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Creating Instagram content that drives conversions

Sophie Thompson
17th March 2021

Creating Instagram content to fill up your content calendar plan is one thing, but creating Instagram content that actually has an impact on conversions is a whole other ball game - and it can be a tricky one to master.

Outside of influencer culture, Instagram was never traditionally seen as a place for selling. Businesses trying to gain new customers would head to more B2B-focused sites like LinkedIn or the business side of Facebook. But, Instagram now has over one billion active users every month, and brands are flocking to the site to attract new audiences - 70% of Instagram users turn to the platform for product discovery.

Instagram's improved functionality and new features, including Stories and Reels, create a lot of room for trying new strategies and different content formats. Use it as your marketing playground and you’ll discover that conversions can come from the most unusual ideas.

Here are some actions you can take to drive conversions, while keeping your brand authentic and approachable…

User-generated content

User-generated content has a 4.5 times higher conversion rate than brand posts. And with ‘tap to shop’ functions readily available, it’s the perfect time to use UGC to drive potential customers directly to your website.

You don't have to spend thousands on getting an influencer to take photos with your product (although that is an option), you can simply repost images you’ve been tagged in by customers. So make sure you keep encouraging customers to share pictures of your products.

Not only will people be excited to see their content appear on a brand they admires’ feed, but having real images from real people, presents a more authentic view of your brand.


This is more useful than most, and works in conjunction with the above.

There are a few different ways to use an effective call to action (CTA) on Instagram. Firstly, add an impactful link in your bio. Whether it goes to a landing page or a sign-up form, it’ll be on display for anyone who visits your page. You can use your content to drive people to the link in your bio. For example, part of one of your post captions might be “Want to learn more? Head to the link in our bio.” You’ll be surprised how much traffic it can push to your chosen landing page.

nailing your first clubhouse room

If you’re selling a physical product, the Instagram shopping feature is changing the game. 130 million Instagram accounts tap on at least one shopping post every month, there’s seriously good scope for visibility here.

Adding a tappable link to your post, where users can directly view the item, provides an easier customer journey, and a better chance of securing the purchase. Shopify’s ‘one step checkout’ feature has also integrated with Instagram, meaning customers no longer have to enter their details each time they make a new purchase - an addition that is set to increase conversion by 1.72 times.

If your account has over 10,000 followers, it’s definitely worth using a swipe-up link in your Instagram Stories to send followers to a landing page.

Automated Instagram Publishing is live on ContentCal

Hashtags are your friend

On the surface, posts that use hashtags can look like engagement-bait. And while that can be true, it can also be the best way to target your ideal customers.

When you post niche hashtags, you’re attracting people who are actively looking for that specific term, and are more likely to be potential customers.

However, if you’re just looking to get as many eyes on your content as possible, be broader. Tools such as Hashtagify, show the top hashtags related to your chosen topic. Using hashtags that are towards the middle of the leaderboard ensures you will have plenty of people looking for them, but you aren’t likely to get lost in the crowd.

Exclusive offers

Giving your followers exclusive access to limited promo codes, deals, or other insider offerings is the ultimate way to test brand loyalty and drive conversions.

People are motivated to convert quickly if there’s a time limit or a limited number of items available. Using emotive language such as “secret” or “exclusive” when talking about the deal adds subconscious excitement and encourages a purchase, people feel they’re getting a more personalized experience.

Try adding a promo code to your Instagram Story for maximum visibility, and make it something related to your account. For example “INSTA2021” will be associated with the fact it’s an Instagram-only deal, whereas something such as “HURRYQUICK” gives a sense of urgency to convert.

Use visuals to stand out

Instagram is a visual app. To get people to engage, your social media content needs to be aesthetically pleasing. No blurry photos and no dodgy editing.

There are lots of enhancement tools for photos that can help create a unique style of image for your brand.

Whether that’s a certain filter or your logo watermarked in a corner - you need a series of images that people see on their feed and automatically associate with you.

Ann handley quote

To add a recognizable element to your page, try and incorporate your brand colors and imagery throughout your posts. If possible, hire a professional photographer or invest in some good quality photo equipment to stay on top of your game.

Most importantly, remember to experiment with all of Instagram’s offerings: GIFs, boomerangs, Stories, and live content, are all key in attracting attention in a crowded feed and bringing in those all-important conversions... plus using a great social media scheduling tool, to make sure they are published at the right time is also key.

The power of Instagram engagement

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