Marketing & SEO

Instagram Promotion Guidelines – Steps to Follow and Key Rules

Pawan Sahu 14 March, 2019

Since Instagram has over 700 million whopping monthly users, the visibility that a brand can get is huge. However, this advantage of visibility comes with heaps of competition that needs to be tackled well. Hence, brands are finding ways to get in touch and interact with the relevant part of this huge Instagram community; with people who are going to grow invested in their Instagram business profile, each passing day. The right way out, however, is by following the right Instagram promotion guidelines.

instagram promotion guidelines main image

Instagram, as a social networking platform for brand promotion, works like a magic spell. It is a major digital space of hangout for the young millennials. Therefore, brands are constantly striving for stepping up their Instagram game. Thus, they are creating a viral Instagram image and get them thousands of new followers and clients.

By tapping into the right art of rich, visual storytelling through Instagram. Moreover, brands can leverage marketing without having to go full Sales-commando on their potential customers. By following the right Instagram promotion guidelines and posting the right Instagram content, brands can get their marketing message out without the need for a hard sales pitch.

Using Instagram for Business

As per a report, more than 25 million companies worldwide are already using Instagram for business. More than 200 million users visit at least one business profile every day. Well, what really works for the entire Instagram promotion style is the fact that young and Internet-savvy audience is looking for references before they can make any purchase.

If you are looking to jump right into the entire Instagram promotion thing and make Instagram one of your main social media marketing channels, you need to be aware of the right Instagram promotion guidelines so that you convert your passive shoppers into confident customers who will eventually build a loyal community for your Instagram brand.

Instagram Promotion Guidelines – Steps to Get Officially Started

Now that you are all set to get started with Instagram Promotions, you need to have a plan of action. Having an appropriate way around will help you boost your posts with an ad for brand visibility, and help you monitor, measure, and tune your Instagram promotion campaign. Eventually, you will be able to grow your list of followers on your Instagram social network. Now, let’s explore the steps that you need to take to get started with your Instagram promotion strategy.

Get a Business Optimized Instagram Profile

Business optimized Instagram Profile

The most important setup in your Instagram Promotion strategy is to set up a Business profile for your brand. This is crucial because a Business Instagram profile has its own benefits to offer. Since users expect companies to provide all the relevant info they’re looking for on their brand profiles, having a legitimate Business profile just helps.

You also get to have the swipe-up feature in Stories which is only available to Instagram business accounts. You get to have stats around post reach, stats for your stories, audience demographic info, how many visits you’ve received, and link in bio clicks. Just make sure that you check all the requirement boxes of gearing up for a full-fledged Business Instagram profile.

Having a standard account name is the first one. Use an appropriate Profile photo, mostly the one that has your business Logo. If your brand has just come up, generate a Logo so that you can use it for marketing purposes. It will help your new audience readily identify your business. Add the URL of your website to your Instagram Bio. You can also add a link to your latest promotional page. Make sure that your Instagram Bio utilizes the characters aptly to create the much-needed spell for your audience.

Create a Great Instagram Strategy as Per Your Target Audience


Having a complete idea and an accurate analysis of your target audience and what they really expect from a brand like yours should be one of the priorities in your Instagram promotion strategy. All that is takes to work is understanding who your target audience on Instagram is.

Once you know the key audience, you will able to strategize your Instagram storytelling, Promotional posts, and audience engagement accordingly. It is crucial to design your posts in a manner that they truly resonate with your audience since that is very important for your campaigns and visibility.

Know Your Instagram Promotion Goals


Once you decide to go ahead with your Instagram promotion guidelines, you need to lay some effective goals that you will accordingly chase. But before you do so, you need to make sure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Following this SMART strategy when it comes to goals is important so that you set the right goals and not go about chasing stuff that won’t work for your brand.

There are more than 800 posts made per second on Instagram across over 1 billion monthly active users as of 2018. If your goal is pure brand awareness, that’s the biggest use case of Instagram promotion. For other reasons, you can use Instagram promotions on a Cost-Per-1000 Impressions (CPM) basis. Some part of these Instagram promotion techniques is for increasing visibility and engagement, for which boosted promotion is going to work.

Work on Posting Great Content at All Times

posting great content

Since Instagram is a highly visual platform that entails the use of high-quality images and videos to attract the audience, the need for quality content is more than just essential.

To begin with, all your Instagram promotional content must include high-quality images that have been branded/watermarked with your logo. Create or capture professional images that can speak to the audience and engage them on an interpersonal basis. You can effectively use Memes, inspirational quotes, pro tips, infographics along with your original photo/video content to engage your target audience.

When it is about brand products, you must come up with content that is capable of feeding the curiosity of your followers. If you have entailed your Instagram page as a teaser for your brand’s blog, that is even better. If you plan to, you can set up a blog and then implement this practice. You can post teaser content on your Instagram post to drive traffic post towards your official blog.

Know the Right Posting Frequency

Instagram posting schedule

This point in the Instagram Promotion Guidelines is a very crucial one. It will eventually decide how your Instagram posts are going to perform. You must carefully determine this Posting frequency while executing your Instagram social media brandbuilding strategy. Having a pre-determined posting frequency is also important because you put in a lot of work for creating that right Insta-worthy content for your brand. If you post it at the wrong time, it might not perform as expected, in terms of likes, shares, clicks, and traffic.

For a brand, you can safely post at an average rate of 1.5x per day i.e. up to 3 times a day. The time to post the content can either be the between 8 AM-12 PM or 5 PM-8PM. However, don’t post too often or post too less because that would annoy your audience or end up in your audience forgetting about you, respectively.

Partner with Instagram Influencers

social media

The social media influencer culture has taken the world of brands by storm. So many brands are out there roping in famous influencers with a massive following to rise up in the Instagram ranks. Well, there are different ways to get an influencer to endorse your content or your brand and its products/services. But, before you choose your influencers, make sure that the major part of their following relates to your brand or might be interested in your brand’s products.

Build Relationships with Other Instagrammers

Instagram likes and promotion

In order to promote an Instagram post or promote Instagram story from your brand’s business profile, you need to venture out and engage with other brands which are relevant to your industry. This will entail your likes, comments, and feedback on their Instagram posts and stories so that they can notice your activity on their page, acknowledge it, and do the same for your brand’s Instagram promotion on their page.

Become a Part of Instagram Hubs

community image

A great way to go ahead and promote an Instagram post on your brand’s Instagram is by getting featured with certain Instagram hub pages. These Instagram pages feature the best IG pages or the brands that they might dig. There are various ways to get featured and be a part of such popular Instagram hubs so that your Instagram promotional pursuits can work.

Exploit Instagram Ads and Instagram Campaigns

collaboration image

Having an Instagram business account provides you with the advantage of creating promotions with the Instagram app to boost the visibility of a post on your business profile. These Instagram promotional Ads can tend to several objectives such as getting viewers to view your Instagram profile, visit your website, or take an action for the products that you are currently optimizing. These Instagram Ads, similarly to Google Ads and Facebook Ads, eventually help build awareness around your brand when they start appearing on the feed of your users. They are also helpful in Lead Generation.

Measure Performance of Your Instagram Promotion

social media promotion analytics

Once you have materialized all your ways as mentioned in the Instagram promotion guidelines, it is time to measure the overall performance. You can use Instagram Insights to get the relevant data on follower demographics and actions, as well as your content. By having this data in your access, you will be able to measure the performance of your Instagram promotional activity and see how each of these activities is performing for your brand.

Key Rules to Follow as per Instagram Promotion Guidelines

There are certain ground rules that have been laid by Instagram before you go ahead and kickstart your Instagram promotional activity such as a contest. These Instagram official rules lay down the terms and eligibility requirements for participants and the agreement to comply with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered.

Whenever you use Instagram to communicate or administer a promotion, you are not allowed to inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content. You are also in an agreement that your contest promotion participants are aware of the fact that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. All in all, your brand has the responsibility to comply with the rules governing the promotion and all prizes offered.

There are certain directives when it comes to the promotional activities on Instagram by a business profile of a brand. To make sure that your content reaches out to a wider audience, you must use a branded hashtag to track entries and conversations. Laying out the Terms & Conditions right is also a ground rule that must be followed.

The different kinds of Instagram promotion activities can include ‘Like to Win’, ‘Comment to Win’, ‘Tag to Win’, ‘Repost to Win’, and Photo Competition.

Talking of the other rules that need to be followed as per appropriate Instagram Promotion guidelines, here are some more of them:

Use specific Hashtags to Build your Brand’s Community

We call this one a rule because if the promotion running Business account fails to use a specific hashtag, they would terribly fail at getting a good number of users who might be interested in the promotion due to reduced visibility of the promotional posts. Once you have a specific hashtag, your brand will be able to track the entries, listen to the conversation happening around the promotion, and see if or not they were able to create a buzz about the campaign.

Post the Promotion’s Official Rules.

As mentioned above, before you go out pushing out promotional content or posts for your brand specific campaign, you must clearly post all the rules that the entrants need to comply with. This is essential on your part so that no disagreements or disputes get to come up once the promotions are complete.

Acknowledge that the Promotion Isn’t Sponsored by Instagram.

This is very important because this rule has been officially laid by Instagram that you must acknowledge that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

Promote Your IG Promotion on Other Social Media to Get as Much Exposure as Possible

Once again, this is more than just a rule since a lot of promotion participants navigate their way to the official Instagram post through other social media channels. So, it is crucial that you promote your Instagram promotions on other social media channels as well.

Tips for a great Instagram Promotion Strategy

Now, that you are clear on the steps that you need to follow to kickstart your Instagram promotions and that you know the ground rules, it’s time for you to have a few tips up your sleeves so that you can ace your Instagram promotion campaign.

Draft a Great Instagram Bio

We cannot emphasize any more on the importance of having a great Bio on a brand’s Instagram business account. It should effectively be able to convey the essence of your business, your working hours, mention ways that the audience can use to get in touch with your brand, and at least have a strong CTA.

This is great as per the Instagram promotion guidelines because as and when you run a promotion, a great Instagram Bio would align with your current Instagram social media promotion campaign. In a nutshell, a great business Instagram Bio is able to showcase the personality of your brand.

Telling a Story That Matters

storytelling image

Posting promotional content on your Instagram does not always has to be one high-on-promotion thing. You can use storytelling to make it interesting for your viewers so that they can find themselves further indulged in your Instagram content. The truth is that the use of storytelling in the Instagram promotion can make the audience feel something. So, why not use storytelling to your advantage and get that promoting going.

Tap that Video Content

Instagram has emphasized on video content for various brands since it began inclining to videos, as a video marketing focused platform. Now, brands are leaving no stones unturned to employ value video content as one of their Instagram promotion guidelines. It helps them keep up-to-date and to communicate with their audience.

video content image

Promotional video content on Instagram is creative and engaging in many forms. Brands can use Instagram videos to create a lookbook for their potential clients and customers. Shooting product Demos and putting them out for your audience is also a step ahead in being audience-friendly. Brands can also put up a short Instagram video providing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by the audience.

One of the most popular use cases of video content on Instagram is for promoting special events and offers. Additionally, video content can help your brand bridge the essential gap between you and your audience.

Go for Fun and Engaging Captions

“Your followers want to know who you really are! Share your struggles as well as your triumphs. Be open, vulnerable, and create an opportunity for them to connect with you on a deeper level. Don`t just tell why they should buy from you.” -Becky Dickerman

Captions are the real estate that let you open up your brand’s personality and give it an emotion in your followers’ perspective. A lot of brands underestimate the superpower of Captions and how they can positively influence your target audience when you are running a specific Instagram promotion campaign. Text really matters and tapping the ‘Caption’ vertical will help you extend your reach to your audience base.

Here are a few Instagram promotion guidelines to help you compose a great caption for each of your Instagram promotional posts.

  • Choose a caption that can actually speak to your target audience.
  • Relate to your demographic on social issues. Thus let your audience know that you care about social issues through your Captions.
  • Implement storytelling in your captions.
  • Ask questions so that you can engage with your audience in the following post.
  • Use captions to start a dialogue with your customers about your brand/products.
  • Short is sweet when it comes to Instagram captions. However, certain posts will always need a certain detailing to strike a chord with your audience.
  • Using clever Hashtags and Emojis in your captions. They can express more than the textual content in your posts.
  • Before you push the ‘Post’ button, check your Caption for Grammar and sentence construction.

Hard Selling is a Big NO

Always remember that Instagram now has become a platform where marketing works through reference or influence. So, don’t go out on the platform hard selling your sales pitch. That could be a very annoying experience for your followers. Rather, going for a softer approach will help your followers believe that you are interested in building long-term relationships. Cultivate trust and nurture your audience rather than just try to get their money.

Incentivize Your Followers to Tag Your Business Profile in Their Photos

This is a very useful way to engage your audience into your Instagram promotional activity for a certain campaign. Let’s say that you are a clothing brand that has just launched a new spring collection. What you can do to further promote your line is to ask your followers to tag your business profile in their pictures where they are slaying your clothing.

gifts, giveaways and sales image

This will incentivize your followers emotionally and can be a good boost for the popularity of your brand. You can also often share your followers’ tagged photos to give their morale a boost.

Establish Relationships with Loyal Followers

All your Instagram promotional campaign must be focused on the outcome.  Furthermore, they should drive loyal and interested followers rather than piling up random Instagram users. Random people who have nothing to do for your brand. Rather than amassing a crowd of irrelevant followers, it is best that you get loyal followers. Ideally, you should focus on engaging them on a positive note.

Summing Up Instagram Promotion Guidelines

Instagram focuses on giving businesses the opportunity for rich, visual storytelling in their marketing campaigns. When you are struggling with the Instagram promotion for your brand, having some help can be of great use. The above Instagram Promotion guidelines are going to be your key to running several successful Instagram promotion campaigns.

So, drop and comment below and tell us about how helpful these Instagram promotion guidelines are.

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Author: Pawan Sahu
Pawan Sahu is the founder of MarkupTrend. He is a Digital Marketer and a blogger geek passionate about writing articles related to WordPress, SEO, Marketing, Web Design, and CMS etc. You can tweet Pawan @impawansahu