Does your Instagram marketing get tons of engagement but few conversions? Wondering what to do to grow your leads and sales?
In this article, you'll discover nine ways to optimize your Instagram marketing plan to bring in better results.
#1: Optimize Your Instagram Bio
When prospects visit your Instagram profile to learn more about your business, your bio is the first thing they'll see. With a limit of just 150 characters, Instagram bios have to be pretty concise. But if you're creative, there's plenty of space for lead generation.
For example, you might start by writing a brief introduction to your business. Explain the services you offer or the products you sell along with the benefits your business provides. Use keywords that potential customers would enter when searching for your brand or businesses like yours.
To increase the likelihood of your account appearing in search, include hashtags in your bio, too. For instance, you might include your branded hashtag or a hashtag you use to collect user-generated content (UGC) from customers and fans.
Do you still have a few characters left before you reach the limit? Write a short call to action (CTA) that points to your bio link and boosts lead generation. For instance, you could direct prospects to click your bio link to access resources or to sign up for your list.
For example, @thecopywriterclub Instagram bio below features a catchy description of what the group offers and an industry hashtag to boost search. The bio also includes a CTA encouraging prospects to DM the account for a free downloadable guide.
So what about your bio link? You could link to your website. But because this is the only link you get on Instagram (aside from Stories links, which we'll look at below), it has to serve multiple purposes. Use an Instagram-focused landing page app to add several links to drive leads and conversions.
For example, the @evernote Instagram bio below leads to a Linktree page. The landing page features a selection of links that point to key features the note-taking app offers and new blog posts that can help users do more with the app.
#2: Build Trust by Providing Value
Now you have your bio link and Instagram-friendly landing page set up but how do you get people to click through to make a purchase or subscribe to your list? If Instagram users don't know you or don't have a reason to engage with your content, you may struggle to generate leads.
When you take the time to build trust and establish credibility, you'll have an easier time getting clicks. You can cultivate trust by providing genuine value for your audience. Depending on what you provide, that could take a few different forms:
- Clothing brands might share tutorials that detail how to style new items or how to build a wardrobe out of a few pieces.
- Software as a service (SaaS) brands might create how-to guides that help customers use their platforms effectively.
- Service providers might share tips and tricks to help prospects grow their businesses.
In the post below, @copyposse shares a tutorial to help followers improve their copywriting skills and build their businesses. The post clearly outlines multiple benefits and tells followers exactly where to find the free tutorial—by following the link in the brand's bio.
Remember that providing value isn't a one-time task. Brands that aim to generate leads on Instagram continually create useful content. For example, @copyposse regularly shares tips and hosts masterclasses designed to help prospects.
#3: Link Out From Instagram Stories
When you share helpful content in Instagram feed posts and videos, followers can continue to access it essentially forever. Naturally, feed posts stay in your Instagram grid permanently unless you decide to delete them.
The Conference You've Been Waiting For
As a small business marketer, you can probably only pick one or two events to attend each year. Get an unbeatable conference experience and expert training at Social Media Marketing World in sunny San Diego, California—from your friends at Social Media Examiner.
🔥 As a valued reader, you can save $650 on an All-Access ticket if you act now! Sale Ends Tuesday! 🔥CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
Although stories disappear after 24 hours, they're just as important for generating leads via high-value content. After all, stories are known for their authentic feel, which can help you forge more personal connections with prospects.
Plus stories have an advantage over feed posts: They allow you to link to an external website or add shoppable products. That means you can generate leads or get sales right from your stories.
To link out from stories, start with your regular workflow. After adding photo or video content, open the sticker tray and add an Instagram Stories link sticker. Then enter a URL, which can lead to your eCommerce shop, a free trial signup page, a tutorial, or any other external page.
If your business has access to Instagram Shopping features (see below), you'll also see a shopping sticker in your tray. Add it to make your stories shoppable and incorporate even more opportunities for conversions and sales.
Do you want to get more mileage out of your stories? Rather than letting them disappear forever after 24 hours, you can save your stories to your profile as highlights.
Go to your Instagram settings and open your Stories archive. Then tap on any story and select the Highlight option in the lower-right corner. You can create themed albums that highlight different offers, various product lines, or useful tips and tricks. Highlights stay pinned on your Instagram profile so followers can find them easily.
#4: Set Up Instagram Shopping
If your business has an eCommerce site or the ability to sell products online, Instagram makes it even easier to generate conversions. To set up Instagram Shopping, start by linking your Instagram business account to a Facebook page.
Then connect your product catalog to your Instagram account. You can do this by integrating your existing Shopify or BigCommerce account or by creating a catalog in Commerce Manager. With Commerce Manager, you can add items manually or use your Facebook pixel to track inventory on your website.
After Instagram reviews your product catalog and approves your account, you can start using the platform's Shopping features. That means you can tag products any time you publish a feed post, a story, or a reel.
When followers see tagged products, they can tap the Shopping icon or individual items to see details like product names and prices. They can tap again to view the item in your Instagram shop. From there, they can check out instantly or tap to visit your external eCommerce store.
In the @goodiegirlcookies post below, followers can tap the product tag on the cookie box or the Shopping tag in the lower-left corner. Tapping the pink View Shop button at the bottom lets them browse the brand's entire product line.
Attention Agency Owners, Brand Marketers, and Consultants
Introducing the Marketing Agency Show–our newest podcast designed to explore the struggles of agency marketers.
Join show host and agency owner, Brooke Sellas, as she interviews agency marketers and digs deep into their biggest challenges. Explore topics like navigating rough economic times, leveraging AI, service diversification, client acquisition, and much more.
Just pull up your favorite podcast app, search for Marketing Agency Show and start listening. Or click the button below for more information.
If you're considering running Instagram ads to increase conversions, you'll be happy to know that Shopping features work in paid campaigns, too. That means you can promote shoppable posts to drive more traffic and generate more revenue.
#5: Implement Clear Calls to Action in Your Instagram Content
Producing high-value content is a smart way to build a following and create countless lead generation opportunities. But it's important to remember that publishing helpful posts or authentic content won't automatically grow your list or lead to more sales.
When you want followers to subscribe, click, buy, or take any other action, tell them exactly what to do. Adding clear CTAs to your Instagram content can completely change how people respond—and transform your conversion rate.
Again, the best CTAs for your brand will depend on what you offer and what you want to achieve on Instagram. Use these ideas to start brainstorming:
- Retail brands might prompt followers to tap on tagged products to browse and shop.
- SaaS brands might encourage prospects to click the link in their bio to sign up for a free trial.
- Service providers might urge followers to DM them to sign up for a list or ask for help.
For example, @thecopywriterclub post below teases an upcoming live event. The CTA encourages followers to comment or DM to join the group's list to avoid missing event announcements.
#6: Create Instagram Reels
If you're serious about building your business on Instagram, then it's important to set up workflows so you can use your time as efficiently as possible. But don't let your content creation process get stale. Repeating the same tactics can mean missing out on new tools that could generate even better results.
For example, Reels—which rolled out in August 2020—can be an excellent lead generation tool. On the surface, Reels appears pretty similar to Stories. Both are short-form video formats that have an authentic feel. Both let you add stickers, overlays, music, and other interactive elements.
But reels don't disappear after 24 hours. They post to your profile permanently so they can continue to entertain, educate, or help your audience. When you create an Instagram reel, you can also write a caption with a 2,200-character limit—giving you tons of space to create useful content and encourage your audience to act.
In the reel below, @yoursocialteam created a step-by-step guide to customizing a template that the brand uses for its own reels. Although this content would be helpful on its own, the reel also teases an upcoming product launch—providing value while guiding followers toward an eventual conversion.
#7: Build Remarketing Audiences Based on Previous Instagram Interactions
It's easy to dismiss likes, comments, saves, and even profile visits as lower-value engagement. After all, double-tapping an Instagram post doesn't directly lead to a subscription or a sale.
But it's important to remember that these types of engagement can help you guide casual observers or new followers through your sales funnel and toward a conversion. Sometimes you can complete these steps organically by providing tons of useful content or orchestrating a successful product launch.
In other cases—such as when your marketing goals are more ambitious—advertising on Instagram may be helpful or even necessary. When you create ad campaigns, having a history of Instagram engagement can be incredibly useful. That's because you can build retargeting audiences based on previous Instagram interactions.
To get started, open Facebook Ads Manager and select the Audiences tab. Click the blue Create Audience button and choose Custom Audience, which lets you target based on data you've collected. Select your Instagram account as the data source and decide who to target.
To build a larger remarketing audience, you may want to target anyone who interacted with your account. To target warmer leads, you may want to include people who messaged you or saved your content instead.
#8: Run Instagram Lead Generation Campaigns
Once you build your audience, you can start advertising on Instagram. If adding leads to your sales funnel is your top priority, start by creating a campaign with the lead generation objective.
To run your campaign on Instagram only, select Manual Placements at the ad set level and uncheck all other platforms. By default, ads using the lead generation objective appear in the Instagram feed, Explore tab, and Stories.
Select your target audience at the ad set level and design your creative at the ad level. When you create a lead form, you can add multiple questions to qualify prospects and market to them more effectively. You can also request their contact information so you can follow up with them outside of Instagram.
To entice prospects to provide contact details, offer something of value, such as a downloadable guide, a case study, a checklist, or even a discount code.
In the Instagram lead form ad below, @getweave offers a case study that explores how a client achieved impressive results using the brand's communication platform. To access the case study, users have to provide their contact information—much of which is autofilled by Facebook Ads.
#9: Create Instagram Conversion Campaigns
Do you want your audience to make a purchase, sign up for a free trial, or subscribe to your list instead? Create a conversion campaign in Facebook Ads. At the ad set level, choose a remarketing audience and select Instagram-only placements. Optimize for one of the conversion events you've configured in Facebook Events Manager.
At the ad level, upload your creative and enter a link to your website or select your app from the drop-down list. If you have a product catalog, you can create a dynamic ad that automatically displays the combination of format, creative, and placement that's most likely to appeal to each user.
Finally, choose the CTA that's most closely aligned with the results you want. You can encourage customers to shop, subscribe, get a quote, place an order, or complete other actions.
In the @segment ad below, the brand uses concise copy and a compelling CTA to encourage prospects to book a demo. Although the format often appears similar to a lead generation ad, a conversion ad takes place on the advertiser's website, where the advertiser has the option to collect contact details and use a Facebook pixel for tracking.
From creating high-quality organic content to setting up Instagram Shopping to running paid campaigns, Instagram offers tons of options for leads and conversions. By choosing the right mix of tools and tactics for your marketing goals, you can turn your Instagram account into a revenue-generating social media channel for your business.
Get More Advice on Instagram Marketing
- Create an Instagram content plan.
- Get more active engagement with 10 Instagram Stories stickers.
- Add Instagram action buttons to your business profile.
3 Days of World-Class Training—Zero Travel!
Travel to Social Media Marketing World off the table? Get all of the great content at a fraction of the price with an On-Demand ticket.
That’s full access to recordings of every keynote, workshop, and session—the ones people travel thousands of miles to see. Don't wait. Get your On-Demand ticket and enjoy actionable content that you can watch anytime, anywhere.