The 4 Most Effective Instagram Marketing Techniques of 2019

People who successfully grew their Instagram followers went through one of the three routes:

Route #1: Publish content that people love, engage with them regularly, promote it like crazy and after 3 years, you have a chance to get together a good following.

Route #2: They started 10 years ago when there was no competition and now telling you how easy it was.

Route #3: Become a celebrity, sports star or famous actor. Then it’s very easy to get a massive following. But if you’re reading this article, you’re probably not one of them, right? 🙂

All of these routes suck. Don’t you think?

Fortunately, I’ve been learning and trying a lot of different strategies for the last 12 months.

And I can assure you; there are other ways, quicker ways, easier ways.

I’m going to show you three strategies (two of them are a little underground and unknown) that will help you get momentum and hundreds of targeted followers quickly.

Sign up for Instagram Audience from Scratch – Attract quality followers, increase engagement & make more sales on Instagram!

Let’s dive in.

1) Host an Instagram Contest

Hosting a successful Instagram contest can quickly expand your reach and can help you create awareness which will grab your potential followers (customers) attention. This technique is effective especially for those who are using Instagram for business to engage new followers.

I remember when Liam Austin decided to host Instagram Success Summit and created an Instagram account for the summit at the same time.

At first, he hosted a contest and gave away one premium copy of that summit.

He had around one hundred followers at that moment…

Three days later, his account was followed by more than a thousand people.

Highly engaged people!

They were checking his profile many times per day simply because they were curious if they’re the winners of the giveaway or not.

Results like this are fantastic!


Why am I telling you this y?

Most people suppose that you must have thousands of followers to get meaningful results from a giveaway.

That can’t be further from the true.

To host a successful Instagram giveaway, we just have to follow the proven plan, and great results will come.

Here are the six steps to follow:

1) Plan objectives and goals

Before you start with your contest, be sure to have a clear goal in mind.

The more specific your goal is, the better chance you achieve that goal!

It can be something like:

  • Increase your followers by 10%
  • Get mentions from at least 150 people
  • Get 100 people to subscribe to your e-mail newsletter

Don’t forget to decide the time-frame of your contest, and if you want to invest in ads, think what’s your budget.

2) Choose a contest type

There are many kinds of Instagram contests; I’m going to cover three that are most common.

  • Like to Win contests

In this kind of contest, all you need is to follow an account and like a certain photo and you’re automatically included in the contest.


  • It’s very easy to set up, just post an update with instructions and it’s done
  • ‘Like to win’ contest is one of the easiest ways to increase the reach of your account


  • Participants don’t have to spend too much time on your account and get to know your brand better.
  • The relationship between you and your participants isn’t as high as you would like.

  • Email entry contest

This is my favorite and most effective for building an audience outside of Instagram.

As you probably heard, an email list is the most important business asset.

Getting more e-mail subscribers should be your #1 priority.

The process is simple:

  • Create an email capture page (landing page) and put a link into your IG bio
  • Create an image representing the contest
  • Tell people that if they want to enter the contest, they must click the link and opt-in to your newsletter


  • You are not building just your follower base, but your email list as well.
  • One Email subscriber is much more valuable than one Instagram follower


  • Sometimes it can be hard to get people to leave Instagram and give you their email address
  • Fewer people will participate

Bonus tip: You can mix these contests. For example, to enter the contest, participants must enter your email list, follow your Instagram, like your latest update, etc…

  • Hashtag User-generated content

For a hashtag generated contest, create a specific hashtag only for this contest. It should be something short and memorable.

Whoever wants to participate must post an update (photo or video) with your hashtag.

Instagram Marketing Techniques


  • This type of contest creates an emotional connection between you and your followers.
  • The reach of hashtag specific contest is much bigger because the participants must post photos on their account = their friends and followers see it as well.


It is not easy to get a lot of people to participate in this contest.

3) Find the perfect hashtags

Choosing the right hashtag is the difference between contest that brings you hundreds, maybe thousands of followers and completely unsuccessful contest.

The hashtag should be:

  • short!
  • memorable
  • relevant
  • rare

If your contest has a specific time frame (I hope it does!), use suitable hashtag only for this contest.


4) Choose an award

Finding the right award can be tricky, we want to choose a prize that attracts our ideal customer.

If you are a food blogger, offer as a prize some kind of book, video course, list of recipes, etc…

If you’re selling T-shirts, offer different kinds of clothes.

The biggest mistake people are making is to offer I-pad and similar things…

Everyone wants to win I-pad, but when the contest is over – they forget about you and never come back.

They were just interested in the contest, not in your brand.

5) Create terms and conditions

Every time you create a competition with a prize; you should follow legal guidelines.

Creating terms and condition page is highly recommended.

Here you can find some of the things that should be included:

  • The name of the contest
  • When the contest starts and ends
  • How can people enter the contest
  • Guidelines on how the winner will be chosen
  • Be specific on the prize you will be given out

6) Promote, promote, and promote!

Now you have got the idea of your first giveaway (contest), it’s time to get the word out and promote your contest like crazy.

  • Let people know about your contest on other Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.
  • Write a blog post about the giveaway with detailed information.
  • Send an email to your email list.
  • If you have an efficient budget, set up an ad.
  • Write a post about your contest on relevant forums and community sites.

And the last step is to monitor the results.

How many subscribers did you get?

How many likes?

How many followers did you get during the contest?

These numbers will tell you what went great, wrong, what mistakes you made…

Learn from it and do it better next time.

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2) Engagement Groups

There are two kinds of engagement groups.

But first things first.

If you never heard of this term, an engagement group is a group within or outside Instagram where people are connecting with each other to get better engagement on their images.

The idea is that all participants or members will engage with other people‘s images every time they hit publish.


Why is this method working so well?

Instagram has the algorithms in place that decide if your post is popular or not.

The more likes and comments your image receives within the first minutes (hours) after you press publish, there’s a chance that Instagram will put you on an explore page = where more people are going to see your post, and you will finally find out what it means to go viral.

And that’s where engagement groups come in place.

Engagement groups inside Instagram

Engagement groups inside IG work through direct messages.

10-15 people begin a group conversation, and every time a member publishes a new image, he/she sends it to this group, and every member will engage (like & comment) on your photo.

You do the same for others.

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It’s easy to get involved in at least 5-10 of these group conversations.

Action step: Leave a comment below this post with your username and then contact me on Instagram through direct message (@weekhack) and I’ll put you in a few of these groups.

Engagement groups outside of Instagram

To get involved in these groups, you have to use the Telegram app. There are many groups with hundreds and a few times even thousands of members.

That means much more likes for your images and way bigger chance to get on the explore page.

When you participate in these groups, there are mostly 2-3 big rounds every day. Be sure to find out when the rounds take place and get involved.

The most common time is 3 p.m. EST.

The process is simple. Twenty or thirty minutes before the round starts, everyone who wants to participate put their IG username.


When the round starts, the admin or a bot provides a list with all usernames. All participators will like the latest image of everyone on the list.

Be sure to publish at the time when the round is starting (or a few minutes before).

I’m a part of a group where every round has 150-200 participants. That means 150-200 likes for your image within a few minutes after you publish.

These groups are pretty underground. Most people don’t know about them.

Using those groups is possible to blow up your Instagram account within a short period of time.

I’ve seen many people that went from 50 to 500 followers every single day.

That’s the most obvious difference between getting on Instagram explore page and not.

Action Step: Sign up for Telegram app (free)

3) Shoutouts

At the time of writing this case study, I have around 70,000 followers. My average post is seen by 10,000-16,000 people. (No, I’m not trying to impress you; I’ll get to the point soon)

So what exactly is shoutout for shoutout (S4S)?

Basically, a shoutout is when you give credit to someone else in your caption under your post. You’re telling your followers that they should check out and follow the other account.

The other account is doing the same for you.


This, by far, is the best way to get noticed by a whole new audience. You can do s4s as many times per day as you want, and you should!

When it comes to getting massive exposure for your account, there’s no other way as effective as this one.

Let’s say I’m going to do three s4s per day. Do you remember how many people see every of my post? You’re right – 10k – 17k. That means when I’m doing shoutout with similar accounts, 40,000 different people would see my posts and a lot of them would give me a follow.

Action Step #1: Find at least ten similar accounts as yours (with similar following and engagement)

Engagement is far more important than a number of followers. Be sure to do s4s with accounts, which are getting a similar count of likes and comments like yours.


Action Step #2: Connect with those people through direct message or contact info in their bio and let them know that you’re interested in s4s. Most of them will accept your offer.

Tip: Lot of people willing to do s4s are using the app ‘Kick’. To be honest, I don’t know why but that’s not important. When you see their Kick username in their bio, just install that app and connect with them there.

4) Paid shoutouts

Paid shoutout is another great way on how to get noticed by a larger audience. If you want to accelerate your Instagram growth and have a sufficient budget, use this strategy.

Step #1: Find at least ten pages with a similar audience having more than 200k followers. (of course, you can go for pages with a lower amount of followers, but the results won’t be that big)

Step #2: Comment on their photos, like their photos and contact them through direct message, email or Kick.

You can use this template:

“ Hello [name], I’ve been following your page for a while, you’re doing an amazing job!

I’d like to know if you offer paid shoutouts. If so, let me know!


[your name] “

Now that you know the three most effective strategies to grow targeted and engaged Instagram followers, put them into action.

Remember, knowing the strategies is not enough.

If you don’t take action and try those techniques, you will stay in the same place where you’re right now!

Sign up for Instagram Audience from Scratch – Attract quality followers, increase engagement & make more sales on Instagram!

Action steps:

  1. Find 10 potential partners for S4S
  2. Find one similar account with 200k+ followers and buy a shoutout from them
  3. Leave a comment below this post with your username and then contact me on Instagram through direct message (@weekhack) and I’ll put you in a few engagement groups.
  4. Sign up for Telegram app (free) and let me know your telegram username in the comments or shoot me an email
  5. Host your first Instagram contest
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      1. Livio

        Very good article! Can you add me too?
        My IG nickname is ______maverick______
        Thank you!

  1. Great hacks! I’d like to join an engagement group. My IG is

    1. Jan Orsula

      Glad you like the article! Check your direct messages on Instagram, you are now in a few of those groups.

  2. Great sir I will love to join in engagement group my IG id is physiqueengineer1

  3. Franco

    Would love to join an engagement group. My IG name is @frann_man

  4. Thanks for the awesome tips and tricks! I’d love to join an engagement group as well. @charmfril

  5. LOVE THIS ARTICLE! Excellent, simple advice. I’d love to join some engagement groups as well. My Instagram name is @Kelownagal. How do we go about joining groups with Telegram? Thanks for sharing these awesome tips!

  6. Alex Monge

    Great tips, thank you for sharing, I would like to join an engagement group. My IG is amongeconejo

  7. Thank you for sharing these little-known tips. I’d love to be part of a engagement group! @texomafamily Thanks!

  8. Tiffany

    Love this! I’d like join some groups. Been doing pods, but not as effective as shoutouts. Thanks! My accounts are @zumbidovida and @pashmco
    My best, ❤️

  9. Maddy Teaches

    Amazing article man! Would appreciate if you can put me in one of
    an engagement group. My username is @MaddyTeaches ! Thanks a lot 🙂

  10. Max Quiroz

    Great ideas! Would like to be added to a group! @scoolmax on Instagram!

  11. robert wiseman

    Er yes, so why do we need Instagram at all ? Many businesses think this a waste of time as no demographics exist for conversion rates. if you are coca cola its great for branding as they have a lot of time or money to throw at it. for business the man hours involved are just not worth the conversion rate of 1 in every 40,000. prove that the conversion rate can be seen to be better !!

  12. Denise

    I love IG & find your in depth tips awesome.
    I’m on IG as @denise_edelstein & would really appreciate being in some relevant IG engagement groups. I help heart-centred women who want more than working in the corporate world. They want to step up & have their own online business, doing what they love & making a difference in the world.
    Thanks so much. ?

  13. Kathy Holloway

    I am starting using Instagram for my business. I will surely utilize your tricks and advices for my business marketing. Really appreciate it..!!

  14. Creative Library

    Hi. I would love to join an engagement group. @inspirationalmedium

  15. Heath Addison

    Great article! Especially the tip about engagement groups…My IG name is @heathaddison.

  16. Tom

    Nice article. I would like to join some engagement groups pls. @byteswag

  17. Jayney

    Hi my IF username is @JayneyGoddard and I would love to be in one of your groups. Thank you for sharing this wonderful advice!

  18. Katie Rotton

    Awesome tips…saved for ACTION! My Instagram is kmgr70 ad would love to participate in the groups! Thanks

  19. Lucia

    Thank you for outlining these core steps! They’re very useful! One question I have is, with most automation tools being shut down recently, which IG tools are still effective (and safe) to use? My IG handle is @myauthenticromania. Please add me to your groups. Thanks!

  20. Emmanuel

    tosinibimiluyi is my IG handle. Kindly add me to your groups

  21. Khaled Halwani

    Great stuff.. would like to join the engagement group. @travel_paparazzi

  22. Renata

    Thank you so much for sharing an amazing tips. I would also love to join an engagement groups @sliceoffreshness . Thank you Renata

  23. Sneha

    Thanks for your awesome tips and tricks for instagram. I would like to join an engagement group. My username is @thetravellingtote.
    Thanks Sneha

  24. Latasha James

    Thanks for the tips! Definitely interested in exploring the use of engagement groups. @ajourneyeast_

  25. Kriszti

    Would love to join some engagement groups.. IG – @teashirtlondon

  26. Sandriane

    Definitely interested in exploring the use of engagement groups. @webneoo

  27. Currun

    Thanks for tips! thought they were really good. I’m interested in joining engagement groups. @allrestaurantmarketing

  28. Ananya

    My ig handle is @chakraborty.ananya and i would like tobe added to instagram engagement group

  29. Jason wright

    Wow that was amazing! I’ve been in a airport for 7 hours now studying social media, I learned more in this one email. It’s crazy you are the only person who I have subcribed to get emails from, it just felt real. I’m going to set up so many video completions on my days off this winter season, where I record about 100 people randomly and give them my business card and tell them I’ll put togher a video of the 50 best turns in a one min video, hit me up for the link. Top three turns get a beanie or a t shirt. Thank you for giving me this brain wave. Would also love to be part of the groups jasonleftwrightleft snowsport sessions. Thank you keep up the great work Jan!

  30. Katie

    Hi! Great post – really enjoyed the understanding more of the process. My instagram is @fundera. Would love to be a part of any groups specific to marketing, small business, entrepreneurs. Thanks!

  31. Annika Akerlund

    this article was so helpful! thankyou for sharing your knowledge, it would be awesome to join any of the groups you mentioned!
    IG: @overcombs
    Telegram: Over Combs

  32. Sani

    Appreciate the article gelreat insight.
    Instagram handle sani_bas

  33. Tolu

    This post was really awesome.. Thank you… I would like to join the telegram group…. Username is Towlue..thank you

  34. Yuri

    Great advice! Leaving you with our IG handle : @glamxcosmetics

  35. Emily Johnson

    I love the idea of IG Engagement Groups! Here is our IG handle: @jjshotme

  36. Neil Sharman

    Thanks so much for this article, it’s brilliant. Would love if you could to be added.

    IG: @meloandmarl

  37. Tassie

    Hi! My Instagram username is @TassieTeaches. I would love to be a part of some engagement groups!

  38. Ashley

    Hey! Really liked the blog post, looking to apply some of these techniques shortly to grow my Instagram following. It would be great if i could get involve with your engagement groups – @surfingforbeginners

  39. Jay Short

    Hi Jan, Great post, and I’m also interested in the engagement groups

  40. Michael Androw

    Would LOVE to be included.

  41. ramakrishnan

    Thanks for sharing these tips on instagram marketing. These are very useful to get traffic from instagram.

  42. Great tips. I’d like to join an engagement group. My Instagram handle is
    Thank you

  43. MrGheller

    Direct, concise, and useful. Thank you. @MrGheller

  44. Kad

    Amazing content and tips, definitely interested in those Telegram rounds groups! My Telegram username is @kadstravels

  45. Genevieve Wright

    @genevieve.r.w – Thank you for this post!! I have to reread it because there was so much info!

  46. Mariam yaser

    Nice tips, I would love to join the engagement groups
    Telegram: mariam_yaser
    Instagram: @the_wandering_compass

    1. Oluyomi Folarin

      Great information,add to the engagement group.

  47. Francisco Gomes

    I’d like to join engagement groups. My IG is @franciscogomes.apl

  48. Geraldine

    Thank you for the tips! I have sent you a message on ig. My IG is @theartisancraftcompany

  49. antwanika saxon

    @neekwithdakinks – please add me to engagement groups. Thank you

  50. Eleonore andersson

    Thank you for all the tips! Would like to join tje engangementgroups. My username is @studioeleonorean

  51. goodfoodprettyplaces

    Nice article! I would love to be part of some relevant engagement groups. Could you add me to some? My IG account is @goodfoodprettyplaces 🙂 Thanks in advance!

  52. Claire

    Hi! Thanks for your great tips, I just discovered your website :0 I’d love to be part of engagement groups, my account is @Grow_some_green
    thank you!

  53. Lc

    Nice useful tips, thank you. I want to join some groups. My IG account is lc_bitar

  54. Andriy Shamray

    Hey, would love to be included !
    My ig login is @ growvivid

  55. Lisa

    Great article with lots of useful tips! Would love to be included in engagement groups. My username is: @ichigocake_draws

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