Mastering the Instagram Algorithm: Tips for Visual Artists in 2023
Instagram is a powerful platform for painters, illustrators, glitchers, NFT and vaporwave artists, and other visual Creatives looking to showcase their work and connect with potential buyers.
However, with over one billion active users, standing out among the crowd can be a serious task, especially for artists new to the platform.
That’s where understanding Instagram’s algorithm comes in. By focusing on superior content creation and data-informed posting strategies, you’ll increase visibility for your artwork and brand also and reach a much larger audience.
In this blog post, I’ll share some useful strategies and resources for artists who want to master the Instagram algorithm, as well as sharing industry insider tips that can give Creatives a real boost to their feed’s visibility and engagement!
Unlocking the Secrets of the Instagram Algorithm
Create a Consistent Aesthetic
Creating a consistent aesthetic is a crucial aspect of any artist’s Instagram strategy. It includes everything from the colors and composition of your photographs to the way you caption your posts.
A cohesive and visually-engaging Instagram feed can significantly boost the chances of attracting new followers to your feed and keeping existing followers entertained and curious for more.
Color, Composition & Balance
As a visual artist, it’s important to consider the overall look and feel of your Instagram account. This includes choosing a consistent color palette, which can help to create a sense of cohesion and make your art stand out.
Additionally, the composition of your photographs should also be considered, as a well-composed photo can be more visually pleasing and engaging than one that is not.
Creative Post Captions
Another important aspect of creating a consistent aesthetic is the way you caption your posts. Captions that are well-written, engaging and on-brand can help to build a deeper connection with your audience and increase engagement.
Interesting to note is that Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes content that is visually similar in look and feel, so when you post different types of content, it will not be as beneficial as sticking to a consistent theme.
This means that by creating a consistent aesthetic, your content is more likely to be seen by a larger audience and increase your chances of standing out on the platform.
Post High-Quality Content
When it comes to posting quality content, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
- Pay attention to the composition of your photos. Make sure that they are well-balanced and visually pleasing, with a clear subject and good use of light and color. This will make your photos more engaging and more likely to catch the attention of users scrolling through their feed.
- Focus on providing value to your audience. This can be through sharing tips and advice, showcasing your products or services, or simply sharing interesting and relevant information. The more value you provide, the more likely your audience will be to engage with your content and follow your account.
- Make use of Instagram’s features such as IGTV, Reels, and Live videos. These formats allow you to create longer, more engaging content that can help you stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s a tutorial on how to create an artistic technique or a behind-the-scenes look at your artistic process, these multimedia content creation formats will help you connect with your audience in new and exciting ways.
- Use Instagram stories and IGTV to introduce your brand’s personality. Showing the human side of your brand will make your audience feel connected to you and increase the chances of them engaging with your content.
- Consider using paid ads to increase the visibility of your posts. By using Instagram’s advertising platform, you can target specific audiences and much more.
Use Strategic Hashtags
Another important strategy for beating the Instagram algorithm is using relevant hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to increase the visibility of your posts and make them more discoverable to users who are searching for specific keywords.
When using hashtags, it’s important to choose relevant and specific keywords that accurately describe your content. For example, if you’re posting a photo of a new product you’re launching, you would want to use hashtags that are related to that product, such as #newproductlaunch #productlaunch #innovation.
Another tip is to use a mix of popular and niche hashtags. While popular hashtags will give you more visibility, niche hashtags will make your post more discoverable to a specific audience, which is more likely to engage with your content.
One more thing to consider is to not overuse your hashtags. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, but that doesn’t mean you should use all of them.
Using too many hashtags can make your post look spammy, and may actually decrease the chances of your post being seen. Be selective and use only the most relevant hashtags for your post.
By using relevant hashtags, your stories can be discovered by users interested in the same topics, and by using location tags, your stories can be seen by users in the same location, which can be useful for promoting events or exhibitions.
There are many types of Instagram hashtag generators online that can help you target the right hashtags for the right audience. Explore them and see what works for you!
Interact with Followers
Interacting with your followers is a crucial aspect of building a strong and engaged community on Instagram. As an artist, engaging with your audience can not only increase their interest in your art but also help to establish a personal connection with them.
Engagement is a key component of the Instagram algorithm, which prioritizes content from accounts that a user frequently interacts with.
This means that the more you engage with your followers, the more likely they are to see your content in their feed, and the more likely they are to become loyal followers and potentially buyers of your art.
To increase engagement:
- consider asking questions in your captions
- responding to comments, and
- hosting giveaways or contests
Asking questions in your captions can encourage your followers to leave comments, which not only increases engagement but also gives you valuable insights into your audience’s interests and preferences.
Responding to comments can also show your followers that you value their input and are actively listening to their feedback.
Hosting giveaways or contests can be a great way to generate buzz and increase engagement, as well as reward your loyal followers.
Another strategy to consider is using Instagram’s “Live” video feature, which allows you to interact with your followers in real-time. This can be a great way to connect with your audience, answer questions, and showcase your art in a more dynamic and interactive way.
Explore Using Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are a powerful tool for artists to increase engagement and reach a larger audience.
They appear at the top of a user’s feed, making them highly visible and easily accessible. This feature allows artists to share behind-the-scenes content, sneak peeks of upcoming projects, and connect with their followers in a more personal way.
This level of transparency and authenticity can help to foster a deeper connection with your audience and increase engagement.
To really maximize the impact of your Instagram stories, you can experiment with using polls, questions, and interactive features like the “swipe up” link.
These features allow you to engage with your followers in a more interactive way and encourage them to participate in your content.
Additionally, using Instagram’s creative tools such as text, stickers, and filters can make your stories more visually appealing and engaging, especially to younger audiences.
Another great marketing tool is Instagram’s “Highlight” feature, which allows you to save your stories and keep them permanently on your profile.
This is a great way to showcase your best stories and keep them easily accessible to your followers.
Here’s an interesting factoid!
Instagram stories receive twice the engagement of regular posts, so using the Stories feature can significantly increase the visibility of your content. This is because Instagram prioritizes content that is timely and relevant, and stories are considered to be more fresh and current than regular posts.
Instagram’s algorithm also favors accounts that consistently post stories, as it signals to the platform that the account is active and engaging.
Collaboration with Other Artists
Collaboration is a crucial aspect of any artist’s marketing strategy. Partnering with other artists and influencers can greatly expand your reach and bring new audiences to your art.
- One way to do this is by hosting a joint giveaway, which can generate buzz and bring in new followers.
- Creating a collaborative piece of artwork can also be a great way to showcase your talents and connect with other artists in your community.
- Another effective way to collaborate is by tagging other accounts in your posts. This helps to boost visibility for both accounts, and also creates a sense of community and support among artists.
- Extra tip! When you tag another account, their followers will also be able to see your post, which can greatly increase your reach and bring new eyes to your art.
When you choose to collaborate or partner with other artists, it’s absolutely crucial to find the right fit. Look for those whose art and aesthetic aligns with yours, and whose audience is similar to yours. This way, you can make sure that the mutual collaboration will benefit both parties.
Running Instagram Ads
Instagram offers a variety of ad formats, including photo and video ads, carousel ads, and stories ads, that can help you reach a larger audience and drive sales. By using Instagram’s targeting options, you can reach a specific audience based on demographics, interests, behaviors and even specific accounts.
This specificity can greatly increase the chances of conversions, by reaching the right people at the right time.
- To create a successful Instagram ad, it’s important to have a clear call-to-action, whether it’s directing users to your website or encouraging them to make a purchase. Using high-quality images and videos can also make your ad stand out.
- Another tactic is to A/B and even C test different ad variations, to see which one performs the best. For example, you can experiment with different headlines, images, or targeting options.
- You’ll want to also ensure that your regularly track your ad’s performance using Instagram’s built-in analytics, so that you can track how your ads are performing and make adjustments based on the data.
- Keep in mind is that Instagram’s advertising platform is closely linked with Facebook’s, so you can also use Facebook’s Ad Manager to create and manage your Instagram campaigns.
By using Instagram’s ad formats, targeting options, and analytics, you can reach a larger audience, increase conversions, and track the performance of your ads, which can be a powerful way to drive sales and grow your business.
Use Instagram Insights to Inform Your Marketing Strategy
- Track your audience demographics: Provides data on your audience’s age, gender, location, and interests. By understanding your audience’s demographics, you can create content that resonates with them and tailor your targeting strategy for Instagram ads.
- Monitor engagement: Provides data on engagement rates, likes, comments, shares, and reach for each post. By monitoring engagement, you can identify which types of content perform best and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Track follower growth: Provides data on follower growth, including new followers, lost followers, and net growth. By tracking follower growth, you can identify patterns and make changes to your strategy to improve your reach.
- Analyze post performance: Provides data on post performance, including reach, engagement, and saved posts. By analyzing post performance, you can identify which types of content perform best and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Utilize Instagram Stories Insights: Provides data on Instagram Stories, including views, exits, and engagement. By utilizing Instagram Stories Insights, you can identify which types of stories perform best and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Identify peak engagement times: Provides data on when your followers are most active on the platform. By identifying peak engagement times, you can schedule your posts for when your audience is most likely to see them.
- Utilize audience insights: Provides data on the interests of your audience, which you can use to identify trends and topics that your audience is interested in.
- Monitor brand mentions: Provides data on mentions of your brand, which you can use to identify opportunities for engagement and track the success of your campaigns.
- Utilize Instagram’s Ad Insights: Provides data on the performance of your Instagram ads, which you can use to optimize your targeting, budget, and creative.
Instagram Insights is a powerful tool that can provide valuable data on your audience demographics, engagement, and content performance. By reviewing and understanding these incredibly powerful tools, you can create a more effective marketing strategy and improve your reach and engagement on the platform.
Want to Learn More?
I know that like me, you brilliant and curious artists out there LOVE self-learning resources!
I hope these can provide further opportunities for learning how to really make your Feed shine on Instagram, grow your fan base, and make some good money doing it!
1/22/23: Below are up-to-date resources from some of the top minds and resources in search marketing today:
Instagram Marketing Resources
Hootsuite – 2023 Instagram Marketing: Complete Guide + 18 Strategies https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-marketing/
Shopify – The Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Marketing https://www.shopify.com/blog/instagram-marketing
Neil Patel – Instagram Marketing Guide: 10 Tips That Actually Work https://neilpatel.com/blog/instagram-marketing-tips/
Sprout Social – Instagram marketing: 4 ways to update your strategy https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-marketing-strategy/
Buffer – A Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing: Get the Playbook That Drives Results for Instagram’s Top Profiles https://buffer.com/library/instagram-marketing/
Search Engine Journal – Instagram Marketing: An In-Depth Guide https://www.searchenginejournal.com/instagram-marketing-guide/474070/