What do blogging and Instagram have in common? A lot, actually. There’s a lot more to Instagram’s visual-heavy platform than drool-worthy photos and seemingly random hashtags. When leveraged the right way, it can also drive crazy amounts of traffic to your blog.
In 2018, the ‘gram hit 1 billion active monthly users and is now the third most widely used social media platform, behind Facebook and YouTube. It’s the platform of choice for influencers — aka people who can nudge other people your way if you play your cards right.
And even better, you don’t have to invest in paid ads to leverage Instagram as a blog traffic booster.
Here are some practical strategies you can start using now that will encourage more click-throughs to your blog in a way that doesn’t come across as salesy or empty.
Add Links to Your IGTV Videos
IG videos are an excellent way to bring your content to life. In fact, video itself has been dubbed as the type of content with the best ROI, according to more than half of marketers. And even though YouTube dominates the video segment with more than 500 million hours of videos watched per day, people are consuming plenty of video content on Instagram, too.
But did you know that links on your Instagram videos are clickable? Videos are a perfect spot to drop a link back to your blog that offers more insight on whatever your video is about. You don’t have to get fancy with your videos, either: a 10-second blurb about your blog post is super easy to make and can be just as effective as a professionally-produced video.
If you need Insta inspo for videos, take a look at Dollar Shave Club’s strategy. They post commercial-like videos that are short and sweet, with a URL displayed as a text overlay in the video. Just click and go straight to their website.
Add Links to IG Stories
Instagram Stories was a game-changer for the platform. In case you’re not familiar with this feature, Stories allows you to post short, ephemeral content that disappears within 24 hours. The goal is to create “in the moment” content that connects with your audience in a natural, organic way.
If you’re lucky enough to have more than 10,000 followers and an Instagram business account, you can add links to your IG Stories and make it way easier to drive traffic to your blog. Reaching that 10K follower mark activates the Swipe Up feature — users can simply swipe up on their phone to go check out whatever link you’ve added. This is super helpful from the user’s perspective and creates mega opportunities for you and your blog.
The only drawback is that you need a business account and enough followers. If you’re not quite there yet, check out my post on increasing Instagram engagement that may help you grow your following.
A strategy I will use is to pull excerpts or stats from my blog posts and publish multiple Instagram stories to promote pushing viewers to “swipe up.” Here’s an example of that:
Use Your DMs to Provide Value
Direct messages, or DMs, on Instagram are arguably the platform’s most magical feature. It lets you connect directly with individual audience members (hence the name) and gives you an opportunity to get inside their mind and cater to their needs and interests.
Influencers have made it a practice to tell their audience to reach out with a DM if they have a question or comment. This serves two key purposes:
First, it gives you inspiration for the type of content they want to see. A lot of bloggers do this when they’re befuddled about what to write on next. By asking your audience what they want to see (since you’re ultimately creating content for them, not yourself), you have a much better chance of developing something that will truly connect with them.
The second opportunity here is that this is your chance to answer their question or respond to their comment with helpful, valuable content you’ve already created. All you have to do is write a quick response to their DM and include a link to a relevant blog post, course, masterclass, or other type of content.
If you’re not getting a lot of DMs, use the Question Sticker to ask your audience what they want to know. This is a great way to start the conversation en masse, then you can reach out to individuals or line up a series of posts with links that address the questions you get.
Repurpose Your Blog Posts for Instagram
Have you ever considered using Instagram as a microblog? It’s a growing trend that can not only provide value to your Insta audience, but also drive traffic to your real blog.
You can post short and sweet blog posts that tease larger and longer posts on your blog, then provide a link that will take users to your website. In fact, you can use a tool like Linktree which allows you to link to multiple posts. Your CTA (call-to-action) within each Instagram update would be “link in bio.”
Optimize Your Profile for Engagement
Similar to how you’d optimize a blog post to SEO, you should also consider how you’ve optimized your Instagram profile:
- Do you have a strong bio that includes your name and a description of what you do?
- Does your bio also include a link to your blog or website?
- Do you have a Call to Action to direct people to your blog or website?
These might seem like small opportunities, but you need to go after the low-hanging fruit just as much as any other strategy to give yourself the best chance to reach your goals. More importantly, distributing your content in all of the organic ways possible is a great way to figure out which channels will work best in terms of engagement and driving traffic to your website.
Wrapping It Up
Remember that when it comes to social media and especially Instagram, people want to connect with like-minded people. Whatever content you choose to publish, you have to make sure that you’re doing it to add value to your followers.
Finally, don’t be afraid to test multiple content types from videos, graphics, raw footage, and actual photos. The only true way to understand what is going to work best for your followers on Instagram is to test your content in as many ways as possible.