8 ways to effectively extend your Instagram reach
The greater your Instagram reach, the more eyes you can get on your brand’s visual content.
Seems like a no-brainer, right?
But in the face of the platform’s ever-changing algorithm, brands need to explore beyond traditional Instagram tips and best practices.
Expanding your reach on Instagram is about much more than a brute force content marketing attack, by the way.
Listen: Instagram moves crazy fast. With over a billion monthly active users and a constant flood of content, now’s the time to rethink how you can extend the lifespan of any piece of content.
And in turn, your Instagram reach.
Tired of your posts feeling like a flash-in-the-pan? In this guide, we’ll delve into exactly how you can squeeze more out of your Instagram content both on-platform and off. The end result of these tactics is more traffic and long-term engagement for your Instagram posts.
1. Start cross-posting your content
Perhaps the most straightforward way to extend your Instagram reach is to cross-post your content to other social platforms.
Pretty simple, right?
Instagram automatically gives you the option to publish content to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, for starters.
Cross-posting Instagram content to Facebook, in particular, is fairly common practice. Check out this recent post from Starbucks’ Instagram…
…and how it translates directly to the likes of Facebook.
Of course, the caveat here is that you shouldn’t cross-post everything. You obviously don’t want all of your social feeds to look identical (think: a bulk of your Instagram content should be exclusive to Instagram).
There’s also the fact that optimization varies from platform to platform when it comes descriptions and hashtags.
That said, there is a place where you should consider cross-posting regularly if you aren’t already: Pinterest.
Notice that there’s a natural link between Pinterest and the types of visual, inspirational posts that kill it on Instagram. Because Pinterest is more of an “evergreen” network in terms of search, it’s a prime place to house your Instagram posts.
With the help of Sprout, you can schedule your Instagram content in tandem with your Pinterest page. There’s huge potential for audience crossover to extend your Instagram and Pinterest reach simultaneously via smart scheduling.
As an added bonus, Sprout makes it easy to duplicate Instagram posts so you can fine-tune them for Pinterest.
Optimizing your Pinterest for business via photo tags and links instantly makes your Instagram content searchable for the long-term. This also allows you to publish to both platforms without having to hop between them. More reach, more time saved.
2. Claim your Instagram account on Pinterest
To further cement the link between the two platforms, Pinterest now allows you to claim your Instagram account.
Doing so can be done in a matter of seconds and provides access to analytics regarding engagement for your Instagram content across Pinterest. Claiming your Instagram account on Pinterest also provides your brand content attribution, meaning that you can drive more Pinterest traffic directly to Instagram.
If nothing else, this gives your social presence a more “complete,” consistent feel. Anything that drives engagement between platforms and teaches you more about how people are sharing your content is a plus.
3. Embed your Instagram feed on-site
No matter what industry you’re in, embedding your social content on-site is a smart move.
For starters, user-generated content such as customer photos is proven to increase conversions. Embedded feeds not only provide opportunities for compelling visuals on-site but also serve as strong social proof.
Your Instagram feed can represent some seriously valuable real estate, especially for ecommerce brands. Check out how Beardbrand curates their Instagram content for their homepage. This feed does double duty of showing off real-world, satisfied customers and eye-popping product imagery.
Of course, extending your Instagram reach doesn’t mean only promoting your Instagram feed.
For example, ThinkGeek embeds their Pinterest feed on-site in lieu of Instagram. Depending on your site layout, doing so might make sense yourself. As long as you have your Instagram account claimed, though, you can funnel that Pinterest traffic back to Instagram.
Without using a third-party service, you can embed your Instagram in WordPress with just a bit of copy-and-pasted code. You can similarly use this widget builder if you’re looking to extend your Pinterest reach, too.
4. Double-dip Instagram content on your blog
If you’re sick of using bland stock photos and graphics for your blog posts, your head is in the right place.
So why not use some of your polished Instagram content instead?
Compiling Instagram photos for blog posts and round-ups is a low-hanging way to get more mileage out of your Instagram content. Likewise, it’s a great way to introduce readers to naturally introduce readers to your social feeds. This rings true for long-term readers and search traffic alike.
For example, ANNA sourced photos from their Instagram to flesh out their fashion-based blog posts.
From cover photos and examples to influencer shout-outs, their Instagram feed ultimately provides the basis for their blog.
This sort of double-dipping is a brilliant way to make your blog posts pop without having to do produce any extra graphics. If you’ve been struggling to keep up with your blog, consider how your own Instagram feed can serve as a much-needed source of ideas and inspiration.
5. Experiment with evergreen and trending hashtags
Having an explicit Instagram hashtag strategy is obviously a must-do for greater reach.
Hashtags essentially make your posts searchable, which is why it makes sense to experiment with different combinations of hashtags versus relying on the same ones over and over.
For example, consider how different types of tags can appeal to different users, including.
- Branded hashtags for existing fans and follows (#swatchlovesart)
- Time-sensitive hashtags that capitalize on the popularity of an event (#worldcup2018)
- Community and industry-specific hashtags which are essentially evergreen (#ecommerce)
- Niche hashtags that have lower search volume but more specific intent (#unicornhairdontcare)
The takeaway here is that new tags can instantly introduce you to new followers without breaking a sweat. A combination of trending and evergreen tags might very well give you the best of both worlds when it comes to Instagram reach.
6. Show off your static Stories
It’s no secret that Instagram Stories are all the rage right now.
That said, the short-term, self-destructing nature of Stories might not seem intuitive to attracting a new audience, right?
Bear in mind that Instagram keeps stories static on your page even after they’ve been published. As a result, rolling out consistent stories ultimately serves as a secondary video channel for your brand. Rather than treat stories like a “one-and-done” affair, you can use your compelling storytelling content as a tool for piquing the interest of new followers.
Brands like Uniqlo do static Stories right, showing off their seasonal fashion tales in addition to their “Fan Friday” Stories where they show off customer photos.
A Story-heavy presence proves to potential followers that your account is active and engaging. This ultimately compels more people to follow you, especially in a day and age dominated by video content.
7. Publish video content to IGTV
Speaking of visual content, the recent launch of IGTV further speaks to the need for brands to hop on the video bandwagon for greater Instagram reach.
Although IGTV is relatively new, it’s rather clear that Instagram is pushing the platform pretty hard right now. IGTV serves as yet another place for brands to publish video content more akin to what you’d see on YouTube versus the like of Stories.
IGTV is still in its early stages, but consider that any followers you gain on IGTV translate to your regular account. Furthermore, the platform allows for heavy tagging and links to drive more attention to your Instagram content and promotions alike.
Again, the more avenues you have to engage with followers, the better. Although there still might be a lot of question marks surrounding IGTV, it’s a natural stomping ground for any brand already investing in video.
8. Run your top-performing posts as ads
In addition to Stories and IGTV, Instagram continues to roll out new features for its ad platform.
With concern over a loss of organic reach akin to Facebook, there’s a reason why brands are playing with the various Instagram ad types such as Canvas and Stories to reach new followers.
While the concept of running an ad might be daunting, you can look no further than your own content as a starting point. If you had a particular post totally crush it, why not consider running it as an Instagram or Facebook ad? Given the platform’s hyper-specific targeting parameters, you can get your feet wet with ads without blowing out your budget.
Oh, and tools such as Sprout’s own Instagram analytics can help clue you in on which of your top-performing posts would be the basis for a fresh ad.
And with that, we wrap up our list!
So, how are you extending your Instagram reach?
If you’ve been freaking out over your Instagram reach, relax.
Reality check: there is no “silver bullet” that’s going to supercharge your engagement rate. Instead, it’s a combination of the tips above that’s going to make it happen. As the Instagram algorithm continues to change along with user behavior, a combination of experimenting on-platform and heavy promotion off-platform is the way to go about maximizing your reach.
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