How to get followers on Instagram for free: Complete Instagram Marketing strategy

Looking for solutions on how to get followers on Instagram for free?

Instagram is a social media application that allows you to share pictures, videos, and texts with a worldwide audience.

It is a very popular platform, with 500 million users in 2020, projected to increase even more.

Looking to increase your followers? How to promote your business on Instagram?

These are all questions we will answer in this guide. You can expect one of the best Instagram strategies to grow your business account.

So we will divide this into 7 major steps from laying down the foundation to advanced strategies that you can use to grow your account.

Step1 : Setting up your account

So the first step is choosing what type of account you want to create.

There are 3 types of Instagram accounts:-

  1. Personality– This type of account belongs to people who post their personal stuff on Instagram like what they are doing, where they are traveling etc. This type of account is built around you and you are the primary focus of this account.
Type of insta profile

2. Brand – Here brand and products are the focus. Here you basically promote your brand/products and all the posts will revolve around that brand only.

Brand account Insta

3. Themed – This type of account is based on a theme like traveling, cooking, etc. Here all the focus will be on a theme.

Insta theme account

You need to decide what type of account you want to create. After deciding just go to Instagram and signup.

Step 2: Optimize your profile

Now once you have created your profile, you need to optimize your account.

Note: You can change all the details in your profile anytime you want in the future.

There are 5 major components of your Instagram profile which you need to optimize:

  • Profile Picture – This is the photo that you use for the face of the account.

You need to have a high-quality resolution photo as your profile picture. The best tip is to have a closeup photo of your face or logo if it is a business account. There should not be too much stuff in the photo, it should be simple and minimalistic.

how to optimize profile photo
opimize profile photo
  • Username/Instagram handle – Instagram handle is your unique identifier. It is used to identify your account. It is also used as your URL address.
what is instagram handle

It will also help you in the search results of Instagram for e.g. if someone tries to search a word resort and your name has a resort in it so it can appear to search results.

how to optimiza instagram profile

So if your accounts come on top of search it can gain a lot of attention and you can do extremely well in whatever you are trying to achieve that is sell product or services.

  • Account Name – Instagram name is your account name and it is not Unique like the Instagram handle. The purpose of the account name is that if the user visits your profile they should understand how you are and what you do.

Account name is again searchable so you should optimize it for search and should be related to your page. You might want to add Keywords in your account name for better visibility in search results.

How to optimiza Instagram account name
  • Bio – Instagram bio is a short description where you give users a reason why they follow you. For e.g. Follow us for everyday Digital marketing tips and hack.
Instagram Bio

Use keywords in your Bio so that you can have a better chance to show up in search results.

  • Call of action – Instagram allows you to put one link in your account. You can place your homepage link, product page, or offer page link. So call of action is an instruction to the user to take certain actions.
linkedin cta

You can include some emojis to encourage the user to click the link. For e.g.

insta cta

Step3: Research Phase

Now once you have optimized your profile we need to do some research before going out and posting content.

There are few things which you need to ask yourself:-

  • Who is our target audience?
  • Where I can find them?

You need to make a list of the accounts which is on your space.

Step 4: Start creating content

Now the most important step is to create content. Creating high-quality content is key. You need to start creating content which you will be posting on your account.

Tip: Try to create at least 15 posts at the beginning so that any visitors visiting your profile should not have a bad impression.

Things to remember while creating content:

  • Always use high resolution photos/videos
  • Add logo in your posts
  • Use images of 1080*1080

There are 3 main types of content that you can post on Instagram that is pictures, videos, and stories. Pictures and videos will be posted as post and will be on your account forever whereas stories will disappear in 24 hours.

Let’s start creating the content. To create content you can use a lot of tools like Canva. You need to go to and sign up.

using canva to create post

After signing in you need to select Instagram post design

create post for instagram

You will find a lot of templates that you can use and post it on Instagram.

how to create post on instagram

Step 5: Start Posting

So content is ready now, you can go ahead with the posting phase. You need to understand the basic elements of posting which are Caption, Hashtags, Call to Action, tag, location.

  • Caption is the text that explains what your post is all about. You can write a detailed brief of your post in the caption or try to encourage the audience to engage with your post like performing actions in form of comments/likes. Instagram caption character limit is 2200 characters.
Instagram caption
  • Through Calls to Action, we want the user to take an action like engaging with the post. e.g. Tag a friend whom you want to go out, like the post if you agree, Message us to know more, Caption this picture, Follow @ for viral hacks etc.
call to action in instagram
  • HashTags – Hashtags are pound signs and are used to categories the post. You can add a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. Adding relevant hashtags is very important as it exposes you to a new audience. Using hashtags can increase your visibility by 2-3 times. Check out Top 5 Tools to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags
Hashtags in instagram

For e.g. By adding the hashtags food, it will be included in the #food page so anybody browsing food hashtags can see your post even though they are not associated with your account.

So now the question is What is the best time to post on Instagram?

The post timing also plays an important role as you might get good engagement at one time and not so good engagement at another time.

When you post when your users are online you will get more engagement which will help you to get more reach, likes, and shares.

Instagram Insights

You need to know when your users are online. For this, you can go to your Instagram analytics and check out what time and day your audience is most active. Then you can start posting at that time.

Step 6: Engagement activities

Engagement rate is something that determines how your post will perform after you have posted on Instagram. This is a very important parameter which decides your post will perform well or not.

How this engagement rate is calculated??

Engagement rate = (Likes + Comments) / Number of followers

Avg engagement rate is 2% but it varies from Industry to Industry. It can be more for general theme accounts like quotes etc and it can be much lower for brands account.

Here are the tips which you can use to increase your engagement rate:-

1. Use 30 hashtags on each post

2. Use different call of actions in your post e.g. Like the post, comment if you agree, Repost, Tag a friend etc.

3. Don’t use the same Hashtags for each post.

4. Like other photos and comments on their posts.

5. Respond to all the comments you get

6. You need to post regularly and be consistent in posting.

7. You need to have a mix of low competition, medium competition, and large competition hashtags.

Step 7: Using advance strategies to grow your account faster:

Use Instagram Stories

Instagram stories allow the user to share pictures, texts, and videos which will stay for only 24 hours. The stories are played one after the other by the app itself.

instagram stories

To engage your followers in the stories, here you have to be less formal and arranged than you are in the feed.

With stories, you can arrange for a poll to know about your audience’s response.

Thinking about launching a new product but not sure about the response? Ask the people with a poll.

Another important thing to remember is to speak directly to your audience. It is an important thing, as people respond best to direct interactions.

The people here will consider only what you have to say, rather than how are you saying it.

Insta stories

This will be a great way to create that “like, know, or trust” feeling for your brand.

You can use stories to add some low quality behind the scene snaps, ask questions from users, conduct a quiz, get feedback from your audience, etc.

So, go ahead and use Instagram stories to generate ROI and increase your revenue. 

Using Instagram Ads to grow your account

The use of advertising on Instagram is proven to be effective, as confirmed by the recent statistics. It is said that 75% of the Instagram users take action after seeing a post.

The targeted nature of the Instagram ads ensures that your brand can have the proper audience exposure, generate new traffic, get new leads, and convert the old ones.

This resource is effective and the money spent on an ad gets guaranteed exposure and subsequent traffic.

Instagram ads are sponsored posts through which you can use to reach out to the audience which is not associated with your account.

Instagram Ads 1

The posts look like a regular feed, but there is a “sponsored” tag attached, which separates it from the other posts.

With Instagram ads, some common objectives which you achieve are:

  • App installation by users.
  • Brand awareness increase.
  • Conversion to new leads.
  • Engagement of the target demographic.
  • Generation of new leads.
  • Extensive reach into the client base.
  • Increase traffic to the business resource.

You have to be clear about the goals you expect from your ad.

For example, what would you need the ad to do? Should it refer the visitors to your website? Does it have to encourage visitors to install an app for your company’s services? 

There are 2 types of ads

  1. Feed: Which appears on your newsfeed like a normal post with sponsored tag.
  2. Stories: This appears at the top of Instagram as the stories

By using ads not only you can reach a mass number of people but you can filter it down based on gender, age, gender, interest, etc.

Getting the right target will be exceptionally functional in making the ad for your business work in multiple directions. 

So, now you know! therefore, do not waste time and use this online resource to skyrocket your business reach and profits!

Using Giveaways and competition to grow your account

If you are looking at how to get followers on Instagram fast? Giveaway or competitions can be your answer. You can set up competitions where you have to give some prize in return for engagements.

Instagram giveaway

It can bring you a lot of followers, tags, and shares if done correctly.

To set up giveaways you need to set up a rule where users have to take some efforts to enter in giveaway and winner is picked randomly.

Use Influencer marketing and shoutouts to grow your account

This is one of the strategies which can help you to gain followers quickly.

If done effectively, shout-outs can increase the number of followers of another user a lot.

You might well come across the following terms:

S4S (Share for Share)– Where you and another page agree to share each other content on their respective pages.

L4L (Like for Like) – Where you and another page agree to like each other post on their respective pages.

You can try to find different profiles that are similar to your niche and have the same number of followers. Drop them a message asking them if they are interested to do a shout-out.

Here are a few tips that can help you to identify correct profiles for shout-outs:

  1. Try to find the users with a similar follower base

Instagram users who get a similar number of followers can be more responsive to your shout-out requests.  It is a vice versa process which can be beneficial for both you and your complementary users.

2. Try to get shout-outs from your users

Asking for a shout-out from your users without socializing with them is not done. So, interact with them as much as possible. Like their posts and also comment on them. This lets your users know you well and respond to your shout-out request quickly. 

Using IGTV to grow your account

Instagram Live is an amazing feature that was introduced by the company in 2016.

It took only a few months for this feature to give out astounding success stories.

As per a survey, the results showed that 80% of the people would prefer watching a live video from a company than read a blog which undoubtedly defines the new bend in the mindset.

Thus, it shows a more realistic side of the business, making a better connection with the viewers.

It also allows the audience to add comments in real-time, making this platform really interactive.

For the business, also it helps as the comments are directly from the people who matter the most for your business.

Instagram Live aids to boost the visibility of the company.

Whenever you start a live video, an in-app notification is sent to your followers, which attracts a great number of audiences.

This increases the reach and thus results in a higher view count.

The various ways in which you can benefit your company through Instagram live are:

  1. Demonstrate how to use a product: The how-to content is very popular among people; it showcases the right and easy ways to use the product. The small live videos demonstrate great tutorials with an authentic touch to gain the viewers’ trust too.
  1. Live question and answer session: The most common use of Instagram Live is for the Q&A session with the followers. This makes the platform interactive, and you can get the right pulse check of your audience. It will also help you to get followers on Instagram. In this real-time conversation, the people don’t have to wait for the answers or solutions and the problems can be solved on the go.
  1. Product Launch: One of the most successful ways has been the product launch video of a new product. Real-time launch entices people and develops interest among the viewers. A sneak-peak can also be given to the viewers before the actual launch to get the curiosity and interest becomes high among them. Prices can also be revealed in such live videos. This also helps as people move to the website elevating the traffic.

Instagram Live is one of the most useful and successful social media features that has boosted businesses across the globe.

Signing off

Using these steps I have gained many followers for my clients. Make sure to track the progress of your Instagram marketing activities.

So what are you waiting for – join the league of popular and successful businesses today and expand your reach? Comment below your thoughts.

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