Organic Reach on Instagram [2019 Guide]
Coming up with the right content for your Instagram audience in 2019 can be hard enough without having to factor the complex task of making sure that you get that content in front of people, let alone the right people. If you want to grow your Instagram followers it’s important to understand how Instagram calculates organic reach.
You go through the trying ordeal of searching through folders full of the potential photos and videos you’ve set aside to post for your brand.
You select the best one from the lot, applying the right filters. Then, you’re finally ready to upload your content onto Instagram for all of your followers to see.
You upload it and sit there waiting in anticipation for the likes and comments to start flooding in. As time passes the likes and comments slowly trickle in it becomes clear that your engagement levels definitely aren’t what they used to be.
There has been a rising number of reports and outcry from brands and users as of late, claiming that Instagram has started to purposely hide their content in the hidden depths of the feeds.
But is there any truth to these claims or is it just a case of not understanding how the system works? What defines whether your post will receive a high level of engagement?
The answer lies within your organic reach and how you can learn to skyrocket it, which in turn results in a heightened engagement rate and increased brand awareness.
However, before we learn how to grow your organic reach, we must understand what exactly it is and why it affects your marketing efforts.
What is Organic Instagram Reach and Why is it Important?
To put it in simple terms, when you publish a post on Instagram that post will reach a number of people through their feeds either through organic reach or paid reach.
Your organic reach is the total number of people that have seen that post at least once without the assistance of paid ads.
There’s a direct correlation between reach and engagement.
The more people that have had the opportunity to view your post, the more potential likes, comments and shares you are likely to receive (i.e. a higher engagement rate). This means its essential that you are constantly focusing your efforts on maximizing your reach in order to boost your brand awareness.
In order for you to fully understand how you can strengthen your organic reach, you must first understand what factors control it and how those factors have changed over the past few years.
How Has it Changed? The All-Mighty Instagram Algorithm
Once upon a time, when users would scroll through Instagram, they would be able to view their feed in a simple, reverse chronological order.
Skip forward a few years and Instagram implemented an algorithm that was said to analyze their user’s behavior and automatically display and prioritize the content that it thought that they would most prefer to see.
Social media platforms only make changes if it furthers their goals of users spending more time on their site. Clearly, this change resulted in higher app usage–and consequently made them more money through ad monetization.
After a few more recent changes, the algorithm now supposedly operates somewhere in the middle of those two parameters, prioritizing posts that it thinks you are more likely interested in viewing in a somewhat chronological fashion.
So how does the algorithm predict what a user would like to see in their feed and how does it define what a quality post is?
As users scroll through Instagram, the algorithm collects data on them in areas like what posts they engage with, profiles they visit, stories they view, etc. Then, it uses this information to create a profile of them and define the type of content they enjoy.
Once you have a significant number of people interacting with your post then this indicates to Instagram that what you have to offer is top quality.
The beauty of this is that you can use this system to your advantage, make the algorithm work for you and use it to build your organic reach, but how?
How to Build Your Organic Instagram Reach Authentically
There are a variety of methods that are perfectly legitimate that you can utilize in order to build your organic Instagram reach.
You don’t have to seek out the use of third-party apps that buy you fake followers, mess with your insights and end up leaving your account suspended.
Growing your reach is an important part of marketing that takes time, patience and lots of planning. If you want to grow your business in the digital space you need to put in the work and consistently provide people with content that they want to see and hear. Increasing your organic reach is critical if you want to grow your Instagram followers organically.
So if you’re ready and passionate about giving something valuable to the Instagram community, below are a few tips that you can try and implement into your Instagram marketing strategy in order to increase your organic reach:
1. Create Content that Hits the Spot – Optimized For Organic Reach
One fact that has remained true throughout the ebbs and flows of Instagram algorithms is that content is the single most fundamental element to secure your brand in the social media space.
But not just any content, great content. If you’re consistently posting high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience, then not only are you demonstrating to Instagram that you are a valuable member of the community, but you are displaying that you are worthy of having your posts shown to more people.
Ask yourself this, who’s more likely to be given a higher priority – the account that posts subpar content sporadically and only when they feel like it or the account who is out there coming up with quality content to post a day in and day out?
The next question is how do you ascertain whether you’re putting out content that’s both of a high caliber and that’s relevant to your followers? It’s simple – put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask yourself what content you would like to see if you were them.
2. Improve the Quality of Your Posts
All of the photos, videos and stories that you post should be a reflection of the interests of your audience so make sure that you do the due diligence, put in the research and plan out the right approach, finding content that fits into this plan and ensuring as well that your captions are written in alliance to this.
When you have the right idea about what your audience likes to see and you’ve defined a style for your brand you’ll want to ensure that you keep that style consistent, as you’re more likely to refrain from losing followers if you’re providing them with the content that brought them on board in the first place.
3. Utilizing Hashtags On Instagram
Another way to give your posts that little extra boost is to make sure that you add in a group of relevant hashtags to every one of your posts in order to attract more viewers to your post (just don’t go crazy and add in as many as you think of).
A great strategy can be to test out different hashtags with your posts and see which ones result in higher engagement, you can then keep a few lists of different types of good quality hashtags which you can easily draw from, just ensure that you don’t overuse the same hashtags repeatedly.
4. Using Instagram Stories
One of the most popular and dynamic features on Instagram right now is its Stories functionality. Stories have proven to be highly engaging to audiences and as this feature lets Instagram accounts instantly connect with their audience, it provides a quick and simple method of getting content out to the masses.
Another key benefit to taking advantage of Stories is the fact that it pushes your content right to the top of the user’s Instagram feed, meaning if you keep adding in fresh material your brand will stay in the spotlight (given your content is engaging enough). This can be a great method to direct followers to your page to check out your latest posts and to encourage their engagement.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth analysis of this feature and how it can help you grow your brand, you can check out our article detailing this here.
5. The Optimal Time to Post On Instagram
A big topic that is continuously brought up by Instagram users trying to improve their organic Instagram reach is whether there are certain times that they can post on Instagram that would be more effective in reaching users and if so when specifically are those times?
The answer isn’t exactly black and white as there are a lot of areas that you need to consider when trying to map out the best times to post your content. A lot of people try to seek out information as to when people use Instagram, but a key piece of information that you need to determine is not just when the general population use Instagram, but more specifically when your target audience is online.
If you have an Instagram business account (which is completely free) there is a feature you can utilize called Insights which displays information relating to the highest and lowest engagement
times/days, as well as various other statistics and data relating to your audience like location, gender, country, etc.
6. Automated Tools To Help Your Instagram Growth
There are a variety of handy tools that you can make use of in order to streamline your content and reduce your time spent on mundane tasks that detract from the more important tasks like spending time mapping out your marketing goals and visions as well as growing your brand.
These tools mostly come in the form of apps that you can use to do things like scheduling your posts and remind you when its time to post, editing your pictures and videos, providing and save lists of hashtags, auto-responding to comments on your posts as well as much more.
You can find a specific list detailing the various tools that are out there in this article.
7. Using Paid Ads To Increase Instagram Reach
If you have the marketing funds to supplement your organic Instagram reach with paid reach (through the use of ads and boosting posts) then using paid ads can be a highly rewarding strategy to implement as the two work very well together and build upon one another in various ways.
The key selling point that comes with utilizing Instagram ads is that it gives your brand the opportunity to broadcast your posts to a greater number of people who are not already following you, and given that you set the ads up to target the right audience, this can be a great method to increase your brand awareness. In turn, this should provide you with a greater number of followers who will then be more easily reached by organic methods.
Putting it All Together
Organic reach is a crucial element to factor in when promoting your content to all of Instagram’s users and aiming to continually build up that organic reach to get it as high as it can possibly be is a surefire way to make certain that your engagement levels will continue to soar and that your brand will continue to flourish. Here’s a handy video guide on how to increase your organic Instagram reach:
By consistently posting top-quality content that is relevant to your target audience, utilizing Instagram stories as a dynamic method to connect with followers, ensuring that you’re posting within the optimal times and using the right tools to aid you, you’re making certain you’re your brand is constantly staying ahead of the curve and continuously growing, because as they say if you’re not growing, then you’re dying.
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