If you want to increase your reach on Instagram and get more eyes on your content, you need to make sure you’re doing these things.
If you’re using Instagram for your business, and in 2023 that’s pretty much a given for the majority of businesses, you must make sure you’re getting the fundamentals right. Getting more Instagram views on your content has become increasingly difficult. And I totally know how dispiriting it can be to spend time producing content you’re proud of, that then doesn’t get many views. Here are 5 steps to take, that should get you more views and followers on Instagram.
Do you create Instagram posts with a clear goal in mind? Step 1
When you’re running a business, marketing can become just another thing to tick off the to-do list. The temptation to put something out there, so it’s done is real. I’ve been there! But having some strategy in place will really help your account get more views. Let’s look at planning content a little more.
What is my goal for this post?
Make sure you understand what the point of any post you put out is. This could be a business-focused goal, for example:
- buy something
- sign up for my email
- share the post
Or something that has more of a community focus, for example:
- make them laugh
- display that you’re an expert
- help them with a problem they might be facing
Is this content that my audience will like to view on Instagram?
Be honest with yourself, are you putting out posts and stories that you think will resonate with your audience. Whenever you create any content, your audience should be at the front of your mind. Is it helpful? Funny? Shareable? If other accounts share your posts this is a sure-fire way to get more Instagram views, and maybe even new followers.
Do I have a clear call-to-action?
Now you’ve decided what your goal is for a post, and thought about your audience and whether they’ll enjoy it, you need to choose a relevant call-to-action (CTA). If you are hoping to generate comments, ask a question. If you’ve created a carousel post with lots of useful information, ask people to save or share. There are lots of different ways of asking, Hootsuite have written a really helpful post about how to write effective CTAs.
Are you using all the zones of Instagram? Step 2
Like all social media platforms, Instagram wants people to be spending as much time on their app as possible. When you use all the features and functionality available, not only does this help your reach, it also signals to Meta that you are serious about using Instagram well. And, guess what? They will reward you for that!
You do need to be using video
Adam Mosseri, Instagram chief, admitted recently that the site had over-prioritised video in 2022 with the introduction of Reels. He said that they are rebalancing, which means photos are back. Read more about what he said about balance on Instagram.
However, if you are serious about getting more views on Instagram, then I recommend that you embrace video. Because it’s not just about Reels – it’s also about Stories and Lives. Each of these works differently and will help to build connection with your existing audience, as well as find new people. Think of Reels as a way of reaching new people, and Stories as a way for followers to get to know you better.
Instagram Guides are still underused
Do you know what Guides are? They are a hugely under-used part of Instagram, and the jury’s out on whether they’ll remain. But they’re quick and easy to set up, can be a great way of building connections with other accounts, and offer a way to give another lease of life to some of your best-performing or useful content. And let’s face it, anything that gives another bite of the cherry is a good thing when you put so much effort into creating posts in the first place!
Do you have Instagram Shopping set up?
If you’re an e-commerce business, make sure you have Instagram Shopping set up. Instagram have put together a great step-by-step guide to the benefits of shopping and how to set it up.
Are you creating different Instagram content types? Step 3
As well as using different parts of the platform, it is also good to experiment with different types of content. Here are the key types I recommend working your way through. Keep an eye on your analytics to make sure you know what’s working best.
- Reels (90 secs or less)
- Long-form video posted to your grid
- Photos with music
According to Hootsuite, Carousels are the post-type that gets most engagement
They also report that carousels increase reach too. Carousels are brilliant for positioning your expertise in your area. They give you the opportunity to really dig into a topic and provide a lot more info than is possible on one square alone. They also provide a way of telling a story about a service or product. Ideas for carousel posts include:
- step-by-step guides to achieving something
- getting up close to products
- showing-off different areas of a cafe, hotel, restaurant
- before and after transformations
Going live and posting regular stories increases views on Instagram
Every time you post a new story, you go to the prime position on your followers’ Instagram. Your little circle sits there, at the top of their feed, waiting for them to watch. Regular stories should be a part of every Instagram strategy. Although they won’t get you in front of new people, they will help you build a stronger bond with your followers and make sure you stay front of mind.
Going live goes one step further because your followers will be alerted when you go live. And bonus points if you go live with someone else because then you’re borrowing their audience too.
Experiment to find what resonates
There’s no one-size fits all approach to any social media strategy (no matter what some ‘gurus’ might want to you believe). You need to test what you’re doing and monitor your stats to find out what works for your people.
Could you get more Instagram views by using different hashtags? Step 4
Carefully chosen hashtags are still an essential part of getting your content seen on Instagram. You can use up to 30 and guess what I’m going to say? That’s right, you need to test! Hashtags are perhaps one of the most hotly debated subjects, but I can tell you from managing many business accounts over the years, yes, we still get reach from hashtags. I’ve written a more detailed post about how to choose Instagram hashtags, but in brief here are the key things to think about:
- don’t use enormous hashtags – try and stick with those below 2m and even then use no more than 5 of these
- just like SEO, long-tail is often the way to go e.g. #yogaposeoftheday has 132k posts, versus the 4M+ posts for #yogaposes
- mix up sizes and include hashtags with 500k-1M, 250k-500k, 20k-100k and less than 10k
- if you are a location-based business, make sure you’re using local hashtags
- keep an eye on Reach from Hashtags in your Insights and keep testing!
Are you engaging with and viewing other Instagram accounts? Step 5
It’s called social media for a reason, right. So don’t just post and ghost. Accounts that do well on Instagram value the community and connection it’s possible to build.
Engagement and Conversation
If you are using your account simply to broadcast news, you’re always going to struggle. Unless you’re Nike. Or the BBC! Instead, think about Instagram as a place to meet people, help people and have conversations. Take time to enjoy what others are doing. Ask questions, share things you find interesting that you think your followers will enjoy (remembering to tag in the original account). Making time to engage every day will make a difference to getting more views.
Collaboration brings in new people
You could take this one step further and look for other businesses to collaborate with. Putting out joint content by using the Collaborate with function is a great way to introduce your followers to new people, and of course getting your posts in front of new people. Consider going live together to increase your audience.
Working with Influencers to increase reach
Having a strategy around influencer marketing can be a brilliant way to bring in new customers. Influencers build a community based on trust, so finding the right accounts to work with is key. Think about the audience you want to reach and then research influencers in this area. And remember, follower numbers can mean very little! You’re looking for people who get good engagement on their posts, who fit with your ethos and values. Follow and engage with influencers you like so that when you approach them to work together, they’re already aware of you.
Smaller influencers may share content for gifted product, but if you’re serious about a campaign, expect to pay. Creating content and building a community takes time and effort – respect this!
By following these 5 steps to get more views on Instagram, you should see increased reach and engagement.
If you think your account would benefit from expert eyes, you can book an audit. This will give you specific advice on how to improve your Instagram marketing to increase views, reach and sales.
Download your FREE Content Planning Guide and start to get more views on Instagram.