Conversion Optimization, E-commerce

How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Website Traffic For Free

by Sharanya Manola
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Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has become more than just a photo-sharing app. Its rapidly growing 1 billion+ active user base spends over 53 minutes daily scrolling photos, Stories, and videos. Sensing this, plenty of B2B and B2C brands have already jumped on the bandwagon to reach out to their respective target audiences to grow their website traffic and revenue.

Consider the following statistics: 

It seems promising, right? Because it is. So without wasting any more time or spending a single penny, let’s go through some of the best ways you can drive quality traffic from your IG account to your website.

#1 Carefully Select Hashtags

Hashtags are like SEO keywords that make your content stand out in the ocean of ’grams and send curious visitors to your website. Here’s what you can do to pick the right ones.

#1 Shortlist hashtags that explain what you do. Think of keywords people will likely use to search for a brand, particularly what you offer in your niche. Then, hop over to the IG search feature, type that keyword and click on ‘tags’. This time, note down only the relevant and related hashtags. Plus, hand-pick low competition hashtags as they’ll get you in front of a more targeted audience that wants to see the content you create.

Instagram hashtags

#2 Follow industry influencers from your niche. Their target audience overlaps yours, which means their hashtag strategy can tell you a great deal about what your potential customers like talking about. Besides, for all you know, you might even discover new hashtags, or even come up with dazzling new ones yourself. 

#3 Crack your competitor’s hashtag strategy. What hashtags do they use in their top-performing posts? And how many times? Is there a particular one they use in the majority of their posts? Dive deep and use that intel to determine what drives engagement. Sure, doing it manually can be time-consuming, so use tools like Iconosquare.

#4 Create a branded hashtag. It’s a hashtag unique to your business and easy to remember. Most brands either go for their company name or tagline. For example, Nike mentions #justdoit in their IG bio, which helps them build their community. Agreed, Nike’s a popular brand, but with time if you get more people to use your branded hashtag, you’ll be able to boost brand awareness and send qualified traffic to your website. 

Nike
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#5 Follow your hashtag. While you won’t always get notified on every post where you’re mentioned, you can turn to the Explore tab to catch up on who’s talking about you. In return, as a token of appreciation, give your followers a dopamine kick by commenting on their post or reposting it to your IG feed. 

Key points to remember when documenting your hashtag strategy: 

#2 Add Links to Your Insta Bio

No matter your follower count, you get only one way to add a clickable link—and that’s on your bio. So use it to point people to your website, like in the example from The Body Shop below. 

Body shop
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However, since one link can be limiting, use apps such as Link.tree, Linkin.bio, Like2buy, and tap.bio that allow you to send your followers to different pages, such as your blog, landing page, FAQs page, etc.—all at once. 

Quest
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Using the same apps, you can also curate a landing page that looks the same as your Instagram feed and displays your posts as clickable images. Here’s an example of how The Cut magazine, using the Like2buy link in their Instagram bio, is able to redirect Instagram traffic to their website: 

The Cut
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What’s more, you can also send people off to shop for your collection. Forever 21, using the same photos on their Instagram page, creates a seamless shopping experience for its customers. And in exactly two clicks redirects visitors to their website and converts them into paying customers. 

Forever21
Source  

#3 Add Links To Your Snackable Stories

More than 500 million people use Stories every day. And 1/3 of the most viewed Stories are by brands. In fact, 57% of brands believe Stories to be a ‘somewhat effective’ or ‘very effective’ part of social media strategy. 

Point being: Despite the ephemeral nature of Insta Story (it disappears after 24 hours), it is an excellent means of driving website traffic. 

To get started, use the swipe-up feature to link people to your website. If you don’t see the option, it’s because you have less than 10k followers. In which case, you can post a creative image to your Stories and add teaser text to send people to the famous ‘link in bio’. 

Meanwhile, for the rest of you, take cues from folks at @Penguinbooks, @Apartmenttherapy, and @Buffer on how to make IG Stories roll out its magic for you. Think design, accompanying text/CTA, and ideas. 

cta
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To take the level of engagement up a notch, use the question sticker to conduct AMA sessions with your followers. And wherever possible, in your answers, link people to your website/blog. 

link instagram
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Then, explore the video format. Record multiple video clips from a product launch event and add them to your Stories with product links. 

Conducting a poll is also a great way to send traffic to your website. Here’s an example of how @Airbnb cleverly slips in a link to one of their product listings: 

Instagram poll
Source

 

Tip: Use Buffer’s Stories Creator to save time spent on designing creatives. 

#4 Curate IG Stories As Highlights

By grouping your Stories under Highlights, you give your profile visitors a chance to learn something about you. Best of all, if they like what they see, they will click on the link in your bio.

target
Story Highlights sit right below your profile bio.

 

While you think it’s an easy thing to do, you’ll still need to brainstorm which Stories you want to shine your spotlight on. Your objective should be to establish your authority and earn your audience’s respect. 

A few B2B and B2C brands have been doing it well. You can learn a lesson or two from them. 

#1 Tips and tutorials: Educational content is evergreen content with a long shelf life. So if you have any such Stories, you know what to do. 

#2 Products: About to drop a new product? Have a range of superhit products? Want people to get a sneak peek? Show them off with Highlights. 

#3 Customer testimonials and reviews: Using loyal customers’ shout-outs as social proof to send prospects to your website. For all you know, they might become paying customers. 

reviews
L to R: @Dailydump, @Gravelandgoldsf, and @Mynykka.

 

#4 Experts answering FAQs: Thanks to our conditioning, we yield to authority figures. So, get them on board and see what difference they make to your website traffic.

Insta FAQ
Team @Buffer have a FAQs Highlight to showcase their expertise.

 

#5 Media mention: Right from the get-go, you’ll gain your audience’s confidence, and before you know it, they’ll already be a part of your loyal fan stand. 

media highlight
@Indiacircus building social proof with media highlights.

 

#5 Tag Your Products

The easiest way to open up your inventory and turn your IG feed into a shopfront is by using the shoppable feature. It allows you to tag up to 5 products on a single-image post and video posts, or 20 products per multi-image post. 

Once a visitor taps on a tagged product they’ll be redirected to a page that has images of those and other related product(s), a detailed description, product price, and a ‘view on website’ link. 

tag products IG
Source: @Collectivco

 

And that’s not all. By tagging products, you’ll bump up your chances of getting featured on Explore and boost your website traffic. How’s that possible? Well, according to Instagram over 200 million accounts head to Explore daily as that’s where they find personalized content, tailored to their interests. Seeing your post, they’ll naturally head to your IG profile, and hopefully your website. 

Can’t wait to start tagging your products? Make sure you meet the following prerequisites: 

Final Thoughts

There you go. Hanging out on Instagram, where your audience spends almost an hour a day is worth it. But for them to flock to your website, your content has to be as much true to your brand as relatable. Once that’s taken care of, you’ll grow your community exponentially and find new customers who were earlier beyond your reach. 

Think you’re ready to woo your Instagram followers and give them reasons to engage with you on your website? Let us know how it goes. 

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