With over 2 billion active users, Instagram is one of the most potent platforms for marketers and brands to grow their business online. With the right engagement on Instagram, you can build your brand’s community and increase brand awareness and reach, thereby heightening your online presence.
However, with the decrease in organic engagement in recent years, boosting Instagram engagement has proven to be one of the biggest challenges.
So, here are 11 tried and tested Instagram marketing tips to ensure that your content is prioritized by Instagram’s algorithm, quickly reaches your target audience, and helps boost engagement.
Table of Contents
- What is Instagram engagement rate and how to measure it?
- How to boost your Instagram engagement rate in 2023?
- 1. Create quality content
- 2. Use video content
- 3. Use carousel posts to share valuable information
- 4. Host contests and giveaways
- 5. Research and leverage trending hashtags
- 6. Collaborate with other brands and influencers for better reach
- 7. Post at times when your audience is most active
- 8. Give importance to the aesthetics of your posts.
- 9. Conduct live streams
- 10. Leverage user-generated content (UGC)
- 11. Analyze performance with analytics tools
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Instagram engagement rate and how to measure it?
Basically, an engagement rate measures how many interactions your content receives based on your reach, followers, or audience size. The interactions include reactions, likes, comments, shares, saves, direct messages, mentions, and click-throughs.
Various methods are available for measuring Instagram’s engagement rate, depending on your social media goals. However, this is the simplest way to calculate your Instagram engagement rate:
Engagement rate = (Likes+Comments)/Followers x 100
Knowing your Instagram engagement rate can give you a clear picture of how your audience reacts to your content. This data will help you determine what type of content will help you connect with your audience and boost engagement.
How to boost your Instagram engagement rate in 2023?
Although no secret shortcuts can guarantee better engagement on Instagram, these proven strategies will enable you to positively impact your audience and build a robust and lasting engagement over time.
1. Create quality content
When it comes to building a solid online presence with an engaging audience, there is no substitute for creating quality content. And marketing on Instagram is no different.
But what exactly makes for quality content?
For starters, your content should be relevant and valuable to your target audience. In terms of visuals, you should ensure they are aesthetically pleasing. In short, you have to create content that will either be shared or saved by your audience.
This will encourage more and more people to follow and engage with your brand, ultimately boosting brand awareness and sales.
An eCommerce journal store, Passion Planner, has filled its Instagram profile with valuable, engaging content, helping them build a 425k-strong online presence.
Pro tip – Keyhole’s Instagram analytics helps you track data in real-time, and suggest better strategies and messaging while the campaign is on the go.
2. Use video content
Video content is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools for increasing engagement on Instagram. According to studies, videos on Instagram receive 2x more engagement, and posts with videos receive 38% more engagement than images.
Providing valuable information or telling a story in your videos can quickly capture your audience’s attention and encourage them to engage.
Instagram offers five types of video options: reels, IGTV, story videos, Instagram Live, and video posts, with reels bringing in the most visibility and reach for brands. In fact, they generate 22% more engagement than traditional videos, making them the go-to tool for marketers.
However, it is crucial to understand that creating reels simply to keep up with the trend may boost just the number of followers on your account but will not guarantee long-term engagement. Therefore, having a social media strategy for Instagram for creating entertaining reels or engaging educational content that resonates with your audience is vital.
The case in point is the financial influencer John Liang. Through his Instagram reels, he educates his audience about complex finance topics in a fun and entertaining way and often gets more views on his videos than followers.
With an engagement rate of 1.92% per post, carousel posts are another effective way to boost your engagement on Instagram, compared with only 1.74% for single-image posts.
When you share informative and interesting content in your carousel posts, your followers would be encouraged to interact with them and learn more about your brand. Additionally, carousel posts provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand’s products or services in a visually appealing way.
Different ways to use Instagram carousels
Tutorials: Use still images or short videos to demonstrate how to use a particular feature.
Data and educational content: Create easily understandable images and illustrations from data points.
Repurposed content: Blog posts, webinars, live events, and everything in between, can be repurposed.
Showcase your work: Using multiple images and videos, you can tell the story behind your work in more detail.
User-generated content: Feature customer reviews or product appreciation posts created by customers.
One of the top jewelry brands, Swarovski, uses carousels very effectively to display its products. To help their customers visualize their products better, they use multiple high-quality close-up shots in their carousels.
4. Host contests and giveaways
Instagram contests and giveaways will help you create interactions with your existing audience while also attracting innumerable new followers. They are a proven way to drive engagement, and Instagram accounts that hold contests regularly can grow their following by 70% faster than accounts without contests.
Contests and giveaways are effective because they encourage authentic user engagement, enabling your audience to get to know your brand better. Additionally, Instagram contest posts typically receive 64x more comments and 3.5x more likes than other posts.
Tips to host a well-planned Instagram giveaway that attracts your target audience:
- Determine your marketing goal – It could be: promoting a product, boosting brand awareness, raising awareness of a social issue, or increasing engagement.
- Decide on the Instagram giveaway prize – Ensure that the prize is relevant and fits your audience’s needs, be it a product, service, or experience.
- Set the entry criteria – This includes: how long will your contest run for, is there an age limit, and will the contest be open to certain countries? At this stage, transparency is the key to higher engagement.
As the Instagram algorithm’s primary method of filtering content, hashtags are crucial to getting better reach, increasing engagement, and reaching wider audiences.
However, it is important to understand the different types of hashtags and which ones to use to achieve better results:
- Location-based hashtags when targeting a specific demographic, like #Washington or #NewYorkCity
- Hashtags for branded campaigns, like #HereToCreate by Adidas or #PutACanOnIt by Red Bull
- Topic-specific hashtags, like #SelfCareThreads or #SkinCare
- Hashtags associated with a particular community, like #InstaCycling or #CatsOfInstagram
- Content-related hashtags, like #QuickTutorial or #MondayMotivation
Pro tip – In addition, you can use Instagram analytics to discover the best hashtags by performing keyword research and categorizing them based on your target audience and the content you create.
For their end-of-year campaign, Spotify created the #SpotifyWrapped hashtag, where you could check the amount of time you’ve spent listening to songs, the number of songs you’ve played, and the artists you’ve listened to.
This campaign encouraged users to share this on their social media accounts, resulting in a 21% increase in app downloads in the first week of December.
6. Collaborate with other brands and influencers for better reach
Collaborating with other brands or influencers helps you create unique content that will capture your followers’ attention and help you stand out.
Instagram Collabs allow you to invite others to collaborate on Reels or feed posts so that you can share them with each other’s audiences. You can build up the engagement quickly since it comes from two different communities.
It is a great way to boost your brand’s Instagram presence by collaborating with influencers, as your brand will also be introduced to the influencer’s followers.
Pro tip – Keyhole’s Instagram analytics helps you measure and compare Instagram influencers’ metrics. This way, you know the influencers you’ll rehire for the next campaign. Equipped with each influencer’s follower insights, you know each one’s Instagram engagement rate and more.
7. Post at times when your audience is most active
If you want to increase engagement on Instagram, the key is to post at times when your audience is most active.
According to Taylor Loren, Head of Marketing at Later, the Instagram algorithm increases the visibility of posts that get quick engagement. It’s more likely that your post will appear in more people’s feeds if your audience engages early with your content. For that, you need to post when your audience is most active.
Some tips to increase your Instagram engagement rate are:
- Posts between 6 PM and 9 PM generate the most engagement.
- Engagement rates are low in the morning between 5 AM and 12 PM.
- Engagement rates are almost the same during the week but slightly higher during the weekend.
Although these stats provide an overview of when to post, there is no one particular time that fits everyone. Thus, it is advisable to constantly experiment with your timings and eventually figure out what works best for your audience.
8. Give importance to the aesthetics of your posts.
Using high-quality images and videos is one of the best ways to increase engagement on Instagram. Having your content look visually appealing can help it stand out in an endless stream of content, encouraging users to stop scrolling and start engaging.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing, posts with high-quality images get 19% more engagement and 3% more likes.
Additionally, high-quality images and videos can help build trust with your audience by giving your business a more professional online look.
Here’s an example of a Five Minute Journal, a brand that sells journal books online. The brand’s feed is filled with aesthetically pleasing posts that invoke a sense of calm and reflection, representing what the brand promotes.
9. Conduct live streams
Using live features to increase engagement on Instagram is a smart way to connect with your followers in real-time, share news, and build brand awareness.
Instagram Live can help you:
- Boost visibility: Instagram Live sends push notifications to everyone who follows you, so your account will appear more visible to your followers.
- Increase engagement: Instagram Live’s users get organic engagement boosts from the algorithm.
- Build relationships: With Instagram Live videos, you can build stronger relationships with your followers.
- Develop brand identity: Through Instagram Live, your brand can develop its identity and share it with the Instagram community.
Bon Appetit, a food recipe magazine, recently hosted a virtual dinner party with various celebrity guests on Instagram Live. This is an excellent example of how you can get creative to capture your audience’s attention and engage with them.
10. Leverage user-generated content (UGC)
UC content, you can create a community of engaged followers interested in your products and services by encouraging users to share their pictures and videos-making them your brand ambassadors.
In addition, 84% of millennials report that user-generated content influences their purchasing decisions.
In a social media campaign called #thesweatlife, Canadian athletic wear brand LuluLemon asked fans to post photos wearing their clothing.
The LuLuLemon post received a massive response from this and was able to generate a lot of UGC content. The campaign also organically expanded the company’s brand awareness and reach on social media by sharing this content.
11. Analyze performance with analytics tools
A blind approach to creating content on Instagram without analyzing its performance is a sure-fire recipe for failure.
While measuring performance and increasing engagement on such a large platform may seem daunting, leveraging the right analytics tool can make it a breeze.
With the Instagram analytics tool, you can track your growth and engagement rate and understand which of your posts performed well and which didn’t. Using this information, you can start planning and producing more engagement-driven content once you know what types of content work best.
For better results, you can leverage tools like Keyhole Instagram analytics to quickly discover which posts perform well and have the most engagement.
Additionally, you can track hashtags on Instagram to understand who is joining the conversation and what is your audience saying.
What sets Keyhole apart as the best Instagram analytics platform is its ability to generate easy-to-read and visually appealing custom Instagram analytics reports within minutes. You can do away with maintaining data manually in spreadsheets which can be data-prone and time-consuming. Automating analytics is a great feature for social media marketers and brands regularly running Instagram marketing campaigns.
These are some proven, actionable tips you can take to boost your Instagram engagement. By following these tips, you can encourage more people to interact with your brand’s content on Instagram, leading to more followers and, ultimately, more success for your brand.
However, it’s critical to understand that these tips will not produce immediate results. To be successful on Instagram, you must regularly devote yourself to it, create high-quality content, and use other growth strategies that work best for your audience, business, and Instagram goals.
Brands both small and large are taking advantage of the Keyhole Instagram analytics tool to gain insights into how to increase engagement and visibility, and boost brand awareness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Instagram engagement rate?
An engagement rate measures how many interactions your content receives based on your reach, followers, or audience size. Here's the Instagram engagement rate formula: Engagement rate = (Likes+Comments)/Followers x 100