How Instagram Marketing Can Drive More Website Traffic
A social network where 800 million people from all over the world share pictures, photographs and videos could be a great place to seek fresh visitors, leads and customers for your business.
Instagram is a hot platform which smart marketers and entrepreneurs use to
- engage with audiences
- strengthen their brands and
- grow website traffic
In just 5 years from 2012 to 2017, Instagram went from 50 million active monthly users to over 700 million… that’s 14 times more!
There are many things that make Instagram such a popular destination.
1. Most of the content is visual, which has universal appeal regardless of language or geographic location.
2. Facebook now owns Instagram, which leads to cross-referral of visitors from the world’s largest online social network.
3. Instagram is almost entirely mobile phone based, which makes it appealing to youngsters and people on the move.
But the biggest advantage that sets Instagram apart from other competitors is the fact that users engage deeply with their favorite brands on the platform.
The secret to attract more visitors to your website or blog is to establish a relationship with your audience where
- they know you
- they like you and
- they trust you to provide them with value
Instagram helps establish this connection and leads to more people following your posts – and visiting your website for more.
Is Instagram Traffic Valuable?
In a recent industry report, Statista forecasted that Instagram’s mobile advertising revenues will reach $6.84 billion in 2018, a 300% increase from two years earlier. That’s a direct reflection of the incredible level of engagement between users and brands on the platform.
A survey by BigCommerce and Square into the shopping habits of American buyers in 2018 found that 14% of Instagram users said they would be willing to buy items right from the app.
So Instagram users are engaged, responsive and ready to buy.
Driving them into your sales funnel and getting them on to your email list for follow up marketing should therefore be a high priority for any marketer or business leader.
You can choose to sell to your Instagram audience
- directly from the social network itself, or
- after directing them back to your website or blog
To sell directly from your Instagram account, you’ll need to integrate it with an ecommerce provider like Shopify or a service such as LIKEtoKNOW.it which creatively lets Instagram users place orders with your business.
How To Get Website Traffic From Instagram?
If you prefer sending your followers on Instagram to a regular sales funnel on your website, then you should include a ‘Call to Action’ (CTA) in your posts… and that’s a problem with Instagram because there aren’t many places where you can insert active links.
So you should maximize the limited opportunities to be effective.
Customize your bio on Instagram with links to your website, and information that convinces visitors to do business with you.
Using a crisp, short and compelling description along with a CTA like “Click to shop” or “Buy from our store” beside a link to your website will work very nicely.
You don’t have to send your visitors directly to a sales letter or product page. You might use a link to drive opt-ins to your email list, or even show them your latest blog post where you begin the process of winning their trust.
Partner With Instagram Influencers
If you have a sizable following already on Instagram, you might get enough visitors to come to your site from just posting on your account. But for most users, their following on Instagram isn’t very large.
So what can you do about it?
One way to work around this limitation is to partner with influencers.
Top influencers are followed by millions of users, and a single post by them could earn half a million dollars! It’s rumored that Kim Kadarshian’s updates on Instagram are easily worth that much. A more reasonable estimate could be reflected by the average $300 cost to buy a sponsored post on Instagram.
If you establish a relationship with the right kind of influencers in your niche or industry, you’ll get remarkable results because of a close match between what you offer and the interests of a typical follower of that account. This is often more important than follower count.
Because you’re leveraging an established relationship between the influencer and his or her followers, who already know and trust their favorite celebrity or star, an endorsement of your product or service won’t look like an ad, but more like a recommendation.
When an Instagram influencer shoots out a post suggesting that their followers drop by your blog and check out your latest article, or sign up for your email newsletter because it’s loaded with valuable information, you can expect a flood of traffic to your site.
Where Can You Find Influencers?
You could browse through Instagram and explore the top accounts in your field of interest to see who has the largest and most passionate following. This can be time-consuming and effort-intensive.
There are several tools to help make this hunt easier, like BuzzSumo which presents you with a list of influencers (including their follower count) when you pick the topic related to your website, brand or business.
You’ll also see how often they reply to questions and comments, and how many times other people share or engage with their content on Instagram.
An important thing to look out for is ‘fake accounts’.
Many unscrupulous folks buy followers and artificially inflate their counts, just to turn around and make a quick buck by charging others to access their audience. So screening for such exaggerated counts should be one of your first steps.
Type an influencer’s name into the search box of a free online tool like Social Blade and you’ll get analytics which help evaluate the account. If the influencer has a steadily growing following, it is more likely to be organic and natural than if their followers came in short spurts at irregular intervals, which suggests they might have purchased followers.
The best influencers to approach for help with promoting your brand are those with a modest-sized but engaged following. With smaller accounts, you’ll be able to test the waters affordably – and scale it up if your promotion works well.
Run Ads on Instagram
If finding influencers and reaching out to them seems like too much work, there’s an alternative that’s also effective at driving more website traffic from Instagram…
As Facebook now owns Instagram, you can use the Facebook Ad Manager to create and manage Instagram ads after connecting your brand/business pages on both networks.
It’s easy and takes just 4 quick steps:
- define the audience that will view your ad
- pick a cost per acquisition
- design your ads
- run them
You have several options –
1. Stories ads, which are like Snapchat stories, and can be:
- Single image ads (you can use up to 6 ads with an image each)
- Single video ads (which can be a 15-second video or animated GIF)
These look just like regular Instagram stories, except there will be a ‘Sponsored’ tag on it.
Accounts with a large following are allowed to insert a CTA in their stories, so that viewers can be invited to ‘swipe up’ or ‘read more’ on your blog or website.
2. Feed ads, which can be photo, video, carousel or slideshow ads
You may use single-photo image or single-video ads which will appear in a user’s feed, in between other user-shared photographs. A short 125 character description and a website link can be included along with your image.
Adding lead generation forms to all your Instagram ads helps you get email newsletter opt-in subscribers from among those who view it. You can insert a link back to your website for people to click on after filling in your form.
Several analytics tools are available to track performance of your Instagram ads. You’ll quickly be able to tell how effective they are at driving more website traffic.
Use Instagram Stories To Add Leads & Drive Traffic
Other than posting photographs and videos on Instagram, you can also create Stories. This is where you
- add pictures, GIFs or video clips to a dashboard
- edit them to include text, icons or freehand drawings
- arrange them in any sequence you want
- publish the series so that any user can view your Story
From time to time, you can update and extend your Story by adding fresh content to it. And many users do this because Stories are extremely popular, with 250 million Stories viewed every day.
How can Instagram Stories help you gain leads and traffic?
Simple. Use them to tell YOUR story!
When people hear your story, they get to know you better, like you, trust you and tell more people about you. That’s why storytelling is a powerful marketing technique.
- Your story can tease and intrigue a viewer to learn more – and offer a link back to your blog.
- Your story could be where primary lead-generating content lives – and within it, you inform viewers how to connect with you on your website.
- Your story can creatively take viewers on a journey behind the scenes of your business – and win you new fans and supporters.
- Your story may build your brand and make people aware of it – leading them to seek out your business site and buy from you.
And remember, the more people you reach on Instagram Stories, the more leads you’re likely to draw to your website and onto your email list.
So, Instagram is much more than just a social media network. It’s a business-building hub that helps brands and business earn billions of dollars every year.
Brands can use Instagram to acquire fresh audiences, engage them deeply, gain trust and win new customers. It begins by getting their attention on the social network and then funneling interested prospects to your website where you build long-lasting relationships.
If you do this intelligently and well, you can turn Instagram into a powerful traffic and lead generation machine for your business.