Instagram is a great place to see pictures of sunsets and share photos of your food with your friends, but can the photo sharing app really help you drive traffic to your blog? While Instagram marketing is not as straight-forward as publishing your links on Facebook or Twitter, Instagram still presents a huge opportunity to build new audiences for your blog.
The key is to adapt your content to fit the platform, optimize for discovery, and incentive and direct your viewers to meet your goals. In this blog post, I will share five secrets to successfully drive traffic to your blog using Instagram.
1. Start with relevant quality content
Success on Instagram emerges from sharing compelling images. This is a photo sharing app after all. Follow all the best practices for photos that perform best on Instagram. Use some of the popular photo apps to improve the quality of your image. Consider elements or colors you can add or subtract that tend to increase engagement. For example, using the color blue, maintaining a dominant color and compositions with more space have been found increase likes on Instagram.
But if directing traffic to a blog post is your goal, the key is to make sure that the image is relevant to your blog post or topic at hand. Can you share a scene that is representative of your blog post? What about the visual expression of an emotion that underlies the post? How about visualizing a compelling quote from the piece?
Taking the time to prepare and optimize this image is the first step in attracting new eyeballs to your writing.
2. Utilize Captions
Yes, Instagram is about the visuals, but captions are an important part of the puzzle as well. Counter to popular assumptions Instagram offers a lot of space for lengthy captions. Up to 2200 characters to be exact. As writers, this is your place to shine.
Use the caption to tease your story. Give the audience a sample of your style and your structure. Draw them in with your words and tell them a snapshot of what they will learn from your full post. Give them just enough to make them want to read more. Since Instagram shortens your captions in a user’s feed, keep your most compelling information in your first two sentences.
Then tell them how they can read more. Make it explicit and direct. The easiest way to do this is by providing a new link in your profile and adding a “Click the link in my bio,” in your caption. Tell them what they will find when they click.
3. Add trackable short links
Instagram is weary of turning into a Twitter-like link machine. As a result there still remains just one place you can include a link to content. But the good news is you can update that link as often as you like. Take advantage of that offer.
Each time you share a new photo that connects to a blog post, change the link in your profile. Use Bitly or Google’s URL Shortener to create a short link. Not only do these give you the benefit of creating a short manageable link, they are also trackable.
Keep an eye on how these links perform. From this you can learn what is appealing to your audience. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
4. Use text-overlays to add call to actions and branded words in your photo
Your captions aren’t the only option for directing people to that link. Add those call to actions right in your photos. Use a tool like Canva to add a text overlay to your photo. This could be your domain name or a specific call to action like “Link in Profile” or “Visit blog for more”.
As regramming, the process of sharing an Instagram post from another user with your own audience, becomes a more common practice adding brand to your photos has become more important. Ideally someone would find your photo compelling and share it with their audience. With a text overlay, the new audience will see the brand or blog to visit to see more of your content.
5. Optimize for discovery
Now that you have a great photo, caption, and correct link in place, you want to get that photo out to as many people as possible. You can do this by understanding the platform, using the right hashtags and location tags, and posting at the highest traffic times.
Take a minute to research what tags are performing best in your given topic. Using Instagram’s Search & Explore feature you can type a hashtag to see the number of posts using that tag. Make sure you use the right combination of words or phrases to connect your content to the most popular conversation. Even better if your post relates to one of the most popular hashtags of the day. These are the trending hashtags that are being visited and shared by Instagram users as sorted on the Search and Explore home tab on Instagram.
Finally, sharing those photos at the right time. With so many photos coming through an Instagram user’s feed, your photo is likely to get lost if you post at a time when people are not engaged. From working with the thousands of bloggers who use our platform we found sharing photos in the morning from 8-10am, lunchtime, and evening from 7-9pm lead to more engagement. Use a scheduler like Viraltag to create your posts in advance and set to post at the optimal times.
Designing great posts optimized to perform best on Instagram that act as teasers for your blog content will lead to more traffic. Try out these techniques and let us know what you learn.
7 Lifestyle Bloggers to Follow on Instagram
You can find accounts to follow on Instagram about nearly any topic that interests you. A simple search will probably give you a wealth of choices. So many options can be overwhelming. The lifestyle category of influencers is a wide one that covers such areas as fashion, home decor, food and travel. It’s also one of the most popular genres around.
To get you started on finding quality lifestyle bloggers to follow on Instagram, check out this list. These accounts are attracting tons of followers and offering a great deal of value. They may have started their accounts by enlisting the help of opting to buy Instagram likes for every post, but their content has kept people flocking to them for more.
Kristina bills herself as a “healthy lifestyle advocate.” With over a million followers to date, she’s shown that people are responding positively to her messages. They’re probably also in awe of her gorgeous photos of tropical locales and delectable, healthy foods. She’s a popular YouTuber, as well, and offers her fans challenges such as the 21-Day New Year Challenge. Clearly, she’s an inspiration to many. If you’re looking to eat better and enjoy a more adventurous life, why not give her a follow?
If you love food from across the globe, the Brunch Boys are the account you want to follow. They have over 470,000 followers. That’s a lot of people waiting to see what these boys are having for brunch! You can browse their latest posts or check out the Instagram Stories Highlights at the top of their page to see Stories from specific cities and locations. They also invite you to check out their YouTube channel for more in-depth views of their fabulous food finds.
Let’s switch gears and check out a popular fashion blogger, specially men’s fashion. Based out of London, this luxury jet-setter offers a glamorous look at his fashionable lifestyle in his Instagram feed. You can view him poolside in a tux in the Hollywood Hills or bundled up in a sweater and parka in Stockholm. This guy always looks good. On top of it all, he’s an accomplished artist who’s happy to show off his works and other fine art he appreciates.
Another fashionable traveler to watch is Aina Simon. She’s based out of Barcelona and is the founder of her own fashion collection. That’s pretty impressive, as is her following of over 166,000. If you’re into women’s casual women’s fashion, she’s one to watch. Just browsing her afeed is a pleasure, and you’ll get a glimpse of her travels wearing the cutest outfits. Of course, you’ll find her hanging out in her home city of Barcelona. But Aina also travels extensively, and you can peruse some of her specific destination choices at the top of her page through her marked Instagram Stories Highlights. Prepare to spend a lot of time here.
If you want to find a stylish mom to follow on Instagram, Amanda Stanton is a good one to choose. She has over a million followers and has established herself as a key influencer in her niche. She and her family are adorable. They travel together to a wide variety of locations. It’s tempting to be a bit jealous of her grand lifestyle, but then you see how genuine she comes across sharing personal details of her life in quirky ways, such as one with she and her daughter using a cute animal filter overlay. Not many fashionistas are willing to portray themselves in such silly, spontaneous ways!
Hudabeauty is the Instagram account of Huda Kattan, the woman you want to know if you’re into all thing’s beauty. This woman has rightfully established an incredible cult following of 31.6 million followers. That’s right, million, not thousand. That huge number is almost too difficult to comprehend when it comes to social media audiences.
But she’s earned it. When it comes to makeup and beauty tips, she knows it all and is up on all the trends. She’s also a lot of fun. Huda doesn’t hesitate to add lots of adorableness to her feed by dropping in posts that include her adorable baby or a humorous video of her applying makeup to a very handsome sleeping man. Please visit her page. Makeup lovers need this in their lives.
If travel photography is your thing, take a look at the Instagram account of Murad Osmann. He and his wife will take you on amazing journeys through the lens of their camera. With 4.2 million followers and awards like Forbes Top 3 Travel Influencer under his belt, you can bet you’ll find nothing but breathtakingly beautiful images here.
Their destinations are simply exotic and exciting. Find the latest lineup of travel locales at the top of their feed. This couple documents their journey to everywhere from Mykonos to Egypt to Cannes and closer to their home in Moscow. This is definitely a feed you can get lost in for hours. Better grab a cup of tea.
Using Video to Attract More Engagement on Instagram
Hopefully, you’ll find these seven lifestyle bloggers enjoyable to follow. You’ll surely learn something new and discover ways influencers are presenting Instagram accounts that get noticed. However, what you will notice about some of them is that they like to focus more on their video content versus just using visual images and photos.
With more people using their mobile devices and social applications to view content on the internet, video is now in demand more than every. This can also be backed up by statements from simpleshow, where they write about how video continues to outperform on social. From both the content creator and the end user perspective, its a win-win situation.
Businesses and bloggers alike can benefit from taking a look at what these popular folks have to offer and the various ways they’re making an impact on the social media world.
YouTube vs Blogging: How to Determine Which One is Best For You
Content marketing of all types is only continuing to grow in popularity, and if you haven’t started jumping on the content bandwagon yet, it’s time. The major issue that most people have is where to start making their content.
When it comes to starting your content marketing efforts, there are two major mediums you should look into using when you are starting off: blogs and videos. These are the two easiest places to start that show the highest engagement, but which one do you choose?
Let’s take a look at the differences with video content and blogging, to figure out which one you should jump into first.
Video Content on YouTube
Making video content is a great place to start your content creation, but there is a catch. Making high-quality video can be expensive and time-consuming. Most of the expense comes upfront in the form of buying a quality camera and editing software. If you already have those, congratulations, the bar of entry just dropped. Video is a great way to connect with your viewers in one of the most personal formats available online. On top of that, video is one of those mediums that keeps growing year after year.
However, if the idea of getting in front of the camera and being the face and sound of your brand, there are plenty of other alternatives as well. For example, explainer videos works extremely well on both YouTube, social media, and as blog content. And what’s even better, is that there are plenty of low cost and reliable drag and drop solutions out there for creating your own short black and white videos in just a few minutes time.
No matter what type of videos you want to create, the growth of video keeps going up because of the rise in smartphone use. These little devices make it easier for people to connect with the internet because the access is in their pocket.
When you start making videos, you want to create a video production timeline. This includes everything from finding the right people to the video storyboard and production to final edits.
Formatting Your Video Content
There is a great format that big agencies and companies use to create their videos, and if you plan to make video content, you should use this format too.
The best video format looks like this:
- The Hook (10 seconds of something later in the video to interest viewers)
- This can also be replaced with an introduction.
- An Intro (A recurring introduction you use for all your videos)
- Pose a Problem (show a general problem that many people have that your product or services fixes)
- Show the Solution (show how your product or service takes care of the problem)
- Ask for Action (tell them how to take the next steps in case they are already sold)
- Destroy Doubt with Testimonials (take the time to fill in holes that people might see in the pitch. This can be done with testimonials, footage of the item being used in different ways, or explaining further detail about the potential you are offering)
- Sign of by Asking for More Action (again tell them where to go or what to do)
If you format your videos in the manner, you are more likely to develop an interest in engagement from your customer. If your goal is to create one of the most viewed YouTube videos this year, you should really look into this format. Think about it, if you have ever seen an infomercial, you have seen this format, and it’s proven to work with the test of time.
Blogging is another great place to start, and it has one major advantage over video, the cost of entry. If you can write, you can blog. All it takes is a place to showcase those blogs, and that is ultimately cheaper than any camera you can buy for video production.
The only major downside to blogging is not having the knowledge or knowhow to make those posts rank organically. The biggest things you can learn to help your blogging succeed are keyword research, blog style, keeping it simple.
There are specific keywords that relate to your post that will give your blog more potential to pull organic traffic. Basically, if the term is highly searched and you use it in your post, you have the opportunity to rank for that term as the search engine bots index your page. This can also be done for your video titles.
Style is important when you are trying to set up a successful blog post. If you just write a block of content and post it online, it might be hard for search engine bots to determine it’s meaning and value. You want to break up your content with headings that describe the sections readers are about to read.
If you are wondering what that looks like, you can look at this post. If you really want to know what it takes to have the best setup possible for a post, you want to look into something like HubSpot’s inbound marketing course. This course will take you through the requirements and styles of great content, and it gives you a great framework to build your blog posts with. The best part of this course is the price: free.
Keeping it Simple
Remember, you are being ranked by robots, and although they can do some amazing things with the information they are given, robots perform better with simple tasks. That means keeping your writing simple will help the bots rank your content easier. If you can explain the topic the best with the easiest to understand terminology, you are likely to rank higher than using complex sentence structures and words. The rule of thumb you should shoot for is writing at a 5th-grade level when possible.
If You Can, Do Both YouTube and Blog Content
If you are wondering which is better than the other, there is no right answer when it comes to creating quality content for your audience.
The only truly right answer is that doing both together will create a better user experience than one or the other. When you put the power of video with the organic rankings of keywords in blog content, you get a more developed piece of content that has a higher potential to net you rankings in the search engine results.
14 Social Media Tips For Attracting Gen Z Audiences in 2019
As the workforce and consumer market’s next up-and-coming demographic, Gen Z is an attractive target audience for many businesses. Depending on your company, you may want to consider this audience in your social media efforts to engage prospective customers and employees. However, it’s important to remember that each generation has their own unique preferences — what worked in attracting millennials, for instance, won’t necessarily work for Gen Z.
To help you target Generation Z on social media, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members for some tips they’ve used to successful appeal to this audience. Here is what they advise:
I think that personalization is one of the best ways to appeal to Gen Z on social media. Studies show that more people want to see personalized content and advertisements than ever before, starting with Gen Z. We can use this love of personalized experiences to create content playlists and advertisements that appeal to this crowd.
2. Influencer Marketing
Studies have shown that the Gen Z audience relates more to influencers than celebrities, so influencer marketing on social media is a great way to connect with them. When they see someone that they can relate to using a product, they’re more likely to buy that product too. Influencer marketing is a form of social proof that the Gen Z audience can trust.
One of the best ways to generate leads for your business, especially with the Gen Z crowd, is by having a chatbot available on your social media account to answer any questions. Live chat reps are good for some tasks, but if a customer has a common inquiry, you could implement a chatbot to help resolve these questions or concerns in seconds.
4. Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are widely popular with the Gen Z audience. Instagram Stories are great because they’re short and engaging, which is perfect for an audience with a shorter attention span. With so much content on the internet, it’s important to get information across quickly and in an entertaining way.
5. Answer Their Questions
Gen Z prefers to engage with businesses on a more personal level, so taking time to answer their hard-pressed questions when other brands ignore them can set you apart from the rest. Try to solve their pain points and figure out what they need help with so they look to you as an expert and appreciate what you can give them.
6. Video Content
Blog content is great and capable of getting millions of views, but Gen Z seems to prefer video content over traditional text. I like to mix it up by creating a blog post, then creating a short video version of the article for people who prefer this format.
7. Leverage FOMO
People, especially in the younger crowd, hate to feel like they’re missing out on anything important going on. That’s why using FOMO, or fear of missing out, is such an effective method to get their attention on social media. Make it sound urgent that they take some sort of action beneficial to your business. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
8. Focus Your Efforts
Facebook is trending towards the millennial and older group, while Tik Tok, Snapchat and even Instagram are much more appealing to Generation Z. Make sure you focus your efforts on the channels in which your audience exist, then produce content that resonates with them. Short videos, in particular, are very powerful for interacting with this audience.
9. Value-Driven Content
When communicating with Gen Z through my social platforms, I focus on providing some form of value in the content that I share. There is no audience as tech-savvy or as fluent and comfortable with different online platforms as Gen Z, and in turn, they will not be impressed by or respond to something that is not of value to them. Providing value allows you to cut through the clutter and resonate.
10. Mobile Experiences
Go mobile, because that’s where the Gen Z audience is. Smartphones are what they live by. This can supersede other strategies that might seem effective because, in the interests of the demographics, you have to go to the device where they’re at the most. On that note, your website should be perfectly optimized to mobile.
11. No Filters
If you’ve been following Gen Z on Instagram and other social media, you might have noticed that they don’t spend nearly as much time as, say, millennials to make their feed look polished. Many of them specifically bypass Snapseed and post straight from their phone. The “realness” of this world is what really attracts young people from this generation, so just be real and capitalize on imperfection.
12. Images and Memes
The younger generation has a short attention span. Get your message across quickly by using images and memes. Avoid any marketing message that takes more than 10 seconds to initially consume.
13. Behind-the-Scenes Content
Gen Z is a more self-aware generation. They use social media for entertainment as well as learning. Using video content to give them behind-the-scenes glimpses into the brand, creating how-to videos and using social media for telling compelling stories is the best method to boost engagement. They don’t want to be sold to, so brands need to forge organic connections through their content.
14. Corporate Social Responsibility
Use a social cause to drive your brand and product mission forward. Create social media campaigns and profiles that are associated with improving life. The majority of Gen Z care deeply about making an impact and they want to be aligned with brands and products that do just that. Do this in an engaging way, like through Instagram story, to build a more personal connection this generation craves.
Social Media is the Path to Generation Z
In addition to the many tips and marketing methods listed above, it’s also important to have an effective content creation and marketing strategy in place.
To learn more about what’s working best for bloggers, brands and content marketers on social media, click here for more tips and actionable methods you can start implementing today.
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