Instagram is often considered the most effective social media channel for marketing and brand reach, particularly its clean interface and highly engaged user base. Yet with more than two billion monthly active account holders, competition for businesses has never been steeper—right when the platform is the most valuable. So how can you still get noticed on this platform?
Whether your business has an established social presence or you’re just getting started on Instagram, you will need a proactive, strategic approach to reach your target audience. The foundation of a strong Instagram strategy consists of two key components: Reach and relevance. To increase both, you’ll want to create content that stands out, consistently communicates your brand, and tells a compelling story.
To focus on reach, you’ll first need to watch and analyze this metric. Increasing space puts your brand in front of more people—allowing you to gain exposure, build an audience, or introduce more users to new products or services.
However, reach is only impactful when it creates awareness or connection for the right people—your target market. Otherwise, you might as well stand on the corner with a sandwich board and hope for the best. And it isn’t enough to put content in front of the right audience, and you have to serve the right content to them too.
This is where relevance becomes so important—you want your Instagram content (and the rest of your content, for that matter) to speak directly to consumers. There are many ways to do this and remain true to your brand identity, from creating valuable industry resources to shining the spotlight on other makers and businesses.
You’ll also want to learn how to create a variety of content! The days of simply uploading images to this platform and creating an aesthetic feed are long gone. Instead, you’ll need to create content that encourages engagement to stand out. Reels are one of Instagram’s newest features, offering increased attention as the platform continues to push this feature to compete with TikTok’s rapid growth and popularity. There are also highly interactive Stories, Instagram Lives, and in-feed videos to take advantage of.
You might also consider working with influencers, as of all the most-used social media channels, creators carry significant influence on Instagram. This doesn’t just include the mega-influencers with millions of followers, but even micro-influencers, who typically have between 10K-50K followers within a niche interest.
Remember, people are on social media to connect with others, build community, learn new things, and be entertained. So your content should always fall into one of those buckets, and the opportunity to create high-value resources for your audience can have a significant impact on both reach and relevance for your brand.
And before you adopt any new strategies for getting noticed and achieving growth, take a look at what’s already working. Dive into your Instagram analytics and review posts, hashtags, or campaigns that earned the most engagement and significant reach. Remember to also look for any clear patterns around popular times of day or days of the week for certain types of posts.
Finally, see what your competitors are doing! What is working well from them that you can model your approach while staying authentic to your brand identity? Look at the types of content they’re creating, what they’re sharing, and what their audience says about it.
It can take time for these strategies to be effective, so stick with regular content creation and posting—you definitely can’t grow an audience if you aren’t active! Then, create a plan that draws from your own experience and account data, careful analysis of your competitors, and most importantly, what you have the most fun doing!