How to Drive Traffic from Instagram

Instagram may only have launched eight years ago, but it has changed social media enormously. I mean, it’s 2018, who can be bothered to READ when you could just mindlessly scroll through photos?

It’s relatively clear what sort of content you should be posting on your personal Instagram profile (cats, dogs, duck face selfies, food). But Instagram is also incredibly valuable for building brand awareness.

According to Hubspot “70% of users have spent time looking up a brand on the platform”.

Building an aesthetically pleasing feed, choosing appropriate hashtags, and engaging with customers and other relevant accounts is a good approach. But can you drive traffic from Instagram as well?

On Twitter and Facebook you can drive traffic by posting links in your updates. But on Instagram it’s slightly more complicated. Links in captions are not clickable. There is only one clickable link, which is available in your Instagram bio.

Despite this, there are ways to work around this and drive traffic from Instagram.

Hacking Instagram’s One Link in Bio Issue

Linktree

There are various tools which create landing pages so that you can share multiple links using the single link in your bio. One we like is Linktree. There are both free and paid plans on Linktree, with the paid plan offering daily traffic breakdowns, scheduling, and increased customisation. The free plan is a great starter tool and still includes unlimited links and a click count.

On Linktree you can add as many links as you want (for example to your businesses website, Twitter, Facebook, blog etc) as well as choosing a colour scheme. You are then provided with a personalised link which you can place in your Instagram bio. When this link is clicked, users will be taken to a landing page displaying your list of links.

For example, the Instagram for our ethical and sustainable food publication Eco & Beyond uses Linktree. This is what the link looks like in the Instagram bio:

And this is what the landing page looks like:

Linkin.bio

Later is a handy, free, social media planner that’s great for Instagram. They have a tool called Linkin.bio which is available on the paid business plan.

In essence, Linkin.bio does the same thing as Linktree, however when you click on the link in the profile it brings up a landing page that looks just like your Instagram feed, only clickable. You can also monitor traffic and sales information using this tool.

One brand making use of this tool is Farmdrop.

The landing page basically resembles their Instagram feed, except you can click on the pictures and be taken to the attached link.

There are a lots of similar tools available such as Have2HaveIt, Link in Profile and LNK.BIO so it’s worth testing them out to see which has the best combination of features you need.

Story Selling

Swipe Up

Another way to drive traffic is by using Instagram’s “swipe up” feature. This feature is only available to verified accounts or business accounts with 10,000 followers or more (but surely that’s just an incentive to keep growing your audience!)

There are just three easy steps to creating a ‘swipe up’ Instagram story:

  1. Choose/take a photo or video for your story as you would normally
  2. Press the link button in the top right corner and add the link you want included
  3. Make sure to include a call to action on your story so people know they can swipe up and be taken to the link.

Here’s an example of what a ‘swipe up’ story looks like by Coconut Bowls. There is a ‘See More’ link at the bottom and an arrow up, and if you swipe this up it will take you to the relevant link.

Highlights

Another feature Instagram have recently introduced is story highlights. This allows you to highlight past stories on your profile. This can be especially useful if you have some really important ‘swipe up’ stories or key messages to communicate.

Here’s a great example by Rebel Kitchen. Although their highlighted stories do not include links, they include all their most important stories with information you would need to know when making a decision to purchase one of their products (such as sustainability info and stockists).

Another great example which does make use of ‘swipe up’ stories is Ethical Hour.

Each highlighted story has an important link attached – for example to the Ethical Hour blog. This is a great way of getting around the fact that there is technically only one clickable link.

Takeover Time

If you’re making the most of all the story tools available to you, but still fancy reaching a wider audience, why not take-over another Instagram account’s stories for the day?
You could even offer that the other account takes over on your account for the day in return. If you choose an account with a similar target audience to you, you will reach new people who may then be interested in you and follow your own account.

If the account you take-over is verified or has 10,000 followers this is even better, as you can make the most of ‘swipe up’ stories so that their audience can easily access your other pages (e.g your online shop, website, blog).

Win Over Your Audience

Contests and giveaways are a great way to build your audience. They are also a good way to drive traffic from Instagram!

The most straight forward Instagram-specific competition to build your Instagram audience would post a picture directly to Instagram and use something such as ‘follow this account’ as the entry method. This is great to build your followers, but probably won’t build much traffic.

Another type of competition is one which is based on your website. To make the most of this, use a contest boosting tool.

When you launch your competition post a picture on Instagram and make sure to include ‘link in bio’ in your caption. Then, make sure you add the competition link to your bio or one of the tools described above.

This way, the entrant has to click on the link in your bio, see all the links on your landing page (potentially tempting them to check out more of your links), and then click through to your website to enter the competition. That’s not only giving you extra traffic, but also leading them to a competition in which they are likely to view and potentially follow all your other social media channels!

Ad-ditional Help

If you have some spare cash, an Instagram Ad Campaign is probably the most effective way to drive traffic. Ads on Instagram are definitely building in popularity. As of September 2017 there were two million advertisers on Instagram up from one million in March 2017.

There are photo ads, video ads, carousel ads and stories ads available and these all have the option to have links attached. Ads look like any other post on Instagram and completely blend in with the rest of the feed so they don’t look too conspicuous.

Traffic Jam

Perhaps Instagram will make the process easier in future by offering more than one clickable link, by allowing smaller profiles to use ‘swipe up’ in stories, or by allowing click through on posts. For now these tips should help you drive more traffic from Instagram to your other digital channels.

It’s worth mentioning that many companies use Instagram purely for brand building and engagement rather than for building traffic, and there is nothing wrong with this. Building up the image, values and message of your brand is extremely important for long term success.

To summarise, here are our top tips for driving traffic from Instagram:

  • Use a link tool like Link Tree or Linkin.Bio
  • Implement ‘swipe up’ stories
  • Try highlighted stories
  • Take over other Instagram accounts and post on their story for the day
  • Run giveaways and competitions
  • Run ad campaigns

If you want a hand implementing these or need more in depth advice for leveraging the power of Instagram do get in touch and tell us what you’re looking for. We’d love to find out more about you and your brand!