More and more businesses are jumping on the Instagram trend. We get asked all the time “Should I be doing Instagram? Everyone keeps telling me I should.”
The real question business owners should be asking themselves is “What is the goal of my Instagram page?”
Instagram for Lead Generation
Not everyone thinks of Instagram as a lead generator. Data suggests Instagram is an excellent platform for driving high-quality traffic. The amount of traffic it drives is relatively low because users have to go thru multiple steps (seeing the content, reading the caption, going back to your bio, and then clicking the link) before getting to the end destination. All these steps mean something though… the user truly wants to be there!
These user behaviors are especially important for driving high-quality conversions. Which translates to getting more people to sign up for your seminar, register for an event, join your email list, or download your newest how-to guide.
Follow along as we reveal social media strategies you can implement to help drive Instagram’s engaged users to your business website (even if your business doesn’t have 10,000 followers for the coveted Swipe Up feature).
What’s the Goal?
Do you want more email subscribers? More downloads of your new how-to guide? More direct sales? More booked appointments? Think about what actions you want your Instagram followers to take and write them down. The action you desire may change month-to-month and fluctuate based on the season or events you may be offering.
Optimize Your Instagram Profile
Considering the goal you have just set, you need to set up and optimize your profile for that type of conversion. Think about how you can describe your business or brand with creative that will strike an emotion and guide users into taking action.
Start with Your Business Name & Username
The name and username fields are the only parts of your bio that are searchable within the Instagram platform. This means that you can use your “name” to be more than just your business name. It can include key search terms that would help users understand more about your brand identity, and it can even include emojis.
Your username is your identity on Instagram. It is your @ handle and forms part of your profile URL instagram.com/username. If your business is on multiple social media channels, it is best practice to keep a consistent handle across all networks so your followers can easily find you.
Your bio should clearly communicate who you are and what you do. It is the users first impression when they come to your profile. Think of it as your 30-second elevator pitch.
Most people will only see your bio the first time they visit your profile. Once they are following you they typically will not have reason to come back to you profile. Most likely, they will be engaging with your brand and content within the Instagram feed and stories.
Your bio allows for only 150 characters. So, think about how you can leverage the use of emojis and entice followers to keep reading and ultimately click your link.
Instead of creating a long thread of connected text, think about using emojis as bullet points with short and concise text behind it that is easy to skim or read quickly. Best practice is to use emojis to separate words, not to replace them.
Be sure that the first bullet point is a clear description of your business and mission. Then add in the flair and personality that makes your brand unique. Feel free to be informal and show off your brand voice and personality.
Website Link in Bio
This is the only place on Instagram where you can post a clickable link. You want this to direct visitors to the exact page or action you want them to take. Hint, hint…not your home page. Send users to an actual destination, or specific landing page to take the action you have set up as your goal.
Instagram allows you to update and change the URL as often as you like.
Be sure that you have Google Analytics running on your website and are tracking the traffic to the landing page. This not only allows you to track visitors, but you can now also retarget them with ads if they do not take the action you desire. This is the key to managing your Instagram traffic and lead generation because you want to know exactly how many visitors to this landing page came from Instagram.
Then you can analyze the data within Google Analytics even further. Where did users go from there? Are more visitors clicking on a seminar registration link, downloading your white paper, or signing up for your newsletter? Driving traffic to a specific landing page allows you to track all of these metrics, then analyze the behaviors and conversions so that you can better target your audience.
Instagram Action Buttons
Within your business Instagram account, your profile can also feature Instagram action buttons. These are most useful for sales and signups.
The four default action buttons are: Call, Text, Email, and Directions. Instagram for business has recently started offering options like: Book Now, Buy Tickets, and others, many of which are linked to third-party tools.
For example, if your business uses Eventbrite to sell tickets and you already have an Eventbrite account, you can link that button through Eventbrite. If someone clicks to your profile and is looking to buy tickets to your event, they can click the Buy Tickets button, and buy them right there without ever leaving your Instagram profile.
Create Instagram Content That Converts
After you have optimized your business profile, it’s time to focus on your post captions. This is what gets users to click the link within your bio.
Your caption needs to have a hook. Think of something that is going to stand out when people are mindlessly scrolling the Instagram feed. First the user sees the photo or video, then the username, and then a couple lines of text. Remember to keep your caption short. It is best practice to stick with two short sentences of phrases before the “…more” to best capture the viewer’s attention right away.
You can use emojis, bold statements, questions, ALL CAPS, anything you think that will grab their attention right away and entice them to click “… more.”
After the user clicks, be sure to have a call to action in your caption “link in bio” or “click on the link in bio.” Get creative and use emojis or all caps to make the CTA stand out.
Although Instagram does not track the analytics on the number of times “… more” is clicked, it does recognize this action as a positive one and helps in the overall content ranking algorithm. It is important to remember who your target audience is and the purpose/goal of your content.
Do People See the Caption or Image First?
To be honest, it depends. Some users follow brands because of their pretty images and killer videos. Whereas other users may notice a caption first, because the photo was not as relevant to them.
Always think back to the goal and purpose of your content. This will help train your audience to do what you want. If you are just getting started with your business profile, this will be easier. However, if you are shifting your audience behaviors and they are not used to seeing your brand write good captions or have call to actions, you will have to start training them. One trick is to just write shorter captions. You can start by giving your audience witty and unexpected captions. This will encourage them to start to click “… more” within your brand posts.
Call to Action
We all have seen the “Click on the link in my bio” used repeatedly as a CTA. Are users beginning to see this as redundant? Maybe.
One way to spruce up your CTA is to list your username after the “link in bio” text. By adding an @yourusername or tagging yourself, it becomes more clickable and shortens the steps the user must take to get back to your bio.
Attention-Grabbing Instagram Content
How do you get your brand’s content to stop users who are busy scrolling the Instagram feed? Here comes the hard part!
The best advice we can give you is to be consistent with your brand identity; maybe that’s bold colors, minimalist, a white and gray background with a pop of hot pink, whatever it is, make sure your posts stand out on the feed and visually captures the user’s attention.
Instagram is designed to showcase square and/or vertical images with a 4:3 ratio. This allows the image to take up as much of the mobile viewing screen as possible. Be sure you are using square or portrait style images in your posts so that your images are grabbing the attention of scrollers.
Review Instagram Insights
The answers to your business’s Instagram success are in the data. With a business or creator type Instagram profile, you have access to see the data and analytics of your posts. To view, click the three-line button menu in the top corner of the screen, then click “Insights.”
You’ll see analytics for impressions, reach, and follower information. Take note of the days of the week and which hours of the day are most active for your followers. Be sure to note the current number of followers, their gender breakdown, age range, top locations, as well as, the hours and days of the week when they are most active. Hint hint…this will help tell you when your business should be posting.
Instagram also allows you to see the insights for individual posts. Simply click on the post and then click the “view insights” links. This will report the number of views/impressions, reach, and engagement for that individual post.
Instagram allows you to view content engagement for all of your feed posts by clicking the “see all” drop down on the content tab. This will open up all of the archived content that your business has ever uploaded to Instagram since becoming a business profile. Then you will want to filter this data based on how you’d like to view it. For example, you can filter based on “content type” and then go even further and filter by “engagement, likes, follows, comments, clicks, websites, etc.”
It is best to look at the data in a year-over-year, month-over-month, week-over-week, or day-over-day view to identify patterns (last year’s Tuesday, February 19, 2019 is this year’s Tuesday, February 18, 2020). You may notice that posts where you included a joke or an image of your pet received the most engagement. Use the data and insights available to identify which posts were the top click generating for your brand.
The most important metric to pay attention to if you are looking for more leads is “website clicks.” You want to be able to identify what is driving conversions, not just engagement. Engagement posts are important, but you want to be able to identify and replicate posts that are engaging users to take action and visit your website.
- Create an Instagram Business Profile
- Identify the Goal
- Optimize Your Profile
- Create Engaging Content
- Review Your Instagram Insights Each Week