7 Instagram Growth Strategies to Boost Your Engagement and Conversions
With over 1.2 billion users worldwide and millions of eye-grabbing pictures uploaded each day, Instagram has become a popular social channel for businesses.
As per the latest data, 60% of Instagram users rely on the platform to discover products. Hence, this platform is crucial for marketers wanting to promote their products and drive high engagement and conversions.
In fact, the content posted on Instagram generates higher engagement than other social channels. This poster from the global fashion brand, Burberry, is an excellent example that affirms this fact.
Here's how the image performed when shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Facebook collected 940 likes, 42 comments, and 33 shares from 17 million fans.
- Twitter received 70 retweets, 156 likes, and 7 replies from 8.2 million followers.
- Instagram got 7,234 likes and 40 comments from 19.5 million followers.
The image generated seven times more engagement on Instagram than on Facebook, even though the brand’s follower count on the two platforms is comparable.
However, with over 2 million businesses using Instagram for marketing, gaining a competitive edge can be difficult.
In this post, we will share seven Instagram growth strategies that'll help you boost engagement and conversions, thereby supporting your business goals.
7 Instagram growth strategies to turbocharge your brand account
Level up your Instagram game with the following key growth strategies.
#1: Comprehend Instagram's multiple algorithms, classifiers, and processes
Each social media platform has its unique algorithm that prioritizes and filters what users see in their feeds. When it comes to Instagram, the platform tracks multiple aspects to improve content visibility.
So, understanding Instagram algorithms, classifiers, and processes is crucial to creating and promoting content that would bring maximum engagement and conversions. This Instagram growth strategy relies solely on the platform's internal algorithms.
Here's how Instagram works:
- Information about Content: Instagram tracks signals like the number of likes, comments, date of posting, and shares to gauge its popularity among audiences.
See the recently posted content by Starbucks that got 53,049 views and 3,940 user comments.
The chances of this post appearing in Instagram feeds are high due to the high engagement quotient. So, ensure that the information in your posts is relevant and aligns with the target audience’s expectations.
- Information about the Content Owner: The number of times people interact with or view the content of a particular person helps Instagram understand their credibility.
For instance, check out the following post on Dixie Damelio’s Instagram Account. She is an influencer with 24.9 million followers.
This video post has received 358,953 views. Besides, most posts of Dixie saw a massive engagement, making the content more credible. The key to growing on Instagram is to post authentic content that adds value to the audience experience. The higher the credibility, the better the chances of the content appearing in users' feeds.
- Users' Actions: The type of content that users discard indicates the audience's disinterest. So, the content that gets reported for offensive language or spammy content has fewer chances of appearing in users' feeds. The app may also remove it entirely.
Notice how Instagram removes spammy content that goes against their community guidelines, thereby warning about the deletion of the user account.
So, make sure that everything you post aligns with the platform's guidelines.
- Set of Predictions: Besides the usual signals, the platform makes educated guesses on what posts might interest the users. Instagram tracks the time users spend watching a specific video or content. It also monitors the content users save or the time they click and visit its owner's Instagram profile. The chances of similar posts in their feed rise with each action they take.
For accurate predictions, Instagram keeps a tab on users with similar interests to understand their choices. Let's say you recently liked this picture by Warby Parker.
Instagram will track other accounts that have liked this photo and check their interests. If a user who liked this picture is a follower of Starbucks, you may see Starbucks content in your feed.
#2: Create goal-driven and save-worthy content in various formats
Instagram ‘Saves’ that allows the audience to save and reread or rewatch content is a solid indicator that the content resonates with them. ‘Saves’ is a strong signal that the content is high-quality, thus boosting the chances of the post being shown to the user feed.
Notice the following informative post by tips4ielts. Users who find it helpful can tap the bookmark icon in the right corner to save the post. Producing such worth-saving content can help your brand achieve higher engagement, thereby building trust and rapport with your target audience.
Here are a few tips to create goal-driven and save-worthy content.
- Know what your primary goal is. Is it receiving maximum comments, likes, or shares, or do you want to boost conversions? Define your priority.
- Brands that want to build awareness should consider sharing educational and informative content. For instance, they should share high-quality and informative pictures and infographics that can add value to their followers.
Notice how Lucy Mountain, a fitness trainer with over 417K followers on Instagram, creates educational content for her audience. The well-researched information in the post amplifies its engagement quotient, thereby making it worth saving. This Instagram growth strategy has helped Lucy achieve 159,260 likes for the shared post.
- If you want to introduce a new product feature, create and share high-quality video tutorials showcasing that feature. Notice how SAP, one of the largest business ERP providers, effortlessly follows this simple tactic. No wonder they have 215K followers with an average post engagement of 3K.
- Brands looking to attract new customers and increase followers should consider posting user-generated content (UGC). UGC content is the content produced and shared by audiences.
It could be videos (Instagram Reels), written posts, images, or brand reviews. A recent report reveals that 72% of consumers trust the reviews and testimonials shared by customers more than others. So, UGC can turn customers into brand advocates, showcasing your services as authentic and thereby gaining your target audience's trust.
Check out how Airbnb, a leader in the travel sector, engages its 5.1 million followers by leveraging the power of UGC. The high-quality images of exotic locations make their content worth saving.
- If your goal is to drive conversions, create action-driven content. The following post from GoPro is an excellent example of goal-oriented and actionable content.
Check out their actionable caption reflecting a subtle call-to-action with the image where they have tagged their product. Understand how they have implemented a 30% discount strategy to encourage their 19.5 million followers to buy the product.
Here are a few tools that can help you create engaging content that converts.
- Canva (60 million monthly active users) to create high-quality images and infographics.
- Adobe Premiere Pro (Trusted by more than 12 million users) to record and edit videos.
- Grammarly (Over 30 million monthly active users) to create readable and error-free content that engages users.
#3: Find and collaborate with top Instagram influencers in your niche
Social media influencers are experts who create valuable content to engage the audience. Collaborating with your niche-specific influencers can help you with:
- Creating meaningful content that aligns with your brand's core value
- Targeting fine-tuned demographics
- Advertising products in subtle ways while creating a positive brand identity
- Engaging and converting a massive audience at cost-effective rates
No wonder 68% of brands intend to increase their influencer marketing spend in 2022. What's more, reports state that there are over 15 million sponsored Instagram posts, indicating the vast range of brands running influencer campaigns and ads.
However, the key to leveraging the power of influencer marketing is to find the right partner in the vast sea of influencers.
How can you find the right influencer?
Having recently joined forces with Lightricks, the developer behind apps like Videoleap and Facetune, Popular Pays is a comprehensive platform that streamlines the influencer discovery process. The platform helps produce the best content for favorable business outcomes.
With Popular Pays, you can:
- Tap into a vast community of your niche-specific content creators using various filters and search parameters, such as influencer expertise, reach, impressions, engagement rate, and more.
- Collaborate and communicate directly with the influencers via a centralized platform, commissioning creative posts and other assets.
- Track your campaign performance for informed decision-making.
- Save your resources and time with features like a transparent cost model and budget allocation visibility.
Moreover, if you're searching for an influencer that understands your industry, Storyclash might help you here. It's an influencer discovery platform that shows which exact users mentioned any brand on the account.
In this way, you can find more experienced influencers that have a proven history of working with companies in your industry. Moreover, you can even target content creators that work with your competitors to get ahead of the competition across your niche.
Method, a line of environment-friendly home cleaning products, is an excellent example of how influencer marketing can boost brand awareness and engagement.
Method wanted to showcase their new line of products produced in collaboration with Rebecca Atwood. Popular Pays helped Method build 35 creator partnerships with over 4 million followers combined, which made the campaign a massive success. They were able to create 105 pieces of enticing and unique content seamlessly, highlighting their limited edition collaboration with artist Rebecca Atwood.
#4: Leverage the power of Instagram Ads
Instagram ads serve as a medium for brands to reach larger and targeted audiences by advertising videos, images, and other visual content. While organic content marketing is vital, promoting content via Instagram ads can help multiply the engagement rate within no time. Reports reveal that brands can reach 850 million users using Instagram ads. So, ramp up your engagement and conversions with Instagram ads.
Here are the key types of ads to consider:
- Image Ads
These ads allow brands to advertise their products and services via images. Photo posts best suit businesses that want to share their brand's message via compelling pictures. In this ad by Jonak, notice how they have used design or illustrations that resonate with the campaign.
The French brand engaged its audience by posting several image and story ads on Instagram. Here are the impressive results of this ad campaign.
- 260 leads per month of the Instagram campaign
- €7 of revenue generated for every euro invested
- €0.78 cost per lead
- Story Ads
They are full-screen video and image ads that users see while scrolling Instagram Stories. With more than 500 million people viewing stories on Instagram daily, Story ads can be the best way to boost customer engagement and conversions.
Let’s review the case study by Tazz, a Romanian-based delivery service. The company leveraged Story ads to highlight the company’s strength and increase brand awareness.
The results were measured by a Brand Lift study, which showed:
- 2.7 point lift in action intent (the number of users planning to use Tazz in the future)
- 7-point lift in action intent across Instagram audience aged 18-24
The ad itself showed videos where chefs reinvented classical international dishes using local ingredients.
- Carousel Ads
These ads on Instagram feature a series of immersive videos or images that the audience can swipe through via a CTA button. They can appear in the users' feeds or between the Stories and lead users to the brand's website.
Here’s how a carousel post appears on users' feeds.
With carousel ads, brands can:
- Showcase their products
- Tell their story
- Share up to ten videos or images
- Video Ads
They allow businesses to showcase their services and products via videos that could be up to 60 minutes long. However, short videos are more effective in engaging users than long ones.
Check out the video ad by DFS, Britain’s biggest sofa retailer. With 158K million followers on Instagram, the furniture brand leveraged the power of video ads featuring its products to maximize customer engagement.
The product tagging feature integrated with the video ad helped DFS achieve:
- 3.7X increase in incremental add-to-cart events compared to regular video ads
- 1.7X increase in purchase intent for ads compared to regular video ads
- 73% lower cost per incremental add-to-cart events with product tags compared to regular video ads
- 4.5X additional product exploration events with product tags compared to regular video ads
- Shopping Ads
With over 130 million Instagram users visiting shopping posts every month, it's no wonder shopping ads have gained massive popularity. Shopping ads allow users to view and purchase products without leaving the app.
These ads take users to the product description page, where users can pay and buy the products directly, as shown in the below-shared image.
Brands only need to set up a shopping catalog to activate these ads.
- Reels Ads
Similar to Stories ads, Reels ads allow brands to create full-screen videos of up to 30 seconds to showcase their message, products, and services. With Reels ads, brands can add relevant sound or music to enhance the effectiveness of the ad.
Stada Consumer Health Deutschland, the leading Pharmaceutical manufacturer, wanted to raise awareness of Daosin as a simple solution to post-meal issues.
They utilized Reels ads on Instagram, and according to a multi-cell brand lift study, the results showed:
- A 6-point boost in ad recall for Reels ads, compared to usual ads
- The 3.5-point increase in brand awareness for Reels ads, compared to regular business ads
- 100,000 video Thru Plays for Reels ads
- 2.3 million people reached
- Collection Ads
This format is a combination of shopping and carousel ads. The ads display products from the product catalog page, allowing users to buy the products there and then.
With these ads, brands can maximize their conversions with zero hassles.
- IGTV Ads
IGTV ads are currently available to users in countries like the US, UK, and Australia. These ads appear in the middle of IGTV videos with an option to skip.
Here are a couple of methods to run an ad campaign on Instagram.
Method #1: Promote any existing video or post to create an ad. For instance, refer to the below-shared Instagram post. As you can see, users can promote their Instagram posts. By clicking on it, brands can turn any of their existing content into an ad.
Method #2: Create Instagram ads using Facebook Ads Manager. The tool enables brands to create an ad campaign by choosing an objective. Once they select the objective, it prompts the users to name the campaign and choose a budget and time to schedule the ad campaign. Businesses can either set a daily budget limit or a fixed budget till the end of the campaign.
This allows brands to target a specific Instagram audience based on their behavior and demographics. Brands can add their input and make payments to run the campaign.
Pro Tip: Create small budget ads and track their performance. This will help you identify the content that works best for your target audience, thereby boosting the campaign's performance.
Marketing and sales platforms like Improvado can help you gain in-depth insights into your paid ad marketing efforts and ensure marketing data granularity. With Improvado, you can extract Instagram performance data across all your ad campaigns, posts, stories, Instagram Reels, hashtags, and more. Then, Improvado allows you to merge Instagram data with metrics gathered from other platforms to create a holistic view of your marketing performance.
For paid ads, Instagram's API allows you to measure ad performance and collect vital metrics, such as CPC, for every creative and campaign. Improvado uses automated API integration to compare the data from paid ads and organic posts on Instagram and shows results on a centralized dashboard to reveal new trends, bottlenecks, and growth opportunities. With the power of the modern data analytics stack, you can make data-backed decisions and drive growth and engagement.
ASUS, a prominent hardware manufacturer, needed a solution to synchronize and visualize marketing data across different regions and channels. Improvado's team empowered the company by streamlining marketing data from tens of channels, storing it in a unified warehouse, and visualizing data on a granular dashboard. This approach resulted in 30% of annual marketing resource savings and allowed the team to focus on analysis instead of manual reporting
#5: Strive to maintain a high impressions-to-reach ratio
Engagement rate determines how the audience interacts and communicates with a brand in the digital landscape. Instagram impressions and reach are the golden metrics to track the engagement quotient of any post or campaign as it underlines how frequently the audience interacts with the content. These metrics may sound similar but are distinct.
Let's understand the difference between the two.
A) Instagram Impressions: This is the number of times your content, whether an image, video, or story is viewed by the users.
B) Instagram Reach: This signifies the number of unique users viewing the post.
So, each time a user reviews your content, it will be counted as an impression. For instance, if a user views your post five times, the impressions will be five, whereas the reach count will be one. The crucial thing to note is that when your impressions are more than the reach, it affirms that your target audience is rewatching the content. This is a strong indication that your content is performing well. So, maintaining a high impressions-to-reach ratio can help you cultivate a deeper relationship with your target audience, thereby helping you gain a loyal audience.
Here are a few tips to help you achieve a high impressions-to-reach ratio.
- Create quality content, such as videos, reels, and images. Since image posts are the most viewed content on Instagram, using high-quality pictures can increase your impressions.
- Use relevant Instagram hashtags and keywords while producing captions for your posts.
- Experiment with different types of content in various formats. Use a poll to gauge your audience's opinions regarding content. Notice what your target audience likes the most and create a solid Instagram strategy around it.
- Conduct Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions to gauge the audience's pain points and create content offering their solutions.
- Schedule your posts at the optimal time. As per a study, the best timings to publish posts to gain maximum traction are:
- Monday: 6 AM, 10 AM, 10 PM
- Tuesday: 2 AM, 4 AM, 9 AM
- Wednesday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM
- Thursday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 11 PM
- Friday: 5 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM
- Saturday: 11 AM, 7 PM, 8 PM
- Sunday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 4 PM
#6: Monitor and analyze conversion rate
The conversion rate measures the number of conversion events, such as downloads, subscriptions, or sales. Monitoring this metric can help you analyze your existing content's quality and improve your ongoing Instagram strategies and growth by identifying the gaps.
By monitoring conversion rates, you can:
- Optimize the expenditure on online marketing campaigns by eliminating the friction points.
- Nudge more prospects into your sales funnel by creating new Instagram growth strategies that work.
- Lower the cost-per-acquisition (CPA), the money spent on acquiring a new customer. You can invest the saved money in creating new marketing campaigns.
This is where Improvado can also help you keep track of your marketing efforts. The platform displays conversion rates, CPA, CPM, and other metrics across different campaigns, audiences, and channels in a single dashboard.
Manual reporting is always exhausting, especially if you’re trying to get a sense of numbers across tens of marketing platforms. By freeing up your marketers’ resources, they can concentrate on identifying new growth opportunities and eliminating campaign gaps instead of manually comparing dull numbers all day long.
Pro Tip: Count on powerful tools like Sprout Social to schedule and measure high-quality content with custom tracking links so you can monitor your conversion rate in Google Analytics. More than 30,000 organizations and brands of all sizes, such as Shopify, Evernote, Edelman, and more, use this tool to optimize social conversions.
Sprout Social offers -
- Built-in editing tools to create customized content
- A full-featured editorial calendar for scheduling content
- Hashtag performance indicators per location
- A social CRM that funnels conversations into a central smart inbox.
The iconic brand, America's Test Kitchen, achieved a 31% increase in engagement per Instagram post while a 171% increase in overall Instagram engagement using Sprout Social.
#7: Utilize Instagram insights to improve your strategies
Instagram Insights is a mobile-based analytics and reporting tool offered by the platform for business accounts. With Insights, businesses can gauge their content's performance and precisely identify the posts that resonate with the audience.
For instance, this tool tracks and calculates crucial metrics, such as likes, clicks, comments, reach, impressions, and more, for free.
If you have a business account on Instagram, you can access the posts-related insights by going to your settings and tapping the "Insights" option. The inbuilt dashboard appears as follows:
As you can see, the section provides insights on reach, engagement, followers, and content for the past 90 days (can be customized). Using the information, you can:
- Track the frequency of posts being shared.
- Break down the key highlights of the top-performing content to produce more actionable content.
- Track audience interaction for each post and learn what actions were taken for them.
- Optimize the poor-performing content by following well-calculated steps.
- Analyze whether the content is reaching the right audience. If not, you can change or adjust your content strategy for better results.
Since 90% of users follow at least one brand on Instagram, this platform has become the go-to social network to reach, engage, and convert customers. However, standing out in the massive competition needs a well-planned Instagram growth strategy. Most top brands we’ve spoken about in this post implement the aforementioned strategies and tools to achieve tremendous growth and ROI.
Following these Instagram growth strategies and tools can help you create top-class content while having a bird’s-eye view of your daily progress. So, experiment with the shared growth strategies and focus on what works best for your brand.