Instagram Promotion Strategies That Work In 2020

January 30, 2020 by Rafaella Aguiar

Last Updated: April 16, 2020

Instagram promotion

Social media is a great marketing and promotional tool for businesses. It can help you find new potential customers, create community and build trust. But before any of that happens, your primary goal needs to include Instagram promotion. Promoting your Instagram is the best way to find new followers who can eventually turn into customers or clients.

There are one billion monthly active users on Instagram. With so many profiles vying for people’s attention, it can be difficult for users to find you and for you to make an impression. That said, many users are making it work. After all, 200 million users visit at least one Instagram business profile every single day. Following these steps for Instagram promotion will put you ahead of the curve in finding and attracting your ideal followers and customers.

1. Optimize Your Profile So It’s Ready For Promotion

Before you can attract the people you want to have following you, you need to make sure your account is ready for them. Let’s take a look at some of the most important steps you should take to prepare your followers.

  • Make sure your Instagram name is easily searchable. This is one of the areas that you can put keywords to ensure that your profile appears when your ideal followers are searching. Jordan Lee Dooley has a podcast called “She,” so for this account name she uses @shepodcast, which clearly describes this account.
shepodcast instagram profile
  • Use a business profile. Business profiles allow you to access analytics, add extra contact information to your profile, create ads, and access the swipe-up feature once you reach 10,000 followers.
  • Add a photo that depicts your profile well. This is one of your audience’s first chances to understand who you are. Kelly LeVeque, author of the book Body Love, uses a photo from the photo shoot for the cover of her first book as her profile picture. For any of her readers, this makes her account easily recognizable.
Kell LeVeque Instagram profile
  • Write a headline that states exactly who you are or what your business is. This headline is also searchable, so this is a great place to put keywords if you need. Instagram strategist Molly Ho uses this to her advantage by using “Instagram strategy & growth” as her headline. Because she includes it in her handle, you already know that her name is Molly Ho and she has a studio. The headline provides the next level of key information so you know if you’ve found the right account.
searchable Instagram profile example
  • Add a link to your website, podcast, download, or wherever you’re trying to send users. This is a great place to add a freebie or a lead magnet if you’re trying to build your email list. If you talk about a variety of links in your posts or stories, it might be a good idea to use some sort of link service to be able to include multiple links in one. Taylor Lee is a business coach who uses a Linktree to be able to link to her one-on-one sales page, her membership, her Amazon affiliates link, freebies, and Facebook community, among other resources.
adding a link to your Instagram bio
Linktree user profile
  • Make sure you use branded hashtags and other hashtags to help users find your profile. Remember, everything you put in your profile is either helping your potential followers find you or showing them why they should follow you. Marie Forleo primarily sticks with branded hashtags because she’s known for a number of phrases. The hashtag #MarieTV refers to her YouTube show, and #TheMarieForleoPodcast is self-explanatory. Her book is called #EverythingIsFigureoutable, but it’s also a phrase her community uses regularly.
using hashtags in your bio as an Instagram promotion strategy
  • With a business profile, you can promote your Instagram by adding a button that encourages people to email you, call, book a reservation, or take another action. This is a great way to give them easy access to taking the next action. Taft’s Brewing Company has a “Contact” button and an easy way for visitors to “Get Tickets.”
business profile buttons to promote your Instagram

2. Create Excellent Content

Once your account is prepared to attract your ideal followers, it’s time to create exceptional content that makes them want to not only follow, but also engage with your posts. This is one of the most organic forms of Instagram promotion. 

The fact is that every audience behaves a little differently and responds to content in different ways. Try creating different types of content, and then use your analytics in your business profile to see which types of content they’re engaging with most.

  • Long-form videos
  • Short-form videos
  • Funny posts
  • Behind the scenes
  • Informational posts
  • Quote graphics

These are some of the most common examples of post types you can be creating for your Instagram. Unless there’s something that your audience outright dislikes for some reason, you should be producing all of these types of content as frequently as you can. That said, understand which are the top three types your audience engages with the most and focus on them.

Want to attract real followers to your Instagram?

Make sure you incorporate Instagram stories into your content creation plan too. They’re a very easy way to ensure that you’re appearing in front of your audience. Stories are still posted chronologically, while the feed posts are shown based on an algorithm. Stories can contain any of the types of content we mentioned above, and they can also direct viewers to see your most recent post.

When it comes to how frequently you should post, that’s up to what you and your team will realistically be able to handle. The most important thing is that you determine a schedule and a frequency and then stick with it. If you know you can post once a day, everyday, then go with that. If you’re determined to post twice a day, then do so. If you only have the bandwidth to post three days a week, go for it – and make those posts count. The important thing is to show up for your audience when they expect you.

3. Use An Instagram Growth Service to Promote Your Profile

Now that you’re consistently producing high-quality content and you’ve created a schedule, you can use an Instagram growth service to promote your Instagram, and help you gain real followers, not bots. The best way to generate organic Instagram growth is to leave likes and comments on your ideal followers’ pages. This lets them know that you exist and will hopefully inspire them to come check out your profile.

Kicksta can help you with Instagram promotion by handling that manual work for you. Once you sign up, you’ll be able to provide a list of accounts that you want to target. These accounts can be profiles that are similar to yours. For example, Starbucks could list Dunkin’ as an example. Chances are followers of Dunkin’ would likely be interested in Starbucks’ offerings too.

Kicksta targets page

Your list of target accounts could also include complimentary brands. For a boutique fitness studio, they could target the local supplement shop or smoothie store. It could also feature direct competitors, like two local Mexican restaurants. Don’t forget to include influencers in your niche. A brand that offers sustainable products and solutions could easily target @thegirlgonegreen, as she’s an influencer in the sustainability space.

influencer IG profile

Once you provide your targets, the growth service will get to work. The system likes photos of the followers of those targets you’ve provided. This helps promote your profile the same way it would if you manually went and liked the photos of your targets’ followers. It gains their attention to send them to your page. This in turn, results in exposure and eyes on your content. (That’s why we needed you to be creating great content first!)

In this way, a growth service can generate organic growth and real Instagram followers. The target users check out your page on their own, and make their own choice to follow you if they’re interested in your content. This means that you’ll only be getting real, engaged followers who want to see and engage with your content, increasing traffic and sales.

4. Instagram Paid Promotions

Instagram ads are a great way to reach new users too. The first step is to ensure that your Instagram account is connected to a Facebook business page, because you’ll actually create your Instagram ads in the Facebook ads manager. Ads can be a great way to reach new potential followers, or you can use them to re-target your existing followers to get them to take a particular action, like download a guide or even make a purchase.

As with any advertisement, you want to begin with a goal. You need to know if you’re looking for:

  • Conversions
  • Likes
  • Follows
  • Video Views
  • Messages

Or any other type of goal you want. In general, Instagram ad goals are categorized into three options: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. 

Once you select your goal, you can customize your audience based on demographics, or you can create a custom audience based off of a list you already have. This is a good option if you want to target your current subscribers with an ad about a product or service.

Facebook ads manager to create Instagram promotions

Instagram ads vary in cost, depending on factors like the specificity and popularity of the audience you choose, but in general they can cost about $0.70-$0.80 per click, although that could reach as high as $1.30 per click. You’ll want to decide on your budget ahead of time, based on the value that these clicks will bring you. 

Finally, you’ll also need to determine how long your Instagram promotion will run. This is an easy decision if you have a specific amount of time that your program or service will be for sale: your promotion can end when you stop offering that program or service.. However, if you’re advertising something that’s not for sale, or if your product is always available, it can be difficult to determine when to end your ad. It can be a good idea to just let them run for a little while and see how they do. If their ROI is too low after a few weeks or months, you can stop them at any time.

When creating Instagram ads, you can choose to place them in stories or in the feed, and you can use a variety of formats, like carousel, video, or collections. Let’s take a look at some examples of good ads.

No Evil Foods created a great Stories ad that is bright, colorful and simple:

No Evil Foods Instagram story ad

The Social Bungalow used this video ad to retarget its followers to lead them into the funnel for their currently-open Instagram program. It’s a captivating video that can easily stop the scroll:

Social Bungalow video ad

This night run photo ad includes an easy link and a sale, which is a simple way to capture attention:

Instagram photo ad

Want to attract real followers to your Instagram?

This carousel ad included two pictures that show off different angels of this wedding dress. The first picture is well-styled, and the second shows off more of the dress itself:

Instagram carousel ad
second image of allwhowander carousel ad

5. Use Hashtags For Your Instagram Promotion

Believe it or not, hashtags are still relevant and important to a successful promotion strategy for organic Instagram growth. Hashtags are the easiest way to search on the app, and users certainly do so when looking for brands and products. They’re also a great way to help you build authority. When new potential followers stumble across your posts in a hashtag, it’s good for them to easily see more posts from you in the same hashtag. That increases your authority on that particular topic because you’ve posted about it frequently.

There are various types of hashtags, so let’s quickly talk about the most important ones.

  • Industry hashtags: These are fairly self-explanatory, as they’re important hashtags for your industry. This might mean #EverythingIsFigureoutable, from our earlier example. Marie Forleo is a prominent name in the online entrepreneur space, so many people in that industry will use that hashtag, even if they’re not specifically talking about Marie.
  • Competitor Hashtags: Using competitor hashtags can be a gray area, especially if they’re direct competitors. These are typically branded hashtags that relate directly to your competitor’s business.
  • Niche Hashtags: Niche-specific hashtags are typically smaller but filled with people who are very interested or involved in that particular niche. This could be as simple as #PortlandPhotographer or #SundayGolfBags.

In any post you can use up to 30 hashtags. If possible, use all 30. After all, that’s 30 chances to add keywords that your potential followers could be searching to find you. Make sure that your hashtags relate to your post. You should have some that relate to the photo, and some for the caption, otherwise Instagram might get suspicious. You don’t want to post a photo of a puppy and use the hashtag #icecreamsandwich. Their algorithm understands the difference and could potentially penalize you.

Make sure to use hashtags that have a variety of sizes. Add some that have only been used 5,000 times (niche hashtags), some with 10-50,000 uses, and some with 100-300,000 uses (industry hashtags). Create a nice sampling you can mix and match depending on your post.

6. Other Ways to Increase Your Instagram Promotion

Location Tags

Another tactic to use is location tags. You can add these to traditional feed posts at the top of the post or add a tag in your story if that makes more sense. Location tags help people find your business when they’re looking for accounts in a certain area. If you’re a local restaurant, using location tags is really useful. For example, Ecliptic Brewing uses the Portland, Oregon location tag on their photos to reach people looking for restaurants in that area.

using location tags for Instagram promotion

Tag Brands You’re Promoting

Tagging brands you’re promoting can also be a great way to promote your Instagram. By tagging a brand, they could likely want to share your post, which in turn puts your name and account in front of all of their followers. When you tag brands in your posts it’s a great way to show that you support them. Be smart when you’re choosing which brands to promote though, because your followers are watching!

tagging brands you're promoting on Instagram

Work With Reputable Influencers

Working with reputable influencers who match your brand and mission, can be a great Instagram promotion technique. They share your brand with their followers, and they can create social proof by using and sharing about your product. Influencers often have a very loyal, devoted following, and their followers typically trust their recommendations. Because of this, influencers are often protective of that following and only partner with brands and accounts that share their mission, and ones that they personally love.

working with influencers for Instagram promotion

Run A Contest/Giveaway For Promotion

Another great strategy is to run a contest or giveaway. You can call on your existing follower base to share your brand with their friends, which is a great way to reach people. Overall, people trust their friends more than brands. Giving away a product or even a gift card can be a great motivator to turn your followers into advocates. In a typical Instagram contest or giveaway you’ll ask your followers to tag their friends in order to be entered to win. If you want to go one step further, you can giveaway two things: one to the person who commented and one to their friend they tagged, with the requirement that they’re both following you. This can be a great way to grow your following.

running a contest/giveaway for Instagram promotion


Finally, you can always cross-promote across other social media channels. Whether you promote your latest Instagram live in your Facebook group or link a Pinterest pin back to an IGTV video, it’s a great idea to use your existing audiences on other platforms to grow your Instagram audience. These audiences already know who you are and like you, and they’re likely on Instagram already anyway. It can also be a good idea to repurpose your content from IGTV videos onto Facebook, like Jasmine Star did here.

cross-promotion across social media channels example

Instagram Promotion Strategies

So there you have it: our best Instagram promotion strategies for 2020. Now that you know how to promote on Instagram, which strategy will you try first? Do you need to update your profile first, or are you ready to dig into an Instagram growth service?

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