5 Ways to Generate Leads on Instagram

Do I Really Need Instagram?

Before we jump head first into generating leads on Instagram, let’s first talk about why Instagram matters.

“There’s already a ton of social media networks, why do we need one more?” – I hear this quite frequently. I’m sure you do as well or maybe have even said it. Heck, I may have said it a couple of times myself.

As someone who is approaching 30, I just don’t see the point in certain social media networks younger people are using like Snapchat. I used to think this way about Instagram as well.

You may have heard things about Instagram such as :

  • It’s only for the younger crowd
  • I just don’t have the time to look into it

By the end of this post, I hope to prove wrong the doubters and show you through data and examples, that not only is Instagram worth your time, it is 100% needed in your business / marketing efforts at the time of this writing into the future.


NEWS: Instagram just announced they are now allowing you to post 60 second videos. This is long enough for you to get out a full marketing message and get leads coming to you through your video marketing efforts.


Why Instagram Matters

Now, let’s take a look at some data at why Instagram is not just for the younger audiences, how your ads can work, and how it is absolutely worth your time.

Let’s first talk about the massive upsides of Instagram Marketing:

#1 : Brand Interaction – Instagram boasts the highest level of brand interaction out of every major social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as seen in the image below. The 1.53% is Instagram there in the bold.

Instagram has a 10x+ higher rate of engagement and interaction than other social media platforms meaning your marketing efforts can go 10 times as far.

This alone should convince you to get more into Instagram Marketing for your business.

brandinteraction#2 : Wide Audience – Instagram is continuing to grow leaps and bounds among many different age groups. Not just under age 28. Let’s take a look at some recent data.

eMarketer-US-Instagram-User-Estimates-by-Age-2013-2019-Mar2015

5 Ways to Generate Leads on Instagram

1. Use Hashtags

This may be the most obvious way to generate leads on Instagram. You can post up to 30 hashtags per post, and the more you post and use hashtags, the more leads you will get simply.

If you use your limit on Hashtags (30), you should see 30 – 100 likes per post and a small amount of new followers. Not the greatest results, but its 100% FREE.

Here’s a list of the top Hashtags you can use for the most likes:

hashtags

Here’s some examples of my own Instagram Account:

samcartREPOSTexample sample2

2. Post Daily (Twice Per Day)

Regularity is the key to any type of content or social media marketing. Instagram is no different. However, you can’t schedule content out right now, so its all manual unless you have special software like InstaMate. (Click for my full review – Coming Soon)

I suggest that you post first thing in the morning and around 5 pm. People are most active on their mobile phones before and after work. So before 9 am and after 5 pm. That’s a fact. So, post according to your main audience. For me, its usually 8 am EST and 5 pm EST since most of my audience is in the US and Canada and most of them are in EST.

3. Post Content That Makes Sense

All of your Instagram posts should flow like a timeline or a story. You shouldn’t have random things next to each other. Don’t put a picture of your dog next to a quote of Steve Jobs. Make it a story that people can follow who are new to seeing your profile.

Post content that makes sense for the time of year and the day. People will only spend a second as they glance at your posts, so make it relate to world events, trending stories, and what your target audience is interested in. Look to get ahead of trends and look for posts that can create viral growth that people will share.

4. Networking & Partnering

Its important to be active and connect with like-minded people, prospects, and customers. You can tag them in posts, message them, like and follow their profiles, and have real conversations. 

You can find great partners who will be willing to promote your profile for you. You just have to ask. Usually it goes both ways. You promote theirs as well.  You can also find profiles with tons of followers that are willing to sell you a post on their profile to drive thousands of new views to your profile. Use other people’s followers to your advantage! This may be the fastest way to grow especially if you are doing this frequently.

5. Promote a Contest / Giveaway

Since Instagram has the highest engagement, it naturally is the best place to run a contest or giveaway of your product or service or perhaps something else… like a NEW CAR! Just kidding, Oprah did that one already. (And it worked wonders for her brand with tons of free publicity.)

I recommend doing this once you built up enough followers to make it really work otherwise, you may waste your time. You don’t even need any special software or anything, just post your contest, tell them what they need to do to apply to win (such as tag 5 friends or start a hashtag trend or promote your profile on theirs, etc.) Then, you run that until you feel ready to give away the prize perhaps in a couple days or a week’s time. This should create a huge influx of new followers and excitement. Plus, your engagement of your followers will likely increase 10x at least for that week and even longer if you have great content to share and excited followers.

Watch My Full Video Insights

Recommended Tools for Instagram Marketing

Web Software:

Instamate – Create, Post, Schedule Your Instagram Accounts

Mobile Apps:

WordSwag – Create Quotes, Watermarks, and Post
Repost – Repost other Instagram Posts (Like a retweet)

Check out our full review of Instamate here:

Get Involved

Share with me your Instagram account and your results in the comments below and make sure to follow us at our Instagram : @RyanShaw.Me

7 Tips to Market Your Brand on Instagram

Instagram, like Pinterest, is relatively new to the social media world, but it’s proven itself to be a great resource for marketers. Instagram even surpassed Twitter in the number of active users, despite the fact that Twitter is significantly older.

Considering Instagram is owned by Facebook, this probably won’t come as much as a surprise. Since it’s also owned by Facebook, Instagram is powerful not only on it’s own, but when used in conjunction with Facebook, too.

That being said, this post focuses solely how to market your brand on Instagram, which is a different entity than marketing purely on Facebook. For beginners and experts alike, these 7 tips to build and market your brand on Instagram can help your followers and momentum take off.

1. Make Good Use of the Hashtag

market your brand on Instagram
Olive Garden created the hashtag “BreadNation” to create hype and promote their food truck.

While hashtag usage hasn’t really taken off on Facebook (and note: hashtags should be used sparingly at the most on Facebook), it’s a major component of Instagram for both marketers and casual users.

Hashtags on Instagram, like on Twitter, can be not only catchy, but also crucial to helping your images be in front of potential followers interested in what you’re discussing. It’s a great way to jump in on a hot topic or connect with new members of your target audience. And just like on Twitter, a catchy or clever hashtag can draw attention fast.

Branding your business with its own unique hashtag takes this one step further, encouraging users to post their own images and generating conversations centered around your brand and putting it in the focus of their followers, too. It’s actually possible, when done well and with enough momentum, to build an entire community around a single unique hashtag. Talk about building a brand, that’s an efficient way to do it; slap a hashtag on it to tell your users what your brand is all about.

2. Be Part of Your Community

Even if your business is relatively new and doesn’t have a lot of extra funds to donate, small acts of giving back to your community can make a huge difference. Whether it’s time, money, or effort, showing that you’re part of your community and that you care about it is a great strategy to market your brand on Instagram.

An example of how valuable this is: I chose my hair salon because I saw how involved with the community they were (though I admittedly saw this on Facebook, since Instagram wasn’t around then). They raise money through used-purse actions for breast cancer, for example, and attend multiple city and community events. That mattered to me.

A lot of businesses take part in community events or raise money for charities, even if they are just a drop-off point for charities (like toys for tots or Thanksgiving food drives). Snap a picture of your involvement and post it to your Instagram; your followers will take notice.

3. Take Followers Behind the Scenes

Instagram is one of the more casual social media platforms, making it the perfect place to present behind the scenes pictures of what’s really going on in your business.

market your business on Instagram
Lush Cosmetics takes followers behind the scenes, showing a team member researching new and better products.

Taking followers behind the scenes through your images can increase their trust in your brand, give them an idea about exactly what your brand is, and increase their overall loyalty to your brand. It helps followers feel like they know you, and that’s gold.

Add a truly personal touch to your marketing on Instagram, showing followers what really makes your brand you.

4. Be Unique

Easier said than done, right?

I once saw an Instagram account that launched a brand to success. In this instance, a jeweler marketed her business by taking pictures of her dogs wearing her jewelry (I wish I could find this particular account again, because it was both smart and adorable). Aside from the fact that the jewelry was beautiful, clever and unique marketing made her business stand out while building her brand. This is a great example of why being unique matters.

IMG_8150
Panera has several images all in a row of adorable kids with their products. The images are all eye catching and unique, and they feature unique images instead of just their food.

Thirteen year olds with an iphone have mastered the ability to create and edit high quality photos (and are admittedly much better at it than I am personally); attractive, high quality photos aren’t all that you need anymore, because if that’s all you’ve got, it just won’t cut it. You need images that are also eye catching and unique to stand out.

Think a dog wearing jewelry and you’re off to a good start.

5. Follow Your Followers

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Remember the above #PaneraDate? Panera featured an image a user shared with that hashtag on their own Instagram.

This is a really simple tip that doesn’t require a lot of explanation.

People like feeling like they matter, and they’ll pay attention to a brand that pays attention to them.

When someone follows you, follow them back if you have the ability to (some users are private, but it never hurts to request to follow them). That being said, avoid “hearting” their really personal pictures unless you have a very personal connection with them; heart their pictures if it makes sense given the context of your relationship with them.

Even if you don’t follow them directly, follow their actions as much as possible. If they use your brand’s hashtag, consider sharing it, either on Facebook or Instagram. Show that you appreciate the engagement, and respond to comments on your own images.

Follow your followers, even if you can only follow some of their actions. It will pay off when you’re beginning to build and market your brand on Instagram.

 

6. Link To Your Site Off-Instagram

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Instagram is great for building your brand, but part of marketing your brand is getting them off Instagram and to your actual business, too. On your Instagram profile, you should have a link to your main site and/or your Facebook in your profile.

In the descriptions of each image, there’s plenty of room for a description, a hashtag, and a call to action that sends them off Instagram to a specific page. You can aim to send them to a product page, to your Facebook, to your main website, to a blog post, anything. If you have a call to action, you can encourage they visit another site.

Not every post has to have a call to action, but when applicable, you should take advantage of the chance to stick a call to action in your description to send users off Instagram and potentially even get some conversions in the process.

7. Don’t Spam Your Followers

Facebook has come up with advanced algorithms to make sure that only a small percentage of your posts reach your target audience. As frustrating as this can be for businesses and Page Admins trying to market this way, in some ways it’s good—it keeps our content, as marketers, from spamming users so much they stop following us entirely.

Instagram does not have these advanced algorithms in place (at least not yet; they also get pictures individually posted, as there are no albums. Keep this in mind, making sure to space out your pictures, and to not completely overwhelm your follower’s feeds, especially considering that Instagram’s feed tends to be slower than the feeds like Twitter’s and Facebook’s.

Final Thoughts

Instagram is a big force in the social media marketing world, and it offers the chance for your brand to be a lot more casual and “transparent” with users. It also gives you the opportunity to present users with great visuals and imagery that will help stay in the front of their memory, especially considering no pesky algorithms will filter your content out.

Instagram, perhaps more than even any other social media platform, should keep the focus on who your business is behind closed doors and what it represents, much more than being about what your product is.

Do you have an Instagram account for your business yet? What marketing strategies have you found useful? Have you seen increases on Facebook thanks to Instagram? Leave a comment and let us know!

For those interested in marketing in other platforms, we also have posts on how to promote your Facebook Page and how to promote your business on Pinterest.