The most important thing to remember on social media is that your content needs to provide value. Valuable content leads to organic Instagram growth through exposure, reach, and engagement. Now, that value can come in a variety of forms, including education, humor, and inspiration. With that in mind, you can create your content pillars.
Content pillars are the foundation of your strategy
Content pillars are the topics and themes that create the foundation of your content marketing strategy. Creating content around your pillars ensures cohesiveness and streamlines processes. The pillars should be specific to your business, industry, and niche, but make sure they revolve around the following: educational, community, entertainment, and promotional.
Optimize your profile for a strong first impression
The Instagram account for my business @cultivatesocials has a clear logo, a bio that reflects my business offerings, niche keywords, and a call to action that encourages people to click through to my website. There are also highlights that guide potential clients to a better understanding of what my work and services are.
Make sure your posts are optimized for search
Increase your Instagram engagement by ensuring your ideal audience can find your content. Include relevant keywords in your captions, hashtags, text overlays in your videos and graphics. Let's look at a post I shared on @cultivatesocials.
My ideal audience consists of business owners and creators who need help with social media. I made sure that the captions, hashtags, and the graphic itself included keywords that they may search for.
If you're looking to reach people in specific locations to grow your Instagram following, it can be helpful to include location hashtags. For example, #orangecountyca.
What to keep in mind while creating content
There are multiple types of content you can share on Instagram, including feed posts that are singular or carousel, reels, stories, Instagram videos, and live streams. It's important to use the different content formats for their specific purposes so you can maximize reach, increase engagement, and boost organic growth. Let's review a few ways you can create Instagram content to achieve those goals:
- Instagram Stories are a great way to build and keep an engaged community. This is a place where you can hold polls, share testimonials, share behind-the-scenes content. Overall, Stories are a great way to have your audience feel included in the conversation. They're also a great way to show your audience the personality behind the brand, so share funny, relatable, and genuine moments from your business. Because they disappear in 24 hours, they have a sense of urgency that drives up engagement. But if you feel like they're important and can share value to your audience, you can always share them as highlights on your profile.
- Instagram Reels are a great way to maximize reach raising awareness for your brand. Reels have the potential to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new users, even from a small account.
- Create original and engaging content with a strong hook. People's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter each year. Use trending sounds whenever possible.
- Keep videos short and simple. This encourages repeated viewing of your content.
- Add text overlays and closed captions. Not only is this important for accessibility, it's also helpful for folks who may watch without their audio on.
- Engagement is a two-way street. Keep in mind that Instagram Stories are to keep your existing community engaged, while Instagram Reels are to reach new users and convert them into followers. Sharing great content on Instagram is crucial and engaging back with your community is just as important.
- Don't be afraid to act like a real human. Users gravitate toward brands that have an authentic and genuine voice. Take the time to respond to people's comments and messages and use real language and fun emojis when engaging with your audience.
- Consistency is key. Come up with a posting schedule that works for you and that you can stick to for an extended time. Consistent and frequent posting shows your audience and the platform that you're committed to sharing valuable information on a regular basis.
A quick recap
Here are the things you should focus on to maximize your organic growth and increase your engagement on Instagram:
- Create original and valuable content
- Prioritize community and building engagement
- Regularly check your account and content insights to get an idea of what performs well
Growing your Instagram takes time, so be patient and stay consistent and persistent. Remember to have fun, because creating and sharing content should be enjoyable. Good luck and have fun!