If you’re looking to get free traffic from Instagram, you need to do it systematically and methodically.
Otherwise, you’re going to end up with mediocre results at best. At worst, you’re not going to get any results at all.
Instagram continues to grow by millions of members every single month. Tap into this amazing source of traffic the right way.
Make no mistake about it, there is no shortage of people trying to get traffic from Instagram. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them fail because they don’t have a systematic and methodical way of doing it. In other words, they don’t follow the 8 easy steps I’m going to teach you.
If you want to be successful on Instagram, you need to follow these steps. The good news is that you don’t have to be some sort of computer science genius or rocket scientist to follow these steps. You just need to know how to follow instructions.
Step #1: Study the existing niches supported by Instagram currently
There are a lot of marketers who think that they have an amazing product, so what they do is they try to create a market for it on Instagram. It should be quite obvious why this is a non-starter. Instagram only attracts people with certain interests. Take it or leave it. Either the niche exists or it doesn’t. Instead of trying to bang the drum and create demand where it doesn’t exist, focus on what currently exists on Instagram and give people what they’re looking for.
So how do you go about finding existing niches? First, do a tag search for anything and everything related to the niche that you would like to promote. Do you see a lot of tags related to your niche?
Load up those tags and see the volumes of people liking the content that used those tags. This should be able to give you a rough idea as to how many Instagram celebrities and users are interested in the subset of tags that make up your niche.
Step #2: Select a specific niche
Once you’re clear as to whether a particular niche has enough tags, don’t stop the analysis there. It’s easy to conclude that once there are enough people tagging photos or videos involving a particular topic category, there is enough demand. It’s too early to make that determination. You have to take additional steps.
Make sure it has enough engagement. Pay attention to how many people like photos that use a certain tag. Do people comment a lot? Is there quite a bit of excitement or activity regarding those tags? This highlights whether there is enough consumer passion or interest in a particular niche.
Now, just because a particular niche has a presence on Instagram, this, in and of itself, doesn’t mean that you should market that niche because people might not be passionate enough to follow it. People might not care enough for there to be a loyal following around that niche. Engagement levels give you a fairly clear idea if there is enough heat there.
Finally, make sure that there is commercial value in your niche. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve come across marketers who just zero in on a niche that has a lot of activity. They think they’ve struck gold.
Well, it turns out that those people may be passionate about a particular range of subjects, but they would not pay money for products or services related to that niche. Don’t get caught in a sad situation where you invest a tremendous amount of time, effort and money only to fail to monetize the niche that you targeted.
To work around this problem, get key words that are related to the niche that you are targeting and load it on Google’s keyword planner. An Adwords account gives you access to Google keyword planner and plug in those keywords and you will see the CPC rate for those keywords.
This should tell you, in no uncertain terms, whether how much people would pay per click for those keywords. This gives you a pretty rough idea as to how commercial your niche is.
Now, you know that there is a tremendous amount of advertiser interest when people are willing to pay $5 or more per click. Now, you probably are looking at a fairly worthless niche if advertisers would, at best, pay only 25 cents per click.
Step #3: Find Instagram influencers in your niche
Influencers on Instagram are people who are like mini celebrities. These are people who have a big following. These are people who get a lot of engagement for their content.
Now that you have a clear idea as to the niche that you should be targeting, you should compile a list of the top 20 influencers in your niche. Rank them in terms of the number of followers that they have.
Step #4: Reverse engineer your niche influencer’s content
This is where the rocket science come in. You see, a lot of marketers on the internet would create content and they would automatically assume that people would be so taken in by their brilliance and genius that their content would instantly become viral. This, of course, rarely happens.
You see, when people are on any kind of social media platform, whether we’re talking about Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, people already have certain needs. People already have certain patterns. So instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and come up with something completely new, focus on building on something that already exists.
Make no mistake about it, content is already viral on Instagram in your niche. It would save you a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy by simply making your own version of stuff that’s already popular.
Using this philosophy, you should look at the Instagram influencers that you are tracking and ask yourself the following questions: What kind of photos do they normally post? Do they post videos or not? If they post videos, what kind of videos do they post? What kind of production quality standards do they have?
Once you have your answers to these questions, reverse engineer their content quality parameters. In other words, you’re going to try to come up with your own versions. Also, pay attention to the tags that they use.
This is very important. You’re going to reverse engineer this information as well. You’re going to copy their tag profile.
Now, copying doesn’t mean copying and pasting. That would be plagiarism. You’re probably going to run into all sorts of intellectual property legal issues if you do that. Instead, allow yourself to be inspired by your niche competitors.
Step #5: Reverse engineer their descriptions
Just as you can reverse engineer somebody’s tags, you can also reverse engineer their descriptions.
Now, what’s very interesting about Instagram is that Instagram personalities develop a following because of their persona. They are larger than life, they have a weird sense of humor, and they’re weird or unusual.
That’s what draws attention because if you’re just like everybody else, nobody’s going to follow you. Nobody would care. Why? You’re just like everybody else. There’s more of you out there.
People are looking for the weird. People are looking for the unusual. People are looking for somebody who came off the beaten path. This is what you need to copy.
I’m not saying that you should be a complete clone of these people, but there has to be that element of surprise. There has to be some unconventional twist or quirk that would draw people to follow you instead of somebody else.
This is highlighted in how these personalities describe their photos. This is really where their personality jumps out at you. This is the payload of great content. So you need to reverse engineer that. You need to capture some of that essence.
Also, pay attention to how they call people to action with their photos. Because you have to understand that on Instagram, you will only get traffic if people click through your main profile and click on your homepage link on your main profile. In other words, they have to jump through many hoops to drive traffic to you.
So pay attention to how influencers in your niche are able to do that. They usually use descriptions that push people to want to click on their profiles. You should do the same.
Step #6: Post only photos and videos that are of better quality
Now, this is where the rubber meets the road. Seriously. This is where your Instagram marketing campaign will succeed or fail.
You see, if you post the same stuff that your competitors are posting and there’s really nothing qualitatively different from your materials and theirs. You’re basically telling the people who are following your tags that they would be better off following the people they are already following.
In other words, there’s really no incentive for them to follow you instead of somebody else who covers the same niche. You’re pretty much generic. You guys are pretty much singing the same tune. Do you see how this works?
So you have to come up with something that is qualitatively better, and it must be obvious. People don’t have to guess, people don’t have to jump through many hoops. There has to be as little mystery as possible.
The production quality must stand out. It must actually jump at them. For example, if in your niche, a lot of the pictures are kind of grainy or dark, come up with something with better lighting. Come up with images that are crisp, vivid and more colorful.
While you use the same tags and you use the same description style, the quality of the content, in and of itself, will persuade people. Just by looking at your stuff, they can tell that this stuff is so much better than the stuff that they’re used to.
While this cracks the door open and gets your foot in the door, you need to do this constantly. You can’t just post a nice set every once in a while and expect your brand to stand out head and shoulders from your competitors. It doesn’t work that way. You have to do this consistently. You have to do it, and do it, and do it.
Step #7: Engage with niche influencers
The funny thing about social media is that it really all boils down to reputation. And the funny thing about reputation is that it’s infectious. Seriously. If you know very influential people, chances are, some of their influence will rub off on you in the eyes of their followers.
Let’s put it this way, if you were following Lady Gaga, for example, or Justin Bieber, you notice that Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga keeps mentioning Joe Blow. They keep repeating the name Joe Blow because they’re giving shout outs to Joe Blow. They’re commenting about Joe Blow. You’re probably thinking this Joe Blow is probably somebody important enough for me to want to check out.
Believe me, a significant fraction of the people following influencers would look up these personalities. And this results in these individuals gaining a certain level of credibility and authority. Use this dynamic to work for you.
How do you start the ball rolling? Very simple, give niche influencers a free shout out. You just mention them. And you have to do this repeatedly over an extended period of time.
It may seem like you’re just basically yelling in the dark, it may seem like there’s just this echo chamber, but believe me, it has an effect because over an extended period of time, you will get on their radar. They would start paying attention to this person that just keeps mentioning them and eventually, the power of reciprocity will kick in.
What is the power of reciprocity? It’s very simple. People are nice to other people who are nice to them. So take the initiative. Take the first step and be nice to them by giving them a free shout out.
You have to do this fairly regularly over an extended period of time, but eventually, reciprocity will catch up to you and these people, by simply mentioning you, will lend some of their authority and credibility to you and this might possibly lead to you expanding your audience on Instagram.
Step #8: Put your squeeze page URL in your profile page
Did you notice that I said squeeze page URL? I did not say homepage, I did not say blog or main page? The reason for this is because of the fact that the vast majority of people that will click on your link are going to be gone for good after they visit your website once.
You will really only have one shot at making a good impression. You really only have one chance at getting a bite at the apple. Make it count.
This is why you need to lead them to your squeeze page because your squeeze page highlights your value proposition. Your squeeze page also gets them to sign up for your email list. When people are in your email, you get many chances at branding them. You get many chances of interacting with them and possibly converting them.
So do yourself a big favor and highlight your squeeze page. That should be the number one thing you’re promoting on Instagram.
How do you do this? First, you draw a lot of attention to your profile with each post. You basically keep saying to people, “check out my profile, check out my profile.” Just keep doing that. Keep hammering it. And then highlight the value of your squeeze page in your photo’s descriptions.
By doing this, all your content would end up playing up the value of your squeeze page without coming off as spammy. People would see with each post that there’s some sort of context that you’re creating. It’s not like you’re coming out of nowhere. If you are able to do this, then the payload of your squeeze page becomes apparent.
It also doesn’t hurt for you to call people directly. Ask them to like your stuff. Ask them to upvote your material or favorite it. Keep in mind that this is not a worthless action. The more your stuff is upvoted, the more prominent your posts will be in your tag category, and this would lead to more targeted eyeballs.
This is how you play the game right. Any other approach will fail. Do yourself a big favor and follow these 8 steps and start making money off Instagram.