Many businesses want to drive leads to their websites. If this is you, Instagram Stories is a strategy to consider.
Instagram Stories allows users to post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. Introduced in 2016 to rival the Snapchat app where content disappears after 24 hours.
The Stories appear in a bar at the top of your feed, and all Instagram accounts are allowed to share their stories. When there is something new to see, your followers will see a colorful ring around your profile photo.
To view the new story, users tap on your profile photo The story appears full-screen, displaying all the content you’ve posted within the last 24 hours. The posts appear in chronological order with most recent posts shown at the top.
Why Use Instagram Stories to Generate Leads?
A large number of businesses are already using the feature for marketing purposes. According to Medium, more than 50% of the companies on Instagram produce a story every month.With the average business posting 14 Instagram Stories each month. Some industries such as publishing actually post over 20 stories monthly.
Instagram Stories are well suited to marketing
If you’ve used the Snapchat app in the past, you’ll have noticed that the only way to improve your pictures and videos is through filters. This makes Snapchat posts a bit “boring”. Instagram Stories, on the other hand, allows users to add text and stickers, draw on their posts, and even include outbound links in a post. That last part, in particular, is critical for business as links make it possible to connect your website to your Instagram Stories.
Instagram Stories has a low exit rate
To convert a visitor into a lead, you need to be able to get them hooked. Instagram Stories does that excellently. According to the Medium post mentioned above, the average exit rate for Instagram Stories is a mere 5% with some industries posting even lower exit rates. It means that Instagram users truly enjoy Stories and are happy to read the posts to the end.
Instagram and Instagram Stories are growing pretty fast
In business, to stand a chance of generating a big number of leads, you need to focus on platforms with a lot of traffic. Recent stats show that Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media platform. Instagram Stories leads the pack in audience reach. Meanwhile, monthly users of Snapchat, which is Instagram Stories’ main rival, plummeted from 17.2% to a mere 5% per quarter in 2017. By the end of the year, the platform only had 160 million daily users, down from 250 million at the end of 2016.
So, How Can You Use the Stories to Generate Leads?
Now that you’re convinced of the potential of Instagram Stories. Let’s look at a few ways you can use the platform to generate leads.
Add direct links to your website
You can never go wrong with links in marketing. When positioned correctly, even a simple link will force visitors to click through.
The situation is the same on Instagram Stories, though you need to have at least 10,000 followers to add links to your posts. You also need a business Instagram profile rather than a personal profile. Once you have both of these requirements, you can add links and ask viewers to “Swipe Up” on the screen to visit the linked web page.
You can use a few tricks to generate a large number of leads using this approach. For instance, if you’ve seen Instagram’s default “Swipe Up” CTA, you’ll know that it’s somewhat weak and not interesting enough. So, the first step would be to reinforce the call to action with an on-screen message. Adding a more urgent CTA in bold text in the middle of the page can help drive more conversions.
Also, it’s a good idea to use visuals to act as a teaser to what people can expect to find on your landing page. Studies show when there’s consistency in the design of the CTA page and landing page, conversions increase.
So, what if you don’t have 10,000 followers? What if you’re a small business just getting started on the platform with only a few hundred followers? Instagram won’t let you add links directly to your stories. So, what do you do?
Simple – tag yourself within the story! The best part is – it’s super easy to tag yourself on Instagram stories. Click on the capital “A” at the top of the app when posting a story or even when recording one. Then, type “@” followed by your username.
Your username will be displayed as a clickable link within the story and followers who feel the urge to find out more about the product or service that you’re promoting can swipe the screen up to visit your profile.
An Instagram profile allows users to provide more information about their brands and the products and services they offer. A profile also has contact information such as their email address and phone number.
Interested consumers can effortlessly use your profile to contact you. Above all, Instagram allows you to provide a link to your website in your profile. Put simply; as soon as visitors land on your profile, they’re only one click away from becoming leads on your site.
Consider Instagram Stories Highlights
In 2017, Instagram released an update that makes marketing on Instagram Stories even more fun. Known as Highlights, this feature allows you to create a permanent collection of Instagram Stories that live on your Instagram profile forever (or until you remove them).
Before this update, if users wanted to locate your story, they had to visit the Stories queue at the top of their feed or visit your profile and tap on the displayed picture. But, with the new feature, you’re allowed to group selected stories into a special Highlights category and feature them permanently on your profile.
These highlighted stories will appear right below your bio and above your Instagram feed. When someone taps on a story from the list, the story is played as a stand-alone item.
Businesses can use this new feature to draw attention to their new posts, products, or seasonal collections. For instance, if you’re in the news industry, you can always make sure that your latest post is at the top of your Highlights. For those in the fashion industry, you can guarantee that your most recent trends are the highlight of your Highlights.
And, if in retail, you can use Highlights to draw attention to your holiday discounts and other seasonal promotions. If combined with links, this strategy can generate plenty of leads for your website.
Leverage the power of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing isn’t a new phenomenon. A large number of businesses already use this strategy to drive lead generation and sales campaigns. Even on Instagram, companies occasionally use celebrities to ensure maximum reach.
You can apply the same approach in your Instagram Stories lead generation campaign. And, it’s really simple. You find a popular figure on the platform, partner with them to highlight your products or brand, and benefit from the thousands of “Swipe Ups” generated due to their fame.
However, you want to find someone who is popular with your target market, as it doesn’t help much if you’re getting views from people who aren’t interested in your products/services. If you can find an influencer with over 100,000 followers, that would be wonderful!
The average view rate of Instagram Stories is still low at roughly 5%. Find an influencer with a higher view rate. Once you’ve found the perfect influencer, ask them to mention you in their stories, feature your product, or post a hyperlink to your site with a CTA encouraging viewers to “Swipe Up.”
The best news is – Instagram Stories recently introduced a “paid partnership” tag. Now you and your influencers can easily stay within the FFC regulations.
Generate even more leads with Instagram ads
Up to this point, we’ve focused solely on organic options where you don’t have to pay Instagram to generate leads on the platform. But, to take your campaign to the next level tap into the strong Instagram ad market.
Instagram first launched official ads in March 2017. Ads were introduced with four main objectives, to drive: video views, conversions, mobile app installations, and traffic.
To help drive traffic, leads, and conversions, when a user taps on your ad, they are taken directly to your website. This is a major shift from the past where users could only view but not interact with your ads. Back then, the best you could do was hope that after seeing your ads, users would track down your site on their own time. Now, they can tap on an ad and will, right away, be taken to your site.
Social Media Examiner has created an impressive guide on how to create Instagram Stories ads. The key takeaway from the guide is that you need to be creative enough to convince users to tap on your ads. If you can do that, you’re on the way to getting plenty of qualified leads.
Now, Get Your Campaign Rolling!
There’s your quick guide to using Instagram Stories to drive web leads. If possible, find a way to incorporate all the tips discussed here in your lead generation campaign. Even you will be amazed by the results.