Lately, we’ve seen a slew of new features and tools that come with social media apps, and Instagram is a strong pioneer on that front. And in this particular post, we want to highlight the power of using Instagram Stories as the ultimate lead generation machine you didn’t know you had.
As it stands, many online businesses that use Instagram Stories resort to using it for its most basic features. They might reshare their Feed posts to their Stories. Or they’ll use it to constantly talk about their products and services like a free online billboard.
While there’s nothing wrong with these tactics, we know that there’s a better way. So instead of simply using Instagram Stories as another place to echo the same content you’re already publishing on your feed or other platforms, try this on for size.
Here are 7 highly effective ways you can convert followers into leads and sales using Instagram Stories.
How to Use Instagram Stories for Lead Generation
1. Cross-Post Your Instagram Stories to Facebook
This feature has been available for a while now, but recent improvements have made this process easier. By cross-posting your Instagram Stories to Facebook, you not only get to share the same content on two platforms automatically, but you’re able to leverage Instagram Stories’ powerful features and get them to translate on Facebook Stories too.
For example, when you put up Polls on your Instagram Stories and cross-post them, they’ll also appear on Facebook. They add that extra engagement people need to interact with your brand on a platform as busy and crowded as Facebook.
Another reason this tip is worth doing? Your Facebook page might have more followers than you have Instagram followers. This is true for many brands and businesses, so make the most of these new social media features.
How does cross-posting your Stories on Facebook generate leads?
If you create the right kind of Instagram Stories that attract the attention of even your Facebook followers, you’ll have a better chance of getting users to check out your Facebook page.
On your Facebook page, you might have feed posts that link to free lead magnets and offers, or you have a clear CTA for customers to check out your promotions on your online store or book a call.
There’s no denying that Instagram is a little more limited in terms of redirecting users through links. And it takes no effort to auto-publish Stories on Instagram to Facebook, so you don’t lose anything by making this part of your strategy.
2. Create Opt-In Forms Using the Question Sticker
We mentioned in the previous section that Instagram is limited in its link abilities. Because of that, it’s hard to direct users to different landing pages, especially ones for lead generation and collecting emails.
What’s the workaround for this? We have a solution: the Question Sticker on Instagram Stories.
Brands and creators normally use the Question Sticker to get users to interact with them. Thought leaders use this to let their users ask them questions they’ll then answer, and brands use this to collect short insights and thoughts from their customers.
But what if you turned this Question Sticker into a lead generation form?
Here’s how to do it.
If you’re on Stories promoting a free lead magnet, say a free downloadable that you want to email to users, add the Question Sticker.
Then in the text area, make your call to action “Leave your email below” so that users can leave their emails that you later can add to your mailing list. Of course, be sure to actually send users their freebie!
Check out these extra tips that might help you make the most of this tip:
- Show users what they might get in return. Can you give them a mockup of the freebie they’ll receive in their emails?
- Build up to your ask. Before you post a Question Sticker asking people to leave their emails at the door, post a series of Stories that might prime them and get them excited about your freebie.
- Not getting a lot of email sign-ups? Try engaging with your ideal audiences’ accounts to get their attention and get them viewing your Stories.
3. Invest in Story Lead Ads
Unless you have at least 10,000 followers on your Instagram account, you might not have the Swipe Up Stories feature, which lets you add a link to your Instagram Stories.
And while this feature won’t be coming to all accounts that don’t hit the threshold anytime soon, Instagram has a workaround: paid Story ads.
Paid Story ads are exactly what they sound like. They’re Stories you turn into an ad that potential leads can use the Swipe Up feature and get on your desired lead generation page.
Use Story ads to get a swipe-up link that will help you generate more leads through Instagram. Be sure to link back to a landing page with your lead generation forms.
To set up paid Story ads for lead generation, it’s as simple as putting up a Facebook ad, selecting “Lead Generation” as your campaign objective, and selecting “Manual Placement.” Finally, choosing only Instagram Stories as your desired placement.
Want to make sure your Story ads get approved? Here are some tips from Facebook themselves:
- Take out any edit lists or special boxes in file containers in any video ads.
- Leave about 14% (250 pixels) of the top and bottom of the video free from text, logos, or other key creative elements to avoid covering them with the profile icon or call-to-action.
- Recommended primary text is about 125 characters max.
- Use the right CTA text. Facebook and Instagram let you choose between a few options, including “Subscribe,” “Download,” “Get Quote,” “Get Offer,” and “Book Now,” among others.
4. Launch a Contest
Really want to rake up those leads at little to no cost? A contest is probably one of your best bets.
If this is your first time putting up an Instagram Story Contest, it couldn’t be simpler.
Follow these steps to help you get started with your Instagram Story contest:
- First, decide on the prize you want to give to a lucky winner or set of winners. Make sure it’s related to your brand in some way — choose either a product or service in your business or make the prizes relevant to your customers’ interests.
- Write your contest mechanics. Because your goal is lead generation, encourage users to sign up with their emails on a sweepstakes type of contest, where emails will be drawn based on random lots. Promote your contest landing page on your Stories, and be sure users can easily sign up and enter the sweepstakes.
- If you prefer to get users to engage during the contest, consider the following mechanics:
- Ask contestants to follow your Instagram page and Like your contest post.
- Ask them to tag at least 2 friends who also want to win.
- Get them to share the contest posts on their Stories, together with a brand mention and your branded hashtag.
Create your branded sweepstakes contest with Wishpond’s contest tools.
5. Add a Link in Bio that Takes Users to Your Landing Page
Instagram only gives you one link that users can interact with on any of your posts, and that’s the link in your profile bio.
Many businesses on Instagram will choose to optimize their link using expanded Instagram bio link options. We see that here with Wave Apps, a financial and accounting company, where their link in bio leads to a gallery view featuring different links and even pages on their blog.
One example of optimizing your link in bio is with a link expander, like this gallery view.
This is, of course, one option. But there are many ways you can optimize this link. Instead of just leaving a link to your website or using a type of link tree with several link options, why not consider making your link in a bio take your users to a lead generation landing page straight away?
This lead generation landing page will have a compelling offer for your users, such as a link to sign up for a discount, a free ebook, or book a free call.
To convince users to follow the link in your bio, make sure your feed posts and Stories give a clear CTA. This also helps you align your content to make sure what you post is relevant to your customers.
Here are some tips for optimizing your Instagram bio landing page:
- Prioritize making your landing page mobile-friendly. Because Instagram is a mobile app, you want to make sure when users click to go to your lead generation form, they’re taken to a site that is easy to navigate and interact with on their phones.
- Keep your most important elements front and center. When possible, make sure your sign-up form is accessible right away when users click. If not, consider adding a button high up in your landing page that opens or takes users to the form.
- Make sure your feed and Story CTAs match what users will see on your landing page. Don’t be misleading or confusing.
- Use web-safe fonts. When users click links from brands’ Instagram bios, they don’t leave the app and instead are taken to an in-app window. Because of this, you don’t want your landing page to load too slowly because of fonts and elements that aren’t optimized for these kinds of features.
- Avoid pop-ups wherever possible. Mobile gives you limited space to work with. Because of that, avoid elements that pop up or over on users’ screens. Your forms should be static elements on your landing page as much as possible. Avoid making them pop up in case they fail to do so.
- Don’t ask for too much information. Whenever relevant, only ask for their name and email address. If your opt-in forms are too long, users are more likely to abandon your form, so don’t ask for other information like addresses or phone numbers unless you absolutely need it.
6. Tell a Story Using Videos
It’s possible your customers are spending more time watching Stories than they spend time on their home feed. This means Instagram Stories are one of the best places to engage users and keep them hooked to your content.
Tell them a story that gets them to keep watching. You might, for example, showcase some compelling before and after stories and testimonials from your previous successful customers. Or you can tell them the story of how your online business works and came to be.
Another thing you can do is to create exclusive Story-only content, like sharing tips and tricks right from your Stories. Experiment with different things that might engage users. Can you show them what a day in the life of your business looks like? Or can you tell them about what your business is currently working on just for them?
Don’t underestimate the power of a powerful story to hook users. When they’re engaged all the way to the end, that’s when you can follow them up with a call to action to sign up for something free through the link in your bio.
7. Collaborate with Influencers
Finally, here’s a great lead generation tip: collaborate with the right influencers and get in front of their audience.
Are there any thought leaders or icons in your niche that you can tap? Or perhaps there are a group of creators in your industry that could make some amazing content about your brand.
Leverage these relationships and get them to direct their users in the direction of your business. For instance, you might get creators to make branded content for you, which you can later reshare in your Stories and pin in highlights.
Yet another amazing way to leverage influencers and get leads from their audience? Partner up with them for an IG Live. Whenever you do a joint Instagram Live with anybody, both you and their followers will see that you’re Live.
Because of this, their loyal followers will tune in and discover your brand. They’re more likely to turn into hot leads if your Instagram Live is of high value and if you can follow up your Live content with a compelling freebie or offer.
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Convinced that you can turn Instagram Stories into a powerful lead generation tool? You might have to test this out for yourself. Be sure to follow these top tips that help you use Instagram Stories to convert followers into leads, and see that email list and customer base grow:
- Cross-post your Instagram Stories to Facebook
- Create opt-in forms using the Question sticker on Stories
- Invest in Story Lead Ads
- Launch a Contest
- Add a link in your bio that takes users to your landing page
- Tell a story using videos
- Collaborate with influencers
To make the most of these tips, check out Wishpond’s tools to help you create beautiful landing pages, stress-free contests, high-converting social sharing tools, and more.
Written by our guest writer Kevin Payne
Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.