Are you struggling to get followers? Or are you looking to turn your small online business into a brand?
Today we discuss how to attract and engage with your followers and how to transform them into loyal customers in three steps.
Attracting the Correct Group of People on Instagram
One of the most important aspects of growing on Instagram is to attract followers. Having loyal high quality followers is necessary. But that does not mean you have to buy followers, in fact, fake followers and bots will hurt your engagement metrics and your account’s reputation.
It is important to have followers who engage with your account, and for that, you have to make sure you put in the effort to create great content alongside exploring other avenues for growth.
Brands use these three ways to attract authentic followers:
- Influencer Marketing
- Cross Promotion, meaning advertising your Instagram page via email, YouTube or Twitter
- Use of Instagram hashtags
These are some of the few ways to get authentic followers. By using these three methods you will see gradual growth on your Instagram page.
Everyone knows Nike’s ‘Swoosh’ which looks like a fancy tick or Apple’s bitten apple logo. Anyone who looks at these logo immediately recognizes the brand. But these are the brands that have been around forever and have marketed for decades. It is a little more complicated for brands that are just starting up and increasing brand awareness requires a lot more work.
You can increase brand awareness by developing your profile and explaining to people what is it that you do exactly. On Instagram, you should fill out your bio, add your company name, explaining what it is you do, and link to your website. It is also essential that you use your company logo as your profile picture, as it will help people to associate your brand name with that logo in the future.
Pink Blush maternity clothing brand explains in their bio what they sell and who their targeted audience is, a logo of the brand, location and a link to their website. Optimizing your profile helps people understand who you are and what you are selling.
Another way to increase brand awareness is to post great content consistently. Craft your photos and captions making sure they represent your brand and its values and you will begin to see a community building around your brand.
You can also use hashtags to increase brand awareness. But what hashtags should you use? The answer is simple: think what people would type in order to search your profile. If you are a makeup artist, using hashtags like #cosmetics and #skincareroutine could help people find your account.
One of the best ways to grow brand awareness is through influencer marketing. When an influencer posts about your brand they give you exposure.This way all their followers who have never heard of you eventually recognize your brand and may even talk about it with a friend or family member.
There are two types of influencers to choose from, macro-influencers and micro-influencers. Macro-influencers can have followers ranging from 10,000 to 1 million. Micro-influencers have less than 10,000 followers. While macro-influencers may seem better on paper, it is recommended you hire micro-influencers since they are cheaper and have more engagements.
The next step is searching for an influencer that fits your brand. You search for influencers by using specific hashtags or just scrolling through the explorer tab. Your aim is to find influencers who are active and have decent engagement on their posts.
Once you have your list of influencers it is time to contact them through email or direct message. Write down a conversation stating what it is that you like about the influencer and why you have contacted them. Explain what your brand is about, and then ask them if they would be interested in working with you. As payment, you can negotiate to send the influencer free products for a post. But if you are looking for a long term partnership you can pay the influencer for consistent posts.
Once you have established a following its time to move to the next step, learning how to keep those followers around and interested in your brand.
How to Interact with your Instagram Followers
This is the middle of the funnel, keeping your followers engaged.
Engagement is a way to determine if your audience is tuning in to your account. The number of likes and comments are also a great indicator to estimate how your followers are reacting to your posts and if they are still interested in your page.
Here are some methods you can use to keep your followers engaged.
Tell the backstory behind the creation of your brand. How you started it, don’t be shy to add some emotion. Keep it real and make sure it reflects your goals.
Your brand story should encompass your business goals, it should explain your vision and what goals you have in mind. This is important as it will help you attract the followers who share your ideas and goals, retain them, and even create advocates out of them.
CTAs (Call to Action)
CTAs are another great way to get your followers engaged. When you make an Instagram post you can add CTAs, asking your followers to do some simple tasks to keep them engaged and improve your account’s metrics. These tasks can be:
- Like the photo
- Leave a Comment
- Tag a friend
- Click the link in bio
- View a product
A good way to add CTAs is by using actionable language. For example, using phrases like ‘Buy Now’ ‘Tap Here’ or ‘Swipe up’. You can make it more enticing by adding CTAs like ‘Subscribe now to become a fitness expert’ or ‘Buy now to be the first lucky customer to receive a free (any product that you think will benefit your brand exposure)’.
Add Questions, Polls, and Contests
Another neat way to keep your followers engaged is to use questions polls and contests.
Questions are a feature that you can find in Instagram stories, where you can hear your followers’ feedback by asking them questions. Polls are also available under the stories feature and are a good way to run ideas by your followers.
Instagram contests are one of the best ways to get followers engaged. According to a study conducted by Tailwind, contests get 64 times more comments and 3.5 times more likes, making it one of the most effective ways to engage your followers.
Once you have your followers engaged next step is gated content. Gated content is an excellent way to create more leads. Users have to fill forms and are required to enter their email address, which gives you valuable information about your followers.
When you create gated content it is necessary you decide on what kind of content you will offer here are some ideas:
- eBooks or PDFs
- White papers or case studies
- Short email courses
- Assessments or tests
- Free trials
It is important the content is valuable to your followers. White papers and case studies are a more common lead magnet between business-to-business companies. If your audience is consumers, ebooks and exclusive videos might be a better option.
You can start small by focusing on your followers’ pain points and providing solutions with your content.
Lindsey Roman, a photographer who has more than 35k followers on Instagram, shared a link to an Instagram story ‘Instagram Master Guide’ with the CTA ‘swipe up’.
When users swiped up they were taken to a page where they were asked to fill out a form that required their name and email address to receive the guide. This information is highly valuable as it helps you determine the age of your audience, what country they live in, etc.
Once you have the information, it is important to send them regular emails and newsletters regarding new content and so on. Given the increased engagement and targetted list-building, gated content is one of the most effective ways of generating leads on Instagram.
Instagram Landing Page
Creating a landing page specifically for Instagram is important if you are serious about your sales funnel. You should ensure the landing page is in line with the visuals and messages your following has grown accustomed to.
Instagram allows you to add links to your bio, and that is where you can add your landing page, or share it via your Instagram stories. This feature is a good way to keep track of the number of people visiting your landing page. However, only accounts with 10,000 followers or more are eligible to use the ‘swipe up’ feature.
The landing page can also be used to promote products or discounts that are only available to your followers. You can mention the promotion in an Instagram post and add the link to the landing page.
Instagram is one of the most profitable platforms for any business. While it may seem like a lot of work and an impossible task to get followers and convert them to leads, in reality it is about using the right tactics consistently, coupled with great content creation!