You can either worry about things you can’t control and be miserable because of the latest Instagram changes or you can just focus on the things you can control. I think we all know that the Instagram’s algorithms sort of suck lately. The platform seems to be all over the place and growth is not just the way that it used to be. But do remember, it is actually still very much possible to grow on Instagram.
Even with all of the problems Instagram has right now it still is a pretty solid platform to build your brand. Adapting with the platform is the only way to grow nowadays and actually some strategies require some refinements every once in a while, so let’s discuss different strategies to actively grow your Instagram with real followers and convert them into customers.
So, you know this train of posting content, throwing in a bunch of hashtags and hoping it will sort of blow up are long over. In fact, these days we are responsible for the algorithm getting confused and messing everything up right now. Instagram obviously knows this is happening and in an attempt to save the platform they’ve sort of changed the game and you should change your strategy accordingly to that.
This is where the strategy of so-called content tree comes into play, which is basically a strategy to maximise your visibility using the algorithm while also fuelling your brand, building customers with content that not always blows up but content actually builds those relationships and serves people in your target audience – this is the secret thing activates the algorithm gates of hell.
How To Start
Firstly I would recommend, if you’ve been posting consistently for about three to four months without getting any traction, especially if your account is from pre-2020, then I would start over from scratch. No matter how big your followers are it doesn’t help you anyway if you don’t reach them and if you actually swallow the hard pill and delete your old profile or you know just start from scratch you will see that this organic reach cap is sort of gone and growing outside of reels will be a lot easier again.
Now, whether who’ve started from scratch or just haven’t had a strategy before, the first step is to actually figure out which content type gets recommended in your niche. This is the content which will actually give you the eyeballs that you need, and believe it or not there’s some niches especially in certain demographics where reels are not performing at all yet and this is the interesting thing – photos and regular feed posts seem to be doing a bit better again according to my latest research. Therefore, maybe they’re tweaking around here which seems to be good especially with accounts that didn’t confuse the algorithm at some point.
The Cotton Tree Strategy
Now once you know which types of content are your performers, it’s time to craft the cotton tree. The first pillar obviously being content that gets you found and in 90 of the cases right now obviously it’s some sort of reel. Try post a reel 3 times per week – mix it up between a trend, and evergreen original content. Make it a priority to create reels, as that’s just how the game works right now.
If you want to actually grow your brand on Instagram, this is where the growth pillar comes in – regular posts like educational posts, photos or carousels, or just text posts are key. In the long term, this is where Instagram could have an advantage over Tik Tok. Due to its diversification and the new algorithm main purpose with these feed posts is actually not to get the maximum reach it’s actually to build a repertoire that people can binge your content on, other than reels.
So, if you can actually pull this off it will activate the algorithm floodgates for you and everything will sort of start to fall into place – you’re going to see your content get recommended in the explore page, as the suggested post and you’re also going to see your reels getting more recommended. Ideally, regular feed posts are scattered all over the week, try aim for 3-5 times a week. Remember, don’t be mad if you don’t get the reach that you got with reels or get with reels, because these posts are actually here for the long run to get binged on.
A typical follower journey involves majority of people coming to your profile after seeing your reels and people typically need to see multiple reels to recognise you and to get you on their radar. We are talking about the rule of 7 here, and that’s why you want to increase the post frequency to the maximum amount. Then if you’ve done this process for some time and you’re on their radar, they’ll tab on your profile and see what else you got. This is where your regular posts should start to shine, because according to our research, the time people spent visiting your profile is the most valuable indicator for Instagram. This will boost your chances of getting recommended a lot especially if you get them off the sort of fast-paced reels feet and into a different rhythm.
Finally the leaves on the tree, including having regular stories (to connect with people and let them actually see the other side of you or your business) and having call- to -actions (CTA’s) to get more people to actually connect with you and getting them to hit the follow button. It is very important in terms of converting more of those eyeballs into followers which is by the way another trick to counter this whole algorithm issue. The more people you can get to convert into followers the more your profile will be labelled as high value high quality.
Now you know exactly how to create a simple Instagram marketing strategy that will wow your followers, grow your following, and boost your engagement. Don’t forget to get creative with the platform. If you’re prepared to get experimental and try new things, the opportunities to grow your brand via Instagram are endless.