How To Use Instagram To Drive Website Traffic

Good morning, Internet fans. Ryan Perry here, Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday October 14th, therefore, it is Social Media Wednesday. As usual, I have the beautiful and talented Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing. Good morning, Sarah!

Sarah Giometti: Good morning Ryan, how are you?

RP: I’m doing good. The Dodgers pulled through, we’re going to game five. Today is Wednesday, so Thursday in LA, so I hope we bring it home in LA.

SG: I know, and Greinke is pitching and he’s been pretty on fire recently so it’s a… As long as our backs show up, we should be in a good position to take home the series.

RP: Yeah, that’s the big thing. And you know the Mets are going to bring out their best pitcher, so we’ll see what happens. But exciting times last night… my chin after last night’s game.

SG: Yeah, it was tough.

RP: Yeah. Alright, today after baseball we are going to talk about Instagram and this is going to be kind of a great opportunity for you business owners that are on Instagram, kinda double check if you’re creating enough visibility to drive people to your website. And I should probably clarify that is making sure that your website URL, how can people find you ’cause it’s a little bit difficult or can be on Instagram if you’re not doing a couple of things and that’s what we’re covering today.

SG: Right. On Instagram, there’s really only one place you can put your URL and that’s in your bio. There’s no clickable links in the posts themselves. In the description of the post you can put a link there, but it’s not clickable. The only clickable link on Instagram is in your bio. So the number one thing we recommend to drive website traffic is making sure your link is in your bio, and you can change this too. So if you’re doing a special promotion and you have a specific landing page that you’re trying to promote, you can change that link to go directly to the landing page and drive people directly to where you want them to versus just your home page. So unlike some of the other social media sites where you just kinda leave your URL to be your home page kind of indefinitely, this is one where you can really use it in a dynamic and creative manner.

RP: Right. I love the fact that you use dynamic and creative because one of the things I want to touch on with Instagram is that with all the restrictions, that’s actually a good thing for audiences, in the fact that it makes it really hard for bad social media or small business owners who do social media poorly to really spam and do terrible things on Instagram because they’ve created so many restrictions. And therefore if you’re going to use Instagram as a marketing tool, one, you really need to understand who the audience is that’s on Instagram so that you’re communicating with them correctly.

RP: And then number two, because it is so limitating, you want to take advantage of all the extra steps, so not just having a specific URL that you can change out in a bio, but a couple other things that we’re going to talk about. Obviously with Instagram, it’s pictures. And I think one of the thing that a lot of business people don’t do is they don’t brand or put a URL, phone number, whatever, on the Instagram images, and so people… You may come up with something great and people share it freely, however if you don’t brand it,

[A], People could take ownership, but [B], You’re losing out on all that visibility that you’ve created.

SG: Right. One of the key things you said was about branding. Especially if you create your own graphics, so you’re not just putting up a picture on the fly, you create your own graphics, you absolutely should have your brand on there at a minimum. You can have your URL, your phone number, but if you have your brand on there, what you’re doing is training people to recognize it so it stands out, catches their eye, so as they’re scrolling through their Instagram feed, the more they recognize your brand, the more it catches their eye and they’re more out to look and engage with you as you’re posting down the road. So you want to make sure you got branding on the pictures and also on the videos. You can do short 15-second videos on Instagram. The ads are a whole different ball game, but for a regular Instagram post, you can do 15 seconds.

SG: And there are a ton of apps out there, we can do a quick video edit and overlay your URL on the video, so the entire 15 seconds of the video is playing, your URL is right there front and center or down at the bottom, don’t block the video. But drop that in real quick so that people are seeing your URL as they’re watching your video so that they’re more inclined to… And you can put it in the comments in the description of the video, “Click the link in our bio for more information,” or whatever, and that will help in them go, “Okay, I want to go to the website, let me quickly go to the bio and click over.” So they can take those couple extra steps, but you’re putting it in front of them for the best opportunity to drive traffic to your website.

RP: Right. And personally I don’t use Instagram a lot in my business, but as you were just saying, “Hey you can put a description, go to my bio to click the link,” wouldn’t you be able to put the URL? Obviously, they’d have to copy and paste, but you might be able to just say, “Hey, copy and paste,” or do they have restrictions where you’re not allowed to do that?

SG: No, you are allowed to do that, it’s just not a clickable link. The only clickable link is in your bio. So you can definitely put the, “Hey, copy and paste our URL to find out more information about whatever our video is.” I can definitely do that and it is relatively easy nowadays on smartphones to copy and paste text out of something. So you definitely can do that, but you might want to go, say, “If you’re going to go that route,” also tell them, “or just click the link in our bio,” which is the easier route for the person. Give them the couple of options. You want to make things as easy as possible for people to do what you want them to do.

RP: Right, and I think you’re right. To try and copy and paste on a smartphone is a little bit more difficult than just going, “Okay, click on the picture, the bio picture, and then clicking on the link there.” So… Alright, so we have images and, by the way, when we talk about branding, just in case people aren’t 100% sure, really talking about your logo. Make sure you have your logo on your images, on your videos. That way, if people do share it, they’re seeing that. Then it goes deeper as far as font, message, and all that other kinda crazy stuff, which we’re not going to go into.

RP: So you talked about making sure that you have a link on your bio. That link doesn’t necessarily have to be to your homepage. It could be to, especially if you’re selling products, maybe it’s all about… I don’t know, it’s October, so you’re selling long-sleeve sweaters or something, so you might want to link to that page versus the home page. If you’re going to upload pictures, it’s Instagram. You should be uploading images, branding URL, so that if people do have more information, they can just go boom, type in your URL, and hopefully you don’t have one of those crazy long URL’s. Same thing with video, just doing a quick overlay with your URL including a little branding bug in there, your logo. Are there… Is there any other ways that we can increase visibility of our website to drive traffic?

SG: They also have, Instagram, as we’ve talked about in a few episodes, Instagram rolled out ads recently, and so, that is another way is utilizing Instagram ads, and we’re not going to get too far into those. You can do Instagram ads through the Facebook power editor because Facebook owns Instagram. So there are tools, or there are instructions out there on how to set that up. That would be a whole another episode, but taking advantage of the Instagram ads, they have a couple different options of a static ad, they have a carousel ad, so if you sell products you can do carousel ads where you’re showing different pictures that people can slide through.

SG: So that is another way to drive traffic to your website is taking advantage of the ad platforms, and that goes with any of the social media sites that have ads. It’s just the way… They are going to a pay to play model, which, “Welcome to business.” They are businesses, too, so don’t be too grumpy about it. It’s still more inexpensive than traditional media.

RP: Right, and that’s kind of an interesting thing, and if you’re concerned about that or frustrated about paying to play, just realize it’s going to be much more inexpensive today to pay to play than maybe next year or two years, three years down the road. The big one for me is going to be Facebook. I want to take advantage of Facebook’s inexpensive ad platform as much as I can because, like Google, Google Ads or Pay Per Click used to be very inexpensive. As they build an audience and a following, they go, “Well, hey, we can justify raising our rates,” and that’s going to happen with Facebook at some point, and I’m sure it will happen with Instagram also.

SG: It actually already has happened with Facebook, it’s just been incremental that people… It’s not… It hasn’t gotten as high as say, Google Pay Per Click, but I’ve definitely seen the last three years or so, a huge difference in the costs especially as you’re defining your target market. If you’re going after a very sought after market, like, “Mom, this is a big one,” you’re going to pay more money than if you’re going to go after, say, veterinarians. And so, you also still have that variable, much more of that variable because of your target audience, than you have say with Google or traditional marketing.

SG: So it’s definitely worthwhile to take advantage of it, and we’ll get into Instagram ads ’cause they’re new, they’re a mystery to people, and it’s also strange ’cause you’re doing… You’re running the ads out of Facebook when they’re for Instagram, so you’re crossing over platforms, so we’ll definitely get into that into future episodes. But another way to leverage it is to build relationships with industry influencers who are on Instagram. So identify… I know there are several industry influencers that I follow across different social media platforms, and it’s picking maybe one or two of them, building a relationship with them, build the relationship first, interact with their posts, share their stuff, start building that commodity, that relationship, that down the road, you could have the opportunity of cross-promoting each other, and so, they could possibly promote you, which they’re following… They would drive traffic from their following to your website.

SG: It’s an opportunity down the road, but do not, under any circumstances, reach out to one that you’ve never met, never had any interaction with, never helped along their stuff, and said, “Hey, could you help promote me?” ‘Cause they’re going to say, “No.” So that’s a longer term strategy to put in some effort to build a relationship first knowing that it could turn into a way to drive traffic to your website.

RP: And not only drive traffic, but when you have a circle of influence that has thousands of followers, and you can tap into that market, that’s one of the easiest, easiest ways. This almost goes back to referral marketing. If I can find somebody like a business coach that works with my clients and says, “Hey, these are the things that you need to do in order to prove your business,” that person is an influencer in their market, and if I’m in a trusted friend, associate, helper, assistant, whatever that word is that you want to use, it’s really easy for them to say, “Hey you need to go use Sarah, you need to use Ryan to fix X, Y, Z with your digital marketing.” And it just… That is a great way to increase your sphere of influence.

SG: Right, and also just interacting with their posts as you’re building that relationship. That gives you exposure as well. If you’re… If they post something in your industry and you comment on it, that’s exposure for your brand. Especially if it’s a well thought out comment, people agree with you, and that… Or maybe you had an idea that nobody had thought of and it was a great idea, and you’re showing that on social media. It’s adding to your credibility because you want to go… Not go after their audience, but you want to tap into their audience because it’s also your target market. And if you’re getting the exposure by interacting with them and their audience… Just interacting with them, it’s part of being social and part of the social community. The engagement, being part of the community and involved in it, it will come back to business for you.

RP: Right, be a part of the conversation essentially. It’s kind of like if you go to the network functions in real life, if you just stand on the outside and don’t do anything, you’re not really going to have a lot of visibility. However if you get involved with the conversation, you’re going to create credibility, engagement, relationships, all that’s going to grow. We’re almost out of time, do you want to kinda step through again as a repeat for business owners?

SG: Absolutely. So to drive traffic to your website through Instagram, number one: Make sure you utilize the URL in your bio. And keep in mind it’s dynamic, so change it based on what you’re promoting and what you’re doing. Number two is branding your images, making sure your logo is on it. And also if the colors clash, change your logo to white, gray, or black. There’s always a white, gray, or black option if you’ve got color. It’s like my logo is red, and so if I’m doing something pink and purple it’s not the best color to put there, so I put a white, gray, or black version of it ’cause they can still see the imagery. Put your URL on photos and videos, do a quick video edit to put your URL on it for the entire 15 seconds. That way people start to recognize it and drive to it, also you can put it in the description of the post to copy and paste the URL. Look into Instagram ads if you’re adventurous, or wait until we get into it here and help you through fine-tuning what it is and what you should or should not be doing with them. And then start engaging with Instagram influencers, and start building those relationships, be a part of the conversations that they’re creating so you can eventually grow that relationship.

RP: Alright, perfect. So that’s it for today’s episode of Internet Marketing. If you’re on Instagram, you’ve been thinking about using Instagram, go back, review your account, make sure that you’re doing all of these steps. It’s kind of like, “Hey, if you’re going to do 80% of the work, why not finish it off with the next 20% if it could double or triple the amount of visibility and potential clients that you get from it?” Sarah, as always, I appreciate your time, I hope you have a great week, and that’s it for today’s show. Thank you everybody.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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