Lead generation is the life source of an e-commerce business, yet for most companies, it remains a mystifying hurdle against expansion.
Over the years, business thinkers have generated hundreds of different lead generation strategies, each with its own acronyms and unique jargon.
In today’s highly competitive online world, businesses need to think holistically about lead generation, utilizing all possible avenues to earn and keep customers.
With about one billion monthly active users, Instagram represents a fertile ground for raising brand awareness and generating leads.
Why You Should Use Instagram For Lead Generation
In some ways, Instagram is a brand’s best friend when it comes to lead generation. As the platform is overwhelmingly visual, the static images that are a brand’s bread and butter (logo and all) fit perfectly on this social platform.
What’s more, as a social medium, Instagram allows a brand to interact directly with consumers, converting those interactions into leads and, eventually, conversions.
Additionally, more than a quarter of Americans use ad-blocking software, which of course doesn’t impact the posts on Instagram’s infinite scroll.
It makes sense, then, to use Instagram to generate leads. Where To Begin?
The first thing we need to consider is why leads matter in the first place.
More leads increase the likelihood of purchases, which increases profit. The profit gained from lead generation allows a business to expand, reaching more users and generating more profit.
In content marketing, then, we generally discuss lead generation concerning a company’s goals. These goals can be either long-term or short-term.
To generate leads, you have to have SMART goals.
Specific. As the word implies, vague goals represent ambition but are not actionable. Rather than, for example, “we want to increase sales,” you might have a goal along the lines of, “we want to have $100,000 of sales from customers outside of urban centers.
”Measurable. If the goal is not measurable, there’s no quantitative way to assess whether your content marketing strategy was successful. Sales are a very common metric by which we may assess a goal’s success.Attainable. Big-picture thinking is essential for expanding a business, but SMART goals need to be attainable.
Achievable A bird in hand beats two in the bush, as the saying goes. This doesn’t mean, however, that the goals should be easy. You might fail in your goal, but there needs to be a real sense that achievement is possible.
Realistic. Sometimes stated as relevant, reasonable, or results-based, this goal is about grounding your goal in the facts of your business.
Relevant. A SMART goal must be relevant to your company’s long-term goals and realistic in terms of your current market impact.
Timed. A goal that doesn’t have a deadline often becomes mired in eventualities and loses its power to motivate a strong content marketing strategy. An immediate deadline is essential to setting and achieving your business’s goals.
Instagram: The Social Advantage To Lead Generation
When customers engage with brands via social media, they feel closer to brands and are more likely to buy their products.
In addition, influencer marketing has created a culture in which social media users regularly look to their favorite social platforms for advice on what to buy.
“As a brand, you can use Instagram to get closer to your customers and leverage authentic customer interactions into broader lead generation campaigns.”
When a customer tells you something they like about your product on an Instagram comment, for example, you can use that information to expand your brand offerings in that area or to cater your social presence more to the kinds of buyers these positive reviewers represent.
When a customer interacts with your business via social media, then, it’s important to respond and interact.
By having an interactive presence, you can give your customers the feeling of a personal experience with real people, rather than sterile profiteers.
In addition to nurturing your leads, interacting with users in real-time via social media can increase conversions and grow your audience.
A recent study found that marketers that followed up with customers within minutes are nine times more likely to convert them.
Outside of the traditional post-and-comment method, there are plenty of unique ways that Instagram can help with lead generation.
Hashtags (regular, branded, and movement-based), Instagram landing pages, bio links, and stories can all help you to bring your leads straight to your brand and begin converting. It’s Important To Deeply Understand How Stories Work
The first stop on our tour of Instagram’s many useful features for brands is the stories. At the top of an Instagram user’s profile, just below the search bar, a series of circles appear.
Each of these has within it the profile pictures of various people the user follows. When the Instagram user clicks on one of these bubbles, that user’s story appears.
An Instagram story is a video or picture that, when clicked on, appears for a maximum of 15 seconds before a story from another account the user is following appears automatically.
“Stories are an extremely valuable way for brands to generate leads.”
Since Instagram first launched stories, user engagement with stories has risen dramatically. Half of Instagram’s daily active users use stories every day, and this is becoming an increasingly popular way to engage with the platform.
How does the story fit into your lead generation strategy?
According to a Facebook survey, 81% of users use the Instagram feed (regular posts) to help them research products or services.
This means that posting on your Instagram feed can be extremely helpful to gaining new leads and helping consumers inform themselves about what products to buy.
At the same time, however, video adapts itself more naturally to the story, and video marketing is an extremely successful tactic for gaining leads. In video marketing, you use video and snippets of video to inform and guide the purchases of your followers.
“According to an Eyeview study, video can increase conversion rates by up to 86%. “
What these statistics tell us about Instagram is that the feed is excellent for attracting new leads, while the story works to convert them. Both, however, are excellent ways to build social trust with your customers.Using Instagram
To Build Trust
By regularly posting things that matter to your customers (informative, high-quality content), you can build the kind of trust that is more likely to lead to conversion. Building trust is an essential aspect of value-based marketing or improving customer value.
Value-based marketing is an aspect of content marketing in which the content you share is manufactured to resonate with your target audience.
The result of a successful post and story strategy on Instagram is synonymous with a successful value-based marketing strategy.
Instagram helps your leads to think, “they think like me, they value what I value.”
Lead Ads On Instagram
Beyond the feed and the story, many brands use lead ads on Instagram to attract and convert leads.
To get more leads on Instagram, the first and most obvious tactic is to use lead ads. Lead ads are targeted to social media leads (potential customers who express interest on social media) to achieve conversions.
Lead ads provide marketers with demographic data about leads to allow them to further develop their lead generation strategy.
“These ads help businesses collect email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, job titles, and more.”
Lead ads are so successful because they also provide a service to users; they allow users to easily sign up for newsletters, collect discount codes, or get on an email list for subscriptions.