Instagram is a great platform for influencer marketing and advertising, but it’s not easy to build organic clicks or conversions. That’s because it doesn’t allow clickable links in captions, which limits traffic-building capabilities.
Yet, hard doesn’t mean impossible.
Here are a few definitive steps to start seeing higher converting traffic from your Instagram channel:
1. Create eye-catching content
While content quality is crucial for any tactic, it’s actually fundamental for Instagram. You want people to stop scrolling when they see your update – otherwise, nothing else that you do to get clicks matters.
You need “scroll-stopping” content – eye-catching enough for people to pause from scrolling their feeds to see your post and read your caption.
Like all good content, its creation involves a lot of brainstorming, competitive analysis, and experimenting. Instagram content also requires you to improve your image and video editing skills. Trying new visual content creation and editing apps could make all the difference.
VideoLeap (Apple only) is one of those apps that inspires me, which is the most important thing for my content creation process. While using it, I come up with more and more ideas of what I could do now and what I may try in the future.
The app is freemium with a three-day trial of premium features. The tool comes with professional video editing capabilities, such as green screen, chroma key compositing, video mixing, layer-based editing, and video-editing features like coloring, pixelating, text overlaying, etc.
For example, you can overlay your video with another:
You may need time to adjust to the app because it is unbelievably rich features, but once you do, you will find yourself creating Instagram content that’s hard to pass.
For web-based video editing tools, InVideo is a nice option as it lets you craft videos on a budget and doesn’t require hours of training. It’s the easiest and the most affordable option I am aware of.
Simply grab your screenshots to put together an engaging video for an Instagram update or a story (or both). I like using it to publicize social proof:
Additionally, you can use lots of free resources for video creation that avoid any potential copyright infringement:
- Free Stock-Photo Sites Worth a Look
- How to Use Content That Isn’t Yours
- 5 Alternatives to Make Stock Photography a Last Resort
- Free images using Google
- Video footage resources
- YouTube’s collection of audio and music everyone can use
Lastly, the most powerful force behind creativity is collaboration. You need to include more friends, co-workers, or employees in your conceptualization and content creation processes. You can do this in many ways, such as building branding kits and using creative project management tools. Plus, you can read through any of these co-creation and collaborative guides:
- 11 Content Curation and Collaboration Tools to Save You Time
- Create Engaging Content Through Client Collaboration
- Successful Ghostwriting Demands Collaboration, Not Magic
- 6 Steps to Get Your Whole Company Involved in Content Marketing
- Brainstorming Tools
- How to Convince Your Company’s Brain Trust to Collaborate on Content
2. Use your CTA in the caption
The good old conversion rate optimization (CRO) rule here works: Most people won’t think to do something unless invited. This guideline is especially true for Instagram, where people are used to scrolling and liking, not looking for links to click.
So don’t forget to invite your followers to “click a link in the bio” but make it natural and meaningful. In other words, make this CTA contextual, such as:
- “Click a link in the bio to read the full story.”
- “Click a link in the bio to see the high-resolution video.”
- “Click a link in the bio to grab a free copy (or download)” of the subject of your caption or image.
You don’t need to do a CTA for each and every Instagram update. If you are updating your channel daily, invite some clicks once a week.
3. Get your Instagram content featured
Other users featuring your content won’t bring direct links, but it will get clicks to your profile page, including your link. Chances are many of those profile visitors will be curious enough to click your link.
You may want to craft your bio in a way to prompts curiosity and invites a click to generate more traffic.
To get your content featured more on Instagram, spend time to get to know your following and build your community. In any niche, there are Instagram accounts curating creative images and videos through unique hashtags. They repost selected Instagram updates that use those hashtags. To identify those content curators and target them regularly, know those accounts and hashtags.
Here are some of the best-known curators on Instagram:
Another way to get featured on Instagram is to target local business accounts. Tag a featured business in your caption as well as through a location setting.
Most businesses will repost your visual story:
4. Create clickable stories
Apart from the bio link, Instagram stories are the only place where you can add clicks. To qualify for clickable stories, you need to:
- Have at least 10,000 followers
- Verify your Instagram account
Once you qualify, you will see an option to add a URL when you add a new story. Clickable stories take viewers directly to your link once they tap it or slide up:
If you want content ideas for engaging Instagram stories (which attract clicks), this article includes a good list and tips on analyzing your story performance.
5. Optimize the landing page for Instagram users
Finally, an often missed step in any traffic-generating strategy is, surprisingly, optimizing that traffic for conversions. Here are a few ways to make the most of your Instagram traffic:
Obviously, most Instagram users are using the app, so expect most of your Instagram traffic to come from mobile devices. Make sure your landing page looks good on a mobile device and loads fast too.
Finteza is a good way to track your landing page performance on any device and identify issues mobile users experience when loading your page. Finteza also pulls reports from Google’s Lighthouse, so it is easy to visualize what mobile users see first when loading your landing page:
Instagram users interrupted their scrolling to land on your page. Unless you grab their attention within a few seconds, they will leave. I always recommend taking a five-second test to ensure your page makes a good first impression fast.
UsabilityHub offers that option, and unless you want them to find testers for you, the test is free. Here’s how to do it:
- Make a screenshot of your Instagram landing page on a mobile device.
- Create a new test inside UsabilityHub.
- Ask your test-takers to tell you the first thing they see on the screenshot or whether they understand what the page is about.
- Grab a link to your test and send it to friends and contacts to take.
The test helps you understand whether your page is easy to understand and whether your selling points and CTAs are attention-grabbing.
Another good idea is to run a heatmap test on your page to visualize where people look and click once they land on it. Several great tools and plugins allow you to run these kinds of tests.
Carefully crafted CTAs
At the end of the day, you really need that Instagram traffic to convert. Make sure to know what you want your users to do on that page, and make sure the CTAs match your Instagram content. If you invite them to click a link for a free download, make sure that download is the first thing they see on your landing page.
One of the Instagram-friendliest CTAs I’ve seen is web push notifications. Somehow Instagram users don’t mind opting in for those. You can experiment with this tactic using Push Monkey, which asks your site visitors to agree to receive web notifications from you. That is a great way to turn those one-time visitors into returning users:
A premium tool, Push Monkey allows you to set up smart triggers to customize those notifications based on the traffic source (set: Instagram) and on-page engagement.
For example, you can set it to show the notifications only when the site visitor fails to click your primary CTA. This way, you wouldn’t distract visitors from what it is you wanted them to do on your page in the first place.
More clicks from Instagram
Building traffic is an ongoing struggle. No tactic allows you to build it once and sit back to see people coming. It requires constant experimenting and testing, and Instagram traffic is no different. These tips should inspire you to come up with new ideas and actions to create and adjust your Instagram traffic strategy, so you’ll see more clicks coming from the channel.
All tools in this article are suggested by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please include it in the comments.
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute