Instagram is probably one of the most popular social media platforms used by influencers and marketing specialists. Even after Facebook (now Meta) bought the app, it remains an important marketing tool that brands big and small continue to use in order to reach audiences.
But how can you guarantee your Instagram content goes viral? The truth is, it’s a little bit of a gamble. Still, there are some basics that go into crafting a successful Instagram post. Let’s have a look.
Table of Contents
Visually Appealing Posts
Regardless of the type of content or your industry, marketing on Instagram is a task in visual creativity. That’s because Instagram is primarily an image-based social media platform. So, invest your time and energy (or even finances) into creating a visually appealing post.
Attention grabbing images will persuade users to stop scrolling when they reach your content. That’ll get your foot in the door and the rest of your marketing conversion process can be whatever it needs to be.
Pick The Right Timing
When to post on Instagram is a factor just as important to your success on the platform as the content of your posts. Instagram’s algorithm has always directed more traffic towards posts with higher engagement. Posting when your target audience is asleep or otherwise occupied means they won’t see your posts on time. Of course, this also means they won’t engage with the post—negatively impacting your algorithm ranking.
So, do your research and figure out which are the best posting times (and the frequency of your posts). The specifics will depend on multiple factors such as the demographics of your target audience, your niche, and many other things that affect user behavior.
The Relevant Hashtags
Not everyone already has a following on social media, and that’s understandable. Using the right hashtags will help people discover your content. This is because the algorithm uses hashtags in categorizing content for users based on their interests.
If a user has already interacted with content from another Instagram profile with the same hashtags you are using, the algorithm will send your content their way. It is important, however, to choose your hashtags wisely. Make sure you’re using the right language that your audience uses and don’t crowd your content with unnecessary hashtags.
Relatable, Intentional, And Valuable
These are three markers of great content, regardless of the medium. The most successful social media content creators are able to incorporate these qualities seamlessly into their content. Here’s why these are important features:
- Relatability: Humanizing your content allows users to build a type of relationship with you. As you continue to post, your audience will feel like they “know” you. If your audience can’t relate to your content, they are likely to take their attention elsewhere. Look in the comments section to research what your audience typically cares about.
- Intentionality: Don’t post solely to check off something on your to do list. Your posts need to have some intent behind them—an actual reason you’re posting. This will help you get rid of any fluff content that people will just scroll over. It will also allow you to create content that your audience is looking for, and that you actually care about. Content that feels like click-bait is probably going to be ignored, so don’t be tempted.
- Value: You want your audience to come looking for your content because they got something out of it. If your content doesn’t provide anything of value to the user, they won’t pay attention to anything you post. It doesn’t necessarily need to be something intellectual or even financial. For example, users looking got food content on Instagram gain value because they enjoy the visuals and they might also get a recipe. So, make sure that you’re providing your followers valuable content.
Captions Are Crucial
You should think of captions are a place to add more information regarding your content. The images are more for grabbing your audience’s attention. If you play your cards right, they’ll be interested enough to read the caption. The first few words are most important, because they are visible before the user taps “see more”.
Last but certainly not least, you want to make sure that your post is approved by the algorithm. Even though it’s always best to create with the viewers (actual humans) in mind, you also want to please the algorithm so that it recommends your posts to more people who are interested.
Here are a few tips regarding Instagram’s algorithm:
- Interactions are important: If you respond to your audience members, they will likely engage as well. This will prompt the algorithm to recommend your posts to said members.
- Create multiple types of content: Instagram clearly favors creators that posts images, videos, and reels. If it’s possible, convert some of your content into reels to reach a wider audience.
- Create a full bio: Accounts with incomplete profile information are not likely to be shared by people or the algorithm. So make sure you’ve got a catchy bio and relevant links ready along with your profile photos and requirements.