How to outsmart the tricky Instagram algorithm in 2018? Embrace a power of new Instagram features and incorporate 5 innovative tips on Instagram promotion to your social media marketing strategy.

5 Ways to Gain Followers With NEW Instagram Features
They say: “add hashtags, like and follow other users, post consistently and you will successfully promote your Instagram account”. This is indeed great advice, but how many times have you already heard it?

Probably you encountered those recommendations in almost every article you read on this topic. They are nothing wrong, but nothing new. That is a plight of each internet user to skip tons of in an attempt to find something new and relevant. That’s why people read only 20% of content on every web page.

And that’s exactly why we decided not to include generic Instagram tips to our first article. Instagram is rapidly changing month by month, so a lot of promotion tricks you heard of are not working anymore. An evolving algorithm establishes new rules for those who want to grow their Instagram followers. They are different from old ones, but no worries. Now we will tell you how to promote your Instagram page by taking advantage of the new features of 2018.

Instagram Promotion Tip #1: Adopt IGTV

Video marketing is on the rise. Social media shift their focus from other kinds of content to video, because people love it. For example, 82% of Twitter users watch video on Twitter, although this platform wasn’t initially intended for watching video content.

Instagram is no different. The launch of videos and stories had great success, so the developers decided to go even further and introduced IGTV in June 2018. This feature allows users to publish vertical videos longer than 60 seconds, what turns Instagram into a mobile version of YouTube. The limits vary from up to 10 minutes for average users to up to 1 hour for verified users and Instagram accounts with a lot of followers.

How can IGTV help with promoting your business on Instagram? There are some tricks:

  • You can add multiple links to the video’s caption. Surround them with a compelling message and don’t forget to include a call to action. This will help you to drive traffic to your website. Also, people who are not on Instagram also can see that links and click on them. That expands your reach significantly and even can boost conversions.

  • Longer videos give you more freedom in content creation. Now you can embody the ideas you had nothing to do with being bound by 1-minute videos. Give 10x more value to your existing followers and attract new ones.

  • Repost your videos from YouTube, Facebook, and other sources to IGTV using Kapwing video resizer. This simple tool adds a black or white background to your video, so you can upload videos that were initially taken in a horizontal format. More people see you video materials — more popularity on Instagram you gain.

  • Promote your product with the support of an influencer. Even though influencer ads are quite old tricks, you can apply them in a new format of IGTV. Instead of posting a photo or story featuring your product, an influencer may review your product in a long video or tell about your service in one of their vlogs. This practice is very common on YouTube, but only gaining momentum on Instagram. Here’s your another chance to rise above others.

IGTV opens up numerous new vistas for those who want to win more followers on Instagram. All you need is to get your imagination in the game.

Instagram Promotion Tip #2: Align Your Strategy With a New Personalized Algorithm

Unlike the old chronological feed, 2018 Instagram feed displays only things you really want to see. Statistically, 90% of posts in a feed of your average follower come from their friends and family. Good job Instagram, now people love you even more. But what about brands?

There are 3 main factors that influence content prevailing in a user’s Instagram feed: interest, timeliness, and relationship.

  • INTEREST: Instagram predicts what you will like the most based on your previous behavior (likes and comments). The more it thinks you like it, the higher this post will be placed in your feed.
    Tip: Yes, this means you need to work harder on your content if you want to be noticed. So how to promote an Instagram post in 2018?

    Instead of focusing on selling a product, focus on bringing value. Pictures are great to draw the attention, but often not enough to tell people something really useful. There’s when long captions come in.

    Embrace the power of blogging and try to alternate long and short captions. Long captions may act as mini blog posts up to 2200 characters long (that’s about 400 words).

    Where to look for relevant topics? Try to explore Quora to understand what are the most frequently asked questions within your niche. Another great resource is Medium, where you can see what’s hot and what’s not among blog articles.

  • TIMELINESS: A recent posts are a priority, so you will likely not see week-old publications. Even posts that don’t come from your friends and family will be displayed first if they are very recent (up to 10-20 minutes).
    Tip: Timing becomes more and more critical on Instagram, and therefore you should review your posting hours. Track down when your users demonstrate the highest level of activity and try to stick with that time of publishing.

    Lunchtime (11 AM — 1 PM) and evening time (7 PM — 10 PM) are considered as common peaks of user activity. But your peaks may be different from those. You can see yours in statistics available for business accounts.

  • RELATIONSHIP: Now Instagram can guess who is your best friend and what is your marital status. Posts from people with whom you have pictures together or who comment your photos rank higher.

    Tip: To enter the “friends and family” group, you should put a lot of time and effort into your Instagram promotion. However, there is one secret trick.

    We’ve just figured out that Instagram identifies people who tag you in their posts as your closest friends. No problem: ask your followers to tag your profile in their posts or stories as part of your next contest. The same may be applied to comments and stories: ask them to comment on your 5 latest posts or repost your story.

    The more frequently they will tag you — the better. So we recommend you to run 2-3 engaging contests in a row and see what will happen next. It’s highly likely you will be caved in likes.

Instagram Promotion Tip #3: Ask and Answer Questions Using Stories

People love questions. Even more than polls that were introduced by Instagram before. Questions evoke curiosity and require deeper involvement in the subject, therefore they heavily boost engagement. An engagement rate is probably the most important indicator of your growth, what makes questions a dream Instagram promotion tool.

After recent Instagram updates, you can add a question sticker to an Instagram story. It’s a good way to ask your followers anything you want. The best answers can be included in your next stories — promise them to do this and encourage them to respond.

Trick: However, the main purpose of the question sticker is not asking questions but answering them. You can see a lot of stories featuring a question sticker with the “Ask me something” request.

Give it a try, too. You will be surprised how many people enjoy questioning brands. Of course, they can ask you something in comments or via direct messages, but that’s not the same. Users who use those stickers for communication often answer questions publicly in their stories. That’s a great way to tell people more about your brand or even compile an FAQ video to highlight it on your page.

Aside from boosting engagement, this method attracts more followers to your profile, especially if you use hashtags in your stories. The more valuable your answer is, the higher you will rank by a hashtag.

Instagram Promotion Tip #4: Add Clickable Links to Your Personal Profile

The other novelties on Instagram are the clickable username and hashtag links in profile bios. Users may use “#” or “@” to redirect their followers to other profiles or specific hashtags.

We offer you to leverage one unusual method to promote your Instagram account.

Let’s imagine you run an Instagram promotion service with a staffing capacity of 22 people aged 20-30 years old. Statistically, 64% of young people have personal profiles on Instagram. Or probably more, we barely know 2 or 3 people who don’t have Instagram in 2018. However, let’s stick with official statistics.

64% of 22 people = 14 people. Ask all your counterparts who have Instagram put a link to your brand profile in their accounts, so the bio will look like:

26 y.o.

Live in New York, USA

Marketing strategist at @ingramer.com

Keen on travelling, e-sports, and techno music.

You receive 14 external links to your brand profile. Apparently, each of your counterparts has his or her own followers. People are usually curious where their friends work, so they will likely click on the link and visit your account to check it out.

There is a percent of them who is interested in the general concept of Instagram promotion. Another percent may be interested in Instagram promotion services. The third category is eager to learn how to promote their personal Instagram. All groups of users are your target audience who will follow you in a case if they find your content useful.

Instagram Promotion Tip #5: Welcome Updated Explore Section

Instagram makes most changes in favor of personal accounts, but an updated explore section will benefit both brands and customers. Now you can see topic channels alongside the regular “For you” section:

Topic channels aim at connecting more users with similar interests or introducing new brands to their target audiences.

However, the majority of posts inside each category gather not less than 500 likes. But you can see the hashtags tailored to the topic at the top of the page. For example, for architecture: #newtopographics, #paperjournalmag, #lekkerzine.

Let’s dig even deeper. A lot of top posts under the #newtopographics hashtag have a relatively modest number of likes. This post got only 66 likes within 1 hour:

So if you can’t reach a number of 500 or more likes for now, try to use hashtags associated with topic channels to promote your Instagram account in your niche. Some users will definitely check not only the channel itself but related hashtags like #newtopographics and discover your post. Your main challenge is to keep producing quality and recognizable content.

Let’s Recap

Even though our 5 innovative methods of Instagram promotion are working now, there is no guarantee that a couple of years after Instagram won’t change beyond recognition. The company announces new tools every month — IGTV, stories question stickers and polls, updated explored section only a small part of updates introduced this summer. Thus, we recommend you to reconsider your Instagram strategy at least monthly.

Also, we understand that our guide is not for complete beginners who only start their Instagram journey. If you need more basic information about Instagram and its promotion tools, let us know in comments and we will write a kickoff Instagram guide to help you gain your first followers.

And if you find our tips relevant and want more of them — join Ingramer and receive detailed insights into everything related to Instagram. Let’s learn how to promote your account on this platform together!