How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 11 Tried-and-True Strategies (2022)

Instagram has demonstrated tremendous growth, with its community reaching over 2 billion monthly users in 2021.

Despite its impressive reach, many business owners are still overlooking its marketing potential. As a result, they're leaving high levels of engagement, brand awareness, and even profit on the table. But why?

In just 12 months, we used Instagram to gain 400,000 followers for Foundr -- which translated to over 70,000 email subscribers. At the end of that period, we were averaging 30,000 call-to-action clicks per month from Instagram, and converting 30% of the users who landed on our website from our Instagram page into email subscribers.

We've seen it work, now it's time for you to get in on the action. In this article, we’ll show you how to build your brand with Instagram. (If you're looking for more marketing tools and resources for your new business, check out our comprehensive guide on how to start a business.)

How to Build A Brand on Instagram

  1. Build an Instagram strategy.
  2. Experiment with the platform's features.
  3. Jump on trends.
  4. Invest in high-quality creative assets.
  5. Leverage strategic partnerships.
  6. Foster a community of highly engaged followers.
  7. Post regularly.
  8. Review your data and optimize your approach.
  9. Share your profile on other channels.
  10. Convert your followers into subscribers.
  11. Optimize your bio.

1. Build an Instagram strategy.

We listed this as the first step because it is the most crucial step in building a brand on Instagram.

If you lack a clear strategy, you’ll end up with low-performing content and a scattered feed as you struggle to brainstorm new ideas.

To build your Instagram strategy, you’ll need to do four things:

    • Determine your goals.
    • Narrow down your target audience.
    • Research your competition.
    • Develop your content plan.

2. Experiment with the platform’s features.

Instagram is constantly evolving. In fact, every week, the Head of Instagram shares a video discussing new features and product updates on the platform.

In one of his latest videos, he announced that they were testing a subscription feature that would allow people to subscribe to their favorite creators and get access to exclusive Lives and Stories.

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In addition to all the new features the social platform tests, there are a lot of established tools, such as Live Rooms, shoppable posts, scheduled Lives, and hashtags – just to name a few.

Our advice is to choose one to two features to test out every month. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed and allow you to measure the impact of each feature.

For instance, hashtags can help you reach users who don’t follow you but could be interested in your products and services.

Don’t know how many to use? Data from our latest Instagram Engagement Report suggests brands should only use one hashtag per post.

How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 11 Tried-and-True Strategies (2)

Another reason to test Instagram features is that it can help you reach more users. The platform has admitted to prioritizing accounts that use features the brand wants to highlight, such as Reels.

It’s a win all around: You stay ahead of the curve, discover which features work for you, and you can expand your reach in the process.

3. Jump on trends.

On social media, all it takes is one person’s video or sound to go viral for the rest of the world to join in with their own version.

Most of these trends are fun and harmless with a lifespan of about three weeks or less.

Why should you join in? Well, it’s an opportunity to connect with your audience in a creative and fun way. If you jump in as the trend is rising, it can also give you a quick boost in engagement and reach.

How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 11 Tried-and-True Strategies (3)

When considering joining any trend, there are two things you want to ask:

      • How can I bring this back to my business and/or industry to make it relatable to my audience?
      • What is the origin of this trend and could it go against our company values?

4. Invest in high-quality creative assets.

A great Instagram post can be boiled down to a formula and requires two elements: beautiful imagery and engaging text.

Beautiful Imagery

Choose images that tell a story or elicit emotion. This image we shared is not only compelling and interesting, but it also elicits emotion and therefore drives engagement from our followers.

What this will look like for your business will depend on your industry, but think outside of posting images of your own products and services.

Posting about yourself repeatedly on social media is like being that person at a party who talks constantly about themselves. Also, beware of copyright issues.

If the image is not your own, request permission to use it or source non-attribution-required photos. (Check out this awesome list of royalty-free stock photos here.)

Engaging Copy

While you don’t have to add text to your Instagram posts, doing so packs a punch that just an image won’t provide.

How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 11 Tried-and-True Strategies (4)

Think of your caption as an additional way to reel in your followers and keep them engaged. It’s a place to add context, share more information, ask a question, and invite comments.

(Video) How to Build Your Instagram Brand Identity

5. Leverage strategic partnerships.

One of the biggest frustrations for most marketers delving into Instagram is that they don’t know how to build a following. After all, without a large number of followers, how can it possibly be an effective marketing channel?

There’s one tactic in particular that we used to quickly grow our Instagram following to 10,000 in just a couple of weeks: partnering with other Instagram accounts.

Are we talking about co-marketing or influencer marketing? Both because they lead to the same result: Expanding your reach.

In addition, both require you to:

      • Conduct research to see if their audience aligns with yours.
      • Review your business goals and determine the KPIs for the partnership.
      • Collaborate on a content strategy.

For example. HubSpot recently teamed up with @ntwrkto celebrate Women’s History Month and promote the Grow Better mission.

How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 11 Tried-and-True Strategies (5)

Image Source

Now that Instagram allows the same post to be shared by two profiles, brands can co-market easily on the platform. Followers from both accounts will view the post, increasing each one’s reach and engagement.

6. Foster a community of highly engaged followers.

Engagement on Instagram comes in many forms, including followers sharing your content, liking and commenting, tagging their friends, and clicking on your calls to action. In this section, we'll go over some of our tactics for fostering a community.

Post When Your Followers Will Actually See Your Content

Have you ever posted something to social media that you think will do really well, only to be met with crickets? Low likes, low shares, and the only comments you landed were from spambots.

While it's easy to assume you miscalculated the potential of the post, it could just be that you posted the update at the wrong time.

The easiest way to know when your followers will be active on the app is to head over to your insights dashboard. If you have a business account (you should), you can learn valuable insights about your audience’s demographics and behavior on the app, including location, age, gender, and activity.

How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 11 Tried-and-True Strategies (6)

From there, you can schedule your posts based on your audience’s most active days and times.

Invite the Engagement

A lot of brands will start Instagram accounts and become frustrated when people aren't engaging with their content.

It seems so obvious and simple, but sometimes actually asking for your audience to engage makes all the difference. You can either include the action you want your followers to take as part of the image itself, or include it in the caption.

Take a look at this example from clothing brand Grass Fields.

How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 11 Tried-and-True Strategies (7)

Image Source

In their post, they share design images and ask their followers to name their favorites in the comments. Not only do they get real-time feedback on their product, but they also get great engagement on the post.

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7. Post regularly.

When a user is scrolling on the app, you are competing for their attention along with millions of other brands.

Because of this, visibility is key. With so many ways to share content, from Reels to Stories to Lives, there are a lot of opportunities to reach your audience – each demanding a different level of effort and preparation.

This is good news for brands, especially small ones. While it’s recommended that you share on the platform every day, you can choose how you share based on your bandwidth and which methods are offering the beinstst ROI.

For instance, an in-feed post likely requires more work than a Story since it will live on your profile.

With a Story, you can quickly engage your audience through a quick poll, a question, a reshared post knowing that it will disappear after 24 hours.

A good rule of thumb: Publish an in-feed post three to four times a week and share on Stories every day.

8. Review your data and optimize your approach.

If you’re already following all the tips we’ve outlined above and you’re still struggling to get meaningful traction on the app, the answer could be in your data.

Too often, brands get stuck in one approach and don’t review their data to see if it’s actually working.

Your Instagram Insights dashboard offers a wealth of information on how each post performed, including impressions, accounts reached, content interactions, and profile activity.

How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 11 Tried-and-True Strategies (8)

For instance, say you’ve been posting images for the past month, then you post one video and it outperforms 60% of your previous posts. That’s an indication that your audience may respond better to video content. It’s worth experimenting with more videos.

If you don’t analyze your performance and look for optimization opportunities, there’s a good chance you’ll reach a plateau with no idea how to get out of it.

9. Share your Instagram profile on other channels.

As you work to grow your following on Instagram, you can also drive traffic to your profile externally.

One way to entice users to follow your page on that platform is by hosting a giveaway or sharing exclusive content.

In addition, don’t be afraid to promote your Instagram on other social platforms. For instance, your website could include a section with your Instagram feed along with a call-to-action to follow your page. You can also include a link to your Instagram profile in your email marketing campaigns.

Wherever you have an online presence, be sure to share the link to your profile so that your audience knows where to find you.

10. Convert your followers into subscribers.

As you know, email marketing is crucial to a thriving business.

Instagram has been an important driver of email subscribers for Foundr, converting around 15,000–30,000 followers into subscribers each month, depending on our promotions.

If you’re familiar with Instagram’s limitations, you may be wondering how this is possible. After all, Instagram doesn’t allow links in photo descriptions.

That’s where a well-crafted bio comes into play.

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Many businesses find it difficult to get followers to click the links in their bios because the tendency is to overload bios with ... well, junk. Break that pattern by writing your bio like you'd write a Tweet: short, useful, and packed with intention.

Here’s what we’ve chosen as our bio:

How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 11 Tried-and-True Strategies (9)

In your bio, you can include a URL that takes users to a link tree or a direct link to your subscription landing page.

Once you’ve put the systems into place, start driving followers to your bio by including calls-to-action in your content.

11. Optimize your bio.

When it comes to Instagram, many overlook the bios and focus on having great content. But your bio is a key point of discoverability so it’s essential you give it some love too.

Say someone is looking for something specific on the platform, with an optimized bio, you’ll make sure your profile shows up in the search results. This means including a business category, a short description of your brand, and a few keywords related to your brand or industry.

How many followers do you need to build a brand on Instagram?

The beauty of social media is that there’s no minimum requirement to get started. This means that you don’t need any followers to get started building your brand.

In fact, that’s how most brands start. Unless you’re launching a sub-brand or using your personal brand to promote your new brand, you will have to organically grow your followers by using the strategies outlined above.

The key to success is consistency. Nothing will work if you do it for a month and give up. By remaining consistent, you increase your chances of reaching your audience and building a community.

Best Way to Build a Brand on Instagram

Instagram is a social platform with tremendous potential for businesses in almost any industry.

All it takes is a robust strategy, high-quality content, and the ability to pivot when needed.

It won’t happen overnight, but as long as you stay consistent, you’ll start to see your following grow and your community building.

This can have a significant impact on your reach, brand awareness, and ultimately the revenue of your company.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in Dec 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Originally published Apr 11, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated April 11 2022


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Instagram Marketing


How do I build my Instagram brand? ›

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  1. Create a Clear Profile. ...
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  3. Create a Style Pattern in Your Profile. ...
  4. Use Hashtags Like a Ninja. ...
  5. Use Live Stream and Video. ...
  6. Post Regularly. ...
  7. Interact with Others. ...
  8. Promote Your IG Profile.
16 Feb 2017

How do you build a successful Instagram strategy? ›

  1. Create an eye-catching Instagram profile and optimize your bio. ...
  2. Make your business easy to find by tagging your location. ...
  3. Build an aesthetic Instagram feed in line with your brand identity. ...
  4. Get creative with captions. ...
  5. Focus on the target audience. ...
  6. Research your competitors' strategies. ...
  7. Use strategic hashtags.
24 Jun 2021

How can I improve my Instagram marketing strategy? ›

18 Tips to Improve Your Instagram Marketing Strategy
  1. Increase your following. ...
  2. Focus on the first impression of your page. ...
  3. Post content on a regular basis. ...
  4. Don't be too “salsey” ...
  5. Go live. ...
  6. Add pictures and videos to your story. ...
  7. Partner with social influencers. ...
  8. Add hashtags to your captions.
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Why you need an Instagram strategy? ›

The first reason you need a social media strategy is because it will help you build a strong, organic presence online. You'll be able to plan out posts in advance, and get them scheduled and set. All of this, in-turn, will help you stick to social media rule number one: posting consistently.

How do you succeed on Instagram 2022? ›

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  5. Monitor your engagement. ...
  6. Write strong, compelling captions. ...
  7. Use hashtags.
14 Mar 2022

What should be the first post on Instagram for business? ›

What should I post on Instagram to get followers?
  • Product photos.
  • Behind-the-scenes photos.
  • Instagram Reels.
  • User-generated content.
  • Instagram contests.
  • Video tutorials.
  • Influencer content.
  • Product announcements.
8 Jun 2022

Why social media strategy is important? ›

A social media strategy will help you map out a plan to stand out from the crowd, build an audience of activated and informed followers, and create an environment where you can take leads and massage them through the buying cycle, from awareness to consideration to purchase phase.

How do you promote yourself as a brand? ›

10 Powerful Habits for Building a Personal Brand (and Marketing Yourself)
  1. Identify specific target markets. ...
  2. Know your marketplace. ...
  3. Be visible and "in play" ...
  4. Become a source of relevant information. ...
  5. Always give something back to your profession and community. ...
  6. Practice networking etiquette.
30 Dec 2016

How do you brand a logo? ›

How to Trademark a Logo. A unique logo can be trademarked by registering it with the USPTO. Anyone can apply online on the USPTO website if the business for which they're authorized to file is principally located inside the U.S. If based outside the U.S., a patent attorney will be required to make the filing.

How do you make a personal brand powerful? ›

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  1. Build your foundation. ...
  2. Choose your target audience. ...
  3. Create an irresistible offer. ...
  4. Optimize your personal website. ...
  5. Have a content strategy. ...
  6. Have a visibility strategy. ...
  7. Build a community.
7 Sept 2021

What makes a brand successful? ›

Have a distinctive personality that is appropriate for your target audience. Be consistent in its messaging and design, reinforcing the position, promise and personality at each touch point. Demonstrate the value that your company provides for the customer, and how that value is created.

How can I build my brand fast? ›

  1. Research your target audience and your competitors. ...
  2. Pick your focus and personality. ...
  3. Choose your business name. ...
  4. Write a slogan. ...
  5. Choose the look of your brand (colors and font) ...
  6. Design your brand logo. ...
  7. Apply your branding across your business.
17 Aug 2020

What makes a good brand identity? ›

A brand logo should be instantly recognizable: simple, unique, appropriate, and memorable. Most importantly, it should clearly convey the company's messaging. Companies should also consider the various sizes and shapes their logo will be expected to take, from website headers to products to stationary.

How successful is Instagram marketing? ›

Research and case studies have clearly demonstrated the benefits of an Instagram marketing strategy, finding that it translates directly into sales and leads. Nearly 11% of US social media users shop on Instagram. 130 million people tap on Instagram Shopping posts every month.

How do you master on Instagram? ›

How To Be An Instagram Success?
  1. Create the perfect bio.
  2. Produce interesting content.
  3. Post regularly.
  4. Identify top hashtags.
  5. Utilise Instagram Stories.
  6. Take advantage of Instagram Highlights.
  7. Cross promote friends and influencers.
  8. Go Live on Instagram.
2 Feb 2018

Which content is most popular on Instagram? ›

Visual content like photos and videos are 40 times more likely to get liked and shared by the users on social networks. So there is no wonder why Instagram is constantly increasing and developing. This visual-based platform is more popular nowadays than at any time before.

What's your social media strategy? ›

Your social media strategy is your master plan for how you create, post, and engage with your social media content. It encompasses your social content guidelines, posting cadence, social media marketing campaigns, creative plans, and engagement strategy that promote your business and brand.

What is the best time to post on Instagram? ›

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Brayden Cohen, Hootsuite's Social Marketing and Employee Advocacy Strategist, told us: “Typically, we like to post early in the morning and mid-afternoon. For Instagram, that means we try to post anytime between 8 AM – 12 PM PST or 4-5 PM PST on weekdays.”

How can I become an influencer and make money? ›

  1. Find your niche. Influencer marketing is a diverse market. ...
  2. Choose your social media channel. ...
  3. Develop your content strategy. ...
  4. Distribute your content properly. ...
  5. Grow your community. ...
  6. Engage and make friends with your followers. ...
  7. Sponsorships or sponsored content. ...
  8. Produce high-quality content for brands.
3 Sept 2022

How can I grow my business on Instagram? ›

8 Instagram for small businesses best practices
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  2. Be relatable, not salesy. ...
  3. Engage with your followers. ...
  4. Grow your audience organically, don't buy them. ...
  5. Use hashtags to extend your reach. ...
  6. Use Instagram Carousels to hit the same users again. ...
  7. Post regularly.

How do you grow as an influencer? ›

How to Become an Instagram Influencer
  1. Identify Your Niche and Content Pillars.
  2. Master Short Form Video Content.
  3. Be Consistent.
  4. Write Meaningful Captions.
  5. Focus on Building Community.
  6. Learn About Your Audience.
  7. Optimize Your Bio and Profile.
  8. Build Your Network and Nail Your Brand Pitch.
20 Apr 2021

How do I increase my social media engagement on Instagram? ›

How to increase your engagement on Instagram
  1. Track your Instagram engagement. ...
  2. Create valuable content. ...
  3. Master your aesthetic. ...
  4. Embrace video content. ...
  5. Engage with Instagram users. ...
  6. Use hashtag and location tags. ...
  7. Get creative with Instagram Stories and Reels. ...
  8. Produce consistent quality content.

Who was the first person to post on Instagram? ›

Kevin Systrom's photograph of a stray dog sitting near a taco stand in Mexico is the first image ever shared on Instagram. The app's co-founder captioned it 'test', and uploaded it a few months before his idea was launched to the public on October 6 2010.

How do you create a brand on Instagram 2021? ›

Use the following tips to build your Instagram marketing strategy and set your brand up for success.
  1. Optimize your Instagram profile.
  2. Create your Instagram strategy.
  3. Use Instagram hashtags.
  4. Publish Instagram Stories.
  5. Turn Stories into highlights.
  6. Set up an Instagram shop.
  7. Run an Instagram contest.
  8. Test Instagram Automation.
19 May 2022

How do you build a social media brand? ›

10 Steps to Building Your Personal Brand on Social Media
  1. Fully Update Your Social Media Accounts. ...
  2. Make Posting Easy with Social Media Apps. ...
  3. Regularly Share Content. ...
  4. Import Your Contacts. ...
  5. Keep Social Posts Positive & Engaging. ...
  6. Find & Join Groups. ...
  7. Keep Your Brand Voice, Image & Tone Consistent. ...
  8. Study Influencers.
14 Sept 2021

How do you succeed on Instagram 2022? ›

Instagram Growth Tips for 2022
  1. Leverage different content formats. ...
  2. Post at the right times. ...
  3. Post consistently. ...
  4. Partner with influencers that are relevant to your business. ...
  5. Monitor your engagement. ...
  6. Write strong, compelling captions. ...
  7. Use hashtags.
14 Mar 2022

What is personal branding strategy? ›

A personal branding strategy is a plan to take your reputation and career from relative obscurity to high visibility. It describes where you stand today and what level of visibility you want to achieve in the future.

How do you make things go viral? ›

Try to:
  1. Elicit emotions. Videos go viral when they elicit emotions. ...
  2. Challenge yourself as a storyteller. To tell better stories, try telling them in a way you haven't before. ...
  3. Talk to people. Discuss ideas so you can gather more relatable experiences.
  4. Tell stories. Share stories about your brand, your products.
18 Jun 2021

What is your personal brand examples? ›

Your personal brand statement has to be strong, descriptive, short, and catchy all at the same time. Some examples include: “I help individuals reassess their life choices to discover their true paths to success.” “I develop sustainable business models and marketing strategies to fuel small business growth.”


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