagram accounts that deal with similar activities: music journalists, YouTubers, magazines, music Internet mediums, etc.

Did Instagram activity brough any new YouTube subscribers? What is the percent of this traffic after the trial of Combin?

Sasha: Yes! At the moment it is 3%. In the statistics of views there is also a large percentage of those who came from unknown sources, we believe there is a chance Instagram has something to do with it, as a third-party/parallel source at the least.

How do you gather analytics?

Alina: We check the native statistics that platforms like Facebook, VK, and YouTube provide through the creator’s page. We also now use some specialuzed applications and services, such as Popsters and Google Analytics.

What results did the month of work with it bring?

Sasha: Combin gave us a good and fairly easy start to our Instagram promotion. We had 0 Instagram followers when we started to use Combin — we started entirely from scratch. We did not set specific goals as we did not know what results to expect from Combin and Instagram growing tools in general.

Alina: Our major concern was being blocked on Instagram because of Combin, but it did not happen. The tool turned out to be as safe as promised, we wasn’t even asked to confirm our identity or change the password. We appreciated that Combin operates from the user’s IP and doesn’t collect private information. Many of our friends that used other tools of such kind weren’t as lucky as us.

Sasha: During a month of working with Combin we left 3,163 likes, 1100 comments, followed 3103 potentionally interesting people and now we use the handy in-app detector to check which Instagram accounts didn’t follow us back, and scheduled tasks for unfollowing them through Combin.

We published 7 posts, received 409 likes, 27 comments, 282 followers with 8.6% ER day, 22.9% ER post, 1.37% TR and the average likes amount of 58.4.

What’s amazing is that the followers were from our targeted audience, they weren’t random spam or shops account. Real people with real interest in indie music found us because of our interaction with them through Combin.

Alina: What’s more, they are active! They watch our stories, leave likes, start discussions in the comments. We never expected to get this kind of attention from our first try of specialized Instagram growing app.

What are advantages and disadvantages of Combin? What features did you like the most? What can the developers add to take the service to another level in your opinion?

Alina: Our impression after using Combin is strongly positive, I especially appreciated the interface and overall design. It’s easy to use and pleasant on the eye. That’s what all modern applications should look like!

Sasha: I absolutely agree. The thing I’d like to be added is a tracker of the unfollowed accounts and some kind of protection to prevent Combin users from following them once again. (UPD — This feature has been added in 1.5.0 version)

Alina: It would be awesome to have applications like Combin for other social networks as well. We really liked it, recommended it to our friends and the day job co-coworkers, and will continue to use Combin to grow our Instagram and YouTube audience!

Thumbs up from the Meanwhile On the Other Stage host, Alina