How to Go Viral on Instagram in 2024: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Going viral on Instagram is the dream for many content creators and businesses. But making that happen takes strategy and know-how.

In this complete guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to understand to boost your chances of creating viral Instagram content this year.

What Does "Going Viral" Mean on Instagram?

Generally, content is considered to have "gone viral" on Instagram when it receives extremely high engagement in a short period of time.

But what constitutes "viral" can look different depending on your niche and audience size. Rather than aiming for one-size-fits-all benchmarks, it‘s better to focus on content that attracts engagement way above what your average posts receive.

Signs your Instagram content has gone viral include:

  • A huge spike in likes/views compared to your normal content
  • Getting lots of comments from users who don‘t normally engage with you
  • Seeing high shares and saves even days or weeks after posting
  • Attracting followers from far outside your usual audience

The key is quickly attracting engagement from a wide range of users. This signals the algorithm to show your content to more people.

If you leverage that sudden boost effectively, it can lead to long-term growth.

Why Go Viral on Instagram?

Going viral allows you to:

  • Grow your audience and reach exponentially
  • Drive traffic to your site/online store
  • Raise awareness and interest in your brand
  • Position yourself as an authority in your niche
  • Inspire followers to create user-generated content

In short, it turbocharges your Instagram marketing.

But competition is fierce, and the algorithm favors certain types of content.

So how can you actually make it happen?

8 Proven Ways to Go Viral on Instagram

Based on the latest algorithm research and viral case studies, here are the top strategies to employ:

1. Analyze Trending and Viral Content in Your Niche

Study content from both competitors and non-competitors that gets high engagement or goes viral. Look at:

  • Post types and formats
  • Design styles and editing techniques
  • Caption writing approaches
  • Types of hooks and calls-to-action used

This will reveal the kind of content resonating right now with your target audience.

You can then model what works while adding your own unique twist.

2. Leverage Instagram Challenges and Trends

Jumping on popular Instagram challenges and trends is a built-in way to tap into virality.

For example, a small swimwear brand got over 130,000 likes on a post promoting their products using the popular "I‘m a circle" Instagram Story trend.

Look for opportunities to align branded content with hot trends in a relevant, creative way. But give the trend your own spin to stand out.

3. Collaborate with Nano- and Micro-Influencers

Collaborating with influencers allows you to tap into their engaged following.

Focus on nano- and micro-influencers in the 1K to 100K follower range. Their high engagement levels can drive big growth.

Promote each other‘s content, do giveaways together, or create co-branded video tutorials or reels.

4. Run viral giveaways and contests

Giveaways and contests continue to be viral gold, especially if users have to tag friends or follow specific steps to enter.

They should have an exciting/desirable prize and be easy to enter. Encourage user-generated content submissions or TikTok-style challenges to drive virality across platforms.

5. Interact constantly with your audience

Reply to every single comment. Like and engage with user-generated content related to your brand.

This shows followers you care while keeping you top of mind. It also can spark deeper conversations and encourage shares organically.

6. Promote affiliate products with incentives

Showcasing hot products in your niche with affiliate links is a viral tactic, especially if you have an engaged following.

Sweeten the deal by offering an extra incentive to buy through your link like a discount code or bonus gift. This wins over followers and drives purchases.

7. Create viral LINK stickers for IG Stories

Add hot affiliate links, incentivized product promotions, or contest announcements to Instagram Story LINK stickers.

Then promote these sticky, swipe up-enabled Stories heavily both organically and with ads. The viral nature of Stories sharing fuels growth.

8. Analyze performance and iterate

Pay close attention to metrics for your viral attempts like reach, saves, shares, comments etc. Then double down on what resonates by adapting and repurposing it across Instagram and other platforms.

Final Takeaways

  • Virality takes experimentation and patience. You may strike gold right away or it may take many tries.
  • Tailor your viral efforts to your audience. Generic viral tactics won‘t cut it.
  • Promote your viral wins heavily with hashtags, tags and paid ads to maximize reach.

Keep these tips in mind when planning your 2023 Instagram strategy. Stay on top of the latest trends and emerging platform features.

With a savvy, data-driven approach you can create breakthrough viral moments this year!

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