marketing methods instagram

5 Proven Marketing Methods For Making An Impact On Instagram

In my last post, I spoke about a method I use to help me market effectively on Instagram: being a customer and following my favourite accounts.

In this post, I want to share with you 5 of the most valuable and proven marketing methods I’ve learned from following my favorite accounts, and how you can apply these methods to your own Instagram page to boost followers, engagement and ultimately help you draw in new customers to your business.

You don’t have to follow all of them; like I always say with Instagram, experiment and see what works. See what your audience likes and do more of that.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure for more information. 

What We Will Cover in This Article

  • Why establishing authentic relationships with your followers is more impactful than just gaining numbers.
  • The pitfalls of blending in with the crowd and the advantages of crafting distinctive content that captivates.
  • The art of persistence: How to deliver your message consistently without being repetitive or intrusive.
  • The undeniable benefits of offering free content that’s of such high caliber it rivals paid offerings elsewhere.
  • The transformational power of personal growth stories and how they resonate deeply with audiences.
  • Navigating the world of hashtags to maximize your visibility and organically grow your reach.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a richer understanding of these strategies and be equipped to make your Instagram presence more memorable and effective.

The Neon Green Method

Have you noticed on Instagram and Facebook ads how boring and identikit some of the promotions are getting? I have. This is typical in an industry where people start seeing a method that is working well for one marketer, and attempting to mimic that success.

The thing is, social media is one big, crowded, noisy place. And the best way to stand out in a big, crowded, noisy place is to, well, stand out. So I’ve named this method the neon green method, because it’s about designing your Instagram posts to stand out on Instagram from everything else around you.

And I don’t literally mean you should make your posts neon green, by hey if that’s your branding scheme then go for it! I just mean that don’t be afraid to step away from the beautiful, artistic, pastel, arty shots on Instagram and instead do something a bit brash, loud, quirky, or odd. Different is good. If you want your brand to be noticed on Instagram, be “neon green” in everything you post. Maybe some people might not like it, but you’ll definitely be remembered.

Instagram, as one of the premier social media platforms, offers businesses and individuals a chance to showcase their unique personalities and values. However, with the platform’s immense growth, it’s also become saturated with similar content patterns.

A recent study showcased that certain styles and color schemes dominate specific niches on Instagram, leading to a visually monotone Instagram feed for users. But have you ever wondered why certain ads or posts catch your attention more than others on platforms like Instagram or Facebook?

Yes, we’ve all seen those ads that seem like a clone of another. It’s not entirely the fault of the marketers; it’s human nature to gravitate towards a formula that’s known to deliver results. However, in an environment like social media, where novelty and uniqueness can be a game-changer, merely replicating others’ success can put your brand at a disadvantage. This is especially true for small businesses trying to carve out their space amidst global giants.

This brings us to the essence of the “Neon Green Method.” Picture yourself walking down a street lined with various shops. Amidst the plethora of muted colors and familiar storefronts, a bold neon green sign captures your attention. That’s the power of standing out. Your Instagram strategy should revolve around the same principle.

It’s not just about the color, though. The term “neon green” is symbolic. It emphasizes the need to be bold, to dare to be different. It could mean experimenting with new features like Instagram reels or short videos that defy the norm. It could mean designing your Instagram business profile to reflect a quirky, offbeat brand personality. And while pastels and artistic shots have their merits, sometimes, the audience yearns for something that disrupts their expectations. In the vast sea of similar Instagram content, your posts should be the beacon that draws the target audience’s attention.

Remember, the ultimate goal of your Instagram marketing strategies isn’t just to gather likes or followers but to make a lasting impact. While some might raise eyebrows at your “neon green” approach, the good news is that it’ll stir a reaction. In the world of online marketing, evoking an emotion, whether it’s surprise, amusement, or even disagreement, is preferable to being scrolled past indifferently.

The next time you’re pondering over your Instagram content strategy, think “neon green.” Step away from the comfort of the conventional, and you might just find your posts resonating more with potential customers. After all, in a world filled with pastel blues and pinks, sometimes what you need is a splash of neon green to capture your audience’s heart.

TAKE ACTION: Sign up for this short online course in graphic design and learn how to make your Instagram posts pop.

The “Where Do I Sign” Method

Have you ever been so “sold” by a promotion that you just want to jump in and say – oh my god, where do I sign? Sign me up now! Wouldn’t it be great to have a business where your fans love you so much, that as soon as you release a new product or service they are emailing you to tell them what your sales page is?

That’s not as much of a fantasy as you may think. If you can get a loyal following, that type of customer behavior is well within your reach, and Instagram is one of the best ways you can start to generate that really loyal, dedicated following.

So here’s what I recommend to make your followers on Instagram love you so much, that they are emailing you before you release your next product, asking you how they can sign up. Make your free content on Instagram as good as the paid content other people sell. It doesn’t matter what business you are in, this is a completely achievable goal.

You’ll win over any audience, providing you have the attitude of making your Instagram posts so unbelievably valuable that your followers immediately think: “Well, if this is the free stuff I’m getting, imagine if I purchased one of their paid offerings” It’s not just value that’s important here, it’s quality too. If your posts are high quality, your followers will assume that everything else you do is just as high quality.

Likewise, if you give little time or thought to your posts and the quality of them is typically low, what are your audience going to think when you put an offer in front of them? Will they snap it up? Or will they think that it’s going to be the same poor quality as your posts? So consistent, quality posting is going to go a long way to building you a loyal following. And remember, quality doesn’t have to be an expensive, artistic shot on a pricey camera. It’s not about your artistic skills, it’s about the value you are giving your audience.

The relationship between a brand and its audience is not just transactional; it’s also emotional and experiential. When your audience interacts with your content on platforms like Instagram, they’re not just consuming information. They’re also experiencing your brand, understanding its values, and forming perceptions about its quality and credibility. So, the question you should be asking is not just “What am I selling?”, but also, “How am I making my audience feel?”

Instagram, with its monthly active users reaching into the billions, is a goldmine for businesses. But it’s not just about reaching a wider audience; it’s about reaching the right people and resonating with them. Let’s consider the metrics we often chase after: likes, comments, shares, and followers. While they’re essential for measuring engagement rate, they’re also indicative of something more profound. Each interaction signals a moment where a user felt connected to your content. As a business owner, this is your golden ticket.

Drawing insights from Instagram analytics can give you a perspective on what your target market truly desires. A recent study showcased that users are more likely to interact with and trust brands that offer value beyond just selling a product. And this is where the concept of free content shines. Think of it as a sampler in a bakery. If a customer is impressed by the free taste, they are more inclined to buy the whole product.

Let’s delve a bit deeper into this concept. If you run an online store, using Instagram posts to offer quick DIY hacks related to your products can be a game-changer. For those in the service industry, perhaps sharing snippets of knowledge or behind-the-scenes glimpses can pull back the curtain and foster trust. Utilizing Instagram stories or live video can also bring in real-time engagement, creating a sense of community.

The good news for small businesses is that creating standout content doesn’t require breaking the bank. In today’s digital age, authenticity often trumps high-budget productions. If your content is genuine, relatable, and offers value, it will find its mark. Consider using Instagram reels or carousel posts to share user-generated content or customer testimonials. Not only does this amplify the voice of satisfied customers, but it also endorses your brand’s credibility.

Another often overlooked yet essential component of your Instagram strategy is the Instagram bio. It’s the first thing potential customers see when they visit your Instagram page. Ensuring it’s reflective of your brand, and inclusive of essential contact information can be a determining factor for a visitor converting into a follower or even a customer.

A complete guide to effective Instagram marketing would be remiss without discussing consistency. Consistency in posting, in the type of content, in engaging with your followers, and in the value you provide. If your Instagram posts regularly solve a problem, inspire, or entertain, it’s an easy way to keep your audience hooked and coming back for more.

Your Instagram account is more than just a portfolio; it’s a powerful tool to nurture relationships with your followers. By consistently delivering value, you’re not just securing a sale; you’re securing loyalty. In the vast realm of social media, where the competition is rife, being remembered is the real victory.

TAKE ACTION: Produce a fantastic freebie that your audience will love, and offer it on your optin page (don’t have an optin page yet? Unbounce is a great choice for new entrepreneurs on a budget).

The Star-Struck Method

If you are on Instagram and trying to build a large audience on it, start thinking of yourself as a celebrity. But I don’t want to be a celebrity, Lauren. Neither do I. But that’s not the kind of celebrity I mean.

Fame comes in many forms, and if you want a loyal and passionate Instagram following, you should aim to be “famous” amongst your following. As I mentioned in the previous method, you can do this by consistently providing quality content. But you can also become famous by understanding how you are viewed by your audience, connecting with your audience in a personal way. And this is about understanding exactly what it means to be a “celebrity” in your niche.

Be under no doubt, if you are doing all the right things and gathering a loyal Instagram following, that’s exactly how your followers view you right now. So even if you don’t want to be a celebrity, in your own niche, the truth is you are. Embrace it.

And your audience will value a personal touch from you. So allow your audience to become star struck with you. Be that celebrity. Capture and capitalise on your celebrity status. Take the time to comment on their posts, follow them, reply to their comments, and tag them (use that one sparingly, when you already have a relationship with that person). I cannot stress enough how much they will value the time you are taking to connect with them on Instagram, and if that person is following a hundred similar accounts, I guarantee yours is going to be the account they remember and love the most. 

Building on the idea of being a niche celebrity, the next phase is leveraging that status in strategic ways. Harnessing the power of Instagram stories is a crucial step. Think of your stories as the behind-the-scenes glimpses into your celebrity life. Share snippets that aren’t available on your main Instagram feed. Perhaps, tales about your business journey, or candid moments that humanize your brand and make your followers feel like they’re getting an exclusive look.

A recent study revealed that engagement on Instagram is at its peak when businesses showcase authentic, relatable content. As a ‘celebrity’ in your niche, authenticity becomes your currency. Your target audience craves genuine interaction, and you hold the power to give them that.

Consider the power of Instagram Live, a feature that has been underutilized by many but can create monumental shifts in engagement rate. Going live and interacting in real-time can be daunting, but it’s an excellent way for your followers to see the ‘real’ you. When they see you unedited, raw, and genuine, their trust in you amplifies. If they had any reservations before, a few live sessions could be the bridge that brings them closer to you.

Your Instagram profile should be reflective of this celebrity status. Ensure your Instagram bio is compelling and encapsulates your essence. It’s one of the first things potential followers see, and making a good impression is paramount.

In addition, leveraging user-generated content is also a smart move. Imagine a follower or customer sharing a post about your product or service and tagging you. Engage with it! Not only does it validate their action, but it also further cements your celebrity status. Your acknowledgment serves as their ‘celebrity moment’, making them feel seen and valued.

Lastly, remember that while it’s essential to engage with your followers, setting boundaries is crucial too. A true celebrity in any niche knows when to engage and when to step back, ensuring they maintain an aura of intrigue and allure.

By focusing on these strategies, you won’t just be another Instagram account in a sea of many. You’ll be an entity, a celebrated figure in your niche, and a beacon that attracts and retains dedicated followers.

TAKE ACTION: Add 5 minutes every day in your diary to go onto Instagram and reply with long, personal replies to any comments.

The Toddler-Repeat-Request Method

The reason behind the name of this method is in honor of my eldest, and her standard toddler behavior when she wants something from me. It goes something like this:

Mummy, can I have three stories tonight.

No, it’s late. Just the one.

Can I have three stories. Three.

No. One.

Three. Two. Can I have two stories.

No. It’s late.



Two stories. Oh go on. Just two stories.

Look. You can have one tonight and three tomorrow night.

Other parents reading this are probably nodding right now in familiarity.

Now, toddlers can be incredibly annoying. And obviously I’m not suggesting you annoy your audience. But toddlers also have an unbelievably good technique at getting what they want.

Look back at that conversation. Who had the upper hand? I might think I did, because she only had one story that night. But look what she got out of it. Three stories the next day.

Wow, those toddlers can negotiate well, can’t they?

But I want to draw your attention to a few things that toddlers do that are relevant to how you use Instagram. No, seriously, I do.

For you parents out there, answer me this: does your toddler ask you for something once, or ten times?

Correct answer. Fifty billion times.

Obviously, this is an annoying characteristic of toddlers, and please don’t go on Instagram and start asking your audience to buy something off you fifty billion times until you completely wear them down and they unfollow you.

However, many Instagram accounts underestimate the importance of repeating a request to your audience. I know what you are thinking: I can’t ask them the same thing more than one. I’ll annoy them!

No, you won’t. If you can be smart, unique and authentic with your promotions, your audience will not mind hearing about it more than once. In fact, most people need to see a promotion several times before they make up their mind about it.

And it’s effective for the same reason toddler requests are effective. Even if you don’t give in to a toddler, you’ll remember it. And even if you can’t say yes that time, you might find it’s something you agree to at a later date (similarly, people who can’t buy your product now will still remember the promotion and may be looking to buy it the next time you launch).

The main lesson here is to not be afraid to promote yourself repeatedly. Don’t be annoying, but be professionally persistent.

Moreover, what toddlers excel at is their natural ability to adjust their tactics based on the reactions they get. They observe, adapt, and iterate. And that’s exactly what you should be doing with your Instagram strategy. Analyzing your Instagram insights is akin to gauging the reactions from your audience. It provides valuable information about which promotions or content pieces resonate most with your followers.

Have you noticed how toddlers sometimes combine their requests with a cute gesture or an endearing look? This isn’t coincidental; it’s their way of making the proposition more attractive. Similarly, while promoting your product or service on Instagram, it’s a great opportunity to combine it with valuable content. Think tutorials, user testimonials, or behind-the-scenes glimpses that make the promotion not just another ad, but a valuable post that educates, entertains, or informs.

Toddlers are also incredibly transparent with their emotions. When they’re happy, sad, excited, or disappointed, they show it without any reservations. Adopting this kind of transparency in your Instagram marketing strategy can help forge a deeper connection with your audience. Being genuine about the highs and lows of your business journey, celebrating successes, and acknowledging challenges can be a powerful tool to make your brand more relatable.

Another strategy toddlers unconsciously use is the art of distraction. If a direct approach doesn’t work, they’ll often engage you in another way, leading you back to their initial request. On Instagram, this could translate to diversifying your content strategy. Perhaps a carousel post showcasing the different features of your product, or short videos demonstrating its use, can be your way of reintroducing a product or service without being overtly repetitive.

Finally, toddlers are naturally curious and persistent learners. They never just settle; they’re always out to explore and discover. Embrace this mindset in your Instagram strategy. Keep experimenting with different types of content, posting times to find the best time for engagement, and collaborating with other Instagram users for broader exposure. New features like Instagram Reels or carousel posts can be your new playground to get the audience’s attention in novel ways.

In essence, while the incessant asking of a toddler might seem like a simple annoyance on the surface, it encapsulates a masterclass in negotiation, persistence, adaptability, and understanding one’s audience. Integrating these lessons into your Instagram posts and strategies, while maintaining a balance of value and authenticity, can position your brand in a place of advantage in the eyes of your potential customers.

TAKE ACTION: Create a schedule for your next promotion, so that you are communicating your message consistently to your audience over several days.

The “A Year Ago Today” Method

If you are in the business of transformation, this is one for you.

If you’re on Facebook, you’ll be familiar with those posts you occasionally get along the lines of….a year ago today, you posted this.

In my case, it’s typically a picture of one of my children looking really tiny and young, and me thinking: oh my god, look how small they were!

Instagram has a very popular hashtag called #throwbackthursdays or #tbt. It’s clue is in the name. It’s a chance to post a picture of you in the past, with a short explanation of how you have changed since then. Health and fitness accounts use this very effectively, especially the weight loss ones, as it’s a chance to post the “before” picture of what they looked like before they lost weight. Often it’s accompanied with a story about how unhappy they were in their old body, and how their life has changed for the better since then.

But you don’t have to be a weight loss guru to use this hashtag. It’s relevant for anyone in the business of transformation and change. If you are helping your audience change something about themselves, then this hashtag is an opportunity for you to show that change in action. For example, perhaps you are a finance expert helping people in debt. Your post could be about looking back to a time when you were struggling with that debt, and the effective it had on your life at the time.

This is a very powerful way of connecting with your audience. People seek change in their lives, and they are inspired by other people who have made that change. Instagram is a great social media platform for offering up inspiration to a large audience who are looking for it. So this is your opportunity to share your own story.

If you are going to use this type of post, remember to use the hashtag. It’s also a good opportunity to look at other accounts who are using the hashtag, see how they are using it, and what you can learn from it.

Furthermore, the appeal of transformation is deeply rooted in human psychology. The desire to evolve, progress, and improve is intrinsic to us. Hence, when you showcase genuine transformations, especially your own, it strikes a chord, establishing an emotional connection with your audience. It’s not just about the end result; it’s about the journey, the challenges faced, and the growth achieved.

By leveraging #throwbackthursdays, you’re not only sharing a before-and-after comparison but also revealing the vulnerable side of your journey, which makes your transformation relatable. The more authentic you are in your posts, the more powerful the impact will be. Sharing struggles, moments of doubt, and detailing the highs and lows can build trust and credibility. This vulnerability can be a powerful tool, breaking the monotonous facade of ‘picture-perfect’ life that social media often portrays.

Moreover, you can diversify how you represent transformation. It doesn’t always have to be a direct comparison. You could share snippets of old journal entries, photos of pivotal moments, or even screenshots of feedback or testimonials that motivated you further. This varied approach will keep your audience engaged, wondering what the next transformative story you’ll share is.

Engaging with your audience further by prompting them to share their transformative journeys can be a goldmine. Inviting them to use a unique hashtag, perhaps something like #YourBrandTransformation, can not only build a sense of community but also provide you with invaluable user-generated content. These personal stories can amplify the authenticity of the transformations that your service or product promises.

Beyond just sharing your own story, it’s crucial to highlight success stories from your clients or customers. Doing so not only reinforces the credibility of your transformation business but also provides tangible proof that what you’re offering works. Every testimonial or client story shared will resonate with someone in your audience, potentially propelling them to take action.

Lastly, remember, while #throwbackthursdays is an excellent avenue for showcasing transformation, it’s vital to maintain the theme throughout the week. Consistent storytelling, both visual and textual, that aligns with your brand’s transformation promise can create an enduring impact. By doing so, your brand becomes synonymous with positive change, and in an era where people are continuously seeking betterment, this association can set you miles apart from the competition.

TAKE ACTION: Find relevant hashtags for your niche related to some form of transformation, and schedule a weekly post with that hashtag (psst – if you need help figuring out what hashtags to use, try the hashtag finder from Tailwind)

Instagram Marketing Methods: Key Takeaways

Instagram is a powerful platform, and mastering its nuances can set your brand apart. The article provided rich insights, and here are the central takeaways:

Celebrate Your Niche Fame: Embrace your status as a a celebrity in your niche. You have dedicated followers who will view you as a prominent and trusted figure. Engaging with them will elevate your brand image and help you develop a deeper connection with your audience.

Distinct Brand Identities Matter: There is lots of noise on Instagram. Being a vibrant and unusual account will help you get seen. It’s crucial you craft posts that draw attention and also help resonate with the uniqueness you offer.

Repetition: Draw inspiration from the relentless nature of toddlers. Repetition is important and it’s a valuable tactic. But always strike a balance. It’s good tot remind your audience what you offer. But a tactful approach will help you maintain your image as a trusted brand, and it won’t overwhelm people.

Quality Matters: Offering content that rivals the quality of paid content elsewhere will create unparallelled trust and loyalty in your brand. If followers are impressed by your free content they will be more inclined to invest in your paid offerings.

Talk About Transformational Stories: Use popular hashtags to showcase stories of growth and transformation. Instagram is an aspirational place and users want to see that. Share your evolution with your followers to inspire them and to help build a connection.

Remember, Instagram is more than just a platform for sharing pictures. It’s a space to connect, engage, and transform casual browsers into dedicated followers and customers.

Five Marketing Methods on Instagram: Wrapping Up

So there you go. 5 tried-and-trusted methods for getting your name out there on Instagram and building a loyal following. I cannot stress how effective Instagram can be at helping you build a loyal band of followers and customers, just as long as you know some of the techniques that are going to help you get there. So now is the time to put this into action. Start applying these methods to your business, and see what they can do for your business.

Plus, drop me a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Are there any good methods you think I’m missed? What’s your favorite method for building a following on Instagram? Tell me now by adding a comment below.

Bonus Tip – How to Build Your First Sales Funnel

Once you have a fantastic Instagram feed up and running, now’s the time to start thinking about growing a high quality following and start making sales for your business. You can access our free Smart Funnel guide by entering your email address below, and discover how to create your first sales funnel for your small business.

What To Read Next

If your Instagram marketing isn’t working, try this instead

Read this detailed case study on how I grew a brand new Instagram account from scratch to 3000+ followers in just 6 weeks

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5 proven marketing methods for making an impact on Instagram
5 of the most valuable and proven Instagram marketing methods, and how you can apply these methods to your own Instagram page to boost followers, engagement and ultimately help you draw in new customers to your business.
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2 thoughts on “5 Proven Marketing Methods For Making An Impact On Instagram”

  1. Thank you Lauren! After reading your blog I realize how scattered and “all over the place” I am regarding Instagram. I am trying to get my act together and your very clear guidelines will really help me. I will keep you posted on my progress!

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