Instagram is a pretty stressful business at the moment if you’re a blogger or influencer. In the last 6 months or so the algorithm change has meant that less people are seeing your posts, and generally if you follow lots of bloggers then 75% of them (basically, the non-mega-famous ones) will pretty much no longer appear in your feed. Our likes have gone down, engagements have become sparse and in general it’s all a bit shit.
There are a lot of ways to try and increase your engagement, like ensuring engagement on other profiles, commenting as much as you can, producing content that can be reposted by brands/pages and so on, but I tried out the new Instagram promotion feature to see whether it’d help my Instagram grow a little.
WHAT IS INSTAGRAM PROMOTION?
You basically pay any amount of money that you choose, and in return one of your Instagram posts is ‘sponsored’ and shows up on other people’s feeds, even if they don’t follow you. You can create certain settings, for example, which gender it points towards, and what age groups will see it. Instagram will tell you what sort of reach it will receive (an estimate) for the amount of money you’re going to pay.
WHAT’S THE COST LIKE?
To be fair it may not be as much as you think. I’ll get onto how much I spent in a mo.
WHAT’S THE INCENTIVE?
Generally, the idea is that your posts will be seen by other people that don’t follow you, and will encourage them to like your photos and hopefully follow you. It reaches people with similar interests to you as well, so hopefully the people who do see it will actually like your page in general. Along with this, each promotion links to a certain website of your choosing. When someone sees the promotion they’ll see ‘Learn More’ which can lead to either your blog, or an affiliate link (whatever you want really).
CAN ANYONE DO IT?
No – you have to have a ‘business account’ on Instagram. Most bloggers and companies have this, and it’s a free thing for you to set up (you’ll find ‘turn to business profile’ in your settings!).
WILL IT POST STRAIGHT AWAY?
All promotions are ‘checked’ by Instagram to make sure they follow their policy – so obvs no nudity or swearing. Most things are generally accepted, and for us bloggers they’re accepted within an hour or so.
HOW LONG DO THEY RUN FOR?
Well, as long as you’d like! You can set this yourself, but I think it’s usually around 1-10 days. Obviously, the more days you want, the more it will cost.
SO, WHAT DID I DO?
I chose an outfit photo post of mine (see above!), which then linked to my website. I paid £7 for a 7 day promotion, and this estimated to reach between 3,000-5,000 accounts. I set the promotion to be for females only (about 80% of my readership is female) and the age range was from 14-30.
AND… WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?
After 7 days, and £7 payment, I got 72 likes on my image, 3,433 impressions (which is how many people saw the promotion) and 6 clicks on my blog.
Now, you might think that sounds great, I think that’s pretty shite.
To put it in perspective, I paid £1.17 per click on my website, which just isn’t really worth it. If you think about other ways you could share a link to your site, such as tweets with hashtags, or Facebook posts on fashion blogging pages (which are both FREE), then the whole Instagram promotion seems a bit of a pointless activity. Sure, I only put £7 down for 7 days, so obviously you’d see better results if you put down triple the amount, but to be honest it still seems like an expensive way of promoting yourself.
WHAT ABOUT NEW FOLLOWERS?
I didn’t receive any dramatic increase in followers at all. Sure I probably got maybe 10-20 or so, but nothing that really stood out.
DO I RECOMMEND IT?
Not really. I feel like this service would be great for big businesses to increase sales, especially as they’ll be able to put big budgets towards it. If you’re looking for engagement and new followers, then I think there are much better (and cheaper) alternatives.
Let me know if you’ve tried it, or what your thoughts are on Instagram promotion!
NOW you can check out my new post all about free and organic ways to boost Instagram engagement! Read here.