Instagram has become one of the world’s fastest-growing social media platforms. This service is a global social powerhouse, boasting more than 1 billion monthly users, and the US represents just 11% of Instagram’s total audience.
Bottom line is, there’s a lot of money to be made through Instagram, and that’s not a secret. More than 25 million businesses have a presence on the platform, so it has become a crowded atmosphere.
However, of those 25 million, how many actually know what they’re doing? How many will be able to leverage their Instagram presence to generate leads and, ultimately, conversions?
Times are tough right now. With nearly 12% of Americans living below the poverty line, it can be more difficult than ever to convince people to part with money via social media channels like Instagram.
That’s why it’s important to know what you’re doing.
In this article, we’re going to explore six can’t miss tactics for using this popular social media powerhouse to improve your bottom line through lead generation.
So let’s get to it!
1. Instagram Advertising
Ok, so the first tip is a pretty obvious one, and it’s likely the tip that Instagram would be happiest about. We’re talking about advertising through Instagram.
Instagram’s lead generation ads require an Instagram business profile and a Facebook page.
“Wait a minute, Facebook? I thought this article was about Instagram!”
It is. Facebook actually owns Instagram, so the two companies are closely tied together. So, yes, when you give money to Instagram, you’re also giving money to Mark Zuckerberg.
Once you’re set up with both of those pages, you’re going to head over to the Facebook Ads Manager. You’ll select the option for Lead Generation and then start identifying both your marketing objectives and target audience.
Instagram ads are PPC ads. That means pay-per-click. The beauty of the PPC system is that you’re only paying for actual interactions. So, if someone doesn’t click on your ad, you’re not paying for it.
“You can run social PPC campaigns for pennies to the dollar with built-in selling features that didn’t exist just a few years ago,” Adam from Loganix said. “These allow your customers to convert right on the app, improving success rates.”
🔥 Want to get the best of Instagram? Then read how to create beautiful Instagram graphics to promote your business!
2. Run Campaigns and Contests
Ok, so we’ve touched on how you can spend money to generate leads. That’s definitely an easy, albeit potentially expensive way.
But it’s also possible to generate leads organically. You just have to work harder for it.
Everyone loves a good hashtag campaign. Create a hashtag that people care about and want to share, and they might share it. But what people love even more is a contest. If you can combine the two, like Zoma Sleep did with their #SleepToWin campaign, you’ve created an incentive for people to share content.
Everyone wants to win something, and contests can be a great way to bring new eyes to your product. Make sure the rules state that entrants have to share some of your content with the chosen hashtag applied to the post.
The end result is more people sharing your brand because they want to win a prize. That gets more eyes on your Instagram page, which should, in turn, lead to more eyes on your website.
Having users share your content in stories is important. Over 62% of people say that their interest in a brand was born after seeing it featured in Instagram stories.
3. Use Professional Videos and Photos
If you’re not using video on your Instagram business profile, you’re not maximizing your lead generation potential.
Photos are great, but through video, users are able to get a lot more information and retain that information more easily.
The most popular Instagram video content is how-to tutorial style videos. Some other popular options include interviews, behind the scenes posts, and news coverage.
Using stickers on your videos and video stories will enhance the performance of that video 83% of the time, according to Facebook.
Of course, the more professional your videos look, the more professional your business will look. That’s why we recommend putting some production value into your video content. If you’re not a video editor, no one is telling you that you have to develop that skill or spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on professional cameras and video editing software.
Consider hiring an outside company or create video content specifically designed to inspire purchasing decisions.
Yes, Instagram is known as a photo-based platform, but video has become an absolute lead generation war machine on this social media outlet. That’s not to say that images are on the outs. Stellar images can do a lot to sell your brand and generate leads. Instagram offers a variety of filters to help accentuate your photos, but you should make sure that you’ve passed them through some kind of photo editing software before uploading.
4. Engage Your Audience
Social media gives your potential customers easy access to you. The ability to send messages directly to brands through platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more has been a game-changer for the business world.
As such, you have to remember that when customers reach out, they’re expecting some kind of response. It’s important to be on top of responding to messages, interacting with comments on your posts, likes, shares, and anything else that you can think of that will show your audience that you care.
Automation tools like Reply Now can also help you stay on top of communications by responding from one centralized location that connects all of your messenger style accounts. That means you won’t have to switch from Facebook Messenger to Instagram Direct Messages every time someone pings you.
You should also have an automated response set up and ready to go, especially during off-business hours. If someone messages your business, it’s helpful to have an immediate response thanking them for reaching out, and ensuring them that someone will be in touch momentarily to speak with them.
5. Use Influencers
Social media influencers have a lot of pull in today’s society. Their sponsorship or endorsement goes a long way toward pushing consumers to try new products or services.
That’s why you need to find Instagram influencers that appeal to your target demographic and bring them on board to endorse you to their legions of followers.
Many of the larger influencers are going to demand some form of payment for their endorsement, much like any celebrity. However, some smaller influencers will likely endorse your products for nothing more than getting the product for free. This is especially true if they’re younger and have a need for the product in question.
For instance, if you’re selling custom jewelry, offer to make something special for the influencer and provide it to them for free. In turn, they model the merchandise on their page and tag you in the description.
The influencer is getting awesome free stuff, and you’re getting more leads for nothing more than the cost of production.
If you give away one free pair of earrings valued at $75, but that influencer’s recommendation gets you 200 leads, your investment has most assuredly paid off.
You’re going to have to be able to track the leads that you’re generating through Instagram if you want to measure the effectiveness of your social media campaign and follow up with the prospects that have come through.
That’s why it’s a good idea to link your Instagram posts to a custom landing page. You can design the page and its content to go along with the Instagram campaign you are running. It also allows you to track the number of people who are coming through from Instagram.
If you’re seeing a large number of people coming through from one campaign but hardly anything coming through from another, you now have enough information to determine what works and what doesn’t work when marketing to your audience through social media platforms.
Instagram is one of the most popular and effective marketing tools in the social media world. But that’s only if you know how to use it correctly.
By running ads, creating campaigns and content, leveraging professional video content and photos, engaging your audience, using influencers, and tracking the leads that come in, you’ll be able to maximize your lead generation efforts and push conversions forward to propel your business into the black.
Anna Crowe is the Content Strategy Lead at Leadfeeder and Assistant Editor for Search Engine Journal. Over the last 9 years, Anna has successfully developed and implemented online marketing strategies, SEO, and conversion campaigns for 100+ businesses of all sizes; from the Fortune 500 to startups and nonprofits. She enjoys burritos and puppies (in that order).