Instagram is a very visual platform, but not everyone realizes it is a huge source for driving traffic to your blog or website, even if your blogging niche is not visual.
Best of all, this can be done without having to pay for advertising costs or costs per click. If you can learn to optimize your Instagram, you can get tons of traffic.
Here’s a step by step guide to doing this on autopilot, so you can focus more on your blog, while still driving new followers.
Start Following and Engaging With Users in Your Niche
Come up with certain hashtags that embody your blog and you find out what other blogs within your niche are using.
Follow and engage with those who like and comment on these hashtag posts and many times they will begin to follow you back. This is a great way to generate your initial following.
It takes a bit of time to get right, but it pays off in the long run.
All-Hashtag is a great tool that can help you generate 30 hashtags if you input a word associated with your niche.
Use Hashtags and Calls for Action
Everyone knows hashtags are the cornerstone of Instagram. But you can look tacky if you overdo them.
You are allowed up to 30 hashtags in a single post.
Instead of posting them in the caption, post them in the first comment, so that they do not add too much text to the caption. Calls for action, such as asking your followers for opinions or asking if they agree with something is also always a great way to improve your engagement on a post.
Start Following Other Bloggers in Your Niche
This can be done in tandem with the step above. This allows you to keep track of the type of content that works best for them.
It also allows a fantastic opportunity for collaboration. Working with other bloggers on Instagram is what will allow you to have your content viewed by many more people.
Often, those on Instagram do shares for shares, meaning they share your content with their following if you share theirs. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
There are plenty of tools to find other bloggers and their Instagram accounts. One good one is Technorati.
Find Niche Related Content to Repost
Some of the best content you can share may be posted by another account.
If you see a certain video or a certain image getting great engagement with a fellow blogger’s audience, chances are it will react well with your audience as well.
Ask others for permission to repost their content either on direct message or directly on a post. Once they give you permission, you can use an app such as Regram to repost the image.
Plan Your Instagram Content Ahead of Time
According to a study by Forbes, you should post your content at least twice a day on Instagram to maximize your engagement.
But not everyone may have the time to post and keep up. With a tool called Grum, you can plan your content weeks in advance, so that you’re always posting something. Best of all, Grum posts for you, so you don’t even have to remember.
Use Instagram Engagement Groups
Engagement groups are found throughout Facebook, Twitter, and a variety of other mediums. They contain a group of people that all like and comment on each other’s Instagram posts.
When a post on Instagram garners a lot of likes and comments in a short amount of time, it has a higher chance of landing on Instagram’s Explore tab, which allows many thousands of people to be able to see your post and massively increase your new followers.
I’ve seen accounts gain thousands of followers in a day after getting on this page. However, these are a hassle to keep track of and maintain membership in these groups as they expect you to be online and available to act at the same time every day.
There are tools that can automate your engagement in these groups at a certain time daily. The one we’ve found effective is Sociallyrich.
Monitor what posts and posting times have and have not worked
Instagram is very much a tool that can be optimized over time.
For example, you might find your audience responds better to video content over photo content, or over personal images that reflect your own lifestyle over those that are impersonal. Using a tool that can help analyze your content and what type of content has the highest engagement rate is immensely helpful for you to decide what works best.
Social Insights is a tool that allows you to see the best time to post based on your post history and account engagement, the most engaging Instagram filters to your audience, and average and max post engagements. With this type of tool, you can keep posting what works and take out what doesn’t.
Make Instagram Clickable So It Always Leads Back To Your Blog
You only get one bio link. So why not make it count?
Make sure you track your conversions from Instagram with a trackable short link.
You can even use a service that allows you to directly connect your feed to your blog, so you get more people interested. Publishers such as the New York Times has had some great success with this.
Using a program like Soldsie allows you to have a separate link that is directly tied to your Instagram feed and can lead your followers to specific pages on your blog.
Instagram is a great place to attract more followers to your blog.
It has over 500 million users in so many niches. Best of all, there are many examples of bloggers within your niche who already have built their following that you can learn from.
Once you learn the types of content that get noticed within your niche, you can begin planning it out so you do not always have to worry about keeping up with your posts. You can then begin analyzing what has and hasn’t worked for you and keep up with engagement groups to massively increase traffic to your Instagram page.
Share in the comments what has worked for you with Instagram.
Sarah Munir is co-founder at Blue Light Social, a digital ad agency focused on Instagram and Facebook growth through advanced retargeting tactics.