Opinion 3 minute read
With 800 million monthly active users on Instagram, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd and get your content noticed. There are many tricks and strategies you can use to grow a following on the platform, but if you’re a brand or influencer on Instagram, there will always be those select few accounts you share the same niche with – so how do you give yourself the edge against all of those competitors?
Use original content
Ever scroll through the explore page and see the same content over and over? If you’re bored of this, imagine how your followers must feel. The easy and lazy way out is to just copy your competitors and hope to steal some of their limelight, but that’s not going to make Instagram users loyal and engaged followers.
Your content needs to be fresh, original and creative. Knowing your audience and niche is key for this, a clear theme in what you post will result in a more engaged following who are genuinely interested in what you do, whether that be fitness, beauty, business advice or art! And if the tables turn and you notice your competitors copying your content, then you’ll know you’re doing something right.
Know your audience
The saying “the customer’s always right” on Instagram translates to “the followers are always right”. Your followers will largely dictate your activity on Instagram; think of it like this, if your followers are the customers, engagement is the currency and your content is the product. Producing content that your followers love should be one of your primary objectives on Instagram, and it’s the best way to keep ahead of the competition.
Producing great content that your followers love, begins with knowing your followers and understanding what they want. Take some time out to do some research, scroll through your explore page, see what your followers are liking and who they are following to give you a better idea of what they want to see. Gathering this insight will help you brainstorm ideas for posts and inspire you, however as mentioned, try not to simply copy what others are doing in your space – Instagram is a very transparent platform and you’re likely to get found out!
Part of keeping on top of your Instagram competition means being in the know with all the latest Instagram news, updates, insights, tips and hacks. Knowledge is power and keeping up to date means you’ll be amongst the first to use new features and implement new trends. We’ve recently seen this happen with Instagram stories; brands and influencers that adopted the feature first and figured out the best way to utilise the feature were naturally more successful. The question though, is how do you stay informed? We recommend regularly checking for Instagram-related news and updates, most of which can be found on the Instagram blog. Search for advice and tips from Instagram experts. A bonus tip is to keep an eye out for upcoming social trends and topics that will go viral and get major attention on social media, and then aim to plan your content around these trends to get maximum reach and engagement over your competitors.
Post consistently and at the right times
Getting yourself up and going on Instagram is very exciting, however it’s quite easy to lose traction and fall off. Many brands and influencers get going on Instagram, but slowly lose momentum, and end up falling behind. Ever since Instagram introduced an algorithm led feed, simply posting at the most popular times will not get you the most engagement, you need to be strategic and post consistently. A great solution to tackle this problem is to schedule your content in advance, using a tool, such as an automated Instagram scheduler, can help you do this.
Written by Mike Bandar, co-founder of automation software provider Hopper HQ