Instagram is one of the most popular social networks, with Statista claiming more than 1 billion monthly active users on the platform as of last June. This presents an enormous opportunity for inventors and product creators to market their product to a listening audience.
However, marketing on Instagram presents a unique challenge you won’t find on other social networks. Whereas Facebook, Twitter and other social networks allow you to include external links in your post, Instagram does not.
So although Instagram is a great way to get your product in front of potential buyers, it’s a bit harder to get them to convert into customers or track their behavior through your sales funnel because it’s tricky to get them to your website.
With that in mind, here are some tips for increasing your Instagram conversions.
Increasing conversions for free
Use the link in your bio. There is one place you can use external, clickable links on Instagram: in your bio. Make sure you’re taking advantage of this!
There are a few routes you can take here, but you should always use a call to action to direct your followers to check out the link in your bio in the caption of every post.
If you have a simple, easy-to-navigate website that focuses on one or two products, you may just want to include the link to your homepage, or to a “shop” or “product” page. If you have many products to offer, or if your website is rather complicated, you may want to use a service such as Linktree or Link My Photos. These platforms allow you to set up a single page with all of the links to which you’d like to send traffic.
Linktree displays a list of links. Link My Photos shows all of your Instagram posts, with each photo linking to a website.
Bit.ly. If you do want to include a link in the caption, despite it not being clickable, Bit.ly is the way. This link-shortening service lets you create a short, customized link that redirects wherever you’d like it to go.
For example, I could use the service to create a short link to this article, perhaps bit.ly/IDInstagramConversions. Although these links won’t be clickable in your Instagram captions, if you create an easy-to-remember, relevant bit.ly link, your followers can easily type it into their own browser.
Swipe-up links. If you use Instagram Stories to market your product (which you should almost certainly do), don’t waste the opportunity to direct traffic to your website. If you have 10,000 followers, Instagram will give you the ability to add “swipe-up links” to your Instagram story. This means that you can add a single link, and users can physically swipe up to open it.
If you have this option, definitely take advantage of it. Just make sure you include calls to action in your stories to encourage viewers to swipe up and visit your site.
Paying to get customers
Ads. If you have the budget to spend a bit of money to get conversions from Instagram, consider paid Instagram advertising. Instagram ads are managed through the Facebook Ad platform, so we always recommend working with an experienced Facebook Advertising specialist in order to get the most bang for your buck.
The Facebook Advertising platform allows you to create highly targeted ads that convert well at a low CPA. So if you have an advertising budget, paid ads are a great way to supplement your Instagram posts.
Influencers. An Instagram influencer is a person or account with a very large number of followers who will post about your invention or business in exchange for payment or product.
Working with influencers is a way to reach tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of new potential customers. The key is to work with influencers whose followers fit into your target audience.
For example, if your product is geared toward men, you likely wouldn’t want to work with a female fashion blogger or a pet influencer. As you make arrangements with influencers for them to promote your product, make sure they are also including a link to your site where their followers can purchase from you.
Instagram Best Practices
Regardless of what methods used to increase your Instagram conversions, it’s important to always follow Instagram Best Practices to get the most out of the platform.
Image quality. Use high-quality imagery that shows off your product well. You’ll most likely want to focus on lifestyle photography, with some product shots thrown in. These images should not be blurry but professional. Imagery that looks good will increase viewers’ confidence and trust in your product.
Try not to use the same images too frequently. Aim for eye-catching posts so that viewers stop scrolling through their feed to see your photo and post.
Hashtags. These are crucial for getting your posts seen by new people on Instagram and gaining new followers. Adding a number of relevant hashtags will ensure that Instagram’s algorithm recognizes the topic of your post and puts it in front of users who are likely to be interested in it.
Many hashtag research tools can help you discover new hashtags that will get you in front of new users. Make sure you use hashtags that relate to your post and that those who are likely to buy your product would be following them.
Interact with other users
A great way to build up your followers and get discovered by others is to interact with other accounts similar to yours that your customers are likely to follow. Follow them, and then like their posts and leave comments. Instagram’s algorithm will learn more about your account from the people you interact with, ensuring your profile is seen by the right users.
Bottom line: if you follow Instagram Best Practices and take advantage of the options Instagram provides to direct traffic to your site, you’re sure to increase your reach, gain new customers and find success on the platform.