Fetishisation of Instagram and the virality that is drawn parallel to it is being sought after more than a high-end ‘dope’ in the market. As a marketer or influencer, viral marketing, especially on Instagram is an expedient way of not just getting noticed but growing either as a personal brand or as a company as a whole.
When your account or your company’s for that fact, goes viral on Instagram, you do not just bring the hype around your product but your brand in general. That sounds like ‘money’ to me.
The plus is the fact that once you’re viral on Instagram every guy in Chipotle knows you, even when you didn’t have a pre-built audience like Paris Hilton or David Cameron. However, is it that easy to go viral on Instagram? And, shouldn’t you be working on a bigger funnel marketing strategy than focusing on viral marketing through Instagram?
To answer the former, it isn’t easy to get viral anywhere, and Internet fame isn’t just handed over to you because you yearn for it. With so many marketers and influencers trying to shove aside the others and make it to the top, getting your account viral isn’t about following a generic pathway. You can’t review a McDonald burger and hope of going viral with it just because you suggested a way to express people’s views on the burger. It’s not that easy but it isn’t impossible either.
For the latter, viral marketing is just as big a marketing strategy as email marketing. Why? You’re the one here; you should know.
Now that we are finally done with why virality on Instagram matters, here it is, the manifested guide to earning your stardom on Instagram and becoming a living brand in the flesh. I curated this with the sole intention of making you believe that there is no sorcery to the path to becoming famous. It comes from sheer grit, hard work, and knowledge of the most marketable practices that help your efforts to meet results.
The 15 steps mentioned below can be the concrete to paving your pathway to getting viral on Instagram, but before that let’s understand what virality truly means.
What does the world consider ‘Viral’?
Before we venture out to learn the tricks of the trade and the secrets to becoming an overnight sensation we need to process what exactly being viral is. No, Carol, it has got nothing to do with the Coronavirus, but just because you mentioned, stay indoors, wash your hands and use a mask. Now that preliminary safety warnings have been made, let us move forward.
If anything goes viral, it means that people have lost their mind over something that surfaced over the internet and has interacted with the post tremendously, resulting in the hype around the post or the incident. A good post can be the doorway to getting your Instagram account viral, but what does it take for a post to make all the noise on Instagram?
For a post to become viral, it needs to have
● A substantial amount of shares,
● A substantial amount of likes,
● A substantial amount of comments,
● The frequency at which the content is being circulated in the internet sphere.
● The number of times the post has been viewed,
And many more. To exactly define viral content would be difficult but suffice it to say that these are the most common and obvious characteristics that can be observed in a viral post.
This post will be primarily focused on building enough hype around your posts so that people engage with them in needful ways and you can derive benefit from the said engagement.
Now to answer your first question. How many hits do you need for your account to go viral? Somewhere around 100,000+ hits along with thousands of comments on most posts. Yes. That is the humongous amount of attention your content needs to create for you to make a noise. However, the process in itself is systemic and can be achieved if you follow the next 15 steps. It won’t make your very first post go viral but you’ll be creating a manifold amount of excitement amidst your followers. More followers mean more attention, more attention means more followers.
And boom! Your account is viral now!
So here we go!
15 steps to make your Instagram Account Viral
1. Understand your audience (duh!)
We can never stress this enough. Your post has to have an audience targeted; you can’t advertise nachos to people who are on a health-conscious diet. Your post, in that case, would be dead before it began.
Every post that you make on Instagram with the intention of gathering hype around it is done with a specific target audience in mind. While the post in itself has to be mesmerizing, the people you pitch it to should be interested as well. In Instagram, this is easy because you get to use hashtags and attract people from niches to engage with your content, and if they like it, which they will (we believe in you), voila! Your purpose has been served. Now, on to the second.
2. Aesthetics – can’t define it but can’t leave it out either
This one is tricky and it has every right to be. Aesthetics is something that you can’t put a finger on but is important just the same. Did you see Ariana’s upside-down photo with a dash of reflected light (probably out of a prism) smearing onto her face along with a thin strain of sunbeam? Yes, we all loved it but why? Aesthetics and we do not know why.
The fun about aesthetics is that something as simple as a wall with a collage of wooden window panes can be very aesthetic and photogenic.
However, while you’re endeavoring to achieve this, do keep in mind that making your content or your profile in general aesthetically pleasing is extremely subjective. The most random of things may appear aesthetic at the most unexpected of times; the best way to go about this is to make sure that whatever you do, it is visually appealing.
3. #Viral (Use the right Hashtags)
Eye-popping content along with the right hashtags makes for the quintessential combination to capture new viewers. Use of the right kind of hashtags will get your page’s train on the tracks of getting new audiences on board.
Use hashtags that relate to your product, niche, or service, and all the other relevant hashtags so that your content will reach those who’ll be genuinely inquisitive to take a look at it.
Take your sweet time to research hashtags and make a list of the ones that synchronize with your content. You can also take the aid of tools to do your hashtag research as they’ll make your job easier. If you are wondering how many hashtags your post should have, then my opinion would be that you should stick to 5 or 7 hashtags at max. You don’t want to appear as someone who’s just spamming the post and filling it up with incessantly irrelevant hashtags.
However, Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags in a post. You can either add the hashtags at the end of your post, or you can add them in the form of comment immediately after posting.
You should also opt for using branded hashtags as they can prove to be fruitful if you’re aiming to go viral.
4. Use emojis
Emojis are a great way of evoking emotion that a normal text passage fails to portray. The use of emojis serves two broad purposes. Firstly it helps you bring down the tone of the text to an informal one and the reader feels a bit more inclined to interact with the content.
Secondly, the emoji makes sure that any random scroller quickly notices the emoji and drops to check the content and what it has to offer and thus again, increasing your audience for that particular post. Don’t trust us? Corporate houses like Nike and FedEx use these ‘personifications of emotions’ to attract more traffic into their posts.
5. Consider paid promotions for easy visibility
Nothing is as good and reliable as some good old advertising gig and promotion scheme. You see, no matter what you do, the paid promotions make sure that Instagram is going to take extra care into bringing your content into the limelight and pop it up on the feed of people who share similar interests. Paying for promotions is the sure-fire way to getting noticed and increasing your chances of going viral.
6. Publish more video content
Although Instagram has not made a statement saying that videos are appreciated more than photos, it has been observed that video content always gets more attention compared to images. From IGTV, and Reels, to Instagram Live, and Instagram Stories, the platform is promoting video content and how!
You know the importance of eye-catchy content, right? Now, let’s dig a little deeper. Imagine this – when you sit and scroll through Instagram as a viewer yourself, videos autoplay, and anything entrancing immediately catches your attention. That is exactly what I’m talking about.
Video content grasps more engagement and it naturally moves to have more chances of going viral. Another reason why you should be posting more video content is that videos will make your followers pause and spend more time on your page, which is good because as per the algorithm, that is exactly what we want.
Instagram has also announced that IGTVs will now appear on the feeds of your followers, which clearly means that Instagram wants you to make more videos.
7. Accounts and Location Tags help
Imagine someone searching for a restaurant and your photo appears on their search because you have already dined there. That would be one hell of a promotion right? You can achieve that with something as easy as a tag.
When you tag something or someone, anyone searching something remotely analogous will be viewing your content if they happen to scroll enough or if your content is engaging enough. Tags and mentions go a long way to ensure that your image stays in circulation long after the photo is published.
8. Leverage your ideas with Instagram Analytics
You can sneak into your Instagram analytics to take a look at the content which was loved the most by your audience. Your page’s Insights will give you a direction and they’ll allow you to create content that works best for your followers.
The analytics will help you learn about your follower locations, follower gender, most-liked post, and so much more. You’ll also get to know when your followers are active the most. If you posted something at 5 pm and did not get much engagement, and then you posted something at 8 pm and got flooded with engagement, then you’ll know that you need to post around 8 pm because that’s the time when most of your followers are active.
9. Connect with Influencers
Influencers exist for a reason – they have gathered a strong trust from their fan base and even the micro-influencers have thousands of followers on Instagram. A word from these influencers would mean thousands of their followers dropping by your account and engaging with your account.
Where once you were focusing on one post, this surge in followers would benefit your entire profile. Influencers, along with breeding hype also builds trust and helps you engage with people who are outside the spectrum of your reach, no matter what measures you have taken. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your account and content on Instagram.
10. Post Frequency and the time of Publishing Matter
First and foremost we advise you to make a Calendar list of the ideas that you are going to work upon for creating stellar content. You can’t post once in a blue moon and expect people will notice it.
Posting irregularly creates no traction at all and also serves to stop showing your posts even in your followers’ feeds. Yes. They do that and the only way you can skirt around that is to post regularly and by posting quality content at the same time.
You also need to take into consideration the fact that there is a time when there is a maximum amount of audience using the platform and are ready to engage with the post that you are going to make.
This is the peak time we talk about. You can identify this by using analytics software and then determining the amount of audience generated, segregated by the time of the day.
Once you have successfully identified the time at which your audience generally engages the most with posts in your vertical, make full use of it.
11. Host Contests and Giveaways to Boost Engagement
Now if there is something that the human mind treasures more than his own life, it is the greed to have something for free or for the least amount of elbow greasing involved. This is why giveaways are of cosmic importance.
There are two benefits again to giveaway campaigns. Firstly, greed will force the human mind to succumb and do whatever is necessary (make sure it is not very tedious) to stand a chance for winning the giveaway and the other is the advertisement you make.
Giveaways are important because unlike normal advertising where you focus on your campaign manager to ignite a spark, the products in a giveaway speak for themselves. If the quality is satisfactory and the prices are not exorbitant in nature, you will notice a steep increase in the number of audiences for each post and the general increase in the number of followers too.
12. Post-High-Quality Photos
Quality always goes a long way, doesn’t it? Don’t miss out on clarity and style because crystal clear photos are a game-changer. Think of Instagram as your parents, but the only twist here is that your parents want you to focus on your career, while Instagram likes you to post focused images on your wall, you know what I’m saying? You’re obviously not expected to maintain television-worthy standards, but it’s just that blurry photos to make it big on Instagram.
If your photos are not in focus, they won’t be able to get the kind of engagement you’re aiming for. Engagement comes with high quality, and low-quality images just won’t cut. You might end up losing a few followers as well, and you don’t really want that to happen now, do you?
13. Including CTA is an effective way to go viral
Including CTA in a witty way can actually work like magic in terms of engagement. Call-to-action can work wonders for your page if you use it potently. Every single story or post that gets published on your page should contain a significant CTA. It is like telling your audience what you want them to do. Think of your audience like a baby. You need to create enthralling and creative content that they like, and then you need to spoon-feed them with a CTA to make them interact with the content.
Want your content to go viral? Your page will flourish tremendously by using CTAs like ‘double tap to take a look at more of such videos’, ‘click on the link in bio to learn more’, ‘turn on post updates to never miss out on anything’, or simply ask captivating questions for that matter.
For a quick example, let’s say that you are a beauty content creator who has just posted a makeup tutorial video on the page. After writing a crisp caption, you can quickly ask a question in the end like, ‘comment below and tell me all about what kind of makeup videos or tutorials do you want me to post in the future?’. This will make your audience feel like you care about what they want from you, and it will work as a great way to stick to your page.
14. Know What’s Trending
Instagram is all about making or following new trends every day. As a viewer yourself, do you ever feel like every morning comes with an over-the-top, drop-dead gorgeous, or maybe a very cute trend on Instagram that literally makes the world go crazy because everyone hops on it?
Yeah, we are all sailing in the same boat then. That’s what the platform is all about, right? As a page, you need to know what’s trending so that you can hop on it and grab the attention of your audience.
Hopping on trends makes for a superlative and fail-proof strategy to sky-rocket your post engagement. Another way to keep yourself updated is by knowing what your competitors are doing, but don’t forget to add your own twists and flavors to the table.
Stalking your corrivals might give you great inputs, reveal hashtags, pop new ideas in your head, and you’ll be able to use their content strategies to make a few of your own.
15. Use tech tools to get more followers and boost engagement
Tech tools will work like your magic wands when it comes to boosting engagement and getting new followers on your page. If you are serious about making it big on Instagram, then you should definitely consider taking the help of tech tools to help you get there with ease. All kinds of customers as well as brands have hopped on the platform and the hype for Instagram and the competition, both are real. Hence, you can make use of several tech tools that are out there. These tools will help you push the crowd and they’ll allow you to reach heights.
With all that said and done, remember this: to catapult yourself into making more money doesn’t mean idol-worshipping virality on Instagram. Being viral is as much about patience as it is about your sheer grit and strategies. You may go viral with just one post or it may be the 101st post that worked for you to wind your way to get your Instagram account viral. However, resorting to disingenuity or ill-intended practices would only lead to short-lived fame and you will be back to square one when it all ends.
Thus, do not try finding a loophole to virality or working towards negative criticism because ‘Internet fame’ of that sort will not take you anywhere. Now that I have dispensed my Jamocha shakes of wisdom, here is the last bit of utter cliche yet will-fuelling advice to getting your account viral on Instagram – GO GET IT!