As the photo and video sharing platform has increased in popularity among general users, businesses have begun to follow. In the United States, 71% of businesses have Instagram accounts, according to the social network’s own numbers.

And users are interacting with those businesses. Over 200 million users reported visiting at least one business profile every day. In addition, a third of the most-viewed stories, Instagram’s popular feature that lets users post photos and videos available for only 24 hours, have been created by businesses.

Your business doesn’t have to view time invested in Instagram as simply building brand awareness, either. With the right strategy, Instagram can be a significant driver of web traffic for your business.

Who uses Instagram - and how they use it

Take a look at who uses Instagram and how they use the platform. It should become pretty clear why businesses have been flocking to sign up.

Instagram boasts 1 billion users worldwide. Its users are mostly younger, with 71% under the age of 35.

In the United States, 72% of teens are on Instagram. Last fall, the platform passed Snapchat as the top social media network for teens. Of adults in the U.S., 35% reported they use Instagram.

On top of its popularity, Instagram is a very active platform. Users younger than 25 are on the app for 32 minutes per day, on average. Users older than 25 are on the app for an average of 24 minutes per day.

The users are generous, too, with how they engage. Users like 4.2 billion posts per day, according to a 2016 report.

For your business, this means Instagram can offer a new method of reaching a very large amount of people, many of them belonging to younger demographics.

Plus, these users have shown they are willing to reward and engage with quality visual content.

Use calls to action to lead people to your website

If you want to drive traffic to your business’s website or other online resources via Instagram, then you need to make a focused effort on giving direction and guiding people to those destinations.

As with any other good ad, your Instagram content needs to have clear calls to action. Your business could have the most beautiful photos and videos positively promoting your brand or products, but you will likely lose out on traffic if there’s no calls to action.

Instagram doesn’t allow working URLs in the text accompanying general posts. This is where the common “link in bio” phrase comes into play. Rather than including a URL that users can’t click in the content, many pages urge users to visit their profile page.

That’s where Instagram allows for one working URL. Some businesses keep this URL the same, others update it and others include a link to a page with additional links using services like Linktree, Campsite and others.

Whichever method you decide works best for your business, make sure to let users know - either in the text portion of your post or in the post itself - where to go for more information and how to get there.

If you are posting content as a story, then it’s much more simple to include a link for users to tap.

For videos, use an overlay to add a URL. Keep the URL short, though, as users still won’t be able to tap the link.

Use the Stories feature to get in front of followers

Noticing the popularity of Snapchat’s temporary photo and video messaging service, Instagram launched its stories feature in 2016. Businesses have been quick to adopt - and for good reason.

As points out, the beauty of Instagram Stories is that they can help businesses connect with customers on a much deeper level thanks to the “authentic and personal” design. Instagram also places stories above the traditional feed. If a business actively posts new stories, then they are much more likely to be seen by followers.

Businesses can use stories to promote time-sensitive events, including sales, contests and other announcements.

Stories are a great way to get a message across to your followers and potential customers in smaller bits of info, a strategy that plays well on mobile devices.

Boost your content with Instagram ads

Ads in Instagram are a whole different matter. With these, you actually can include clickable links with your posts. By investing in the promotion of your content, you have a much greater chance at having your photos or videos seen by more people.

With Instagram, you can create three types of visual ads - photo, video or carousel (multiple photos). The ads each include clickable buttons, such as “Learn More,” that you can use to link to your website, a landing page or other resource you are trying to direct web visitors to.

If done the right way, Instagram ads can come across as much more authentic and relatable, unlike ads in other formats. Consider creating ads that are similar to your unpaid, organic posts. This will make the ad much less intrusive, leading to more interaction with your targeted audience.

You also need to carefully consider your ad copy. A message that sounds way too much like a sales pitch likely won’t perform very well. Again - consider what unpaid posts have performed well, why they generated results and try to emulate that.

And don’t forget your call to action that will drive people to your website.

Have a focused, consistent strategy

Finally, the best way to reach more people and generate more traffic to your website with Instagram is to remain focused on incorporating calls to action with every post you share. Businesses also need to be consistent in how calls to action are delivered in their photos, stories and videos.

As Emily D. Baker shares with Rebrandly, “If you want to drive people to your website, you have to tell them why they should go to check out your website.”

Baker’s advice is to keep directions in calls to action simple and always tell people why they should visit the website.

Ready to talk social media strategy?

Is your business getting the most out of its social media strategy? If you’re interested in learning more about driving traffic to your website with Instagram and other social media platforms, then reach out to us. Our team would be happy to chat and provide a free consultation.

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