In every bar you’ve ever walked into, there’s always someone you just can’t take your eyes off. Someone with an aura, who screams magic, who stands out from the crowd.

In the fast-scrolling world of Instagram, we all want to be that person –and from a marketing perspective, it’s imperative that your business stands out above the rest on the Instagram feed.

And there are ways to make that happen.

1. Interactive stories

Stories are an incredibly powerful way to engage your Instagram followers — and good stories will really help you stand out from the crowd. Because stories are more “disposable” than posts, companies are now more often interacting with their followers through stories, and the variety of ways you can share content through this medium is great for engaging your followers.

You can take a straw poll of your followers or host a live Q&A with them, collating the answers in a further story. You could even add a live countdown timer before the release of a product, or a competition or giveaway deadline. The interactive possibilities of stories are borderline endless.

2. Keep content consistent

Consistent activity is essential for brands on Instagram — keeping followers interested and engaged means you need to continuously fight for their attention. However, posting too much will overwhelm your followers, causing them to lose interest! Navigating this landscape between posting enough to stay engaging but not too much to push people away can be a delicate balancing act.

“Research sweet spot seems to be around 1 to 2 posts a day,” says journalist Hope Green. “Scheduling tools such as Later or Planoly are a great way to cue up content in advance, meaning you can have a cohesive strategy for posting and sharing.”

Just as important as how much to post is when to post — share your first post between 8 and 9am for optimum engagement.

3. Keep your feed visually consistent

Although the trend of oversaturated, hyper-filtered pictures on Instagram is (thankfully) coming to an end, Instagram remains a platform for visual inspiration, so keeping quality posts tied together through a cohesive visual strategy is essential. The trends today are leaning towards toned-down edits, bringing brightness up to generate a natural look on most feeds, but the most important thing to remember is that whatever editing strategy you do go for, keep it consistent.

4. Caption power

Instagram’s USP may be its clean, photo-oriented design but that doesn’t mean you can disregard the captions – people still read them, and quality captions are a vital tool for boosting your engagement. Captions are how users engage with the content of your posts and, generally speaking, there are two ways to utilise them.

Short, punch captions can make readers curious for more and click through to your Instagram profile. Make sure they’re witty and relevant to the content of the image you’re posting, and you’ll have users wanting more. Alternatively, you can engage users with discursive and details captions, adding storytelling or narrative. Often, the image posted to Instagram is just to catch the eye – the real content is in the caption.

5. Make IGTV work for you

Upon first release IGTV seemed to flop, but once previews for these miniature stories started turning up in our feeds, engagement rocketed. Jumping on the IGTV bandwagon can be a great way to make your Instagram stand out and boost brand engagement. Creating an IGTV series is easy and can generate consistent interest if it’s done right. You’ll have your followers potentially tuning in on a weekly basis, looking forward to the next episode.

“Make sure your episodes are immediately engaging, right from the very start,” recommends business blogger Irene Jones. “Most people will come across your IGTV episodes in their stream where they’ll get 60 seconds as a preview. You want to be sure they’ll click “keep watching” at the end of that minute!”

6. Keep on learning

Make sure you take advantage of all the analytic tools so that if you hit upon a successful post you can turn that into a winning formula for engagement. It’s okay to experiment, just so long as you’re figuring out which visual styles or even hashtags are performing best for you.

Instagram is a great tool for marketing and has huge potential for seamlessly building your brand and engaging potential customers at the same time. Maximising your Instagram’s potential will mean maximising your business’s potential.

**About the Author: Cheri. S. Jones is an entrepreneur and business writer at Luckyassignments.com and Gumessays.com. She has been involved in many successful projects and now takes pleasure in helping others find success.

*Photo by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash