People ask me sometimes via email or direct message whether or not I get hits on my website from my Instagram account. My answer? Every. Single. Day. Here are 10 ways to ensure growth on Instagram, while also directing traffic to your website.
Instagram Growth Strategy
Part of my strategy with Instagram is to provide beneficial tips and snippets of my blog, which in turn, leads to clicks to my website. (I know this because of Google Analytics and my WordPress dashboard). So if you’re asking yourself whether or not Instagram could work for you as a viable sales channel, my answer to you is absolutely YES.
I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. Because I don’t own the platform or have any real control with whether or not my posts are seen, I have these internal battles about how much time to spend on it.
Converting Traffic from Instagram
Conversions happen for me all the time with Instagram; I’m getting regular traffic daily from there, even when I’m not actively posting. When you’re on Instagram you’ll want to try to keep things informative, sprinkle in a little fun every once in a while with an inspirational quote, promote yours book(s) from time to time, and then mostly provide great content which keeps people coming back for more.
I recommend posting some incredible bookstagram or mockup images of your lead magnets there and have your lurkers or followers find them if they visit your profile. Always keep one or two in the viewable 9-grid area. This is how you’ll most likely get traffic from Instagram.
Instagram traditionally has a really low bounce rate. Meaning, they KEEP their users on their platform. So you’d have to make it worth someone’s time to visit your profile link, and just know it’s a harder conversion than say, Pinterest.
Styled Stock Photos
I have a strategy which requires my images to be styled, textured, layered, and have a consistent image to them. Notice the blue, white, beige, and grey theme I have going on? A more relaxed, luxurious lifestyle tone? That’s my style, and Instagram is the perfect place for me to show people what kind of theme blogger I really am – keeping things relaxed, luxurious and positive.
Investing in styled stock photography is an absolute must, unless you intend to do your own styled stock photos. (Hint – photography shoots require a ton of props, lighting gear, image software, and several hours of your time per shoot!)
Stock photos will help create fillers for your other content or provide visual interest. They can also help you create an overall theme for your Instagram feed. I love using them, whether they come from my shop or someone else’s.
Focus on Your Instagram Caption
Writing excellent Instagram captions helps scrollers stop, and take notice! Have something to say? Don’t wreck your shining moment with a “What I made for lunch today” type caption.
Formulas for Instagram Caption Copy
Here’s a basic formula:
- Make a scroll-stopping statement.
- Present a counter-intuitive way of thinking or new information.
- Engage them in the solution.
- Present the call-to-action.
- Make a statement of a commonly held belief/thought/experience.
- Intrigue with a solution.
- Provide a call-to-action to get it.
And one last formula:
This formula uses the Problem + Agitate + Solution strategy.
- Concisely present the problem or pain point with empathy.
- Remind them of how painful that problem really is.
- Provide your solution.
Don’t forget to mix in small emoji images to boost up the attention-factor on your captions. Adding these in are super fun and cute and bring attention to the eyes as people are scrolling through their Instagram feed. The point is to hook them, get them to read your post, and take action.
It’s a lot like fishing…
Other Copywriting Tips to Build Instagram Followers
Sure, Instagram is all about beautiful pictures, images, and sharing your worldview. But don’t forget that you’re there to offer solutions, as well. Treat Instagram just like you would a marketing post or ad on Facebook or Pinterest.
State the challenge, pose the question, and how life could be so much easier or enjoyable with your solution. Need some ideas for subject lines or statements? Check out the Email Marketing Resource Library, where you’ll find tons of content ideas and prompts, which can be repurposed for Instagram posts, too!
Ensure Growth on Instagram with These 10 Tips
Today I thought I would give you 10 ways that you can ensure growth on Instagram. Follow these and believe me, you’ll see the growth I have experienced, as well.
- If you are small (under 1000), find an instapod group or start one to help people engage and like your posts.
- Always use 11-30 hashtags that are relevant, put it in the first comment area, and make sure they haven’t been shadow-banned.
- Like posts and comment on others’ photos. I like to use an automation service for this.
- Create a theme with your Instagram account. Stick to branded colors and designated fonts. It helps people come to understand your style and what they can expect from your account.
- Post 1-2 times per day.
- Use Tailwind to schedule and organize your layout. They have a feature in their Instagram module where you can see how your images are going to lay out once they are all posted. It’s a great tool to have. Use my link in this tip and get a free month of service.
- Don’t just post the picture. Put in a description, where they can find more information, and give them an incentive to follow the link in your profile.
- You don’t have to use it exclusively for taking pictures. If you suck at photography or getting the perfect image, you can design it so that it’s a reflection of your website, as well. That’s how I use mine. I have another separate account for my photography business, and that one has its own followers and does well, too. But I like what I’m doing with my instagram.com/kerrielegend account and it’s been really fun watching it grow.
- Say thank you! There was this one time where @hubspot found me and liked one of my posts. That’s a real honor! I went back, tagged and thanked them for stopping by. Make sure you interact with your followers and thank them for being there. They’ll stick around.
- Mix up the hashtags – depending on what your ideal audience is (and don’t just say “anybody”), you may want to try out some different hashtags if the ones you are using are not working for you. Try using the max number of hashtags in your picture’s topic genre and see what happens.
Other Instagram Resources
I know there are a TON of different articles out there with tips, but these are mine and what have worked for me. Other articles that you might want to check out:
I hope these will help you in your pursuit for a great experience with using Instagram. I have so much fun with mine! Drop by anytime and say hello and tag me with your account so I can follow you.
Be sure to pick up my Instagram Content Calendar so you can work on an Instagram feed strategy and establish a flow for your Instagram account.
Also published on Medium.