There is no doubt about it: Instagram has inserted itself firmly into the digital marketing world as an incredible tool for reaching millennial consumers (now the largest generation in the United States!). Yet what many people have noted as a point of differentiation for the photo and video sharing platform is its lack of salesmanship- to a fault. The contention has been that unless your only goal is to increase brand awareness and develop personality/credibility, Instagram will not drive website traffic or e-commerce sales. The truth of the matter is that while Instagram wasn’t originally designed to support major advertising and marketing efforts, it is still a great way to drive warm leads to your website. In fact, by subtly steering your followers on social media toward exercising their consumer influence, they are often more likely to convert (purchase, subscribe, etc.) than with traditional advertising efforts.
Five Tips to Drive Web Traffic via Instagram
• Include links in bios. This may seem obvious, but many people don’t realize that this is the one location on Instagram you can include a clickable link. Simply go to edit profile and enter your URL in the website text box.
• Create a call to action for your posts. Using text overlay, display your web address on appropriate images to direct your fans to your site. We like using the photo editing and graphics application Canva, which makes creating custom images easy.
• Feature your URL in videos. There are a number of creative ways you can feature your website in Instagram videos, from something as simple as a visual display on a whiteboard, to more formal lower third bars or animations that are more common in professionally produced video.
• Capitalize on the reach of others. This is a slightly less direct method, but still very effective if you can connect with influencers who have a large following. You can promote your web page via calls to action in posts, branded videos, or even via the clickable link in another profile if the influencer is willing to support you in that way.
• Invest in Instagram ads. The platform recently opened its API to start accepting advertising, however, this feature is not yet readily available to the masses. Still, it’s worth mentioning, because as their advertising capabilities continue to expand, it will unlock an entirely new path through which you can drive serious traffic.
While Instagram has a long way to go to catch up with Facebook as far as driving traffic and creating conversions, the platform has already demonstrated its worth in terms of capitalizing on the buying power of millennials. All that’s left is to continue to find creative, unique and subtle ways of driving traffic, using the medium that has made Instagram so successful: artistic and eye-catching content.
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