If you’ve been trying to increase your Instagram reach you’ve probably tried it all.
- Instagram videos
- Hell - you may have even started creating a TikTok community to convert TikTok views to Instagram followers!
But let me ask you one thing:
Have you gone back to basics?
Yes, the flashy new video features on Instagram are a fantastic way to increase your Instagram reach.
BUT…have you been leveraging your hashtags effectively?
And I get it!
Making video content is my jam, but we cannot get distracted and forget about the Instagram feature that has been there since day one.
So why do hashtags matter?
The use of hashtags can increase your Instagram engagement by 12%.
Because just like keywords, your hashtags help audience members find you in their search for content to consume.
They’re also processed by the Instagram algorithm so it knows who to push your content out to based on their shared interests.
But before you go crazy adding a million random hashtags to each and every post, let’s take a look at how to use them strategically to increase your Instagram reach.
That way the content you are putting your ALL into gets seen as many times as humanly possible.
I am a firm believer that you don’t need 1000s of followers for your content to reach far and wide.
You just need to be smart and intentional - and that is what we’ll learn to do today.
Types of Hashtags You Need In Your Vault
In order to maximize the effectiveness of hashtags on your posts, be sure to use hashtags from one of the following categories:
These tags will speak to what you do as a whole. They’re not super specific but might be something a potential client would search for if they need your expertise. For example, if you are a social media manager, you might use the hashtag #contentstrategy or #socialmediatips.
If your post is doing a deeper dive into a topic related to your expertise, be sure to look for specific hashtags that reflect that. Maybe you’re discussing a certain software or a certain solution that your audience is looking to understand. Use relevant hashtags to help them find your content!
This is where you want to put yourself in your client’s shoes. What are they looking for? A copywriter? A Pinterest manager? A social media manager? It may not be what you would identify as, but help them land on your content by speaking their language and addressing their needs.
This is where you need to do a little Insta-stalking and find out what hashtags your ideal clients are using. I often work with Black business owners so a lot of my clients are using hashtags like #BlackOwnedBiz #BlackWomanBusiness. By using the hashtags they associate with, it’ll be easy for the Instagram algorithm to connect me to more like-minded people.
Validating Your Hashtags
And once you’ve picked your hashtags from one of those categories please make sure it is *current*.
I’m talking used-within-24-hours-current.
Not some outdated hashtag from 2016 that won’t end up on anyone's feed. You are trying to increase your Instagram reach - stay in the now!
Check out who recently your hashtags have been used before putting your faith in an outdated hashtag by accident.
You can check if your hashtag has been used within 24 hours by searching for the tag, and then clicking on the ‘recent’ tab.
The Most Common Hashtag #Myth: Bigger is Not Always Better
The most common myth about using hashtags to increase your Instagram reach is that you need to be using *exclusively* the most viral hashtags.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In fact, it is absolutely in your best interest to vary what types of hashtags you use.
Using some that have hundreds of thousands of posts and some that have less than one hundred thousand posts.
Think of it this way:
If you use a hashtag with hundreds of thousands of posts, this will always give your content an extra boost. It’ll help it circulate in the popular categories and end up where the majority of potential viewers will be looking.
But at the same time…your precious piece of content is one of SO MANY posts under that hashtag.
So you also want to be using hashtags that are less saturated. I’m talking less than 50, 000 posts under it.
Because under these small hashtags you have a WAY better chance of showing up at the top of the tag under “most popular posts”.
You want to make sure that at least 80% of your hashtags fall within this niche hashtag category (i.e. less than 50,000 posts).
The other remaining 20% can be popular hashtags and viral hashtags.
- Popular hashtags have over 50,000 posts underneath them but less than 500,000
- Viral hashtags have over 500,000 posts beneath them
When you use a majority of niche hashtags, your content will be easy to find and help you position yourself as the “most popular” post within a relevant category.
You can check out how many posts are beneath a certain hashtag by searching it in the Instagram search bar!
Organizing Your Hashtags
Landing on the right hashtags is not simply a one-and-done situation.
Sorry, y’all…but leveraging hashtags to increase your Instagram reach takes an ongoing commitment.
In order to help your content go as far as possible using hashtags, you’ve got to keep switching them up.
Different tags for different posts AND different tags each quarter.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it - it’s a lot to keep up with!
Lucky for you, I’ve figured out a system that allows me and my clients to organize our hashtags.
That way, you’re always using hashtags that amplify your content, but they never stay the same for long.
At the start of each quarter, I recommend that my clients sit down and organize their new hashtags for the next few months.
It doesn’t take long but it makes a HUGE difference in your ability to increase your Instagram reach.
What I want you to remember is that not every post will have the same set of hashtags.
Don’t freak out!
I’ve got a list of categories you can use to plan out 3 to 5 hashtag groups to use for different types of content.
Creating Hashtag Groups
I suggest creating 3-5 groups or sets of hashtags based on the following criteria:
- Content pillars
- Target audience needs & goals
- Target audience demographics
- Your title or industry
Remember that your hashtags will not only be related to the work you do - but also related to the communities your ideal clients are a part of.
So when talking about content pillars for example. Maybe one of them will be Instagram video marketing tips.
Your hashtags might look like #videomarketingtips #reelsmarketing #videomarketingstrategy #videocontent
But you’d also be using hashtags like:
#SheEO #WomanOwnedBiz #FemaleEntrepreneurLife
When you start to tap into the hashtags that your own ideal clients are loving the algorithm will be able to show them:
“Hey, look at this account! You both love the same things! Go become business besties!”
And that will help increase your Instagram reach exponentially.
Remember that different types of content will speak to different people.
Maybe the post you make about being a mom and a business owner will speak to one ideal client.
But the post you make about video marketing tips will speak to another.
So I’m begging you not to shoot yourself in the foot by using the same hashtags on every post and expecting them to have the same reach!
It is so worth it to take a few minutes each quarter to organize your hashtags - get it done and watch the growth!
How To Search For Hashtags on Instagram
So now you might be wondering…
Where do I find all of these awesome hashtags that are going to increase my Instagram reach?
A great way to find hashtags is to start with a general topic and do some sleuthing.
Maybe you’re an accountant and so you start by searching for something general like “accounting” into the search bar. You can then find a ton of profiles and see what others in your niche are using to get found online!
One way I validate my hashtags is to make sure the people using them have a similar vibe to me. If I click on a hashtag and I’m getting #spammyvibes or it’s filled with bro marketers, it’s a no for me.
Who knew such a seemingly simple Instagram feature could hold so much power?
But that's the thing about marketing on Instagram.
It takes a deep understanding of each and every feature to increase your Instagram reach and grow your business on this platform.
And trust me when I say - there are a LOT of features.
I don’t want to overwhelm you. I want to empower you to master every function available to you.
That way, you’ll maximize your online impact and attract the most qualified and aligned clients to your offers.
If you are ready to invest in becoming an expert at all these powerful features, I have just the thing for you.
My Booked & Banked Instagram Course Bundle will teach you effective Instagram video marketing strategies that attract qualified leads for high-ticket or premium offers without needing a high-following or big list of previous client results.
This course bundle is for service providers and coaches who are ready to learn how to leverage all video mediums available on Instagram to intentionally grow your visibility and increase your Instagram reach.
Check Out The Booked & Banked Instagram Course Bundle HERE
Best of luck out there.
And remember - pencil in the time to sit down and plan your hashtags at the start of the next quarter and thank me later!