5 Secrets about Instagram Marketing that will boost your conversions.

In its early days, Instagram was the darling of filter-obsessed adolescents.

Since then, Instagram’s user base has swelled to over 600 million and the platform has become a robust visual-marketing tool that brands simply can’t afford to overlook.

If used correctly, Instagram can help build your brand image and win you new customers.

In this post, I’ll reveal a few secrets that successful brands use to grow their following and convert the

toughest of leads to scale their business to new heights.

Let’s start:

Link Out To a Customized Page for Your Audience

Most social platforms allow clickable-links or ‘hyperlinks’ on every post you make, whether it be a status update, tweet, or video description on your YouTube channel.

Instagram is a bit different.

Besides your brand’s profile section, clickable-links are not allowed anywhere else.

The photo caption and comment areas on Instagram are strictly meant for engagement and improving user experience.

For visitors, clicking on this link breaks contexts, causes confusion and harms conversion.

A visitor effectively goes from consuming images of motorcycle accessories to a static homepage where they may

end up confused and leave.

So where should your clickable-link point to?

Here are a few ideas:

Option 1: A landing page dedicated to Instagram-content

Ideally, your link should lead visitors to a dedicated landing page.

On this page, you should provide additional information and context related to images or content present on your

profile.

This is especially true if you’re in eCommerce or run a digital store.

Doing so reduces friction and lets potential shoppers quickly purchase items. They don’t have to waste time sifting through your site in order to find what they just saw on Instagram.

Madewell’s Instagram page features high-quality images of their

products. The URL even hints that click-through will lead to a customized landing page related to Instagram.

Option 2: Long-form content

Unfortunately, direct purchases from Instagram are rare.

Target-audiences in most industries (especially B2B) require lead nurturing before the conversion takes place.

In such cases, your clickable-link should lead visitors to long-form

content such as a blog, newsletter, or videos that further educate and groom potential customers.

Host Contests (That Incentivize Action)

Contests accelerate the pace at which users interact with your brand.

The allure of a ‘prize’ taps into people’s in-built competitive drive while simultaneously triggering their loss aversion instinct, which is psychologically more powerful than gain.

In simple terms, contests drive engagement and generate ‘buzz’ around your brand.

There are multiple contest formats you can run depending on your product or niche.

Let’s take a look at some popular formats:

Option 1: Like to Win

The “Like to Win” contest format is fairly straightforward. It requires visitors to follow your brand and ‘like’ a post during a given time-frame in order to enter.

Subsequently, you select a winner at random from this pool entrants.

WHY THESE CONTESTS WORK:

These contests have a low barrier of entry and require minimal effort in order to enter.

THE DOWNSIDE

The quality of entrants is low as many will ‘like’ in-passing in order to win a prize without having any real interest in your brand.

To attract high-quality entrants, run these contests periodically.

Option 2: User-Generated Content Contests

A user-generated content the contest gets your customers to promote your brand.

Create a unique hashtag for your contest and invite entrants to post a photo of themselves using your product in order to enter.

Starbucks hosted a contest in which they asked coffee-lovers

to design a cup with customized-art and submit the design through #WhiteCupContest.

The winning selection would be printed as a limited-edition cup.

WHY THESE CONTESTS WORK:

For customers, public recognition and a prize instill a powerful motivation to enter.

For your brand, each entry can be used as original content. Moreover, images of real people using your product doubles-down as social proof, enhancing your brand credibility.

THE DOWNSIDE

Entering these contests can be a lengthy process that may scare off some contestants, especially if they believe winners are selected at random.

To attract such contestants to enter, have the public choose a winner.

This also leads to contestants promoting the contest for you in order to garner votes.

Option 3: Mention A Friend

Just as the name implies, this contest format requires users to tag a friend in order to enter.

The idea behind such contests is to get the tagged individual to become a follower.

WHY THESE CONTESTS WORK:

Generally, people are willing to tag their family and friends, particularly if it’s a product they like and one they think their family and friends may enjoy.

Since these are people that like you, they will pay attention to the request. This increases your brand’s reach and exposure.

THE DOWNSIDE

Most people will only tag 1-2 people, which caps your reach beyond a certain limit.

Serve Up Exclusive Content

People have an inherent desire to feel a sense of belonging, whether it be love, friendship, or acceptance into the group as outlined in Maslow’s hierarchy of

needs.

This desire inspires followers to take action.

Foster this feeling of belonging by making your audience feel special. This will motivate them to engage with you on Instagram.

Here are a few ways to seduce followers:

Option 1: Offer special discounts

When you reward followers with Instagram-exclusive discounts, a few things happen:

First, you increase the exposure of your brand as followers use word-of-mouth to spread your brand name to family and friends, which entices them to become your followers.

Option 2: Provide sneak peeks

Sneak peeks present another opportunity to make your followers feel exclusive.

Simply show your audience a product before it hits the market. Doing so builds curiosity, hype, and demand around your product.

When the product is eventually released, people will rush to purchase, creating additional hype.

Alternatively, you can provide a behind-the-scenes look at everyday life in your company.

This humanizes your brand and allows followers to build an emotional connection. It also builds loyalty as followers feel they are a part of a real and credible community.

Create a Carousel

The “Carousel” feature is Instagram’s latest platform update. Previously available only to advertisers, Carousel is an underutilized way to spice up your Instagram content calendar

It’s a simple change that allows you to post multiple pieces of media (photos and videos) to a single Instagram post.

Though this can obviously be used in many different ways, the most exciting uses of it that I’ve seen were when the format helped tell a story.

Because of the way, it’s laid out, it’s perfect for showing a collection of images that create a narrative for viewers. Of course, simple product shots will do, too!

Conclusion

Marketing on Instagram can be confusing and challenging, but when you souple these underrated Instagram hacks with the right focus and long-term dedication, you can comfortably convert visitors into followers and customers.

Here’s what you need to remember:

  • Create special customized-pages that provide additional value to your followers
  • Test various contest-formats to appease different types of followers
  • Allow yourself some breathing room with multiple targeted-accounts
  • Make your audience feel special so that they keep returning for more
  • Find willing-supporters who paint your brand in positive light organically

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