How to Generate Leads on Instagram: An Expert Guide
From day one, Instagram was a top contender in the social media space. Users gravitated to this visually engaging platform — and it wasn’t long before brands started to do the same.
When the platform first came out, it was very straightforward. Upload a photo (perhaps editing it slightly with a filter), and click to publish. From there, users scroll through their newsfeeds and double tap the ones they like.
Brands started to catch on to these engagement opportunities and began incorporating Instagram into their existing marketing strategies. Unlike with a commercial or billboard, brands on Instagram unobtrusively connect with their fans and followers by building a deeper connection.
With over one billion monthly active users, it’s no wonder that this social media channel has brands flocking to figure out how to attract new leads on Instagram.
How to Attract New Leads on Instagram with A Killer Brand Identity
Brands that can communicate a cohesive, visual story tend to get the best results on Instagram. It’s the reason why so many lifestyle brands — such as travellers, yogis, bloggers, and fashionistas — have gained so much momentum and success on the platform.
Starbucks is a perfect example of a brand that is killing the Instagram branded content game. It’s not hard to get a sense of who they are as a brand, simply by looking through their latest posts:
When you look at their images, it is easy to imagine yourself on the patio or in the park sipping from a Starbucks-branded cup.
This is the beauty and allure of Instagram marketing: it’s a way for brands to bridge the gap between the consumer and company in a natural, organic way.
If you are using Instagram as part of your marketing strategy, it helps to start with a compelling bio. Make sure to craft a short and sweet description of what your brand has to offer.
You can include hashtags, emojis, and one clickable link in this area — make it count! Ask yourself, does my bio effectively push my target customer towards my most important business goal?
Actively Invite Fans to Contribute User-Generated Content
If your brand feels “boring”, Instagram is the platform to spice it up a bit.
Take FedEx, for example. A shipping company might not seem like the most exciting brand to follow, but they have almost 100k followers because of an intense focus on connecting with their target audience.
They effectively use their bio to express their mission and encourage followers to contribute user-generated content. Because of its nature as social proof, user-generated content is great to attract new leads on Instagram.
Don’t Sell All the Time
In general, use Instagram to excite — don’t sell. One of the biggest social media marketing mistakes a brand can make is being too pushy.
As social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk suggests in his bestseller Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook, it’s only after you’ve presented numerous value that you should talk about the products or services offered by your brand.
Not every post needs to be selling something. In fact, (arguably) one of the best things about Instagram is the absence of clickable links in posts. This leaves room for the user to build an authentic relationship with the brands they adore.
If you are someone who needs to track numbers to measure success, this approach might feel a bit uncomfortable. But before trying to sell, sell, sell, take the time to provide value and invest in showcasing your brand’s story.
Make Your Instagram Posts Interactive
A few easy ways to do this:
- Ask questions
- Take polls
- Run contests
Using posts to engage with users is one of the best tactics for generating new leads on Instagram.
Even though you can’t insert individual clickable links on each post, you can point users to the link in your bio to enter contests, shop sales, get exclusive offers, and so on.
Hydroflask offers a great example for driving attention with interactivity on Instagram. They asked users to caption a post. In order to qualify for the prize, you had to follow their brand.
So what made this particular contest so smart?
Hydroflask was able to generate many qualified leads, encourage lots of engagement with their post, and even earned new followers for their brand — all without spending a dollar. Even the prize was priceless: the winner had their caption selected and attributed to the corresponding Instagram post for all their friends to see.
Instagram Stories are another great place to ask followers questions and take polls. Although you can use polls totally for fun as an engagement tactic, you can also use this feature to gain valuable customer feedback that helps with how to attract new leads on Instagram.
Harnessing The Power Of The Hashtag
Hashtags are a powerful tool when it comes to attracting new followers. Display Purposes is an excellent resource to help brands determine top performing hashtags for relevant topics of interest to their followers.
Instagram allows users to use up to 30 hashtags per post and it’s recommended that you max out this number as using more hashtags isn’t much of a deterrent for engagement.
Another interesting and useful tool for finding relevant hashtags is Instagram’s search categories. Instagram has compiled top recommended hashtags for niche topics such as travel, food, and fashion.
Using these recommended hashtags in your posts will help you to get in front of a larger audience and attract new followers and potential leads.
Incorporating Paid Instagram Ads For Direct Leads
For those willing to allocate some spend to your social media marketing efforts, using Instagram ads can be extremely effective and one of the best ways to target new audiences and acquire new leads. Depending on your budget and strategy, you can choose to run Instagram feed ads or create paid Instagram Stories.
Brands with a following of 10k+ can include links in their Instagram Stories. Appearing at the top of users’ newsfeeds, Stories are displayed in real time, not based on relevance as with Instagram’s main news feed. This can help to level the playing field for brands.
Additionally, brands with an Instagram Business profile have the option to put money behind new or existing posts to reach new users. Ads allow brands to include a link to a specific page on their website. With a link to your website, you can directly take potential leads to your page and complete the call to action.
Final Thoughts: How to Get Leads on Instagram: An Expert Guide
With the right content and strategy, Instagram can be a top social network for generating new leads, building long-term brand advocacy, and engaging existing and new users.