6 Ways Publishers are Driving Traffic Through Instagram
Driving traffic through Instagram is a lot harder than other social networks like Facebook or Twitter, but that’s not stopping publishers from trying to turn followers into readers.
Instagram has evolved from a photo sharing app into a marketing machine, and since the introduction of links in stories and shoppable posts, Instagram users are now used to consuming news, reading blogs, and visiting websites from the app.
Not only are we seeing more and more publishers with large and engaged communities on Instagram, but we’re also seeing these publishers come up with interesting new strategies to turn their Instagram audiences into real-life readers.
Wondering how you can drive traffic through Instagram?
In the following post, we look at 6 publishers and the different ways that they’re using Instagram to send traffic to their online content:
#1: Drive Traffic Through Instagram Stories & Regular Posts like Rolling Stone
For a business that was founded in the late-1960s, Rolling Stone Magazine hasn’t had much trouble staying relevant.
It’s a testament to the amazing content they produce — but there’s also some strategy behind it. Taking a page out of Elise Darma’s playbook, Rolling Stone uses every Instagram tool at its disposal to drive traffic to its content, including both stories and regular Instagram posts.
Eric Church appears on our latest cover. Click the link in our bio to read the story in full. In the feature, he sounds off on what country should be, hating lip-synching and reveals his feelings about the NRA. “I’m a Second Amendment guy, but I feel like they’ve been a bit of a roadblock,” he says. “I don’t care who you are – you shouldn’t have that kind of power over elected officials.” Photo by: Joe Pugliese (@joepug)
Just take a look at how the publisher recently promoted its latest issue. Along with sharing a carousel post of the front cover, @rollingstone also took to Instagram Stories to cross-promote their magazine and drive even more traffic through Instagram.
By using Instagram Stories to promote their regular post, Rolling Stone is promoting their content to a wider audience, who might not see their regular posts.
They’re also providing a better user experience for viewing the content, because their followers can just click once to read the article, without leaving the Instagram app or trying to find the link in their bio.
It’s a huge win-win and a great strategy for any publisher (or regular business) looking to drive traffic through Instagram back to their website.
#2: Capture Your Audience’s Attention with Engaging Quotes like Inc. Magazine
Using attention-grabbing pull quotes to break up blocks of copy is a common practice among publishers — but it also works on Instagram.
Just take Inc. as an example. The weekly magazine often uses quotes in their captions to not only grab people’s attention, but drive clicks back to the link in their bio.
“When I started Burton Snowboards, it was a get-rich-quick scheme,” says founder Jake Burton. “I thought, ‘If I can make 50 snowboards a day, I can make $100,000 a year.’” But Burton’s company suffered from some early missteps. “I hired two relatives and a friend–classic mistakes. I sold only 300 boards that first year. I had to lay everybody off and go back to square one.” At that point, Burton realized it wasn’t about the money, but instead, his vision. “When I started living just for the sport, everything fell into place.” Link in bio. (📸: @benhoffmann)⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #snowboarding #snowboard #skiing #slopes #mountains #sports #snow #founder #entrepreneur #keepgoing #staystrong
It’s the perfect strategy for publishers. As we wrote in our guide to writing Instagram captions, a good Instagram caption is one that provides context, adds personality, and inspires your followers to take action — and that’s exactly what @incmagazine does with theirs.
“Fantasy plays a big part in entrepreneurship,” writes Iodine co-founder and CEO Thomas Goetz in his latest piece for @incmagazine. “You have to be crazy to start a company, the cliché goes, and there's more than a little truth in that.” But there’s another school of thought, Goetz argues: the most successful companies have founders who know what they’re talking about. “I still believe in the power of blind ambition to shake up the status quo. But whether you're an old-school methodist or a swaggering iconoclast, some awareness of what you do and don't know is probably the most valuable asset you can have.” Read the full story in our bio. (📸: @shayanhathaway)⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #fantasy #business #success #motivation #inspiration #entrepreneurship #startup #hustle #entrepreneurlife #businessowner #founder #ceo #oldschool #value
From powerful statements to humorous reflections, Inc.’s captions are meant to draw readers in and capture their interest. And once they’ve done that, they include a short call-to-action asking viewers to “Read the full story in our bio,” which goes a long way in helping them drive traffic to their website.
#3: Create Great Captions and Calls-to-Action like Fast Company
Like Inc. Magazine, Fast Company also takes great care with their Instagram captions, often using the space to offer little snippets of their content.
According to Stephanie Meyers, who is director of digital growth for Fast Company, “In general, people aren’t coming to Instagram for links, but we want to make it as easy as possible for our readers to be able to read more about the stories they connect with.”
When Sylvia Acevedo (@sylviaeliaacevedo) was a Girl Scout, a troop leader encouraged her to build a model rocket for a science badge. That experience “was an inflection point in my life,” says Acevedo, who went on to become an actual rocket scientist. After becoming CEO of the @GirlScouts last year, she has been finding creative ways to accelerate the organization’s increasing STEM emphasis. 👩🏻🔬👩🏾🔬👩🏼🔬 Acevedo is No. 73 on Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business 2018 list. Get more in our bio. . . . [Illustration: @emmiriikkaa] #FCMostCreative #STEM #nature #technology #space #research #engineering #design #inspiration #rocketscience
To make this process easier, @fastcompany uses Later’s Linkin.bio feature, which allows them to drive traffic to multiple pieces of content, and direct readers to both new and old content, without changing the link in their bio.
According to Meyers, “Linkin.bio is an easy way of streamlining the process for our team to update links, which means we can include links for more posts, and it also helps readers find links to older content.”
Wondering how Linkin.bio works?
When a follower clicks on the link in Fast Company’s bio, they’re taken a mobile-optimized landing page that resembles their Instagram feed. From there, they can click on any of the images to find the content they’re looking for, allowing each Instagram post to have it’s own unique URL.
They can also visit Fast Company’s homepage by clicking the “Visit Website” button.
By posting eye-catching content with great captions and a clear call-to-action, Fast Company is able to drive even more traffic to their Linkin.bio page than they would otherwise.
#4: Drive Traffic Through Instagram Stories Highlights like Complex
But while most users share highlights to show off their products, Complex uses them to drive traffic to their feature articles.
It’s the perfect strategy for such a young and multimedia-based publisher — especially since Complex uses Instagram less as a marketing channel and more as a way to create and spread pop culture.
Nevertheless, the publisher is a pro when it comes to driving traffic through Instagram Stories Highlights. Just take a look at the highlight they created to promote their “The Best Rapper Alive” article:
Rather than simply asking viewers to swipe up to read the article, @complex created three separate stories to tease the winner of this year’s edition. Only after viewers tapped through each of the stories were they able to click-through to the article on Complex’s website.
#5: Use Instagram Stories Polls to Drive Traffic like Variety
Like Rolling Stone, Variety Magazine has been around for a while — 113 years to be exact. But that hasn’t stopped them from finding new channels to reach digital audiences and drive traffic back to their online content.
Just take a look at how they recently used Instagram Stories poll stickers to highlight a new article:
It’s all part of @variety‘s strategy to appeal to young, digital audiences. Given the focus of their content (entertainment news), which is something that Instagram users dine out on, it makes sense that Variety would explore every feature possible to attract new readers.
That’s why Instagram Stories is such a major part of their traffic-generating strategy. From takeovers to behind-the-scenes interviews and listicles, Variety is quick to jump on the latest Instagram Stories trends, which explains why they’re such a big user of the clickable Instagram Stories feature:
#6: Generate Interest with Video Content like Mashable
It’s common knowledge that videos on Instagram tend to get more engagement than regular photo posts. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses avoid creating video content and miss out on this opportunity.
But not Mashable.
It certainly makes sense that Mashable would use video content to drive traffic through Instagram to their website. As one of the biggest tech-focused publishers out there today, creating engaging videos is right up their alley. But where @mashable breaks from the rest is in their ability to turn those video views into website clicks.
Due in part to the focus on their content, Mashable is a powerhouse when it comes to creating awesome videos that get people excited.
And to drive the message home, Mashable will often include a call-to-action at the end of their video instructing viewers to head to their website to learn more.
And like many leading publishers, Mashable uses Linkin.bio to create custom, clickable links for each Instagram post.
Ready to turn your Instagram followers into real-life readers?
Hopefully this post gives you all the inspiration you need to start driving traffic through Instagram to your own website!
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