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Instagram Promotion — How Does It Work and Is It Worth It?

From paid promotions to free ways to boost your following, dive into your complete guide to Instagram promotions.

Lucinda Starr
9 minutes read

Are you looking to promote your latest Instagram Reel or even drive more visitors to your Instagram profile? Chances are you’re wondering, ‘how do you promote on Instagram?’. 

There are stacks of ways to run an Instagram promotion, from running targeted ads on a specific post or even launching a giveaway to grow your follower count. 

Whether you’re looking for paid or free tactics to boost your Instagram presence, dive into our complete guide to how to promote on Instagram. 

 

 

What is an Instagram promotion? 

First up, let’s get a few definitions straight. 

An Instagram promotion is a way of boosting your brand’s Instagram presence with your ideal customers. There are multiple ways to run a promotion on Instagram, including:

  • Paid promotions on Instagram: This involves allocating some budget towards paid social advertising, allowing you to boost a specific post or even run an ad campaign on Instagram. Paid promotions allow you to set a specific goal for your campaign, target a specific audience and tap into Instagram’s advertising tools to boost the reach of your content.
  • Organic promotions on Instagram: This involves free tactics and strategies that your brand uses to organically grow your presence on Instagram. From teaming up with influencers to experimenting with new content formats, organic promotions rely on your brand doing the heavy lifting by designing and implementing an organic marketing strategy. 

Ultimately, a great social media strategy should leverage a combination of paid and organic promotion tactics to drive follower growth, increase your engagement rate and foster a loyal community of potential customers. 

What are the benefits of running a promotion on Instagram?

A whopping 81% of Instagram users come to the app to research new products and services. Plus, 87% of Instagram users take action after seeing a product on the platform. 

There are huge benefits to building a loyal, engaged follower base on Instagram and increasing the visibility of your Instagram content.

Whether you’re running paid promotions or taking an organic approach to promoting your Instagram page, here’s why you need to prioritize Instagram in your marketing mix.

What are the benefits of running a promotion on Instagram?

How to promote an Instagram post: paid promotion guide

Ready to run your first paid promotion on Instagram? Whether you boost posts via the Instagram app or Meta Ads Center, discover how to target a highly defined audience and maximize your ROI with paid advertising on Instagram. 

💡 Plann Tip: Did you know you can experiment with different paid promotion goals on Instagram? When boosting your post, opt for the Profile Visits goal to build brand awareness and drive follower growth, select Website Visits to boost online sales and bookings or select Send Messages to build trust with potential customers via DMs.

Option 1. How to boost a post via the Instagram app

Want to boost an individual post on the fly? Follow these steps to put paid advertising budget behind your Instagram content in minutes, all without leaving your phone.

1. Open the Instagram app.

2. Open the post you want to promote and tap Boost.

3. Select the goal of your promotion, such as boosting profile visits, website visits or DMs.

How to boost a post via the Instagram app

Screenshots showing the step-by-step process of boosting an Instagram post via the Instagram app.

4. Select the audience for your paid promotion, either using Instagram’s suggested audience (default) or creating your own custom audience.

How to boost a post via the Instagram app

Screenshots showing the step-by-step process of boosting an Instagram post via the Instagram app.

5. Set your promotion budget and duration.

How to boost a post via the Instagram app

Screenshots showing the step-by-step process of boosting an Instagram post via the Instagram app.

6. Review your campaign details, add a payment method and tap Boost post to start your promotion!

How to boost a post via the Instagram app

Screenshots showing the step-by-step process of boosting an Instagram post via the Instagram app.

💡 Plann Tip: Working with a tight budget? Make sure to set an end date for your paid campaign to avoid ongoing charges. This will allow you to see the total budget for your paid promotion rather than just capping the daily spending limit. 

Option 2. How to boost an Instagram Post via Meta Ads Center

Want more control over your paid advertising campaigns on Instagram? By jumping onto your laptop and heading into the Meta Ads Center, you’ll gain additional paid advertising tools and insights to improve the performance of your paid content. 

1. Open your Facebook Page on your desktop and select Advertise.

2. Choose your ad type, from creating a new ad campaign from scratch to boosting a specific Instagram post. In this guide, we’ll explain how to boost an Instagram post.

How to boost an Instagram post via the Meta Ads Center

Screenshots showing the step-by-step process of boosting an Instagram post via the Meta Ads Center.

3. Decide which post you want to boost, whether that’s a suggested post from Instagram or one of your recent uploads. 

How to boost an Instagram post via the Meta Ads Center

Screenshots showing the step-by-step process of boosting an Instagram post via the Meta Ads Center.

4. Set the Goal of your post, edit your call to action Button, edit your Audience and set your Budget and Ad Duration.

How to boost an Instagram post via the Meta Ads Center

Screenshots showing the step-by-step process of boosting an Instagram post via the Meta Ads Center.

 

5. Once you’re happy with your boosted post details, click Publish.

How to boost an Instagram post via the Meta Ads Center

Screenshots showing the step-by-step process of boosting an Instagram post via the Meta Ads Center.

💡 Plann Tip: By boosting your post via the Meta Ads Center, you’ll be able to see how many users your campaign will reach based on your audience, ad spend and ad duration. Plus, you’ll even be able to see how many actions your campaign will drive, such as how many new website visitors or profile visitors to expect. 

👀 Keep Reading: Dip your toe into the paid advertising game by learning how to drive conversions with Instagram Story ads.

How to promote your Instagram content: organic promotion guide

Think you need to run paid ads to promote your Instagram content? Think again.

An organic Instagram strategy is one of the best ways to leverage the power of social media marketing, particularly for a small business or emerging brand. Rather than relying on an advertising budget to fuel your follower growth and engagement, organic promotions allow you to build your brand presence sustainably.


So, how can you promote your Instagram content without paying a cent? Here are a few high-impact organic tactics to try:

  • Leverage discoverable content formats Instagram Reels are a highly discoverable content format designed to boost the organic reach of your content. By prioritizing Reels in your Instagram strategy, you can increase your chances of reaching new audiences and growing your follower count.
  • Optimize your content and profile for SEO best practice: Want to target your ideal customers on Instagram without boosting a post? By following the principles of Instagram SEO (a.k.a. Leveraging searchable keywords in your Instagram bio and Instagram captions), you can boost the chances of your brand appearing in discoverable placements, like the Discover feed.
Cross Post Multi Platform

Screenshots showing how to cross-post content on social media with Plann.

  • Cross-post your content across multiple platforms: Fast-track the process of learning what topics and content resonate with your audience by cross-posting across multiple platforms. Not only will this allow you to gain deeper audience insights but it will help you grow your brand presence across multiple social media platforms at once, too.
  • Build an omnichannel promotion strategy: The best organic promotions unite your offline and online presence. That means looking for ways to drive your in-store shoppers onto your Instagram profile, such as using scannable QR codes or in-store promotions (such as an exclusive in-store discount for following your brand on Instagram).
  • Team up with creators, influencers and other brands: Influencer marketing on Instagram is a powerful way to reach relevant new audiences without paying for paid advertising. By teaming up with content creators and influencers using the Instagram Collab feature, you can get your content and Instagram profile in front of high-value new users.  
  • Run competitions and giveaways: Want to inspire users to follow your brand on Instagram? By running a giveaway or competition, you can prompt your audience to tag their friends in your content, instantly expanding your organic reach and giving audiences a reason to follow your brand for a chance to win a prize. 

👀 Keep Reading: Grow your audience organically with these 10 expert tips for gaining followers in 2024.

Promotions on Instagram: your FAQs, answered

What types of posts can you promote on Instagram?

When running a paid promotion, you can boost a whole range of Instagram post types, including Instagram Reels, static posts, carousels and even Instagram Stories. Plus, you can boost posts that use shoppable features, like Product Tags, too. 

Are paid promotions on Instagram worth it?

While paid promotions can help you reach new audiences on Instagram, you need to understand your campaign goals, audience and success metrics in order to see tangible ROI.

While boosting Instagram posts can be a quick and easy way to increase the reach of your content, it can be an expensive way to simply get your brand name out there. 

Instead, it’s worth fostering a consistent, memorable, organic Instagram presence and then using one-off paid promotions to align with specific product launches, new service launches or even key business goals (like growing your mailing list). 

Is it possible to grow organically on Instagram?

Absolutely! The best way to grow organically on Instagram is to show up consistently and get the right support in place to create a high-impact social media strategy, design trending content and  grow your audience.

How to incorporate content pillars into your social media strategy

Screenshots showing how to build an Instagram Strategy with Plann.

By establishing a regular posting cadence, experimenting with a variety of content formats (from Reels to Stories and beyond) and proactively engaging with your audience, you can send all the right signals to the Instagram algorithm that your content is valuable, engaging and worth promoting. 

Level up your Instagram game with Plann

Whether you’re struggling to keep up with the fast-paced nature of social media or simply want to devote more time to growing your business and focusing on those tasks that take place offline, Plann’s range of features is sure to help save you time with an automated social media strategy. 

From AI-generated captions to cross-posting, analytics, hashtags and more, Plann can help you maintain a consistent posting schedule while you remain focused on business growth. We even auto-post your Instagram Reels to take the hassle out of growing organically on the platform! 

Go on, and redeem your 7-day free trial of Plann Plus. If you don’t like it, keep using Plann for free!

 

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