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Instagram, Marketing

8 New Ways to Get More Instagram Followers in 2019

When it comes to Instagram growth, it’s simply not as easy to get more Instagram followers in 2019 as it was a year or two ago.

With over 1 billion monthly users, an ultra-smart algorithm, and tons of clever, creative brands on Instagram, it’s a competitive place if you want to grow your account and boost your following.

So if you really want to stand out, show off your brand, and get more followers on Instagram, you have to work smarter and harder.

In the following post, we’re sharing 8 new ways to reach your target audiences and get more Instagram followers in 2019:

Get More Instagram Followers: Share Image

Table of Contents:

  1. Get More Instagram Followers with a Branded and Complete Instagram Profile
  2. Use Hashtags and Location Tags in Your Instagram Stories
  3. Share Selfies to Get More Instagram Followers
  4. Create Instagram Ads that Help You Get More Instagram Followers
  5. Promote Your Instagram Content on Other Platforms
  6. Create a Custom Instagram Stories Filter for Your Brand
  7. Collaborate with Awesome Brands 
  8. Build Long-Lasting Instagram Influencer Partnerships

#1: Get More Instagram Followers with a Branded and Complete Instagram Profile

If you want to get more Instagram followers in 2019, you need to pay attention to what your Instagram profile looks like as a whole.

Your feed is the first opportunity you have to make a great impression and entice people to hit the “follow” button. And since your Instagram profile is becoming as important as your homepage, you want to make sure it looks on point.

When someone visits your Instagram profile, they will decide in seconds whether or not to follow your business. How do they make that decision? By quickly scrolling through your feed, reading your bio, or clicking on your stories highlights.

When it comes to converting visitors into followers, it’s no longer just the editing style of your photos that need to be consistent.

You also want to have a great Instagram profile photo, an effective Instagram bio, active stories, and coordinating cover photos for your Instagram highlights.

Luckily, it’s easy to build a professional-looking feed with a well-curated and cohesive Instagram aesthetic!

Instagram Strategy for Small Business: Yes To Business Aesthetic

Gorgeous Instagram aesthetics aren’t a new trend on Instagram. In fact, businesses of every size, from startups to super-brands, are curating their feeds to appeal to new followers.

Your feed doesn’t have to adhere to the all-white, picture-perfect, minimal aesthetic of Instagram to be successful, it just needs to be consistent with your own brand and target market.

But what’s important for 2019 is that you make sure every aspect of your feed and every post aligns with the aesthetic you’ve chosen for your brand.

So whether you’re posting on Instagram Stories, publishing an IGTV video, or creating highlights for your profile page, you need to make sure everything aligns with and represents your overall branding and Instagram aesthetic.Instagram Stories Branding: Example

You can plan the look of your Instagram feed and aesthetic by using an Instagram marketing platform like Later for free. Later makes it easy to schedule your posts ahead of time, and you can drag and drop your posts on the visual planner to create the best look and feel for your brand.

Create an Instagram Aesthetic: Instagram-Visual-Planner

Here are some tips for nailing your aesthetic from every Instagram angle:

Tip # 1: Get to know Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom is super powerful when it comes to editing and enhancing your photography, and you can download and use the mobile app for free.

Purchasing Lightroom presets from professional photographers is a great investment in not only making your Instagram feed look great but getting more Instagram followers too. You can find some of our favorite Lightroom presets in this blog post!


Jaci Marie’s presets

My #1 tip for creating a cohesive Instagram feed is to use the same 1-2 filters or presets on every photo. This makes it super easy to ensure that all your photos go together, and it also cuts down on editing time (I use the TyFrench presets for my personal Instagram feed):

No idea where to start with Lightroom? Photographer Maddy Corbin walks you through every step of how to use Lightroom presets in our video below, or you can read the steps here.

Tip #2: Use Instagram Stories Templates

If you regularly post on Instagram Stories (which you should be!) you might want to start using Instagram Stories templates this year. This will help make your stories more uniform and complementary to your feed posts.

There are tons of different apps like Canva and Unfold that can help you with creating templates, or if you know your way around Photoshop, we have 19 free Instagram Stories templates to share with you!

Create an Instagram Aesthetic: Instagram Stories

Later’s free Instagram Stories templates

Tip #3: Introduce your Brand through Instagram Stories Highlights

The highlights on your Instagram profile give you an opportunity to court new followers with your best content and give them a sense of what your business is all about.

Here at Later, we created a series of stories specifically for our Instagram Stories highlights, so that even if visitors didn’t follow us, they would still be able to learn about the benefits of using Later.

We make sure that our “Schedule” story is always the first highlight because that’s our biggest feature. We also created highlights for other features like planning, analytics, and blog posts.

Then we created the Instagram story (you can watch it here) to make it super simple for people to understand how Later works and what it looks like, without needing to sign up.

Then to end the story, we added a clear call-to-action to swipe up to create an account for free.

Not sure what to post on your highlights? Think of your Instagram highlights like landing pages on your website. If you’re an online store, you could create separate highlights for dresses, tops, and shoes, or sort them by collection, and then create other highlights for FAQs or shipping information.

Don’t forget to make sure that both your Instagram Stories content and the icons you’re using for your cover images are in line with your overall Instagram aesthetic!

Ready to plan your feed and grow your Instagram in 2019? Sign up for Later – it’s free! Design an Instagram aesthetic, schedule your posts, and track your growth with analytics: 


#2: Get More Instagram Followers by Using Hashtags and Location Tags in Your Instagram Stories

It’s set to be another huge year for Instagram Stories thanks to the launch of even more features like GIFs, music, shopping stickers, polls, questions, and more!

And with so many new creative tools, brands are getting more and more creative with their Instagram Stories as they try to reach new audiences and boost their followers.

But it’s important to remember the basics when it comes to optimizing your Instagram Stories while you’re busy testing out all the new features!

Get More Instagram Followers: Instagram Hashtags

Instagram Stories appear on the Instagram Explore page, which means that people who don’t even follow you can still find and watch your stories.

And if they like what they see, they might even tap follow on your profile!

But besides appearing on the Explore page, your story can also appear in the stories for different locations and hashtags!

If you didn’t know, most Instagram geo-locations and hashtags have their own stories attached to them too. So you can watch any recent stories that were published using a location or hashtag sticker, even if you don’t know that user or follow their account.

This is hugely under-utilized by brands on Instagram, so if you’re looking to get more followers, it’s time to start using these features!

All you have to do is add a hashtag or location sticker to your Instagram Stories posts!

Grow your account with Instagram Stories: Location Sticker

You can also “hack” Instagram by adding hashtags and then hiding them by reducing the font size, using the same color as the background of your image, or adding a GIF or sticker on top of the hashtags.



If you’re part of a live event, this is your time to shine and get more followers on Instagram! Whether it’s a conference, event, or holiday, this is the time when people are more invested in seeing what’s happening in real-time on Instagram, so making your story discoverable by others is a great way to get new eyes on your Instagram profile.

When your story is added to a location’s story, you’ll usually receive a notification from Instagram. When a photo or video from your story is visible on a hashtag or location page, you’ll see the name of that page when you look at who’s seen your story.

If you go to your Instagram Explore page, you’ll see the live story for the current city you’re in – but your story only has the chance to be added to this if you add a location sticker to your Instagram Stories. So you don’t want to miss out on that opportunity to be in front of new audiences!

Get More Instagram Followers: Explore Page Location Instagram Stories

#3: Share Selfies to Get More Instagram Followers (Yes, Really)

There’s no denying that Instagram is still a very social place. And people want to follow accounts that they can relate to, regardless of whether that’s a brand, influencers, or person they went to high school with.

So it’s important to make your Instagram account as personable and relatable as possible, and really show off what your business and brand is all about if you want to get more Instagram followers.

Plus, did you know that photos with faces get 38% more likes on Instagram?


One of the easiest ways to introduce new audiences to your brand is through video. You can immediately set the tone, share some behind-the-scenes footage, and show off what sets your brand apart.

Mejuri is a great example of a brand that shows off its ethos and business through Instagram Stories and videos. With regular appearances from the brand’s founder, designers, and wider business team, you really get to know and love the whole brand!

Get More Instagram Followers: Instagram Stories Team Videos

If you follow Later on Instagram, you might spot myself popping in to announce something special, or catch some tips from the rest of our marketing team on Instagram Stories!

In 2019, people want to know the people behind the brand, just as much as the business and products.

Get More Instagram Followers: Instagram Stories Team Videos

Plus, there’s no better spokesperson for your business than your employees! Why not ask your team to post and share content about your business plans, launches or special campaigns this year?

If you can get your team involved in creating company content for your brand, it adds more personality and behind-the-scenes insights for your followers. You may find your page will be seen by new audiences that already have connections with your employees and have an interest in your brand!

So next time you’re crafting an Instagram story, or planning an IGTV video, think about including more face-to-face screen time and introducing your followers (both old and new) to your brand.

#4: Create Instagram Ads that Help You Get More Instagram Followers

Instagram is a very competitive marketplace for brands, but there’s a real opportunity to build your followers if you present the right type of ads to new audiences.

Running your own Instagram ad campaign isn’t that difficult, but it can be intimidating to many small business owners and influencers who haven’t done it before.

get more instagram followers

There’s a whole host of different types of Instagram ads you can run for your account — from feed-style images and videos to promoted Instagram Stories ads that will appear as your target audience taps through stories. What’s important is making sure you’re targeting the right audience in the right way!

Instagram Stories Ads Examples
Thankfully, targeting an audience on Instagram with a sponsored post couldn’t be easier — Instagram does all the hard work for you!

Instagram already pulls in a “similar audience” that you can share the post to, or you can easily create your own audience in the app by choosing an interest, age range, and the genders you want to promote to.

Instagram Stories Ads: Audience

For example, if you’re posting a photo about a tea shop in San Diego that’s frequented by millennials, you can boost your post to people who are interested in tea, live in San Diego, and are females between the age of 20-35.

But remember, half the battle with Instagram ads is knowing what kind of content resonates most with your audience. So spend some time investigating whether your audience enjoys video content over still images in their feed, or if Instagram Stories is where you get the most engagement.

Finally, make sure you have a strong call-to-action in your Instagram ads.

Whether that’s driving your audience to visit your profile, shop your feed, or check out your latest collection on your website, you want to make sure you’re guiding them to your homepage where they can learn more about your business and offering.


#5: Promote Your Instagram Content on Other Platforms to Get More Instagram Followers

If you want to get more Instagram followers, it’s time to think about your Instagram strategy as a part of your wider marketing efforts and look at how you can grow outside of the Instagram app.

Instead, think about how your other marketing channels — like your website, email newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube — can lead your audience to your Instagram page.

Cross-promoting your Instagram content on other channels is a really easy way to guide your existing followers to your Instagram page (where they’re likely to tap follow as they already know your brand!) or introduce yourself to new audiences if they’ve found you from a different platform.

For example, most of my personal Instagram growth comes from including screenshots of my feed, embedding my posts, or linking my username in blog posts that I write (see what I did earlier in this post?).

I also make sure to include my Instagram handle with a CTA in my author bio, email signature, and anytime I am speaking at a conference, I encourage people to ask me questions over Instagram DM. Basically, I try to naturally plug my Instagram handle wherever I can (because I really want swipe-ups).

Here are a couple of tips on how to start cross-promoting your Instagram content on other platforms:

Integrate your Instagram feed into your website design: this is such a simple change that could really help your get more Instagram followers. If you’re hosting your website on WordPress, there are tons of different plugins that can help you integrate your Instagram feed into your website. Now every visitor that comes to your website will see your beautiful Instagram aesthetic and might just want to see more and follow!

Get More Instagram Followers: Feed on Website

Invite audiences to ‘find out more’ on Instagram: If you have a platform, like YouTube, for example, that’s really thriving with an engaged audience, you can use this follower-power to invite audiences to check out your Instagram feed, especially if you’re sharing something exclusive there. For example, if you are a fashion brand, you could share a preview of your new collection on YouTube and invite your viewers to check out the big reveal of the whole collection on Instagram Stories on a specific date.

Add Your Instagram to Your Email Marketing Campaigns: whether you have a small footer with links to your social accounts, or send an entire email focused on increasing your followers, don’t ignore the power of your email list if you want to get more Instagram followers!

This is a great example from Warby Parker, who integrated their Instagram content in a beautifully designed email with the goal of getting their list to start using their branded Instagram hashtag and posting UGC to Instagram:

When it comes to using email to get more Instagram followers, I love this unique approach from Good American. Before they had launched their brand, they started collecting emails on a landing page. Once they were closer to their launch date and wanted to grow their Instagram following, they sent out an email that couldn’t make it any clearer what you were supposed to do: follow!

#6: Get More Instagram Followers By Creating a Custom Instagram Stories Filter For Your Brand

Augmented Reality,” or AR for short, may seem like space-age jargon, but we’re actually exposed to it every day on Instagram!

If you’ve spotted (or even tried out) the cute puppy ears or heart filters on Instagram Stories, then you’ve been using AR!

In 2018, Facebook made it possible for brands to create their own custom AR filters for Instagram Stories with the launch of Spark AR Studio.

Since then, we’ve seen creative AR Instagram Stories filters from Kylie Cosmetics, Rihanna, Gucci Beauty, Adidas, and many other brands and influencers.

When someone uses your branded AR filter in their stories, viewers can see who created it and will be prompted to try it out themselves. When people visit your Instagram profile, they’ll be prompted to try out the filter, which is a creative way to get more Instagram followers and get your filter in front of a new audience in a lighthearted and fun way.

Previously, only approved creators could design and publish their Instagram Stories effects (or AR filters) to Instagram, making it an exclusive growth hack. 

But now, anyone and everyone can design and create Instagram Stories filters for their brand using Spark AR Studio!

Ready to take the leap in AR? Here are a few tips when creating a custom Instagram Stories filter for your brand:

Make it shareable: Remember that every time someone uses your AR filter, your brand name will be across the top of the post, along with a prompt from Instagram to try it out! But if you really want to encourage more shares, take some inspiration from Instagram’s AR filter collaboration with Maddie Ziegler to promote kindness.

When selected in selfie mode, the filter causes hearts to fill the screen, and you’ll be prompted to tag a friend you want to support. A simple call-to-action like this could make all the difference to the number of shares you see with your AR filter!

Include your branding: Without going into a full-blown sales pitch, you want to make sure you’re including some element of your business branding in your AR filter. This will help boost your brand recognition and provide a friendly reminders to new audiences of who created the filter. Adidas does this really well with their AR filter!

Keep it fun: Some of the best AR filters are the simplest — they’re just there to add a little fun to your Instagram Stories. Check out how Disney has nailed the fun filter game by including cute Minnie and Mickey Mouse ears to their AR filter.

#7: Collaborate With Awesome Brands to Get More Followers on Instagram

The power of a collaboration or a co-marketing campaign for your business is huge!

Teaming up with like-minded and complimentary business and brands will introduce your profile to a new and engaged audience you may never have reached before.

So when an Instagram user discovers your profile through a co-marketing effort, they’re likely to hit that follow button if they have similar interests or are the right demographic for your brand.

Plus, co-marketing campaigns don’t have to be complicated or costly! What’s more important is who you partner with. You want to make sure that you have a mutually beneficial partnership and that both your audiences will benefit from your collaboration efforts.

And some of the best collaborations come from brands and businesses that are in completely different industries! For example, ecommerce store Bando teamed up with Starbucks to create gorgeous cups for the season. The collaboration resonated with both their audiences and created a great opportunity for the brands to boost their following.

Get More Instagram Followers: Collaborate with Brands

And don’t worry if you’re not an Instagram giant like Starbucks yet, even smaller brands under the 10k mark can still benefit from collaborations. Instagram Stories takeovers, co-written blog posts or eBooks and co-hosting Instagram live sessions and IGTV videos are easy and quick ways to create a co-marketing campaign that could make a real difference to your followers this year.

Recently, we had the cool stop-motion app Lifelapse do an Instagram Stories takeover on Later’s Instagram channel to show how to create GIFs and videos for Instagram. The takeover resulted in over 250 new followers in one day for Lifelapse, and it was one of our most watched stories ever, so it was a big win for both brands!

#8: Build Long-Lasting Influencer Partnerships to Get More Instagram Followers

Influencer marketing is all about building genuine trust and loyalty with your followers. And if you partner with an influencer for your brand or business, they act as an ambassador for your brand.

But the key to getting more followers on Instagram with Instagram influencers is having a long-lasting project, instead of one-off sponsored posts.

Instead, work on year-long projects with your brand ambassadors, and try different growth tactics like Instagram giveaways or takeovers to capitalize on your influencer’s audience.

With Instagram sponsored post tags, users are more aware of ad placements and influencer marketing than ever before, so a one-time post from an influencer mentioning your brand could come across as just another ad.

Instead, you want to really build trust and brand loyalty for the long-term, so collaborate with an influencer who has a genuine passion about your brand and can show this off to their audience all year round.

Their honest and genuine energy for your brand or business will come across in their posts, especially if they’re posting regularly!

Get More Instagram Followers: Caroline Hirons and Pixi

Check out influencer and beauty blogger Caroline Hirons — she regularly works with skincare brand Pixi Beauty on projects, reviews and even creating a new product together!

Growing your Instagram account can often seem like a challenge, but if you follow the right techniques and strategies, you could definitely get more Instagram followers in 2019!

Remember it’s a combination of creative content, targeting the right audiences, and promoting your business in the right way. Try out some of these tips in 2019 and see how much your account can grow this year!

Ready to start curating and sharing UGC to Instagram? Check out Later’s Collect feature to easily find, schedule and post user-generated content to your social feeds! 

Written By

Taylor Loren

Taylor Loren is the Head of Marketing at Later. She was named a LinkedIn Top Voice for social media marketing, and you can follow her on Instagram at @taylor.loren for more Instagram tips and a look inside life at Later.