With 400 million monthly active users, Instagram has made a massive presence by going from its initial IOS only app to a colossal spectrum of Android and Web. From what we have seen so far, it has only made an upward mark as the fastest growing social media network without the slightest signs of slowing down. With Facebook backing it up, Instagram is nothing short of a hothouse of advertising.
If you are not already amongst its users, it is high time you join in and start to promote your business. And now more than ever, it is much easier to tap into this gigantic pool of savvy customers with the announcement of new & improved Instagram Ads. Earlier this option was limited to larger brands, but now this feature is available to every company across the globe.
But before you start investing in Instagram Ads here are a few tried and tested ways to drive web traffic with Instagram for free:
1. Use Tools & Filters To Create Appealing Images:
Instagram is basically a photo and video sharing site, so it’s a given that your images / videos should be appealing with vibrant, eye-catching tones that draw instant attention. See what the audience most prefer and edit accordingly. Make sure your images relate with the audiences’ choice.
Most Fortune 500 companies use #nofliter but as you can see above in terms of engagement these photos rank average. Make use of various filters and tools to enhance your images and engage your audience. We highly recommend Instagramfilters like Mayfield, Inkwell, Walden, Rise,Amaro, Valencia.
There are also some other photo editing apps such as VSCO Cam you can use to enhance and get the right tone and texture to blend in.
2. Text Overlay & Visual Layout To Send A Message:
It is a common misconception that Instagram is best for businesses that have enticing images of their products like food, hospitality, travel and fashion. Sectors like consultancy where there isn’t much scope to share attractive photos feel left behind, but we beg to differ.
Be creative and engage the audience through messages and graphics that add value. Use text overlays on an image like quotes to introduce new products or questions related to your business. InstaQuote & InstaMessage with more than numerous fonts and tons of editing options are all-time favorites amongst instagrammers.
3. Effectively Using Bio Profile Links:
Unlike other social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest, Instagram unfortunately doesn’t allow sharing links. So how do you promote your website? Make good use of the link in your bio-profile. This is the only place on the entire app where you can provide a link and draw your followers to the most ideal web-page. This might be your home page, landing page, blog or product page.
By using call-to-action in your image caption like “find out more” or “for more details”, you can direct the followers to click the link in your bio.
4. #Hashtag Everything!:
It might seem like an overhyped trend but it serves the purpose. Using hashtags is the most effective tool to get the best exposure on Instagram. The trick is to use the most popular hashtags. But make sure these are relevant to your business.
Some of the most used tags are #instagood, #photooftheday, #instadaily, #follow, #instamood #beautifulthat can be generically used. Combine these popular tags with some lesser known ones that would enhance the use of keywords specific to your business. Don’t go overboard with the tags; use 5 to 10 tags only. Any more than that will be taken as a spam by the followers and Intagram.
Did you knowabout 65% of users on Instagram say they feel privileged when a brand @mentions them? So start tagging! Make good use of Add People feature to tag user accounts to your image thereby reaching out to a wider audience.
5. Contests And Free Give Aways:
Who doesn’t like free stuff, if in return all you are asked to do is follow and recommend? Holding Contests and giving away free gifts, vouchers and discounts are a certain way to attract attention. But make sure to ask people to follow you and tag their friends to encourage them to do the same.
It also helps a lot if you could persuade popular Instagram icons like artists or models by asking them to post your contest on their accounts. You’ll be amazed to know that quite a few entrepreneurs follow these artists and models, so if not followers you are sure to get some B2B business opportunities. A tactic worth trying!
6. Be Engaging – Sharing is Caring:
Simply posting photos and videos is not enough. You might get followers initially but they may soon dwindle. Communicate with your followers, follow them back and like their shares. The policy is –‘follow and get followed back’.
But that’s not all, engage them by being interactive. Commenting on others posts and replying to comments on your own post is one of the best ways to show that you care.
7. Linking With Other Social Media Sites:
Instagram is certainly gaining ground fast but social sites like Facebook and Twitter have been here longer with multiple followers. As of August 2015 Facebook had approximately 1490 million active users as compared to Instagram which had about 300 million. It’s much easier to drive this larger audience to your Instagram account by just linking all your social media accounts.
Adding extensions like InstaTab on your Facebook business page gives you double exposure, as it allows followers to view all your Instagram images on the FB page itself.
8. Schedule Your Posts According To Your Visitors:
Not every user is active on social media sites all the time. Followers prefer certain time of the day to surf through social sites. For example you are most likely to get more audience during after work hours. To increase exposure to your images and photos it is necessary that you know what time your followers are most active. To help you, here are some stats:
Now you may not be online at those precise timings but apps like Latergramme & Onlypult allow you to schedule posts on Instagram. Though it is not an exact science it certainly has shown results.
9. Analyze The Analytics:
After all the effort put in it’s obvious you would want to see positive results to formulate or change your strategy for the desired outcome. Unlike Facebook & Pinterest, Instagram does not provide analytics but there are several web apps and tools out there for tracking the Instagram statistics. One such prominently used web app is Iconosquare which provides all key metrics of your Instagram account. It helps you keep a close eye on your key performance indicators (KPI) and revise your marketing strategy accordingly.
10. Instagram Ads:
Last but not the least, Instagram now provides marketers and businesses with an opportunity to advertise through its improved ad solution which enables companies to create a call-to-action button like “Shop Now”or “Sign Up” which gives a direct link to the company website page or product page. This works wonders to reach out to a wider audience.
Instagram is also working to make these sponsored ads relevant with interest and demographic targeting.
Marketing and making your brand popular on Instagram is a must in the Marketing universe today. Keep in mind, millions of followers can’t be gained overnight and the performance would be slow in the initial few months. But with engaging high quality images, great content and a pinch of patience you will certainly drive your target audience and gain a huge fan following.