If you’ve been doing any kind of Instagram marketing, you probably have come across all sorts of Instagram success tips. You probably are also already aware of certain marketing strategies you can apply on Instagram.
This is really not that big of a mystery. It’s all about following the right accounts so they can follow you back. If you build enough following and these people are heavily targeted, as far as their interests are concerned, you end up with an integrated Instagram marketing campaign that is almost sure to deliver a solid return on investment.
This all looks great on paper. But as well all know, there are many things in life that are easier to say and plan than actually pull off.
Make no mistake. Instagram marketing is one of those projects. It seems so simple at a certain level, but when it comes to actually implementing an Instagram campaign, a lot of marketers simply fall flat. This is due to the fact that they followed the wrong people.
You need to be clear about the outcome you desire
It’s tempting to get on Instagram and just come up with a list of influence feeders who are already targeting your niche. This is so appealing to a lot of people because it’s fairly easy.
You just need to know which hashtags are close enough to your niche and before you know it, you would be able to come up with a fairly long list of influential accounts that seem to already have a following. These people are already talking about topics and issues related to your niche. What’s not to love?
Well, here’s the problem. If you follow those people, you find out, in the worst way possible, that they’re actually not looking to buy anything. Why should they buy anything from you when they already know the niche like the back of their hands?
In fact, they can even be considered experts in your niche. If you find yourself in this sad situation, your problem is very easy to diagnose. You ended up following influencers instead of their followers.
It all boils down to niche targeting
The way to build a solid following on Instagram is actually straightforward. You need to follow the followers of your competitors or existing niche influencers. These are people who are more likely to be customers. They’re not experts who think they have it all figured out.
In many cases, they are following your competitors precisely because they are looking for answers that you yourself are able to provide. Your brand or your company is the perfect fit for these people’s needs. Follow them and a certain percentage of them will follow you back.
A missing piece
Following and unfollowing is a fairly straightforward strategy, but this can only work to build your follower base if you supply a missing piece. I’m talking about content. You have to have solid content that is niche-specific.
Now, you may be thinking that you just need to snap the right pictures or shoot the right video snippets and you’re good to go. Well, it’s tempting to think this way. But unfortunately, the devil is in the details.
You have to understand that people are busy. Even if they’re just scrolling through their Instagram feed, they need to make sure that they don’t waste time on content that they would do better without viewing. As you probably already know, there are thousands of new content available on Instagram every single day. How do you make sense of this?
If you are stumped, what do you think your end users are going through? You have to give them some sort of signal, letting them know that the content you provide is worth their time. This is where social proof comes in.
You see, you’re going to be stuck with the chicken or egg problem in the beginning. You don’t have many followers so regardless of the content you produce, it’s not going to get a lot of engagement because you don’t have a lot of followers, to begin with. However, to get followers, you need solid content.
The problem is even if you produce the very best content, but people can see that it has very low engagement and few social signals, they are less likely to engage. They think that somehow, someway, your content sucks because there’s not much engagement. Do you see the problem?
This is where social proof comes in. By buying Instagram likes or Instagram video views, you move the needle so you create an upward spiral.
Create a social positive feedback loop
When you create an upward spiral upon your content, your social proof sends the message loud and clear that people should interact with your content. It kind of gets rid of all the initial risk and skepticism your content will attract.
People then like what they see and it then triggers another round of organic traffic. Before you know it, more and more real people possibly interact with your content and you create a solid following. Still, none of this can happen unless you follow the right people and you invest in the right social signals.