Instagram is big right now. And in case you were wondering; It’s not too late to jump on the bandwagon. It’s the perfect time to get access to a growing stream of traffic from Instagram.
Instagram has an increasing number of active users, therefore, it’s a source of unlimited traffic. According to the most recent data, Instagram has surpassed 800 million users.
And here’s Instagram ranks among other networks by the number of active users (in millions, source: Statista, September 2017):
Statista reports that Instagram is most popular among verticals like beauty, fashion, eCommerce, auto and sporting goods.
Even if these stats change as time goes by and more marketers start using Instagram, one thing is certain: Any type of business that can produce engaging visual content can thrive on grabbing Instagram traffic.
As with all social media you need to build a following first before you can start seeing big results in traffic and monetization.
Instagram is a marketing platform with rising potential. Entrepreneurs wonder what’s the fastest way to build an Instagram audience and start seeing results.
We’ll show you 3 of the top features of Instagram which you can start using right now to reach your audience, engage with that audience, and turn them into paying customers.
The right content marketing tools
But, first, let’s talk about something really important and relevant. Content. Nowadays, marketers and entrepreneurs need tons of content for social media and their site. When people get excited about an Instagram post they might want to go to your site and learn more. That is why you always need fresh content on your site as well.
To save time, you need the right tools. Two tools will help you create amazing content for both your site and your Instagram account.
The first one is Curately.
Curately helps bloggers, entrepreneurs, and marketers thrive in content generation by using a technique called content curation. With content curation, you can get new ideas fast, overcome your writer’s block and create fresh content for your site.
Then, the second tool, which is for the visual part of your marketing strategy, is Canva. With Canva you don’t need to be a designer; Anyone can create stunning images, with quotes or your word on them. It also has an app that you can use on your mobile to create and post Instagram images faster.
With the combination of those two powerful tools, you can get faster and easier traffic results from Instagram.
Wait… What IS Instagram?
Naturally, some business owners haven’t had a chance to use Instagram. If that’s you, you might be wondering exactly what Instagram is and how it works.
Instagram is a mobile app. You cannot post to Instagram from your desktop, well at least not from a native Instagram app for cloud or desktop. However, there are services like Later.com which allow you to publish posts from your laptop. To do that you need to download the Later mobile app as well.
On Instagram, most of the content is visual. It’s also owned by Facebook, which means that you can use Facebook’s familiar ad interface to advertise on Instagram as well.
A major difference with other networks is backlinks. It’s harder with Instagram to create links because you can’t link out to your site. The only place where you can put a link is in your profile.
Marketers also add URLs to their posts, in the text or on the image, which of course are not linkable but are noticed by your followers. So, the greater strategy behind traffic is to create a massive following and increase engagement with your brand, so that more people see your URLs and click the link in your profile.
That’s a couple of basic things you need to know about Instagram. Now, let’s see how you can use Instagram to attract more traffic back to your site.
Here are the top 3 Instagram techniques for unlimited traffic.
1. Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is very popular right now—and a great tool for traffic. But what is it? Instagram Stories is a flexible built-in tool that allows users to add images, gifs or video to a part of the app that is visible to their following.
The users can edit their photos and videos natively on the app. They can add words, icons, or drawings. Only a couple of days ago, Instagram also introduced GIF stickers that you can add to your stories.
To create their story, users arrange images and videos in the order that they want their Instagram audience to see them.
Once the Instagram story is edited and published, your followers can see it. Then it will vanish after 24 hours. Each day is a different story anyway, right?
Recently, Instagram introduced the Stories Highligts section where you can create featured content out of groups of stories you previously published. Stories Highlights appear below your profile photo.
To create Stories Highlights you need to choose a cover image (which is important if you have a different set of videos or pictures in a single group of stories) and give it a name.
Stories you add as highlights remain visible as highlights (and saved in Stories Archive) until you remove them, even after the original story has disappeared.
Facebook Messenger and Snapchat have similar features, by the way. Snapchat lets you create a sequence of pictures and videos that expire after a day. Facebook Messenger also allows you to publish your today’s story which is visible to your friends.
It’s always a good strategy to research ideas, especially when you’re new to a marketing platform before you jump into publishing your content. You first need to explore and feel how it is to be on Instagram.
Usually, brands use eye-catching images and live videos to capture people’s interest and imagination. You first need to attract and excite people before you motivate them to engage with your brand. Always remember that so many other forces are competing for the user’s attention.
2. Publish fun and inspirational content
Need quality traffic from Instagram? The first thing you need to do to ensure that your account on Instagram grows quickly is to post content consistently. Consistency is a must in any business endeavor if you want to see results.
On social media, people love to be inspired, read about original ideas and have fun. Use that mix of inspiration, innovation, and fun to create a content calendar. Be consistent and make sure that you are posting relevant content daily, and you will soon see the first signs of Instagram traffic.
Either you have a personal or a business brand, you need to create the visual material that will inspire people or entice them to explore a new idea or just help them have fun.
You also need to do whatever else you can do to help people know what your brand is all about. One of your most powerful tools in this respect will be your logo and your brand name.
If you have an account all about fitness, then you need a logo and a name that will communicate this as soon as people see it. You want your first-time viewers to instantly know what you’re all about so that they can decide then and there that they want to follow you and that your content is for them.
Another important tip is to always tag your images. Hashtags are a very powerful tool for growing your following. Use more than one hashtags every time you post. Using a lot of relevant hashtags will bring you instant results. Just try this method and see for yourself!
Hashtags work just the same as they do on Twitter. You add them next to any new picture you publish or in the comments. A hashtag looks like this: #buzzword. Instagram users will then be able to search for them to see what new content has been posted on that subject.
While you’re growing your Instagram following, use at least a dozen hashtags in each post. Use a mobile app called “Best HashTags for Instagram” to copy and paste the most popular hashtags on your topic.
Also, at the end of 2017, Instagram announced that users have the ability to follow hashtags on Instagram. Now, users don’t need to search using a hashtag to find new interesting content; they can simply follow a hashtag to have the content regularly appearing on their devices. So, that’s another reason why you should tag all of your images.
3. Instagram live video
Video is yet another powerful marketing strategy. It was dominant in 2017 and will be even more impactful in 2018 and beyond. All forecasts agree on that.
By 2019, video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic (source: SmallBizTrends).
YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year (source: Hubspot).
Instagram, like Facebook, allows you to do a live video that seems to have an even bigger impact as a marketing tool. From a marketing standpoint, being able to communicate directly with your followers is unprecedented.
You can use Instagram Live video within Instagram Stories.
It’s really easy to start a real-time video; you just tap the camera button and then confirm that you want to start a live broadcast.
You can also tap on the Your Story option (with the + sign next to it) at the top of the Instagram news feed.
This takes you to your Instagram Stories, where you can choose from different options, like to go live, record a normal video (that will disappear after 24 hours) or shoot a time-lapse-like video, called Boomerang.
A cool thing is that you can create a recording of your video, so your efforts can result in a bigger audience reach. Yes, your live video doesn’t need to vanish; You can have an extra 24-hour view time for your real-time videos with Instagram Live video replays.
Here’s a complete guide on Instagram Live if that’s a path you are thinking to take.
More ways to get Instagram traffic
Instagram is constantly adding new features to Stories and Videos. A coin has two sides, and Instagram is both a social network and a marketing platform. So, always look out for the latest additions which will help you market your business more effectively.
An don’t forget: Post at least one tagged picture every day, to see a consistent stream of new Instagram followers and traffic.