If you’re an online entrepreneur, there’s a fairly good chance you’re using Instagram to market your business. But, you may be struggling to translate any engagement you’re getting into actual traffic to your website.
Instagram is a platform that strives to keep users engaged in the app (rather than send them to outside sites and links, like Facebook or Pinterest do), so converting Instagram followers to website traffic can feel tough.
If you are strategic with your messaging, however, and effectively use each content vertical Instagram provides - the bio, posts, stories and the live feature - it’s absolutely possible to drive high-value traffic to your site from Instagram!
So, how can we best leverage our bio, individual posts, stories and live on Instagram to drive traffic to our website from each type of content?
Recognize and Utilize the Strengths of Instagram Content
Each content channel on Instagram has its own unique features and strengths when it comes to effectively communicating your unique brand message.
The way you connect with another user via an Instagram post is much different than the way you connect with that same user on an Instagram story.
Our job as community leaders and communicators is to recognize these differences and strategically tailor our messaging on each channel so we can maximize the desired effect - brand awareness, engagement, and ultimately, website traffic!
Your Instagram Bio
Your Instagram bio is often the first place a new audience member will go check out before they click that “follow” button.
They were intrigued by your content they saw while scrolling through a hashtag channel, a recommended page, or search, and now they’re ready to learn more about who you are and what you do before they agree to let you consistently appear on their feed.
Your bio is a great place to get creative, show your personality, and give a glimpse of the actionable value your content will provide if they follow you. This content space is special in that it’s one of the very few places an outside link is allowed!
Here are a few ways to drive traffic from your bio:
Use your content to show personality, brand value, and set expectations. Potential audience members are only asking one thing when reading your bio, “What value will this account add to my feed?” Show your personality, share what value your brand provides to the world, and set up expectations for them that you live up to consistently in your content.
Use a call to action. Calls to action (or CTAs) are words or phrases that give a clear direction or command like, “download your freebie” or “read the blog.” Include a CTA that directs action toward your link in some way, letting your audience know why they need to follow that link now, not wait until later!
Make the most of your link using a self-hosted welcome page. We encourage our followers and clients to create a simple landing page within their website platform that provides multiple links to valuable content - turning one simple link into an opportunity for many!
Individual Instagram Posts
Your Instagram posts are the best place to live up to those expectations you defined for your brand in your bio. This is your primary content channel for delivering that value you promised your audience when they clicked “follow.”
Posts are what solidify your brand, both visually and contextually, so it’s important to be consistent, reliable and, most of all, valuable here.
Here are a few ways to drive traffic from your posts:
Show the value of your brand by consistently providing free knowledge, advice, insight and actionable education for your target audience.
Humanize your brand by sharing glimpses into your world, but make sure each post supplements your brand and isn’t just a mega phone for your personal life!
Provide an engaging description, like mini blog content. If you want followers to read your blog on your website, give them a taste of that value here! Be consistent in writing thoughtful, engaging and valuable content in the majority of your descriptions.
Utilize CTAs here as well! If you want readers to take some sort of action, direct them. Tell them what next step to take, like, “head over to my link in bio to learn more!”
Stories are your brand’s secondary channel for consistent communication, but they function much differently than posts.
Stories tend to show in-the-moment, behind-the-scenes, unfiltered and unedited views of your brand and life. Stories are a really great place to reveal your personality and connect with your followers on a more personal level.
Here are a few ways to drive traffic from your stories:
Be yourself. People watch stories because they are craving to connect personally with you, not just a perfectly polished brand. They want to laugh at your jokes, hear your thoughts and insight, see the ins and outs of your day, and, most of all, get to know you as a person.
Use caution and build authority. Being personable, raw and unfiltered is absolutely encouraged when you use stories, but be sure to set boundaries and limitations for what and how much you share of your life. Your goal in using stories is to reveal the personality of your brand (you!), but you still want to maintain authority, expertise and thought leadership. So, make sure everything you share solidifies your brand and makes it stronger, not weaker, and still provides value.
Share the behind-the-scenes of your content. Talk about the blog you just published, give your audience a tour of your website, tell them what you love about the opt-in you just created. In order to drive traffic to your website from this content channel, be sure to share, share, share!
We know going live on Instagram is daunting, and you may not have even done it yet (but you should)!
Instagram live is the best place to pour out in-depth educational value for your audience, ultimately showcasing your brand’s expertise and magnetizing followers to your website content.
According to Hubspot, 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, and 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service just by watching a brand’s video.
Why is that? Video accelerates the development of that know, like and trust factor - the three keys to cultivating a relationship with a follower that turns them into a customer.
Here are a few ways to drive traffic from your live video:
Provide a tutorial. Showcase your knowledge by providing a free how-to tutorial on one of your brand’s topics. Be sure to direct audience members to further reading on your website, like a blog, course or email opt-in to dive deeper into the content.
Promote a new product or service. Use lives to give your audience an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at one of your new products or services!
Host a Q&A. Host a live Q&A about a product, service, topic, etc. Encourage followers to send in questions either beforehand or during the live chat and provide in-depth responses!
What ways have you used content on Instagram to showcase your brand’s expertise and drive traffic to your website? Tell us in the comments below!