How would you like 193 saves, and 28 shares, and 230 new followers from just one Instagram post – in only 8 days? 🤯
Well, this is the exact, step-by-step method I used that achieved these results.
So in the words of Shania Twain, “let’s go girls!”
The Instagram Algorithm: Unlocked
First, raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by the Instagram algorithm!
OK, I see you!
So here’s the information Instagram released about how they rank your content. This will help you understand how content performs in general.
Now this varies from posts to Reels, but this is a basic overview.
Firstly, Instagram looks at information about the post.
This includes how many people have liked the post, as well as the content itself, when it was posted, the duration (if it’s a video), and if a location was tagged.
Next, information about the person who posted the content. This includes how interesting the person might be to you, and how many times you’ve interacted with that person in the past week.
Then your activity. This covers what posts you might be interested in and how many posts you’ve liked.
And finally, Instagram looks at your history of interacting with someone. This shows Instagram how interested you are in seeing posts from a particular person. This includes if you comment on each other’s posts.
IG is now testing a chronological feed so that should also mess around the algorithm some more!
Introducing the KOALA Method
Before we dive into the content, I want you to think KOALA!
KOALA is an easy way to start thinking about your Instagram account, and the things you’re going to use to grow when you have little or no budget. Here’s what KOALA stands for.
K – KPIs
O – Offer
A – Audience
L – Leads
A – Analytics
KPI are Key Performance Indicators.
It’s a fancy way of saying we are going to track some metrics.
On Instagram, these could be:
- Reach & impressions
- Engagement rate
- Follower growth rate
- Best posting times
- Referral traffic
- Instagram Stories & Reels metrics
Next up, it’s O for offer.
When I talk about offer, I mean this in two ways:
- What you offer your ideal client – ie. your product and service.
- Your offer – is it a coupon code? A sale? A free lead magnet? A quiz? A giveaway?
Both of these have to be something they want. Even when you are posting on Instagram.
For what you offer, I want you to think about Victoria’s Secret… Before all the creepy stuff happened.
Let’s take a time machine back to 1982, when Les Wexner bought the brand and turned it into the lingerie giant.
We all know stories sell better than just a brand. So Les created Victoria, the “fantasy” owner of Victoria’s Secret. She was 36, married to an attorney, and had a French mother.
Growing up, Victoria loved all things elegant and romantic inspiring her to own the lingerie boutique.
As the company grew, Les would encourage employees in every department to ask themselves, “What would Victoria do?” before creating anything – a product, an offer – to ensure it served their target customer.
So the golden rule here is:
What do you have to offer that serves your target market? Write it down now.
Now we’re up to A for Audience.
When it comes to your audience, I want you to think of the Spice Girls song, Wannabe: “Tell me what you want, what you really, really want!”
When you hear this song, I want you to remember two words: “National Enquirer”.
Stick with me here.
The famed magazine started out with gory photos but then pivoted to salacious gossip and bizarre celeb stories.
Their reasoning? Missy Smith.
Missy Smith has had a long day at work, and is looking for an escape. She picks up the National Enquirer at the grocery store, goes home, runs a warm bath, has a glass of wine, and relaxes reading the incredible stories in the magazine.
She realises, “celebrities are just like me and they have a bad day.”
So, who is Missy Smith? She’s not a real person. She’s the National Enquirer’s Ideal Client Avatar – and she’s every woman who loves a good celeb story.
So the golden rule here is:
Unlock your ideal client’s needs, fears and problems and address those when you post. Speak to your customer’s pain points and how you can help solve them.
Write down your ideal customer now.
Leads refers to two things here:
- Lead generation which are activities with the purpose of generating interest about your product or service, like content marketing, advertising, referrals and partnerships.
- Lead nurturing which is engaging and building relationships with potential customer or clients through a variety of marketing techniques.
So the golden rule here is:
On Instagram, you must do both!
To generate leads, you can run ads, boost posts, and use Instagram DM Automation.
We end with A for Analytics!
Take a look at Instagram Insights, which you can access from your account profile page if you have a Business account.
But you can also dive into other Instagram analytics platforms such as Planoly, Sprout Social, Plann, and Later.
By all means, refer to analytics but do not let them be the driving force.
Be sure to tap into your own mojo, magic or freak flag.
The golden rule here is to embrace your creativity and make sure your unique abilities shine through!
The Content Strategy
Now you’ve got the basics of what you need to consider as you create content, let’s dive into the content strategy to gain 30+ loyal followers in just one week!
Starting with …
On your Instagram Stories, you can share case studies, and testimonials, address a comment or an email, use polls to gather valuable customer info or get them to vote on products or services.
Use question stickers for inspiration for posts, emails, or more stories or to gather information on the products or services your ideal client wants.
So at this point, my stories reach about 120 people, and my follower count was around 1200. So that’s 10% of my followers, which exceeds my post reach. So don’t ignore stories.
So here is the golden rule: Use a call to action, question, poll or URL in your story to engage your viewers. This will make sure it’s not just one-way viewing, but your audience engages with you.
You can see my stories reach about 120 people each time – but imagine if each of those people can engage with your story with a CTA. You’ll see an uptick in engagement.
Reels that perform well don’t have to be dances or animal videos.
Though as you can see, animal videos do well with my 3 doggos there.
Humour and entertaining content reign supreme and the algorithm will rank that content higher.
Based on my Reels, one of which achieved 75,000 views from my “little Instagram account that could”, try the following:
- Use trending audio
- Show yourself on camera
- Weave trending content themes relevant to your business and industry
- Use text on your Reel
- Use a CTA in post caption, tell them to drop a comment.
The great thing about Reels is you can also retarget that audience using Video Views.
Be warned as Reels viewers are very broad, they may not be your ideal client.
So with a 15-second video you would be wise to retarget people who have watched a large percentage of your Reel, and select Instagram business profile to get your Reels audience into your custom audience for ads.
Posts that address your client pain point, showcase your expertise (like tips), show off your product or services, and social proof (testimonials) are all things you can share on Instagram.
Carousels, testimonials, or tips and tricks always perform well for service-based industries.
For those with products, showcase user-generated content or rebuff objections or FAQs in carousels.
And of course, giveaways always perform well.
The golden rule here is:
Don’t ignore what’s performed well in the past. And remember – you can modify content from another platform, like your blog or email, or even a customer comment, for use on Instagram.
Now remember with all of these, you can supercharge them with Instagram DM Automation.
The $1.50 a day strategy
This is how we tie it all together.
This is my $1.50 a day strategy to gain 30+ followers in one week.
I want you to drop $5 a day on one boosted post, but test only one post – make it a carousel.
When you select audience, you’ll run it to followers similar to your current followers, so Instagram can choose the best audience for you.
Run your ad for 5-7 days @ $5/day = $35 AUD (if you’re USD that’s about 20-25), and only run one ad like this for the entire month.
In the meantime, use organic posts to fill in the gaps here, like Reels and stories. (You can turn these into ads when you have your strategy down pat.)
Be sure to check the insights on your Instagram account to see how your ad is performing, and don’t forget to respond to comments – even the trolls!
With this method, it means you’re paying ~$1.50/day for your ad to run for one week each month.
Golden rule: this is top of funnel. Anything else, you’ll need to go into Ads Manager and create an Instagram target previous ad engagement to retarget.
Let’s break it down. This is my post.
It’s a carousel post giving free advice on how to create insanely better copy.
First up, I began with a hook.
Now I’m going to reveal my copywriting secret. It’s my two-step hooker formula.
Ooh la la!
Firstly it’s a hook – which is something that grabs your audience’s attention and a power word, which is a word that elicits an emotional response.
These are words like “powerful”, “banned”, “secrets”, “risk free”, “turbocharge”, and the list goes on.
So hook plus power word equals hooker. Two step hooker formula!
So my post says “Steal my #1 copywriting shortcuts to help you capture your ideal client’s attention from the opening line…”
In this case, I have the power words “steal”, “number 1” and “shortcuts”, and I’ve opted for an open loop hook (which is like the cliffhangers of conversion copywriting).
So all of these, plus the power of Instagram’s targeting to show it to people similar to my audience of business owners works like a dream!
It gives quick tips in the carousel and it ends with a CTA to follow me.
Now let’s see those results!
- So organic reach was 293 reach.
- Boosted reach was over 16,000 impressions.
- Now I did make the mistake of boosting that a second time, so don’t do that. That’s why the screenshot says 2% – that’s inaccurate.
- It got 193 saves, and 28 shares, and 230 new followers.
That’s just one boosted piece of content for AUD $15 for 10 days.
Here’s a snippet of the thoughtful, engaging comments I received:
The social proof
I had one of my followers try this exact strategy, and send me this message:
So you can see it does work!
Dos and don’ts
Now I want to give you some quick dos and don’ts.
S**t that doesn’t perform:
- Boring sh** that is irrelevant to your audience. This includes things that have nothing to do with your business or service that does not relate to your offer, what you offer or your audience. Remember KOALA!
- Sh**ty hashtags (irrelevant or spammy). You’ll quickly identify spammy hashtags by the “robo” comments you get.
- Posts from another platform (Twitter for example) because the algorithm hates them being from another platform.
- Posting at times when your audience is asleep. Check your Instagram Insights to see when your audience is online or what cities they’re in and post accordingly!
Things you must do:
- Boost a post for $5 USD per day to “people similar to your followers” and make sure the post appeals to them, as ideal client problems
- Do a Reel using trending audio and use industry hashtags, add your own spin – make it relevant to your ideal client or your industry.
- Document don’t create! Show yourself on Stories. If you don’t want to show your face, show what you are working on. Your fave tools, hacks, software, plugins, a client email, a love letter hitting your inbox.
- Jump on the “Add Yours” photo trend when you see a photo trend happening, as it says, ADD YOURS. It can double your reach, and costs nothing!
And always think KOALA!
Say it with me now:
If you have questions, you can find me on Instagram here.
And if you send me an Instagram DM here with the word KOALA, AngelaBot will deliver you 40 plus “Hook ‘em in” Caption Prompts in one irresistible cheatsheet.