Instagram is more than a photo-centric social media platform. It’s also a fantastic lead generator that connects brands with customers in need of their services. Those with a dedicated Instagram marketing strategy can see higher sales as a result as long as they have the right tactics for generating leads.
Know Your Target Audience
No matter where you are in marketing, understanding the target audience should always be the first step. You probably already have a customer persona developed for your clientele (and if not, you should). This information will help you get Instagram followers as well as figure out what will make them interested in following you as a brand.
According to Emma Knox of Later, your buyer personas should identify the preferred social channel of your target audience.
“If you have leads already, then use some form of social monitoring tool to see if they’re active on Instagram,” she says. “If you don’t, then dig into some competitor research to check how engaged the audience is on Instagram.”
If you discover that most of your target audience is using Instagram, this is probably a good place to seek out leads. If not, turn your attention elsewhere.
Target Your Advertising
When you know your target audience, you can easily curate social media ads, especially those on Instagram, to reach them. This is the best way to spend your advertising budget since it entices only those who are most likely to purchase your products.
Targeting and retargeting is a common method of advertising effectively. If you find that your original advertisements didn’t have the overall effect you wanted, you can always “use retargeting to effectively market your brand and products to an audience that already shows a keen interest in what you have to offer,” says Brandon Leibowitz of JeffBullas.com.
Leibowitz discusses a natural health product supplier, iHerb, which used retargeting of an Instagram ad to turn cart abandoners and page visitors into leads. They used the Facebook pixel, which retargeted users who showed an interest in their products, which works for Instagram as well.
“Using this feature, they displayed Instagram ads to users based on the products they had shown an interest in – whether they were only viewing the product page or they left the product abandoned in their shopping cart,” Leibowitz said.
The results? It decreased the cost per purchase by 80 percent and increased return-on-ad spend by 200 percent for cart abandoners and 36 times for site visitors.
The takeaway here is that you should put your targeted advertisement in front of those who are most likely to purchase your products and services and then retarget to hook them.
Optimize Your Instagram Bio
The vast majority of your leads will end up on your bio at some point or another. Even if they were originally sold by an advertisement or a post, it always leads back to the bio so they can follow the link to your site. Focus on the content used to describe your brand, the link, and the profile image.
“The bio content or text is the most important element. You can drive a flood of leads with a relevant and enticing call to action,” says Catalin Zorzini of Content Marketing Institute.
He also stresses the importance of the right link. You’re only allowed a single link on your profile page, so it’s important to curate your bio so that it can bring in leads. Usually, you’ll send the potential customer to a landing page or a product page to try to get their click. You can also change the link regularly to optimize certain pages.
“The profile image doesn’t necessarily play a major role. Still, it makes sense to brand your profile with a clear and attractive logo,” Zorzini stresses.
Humanize Your Brand
While adding the human element to all digital transactions is always important, it’s absolutely critical on Instagram. This platform is where consumers land to connect with brands on a more personal level. They want to see genuine content from real people, not shameless, spammy promotions.
“The best Instagram content is behind the scenes,” says Anna Johansson of Inc.com. “If you’re a furniture maker, your followers don’t want a staged picture of the finished product – they want a messy image of the product being built. For a caterer, an image of you sourcing your ingredients from a local farmer’s market is more appealing than a cliché picture of food on a plate.”
Additionally, Johansson stresses the importance of using filters sparingly. You don’t want your content to look fake or over-edited. Filters are a great addition, but only if it keeps the personalized element.
Engage with Your Audience
Warm leads are the best kind, and they come from engaging on Instagram. Every day you’ll have consumers who are potentially interested in your products and services engaging in some way on your platform—engage back.
“One of the easiest ways to step up engagement is to simply respond to everything (except the spam). But, don’t just throw out a canned ‘Thanks!’ and carry on with your day,” warns Jacinda Santora of Optinmonster, underlining the importance of taking time to dig through your posts and craft a thoughtful response.
She recommends using emojis, asking follow-up questions, replying with images or gifs, sharing related stories, and more. You obviously can’t do this with all of your commenters, but there’s always room for a few comments here and there.
“Anything you can do to make your brand appear more accessible, friendly, and engaging is going to win new followers and keep them coming back for more… and, they’re going to bring friends,” says Santora.
Generating leads from Instagram is an important part of effective Instagram marketing. It takes a little work and finesse, but once you’re there, you’ll enjoy greater leads for your sales.