With over 25 million businesses using Instagram to connect with potential customers, many are wondering how to generate leads with Instagram Stories.
It’s a great question! Instagram has already proven itself to be an incredible channel for building brand awareness and driving sales — and many businesses are now turning to Instagram Stories to do the same.
Ready to get better business results with Instagram Stories?
In the following post, we explain how to effectively promote your business and generate leads with Instagram Stories:
The Science Behind Great Instagram Stories
According to The State of Instagram Marketing 2018, 64% of business have recognized the power of Instagram Stories and plan to create more stories this year.
However, there’s more to Instagram Stories than simply collating dozens of short videos or images into single behemoth story.
According to a recent study from Social Media Today, as the number of posts in your story increases, overall completion rates decrease.
As such, your best bet is to keep your story in the single digit range for higher engagement.
The question then is how do you capitalize on building a relationship with viewers? If you only have a couple of posts within a story, it can be difficult to foster loyalty and ensure users really see the benefit of your offering.
To build those relationships, you have to redirect users to your website. Instagram is first and foremost an acquisition channel. And while it’s great for building loyalty and engagement, your goal should always be driving incremental demand.
However, the mistake a number of brands make is in thinking that all user action has to be on social media.
The truth is, that even though social networks are extremely high engagement channels, users still prefer to engage with brands through their website.
In order to achieve long-term engagement, you have to funnel people to your website. It’s there that your users are going to be more engaged, which makes it far easier to foster the kinds of long-term relationships that lead to continual growth.
While Instagram Stories are an incredible channel to generate initial interest, you have to know how to capitalize on that interest.
How to Generate Leads with Instagram Stories
Whether you’re already seeing good engagement on Instagram or you’re about to launch a new strategy, you have to start with a plan — a plan that’s focused on your ability to generate leads with Instagram Stories, not engagement.
Engagement is great, but unless it grows your leads (and sales!), it’s not worth your time. And when you’ve got a ton of different channels to manage and goals to hit, your time is one of your most important assets.
To save yourself from wasting time and money, you have to have a comprehensive strategy set up. Here’s what we recommend:
Step #1: Establish Your Target Audience (And Figure Out If Instagram Is the Right Channel for Them)
Unless you’re a brand new business, you should have some audience “persona” established — one that tells you the general age, job title, gender, interests, and pain points of your target market.
If you haven’t established an audience persona yet, then check out how to make one here.
Setting up audience personas is a pretty well-documented marketing tactic. However, for this, you’re going to want to go one step further and add your target audiences’ preferred channel.
You want to understand whether Instagram is a high-usage channel for your target audience.
If you have leads already, then use some form of social monitoring tool to see if they’re active on Instagram. If you don’t, then dig into some competitor research to check how engaged the audience is on Instagram.
If you find that there are very few people who you’d be targeting on the platform, then this is where your strategy ends. You’d have better luck turning your attention to the channels those ideal users are already using.
If, however, you discover that there’s a good deal of your target audience using Instagram already, then you’ll want to move on to the next step.
Step #2: Get Your Website Campaign Set Up
When a user lands on your website, you want them to have something to do on.
In other words, you need to have your conversion element ready and waiting for the influx of visitors who land on your website.
Here are a few tips to ensure that the pages you set up for your Instagram campaigns convert:
Build Instagram Specific Landing Pages
Ad scent is a thing for more than your PPC campaigns.
Whether you’re running paid ads or an organic campaign, there has to be a cohesive journey for the user. If the message and CTA on Instagram promise a specific benefit, the landing page should also state that benefit.
If the message and promise are different, it causes a disconnect. The user could think they’ve been redirected to the wrong page and immediately bounce.
A great example of a CTA and landing page that match comes from @casper:
Keep the landing page you set up directly related to the message and copy you use in your story. If you can, also keep design uniform so there’s less chance of the user hesitating to figure out what’s going on.
Ensure the Message is Compelling
Everything from the on-page headline to the CTA has to scream value. To generate leads with Instagram Stories, it needs to be as compelling as possible.
Here are some of the key elements that have a greater impact on a landing page:
Headline – Make sure your headline speaks to the primary benefit that converting will provide.
Images – Make sure you use images that are engaging, on brand, and also help to highlight the benefit listed in the headline.
The form – You need an online form that lets you test different elements as you have to strike the perfect balance between collecting enough information to be useful, and not scaring the user off with too many fields. If you’re looking for a free solution, check out HubSpot’s form builder.
The CTA – Depending on the goal, the CTA should either be a final reaffirming of the benefit, or a simple explanation of what the next step is so users aren’t unsure what to do.
Get Your Follow Up Nurture Established
So users land on your page and convert, but what then?
Before we move back up the funnel to drive some traffic, you’ve got to establish what’s going to happen after the conversion.
Make sure the right emails, remarketing, and outreach are all set up so you don’t find yourself unsure of what to do.
Make Sure You’re GDPR Compliant
The new GDPR rules are very recently established, but you definitely shouldn’t ignore them.
You have to make sure you’re GDPR compliant or you risk being on the receiving end of some absolutely massive fines. This isn’t the article to go into depth on GDPR, but here’s a link to a GDPR checklist.
Step #3: Create the Right Kind of Instagram Stories
Now that your follow-up steps are all established, it’s time to start working on improving your Instagram presence and driving some traffic.
The steps you’ve already taken are going to be key to your success here. What you’re really looking to do is create Instagram content that’s the perfect fit for your audience.
That means diving back into your audience personas and creating content that’s fun, entertaining, in-line with Instagram’s best practices, and most of all a part of your brand’s personality.
Here are a few examples to help you get started:
Use Clickable Links in Instagram Stories
One of the easiest CTAs is to create a short story and then ask the user to “swipe up for/to receive X”. If the user has made it to your end post, then they’re more likely to take the action.
It’s a simple finger movement which should then load your dedicated Instagram page or form and CTA. Here’s a great example of the swipe up CTA from the @standardwines team.
Run Instagram Stories Takeovers
If you’re a smaller brand or new to Instagram, you’re not necessarily going to see some quick traction. This is where influencer takeovers come into play.
By partnering with a larger influencer you can get instant access to their audience. All you have to do is give them access to your Instagram stories for 24 hours or so and let them document what they want (as long as it’s related to your brand).
Here’s a good example where Wooly’s had the Maytag’s take over their story in the lead up to their performance at Wooly’s.
Host an Instagram Giveaway or Competition
Everyone loves getting something for free. Running a contest to offer a free product or service is a great way to generate leads with Instagram Stories.
If you have a sizeable audience yourself, you can get them to share the competition.
Here’s an example of a good giveaway which incentivizes people to tag their friends so the reach increases with each and every entry.
Step #4: Test, Measure, and Improve
The effectiveness of your Instagram campaigns relies, like any other, on your ability to test, measure, and improve.
When we say that, we don’t mean to test the number of likes or shares each post has, but on how many leads it’s generating for your business.
You’ve got to keep an eye on the end goal with Instagram. Don’t get caught up in vanity metrics and think that just because something goes viral it’s a success.
Keep your eye on your bottom line and improve on the elements which will make your brand the most amount of money.
As you can see, in order to generate leads with Instagram Stories, you need to be both creative and strategic. While it’s (fairly) easy to build your engagement with high-quality stories, converting viewers into customers is a little more difficult! That’s why it’s so important to plan everything out.
If you really want to get the most from Instagram and generate leads with Instagram Stories, you need to approach it with a marketing mindset!
Sign up for Later’s free Instagram Stories Course today!