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How To Increase Instagram Followers Using Paid Ads

| 4 minutes to read

How to obtain followers on Instagram

At Koozai this is probably one of the most common questions we see in the social marketing landscape, stemming from the complexity and there being no distinct answer. There are many factors that lead to obtaining followers, and most stem from a combination of organic and paid activity, which, unfortunately, isn’t the best answer, and probably not what you’d like to hear considering it’s a lot easier to obtain page likes on Facebook. However, we hope we can help you find new areas and ideas in the paid social side to boost your followers up to a comfortable level. With that said, let’s start by looking at Instagram profile clicks.

Instagram Profile Clicks

If you have some experience working with Facebook Ad Manager, you might be drawing a blank with the title of this segment. This is a hidden feature that you may not have come across before and can’t be accessed on the Ads Manager platform. Instagram Profile Clicks achieves exactly what it says on the tin. It’s an ad objective that drives Instagram profile clicks, making it easier to bring your audience to your profile and click the follow button. However, to be able to use this objective you will have to promote an existing post from your Instagram account, rather than creating a brand-new ad specifically for the objective. It’s up to you if you want to create a specific post or if you want to promote an existing creative, just make sure it’s relevant to what you hope to achieve i.e. followers. We would recommend combining the profile click objective with a giveaway to achieve maximum performance but it’s always a good idea to run these ads regularly.

  1. To begin promoting a post you need to click on the creative you would like to use and click on the promote button on the bottom right of the image.
  2. This should bring you to a ‘Select a goal’ screen where you have the option of more profile visits, website visits and more messages. Highlight ‘More profile visits’, click next and you’ll be taken to the audience section.
  3. Here you can either select automatic which Instagram will target people already similar to your followers or you can create your own audience based on interests.
  4. The next step is to select your daily budget and the duration of your ad. This is entirely up to you. Once you have completed the budget and duration you will need to add your payment details or select a pre-existing payment method. Once you have finished the process of promoting your ad, you should see it appear on Facebook Ads Manager, giving you the opportunity to make minimal optimisation if required.

Promote High Performing Content

With the above in mind, it’s a great idea to constantly check your organic content that has obtained the most engagement, reach and followers. Looking at the data and performance of your organic content will help identify what has resonated with your audience, giving you a good idea of what works, and as a precursor to what could be achieved with paid ads. Find the post that has achieved the best results and take into consideration if it would work well in obtaining more profile clicks, or if engagement & reach could provide more followers. One way to recognise this is by identifying if the post has a clear call-to-action such as ‘follow for more’ or ‘learn more on our profile’. The clearer the CTA the better you’ll be able to obtain followers via your profile. Promoting content that is already performing well organically will also improve your strategy moving forward, giving you a clearer path to creating content that is engaging both organically and paid.

Engagement Retargeting

Promoting your top performing organic post using Instagram profile clicks, engagement, or reach is fine if you are trying to capture the attention of a prospecting cold audience but you could go one step further. Target a warmer audience that is already interested in your brand is a great way to obtain more followers. You can do this by creating a custom audience based on people that have interacted with your posts and ads in the past 365 days. This is beneficial as you will be targeting users that need a little push in the right direction to start following you. However, you must get the creative right. Think about creating a new post that will capture the attention of previously engaged users rather than posting something that they may have already seen or come across. Create a post that will persuade them to follow, such as hyping up an upcoming announcement, or a new event in the works. This should create a small bit of buzz with previously engaged users and hopefully should be enough to turn them into new followers.


By implementing these ideas, you should start to see more followers come in, but remember to test different methods so you can find what works for your business. We hope to see Facebook implement growth ads for Instagram in the near future, but for the moment, we recommend using the ideas put forward in this guide to increase your followers with paid advertising. For more information on how we can help you with your paid social, drop me a line.

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Joaquin Lopez

Paid Media Manager

Quags is our talented Paid Media Manager with a wealth of experience across display, search and social. With a particular talent for Facebook advertising, paid social ads and creatives, he’s worked with a variety of B2B and B2C brands including Trulawn, Snazaroo and Worx. On a personal note, Quags is a sci-fi movie buff, gamer, lover of dystopian fiction and self-taught bassist with a penchant for ramen noodles.

Joaquin Lopez Read more about Joaquin Lopez

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