There are innumerable benefits to having a strong Instagram presence, particularly if you’re a business owner. A strong presence on this platform will make your brand recognizable in a certain niche, naturally increasing sales or the money you make from your efforts.

However, dreaming about a good Instagram presence and actually having one are two very different things. You’ll need a solid strategy that factors in your brand, your goals, and your overall online presence.

1. Let Consistency Reign

A strong Instagram presence is all about creating a brand, but you’ll have a hard time doing that if you aren’t consistent. It’s essential in everything from your color scheme and your logo to the filters you use on your images.

“Instagram allows for such precision within their niches, that they are niches of sub-niches. These extremely targeted followers are looking for something specific,” explains Nathan Olson of Your Charisma. “This means that when you are building your page that you need to stick to one theme and keep it. Your page aesthetic should be consistent. When you start to bounce around, changing the aesthetic of your page, you actually damage the relationship with your followers.”

It all goes back to customer expectations. You must consider what they want to see when they engage with your brand, and if you disappoint, you’ll end up as one of many forgettable accounts on the internet. You need to have automated Instagram follower growth to be successful.

2. Cross-Promote Your Instagram Account with Your Email Newsletter

Don’t assume that just because someone follows you on one platform that they’re following you on every platform. Chances are, you have a lot of hot leads that aren’t connecting with your Instagram account.

One of the most influential areas you can cross-promote your content is your email. “Whether a paying customer or interested lead, email subscribers are likely familiar with your brand and want to hear more,” shares Chris Formosa of Strutta. “Publishing content about your Instagram campaign or adding a link within e-mail messages is an effective way to pique your subscriber’s curiosity.”

If you’ve published consistent, relevant content on Instagram, as soon as they see your page, many will be hooked, helping you gain followers and improve your online brand.

3. Post Content at the Right Times

How can you expect to create a memorable Instagram presence if you’re posting when your target-audience isn’t online? By posting at the right times you can triple or even quadruple your engagement because it’s fresh, relevant, and wholly undiscovered. This generates engagement better than anything else.

The right time to post content depends based on a variety of factors, but posts tend to perform better in the afternoons during the middle of the week. Posts around 8 p.m. tend to receive a decent amount of engagement as well, but weekends are typically slow.

Every company will have different target times for posting content based on its audience. Check out your page analytics to determine when engagement is highest on your page and start posting at a time when you’re most likely to be seen.

4. Use Influencer Marketing

This is considered one of the most impactful strategies for increasing the reach and branding of your Instagram page as long as you know what you’re doing.

According to research compiled by Shane Barker, 70 percent of consumers are influenced by strangers when making purchasing decisions. More importantly, 30 percent of these consumers will probably buy a product that’s recommended by a non-celebrity online presence.

Instagram is one of the best platforms to connect with influencers, particularly micro-influencers with between 500 and 10,000 followers. “These brands have a very niche-specific audience that can have a huge impact on your brand’s visibility,” according to Plixi.

5. Create an Instagram Competition

Competitions are naturally successful for generating engagement because people love free stuff. They’re more than willing to do something simple such as liking a post or regramming it if it means they can win a prize.

An article from Forbes highlighted a particular contest put on by Bodybuilding.com in which they selected two brand spokespeople from an everyday audience. They advertised and announced the winners on Instagram.

“The competition was particularly ingenious because it motivated the contestants (all Instagram influencers) to encourage their audiences to engage with Instagram posts shared by the Bodybuilding.com account,” the article said. If you can create a relevant, high-quality contest like this for your own brand, you too can increase your internet presence to untold heights.

6. Acknowledge the Newest Instagram Trends

Instagram trends are constantly changing, but in the near future, they revolve around the use of vertical videos, live content, boomerangs, and Instagram Stories features.

A very important trend for the future is the use of live video. Although many Instagrammers are hesitant to use this feature, it’s one of the best ways to humanize your brand and create relevant content. Like any trend, you just need the right strategy to make it successful.

“Interact with your followers in real time, strengthen your connection with the audience – but don’t use live sessions with the sole intention of selling your products or services,” Adina Jipa of SocialMediaToday warns.

If you want to harness the power of Instagram for showcasing your brand and all you have to offer, use all the tools at your disposal. It might require stepping out of your comfort zone, but every effort will increase your influence that will translate into lasting success.