If you would have told me five years ago that our Instagram channel would have more than 90,000 followers today, I would’ve had a hard time believing you. That said, I would not have turned down the offer, either. We started our Instagram page (@enginebuildermag) in the fall of 2016, simply as a way to get more content out there to more people who wouldn’t regularly see our content in the pages of the magazine or on our website.
Back then, we could have never imagined that our Instagram following would become the primary driver of our Engine of the Week and Diesel of the Week content series, as well as one of our largest, and most impactful, audiences to date. Aside from our website traffic, which delivers hundreds of thousands of unique visitors a month, Instagram has been the next biggest audience-driver, even helping grow the audiences of our other channels, too.
At more than 90,000 strong, our Instagram following is roughly 10X larger than our print circulation. It didn’t come overnight, or without a lot of hard work and original content, but we’re here. And now that we’re here, we are using it to our advantage.
Instagram as a platform has not only allowed us to explore new forms of content, but also then expand that content into something bigger and better. For instance, we’ve had a shop profile become an Instagram Live Takeover, where shop owners show our audience around their shop in real time. We’ve had a photo of an engine become a video about how that build came together. Or, we’ve had a feature on piston rings become one of our EB Livestream events, where industry experts relay their technical information and message to their customers via Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – all at the same time. They are even able to turn the event into a two-way conversation with viewers, so their consumers can ask questions and get the immediate answers they need.
As our content keeps getting more creative and garnering more engagement, our other channels have benefitted, as well. We’ve been able to funnel Instagram followers to our other channels, such as Facebook and YouTube, where they can view different content and engage with us in additional ways.
The key to our success on Instagram has been 1. a steady flow of original content and 2. remaining engaged with our followers, because they actively want to interact with us. That’s how you build a following and keep feeding the content fire.
Greg Jones is the Editor of Engine Builder Magazine
Contact Greg at [email protected]