Just like the ‘Loch Ness Monster and The Abominable Snowman’, organic reach on Instagram will soon be referred to as an urban myth.
Over time, Instagram has consciously pushed its revenue model towards penalizing posts with low engagement. This is evident in the case of brands on the platform that get little to no love in terms of visibility without investing substantial monies into promoting their channel and posts. This trend on Instagram is not dissimilar to the tectonic shift which happened in Facebook’s algorithm circa 2014.
Instagram is where users are today! Every brand needs to have a presence here, and you can too! Check out our blog for more tips: Your Guide to Building Your Brand on Instagram.
With the new algorithm changes, Instagram ensures that the priority on a user’s feed is given to their friends & family, and accounts that they have shown a prior interest towards. Where does this leave brands trying to appear on the feed of new users? Not in a great position, sadly! As of 2021, the prime real estate at the top of the Instagram news feed depends on how much the user engages with the accounts, their timeliness, and the number of accounts followed by the user. It is therefore imperative that brands focus on the following tips mentioned in this blog to stay relevant and have the best chance at organically making any sort of impression on Instagram.
Before we dive into how to increase organic reach on Instagram, some of you might consider buying followers on the platform. While it sounds like a good idea, here’s why you definitely shouldn’t: Want To Buy Instagram Followers? It’s A Bad Idea!
Sure-Fire Ways To Increase Organic Reach On Instagram
1. Different content formats
Believe it or not, users spend a lot of time on Instagram to consume different content formats differently. This is the platform’s way to give the user an experience of multiple social media channels, right on Instagram! Apart from the generic news feed on Instagram that we’re all familiar with, there’s more! Instagram Stories are those red circles at the top of the screen that give brands the chance to share content for a limited time (24 hours), which actually serves as a quick break from the news feed! The video formats are split into two – IGTV for long videos and Reels for the ones under a minute. Among all these various formats, brands are encouraged to diversify their content and lure their users in.
2. Consistent engagement
On Instagram, more than any other social media channel, engagement is the name of the game! That’s what gets the algorithm excited about your account, and increases the chances of it showing up on others’ feeds. The content put out by brands needs to not only get views but also comments, shares and reposts. The lesser the engagement, the more likely the algorithm is to penalize the page and keep it hidden away. Posting engaging content every day rather than occasionally is likely to increase your chances of getting seen tenfold! As of 2021, Instagram is a volume race and brands need to be on top of their game with a vast library of content that is new, engaging, and consistent.
Staying consistent as a brand takes discipline and effort. To ease the process, here’s a blog with a few points to ponder: Instagram Business Toolkit For Success.
3. Interact, respond around the clock
Users are not going to think you are ‘awesome’ unless you are consistently awesome! To rephrase, just like how brands want users to engage with their posts, the users want the brands to engage back and respond. This means putting on your cape and diving into the trenches of the comments section, responding to every possible query or appreciation post. This is a full-time job! Unless the audience you are targeting is located in an extremely niche geography, dedicated personnel need to be allocated depending on time zones. If a user manages to get convinced that they are in a one-on-one conversation with the brand, the odds of them remaining loyal fans increase exponentially.
4. Get users to turn notifications on
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need to ask! Your brand is golden if you can convince users to turn on their notifications for posts and stories. The news feeds and explore tabs are an unending ocean of content and there is a good chance that posts can get drowned out by the noise with loyal followers, too. Notifications give them a personalized update when content is posted. On the flip side, it also tells Instagram that users can’t seem to afford to miss out on the brand’s content, hence the need to promote them further! Influencers and brands around the world have made direct pleas to their fans to turn on the notifications and even offer massive rewards in return!
5. Niche targeting
With every passing year, the categories of niche seem to be expanding. We have gone from the era of engaging macro and mega niche to micro niche, and now to nano niche! The audience craves extremely specialized content. The level of awareness among users is increasingly high, and run-of-the-mill content does not impress users anymore. The more specialized the content, the more likely a brand is to step out of the crowd and impress. It is suggested that brands move a horizontal model of content creation to a vertical model. This implies that rather than touching upon several niches, brands are implored to pick a single niche and traverse it completely, from top to bottom. In the long run, with this model, it will pay off to have lesser followers as the ones that stay back are likely to be hyper-engaged and proactive in their support.
6. Cross promotions
If your brand has a loyal following across social media platforms, it pays to bring them to one common destination where they can consume your best content. This is why Instagram content needs to be promoted with posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and YouTube. When it comes to social media, social listening is one way to differentiate what users are looking for across platforms. It helps establish dominance on Instagram by giving the users exactly what they want! Every post can be made into a clickable link that is attached to content with a call-to-action that gets users to Instagram. Even within Instagram, the same content on the feed can be promoted on stories to get additional attention.
7. Nostalgic content
Nostalgia is everywhere! Gen Z and Millennials are obsessed with using technology which takes them back to a time when there was no technology. From Marvel & DC to Pokemon and Nintendo, nostalgic content is at the top of the charts. Even if your brand doesn’t directly sell products or services that are nostalgic, it can be used as a delivery mechanism to promote the brand online and grab attention. This strategy works by creating a sense of shared experiences with the user, thereby forging a bond that establishes trust. Big Hollywood studios have even brought back iconic video game characters from ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’! Using nostalgia on a visual medium like Instagram is an ingenious way to tug at the heartstrings of the user.
8. Leverage reach with collaborations
Apart from brands collaborating with influencers and vice versa, they can create strategies where they collaborate with other brands to leverage their existing user base. If the Venn diagram of followers has some level of intersection among their fans, it isn’t the worst idea to create content together for Instagram. From Pacino & De Niro to Jordan & Pippen, audiences love teams and this holds true even for content on social media. This allows both brands to share followers with each other, saving marketing and production expenses for both!
9. Understand the algorithm
As the algorithm changes, so does the content strategy. This would be an absolute waste if the brand marketer is not even aware of the changes in the algorithm of Instagram. Hence, they need to be on top of the trends to understand how the backend responds to content in real-time. Analytics and data generate substantial periodic data that can point out glaring gaps in a marketing strategy, both individually and comparatively with other competitors. A good digital marketer is an intangible part of the content creation process.
Analytics isn’t just for content creators. Brands can benefit from them greatly! Here’s some easy-to-use third party analytics tools that brands can integrate into their marketing effort: Best Analytics Tools To Use For Instagram Content Creators.
10. Make all events virtual
Whether this means co-hosting real-time events or online or creating online specific events, there is no doubt that the world has gone virtual. In a way, the world is now more open to virtual events due to the global pandemic, offering brands an unprecedented opportunity to tap into markets that were alien earlier. Brands need to capitalize on this and establish their reach across geographies by studying international content markets in detail and leveraging this information into their Instagram strategies.
While the constant updates to the Instagram algorithm might make brands feel like they have the cards stacked against them, they can turn this adversity into opportunity by staying dynamic and grabbing opportunities when they present themselves. Over time, the hard work will pay off and audiences on Instagram will find out about your brand.
Social media in 2021 is constantly evolving. To stay on top of changing trends, have a look at our blog: How to Build Your Social Media Marketing Strategy For 2021.
If you’ve got any influencer marketing-related questions, we are happy to help you. At AtisfyReach, we provide services that help brands establish a strong presence across social media platforms, and connect them with influencers through tailored marketing campaigns.
Register your interest, and let us help you build a true connection with your audience.