How do you get curated on Instagram? 9 Powerful Tips
Getting featured on the right Instagram accounts can not only help build your following. It can also introduce you to new opportunities, get you exposure within certain communities, and, of course, grow your personal or professional brand on Instagram.
But how to get featured on the best curated IG feeds?
(EDITOR’s NOTE: Here’s one of the author’s incredible photos that got featured far and wide on IG.)
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Here’s the complete quick-guide that will help finally make it happen.
1. Post Only High-quality Content
At the end of the day, great visual content curation is the most crucial aspect of getting featured on curated Instagram accounts. It goes far beyond epic travel photography. Get the quality down, and all the other tips instantly get easier. Therefore, matching or even surpassing the quality of the pictures posted on your target feature account is vital.
Although there are other considerations, such as their overall Instagram theme and style, but more on that later.
If it’s too difficult to objectively judge whether your content quality is up to par, ask a friend to give their honest opinion. You can also turn to technology for assistance. An AI-driven app like EyeEm automatically suggests which photos to post based on their aesthetic score.
2. Study the Instagram Accounts You Want to Feature You
Once you’re confident that you have some absolutely mind-blowing captures that are worthy of getting featured on social media, select and carefully study your target feature accounts. It’s most effective to pick feeds that are already similar to your style.
Meaning in terms of topic, editing, and the mood conveyed across all of your visual content. Ensure that you understand what makes these accounts’ Instagram followers tick and learn to deliver it.
3. Have the Right Tags at Hand
Once you’ve shortlisted a selection of photos you’re ready to get curated, it’s time to see what the community thinks. However, you should do some hashtag research first. Simply start a Word file or Google Doc and make two or three groups of up to 30 highly relevant hashtags.
If you have no clue where to start, you can reverse engineer them. This is done by checking which tags any given Instagram handle is using in their curated content.
The cool part is that everything on the platform is pretty open, meaning you can see all the tags and mentions in every public Instagram post. That aside, you can also brainstorm and look up relevant hashtags using the search function.
This gives an indication of each tag’s popularity and potential reach. Furthermore, you can browse around for inspiration in Explore mode and save the relevant posts to your collection for future reference.
It’s critical to understand how to properly use tags. Remember that the maximum possible number of hashtags is 30. However, it’s much more valuable to have a handful of well-researched tags rather than spray and pray using a bunch of random ones.
You want your best hashtags in 2 or 3 groups so that you can vary between them. This is a proven technique that is more effective than busting out the same 25 to 30 tags in every single post. That’s because the Instagram feed algorithm prefers it this way and rewards this behavior.
One final point considering hashtags is that it’s best to paste them in the post’s first comment instead of the description. This way, the post appears cleaner with a nicer Instagram aesthetic while still harnessing the full power of the hashtags used. However, if you don’t mind the visual clutter, it’s possible to add up to 25 more in the description afterward.
Use any dedicated or branded hashtag with caution. As with anything, the trick here is balance. Overdo it, and you might become an annoyance, resulting in getting blocked by the feature account you’ve tagged. Use only relevant hashtags that are not too frequent and spammy.
Just consider how they might come across on the receiving end, with potentially thousands of users using the same tag daily.
5. Respect the Photo Submission Guidelines
Before you go ahead and post your social media content, double-check the submitting rules to the curated Instagram account you’re aiming for. Perhaps your submission must be a moody portrait or a contrasty black and white shot.
In that case, your fabulous landscape shot or glossy fashion photo won’t do any good. Also, pay attention to the color palette.
Whatever you do, make sure that you understand and adhere to the guidelines. This way, things go as smoothly as possible, and everybody is happy. Otherwise, you risk ruining the moderators’ experience or, worse, getting blocked.
6. Photograph Products from Brands and Tag Them
A brand account can also, in a sense, be a feature account. It typically offers the same benefits and then some. That’s why another popular and effective way of getting featured is to snap a shot featuring your favorite brand’s product and tagging the said brand in the post.
This strategy can work with practically any kind of business-anything from coffee shops and barbers to apparel, watches, cars, and even photography equipment manufacturers.
However, the odds are much higher if the particular brand is actively curating its Instagram feed with user-generated content. It makes little sense to attempt getting featured by your local bakery if they barely ever log on to their IG profile. This Instagram marketing strategy can prove highly useful for both the influencer and the brand in question.
7. Give & Get Shoutouts – Ego Bait!
Even before you feel that you’ve gotten the hang of things, it’s an excellent idea to build relationships with other users. This is best done by direct interaction with various profiles on the social platform. Go ahead and like their work and provide authentic, meaningful comments and ask sincere, curious questions.
You can even hit up another Instagram influencer in a private message and suggest a content collaboration.
This tends to work best with accounts similar in size to yours, but there is really nothing to lose in reaching out to an Instagram handle with a larger following than yours. Once two profiles give each other a shoutout, their respective followings cross-pollinate, which means that both accounts win.
Of course, you can also highlight a particular post in an Instagram story, where you get further opportunities to engage with your audience.
8. Be Consistent
Lastly, don’t just quit on day 2 if you haven’t managed to get featured on your favorite Instagram account’s main feed. Being consistent certainly works in your favor over time. So much so that the inertia might lead to continuous features showing up on a curated feed for a good while afterward.
Focus on the process, and you can eventually get featured on any curated Instagram feed out there. But how should content creators stay consistent? Well, if you’ve done your planning and selected your content, you might want to consider the next topic.
9. Plan Ahead and Schedule Your Posts
Instead of going through the whole routine on a one by one basis, work in batches. Do your planning first, then go out and shoot all day long for a particular purpose. Next, edit and select the best photos, preferably with some time in between. Lastly, schedule your Instagram content to be posted at the optimal times for your region.
Typically, this would be on Wednesdays at 11 am, and Fridays between 10 and 11 am. That said, it depends on your particular target audience and region. Next, do your scheduling once and forget about it for a while. Just remember to dedicate time on a daily or weekly basis to engage with your audience and other relevant profiles to highlight your brand identity.
While we’re on the topic of auto-posting, you might as well sync up your Instagram profile with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. This lets you maximize your reach with zero extra work.
The Best Free Scheduler Apps for Instagram
Luckily, besides the official Instagram app, there are plenty of free-to-use IG post scheduler solutions out there. Some of the most popular ones include:
Automation can be a tremendous help if applied smartly. Use it to your advantage and spend your time doing what you’re best at instead of micromanaging every Instagram photo post and stressing out about your Instagram grid.
Keep in mind that even the original content creators behind the most drop-dead gorgeous Instagram aesthetic captures were complete novices at some point. And that’s in terms of getting regularly featured, too. Now that you’ve learned exactly how to get featured on the best curated IG feeds, you have a real shot at the feature social media game.
Keep an eye on the Explore tab. Discover the great content that works for other Instagram users.
Simply make a plan, follow the process above, and enjoy having your content curated on the finest of accounts. Most importantly, don’t get attached to the outcome. Instead, focus on the process and have fun! If it’s not fun, what’s the point?