Have you launched an Instagram campaign before, one that you thought would really resonate with your audience, and just heard crickets? Fear not, because today we have five tactics that will enhance your campaigns, increase your engagement, and get you more likes and followers Instagram. Whether you want to use stories, feed posts, or a combination of methods that Instagram offers, like IGTV or Instagram Live (hint: we recommend a combination!), there's a tip for you here.
If you're starting from the ground up with zero followers, a great way to kick start your marketing efforts is by using an organic Instagram growth tool that drives real, targeted followers to your page. Also working with an Instagram planner will help you spreading content on a regular basis.
1. Instagram Polls
One of the best elements of high-engagement Instagram campaigns is an Instagram poll. These polls are engagement stickers you can add to your Instagram stories. Polls work very well because they’re very simple for users to interact with quickly. They don’t have to type anything or think of something to say, they just have to choose which side they agree with more. Polls can also spark users’ curiosity and generate leads for your business. They often want to see what your other followers think about a particular issue. However, they can’t see the results of the poll in real time unless they participate. This encourages them to engage with the sticker and your story.
Dunkin’ is a great example of how adding the polling sticker to your stories can make an impact on your results. They actually used the sticker on a video story ad, and they saw a great outcome. They ran the same ad without the poll sticker so they could test the results, and they found that the ad with the poll cost them 20% less per click. Dunkin’ also had 20% of their viewers interact with the Instagram poll.
While Dunkin’ used the poll to ask which “American Classic” users loved more (fries or donuts) as a promotion for their new Donut Fries, there are many other ways you can incorporate polls into your campaigns:
- Ask for your audience’s input on what they want to see. For example, a makeup brand could ask if they wanted to see a new eyeshadow tutorial or an involved lipstick look. The important thing here, though, is that you need to follow through with whatever the audience chooses!
- Use the poll as a quiz. You can ask a question and provide two possible answers. See which is more popular, then give them the answer. You could link to an article with the answer or just tell them in your stories.
- Play a “getting to know you” game with your audience. You can ask questions about your audience, or you can ask them to make guesses about you. This is great during a takeover or as an introduction to kick off a campaign. Not only can it help humanize your brand, but it helps your followers get used to engaging with your stories.
- Ask if your audience is attending an Instagram Live that you’ll be doing - that’s what Amy Porterfield is doing here:
2. Questions Sticker
Another engagement enhancing tool is the questions sticker in Instagram stories. With this sticker, your followers have the chance to ask you questions or respond to an open-ended question. This can be a great way to ask for advice or recommendations and otherwise get to know your audience.
Adding a questions sticker during your Instagram campaign is a great way to boost engagement. While it takes a bit more effort on your follower’s part than the poll does, you can gain better insight into who they are.
A great example of this comes from Catalyst Agents. Their client, North Face, posted a question sticker before a big hiking promotion, and they asked followers to guess where the hike was taking place. Not only did this generate tons of responses, but it also increased the views on this and following stories, as well as their traditional posts.
The story with the question sticker received four times as many views as a normal story. Yes, they quadrupled their viewers! Their feed content received over 3,000 more impressions than it did the week before. Engaging content can make a big difference for your profile.
If you choose to use the question sticker, though, you want to make sure you’re using it intelligently. Here are some of our favorite ways to use it:
- Ask for recommendations. This is great if you’re traveling somewhere or even if you’re looking for some new podcasts to listen to or books to read. People love sharing their favorite things!
- Crowd-source ideas. If you’re trying to name something or looking for color recommendations, add a picture of your product and ask your audience to leave suggestions.
- Host an ask-me-anything. Ask your audience to ask you questions that you’ll answer throughout the next day in your stories. This is a great way to not only encourage engagement, but also invite them to return in the next couple of days to see their questions answered.
3. Contests and Giveaways
Contests and giveaways are a great tactic to generate engagement on your feed posts. To run a giveaway, typically you’ll make a traditional post that has a list of rules in the comment. Then, keep track of the people who meet all of your criteria, and then draw a winner after the giveaway has closed. Contests on the other hand, can be a little more involved. You might ask your followers to create a post of their own for a chance to have that post featured on your account. Rather than giving away a prize, you could give them recognition.
If you’re wondering what types of criteria you could use for a giveaway, here are some of the most common types:
- Like the post.
- Tag a friend (or multiple) in the comments.
- Follow you and your partner brand (if you’re partnering with someone else).
- Comment what they’ll do with the prize.
- Bonus entry: tag additional friends or share the post to their Instagram stories.
Here’s an example from influencer @broccyourbody. She partnered with the Perfect Bar brand for a giveaway of their healthy peanut butter cups. She asked her audience to follow Perfect Bar and then leave a comment about themselves. This post got over 1,000 comments, while the other recent posts around it ranged from 8 to 231 comments.
Giveaways are a great way to increase engagement or gain more likes and followers on Instagram, especially if you partner with someone else. Whether you find a brand whose audience is aligned with yours or someone else who resonates with your brand message, creating this partnership can boost your followership and engagement.
Contests can be a great way to gather user-generated content or increase your social proof, depending on what you ask your entrants to do. If they create posts about how wonderful your product is, you could then repost them to your feed, which helps potential followers and customers gain more trust in your brand. Similarly, when they share these posts with their audience, their followers are now being introduced to your brand by someone they trust. This is a great way to reach new people without paying for the exposure.
Every one of your posts should have some sort of call-to-action (CTA). Whether you’re asking them to “double tap” if they agree with your message, or send you a DM to learn more about your product or service, you should always be encouraging your audience to take action. This is incredibly helpful when you go to launch a product, or offer a service. If your audience is already used to reading your captions and then taking action, they’re already primed to read your caption, join a webinar, or make a purchase.
If you’re putting out quality images on Instagram, you probably don’t have a problem getting likes. But are you receiving the amount of comments you’d like? What about messages or story replies? Each of these actions takes a bit more work on the part of your followers, so they’re unlikely to actually do them on their own. If you draw users in with an interesting caption and ask them to share their favorite childhood ice cream memory, they’d be much more likely to do so.
Also consider this post by Running Remote, a popular remote working conference, that urges viewers to attend their online event and make donations. While Instagram does not permit links to be added in captions, they make use of the text space by directing viewers to their Bio, where they can go ahead and complete the Call To Action.
Let’s take a look at some of the best places to place CTAs on your Instagram:
- In the captions of your posts. Ask them to comment, like, visit the link in your bio or send you a DM.
- In your bio. Ask your followers to visit your website or contact you.
- In some of your stories. You can use engagement stickers like we mentioned earlier, or you can encourage viewers to take a different action, like check out a post in your feed or swipe up (if you have that feature).
- In your IGTV videos. Ask your viewers to share the video, tag friends, or visit the link in your bio.
Assuming you have an Instagram business account, take advantage of that and add your contact information. Then, if you have a free download or just want to ask people to send you an email, put a quick CTA in your bio to attract the attention of new followers.
5. Location Tags
Adding location tags to your posts is absolutely critical if you have a local or brick-and-mortar business. People will search for their city or a city they’re visiting to find restaurants, coffee shops, photographers, entertainment, and more.
Even if you’re not location-bound, for example if you're running a tour operator software, it’s still a good idea to add location tags, at least to some of your posts. This can help you connect with any local followers or fans, which is always good for your business. It also helps local people find you, just like brick-and-mortar locations. Just because you can serve customers or clients anywhere doesn’t mean you can’t work with people in your hometown.
Location tags are especially important for service-based businesses like photographers. Not only can they help potential customers find them, but they also help build relationships with venues. For example, @christa_rene, of Christa Rene Photography, tagged the venue of the wedding in this picture. Not only can she now reach other couples who know they’ll be getting married at The Gadsden House, but the venue could potentially share this post, helping her get in front of people who might still be looking.
Adding location tags can also encourage people to give you recommendations, especially if you’re traveling somewhere new. If you happen to be visiting a follower’s hometown, they’d likely love to share their favorite recommendations with you. This helps you build trust with your audience too.
You can tag your location in your feed posts, or you can use a sticker in your stories. This is a great way to share real-time what you’re doing, especially if it could interest your audience. Whether you’re sharing the Target where your product is now on shelves or the new coffee shop you’re working in for the day, adding your location brings your audience closer to you.
So there you have it: 5 great ways that will increase engagement for your next Instagram campaign. These are also excellent tactics for building and sustaining engagement in between campaigns. The more you can keep your audience engaged, the more ready they’ll be to interact with you during a more structured campaign.
And of course, if you are looking for driving dedicated growth using your social media platforms and aren't sure where to start with your strategy, consulting with a specialised advertising agency might be your best option.