Boost Instagram Posts to Expand Your Audience Reach

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Karen Lin

Instagram Growth | Jun 06, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Your Instagram reach went down because the platform updated its algorithm — again. Or, maybe you’re an IG newbie and find it hard to compete with accounts that have the advantage of time and experience in your industry and on the platform. Perhaps you’re looking to improve your brand’s overall performance scores on Instagram. Regardless, you want to get results so your content gets the attention that it deserves. The solution: boost Instagram posts.

Red and white rocket icon taking off to demonstrate boosting an Instagram post.

What Does “Boost Post” Mean on Instagram

Social media opened the content floodgates and inundated news feeds with a deluge of posts that users are unable to keep up with. Even on Instagram, which has more than 1 billion active monthly users, there’s an oversupply of content — which means tons of posts are not getting the attention they deserve or need. If you want to increase your post’s visibility, you can effectively do so by using the boost Instagram post feature. What does “Boost post” mean on Instagram? 

Boosting a post on Instagram is the quickest way to turn any regular post into an ad so you can reach more people. But first, you need an Instagram business account. Once you’ve converted your account into a business profile, you can boost any of your previous posts, create a new post for boosting, boost posts that contain product tags if you have a shop on Instagram, or boost a Story.

Getting started page for how to boost Instagram post.

What Happens When You Boost a Post on Instagram?

So, what happens when you boost an Instagram post? These are the things you can do with an Instagram boost:

  • Specify a goal. Do you want more profile visits to increase brand awareness? Do you want to drive people to your direct messages so you can have one-on-one engagement with your followers? Do you want to drive traffic to your website to increase online sales, drive traffic to specific pages, or encourage people to book an appointment? 
  • Identify your audience. Who do you want to reach with your ad? You can create your own audience or choose automatic audiences.
  • Specify your budget. How much do you want to spend daily on your ad? Keep in mind that your budget will determine how many people will see your ad. 
  • Specify the ad duration. How long do you want your ad to run? Instagram recommends starting with at least 7 days to give the platform’s delivery system sufficient time to find your ideal audience.

After you boost an Instagram post, it will appear on people’s feeds, Story feeds, and Explore pages. You can track your ad’s performance via your Insights.

Instagram getting started page showing how boosting posts drives more traffic to a profile.

How to Boost an Instagram Post

There are two options for how to boost an Instagram post: from the post itself or from the Ad Tools feature on your profile page.

Steps to Boost an Instagram Post Directly From the Post

  1. Go to your profile and select the post (or Story) you want to boost. Alternatively, you can start creating a new post. Instagram recommends boosting posts that feature images no greater than 8 MB.
  2. Below the image, tap “Boost.”
  3. Complete the details of your ad: goal, audience, budget, and duration. 
  4. Tap “Next.” You will be prompted to connect your Instagram business account to a Facebook account if you haven’t done so yet. You can choose to “Skip” this part. If you skip this step, it won’t appear again when you boost future posts. But you can still link your Instagram to a Facebook account at any time. 
  5. Tap “Create Ad” under “Review.” Your ad will be submitted for review and will begin running after it has been approved. You will receive a notification for every step of the process.  

When you boost an Instagram Story post, the story will appear in the story carousel of users who don’t follow you yet but belong to your target audience. The boosted story will continue to run after 24 hours and for the specified duration of your ad.

Screenshot showing a boosted post on Instagram

Use Ad Tools Feature to Boost Instagram Posts

  1. Go to your profile and tap “Ad Tools.”
  2. Tap “Choose a Post” and then select the post you want to boost. 
  3. Tap “Next” for iOS or the forward arrow for Android at the upper right corner. 
  4. Again, unless you’ve already linked your Instagram business profile to a Facebook page, you’ll be prompted to do so. Or you can “Skip” this step. 
  5. Complete the details of your ad, and then tap “Next” for iOS or the forward arrow for Android when you’re done. 
  6. Tap “Create Ad” under “Review” to finish creating your ad and submit it for review and approval.

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How Much Does It Cost to Boost Posts on Instagram

How much does it cost to boost posts on Instagram? It depends on how much you want to spend — which means you get budget flexibility. You’ll set the total budget for your ad, which is the total amount you want to spend for the duration of your ad; and the duration of your ad, which will determine how much of your total budget will be allocated per day. 

The budget you set for boosting an Instagram post will affect how many people will see your ad. The bigger your budget, the more of your target audience you can reach. Keep in mind that if you’re in a competitive industry, the cost will also be higher. When you’re setting your budget, Instagram will show you the estimated number of people your ad will reach so you can adjust your budget according to your preference. Instagram recommends starting with at least USD 5 for an ad duration of 3 days. This budget will allow you to reach the ideal number of people and give Instagram’s delivery system adequate time to find them.

Instagram page showing how to set a budget and duration to boost Instagram post.

How to Pay for an Instagram Ad

There are two ways to pay for boosted Instagram posts: via the Instagram app or via your Meta Ad account. 

To pay from your Instagram app, just follow these steps:

  1. On your profile page, tap the menu in the upper right corner. 
  2. Tap “Settings,” then tap “Business” and tap “Ad Payments.”
  3. Tap “Payment Methods,” and then select credit card/debit card or PayPal.

If your Instagram business account is linked to a Facebook page, you’ll use the same payment option you’ve set for your Meta Ad account.

Why Should You Boost Instagram Posts?

Is organic reach extinct? It would be more accurate to say that it has become a highly desired privilege that you can only earn once you’ve established a big enough audience base. For example, if you looked at who has the most Instagram followers, you’d see that these accounts don’t usually boost Instagram posts because they don’t need to. With a reach numbering millions, their posts will organically reach a high number of users — tens or hundreds of thousands of them — because the law of probability is on their side. To enjoy the same privilege, you can start by boosting your posts. 

You should boost an Instagram post if: 

  1. You want a cost-effective way to target a specific audience. Boosting a post gives you control over the buyer persona you want to show your ad to, and how much you want to spend and for how long.
  2. You want to increase brand awareness. Boosting an Instagram post is the ideal solution if you’re still in the early stages of building your brand’s presence on the platform. Boosting posts will effectively let you reach more of the people interested in your content. Now, you can gain more followers and increase your engagement — both of which will create a snowball effect and help your brand become more visible and well-known. 
  3. You want to collect data for your marketing strategy. An Instagram boost post gives you access to Insights. From your Insights, you can find out how well your boosted post is doing in terms of traffic and engagement, and the demographics you have reached. You can use this information to identify weaknesses in your strategy and build on your strengths so you can create better marketing campaigns in the future.    
  4. You want to increase sales for a particular product. You can do this by boosting a post with a product tag. It’s a great solution if you want to promote a product that’s not doing as well as others or if it’s part of a promotion you’re running.

Man holding a tablet and studying graphs showing performance of boosted Instagram posts.

Final Thoughts: Capture the Right Attention for Your Posts

Boosting Instagram posts is a must for your content strategy if you want your post to reach and engage more of the right people, or if you want to use your content to put the spotlight on your brand. 

Paid social media content promotion, like Instagram’s boost feature, helps ensure that your efforts deliver worthwhile returns. Especially if you’re still in the early stages of your growth journey and aiming to gain more followers, boosting a post is a good way to spend some of your marketing budget because you’ll be able to target the right audience for your business — users who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer and, therefore, will give you a follow and provide engagement. 

You can achieve the same results by partnering with a reliable growth service like Path Social. Path Social offers an advanced, proprietary AI targeting technology to deliver followers who are genuinely interested and engaged. Their in-house team of social media experts will expertly handle your content promotion to give you quality engagement and help you build a strong community around your brand. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!