How to Get Real Followers for Instagram in 2020 [UPDATED]

UPDATED: August 2020

Instagram is proving to be a real winner in the realm of social media. It’s gone through a lot of changes since its early beginnings as a simple photo sharing app. These days, the bells and whistles of the platform make it a marketer’s dream.

There are so many ways to engage an audience and showcase products. It can definitely become overwhelming and a bit confusing. If you want to experience growth and get real followers for Instagram in 2020, take a look at the tips below.

1. Know your audience and post accordingly

First and foremost, you must post what the people want to see. This means you have to know your intended audience pretty well. You can accomplish the feat by developing an ideal customer avatar. An avatar is merely the detailed demographics of a fictional individual who would be likely to buy from your company or follow your brand.

Have fun and get creative when creating this person. Decide on a gender, age, geographic location, interests, needs and more. When you’ve developed your ideal avatar, your posts should be directed at this “person.” Think of your avatar and what would appeal to them prior to creating an image or story. Your content will reach the right audience when you employ this strategy.

2. Know your hashtags and use them

Are you using hashtags on other social media platforms? They’re popular everywhere online, but they’re
absolutely essential on Instagram. Relevant hashtags help people who are interested in what you have to offer find you. It’s kind of like a road map.

You don’t want to use just any tags, though. The ones you choose should be relevant to your brand and your post. That way you’ll attract the most targeted audience possible. You also want them to be
specific, rather than broad. Don’t just use #marketing as your hashtag. Instead, find something that conveys the type of marketing your post references. Finding hashtags can seem overwhelming, but there are lots of ways to discover the good ones.

Do a query through Instagram’s search bar. Check out what your competition is doing. Then research particular hashtags to see how many people are following them and whether that tag might be saturated. Again, more specific is often better because it eliminates some of the competing voices within the general field. Don’t forget geotags. These are location-specific tags that help you to connect with others in that area or who have an interested in the region.

3. Plan your posts

It may seem all you have to do is post some pictures on a regular basis, and the people will come to look at them. Unfortunately, that’s far from the case. The most successful accounts on Instagram devote a great deal of time and dedication to their posts.

You’ll want to plan things out ahead of time to ensure you have an appropriate flow of material. You can create a calendar with your tentative daily post material. Then pull together your resources such as photography props, models and other assorted essentials. Some people shoot several Instagram posts on one day.

Others spread things out. You’ll find a groove that works for you, but you absolutely must plan. Winging it rarely works when it comes to running a successful social media account. Take particular holidays, campaigns and even days of the week into consideration when deciding what to include in each post.

4. Engage your audience

Social media revolves around relationships. That’s what makes it social. Engagement is essential to any successful Instagram account. Not only do you want to get a lot of followers, but you need to keep them interested or they’ll leave you for something shinier. Basic ways to engage followers is to acknowledge them by responding to their comments, answering their questions in DM and visiting their feeds.

That’s right. Put yourself out there. Follow people in your niche. Like and comment on their content. It may seem obvious, but it’s what is absolutely necessary and the foundation of social media.

5. Keep the conversation going

If you want to up your engagement game and increase your chances of gaining loyal and long-lasting followers, dedicate time to finding ways to bring your followers back for more on a regular basis.

You can do this in a number of ways. Holding contests and giveaways is always good because it requires people to interact with your account in order to be entered. You can also recognize individual followers on a regular basis by giving them a shout out in your feed and sharing their content. It’s flattering and will build bonds.

You might also want to encourage your followers to share photos of themselves using your products. Come up with a special hashtag to identify such posts, and then recognize them by sharing with your audience at large. User-generated content like this is gold. It makes followers feel special, provides you with social capital and keeps your feed full of interesting, engaging content.

These are a handful of the top ways to gain followers. Take some time to explore Instagram and try out all the cool features they offer. See what works for you and your audience, but don’t forget to employ these basic, proven strategies to maintain consistent follower growth in the new year. Your effort will pay off, and you’ll be building a brand that people love to follow.

5. Use an Instagram Bot

Let’s admit it – no one enjoys tedious and repetitive jobs. The truth is that managing social media accounts can sometimes be just like that.

Imagine you’re working to increase your account’s overall engagement and measure performance and you stumble upon the most effective ways to do that. It’s clear that liking, commenting and following users in your niche can have a huge boosting impact on your account’s reach, because those users will end up visiting your profile, one way or another.

But honestly, who has time to manually like, comment and follow users on Instagram to get those results? That is where using the best Instagram bot on the market comes into play. Simply put, automating your Instagram activity is such a no-brainer if you truly see your time as the most valuable asset. At the end of the day, you will end up achieving even better results compared to manual interaction, all while saving valuable time.

And that is exactly why the smartest marketers and social media managers in the world utilize platforms like SocialCaptain to boost their brand’s impact in the online world.

12 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers With Automation

UPDATED: August 2020

There are a number of social media automation tools designed to save you time and effort with your social media marketing. A number of those tools are dedicated to Instagram specifically. Here is how you can grow your Instagram following by using automation.

1. Automate finding and following new accounts.

Though many Instagram automation bots vary in terms of the services they offer, all of them will offer the ability to automate finding and following new accounts. Generally speaking, all you have to do is tell the bot hashtags and accounts you want to follow.

Then, using that information, it will automatically start following those accounts and pick random ones from within the hashtags to begin following. It will gradually follow a certain number of new accounts every day so that your account activity looks as natural as possible.

2. Automate your posting schedule.

Some Instagram bots will allow you to automate posting to the social network. If you use a bought that does not allow for scheduling posts, many other social media management platforms allow you to schedule posts for Instagram alongside the posts for other popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

This makes it easy for you to batch your content creation process so you can focus a certain amount of time every week on creating the posts you plan to share with your audience. This also allows you to keep a consistent posting schedule, posting at times when you know your audience is most likely to be active to engage on the post.

This way, you do not have to manually post content to your account every day and you can focus on other tasks to promote your business that cannot be automated.

3. Automate commenting.

There are some people out there who will advise against automating comments because it can come across as spammy.  However, when done correctly using neutral yet positive comments and including a variety of options for the bot to rotate through, you can still leave relevant comments on photos without coming across as fake.

To make sure you’re not completely wasting time, it’s best to only automate commenting for a few photos every day. Because the best Instagram bots will interact with hundreds of photos every day, it’s impossible to program it in a way that will create context relevant comments for all of the photos it comes across, So that’s why you should set aside some time to craft genuine comments manually every day.

4. Automate likes.

Automating likes is safe to do with an Instagram bot. It won’t come across as spam or get flagged by Instagram. Likes are a non-intrusive way to make people happy increase your odds of engagement. Likes or a subtle nudge that will only show up on a person’s activity feed. Many people don’t have issues with getting likes from people we don’t know and everyone benefits when their content gets a like because Instagram’s algorithm picks up on it as a signal of it being popular.

Unless you are someone who has thousands of followers, chances are you’re checking your activity feed to see who liked your post and discover new Instagram accounts this way. Automating liking banks on the fact that you’re liking posts from people who will discover that you liked their post and will turn around and follow you.

Automating likes through a bot is similar to paying Instagram to have your account shown on people’s home feeds through ads.The activity creates weren’t even aware of the fact that you existed. And,because it’s not a formal add that you are running through the Instagram platform, it’s free.

5. Automate direct messaging.

Like with comment automation, you can also automate direct messaging to Instagram accounts. However, because it is also difficult to make contextually relevant to every single follower the bot will encounter, you want to keep it limited to a small number of accounts every day.

You will, of course, have to use generic phrasing, so keep a variety of positive, neutral statements such as, “Thanks for the follow!” in the repository for the bot to work with.

6. Automate unfollowing some accounts.

With this strategy and Instagram automation, you follow users who may be interested in your account using automation tools. then, you wait a few days to see if they follow you back, and if they do not, you use the same automation tool to unfollow them. most of the time you’ll find that 20 to 35% of the people will follow you back.

The actual percentage will vary significantly depending on how effective your strategy is for the people you start to follow. The idea is you want to use filters to make sure you were engaging with users that are most likely to engage back with you.

Using the follow/unfollow method without automation is unlikely to help you achieve those results. Manually following 1,000 users in the span of a week in an active niche compared to automation you may find the manual method only achieves at 10% follow back rate which is significantly lower. When you consider the increased time you spend with the manual method, you have a diminished return on investment and no real reason not to use automation.

Taking the time to unfollow users who don’t follow you back keeps you with a good follower ratio and ensures you’re not wasting time and effort on people who are not going to engage with you keeping your engagement rates high and making your account look more appealing to the Instagram algorithm for better chances of viral posts and increased follower growth through viral activity.

7. Focus your efforts on quality content creation.

Use the time you save with automation to make sure the content you’re creating to post on Instagram is of the highest quality and is targeted to your audience. If you’re posting for quality content, it doesn’t matter what kind of automation results you’re getting because you won’t be able to keep your followers happy.

8. Check on your automation efforts regularly.

From time to time, you want to check and see how your automation efforts are going. If you find that you are not getting a lot of engagement, you may want to adjust your automation to target different hashtags.

9. Take time to answer all comments.

To boost your engagement and to show your audience you care, take time to reply to any and all comments on your posts. Even if you notice generic ones that you believe were automated, taking the time to respond to them shows the rest of your audience that you were paying attention and you appreciate the time they took to comment.

10. Automate to save time – not to completely avoid work.

If you set up an automation bot one time, walk away and never look at the bot or your Instagram account again, you’re doing it wrong. Not only are you doing it wrong, but you’re obviously doing it for the wrong reasons. Chances are, you’re looking for a quick and easy way to monetize your Instagram following and a while this is a respectable desire, it won’t get you very far.

You will still need to spend a certain amount of time engaging on Instagram and creating content for your followers manually. Nothing on the internet that is of the good quality you need to develop stable customer relationships is done with 100% automation.

Yes, there’s plenty of stuff out there that is completely automated, but it’s not the kind of stuff your audience will enjoy or respond to the way you hope.

11. Don’t push your automation tool to the max.

Unless you use an automation tool from the very beginning of your Instagram account, chances are you were only able to like and follow a certain number of users every day.

You want to avoid maxing the automation tool out because Instagram will notice if you go from following 50 users a day to 1,000 users a day. The key is to make the activity look as natural as possible which often means using the automation tool much less than what it is capable of actually doing.

12. Do not use more than one Instagram automation bot.

It may be tempting to double down on your efforts by using more than one automation bots. However, is best if you only use one at a time. You can use one for a certain amount of time before testing on another one to see which one you like better, but using more than one at the same time creates unnatural activity and could possibly cross some wires and create potential flags on your Instagram account.

Everything you do on Instagram from content creation to following accounts and engaging with them should be done with your followers in mind. Without a dedicated group of loyal followers, you won’t be able to reap sales benefits from your social media presence.

10 Hashtag Mistakes Every Marketer Should Avoid on Instagram

UPDATED for 2020: We recommend using the AI-powered Instagram Hashtag Generator

#TBT

#Instagood

#Nofilter

These are just some of the most popular hashtags on Instagram, according to a recent analysis. This punctuation mark took on a new meaning in 2007 when one Twitter user began using hashtags to group content and discussion topics in order to make it easier for others to locate topics of interest.

Today, hashtags are used across social media platforms but have become particularly popular on Instagram. In fact, hashtags have become so popular that Instagram instituted a hashtag limit to prevent users from overusing them. Many brands and websites rely on hashtags to promote their content and they tend to gain momentum over time as users add more people to their #tagging friends lists.

Instagram marketers may already realize that hashtags play an essential role in content discovery and amplification. Here are 10 tips that’ll let social media marketers to put Instagram hashtags to good use by avoiding common pitfalls that can otherwise doom thoughtful campaigns.

1. Ignoring topical hashtags.

Hashtags help those who are not following your account to find your content. In order to reach new followers, social media marketers should incorporate popular hashtags in Instagram posts. Doing so can help brands to reach users who are searching for hashtags taking Instagram by storm.

Trying to determine the top hashtags and determining who uses the most hashtags is not an easy task for a social media manager. Expert marketers use the best Instagram hashtag generator to identify the optimal tags for your specific post.

In the example above, Mercedes-Benz created a piece of content that fits well with popular holiday hashtags. The brand’s social media managers added the hashtags “Holidays” and “Xmas” to the post, which helped to increase reach.

2. Hashtag stuffing.

As mentioned earlier, Instagram does not support hashtag stuffing. Overusing hashtags in an effort to reach a wider audience will often backfire. Instagram users have become savvy enough to spot and avoid content that appears to be spam. Posts with many hashtags will appear to be disreputable and can cause users to form a negative opinion of your brand.

Take a page from the world’s most successful Instagram brands, and use hashtags tastefully. In the example above, Rolex uses three hashtags to promote one of their new watches. Two of the hashtags used are branded, while one is descriptive.

3. Failing to develop a branded hashtag.

A branded hashtag can help to increase brand awareness within Instagram. By encouraging brand enthusiast to use a branded hashtag, companies can magnify their reach beyond those who are following their Instagram profile.

Social media marketers should think of creative branded hashtags that those within the target audience would want to use themselves. In time, Instagram users may begin to organically use your organization’s branded hashtag.

4. Overlooking Instagram’s new hashtag monitoring feature.

Last year, Instagram announced a feature that allowed users to follow specific hashtags just as they would follow an Instagram account. This development has had significant implications for those interested in hashtag marketing campaigns.

First, social media marketers can easily follow hashtags of interest within Instagram. This makes it easier to natively monitor the platform for user-generated content for example.

Second, developing a branded hashtag that has real staying power provides brands with another way for brands to connect with their target audience through Instagram. Some may choose to follow a branded hashtag instead of a traditional branded Instagram account for example.

5. Using hashtags without understanding their meaning.

There are a countless number of social media campaigns that failed because of tone-deaf marketing. Don’t make the same mistake brands like Pepsi and Tory Burch have made by misappropriating social or political reference points for corporate gains.

Similarly, social media marketing managers must be sure they understand what hashtag abbreviations mean. Using #AF, for example, might be appealing because it is growing in popularity among some demographics, but it could outrage others who disapprove of organizations that use profanity in marketing content.

6. Launching an ad campaign without an accompanying hashtag.

The world’s most successful brands usually launch advertising campaigns with an accompanying hashtag. That’s because it encourages members of the target audience to share user-generated content with the same hashtag.

This helps to amplify the brand’s message and makes it easier for advertisers to monitor the reaction to an ad through social media networks like Instagram.

Regardless of the channel through which you launch an ad, be sure to include a hashtag somewhere in the creative.

7. Neglecting to monitor user-generated content.

User-generated content, also known as UGC, is often shared with an accompanying branded hashtag. Often, brands will re-share user-generated content as a form of social proof. By sharing an implicate endorsement from a happy Instagram user, it can help brands to make inroads with other prospective customers on the platform.

Furthermore, including a shout out to a happy customer can help to turn that satisfied customer into a lifelong brand advocate. In the example above, Harley Davidson shares user-generated content and included a branded hashtag to boot.

8. Forgetting to include a hashtag in your Instagram bio.

Adding an appropriate hashtag in an Instagram bio is a great way to make your account more discoverable. Instagram users have the ability to search for keywords that relate to photos, places, or “people,” the last of which is another word for Instagram profiles.

In cases where you are trying to gain traction among a target audience, sharing a generic hashtag used by this audience is your best bet. On the other hand, those who are interested in motivating an existing audience to become more engaged may benefit from included a branded hashtag in the Instagram bio.

9. Ignoring hashtag discovery platforms.

Sometimes it can be hard to know what hashtags should be used when. Often it is best to use a trending hashtag that is free from divisive social or political connotations. To that end, social media marketers can use a third-party Instagram analytics or discovery platform to identify trending hashtags that should be used to increase the reach of a specific piece of content.

Before posting a new image or video to the platform, be sure to take a few minutes to see if a popular hashtag can be included in the caption. This should be a part of your Instagram monitoring workflow.

10. Focusing on hashtags while forgetting to create a moving caption.

While Instagram hashtags are important in order to reach new audiences or to further engage existing followers, they are just one small component of what is required to be successful as an Instagram marketer.

More important than Instagram hashtags is creating a compelling brand narrative that is aligned with the needs and wants of the target audience. That means winning brands will be the ones that use Instagram captions to tell a compelling on-brand story.

Of course, a part of writing a great caption is using hashtags appropriately, but marketers should avoid obsessing about hashtag use to the exclusion of creating a moving caption.

Conclusion

Instagram is becoming an increasingly crowded social media platform. Over 25 million businesses use official Instagram Business accounts, and 800 million people use the platform in total.

One way to cut through the noise is by artfully using hashtags to increase reach. Selecting popular hashtags can be a great way to acquire new followers in search of an account like yours. Alternatively, using branded hashtags can be a good way to increase brand awareness through Instagram, or to encourage followers to produce user-generated content.

How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for Your Account

UPDATED (July 2020): We now recommend using the AI-based Instagram Hashtag Generator to find the optimal tags for your content.

Hashtags are practically a necessity if you want to gain followers on Instagram. This simple tool lets you categorize your posts with relevant tags so that people with those interests can find you. It’s like a roadmap to your content. However, choosing hashtags can seem like an overwhelming process. A well curated list of popular hashtags provides all the time you need to keep your fans’ attention.

You probably know it’s good to use multiple hashtags, but you want to use them strategically. Don’t stress. Just keep reading below to discover how to find the best Instagram hashtags for your account and avoid unnecessary hashtag mistakes.

1. Search on Instagram.

Instagram has its own integrated search bar known as the Explore feature. Just type a relevant keyword in and select the tab marked “tags.” This will produce a list of hashtags that include that word. This search will also show you some posts containing the hashtags.

These insights can help you to make some important decisions regarding which hashtags to use on your own posts. Study the tags to determine which may be overused and whether there are more specific ones you can use for better results.

Trial and error should always be expected in order to figure out what works for you. Spend some time here to generate potential keywords that fit your brand and your audience. Sometimes it really does make sense to start with the obvious.

Did you know that Instagram accounts have built-in links to your own sites? While this is probably not a strategy you’d take to the extreme, it does provide you with opportunities.

2. Try related hashtags.

Did you know that you can actually follow hashtags these days? It’s true. Many popular hashtags have their own Instagram accounts. Check out these hashtag pages to find users interested in that topic.

It’s a great way to find people to follow and engage with. Hopefully, they might then choose to follow you. While you’re on a hashtag’s page, take time to take a look at the top of the page for a list of related hashtags.

Just swipe left to preview them. This feature offers a goldmine of potential hashtags for you to try out. It’s often best to pick ones that fall within a particular niche. That way, there’s less competition than you’d find with the more generalized terms. Plus, you’ll be more likely to connect with followers who could truly benefit from your particular offerings.

3. Check out your competition.

It’s always good to know what others in your industry or niche are doing. Spend some time visiting the profiles of your competitors. This exercise can tell you a lot and help to inform your own marketing decisions.

By reviewing their most-used hashtags you can determine whether you may wish to use the same ones or if researching related tags might be in your best interest. You can also look to popular influencers who are posting about things relevant to your brand for hashtag inspiration.

4. Visit past successes.

Your own account can be one of the best places to find the right hashtags to use. Check out the posts that have performed the best and gained the most engagement. Which tags did you use? Perhaps it was a  geotag, which is a specific tag listing a current location. Maybe it was a hashtag related to a particular holiday or trend. Pay attention to what’s worked for you in the past and look for patterns.

Try to tag future posts following these patterns to see what sticks. Be sure you’re using tags that are most relevant to your brand’s purpose and audience. It’s not advisable to use one simply because it’s popular. Any success with this strategy will likely be a fluke and could backfire on you by actually causing you to lose followers who feel deceived.

5. Create your own hashtag.

You can make up your own hashtags that fit your brand specifically. A tag related to your unique product could find traction as people discover that item. You may also wish to create fun campaigns to gain the attention of your followers.

Contests, giveaways, influencer campaigns and more can all be marked with their own hashtag. While it may take some extra time for people to notice, this type of hashtag is uniquely yours and is most likely to bring you followers who are genuinely interested in your business and what you have to offer. Get creative and give it a try.

6. Know your brand.

An often overlooked strategy for finding hashtags is to study your own brand. Hopefully, you know your brand inside and out. You understand its mission and the ultimate purpose you wish to serve with
your product or service. You know the feel or vibe you wish to convey to your audience and potential customers.

Your overall mission is probably drilled deep into your subconscious. In addition, you should have a strong understanding of your targeted customer base, including demographics like age, interests, preferences and more. Even when brands know this information, they can overlook its importance, and that’s a big mistake.

Instead, use this insight to your advantage. Make a list of what your brand stands for, words associated with your overarching message and adjectives that describe your ideal client. Then use those words to launch your hashtag search. You’re sure to find tags that serve your purpose.

These are just a handful of tips for you on how to find the best Instagram hashtags for your account. Marketing research like this can be in-depth and time-consuming, but it’s worth it and should net you the types of results you’re looking for. Taking time to plan a hashtag strategy is a smart decision and will increase your likelihood of engagement success.

10 Lessons You Can Learn from the Best Brands on Instagram

Getting the hang of using Instagram can take some time, dedication and patience. Even those who aren’t new to the platform need to pay attention to trends and stay up-to-date and the latest features being unrolled.

If you want to gain followers and make money on Instagram, one thing that can truly help is to take notes on what others are doing. Take a look at these 10 lessons you can learn from some of the best brands on Instagram.

1. Let your customer be your best sales tool.

A lesson that often goes overlooked is the value in showing what your product can do. One of the best ways to do that is to showcase how your customers are using it. An added bonus of this approach is that it allows you to give credit to your followers and to generate increased engagement.

Adobe is a company that’s doing this right. They feature a ton of user generated images and art using their line of digital products in a way that is inspirational to their audience. It also shows the capabilities of their software. Most of us would consider that a win-win.

2. Show your creative side.

Due to the sheer volume of users on Instagram, it definitely helps if you have a creative approach to your marketing. Creativity is something that seems so simple, but truly takes a great deal of talent to pull off in ways that stand out from the crowd. L’Oreal is a brand that takes this concepts to new levels and excels in showcasing their products in visually appealing, yet innovative ways.

The one thing they’ve managed to pull off exquisitely is the placement of their products within their feed. A basic rule of thumb on this platform is to follow a common color theme within your feed in order to make it more pleasing to the eye. L’Oreal manages to showcase a vast array of colors within their product line in ways that make aesthetic sense. It’s playful, fun and a real work of art.

3. Be of value.

No matter how lovely your Instagram feed looks or how wonderful your product may be, you won’t get far on any social media platform if you don’t offer immediate value to your customers. They follow you for a reason. Some market research can clue you into what it is they want most. Once you find out what that is, be sure to deliver.

Give them a reason to want to follow you, as IKEA is known to do. They offer glimpses into how their furniture can be displayed within your home through both their image and video content.

Seeing items placed in real life settings shows how usable the pieces are and inspires followers to want to check out more. Also, while I don’t recommend this as a long term strategy, you can buy Instagram followers for social proof, so more people are likely to follow you.

4. Share instead of trying to sell.

No one wants to feel like they’re being sold to. Consumers want to exercise free will and choose the products and services they find worthy of their hard-earned dollars. Hard sells rarely go over well in any medium, but especially on social media platforms where transparency is crucial.

Try not to make every post a sales ad. It’s important to mix it up with content that’s relevant to your niche and that adds value, as already noted. Walmart does this quite well.

They showcase their products in a number of settings, both in-store and out in the world. They also feature images of associates and customers in relevant circumstances. They tell a story.

5. Just ask.

Increasing engagement is a goal most brands have on social media. When your followers are actively involved with you, they feel invested and are likely to become repeat customers. One of the best ways to increase engagement is to ask your audience for their feedback directly.

Whole Foods is a company that excels in this area. They ask insightful, meaningful questions within their captions to solicit input from their followers. In return, they receive tons of likes and comments.

6. Social media as customer service.

Social media channels have become the go-to for many consumers when it comes to voicing their opinions and seeking remediation when they’re dissatisfied with a brand. When done right, companies can actually benefit from this practice.

Zappos is one such brand leading the pack in this arena. They even set up a separate account just to manage such issues. Showing genuine interest in providing attention and an immediate response goes a long way when it comes to customer loyalty.

7. Involve users in real life. 

Most marketers don’t think to take social media into the real world, but it can make a significant different in your customer engagement and help you stand out from the pack.

Check out what the mattress company, Casper, is doing to get their products out there. One example is their brilliant marketing campaign, known as the “sleep tour”, that actually introduces customers to their mattress pads, pillows and even mattresses in real life.

8. Update a classic.

Some of the most well-known businesses are the ones who’ve been around and have thrived for decades. In order to make this happen, they must adapt and evolve with the times.

Wendy’s, the iconic fast-food chain, is one such brand that has reinvented itself on social media to an overwhelmingly positive response from customers. Their modern, edgy approach is appealing to millennials and a younger crowd. Who would’ve expected that?

9. Don’t be afraid to use video.

Instagram is a visual platform, and that doesn’t just mean static images. Users have proven they crave video content, and the most successful companies are happy to give it to them. Victoria’s Secret is one such brand.

In just a matter of six months on Instagram, they were able to gain approximately seven million followers. One reason for such success just might be their prolific library of videos showing everything from behind-the-scenes peeks to stunning product reveals.

10. Appeal to their senses.

Luxury automobile brand, Mercedes Benz, does something with their Instagram account that more brands would benefit from. They present their vehicles in a way that make them seem accessible to their followers.

They provide an insider’s view of what they have to offer and what sets them apart from their competition. Showing what it would be like to own and use their product is a quick way to grab attention and interest.

These 10 tips should provide you with a great deal to consider when mounting your own online marketing campaigns. Use the suggestions that mesh with your brand, and don’t be afraid to experiment a bit to discover what works best with your audience.

How to Use Instasize to Create a Cohesive Brand on Instagram

Growing an engaged following is the goal of any successful brand looking to market itself on social media. A big part of drawing potential followers and connecting with them is your visuals. That’s why Instagram is such a powerful tool for marketing your brand.

Not only is the app intensely visual in nature, but with over 800 million active users per month and one of the highest interaction rates of any social media platform, it is also one of the most effective ones out there. That’s the good news.

The challenge, however, is getting your brand to stand out amid a veritable jungle of competing accounts. We’ve already talked about the different ways you can develop your brand’s voice on Instagram, so now let’s discuss another important aspect of marketing your brand on the platform.

One of the best ways to grab and keep the attention of your prospective followers is to make browsing your feed a visually pleasurable experience that they’ll want to keep coming back to. A well curated feed with posts transitioning beautifully into each other is what you should aim for, and one of the key elements to achieving this is design consistency.

A consistent, cohesive look across your entire feed is not only appealing to the eye, it highlights the care and though you put into your brand. It may seem like a complex challenge, but achieving a cohesive brand isn’t actually that difficult with a plan in place and the right tools.

The first thing to keep in mind is that people look at your Instagram in two different ways. They see your posts individually on their feeds, and they also see them all together in a layout when they visit your profile. Visually interesting posts tend to get people to check out your brand’s profile.

It may take people seeing your posts a few times to get them to check out your profile. Having a consistent and appealing look across your posts will help potential followers recognize your content when it pops up.

Once you interest them enough for them to take a look at your brand’s profile, that’s where they usually decide to follow you. Having a cohesive and appealing look across your posts guide potential followers to this point, which is why a good image editing app like Instasize is such an indispensable tool for anyone looking to market their brand on Instagram. Let’s check out how Instasize can help you attain that cohesive aesthetic for your brand.

The quickest way to find a unified theme for your brand’s feed is to experiment with filters. Instagram has a modest selection that may suit your needs, but if you want your brand to stand out you’ll need a wider selection of filters.

Instasize’s extensive library of filters are a great way to easily apply a consistent but unique look across all your images if, like most of us, you don’t have an extensive background in photography.

Serious brand marketers can gain access to even more exclusive filters by availing of a premium membership. No matter how you want to project brand, there’s probably a theme that conveys it perfectly. If you’re going for something dark and broody, you can try out the A2 filter from Instasize’s Amber collection. Or you can go for a more cool and wintry look with the Spruce collection.

For something on the more light and bright side, why not try H2 from the Havana collection or the M2 and Arya filters?

Dramatic black and whites are more your thing? The app’s Radio and Nova features can give you that serious, dramatic tone.

Don’t forget that you can tweak a filter’s settings to really get a look that’s right for your brand. Once you feel more comfortable editing the settings of your photograph, Instasize lets you create your very own look by changing image settings such as Exposure, Contrast, Brightness, and the like.

Maintaining a consistent aesthetic also extends to the text you use to complement your visuals. Everybody knows that text is a convenient way to include link information or the time and date of your next Instagram Live post.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that selecting the right font, color, and style creates an instantly recognizable look. Instasize makes this easy by giving you an extensive set of options for creating the right text layout and style for your brand, all in a single app.

Besides being able to choose from a number of text styles, Instasize also lets you select the color and font applied to the same style without breaking the design. No need to resize and reposition the words, it’s all automated!

These tips should help you start designing your own brand’s unique, cohesive look. Remember, everything about your brand’s look should tell your brand’s story. So choose everything, from the colors, framing, and text styles with care. Keeping this and mind will go a long way towards getting your brand’s message across, and building an active and loyal following.

8 Surprising Ways You Can Make Money on Instagram

Instagram’s popularity has exploded in recent years. What was once a simple photo sharing app has turned into one of the most popular social media platforms around.

People are using it far and wide for a variety of purposes from keeping up with their inner circle to learning about the latest trends. It’s become a place where influencers and brands are welcomed and embraced for all they have to offer.

The key is finding ways to stand out from the crowd and connecting with a devoted audience. If you’d like to earn some social media side cash or even earn a full-time living online, take a look at these eight surprising ways you can make money on Instagram for inspiration.

1. Try affiliate marketing.

It used to be that you had to have your own website set up to promote affiliate products. These days, you just need an active social media account. Because Instagram is so popular, it’s the perfect choice for promoting the products and services of others in order to earn a commission for yourself.

There’s good money to be made by becoming an affiliate. Platforms like Shopify, Amazon, Clickbank and more offer tons of opportunities to find affiliates to promote that fit within your niche and appeal to your particular follower demographic.

2. Become an influencer.

There are influencers of all audience sizes, depending upon your specific area of expertise and interest. Becoming an influencer involves first cultivating an active and engaged following on Instagram, then making a name for yourself among those loyal users.

You don’t need to reach celebrity status with a cult following, just as long as your audience is engaged and has shown they have trust in your knowledge.

Once you’ve established yourself, you can begin to approach brands to suggest collaborations. Depending on your niche and activity level, brands may even begin to seek you out with proposals of their own.

Typically, a brand will pay an influencer for a sponsored post. Rates vary based on size of following and engagement, but you can earn some good money this way.

3. Sell your digital products.

Promoting and selling your own personally created products through your Instagram feed makes sense. Again, it’s wise to create a brand for yourself and cultivate a following by sharing what you know and showing your unique personality.

Once people start to connect with you, they’ll likely be interested in what it is you do and what you have to offer.

You can sell digital products like ebooks, white papers, photos, artwork and printables within your niche. Establishing yourself as a trusted expert within your field will encourage folks to want to know what it is you have to say. There’s quite the market for informational products out there.

4. Sell your physical products.

You can also sell your own physical products, as well. If you use your creativity and talents to make things, why not try reaching an extensive audience through Instagram? Just as with any other product you’d want to sell, it’s best to establish your online presence in order to attract more interest in what you have to offer.

You can sell nearly anything that appeals to a particular demographic. You may need some initial startup costs, as well as adequate work and storage space in your home.

Once you make sure you have all you need, you’re ready to start selling. Instagram allows you to tag items that lead potential customers directly to your website or online sales venue.

5. Get involved with dropshipping.

If you don’t have the startup capital, talent or space necessary to product your own product, don’t despair. There are plenty of suppliers out there who will maintain inventory and even ship products you promote through your online properties.

It’s a no-frills way to make money selling physical products that you wish to promote. You set up an online store, promote products you love and your dropship supplier handles the backend. You’ll earn a profit based on agreed-upon commission terms.

 6. Become a brand ambassador.

Influencers who succeed with sponsored posts and other short-term partnerships with brands may be interested in pursuing brand ambassador opportunities.

This role works in a similar way to sponsorships, but it’s usually for a longer period of time and is more detailed. It’s a real partnership between an influencer and a brand, and it involves significant trust and admiration on the part of both.

In order to be chosen as an ambassador, a company must view you as someone they admire whose image and interests are in line with what their own company values. And vice versa.

You should only look to create such long-term partnerships with brands you genuinely believe in. Otherwise, your audience may see you as fake or as a sellout.

7. Teach what you know.

Influencers who have established themselves as trusted experts within their niche can often make money through teaching what they know.

You can provide this information through webinars or online courses that your audience attends either in real-time or through pre-recorded sessions. Some experts also sell their consulting services to others. Why not profit from your hard-earned knowledge?

8. Sell your Instagram account.

Finally, did you know you could sell your Instagram account? It’s true. If you’ve taken the time and effort to create a significant and loyal following with hundreds or thousands of posts, you don’t want to just shut it down should you find that you’re ready to move on.

There are people and companies who may be interested in profiting from your established hard work and reputation. Your online social media property can be worth quite a chunk of change. There are sites like Swapd who can broker fair deals for you that are worth considering.

These are just some of the ways you can make money on Instagram. Each requires dedication and time, but they’re definitely worth it if you wish to work and earn a living online.

7 Tips for Creating Amazing Instagram Videos

Videos can be used in so many ways on Instagram, and people love them. Add them to your timeline, stick a clip in Instagram Stories or even produce a video ad.

There are tons of possibilities. It’s smart to use them to engage your followers. However, it’s crucial you use them in strategic ways if you want your videos to be seen and shared. Check out these seven tips for creating amazing Instagram videos.

1. Tell a story.

Instagram has become a platform where people expect to learn about the profiles they follow. Sure, it’s used by brands both big and small, but Instagram isn’t all about selling. If you want to truly connect with your followers, it’s imperative that you share stories with them.

You can do this in lots of creative ways. Shoot a video telling about your origins, feature your staff or present a short bio of a relevant figure within your niche. Creating a narrative is a great way to create a feeling of personal interest.

2. Know your objective.

Stories are definitely a fantastic way to connect with an audience, but don’t forget your purpose. This is digital marketing, after all. You’re using Instagram for a reason. That may be to promote your brand, make more sales, present yourself as an expert or gain social capital.

It can even be a combination of such motivations. Know your objective before creating a video so that you can incorporate content that meets your marketing purpose in a way that makes sense.

3. Use subtitles.

A trick to creating amazing Instagram videos is to ensure that they can be viewed and understood without sound. People tend to scroll social media while in public places or at work.

They probably have their device on silent. You want them to be able to watch your video and understand it even without sound. Subtitles are the easiest and most efficient way to do this. However, feel free to get creative and create videos that achieve this goal in other ways.

4. Create how-to videos.

Video is the perfect medium for showing how to do something. You should definitely take advantage of this and capitalize on the medium. If you sell a product, create videos that show how to use your best-selling items or to showcase some of the most relevant features a product offers.

If you’re an influencer or want to promote your personal brand, giving demonstration videos in your niche is a great way to establish your expertise, along with showing off your unique personality.

You can expand on the how-to concept in lots of ways that can hold viewers’ attention and that align with your purpose. Always remember that one of your goals is to meet your marketing objectives in ways that resonate with your audience.

5. Inspire emotion.

The videos that are most often shared by users are the ones that inspire emotion and make them feel something. People want to be moved. They want to laugh.

As social creatures, it makes sense that emotional videos are the ones that people will most connect and identify with. Keep this is mind when creating your story. You’ll also want to think of your brand image when deciding which emotion to elicit and how to go about it.

Be sure your content is in line with your branding. You can do this in a number of ways. Use bold colors, fun topics and modern music to convey a current, hip vibe. Include serene music, stark images and sharp angles to tell a serious story of perseverance and inspiration. Just be consistent in your tone and presence in ways that are reminiscent of your brand messaging.

6. Keep it short.

You don’t have much choice but to keep your videos short because Instagram only allows videos between 15 and 60 seconds long, depending upon placement.

This short time constraint is actually a good thing for social media and this particular platform. People are busy scrolling to see everything their Instagram feed has to offer, so they’ll appreciate short snippets of information they can process quickly.

An added bonus to short video clips is that they help you to stay on message. Stick with one specific topic of focus so as not to confuse viewers. It’s tempting to try to share everything all in one video, but this only muddles your message. Find your focus and be true to it. You can always expand upon the concept in your next video once you see how well this one is received.

7. Stay current.

Creating timely videos related to current affairs or upcoming days of interest are a tried and true way of capturing viewer interest. It’s good practice to stay on top of the calendar to see what holidays or quirky days of recognition might be approaching.

Find a way to make the occasion relevant to your brand and run with it. Clever and creative videos are likely to be shared.

Current events inspire sharing, as well. Making a video that is related to what’s going on in the world shows you’re connected with the bigger picture. Use trending hashtags to help your content stand out. Don’t be afraid to take a stand on issues that are important to you. There will always be those who disagree, but it’s likely they’re not your target audience, anyway.

These tips should get you started out on the right foot when it comes to creating amazing Instagram videos. Don’t be afraid to use trial and error to discover just what goes over with your audience and what might not. Practice makes perfect.