As a small business owner, every piece of content you share on your Instagram is a chance of turning a follower into a customer. Whether it’s photos, videos, or even Stories, everything you share on there is an opportunity to connect with your followers and gain some leads.
But forget the hard sell – that’s not what people want to see on Instagram! Sharing overly sales-y and promotional posts doesn’t add value to your audience’s lives. It also makes them feel just like you’re just trying to grab their cash instead of engaging with them in a genuine and sincere way.
In short, Instagram is all about community and connection! But don’t fret, Instagram can still be a useful way to generate leads too. You need to spark a connection with your followers first, and then fan that into a flame over time through consistent engagement and clear messaging.
Read on to find out a few ways you can use your Instagram content to drive more leads your way without the hard sell!
Words: Adriana Thani
How To Use Instagram To Get More Leads
1. Use Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
This is a technique you can use in all your Instagram captions and even Stories, and it’s super easy to include it in your Instagram strategy! Put simply, CTAs act as a clear direction to your followers about what actions you’d like them to take.
Here’s a few examples of CTAs:
- Click the link in profile to read our latest blog post/see our latest collection/make an appointment for a discovery chat
- DM us to learn more about this product/service
- Sign up to our newsletter today to receive more tips like this!
- Comment below with your favourite _____
- Comment with a __ emoji if you agree
- Tag a friend below who would agree!
As you can see, CTAs can have different functions. No matter what CTAs you use, you need to be clear about the next step in your potential customers’ journey with your brand. We recommend that you have 5-10 different CTAs in your social media toolkit for different purposes: engagement (likes, comments, and follows), website traffic, and direct sales.
2. Create various destinations on your site
Where do you want your audiences to go when they’re happy with their interaction with your Instagram and want to learn more about you? As we mentioned before, you should definitely point your followers towards your website where possible. However, you can’t just tell them to head to your sales pages each time – after a while, that type of messaging gets boring and predictable.
So think ahead, and create various destinations or landing pages where your followers can begin their journey with your website (without the pressure of buying something from you!). Here are a few different ways your audience can interact with your website that isn’t a sales page:
- Read your latest blog post or news article
- Download your lead-generating freebie
- Sign up to your newsletter
- Watch a recent product or service video
To keep it all organised and in one place, use a tool like LinkTree or MilkShake, which will create a landing page containing all your relevant links. This way, you can share this single link in your Instagram bio (keeping it aesthetically pleasing!) and still give your audiences a clear destination to head to.
You can still include links to your important pages, including your online shop, contact form, and about page, but we highly recommend putting high-value links on there including specific and relevant blog posts, newsletter sign-ups, and freebie downloads.
3. Get those email addresses
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a gazillion times – all small businesses should be using email marketing to their advantage! We have delved deep into why email marketing is important to your brand before, so we highly encourage you to read about that if you haven’t already.
Once you’ve got your email marketing strategy all set up, the next step is creating your email list. Getting people’s email addresses isn’t as easy as just asking – you’ve got to remember that they’re always going to be thinking, “Well, what’s in it for me?”
So if you want to entice your audiences to give you their valuable email address, make sure they’re getting something valuable out of it too. Here are some common strategies for email lead generation that’s been used by small businesses for years:
- Offer a freebie – This can be a digital product like an eBook, informative guide, or even free templates
- Ask them to sign up for a newsletter – Just make sure you don’t spam them! You should also make sure to only offer high-value exclusive content in your newsletters
- Discounts and promotional codes – Plenty of online stores use this strategy, often applicable for a customer’s first purchase with them, and for a limited time only
Make sure to include a link to your email signup landing page in your Instagram bio (or link page, as mentioned above), and use CTAs to encourage your followers to sign up! You could even show sneak peeks of your freebie or newsletter on your Instagram from time to time to pique your audience’s curiosity.
4. Use the Instagram Shopping feature
This feature is especially fantastic if you’re selling products, as it essentially turns your Instagram profile into a shoppable online marketplace. Basically, you can tag your images with a product, and when someone taps on that tag, they’ll be taken to the product description page. They can then head directly to your website to purchase that product.
This feature takes a little time to set up, but is truly a fantastic way to marry both your sales and non-sales content in a natural and organic way. This is because it allows you to use different types of captions that add more value to your audiences instead of just hard selling. In fact, the selling aspect is so subtle, it’s almost like a helpful suggestion.
We highly recommend that you use non-sales captions on most of your posts, even when you use the Instagram shopping feature. You can certainly add a quick line towards the end, just don’t make the entire caption overtly sales-y. Here’s one example using the image and caption below:
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Instagram Shopping is a really solid feature when it comes to generating leads: after seeing a product or service on Instagram, 79% searched for more information, 37% visited the retail store and 46% made a purchase.
Remember, you can use this feature on both your grid and your Stories, so try out a few different strategies and see what works!
Other Quick Tips To Get Leads On Instagram
Get them to swipe up on Stories
Instagram Stories are used by 500 million users every single day, so make use of the swipe up feature if you have it!
Share user-generated content
Whether you sell a product or service, sharing content from your happy customers is an effective way of grabbing your audience’s interest.
Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags are a powerful tool that can make your content discoverable to a larger audience, so use hashtags more effectively to make sure people are able to find you when they’re looking for something specific!
Show Them What You Have To Offer
No matter what you do, make sure you’re always telling a compelling story about your brand with each piece of content that you share on Instagram. Show them who you are, and they’ll be more open to listening to you when you show them what you’re selling!
Stay focused on connecting with your audience consistently, and use the tips we’ve shared to drive more leads to your business organically. Instagram can be such a great way to build a loyal and engaged community of warm and willing leads, so take the time to nourish that community for the long term.
If you want to create an engaging Instagram presence but you simply don’t have the time to manage it yourself, our Instagram management plans might be the right fit for you! Get in touch with us today to learn more about how our fully managed plans can help you have more time to dedicate to growing your business while knowing your Instagram is well taken care of.