We know, we know – it may sound like a massive clickbait, but believe us, that wasn’t on purpose! Lately, we’ve been talking with you a lot – and those conversations turned out to be the best inspiration for our next Instagram lessons. Creators’ and brand owners’ lives are the best inspiration because there are problems to solve, and we’re challenge-addicted people (espresso-powered, yup).
The problem we’re going to discuss today sounds severe, and indeed it is: why can’t you just slap a few hashtags (compiled from your friend’s profile and the profile of someone from a totally different niche) to your content as a random afterthought? Do you really need to research new hashtags, compile the most strategic ones, and then test them?
The first answer will be a bit mysterious, but at the same time, it can hit hard: if you’re not noticing a whole lotta difference in your posts with 30 hashtags and your posts without any hashtag at all, then something is off, and your hashtag strategy is flawed. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today:
Hashtag strategy is essential. Period. There’s definitely no argument there! But what else do you need to know about it to make your profile grow? What may you not be aware of? What myths are stopping your stellar growth?
As you probably already know, hashtags are meant to attract an audience who’s looking for content specific to what you’re posting. But let’s play truth or dare for a sec. Or maybe it’s going to be more like “truth or absolute truth,” to be honest.
Are you spending too much time on Instagram, and you’re not seeing any return of energy and time investment, you aren’t growing, and you feel like constantly beating the mean algorithm? Let’s be honest—there are certain struggles that come with becoming a content creator (even if you’re doing it for your business!), especially Instagram content creator, that we wish all of you could officially avoid. Creating purposeful content, creative concept brainstorms, and of course, posting what you’ve prepared can be one of the giant steps you take on your journey of online growth. But it’s not the only step. You REALLY need hashtags to get discovered and attract the right people.
Without a community, any Instagram profile, even the most polished one, looks like a ghost-town: it can be visually pleasing, but there’s no sign of a joyful life there.
That’s right, you may think, but the main trouble is, there are SO many tips & tricks and different approaches out there, and it can be overwhelming sometimes to figure out which ones you REALLY need and which ones are especially effective, right? Which ones are up-to-date, and you can trust them?
No stress, and no worries.
Only black coffee, and this article, for now.
Today we’re breaking down all the things you should know, listing out all the insights you might not be aware of, and which ones we think are best for different stages of your profile’s growth! Take the crucial step toward a more effective, efficient, and finally – profitable! – profile by focusing on one element of Instagram strategy. HASHTAGS.
Let’s take a look…In today’s article, we’ll discuss in detail:
- Do hashtags still work the way they used to?
- Are they necessary?
- What is the primary purpose of hashtag strategy, and do you really need one?
- What hashtag myths are hindering your growth?
- What hashtag rumors are actually true?
Today, we’re getting hyper tactical. Read on and find out – let’s go! Our point is, if you’re an Instagram creator out there trying to make your content seen, understanding hashtags may just be the ticket to make it big. How big, we can’t prefigure now because it depends on a bunch of practical factors. And today, we’ll talk about some of those factors! Critical ones.
There are SO MANY conflicting insights out there.
So let’s make it clear! We’ve been working in this marketing field for ages, so we’re keeping up with all the trends, information, and disinformation: hashtags are not dead. If you feel like they aren’t working in your favor, there’s a risk you simply aren’t using them correctly.
They’re still a BIG DEAL. You just need to make sure that you’re using them consciously and strategically. Why? People might be looking for you for content like yours, but you won’t be discovered unless you show up to the hashtag party!
They really should carry a significant weight of your Instagram strategy! Especially when it comes to making sure people from your target audience can easily discover all the posts you work so hard to prepare.
We don’t know about you, but we’re genuinely passionate about the content we share, and we have people in mind as we’re preparing it! Just kidding – we know for 101% it’s the same story with you. This means our mission is to make sure those people, those people who need our content, who need those insights have a REAL chance to see it! That’s why we know it, for sure, hashtags should be a part of everyone’s strategy if they’re preparing valuable content that needs to be seen.
Numbers speak for themselves as well:
(yes, results like this are still possible, so there’s a huge motivation!)
2. A strategy is a must – more than ever
Yes, double yes, this is closely related to what we’ve discussed in the previous section.
When you think of hashtags, you think of keywords that are making your content discoverable. And the first thing we want to say right to ya is this: hashtag strategy doesn’t have to suck and take you LONG HOURS. It doesn’t, it really doesn’t,
And establishing and implementing it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun choosing new sets of hashtags, or you can’t use your competitors’ ones to test them out. Testing is essential, by the way.
You need a hashtag strategy to understand what you’re trying to achieve. To use hashtags more consciously and plan what exactly you’re trying to do. Who’s your target audience?
What’s your niche?
Those questions are the key – using a lot of generic, extremely random hashtags won’t be of any help to your profile. That’s why you absolutely need…
3. Hashtag research. It can be your secret weapon.
Pro tip #1: Research hashtags that are specific to your niche.
Pro tip #2: Look at what hashtags successful creators in your niche are choosing, and then – smart idea alert – compile a list of hashtags that you can use as well.
But hey, don’t copy exactly the same hashtags for every single publication: rotate them, and mix them with hashtags from your organic research.
We know you don’t want to spend 45 minutes on hashtag research every time you want to post something. You want to be ready for that post that lies ahead without thinking about the ‘I need to analyze hashtags for half a day’ part too much. So hashtag research tools are basically a godsend. You can save up to a few hours every time you use them (does IQ Hashtags Tool ring a bell? that’s our fav one so far).
Takeaway: Use hashtag research tool, and observe, observe, observe what others are doing. Life will get easier.
4 . You need to make sure your content is engaging. Stop sleeping on your graphic design skills. And the storytelling is crucial too!
We’re not going to start with recommending using Canva. BUT actually, maybe we are.
That’s the most intuitive tool out there, and easy peasy, you’ll find out that you can do more than you think. Set yourself an evening aside and create some awesome posts. Your audience will appreciate it!
Takeaway: Work smarter, not harder, and focus on preparing aesthetically pleasing, engaging posts – many times, it’s better to prepare 3 good ones, than 20 completely boring ones, just for the sake of saying, “I’ve prepared 20 posts”!
5. 30 is still your luckiest of numbers
When we talk about hashtags, what we’re really talking about is getting discovered by people who’re searching for content similar to what you’re creating. Hashtags are your best chance of getting found!
Anyway, there’s a lot of discourse going on now about whether it’s worth using 30 hashtags anymore. Maybe it’s better to choose only 5? Or 3? It’s actually a topic that comes up so often, that’s the most cyclical Instagram discussion out there.
You need to remember one thing: each hashtag gives you a new opportunity to reach a totally different group of people. Why would you give up on it?! Maximize your potential reach.
Let this be your sign. We use 30 hashtags every time we post.
Now, it’s your turn!
6. Where you put your hashtags MATTERS
“It doesn’t really matter if you’re posting your hashtags in the caption or in the comments section – as long as you’re using targeted ones, you’re good”.
That’s what you could hear some time ago, but the wind of changes came here. Adam Mosseri has officially claimed that we should avoid putting hashtags in the first comment, as when they’re placed in the caption, they’re doing much better. It’s a matter of algorithm optimization – so let’s remember about that from now on!
That’s all for today! We truly hope this is a time-saver for you. Or maybe you’ve got to know something you didn’t think you were looking for?!
PS: Isn’t everything better with friends? Forward this article to your Instagram bestie that could also benefit from our insights!