Quality Lead Generation is the name of the digital marketing game and Instagram is the playing field that is leaving all its competitors behind.
But how to actually create a personal brand on Instagram for lead generation especially for business owners, digital marketers & sales professionals?
Let’s start with why Instagram and then I will go on to explain how you can create a personal brand that will generate quality leads and grow your business like there is no tomorrow
Why Instagram for Lead Generation?
Did you know that the number of active users on Instagram has surpassed 1 Billion as of January 2020.
This leaves it just a few steps behind Facebook which holds rank #1 at the moment.
In fact, Instagram has been so consistent in its growth that in 2019, the number of adults using Instagram grew from 35% to 37% and this number is steadily growing.
If targeting a younger demographic is your aim, then Instagram is the perfect platform for you.
So Instagram is definitely a goldmine, with tons of quality leads just waiting to be acquired.
But Instagram is a platform that gives importance to visuals, pictures, and aesthetics, so it is really important to create a brand that resonates with your target audience and incorporates all of the above key aspects.
That’s where the importance of personal branding comes into the picture.
But Why Stress on Personal Branding?
In the world of digital, it is of utmost importance to be able to portray yourself to people in the way you want them to see you.
Personal branding is not just about the way your business card looks, it is the art of creating a professional impression to your audience.
Personal branding gives you the opportunity to leave a lasting impression not only on your current clients but also on your potential clients.
So now that you know why personal branding is important, let’s dive into the proven techniques that will help us create a personal brand that will result in quality lead generation on Instagram
5 Steps to Create a Personal Brand on Instagram
I will be honest with you, creating a personal brand on Instagram takes a lot of work.
You will have to plan, strategize, and implement your plan consistently to create a lasting impression, but like all things that take time, the benefits are 10X the effort.
So let’s get on with the steps without any further delay
Step 1: Understand Instagrams Algorithms
Now Instagram like all social media platforms is constantly changing and evolving.
What would have worked 6 months ago may not work right now, In fact, as I write this post in the year 2020, the way instagram works has already changed.
So before you start creating a plan, it’s important to understand how instagrams algorithms have changed.
Instagrams algorithms primarily work on three ranking signals, they are:
i.) Relationship (Interaction history)
ii.) Interest (Post type)
III.) Timeliness (Publishing recency)
Relationships – Instagram wants people to spend more time on its app by showing people content that is meaningful. The algorithm pushes posts of those accounts that a user has already interacted with in the past.
So what does that mean for brands? Focusing on Likes, Comments, Interacting on other accounts, tagging people on posts, and DMs are now all important factors to reach and grow your Instagram account. Community engagement is the key focus here.
Some of the key engagements for feed ranking are Likes, Views, Reshares, and Comments
Interest – If you liked a specific type of post on Instagram, chances are that you will like similar kinds of posts in the future too. Keeping this in mind, Instagram’s algorithms are designed to show you posts based on your interests.
The more people engage with your posts, the more likely they are to see your future posts too, and vice versa.
The algorithm wants to give people more of what they like, it’s as simple as that.
Timeliness – Posts that are more recent have a higher chance of ranking on the top of people’s newsfeed compared to older posts, this means that posting at a time with your audience is more likely to be online is crucial.
Other Factors that affect ranking – Besides the above 3 factors, there are a few other factors that also contribute to your ranking on Instagram.
They are frequency of use, average session duration, and the number of followers on your account.
In the case of frequency of use, only your top-performing posts will be shown to users if they log in to Instagram after a long duration, which means, the focus on engagement is very important.
Now that you know how the algorithm works, you can use this information to create a brand that will reach the right people, at the right time and focus on engagement and creative content that leaves a lasting impression.
Step 2: Strategize Your Approach
Strategy is an important factor for any social media platform, not just Instagram. You will need to develop a thorough marketing plan before you start creating content for implementation
Create Goals: Creating goals as to what you want to achieve with your Instagram account will give you direction and achievable targets. Do you want leads, do you want website visitors, brand awareness, sales, or something else, ask yourself these questions and you will be able to understand the kind of content that will help you achieve these goals
Understand Your Target Audience: Knowing your target audience will give you key insights on what content type works, what kind of accounts your audience follow, who your competitors are, and what works. Make a list of your ideal target audience and half of your work is done.
Create a Content Calendar – I cannot stress how important a content calendar is for any successful social media campaign. A content calendar will not only help you be consistent in your marketing efforts, but it will also help you plan what type of content to post when and on which day.
Analyze your Efforts – Take the time to analyze how your content is performing. What type of posts are working well and what isn’t. Are videos getting more engagement, is a certain type of post receiving more comments, are posts scheduled at a specific time performing better than others? Analyze and improvise. That will help you fine-tune your content to meet the needs of your audience.
Step 3: Keep a Focused Theme to Your Posts
Too many entrepreneurs are all over the place when posting on Instagram. You need to be authentic with yourself when you’re creating your content.
When I say create a theme and be authentic, what I mean is that, don’t go posting about cricket on one day and then about fitness on the second and then suddenly about a childhood field trip on the third.
Let’s say if you have a Yoga Class as an online business, and you keep posting yoga workout pics, and then you suddenly decide to go for a vacation for a week.
Now you can choose to post a lot of videos and pics of your journey traveling across the world and convert your account into a travel diary for a week or you can combine your travel experience into a cohesive theme for your account.
For example, you can click pics of you doing yoga at different locations during your traveling journey.
There are tons of ways to implement a thematic approach in your posts no matter what you’re doing.
Step 4: Amplify your Pictures by using Apps NOT FILTERS
Yes, you read that correctly, DO NOT USE Instagram’s filters to edit your pictures.
Instagram is all about beautiful images and visuals and if you’re under the impression that by uploading sub-standard pictures and adding those in-built filters will get you engagement and leads, you’re sadly wrong.
There are too many people out there who wonder why their hashtags and captions don’t attract any attention, well duh, chances are, your images suck!
Use apps that can beautify your images for editing and then upload them on Instagram.
Step 5: Be Social on Instagram
The whole point of social media is to be social. But a lot of us are so focused on sharing our own content, that we lose sight of how the platform is designed.
As you may have noticed, Instagram now rewards you if your content garners engagement.
So how do you get engagements on your own content? The simple answer is by engaging with others as well.
Respond to everyone who likes your posts personally, don’t just give bland comments like ‘Thanks’ and go on with your day, you need to actually go deep into your users account and create personalized conversations, that will entice them to engage with you more.
Some of the ways you can try engaging with your audience are by:
a.) Using Emojis in your comments
b.) Sharing relatable images
c.) Reply with funny GIFs on your stories
d.) Try to ask follow-up questions to keep the conversation going
As long as you are friendly and you make your users feel that they are being given personal attention, they will keep coming back to you.
Another way to keep your users excited is by launching Instagram contests and awarding prizes. Everybody likes to win, and the prizes need not be expensive either.
Lead Generation Strategies on Instagram
Now that you have learned how to build a brand on Instagram, applying those techniques will certainly lead to leads organically, but there are some ways to even speed up the lead generation process.
Now you will learn some quick techniques to generate leads.
Now remember these will only work once you build a brand, so it is important to religiously follow the previous steps first.
If quality is what you want, then you have to build a brand first!
1. Launch Instagram Contests
Instagram contests will not only keep your current users engaged but if done well, can help you grow your followers and get quality leads too.
Did you know that instagram contest related posts get 64X more comments and 3.5X more likes on average compared a normal post
For example, Dutch cosmetics company, Trind ran a giveaway contest for their manicure set and generated nearly 900 leads in just 2 weeks. And trust me, those will be quality leads of people who are excited about their product.
Many of these platforms offer a free trial, so you can test them out before investing in them.
2. Use Instagram Lead Generation Ads
This is the most obvious way to generate leads on Instagram. With the help of Instagram lead generation ads, you can collect tons of information such as the name, email, phone number, address etc.
You will need a Facebook Ad Account to run Instagram lead generation ads on instagram.
All you need to do is select the lead generation option from the Consideration Section when you create your Facebook Ad Campaign.
Then you need to select manual placements and select only Instagram as an option ( If you don’t want your ad to show on Facebook)
You will also need to create the AD with the ideal specifications to run on Instagram.
If you’re going to run your ad on insta stories then ensure your image or video ratio is 9:16 with a resolution of 1080 X 1920.
If you’re opting to create a video ad, then the maximum video length should be upto 15 seconds.
All of this sounds overwhelming? Here is a free tool to create instagram ads on the go – Crello: Free Instagram Ad Maker
3. Collaborate with Instagram Influencers
Influencers can vastly increase your website traffic and get you more followers on your instagram account.
But why Influencers you ask? Because unlike celebrities, when an influencer endorses your brand, it does not look as salesy or unauthentic as compared to when a celebrity does the same.
For example, when Puma collaborated with Rhianna, a famous Hollywood celebrity, to promote the AW17 range of sneakers in Paris, their video managed to receive 161 views and 2.14K likes.
On the other end of the spectrum, Sharon a beauty influencer did an unboxing of a makeup kit by Sephora, her video received 258K Views and 12k Likes.
So as you can see, the general public can relate to influencers much more than to celebrity ads.
In fact, 70% of millennials claim to be more influenced by bloggers and online influencers compared to celebrities.
But how do I find influencers for my business? This is a question that may have popped in your mind, especially if you’re new in the market.
Here are a few tips to get the right Influencers for your brand:
- Understand who you’re trying to reach – Who is your ideal target audience, who do they follow, what do they like, all of these questions will help you hone in on the right influencers for you
- What type of Influencer suits your brand? Is it a chef who cooks a lot of delicious food, is it a young beauty blogger, ,or a businessman who gives success tips? Once you figure out what type of influencer is perfect for you, you will already have a few names in mind
- Search for those influencers and see how many followers they have. But what’s most important is to know how many of those followers are engaged followers. Check their recent posts, see if there is a lot of engagement
- Use influencer software – There are many free and paid software to search for influencers that may suit your business
- Once you have narrowed down on your list, connect with them on DM and offer your proposition. Influencers love collaborations, especially if your product is good. So don’t hesitate to get-in-touch with them
4. Customize every Creative around your Goal
If lead generation is your goal, then every creative you make and post on instagram should be able to guide people to the link in your bio.
Every post that you make on instagram should entice your users to visit your website, there are tons of brands that do this in an engaging way, and that should hold the same for you as well.
Some of the ways you could do this is by providing freebies, tips in the form of beautiful typography that invites people to view more on your website, tease your viewers about the awesome on-site content waiting for them.
Create special landing pages on your website just to greet your instagram followers, this will give them a unique experience when exploring your brand. Trust me, they will remember you and love you for it.
5. Use your Hashtags Honestly
No instagram guide is complete with the mention of hashtags. Believe it or not, hashtags are still very important on instagram and they should not be left out.
But one thing that should be done consciously is not to misuse hashtags. Be honest with yourself to see what hashtags are actually relevant for your brand and ditch all those that are not.
Recently there was a huge controversy around a TitTok Infuencer who used the hashtag #skirt in an image where HE was not wearing any skirt, neither was there any skirt in that image whatsoever.
That post then turned into a viral video and the memes started flowing on the internet. This further damaged that influencers credibility.
The point of this example is that senselessly using hashtags just to amplify your reach does not make any sense, in fact you risk the chance of damaging your credibility and reaching out to the wrong target audience.
So how do I find relevant hashtags for my brand? Well here are few ways to get good hashtags
- Use hashtags that come to your mind. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you know your business better than anyone else, as you type hashtags, Instagram will automatically generate similar hashtags for your business
- Influencer Marketing Hub Instagram Hashtag Generator – This particular tool will help you think of hashtag ideas in a unique way. All you have to do is upload your creative and the tool will come up with appropriate hashtag topics to choose from. Once you select the topics, you will get a list of hashtags along with their popularity
- All Hashtag – is a simple yet powerful hashtag generator tool, that gives you a list of best hashtags based on your primary hashtag that you feed in. Simple, powerful, and useful, a free tool that can do wonders.
- Ritetag – Ritetag gives you hashtag suggestions for your images and texts instantly based on real-time engagement. You can also group hashtags to easily compare them on Ritetag.
- Instagram Hashtag Generator by Instavest – With the Instagram hashtag generator, you can easily generate hashtags for your images, links as well as keywords.
6. Be Consistent
This is the most important step for lead generation on instagram. Without consistency in you posting, your leads will reach a point of stagnancy and your followers will not grow.
I have kept this step as a last step, because of how underrated it is. There is no tool that is going to help you to post consistently. It takes pure will to ensure that you have content up on your instagram daily.
Besides that, you need to engage, collaborate and respond to all your followers every day. Only by doing that, you will generate leads on instagram or any social media channel for that matter.
If Content is King, Consistency is the Kingdom, what good is a king without a Kingdom? Nothing!
So be consistent and follow all the steps mentioned above religiously, and you will end up with a powerful instagram account that will transform into a lead generation machine.
So to finally conclude, generating leads and creating your personal brand no matter which business or industry you belong to is no longer an option. It is a Must.
And the best part is, it’s not that hard to grow your brand and actually have fun while doing it. Incase you have any questions about any of the tactic shared here, please feel free to drop a comment below so that we can discuss. =)
Until the next post, ciao!