Effectively promoting Instagram in 2022

Instagram is one of the top social networks in the world and already has 1.3 billion users. The popular service continues to grow and bring money to advertisers, and bloggers along with them, as it has been recognized as the most effective platform for influencer marketing in 2020-2021.

A blogger can earn up to $10,000 on one advertising post. Why are brands willing to pay so high for influencer services? Because it works: there is a constant expansion of the audience, Instagram users have high loyalty – 90% of them subscribe to commercial accounts. Still, Instagram algorithms are unpredictable: due to significant competition, promotion in this social network is always a topical issue for companies and bloggers.

In this article, we will talk about free and paid promotion methods on Instagram that will be effective in 2022.

Where to begin

Before we start discussing Instagram promotion methods, let’s talk about pre-production. So, first of all, you need to do the following:

  1. Create a profile. The more competent and detailed the Instagram profile is, the better it works for you. Make sure that the profile name matches the subject of the account; write a detailed description (USP, benefits). If your business is related to the offline sphere or you are limited geographically, indicate the location. Place links to the site or other materials in your profile. Think about easy navigation: up-to-date information should always be at hand so that the visitor does not get lost on your page.
  2. Remove inactive subscribers. “Dead souls” in the account should not be. These are users who do not react to your content in any way and thus harm the statistics. Instagram calculates the percentage of user engagement: if a post has been viewed by 10 people out of 1000, then the social network will regard the material as uninteresting and stop showing it.
  3. Create a business account to get detailed statistics and the ability to analyze the response of subscribers to content.
  4. Plan a development strategy. Development is impossible without a clear plan. Once you have set your desired goals, you can develop a step-by-step strategy to achieve them. A content plan with planned publications, Reels and stories will help a lot. Consistency and regularity is the key to successful promotion. 

Paid promotion methods

Let’s start with paid Instagram promotion methods that will be effective in 2022. The most promising areas include targeted advertising and influence marketing. 

Targeted advertising allows you to attract an audience with specific interests. Standard Instagram mechanisms decide for themselves who to show your content to, while targeting allows you to set up the audience that the customer needs. On Instagram, you can advertise in the feed, Stories, or Reels.

You can set up such advertising through Instagram itself or using the Facebook advertising account. If the setting takes place through Insta, then you need to set a goal: increasing the number of visits to the site / profile or increasing messages (in fact, increasing the engagement rate). The criteria for setting up an audience with this method is limited. 

As for setting up targeted advertising through Facebook, this method does not have the above drawback: there are much more opportunities for audience segmentation.

A common drawback of all social networks is a weighty list of restrictions on advertising, and quite flexible. For violations of the rules, advertising is usually stopped, and in some cases, the account can be blocked. 

Influence marketing (promotion through influencers) is one of the main trends in 2022 . This type of marketing attracts with its unobtrusiveness: the blogger communicates with subscribers in their usual language, their recommendations are perceived by them loyally (like the advice of an old friend). A well-known person or an expert can act as an influencer. The choice of influencer depends on the product being advertised. In influence marketing, direct advertising or native (veiled) advertising can be used. 

Free promotion methods

The top looks like this:

  • Reels,
  • commenting,
  • hashtags,
  • cross promo,
  • promotion through adjacent platforms,
  • location,
  • user content.

In the summer of 2021, Instagram introduced content to the world in the Reels short video format (15-30 seconds). At the same time, the social network has taken a course towards supporting video content, due to which Reels is currently the most popular format for free promotion on Instagram. The huge advantage of the tool is that Reels goes beyond the boundaries of the existing audience. Posts rarely get recommended, Stories spin for current followers, and Reels can get several hundred views for an account with 1,000+ friends. 

Also, the lifetime of Reels provides additional opportunities for advertising, unlike stories that live only 24 hours, and posts – several days. New Reels videos can pull in previously created ones: if Instagram identifies a video that is of interest to the audience, it will show early content.

Commenting should be targeted and thoughtful. It is better to choose a friendly and relaxed style of communication, do not engage in self-promotion. To gain followers on Instagram through commenting, communication under the content of personal accounts of both ordinary users and bloggers or entire brands will help. Non-promoted users are more likely to notice you and go to your page. As for “advanced” accounts, don’t expect a subscription from them, but other subscribers will surely appreciate an interesting comment.

This method of promotion has nothing to do with spam commenting. Automatic commenting is also recognized as ineffective: comments are often out of place. At best, they cause laughter, and at worst, irritation and anger.

Hashtags are not used as the main promotion tool, but they still bring an additional audience. The service has a search for hashtags and the ability to subscribe to them. On Instagram, you can add up to 30 hashtags to a post, but this number rarely has a significant effect. It is better to pay attention not to quantity, but to quality: put thematic hashtags that are most relevant to your topic, or localized – when it comes to a product with a clear reference to the location.

The topics of the post, photo and hashtag must match. This is necessary so that the Instagram algorithms correctly recognize the topic of the post and show it to the right audience. It is better not to use high frequency hashtags (over 500K) as they reduce the chances of your content being unique. In addition, it is necessary to monitor the relevance of hashtags – outdated ones do not work.

When working with this tool, an experimental approach is encouraged: you should not copy the same hashtags to all your posts – try different options and evaluate the effect. 

Cross-promotion belongs to the category of cooperation and mutual PR. This method is not suitable for promoting an account from scratch. Some audience is required for the partner to agree to share content with you. An account with a similar theme and the same number of subscribers can act as a partner. For example, a sportswear brand might partner with a fitness trainer.

Together, partners launch live broadcasts or joint marathons, exchange guest articles and other creatives.

None of your channels should be lost. Invite the Yandex.Zen or YouTube audience to join your Instagram account. It is important that the content on different sites is not completely duplicated – users do not need to subscribe to you on different sites in order to watch the same thing. Consider different formats and themes for different channels.

Many bloggers popularize YouTube channels where they provide expert information on a particular subject. At the same time, they maintain a page on Instagram, where they talk about personal things. Often subscribers are interested in all possible resources from their idols.

User-generated content works effectively for both brands and individual users. Companies offer customers to publish materials (photos, stories), where the branded product is visible, and put a special hashtag. Then they re post such posts on their page. 

Individuals who promote Instagram for personal purposes tag brands, hoping that brands will re post such a post. User-generated content allows users to get a large reach, and brands get free quality content.

Locations , like hashtags, are auxiliary methods of promotion and are relevant for local businesses and events. By themselves, locations do not bring a large number of subscribers.

Instagram promotion mistakes

Gray promotion schemes can literally destroy your business, so “it’s better to know your enemies in person.” What methods can not be used when promoting on Instagram:

  • giveaway,
  • cheating bots and comments,
  • activity chats,
  • mass following and mass liking.

Giveaways  are sponsored contests from influencers. To participate in the prize draw, you need to fulfill a number of conditions, often – subscribe to all sponsors. Giveaways are recognized as an inefficient way of promotion, because after the competition, “bounty hunters” either start unsubscribing en masse or settle down as a passive audience. In turn, Instagram, seeing such a massive unsubscribe and further assessing the low engagement of account subscribers, reduce profile reach.

Instagram is actively fighting against the cheating of comments and with the “lifeless” audience. It’s simple: the more subscribers, the higher the engagement should be, and you should not expect activity from bots. An uninteresting account thus recognized is hidden by Instagram not only from recommendations, but also from subscribers. The ship is literally sinking.

Activity chats are hand-crafted groups where users actively simulate: liking, commenting on each other, browsing Stories. For users uninitiated in fraud, an illusion is created that the account is of real interest. However, the illusion remains an illusion: an irrelevant audience accumulates here and real engagement indicators are distorted. At the start of a business, the method is still acceptable, but in the future it only harms: there are no reliable statistics – there are no vectors for improvements.

Mass following and mass liking are outdated methods of promotion, for which now you can also get banned from Instagram. The bottom line is that a user starting promotion subscribes “to everyone” and likes “everyone in a row”, which even remotely resembles the target audience, in order to attract attention. To combat mass entertainers, Instagram set limits (following, unsubscribing, likes and other actions). The cost of incorporating third-party automated services is the loss of an account. 

Conclusion

The article discusses the main methods that will work when promoting Instagram in 2022: paid and free. And schemes that are best avoided. First of all, it is recommended to prepare an account, and then promote it.

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