From increasing brand awareness to hashtag research and displaying social proof at scale, here are 12 ways SMBs can leverage Instagram for marketing.
| Sep 27
Masooma Memon on June 24, 2021 • 14 minute read
Wondering how to get more website traffic from Instagram?
Truth be told, the photo-sharing app is one of the most popular social media sites with about 1.2 billion monthly active users. And, even though it’s is not as link friendly as its big brother, Facebook, it does have several features that can direct traffic to your website.
So, in this post, we’ll answer your question on how to get more traffic from Instagram based on how others who have been down in the trenches have grown their traffic.
But, first, let’s clear the air: you don’t need a high follower count to be able to drive traffic from Instagram.
It’s why we’ve included tips from contributors that fall into various follower count brackets. According to our research:
So, we have decided to divide the tips on how to get more Instagram traffic into four sections based on how many followers the respondents’ company IG pages have.
Briefly, here’s what you’ll learn today:
Now let’s get to the meaty part.
You’ll learn the following tips under this category:
Want to drive more traffic to your site and increase your sales? Consider connecting with influencers in your niche.
Influencer marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness because of the ‘trust’ factor. People may only learn to trust your brand when they see an influencer promoting it.
Talking about this, Hurrdat’s Andrianna Frois says, “With influencer marketing on the rise in the last couple of years, working with ambassadors on Instagram can draw new, unique audiences to your site through curiosity, incentives, and loyalty to the influencer.”
However, when deciding on which influencer to reach out to, be sure to do your homework. Aim for influencers who have quality posts and high organic reach and engagement.
Sometimes a post doesn’t get as much love and traction as it deserves.
Instagram stories are where you can repromote such posts. In fact, you can also share older posts in your stories to remind people of them – in turn, encouraging more engagement. This is what Ben Richardson of Development Academy advises too.
Richardson stresses, “Instagram Stories are a wonderful tool to further promote your content, despite their relevance being sometimes neglected. The tales feature allows you to easily connect back to your material.”
Moreover, stories are also “a wonderful way to tease fresh material and remind people about previous pieces in your feed that they might have missed. You can even use the ‘Questions’ sticker to speak directly to your audience and invite them to ask any questions they may have,” continues Richardson.
So, if your stories aren’t getting as many views as you’d like, consider using stickers to make them interactive.
You can also share BTS content, hashtags and location tags to get more attention.
Finally, add important stories to Highlights to keep them from disappearing. For instance, you can share stories answering frequently asked questions in your FAQs highlights.
Editor’s note: Keep an eagle eye on each post’s performance with this Instagram Business dashboard. It gives you a full overview of each post’s reach, impressions alongside the likes + comments it gets and the new followers it drives.
Did you know that business blogging brings in 55% more website visitors?
Combine the huge potential of creating quality content with social media and you’ve a great way to increase traffic.
Natalie Sullivan of Cooler Air Today recommends this. “Using content marketing like our blog has led to a nice linkage of traffic from our Instagram to our website. We post all the updates and developments on our blog to our Instagram feed, so people must travel over to the site to read them. It’s been an effective way of linking our content marketing to our social media channels.”
But be warned: it’s never a good idea to share blog links in your post captions when it comes to Instagram. The reason? Links that you share in your Instagram posts aren’t clickable. What you can do, however, is add a CTA and direct people to your site by sharing links where they can be clicked on the gram.
Explaining where you can add links, Frois tells us, “One of the most basic ways of getting Instagram followers to your website is by having strong, clear CTAs that make your audience want more and be able to access it (easily, through your link in bio, swipe ups, shoppable posts, or IGTV links).”
Editor’s note: Get a full break down of your Instagram audience with this Instagram Business (Audience Overview) template dashboard. It shows you all the essential metrics like your followers’ location, gender, age group as well as your follower/following ratio among other numbers.
You can also connect with your audience by offering them an incentive to do so.
To this end, running contests on Instagram can help as people tend to share their details to participate in hopes of winning something.
Kristy Smith of The Girly Travels discusses how they have used this tactic to drive traffic to their site. Smith shares, “We drive the most traffic to IG via contests – we can’t do this regularly due to the expenses, but every time we run a contest for an item or adventure we drive a ton of users to the site, collect their email, and are able to target or reach out to them in the future.”
However, you can’t just offer something that isn’t interesting enough. “IG is a hard nut to crack to get people off of the app so you’ve to really offer something enticing to make users switch to your site!”
We’ve the following tips under this section:
“One of the best ways to drive traffic from Instagram to your website involves including your ‘link in bio,’” points out Which Login’s Peter Thaleikis.
“Every Instagram user can include a link in their bio, and it is usually amongst the first things a profile visitor sees. As simple as it may seem, it has proven to be very effective for business owners, especially for e-commerce.”
The good thing is most IG business pages are using the ‘link in bio’ feature.
45.45% of pages with less than 1k followers and 80% of pages with more than 10k followers have the link to their homepage in their IG bio. What’s more, 50% of pages with 1k to 3k followers have multiple links in their bio.
However, “when you plan on including a link to your website on your profile, do not simply place a web address leading to your home page. You should consider putting a link that directs visitors to a specific product, product category, or list of recently promoted products on the website,” suggests Thaleikis.
Apart from sharing links in your bio, you can also DM links to your audience. However, never cross the fine line between connecting with customers and spamming them. You’ll first need to start a conversation and then slip in links where relevant.
Tori Bell of Clever Touch Marketing elaborates how you can go about this. Bell suggests, “Encourage them to chat with you on DM or start the conversation yourself, welcome them, and ask a relevant question, for example.”
To make things easier for yourself, “set up previously formatted replies to paste into messages, this is much more efficient than typing unique replies to each respondee. You will be able to link your audience to specific, relevant areas on your website and get a better understanding of the said audience. Don’t forget to check your inbox daily.”
This lot shares the following tips:
Another place where you can add links to drive traffic? Instagram Stories.
“On Instagram, video material is highly popular, and it can help you boost traffic as well. You can advertise links in videos without them appearing as intrusive as they might in a static article,” recommends Gary Amaral of Airborne.
Learning from this, you can add links to your Instagram stories and IGTV videos.
Our survey also found that 54.55% of Instagram pages with less than 1k followers and 80% with 1k to 3k followers link their stories and IGTV.
Furthermore, 50% of pages with 3k to 5k followers, 85.71% of those with 5k to 10k followers, and 70% of pages with more than 10k followers link their stories and IGTV.
Unique and interesting visual content is an excellent way of attracting your audience. But what sort of visuals can you share to your newsfeed and stories?
Alex Birkett of Conversion.AI share some fresh ideas: “My favorite way to use Instagram to leverage traffic is to splinter off clips and teasers from webinars, podcasts, and other visual content (could even be content like blog posts or infographics).”
But don’t let your content be a tell-all. Just give away a snippet to awaken curiosity.
Birkett continues, “This should be optimized so it’s interesting and valuable even within the platform, but it should lead the viewer to want more. Then you just have a Link Tree in your profile that links out to any resources you’re sharing and want to drive traffic towards.”
For those of you who don’t know, Link Tree is a tool that allows you to create a page where you can give all your important links. This way, you can have one Link Tree link in your Instagram bio which further leads to other links such as your website, blog, latest webinar, and more.
You can also tag your products in the pictures to make shoppable posts. This way, followers can click on the tagged product, which can lead them to your website directly. This, in turn, increases traffic and sales.
Despite the advantage though, 63.64% of pages with less than 1k followers and 70% of those with 1k to 3k followers don’t tag their products with IG shopping.
Moreover, 60% of pages with 3k to 5k followers, 57.14% of pages with 5k to 10k followers, and 50% of those with more than 10k followers also don’t use the feature.
Some people are put off from the idea of influencer marketing because someone else becomes the face of their brand. If you’re among those or are looking to spend on more ways to gain traffic other than influencer marketing, consider running ads.
In this regard, MitoQ’s Shaun Price opines, “Paid media on social media platforms is an easy advertising strategy that is cost-effective. Typically, you can design an advertisement that is made to look like a post, so you’re already prepared with the imaging and tagline. Then you can set up how long it will run and set up the target demographic for your advertisement.”
Price further states, “This strategy is an alternative to influencer marketing because it uses social media algorithms for you to reach an audience and establish your brand name without someone else’s face on the product.” You can run ads yourself or outsource the job easily as well.
Finally, we’ve the following tips for you:
What’s the best way to gain the trust of customers anywhere?
Showing them that people like them trust your brand. Technically, this is known as social proof and it makes you come off as reliable, encouraging people to try your product.
Mike Pasley from Famous In Real Life says that this is what they do to drive traffic from Instagram to the website. “We post high-quality pictures of our T-shirts and accessories on our Instagram page, many of which include people wearing these products and looking like they’re having fun, as well,” shares Pasley.
You can use user-generated content for this purpose as well.
UGC shows authenticity and increases sales. You can find user created content by tracking your brand’s mentions and tags.
What’s more, you can simply ask followers to click pictures with your product for a chance to be featured. This is also a great way to increase engagement.
Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging credits Instagram stories for driving traffic to the website. However, Wald suggests the key is to make stories interactive by using stickers.
“I find the easiest way to drive Instagram traffic to my website is through the use of Instagram stories. First, I ask Instagrammers a question using a poll sticker. This engages them. Then, I give them a Call to Action telling them why they should swipe up.”
Sharing a few more tips on making stories interesting, Wald carries on, “Make sure you use eye-catching Instagram stickers like arrows. Have an interesting image and interesting fonts. CoolSymbol lets you download a keyboard with different fonts for an even more eye-catching Instagram story.”
Running ads is a good idea as other posts you share aren’t linkable. In fact, ads are perhaps more effective than posting a link in your bio. Why?
Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers Marketing has the answer for you: “Because, normal posts on your feed aren’t clickable and the main way to drive traffic without running ads is to tell your followers to visit your profile and click the link in the bio.
This is a barrier and there are too many steps to follow to drive traffic that way. But, if you run ads, your ads will actually be clickable, and you can drive traffic to your website this way.”
Know what’s even better? Retargeting ads. Aufrey recommends you retarget ads by “only showing the ads to people having previously visited your site. This way, the people you’re targeting already know your brand and have more chance to click on your ads.”
Reels are a relatively new Instagram feature, similar to TikTok videos.
Instagram even has its own Reels feed, featuring popular and relevant reels.
If your reel is good enough and gets featured, you can spread more brand awareness, which can increase site traffic.
The plan? Create reels that are educative or showcase your product or service.
Mehvish Patel of Zen Media commends this feature. Patel observes, “The best way to drive traffic on Instagram currently is collaborations and reels. Video content is going up across all social platforms, but it is seeing a huge rise on Instagram. This has made collaborations much easier and creative which has increased traffic to brands from the Instagram platform.”
To recap, add relevant links in your bio, stories, IGTV, and tag your products to create shoppable posts. Other than this, you can try out reels, influencer marketing, and running ads. Don’t forget to ensure your visuals are high-quality and eye-catching.
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