FREE PRO SECRETS MINI COURSE on How To Grow Your Business 10 X Through Instagram Marketing

Thank you! Here is your free masterclass!

Welcome to the free pro secrets mini course  on how to drive growth through Instagram marketing. Hey, I am  Seema Gupta, professor of digital marketing at IIM Bangalore and in this course I will tell you six strategies to skyrocket your business through Instagram marketing 

Number 1 strategy  is to define the purpose of your Instagram Account

What is the purpose that you want to achieve through your content on Instagram.  70% of the content’s objective is to get the reach.  20% purpose is to gain trust and build credibility and 10% objective is to drive sales.  

For example Chumbak is an account for selling Indian souvenirs. They put interesting pictures of attractive products and they get huge reach. They also put up contests for fans to design novel products. Hence many users follow and engage with Chumbak account which increases its reach. 

You can see a boy who is dressed up like a Fedex Courier person in Halloween costume.  Now this builds trust and credibility as it connects with people because it’s humanizing the fedeX brand.

10% objective is to drive sales.  We can see the example of Sephora which is offering a 50% off to drive  conversion.  Hence the purpose of Instagram account is to have as many followers as possible.  Typically Instagram  allows the reach to be limited to 10% of the followers based on engagement. Out of the audience   reached small percent will have trust and credibility in your account and out of the people who have trust and credibility a small percentage will convert and buy. Hence the strategy is to maximise the reach and conversion percentage. 

Number 2 strategy is to optimise your account 

You should simplify your account username. You must also simplify your account handle name. In this example of Jay Shetty, both the username as well as account name are Jay Shetty. They are simple, its based on his name and he is a popular public figure. Put keywords in your bio, like it talks about love, work, life, so he has optimised his bio for these keywords. Choose a  profile photo which is a good closeup of your face and a good bright colour background so it becomes like a thumb stopper when people see your post in the feed.

Give reasons so that people can follow you. If you are a traveller then instead of saying you are a traveller, say travel with me. Give stories and highlight them so they will stay beyond 24 hours as long as you wish. Whatever information you are giving in the bio give it in a structured manner in bullet points.  Make it attractive by using emojis. Put  at least 10 or 12 photos so that people can browse your profile and get to understand you better.

Make your account public and not private.  Set it as business account and not personal and do not forget to activate comment filter. When you are setting your account name you can name it on yourself or you can name it as a brand or on a theme.  For example jay Shetty is on a person, Gucci is on a brand and Entrepreneur is on a theme. If you have a useful username it enables understanding. It allows people to understand what the account stands.  So there is an example of three accounts that are very similar  but their name indicates what business they are in. Three accounts are having similar and confusing account names but by looking at usernames you know they are for Delta dental, Delta faucet and Delta Airlines respectively.

When you are using picture have a very clear symbolic representation.  Make sure you are not using too many colour palettes, make sure you are not having too much noise in the logo.  

Number 3 strategy is mix your content 

You should have a variety of content like photos, videos and live. They have different strengths and weaknesses. While photos are easy to share they do not have link. Videos are difficult to create but they build trust and have more virality.  Stories are a pull medium whereas feed is a push medium as users need to click on stories and see. So it is good for casual trust building. So you can give sneak peek of your product, or give  behind the scenes.

In content strategy  you have two options –  if you want to find content or you want to  create your own content. If you are a small business  it may be a good idea to find content which is already a gold content and already doing well for other accounts.  

You can try to discover content using the Explore option or search for great content in your niche hashtag. You can improvise  on that content and personalize it to your target audience.  For example there is a quote from Indira Nooyi.  The first content is only text so you can improve it by adding a picture of hers. Then you can make it further better by structuring the quote, so you can highlight certain words and  put your brand name to personalise it to your target audience. 

Another strategy is to share stories as  people like to hear stories on social media. You can build user-generated content. You must try to arouse emotions  as there is a  saying that people don’t remember what you tell them but they remember how you make them feel.

Geotag your content.  Optimise the caption by writing it into small pieces which are scannable and have a clear call to action. It’s not a great idea to write long paragraphs as no one likes to read long form content on social media.  

Number 4 Strategy is to avoid making mistakes in choosing hashtags. 

So many marketers make the mistake of going after popular hashtags which have millions of post in them. There is very little chance that their content  will be in the top of the hashtags results as competition is too high for those hashtags  and hence your content will not be discoverable.  So instead choose a smaller hashtag  with less number of posts and  less competition.  And once you have topped that hashtag then you must target hashtags with medium competition and  once you are getting on top of those hashtag results then you must target hashtags with even more competition and more search volume.

Strategy number 5 is hacking the Instagram algorithm

What do you think Instagram wants?  It wants comments, share, like.  Basically it wants people to be hooked on to the platform.  It wants people to stay on the platform because the more people stay the more ads Instagram can show and that is how it will make money. 


So what Instagram does is it conducts microtest.  Everytime you post the first few hours of posting are very critical. It checks the engagement in the first few hours and if it is good then it increases the reach and if it is low then it curtails the reach.  One way of increasing the reach is by content stacking, which means that you post the content in all formats – photo, video, live and stories. You must arouse curiosity  in your stories and live and direct user to engage with the post.   That way you are telling people in all the possible avenues available that your new content is out there and you try to get as much reach and as much engagement as possible.

Strategy number 6 is leverage influencers 

You can arrange for shout for shout or a simple shout out. 

Shout for shout is a sort of barter in which accounts agree to share each others post and both benefit. This will happen only when the two accounts have similar number of followers and engagement. 

But if the other account that you are looking for shout shout is very big and is an influencer and your account is small then they are unlikely to go for shout for shout. then you must go for paid shoutout. This strategy has worked  very well for my clients and they  got a hundred thousand followers on Instagram in  no time and it is guaranteed to work for you as well.