{GUIDE} – How to grow your Instagram audience without spending a lot of money

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Instagram has exploded into the New Year as the most important social media network for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands this year. Whether you work in retail or wholesale, you need to have a dedicated Instagram strategy to grow your business.

Influencers have become the princes and princesses of Instagram by wielding their power through creating stunning images that influence their audiences to purchase products. We are all influenced by people. Before it was celebrities, these days it is influencers.

The question we all want to ask but are afraid to ask is – How can I afford to pay influencers if they seem too expensive?

Forbes magazine cited that an Instagram influencer with a 100,000 followers can command $5,000 for a brand campaign. With cash like that sloshing around, it is understandable to be concerned about how to pay influencers if you don’t have $5,000 marketing budget lying around. Take a look at our Imperial top tips on how you can grow your Instagram audience without a massive budget:

  • Reach out to micro-influencers and ask to send gifts

Micro-influencers are influencers that have under 50,000 followers. They tend to be more passionate and honoured to work with brands that understand what they are about. Within the lifestyle space, it might be acceptable to send them a PR package or a gift and ask them to write an honest review of your product. It is a better idea to create a long lasting relationship with 3-5 micro-influencers per month instead of splashing all of your cash on one post by a superstar influencer. Engagement also tends to be higher with micro-influencers.

  • Choose images that resonate with your audience

Stunning images for your niche or market need to be taken seriously. If you plan on building a large Instagram following, pictures from you iPhone are not going to cut it. Buy better photographic equipment when you start taking pictures for your Instagram account.

  • Be consistent with your posting schedule

It’s important to be consistent with your schedule if you plan on growing your Instagram base into something significant. You need to post updates on Instagram every day but figure out whether you need multiple posts. Beauty brands tend to post several images a day, fashion brands do as well but lifestyle brands could do one a day and see excellent engagement.

  • Don’t oversell in your Instagram captions

It can be tempting to try the hard sell in Instagram but in order to get many followers, you need the softer approach where Instagram followers can interact with you without feeling like you are just trying to sell them things. Use your Instagram follower audience to inspire, the sales will come later once your base has been activated.

  • Respond to comments on time and like your followers pictures

When you get a follower, look at their page and analyse whether you will follow back. When someone comments on your page, respond to their comment and like it. It sounds like common sense but there are many huge fashion and beauty brands that receive thousands of comments yet do not reply at all.

Growing your Instagram follower base will take time, effort and a dedicated strategy depending on your niche within fashion and lifestyle. Fashion wholesalers can build a good follower base on Instagram especially if their products are within a niche – such as sunglasses wholesale or handbags sold at wholesale. Fashion retailers can use Instagram to inspire click throughs to their main websites but remember you need to do all of this without a hard sell approach.

How are you going to grow your Instagram followers? Start today with the top tips I have mentioned above.

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