A high follower count is a feat many businesses seek from marketers in 2022. Although not directly impacting sales or conversions having more followers does benefit a business by adding a sense credibility, reputation, and certain benefits such as “the swipe up feature” allowing users to add a link that followers can receive by swiping up while watching stories.

However, not everyone is lucky enough to cross that 10k mark. In the beginning, it’s tough to prove your mettle as there are thousands of accounts you must compete with. And that is why search engines are filled with queries like how to increase followers.

You might have searched for tips to gain more followers too. And mostly the advice you will come across will be generic, like improve content quality, post consistently, and optimize your profile.

Yes, these techniques help; however, they are very generalized, so their efficiency is questionable. Furthermore, as more people apply the same methods, they lose their charm.

So if you want to grow your following drastically, you need to get innovative. You cannot just follow the herd and expect to stand out.

To make your profile go viral and rake in the right audience, your account must become unique. And we are going to tell you how to do that exactly:

6 Ways to Boost your Following Innovatively

1. Learn From The Competition

If you are new to Instagram and worried that your competition is ahead of you, don’t worry. Instead, take it as a blessing in disguise. Your competitors might have a considerable following built up, so why not learn a few tips from them and use it to your advantage.

Competitor analysis has long been a part of marketing strategy, and you can use it on Instagram too. Keep a close eye on what the leading players in your field are doing.

Look at what and when they are posting and who they are targeting. And then replicate it. (Not entirely just bits and pieces) Add more value to the content, bring something fresh for the audience to consume.

This might sound easy, but the bottleneck is you cannot copy your competitors’ content. You can pick ideas from there, but your application must be unique and free of plagiarism. Similar content is a turn-off for many users, so ensure that you add your touch to it.

Moreover, you cannot use this in the long term. This technique is suitable for beginners, but once you have established some foundation, you need to get ahead of the competition and develop new ideas yourself. Our next tip tells you how to do that.

2. Curating Your Grid

People keep talking about constant posting and scheduling in advance. But what they miss out on is the bigger picture. ‘The grids.’ You cannot just post random content daily. Your profile should make sense and reflect your style.

If you cannot wholly revamp your profile, at least ensure that the first 9 grids complement each other. This is essential for gaining followers because they are the face of your profile.

When users visit your account, they not only glance at your bio, username, and profile picture. They also scroll down to see your past content to gain insight into what they will get in the future. Therefore, your grids should scream creativity and uniformity and push the users to press the follow button.

Grids can be curated using different editing tools like Preview or Planoly You can splash them with your brand colours and keep a consistent form. This will help you in your overall branding efforts as well. Here is an example of different styles incorporated by ElskaBody.

Instagram Feed Transformations (Before & After using Preview App)

3. Casting a Wider Net

One of the worst things you can do when aiming to promote your brand is limit your potential following by targeting the same audience daily. If you aren’t experiencing success with one strategy do not get stuck on it. Instead, change your game and try widening your potential.

In addition, don’t narrow your niche so much that it becomes difficult to gain followers. Initially, casting a wider net to get as many fishes as possible is best. Later you can filter your content. Try to maintain a balance between informative and entertaining content. Use as many features that Instagram provides especially new ones. From polls to questions, live rooms to IGTV, boomerang to reels, don’t leave any stone unturned.

Moreover, try using broad hashtags, geotags, and long-tail keywords to combat slow growth potential. They can help your content reach beyond your current followers.

Search popular places your target audience visits or search for and tag them in your stories. By doing this, anytime a user looks up for the given destination, your account has a chance of popping up and getting more views

4. Influencer Marketing

Instagram has been a hub for influencers since the beginning. And it made collaborations easy by launching a collab manager in 2021. So if you have the budget, why not partner with other accounts which have a substantial following.

This is known as influencer marketing, which can be paid or unpaid. Usually, big names charge money to promote your brands. But by researching, you can also find influencers in your space that give shout-outs for free to encourage new businesses.

If you can afford it, go for brand ambassadors who can constantly advocate for you and promote your content across several channels. You can even hire marketing agencies to communicate with mega-stars if your budget allows.

Moreover, you have the choice to either collaborate with notable people who already promote products or services in your niche.  Or you can cross-collaborate outside your niche to drive a new target audience.

Sometimes it pays off to use contrasting campaigns to highlight your brand instead of using old boring tactics. But, on the other hand, don’t try to be too salesy, or the marketing efforts can backfire.

Surprise your followers by partnering with their favourite musicians, actors, or bloggers. Let the influencer speak for your product and watch as their loyal following transit to you. However, remember you cannot just rely on influencers. You have to maintain your presence as well and provide user-generated content that can make its mark in customers’ feeds.

5. Contests

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This might sound old school, but the number of followers a healthy contest can bring is substantial. Everyone loves a competition regardless of age, especially when it leads to a freebie. So holding Instagram contests can ensure your brand reaches those who were unaware of your existence.

You can tap out to a larger audience by putting re-sharing and tagging as prerequisites for a win. Your current followers can participate in these contests and bring in more people. However, for this to happen, the catch at the end must be attractive enough to make your current followers invest their time and participate.

Another way to hold contest is to sponsor them so that it reaches new audiences. For example, you can boost your contest post or run a separate ad highlighting the fact that the competition is going on.

Moreover, you can combine influencer marketing with contests too. This holds more potential as it pushes a larger audience toward your profile. But, remember, these contests should be genuine and fair, or they can ruin your relationship with the influencer.

The best part about holding contests is that they cost less money as they create a ripple effect. The only thing you need to invest in is the end prize and a bonus for influencers.

These campaigns can bring in new followers at a high rate if you curate and conduct them well. The value proposition at the end should prompt your fans to repost the content, and then you can sit back and watch as it does the magic.

6. Instagram Engagement Groups / Pods

Sometimes you see Instagrammers growing their following numbers at a significantly faster rate to their competitors. It seems like a scam; however that is not always the case. It may be that they are not buying Instagram follower bots; instead, they are using engagement group/pod strategies. This is a short-term tactic to gain followers by participating in Instagram pods which are a group of people on Instagram usually in a particular field engaging with one another to help each other grow. This aims to be advantageous for all parties involved  Every member of the pod benefits by cross-promoting and gains an immediate following.

Even though most instant followers gained from engagement pods won’t turn into customers, it can help you build credibility which can set the momentum in the early phases of your Insta journey. The trickle effect will eventually lead to paying clients as well.

Moreover, it might be tempting to join a massive engagement pod as the larger the pod, the more significant the following potential. However, the truth is you should go for pods close to your niche. If you want more targeted followers who wouldn’t unfollow, stick to groups with people who share the same interest as you.

You can find engagement pods in almost all niches such as travel, entertainment, services, beauty, etc. Join them now but remember that if you seriously want to benefit from the pod’s attention, you have to return the favour. You must promote other members in the group to get the same feedback from them.

Reaching 6 Figure Followers with These 6 Tips

As Instagram keeps evolving, these tips need to be applied in new ways. Merge them with new features and get maximum benefits. For example, use reels to introduce new contests, go live when collaborating with influencers, etc.

All the methods mentioned above are tried and tested. They have proven beneficial for many users. However, you cannot rely on them forever.

You have to mingle them with other techniques, generate new ideas, and make a comprehensive marketing strategy for a long-term approach.