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How to Make Your Instagram Posts More Engaging

To increase engagement on Instagram posts, you need to be original and be creative. Check out these 10 tips to raise engagement.

It’s one thing to just post random, shocking videos on Instagram. You may get a reaction, whether it be negative or positive.

High-quality pictures, brand voice, and product tags are all important to small businesses creating successful content for Instagram.

However, if you really want to create engaging content for your Instagram account, you need to learn how to strategize for Instagram advertising for your efforts to pay off.

Instagram CTAs: comment below, send this to a friend, share to your story, tag a friend who..., and click the link in my bio.

Why engagement matters on Instagram

Some people use Instagram just to shock people and get attention. They might not have any real goals as to how to monetize their posts while gaining a following. However, that’s usually one of the goals—to make money.

Making a profit is not the only reason to seek Instagram engagement. You can use engagement posts to put your face out there and make yourself known to the world. It’s also an excellent place to promote a cause that you care deeply about.

This naturally increases your exposure and engagement, and it can make you popular, raise click-through rates, and cause people to buy what you’re selling.

How the algorithm works

All the social media platforms work a little bit differently when deciding which content will grace a person's social feed.

Today, most platforms have moved away from showing posts chronologically and now rely on an algorithm—or in Instagram's case, algorithms—to show its users content in their feeds that will keep them on the Instagram app for longer.

For example, if a user interacts with beauty content, they are more likely to see more beauty content on their Instagram feed. This applies to specific accounts as well. If a user interacts with the same accounts often, those accounts are more likely to appear on their feed. Instagram weighs a user's activity with a post's relevancy (decided by factors such as metadata and trending topics) to decide where it falls on a feed.

The most important thing to know about these algorithms is that they are updated frequently. This means that while today you might know how to create content that the algorithms will promote, tomorrow could be different. To keep engagement rates high, pay attention to any updates and adapt your content accordingly.

Instagram content types include reels, photo carousels, stories, live videos, and video posts.

10 tips to boost engagement

Even though Instagram's algorithms change, there are ways you can boost engagement regardless.

1. Include a call to action

It’s tough to boost engagement if you record a bunch of random videos and don’t tell your viewers and listeners why you’re showing them the content you are. They might not respond at all, or if they do, it might be to ask you why you brought up the issues you did in the first place.

They might also simply ask, “and your point is…??” That’s because they don’t understand what the goal of the content you’re showing on Instagram is. It’s time you gave them a reason to watch your videos and invite them to take action.

You can add a call to action, such as “contact me for more information” or “learn more about this topic here.” It’s possible to add them as overlays or as links in a description. You can also just provide information at the end of your video recording itself.

However you choose to display your call to action, it’s going to have an effect on your viewers. Without that CTA, they might not have any idea what they’re supposed to do after watching (or hearing) your videos.

Another type of call to action you could add is “like and follow” because that keeps them engaged and coming back to your channel. After that, you can warm them up with a soft sell, which also is another type of call to action that doesn’t scream “buy this now.”

In any case, the Instagram algorithm isn’t going to detect that you have anything to value if you don’t organize your thoughts. Therefore, you need to make sure you reel them in at the end with a CTA related to your video topic.

2. Host contests or giveaways

Everyone can’t help but want to win a contest. It doesn’t have to be an expensive prize. Some people would even do it for a $5.00 gift certificate to their favorite coffee shop.

Otherwise, you could maybe host a content contest, requesting people to display a video they could put on your channel, and you can choose the winter. You also can randomly pick people using sweepstakes software. Or, you can randomly choose names from a spreadsheet after they sign up.

It’s also possible to create automated contests. These types will pick winners upon contest close without you having to be present, and the prizes or cash are either mailed or sent electronically.

Contests are a great way to expand your audience because you can make the entry requirement an action, like tagging friends in the comments of the post or sharing it to their stories. This way, the person doesn't have to pay anything to participate, and your account can grow its audience.

3. Try out Collabs

It can be tough to try to make it on your own. Sometimes, two people can accomplish more than just one person.

If you’re friends with a popular follower, you can ask them to team up with you in an Instagram Collab.

If you do find someone to join you on Collab, it can inspire new engagement ideas. It may also increase your likes, shares, and follows.

4. Respond to comments

Engagement is a two-way conversation. When page visitors comment on your Instagram posts, respond as soon as possible.

Make sure you have your push notifications set to receive any new messages immediately. That will allow you to see those messages as soon as possible. Responding to comments can help you build relationships with potential customers.

5. Go live!

It may take you a while to build up a following when you go live on Instagram. However, just one video that someone notices can go viral. This could lead to more popular videos. After that, Instagram users usually increase their fan engagement.

Going live shows users that you’re really you. After all, it’s tough to fake a live video, although it is possible. When doing this, however, don’t embarrass yourself too much. That is, unless you want people to laugh at you and think you’re ridiculous.

It’s important to have an action plan before you go live. For instance, are you going to want to be serious or funny? Do you want to educate or entertain?

It’s also important to have some topics in mind you want to speak about in advance. You can do this even if you don’t plan to rehearse what you say.

6. Use different formats

People bore easily. They’re always looking for the next best video, reel, image, meme, and more. Why not surprise them by showing them different formats of content from time to time?

For instance, you can show them a funny reel of what your pet did one day if it pertains to your brand. Then, you could add an inspiring quote about family. Another time, you perhaps should post a video slideshow of how to create a particular craft.

Concerning this, it’s important to use all the social media tools you have at your disposal. For instance, you should review Instagram analytics of your own posts to see what resonates with your followers.

It’s also wise to research the website analytics and engagement of what other people are posting and find out which ones are most popular. As a reminder, don’t do this to copy or steal someone’s brand but to gain inspiration while you develop your own.

You’re still going to have to create your own persona, or you will be regarded as a copycat. Still, you know what your competitors are doing on Instagram, so you know what works and what doesn’t. You also may want to get help from the creative assistant tool to beautify and customize each post you make.

7. Work with influencers

An influencer is someone who’s already popular on Instagram. They usually have an established persona and represent themselves as their own brand, or they represent a company, products, or services.

It may take time to attract the right influencer. It’s usually worth the wait when you find the right person to promote your posts. If that person has enough pull with their audience, it’s one way to earn audience trust and grow your following.

Word of warning when looking for an influencer: Don’t push too hard, or it may seem unnatural. Also, don’t try to create fake accounts pretending an influencer has endorsed you.

You also shouldn’t pay them to pretend they like what you’re posting on Instagram if they don’t know you. It’s possible, however, to keep interacting on influencer pages and have them notice you that way. Otherwise, some influencers may volunteer to take you on, which can be a profitable public relations move for them.

8. Take your audience behind the scenes

Let them know some of the personal aspects of your story, not just about your business.

You also can invite your audience to see you behind the scenes, either during video takes or while living life. Show them some of the authenticity you need to see to realize you’re human just like them without overdoing it.

9. Create powerful infographics

Infographics can send a powerful message without you having to show your face. However, you may want to consider also creating infographics on whiteboards while screen recording yourself. Otherwise, hand-draw figures as you give your Instagram speech.

Traditional infographics work on Instagram too. You don’t have to be present in them for them to be effective. Find data that backs the cause you want to support and the truth you want to confirm, and make an infographic of your own or post one that you think fits your story.

You can also create infographics that include multiple images, where each one highlights a different fact. This gives your audience a chance to share the facts that resonate the most with them.

10. Be authentic to your brand

Again, one of the worst ways to destroy your reputation is to try to copy another person. That doesn’t mean you can’t share what other people post on your account. However, you can ruin yourself if you’re trying to be someone you’re not.

Don’t force yourself to act like someone else just because you think it will make you popular. It may start a temporary uprising. However, people will eventually see right through you if you’re not authentic to your brand.

Get your own identity. Don’t try to sponge off someone else’s. The exception may be if you add something of value that another Instagram user didn’t already say. People want originality from who they follow.

According to RivalIQ, the average engagement rate per post for influencers on Instagram is 1.18%. Meanwhile, the median across all industries is 0.67%.

Getting your audience engaged on Instagram

You’re never going to know for sure how well your user-generated content will do until you try.

However, you don’t have to blindly post without researching engaging ideas. Learn how to run A/B tests before running a full campaign on Instagram.

You have to be willing to put in the work and engage with your audience first through your posts and content if you want them to interact with you.

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