Instagram has become a key component in creators’ online marketing strategy.
Even if you are still struggling to grow your followings, Instagram can be an important channel for building your brand and giving you a solid ROI for your content and time – no matter what your business.
Using the tools and practices we share here, you can change the way you use Instagram, and regardless of whether you have a website or a blog, you can still monetize your creative content and social reach.
What should you put in the one link you have in your bio?
Since you cannot place a link in Instagram every time you post a photo and you only get one clickable link in your bio, you’d better use it wisely, right?
If you have a website, sending people to your home page isn’t always relevant to what you’re writing in your captions or to what you’re trying to promote. So, what should you do instead?
Consider what would best serve your goal as a creator and business owner:
- Directing followers to a list of links?
- Keep your link in bio permanent with one URL?
- Link every image on Instagram to another URL, or maybe even to multiple URLs?
- Drive traffic to your website?
- Or, if you are an affiliate marketer maybe you want to enter links with your affiliate codes?
Consider what kind of interface would best work with your content:
- List of links or image-based breakdown? When recommending physical products, it’s obvious that an image is worth a thousand words. That’s why ShopStyle Collective, for example, is so popular among fashion influencers and bloggers.
- What about the places you visit, the services you recommend and even apps you use?
- Adding an image of yourself using the product has a greater impact for personalization, authenticity, and trust.
- And above all, since Instagram’s success has proved that people interact better with visual content, it only makes sense that your one link in bio will be also built with a gallery of photos. Even better if the images you use are customized with your own experiences!
Surely, it all depends on your offering. If you use your Instagram mainly for brand awareness and in order to sell your services or online course, for example, then you may find images less relevant. In which case, linking your bio link to a landing page might be a good enough solution for you.
A List-Based Links or an Image-Based Grid with Links?
Linktr.ee is a very popular service, mainly because of its simplicity. It easily lets you create a list of links that you can always update. The big advantage of this service is that your link in bio is constant!
So, if all you want to have is a link to your blog, to a landing page with your offerings, or to your other social media accounts, this is a good option.
But, if your Instagram feed is about creating content with added value to your followers, if any of your posts, or at least most of them, include important information or different products that are helpful for your followers, then, Linktr.ee is not enough.
There are now a few options for linking to a grid, such as VENNDY, Linkin.bio (by Later), and Tap.bio by the LinkInProfile team. These are all linkable Instagram gallery services, each offering a variety of features with different capabilities and advantages.
Keep on reading if you are interested in learning more about these options and check out Ten Hacks that Will Help You Monetize Your Instagram.
Why Link to an Image-Based Grid/Gallery with Multiple Links?
As you have probably noticed, many brands have already taken that leap and instead of linking their Instagram bio to the home page, they link it to a gallery of images similar to their Instagram feed. This helps users scroll through and find items that captured their attention on the feed.
Until recently, since most creators were focused on using Instagram to create awareness and drive traffic to their website, they settled for the solution provided by Linktr.ee.
But as more influencers and Instagrammers don’t even have a website, and as Instagram turns to be a big platform for shopping and information, the importance of leveraging Instagram for ecommerce purposes has significantly changed.
Even if you are not a merchant or retailer, a good Instagram marketing strategy which links posts to helpful content can, therefore, help you to:
- Keep your older posts fresh with relevant links to your website or to other places you want to share.
- Showcase products to many engaged followers, making it easy for them to reach a product’s website and save it for later.
- Monetize your content by including your affiliate links in as many products as you share, by adding practical advice or links to promoted products.
So, by breaking down the only link you have on your Instagram into multiple links, you can use Instagram not only to drive traffic to your website but also to specific blog posts that are related to your Instagram feed as well as to articles, products, and services.
Why Linking to a Shoppable Gallery Should Be Part of Your Instagram Marketing Strategy?
The next question therefore is, what kind of content should you link your Instagram photos to, and which of the services give you - as a business owner - the right solution?
For bloggers, regardless of your niche, it is always helpful to link Instagram images to its related blog post.
But at the same time, for playing this platform’s new ecommerce game, it is essential to add multiple links for shopping or referring to helpful information.
Including a link in captions or in stories and asking followers to input the URL manually into their browser, is really the least effective way. So, what should you do? Here are some of your options:
1. Stories – Using the Swipe-Up feature in Instagram Stories (available only for business accounts with over 10,000 followers on Instagram) you can make it easy for your followers to visit websites, with or without an affiliate link.
Some users, however, avoid upgrading to a Business Account because of the risk of getting less engagement because of how the network algorithms work, trying to encourage more sponsored /paid distribution.
2. Invite followers to interact with your content and follow up with direct messages – Using stories’ stickers such as a poll and questions, can help you reach and find your perfect audience. When asking the right questions there’s a lot you can learn about their interests, likes, dislikes, and more.
But even more, it can help you follow up with targeted potential clients and reach out to them through direct messaging, and if relevant send your links.
Instagram stickers can have many business uses for collecting feedback, crowdsource ideas or gather other valuable information. But this strategy is only effective occasionally as not all messages are being opened.
This is why you may want to let your audience find your recommended products through other tools rather than manually sending a link to each one of them.
3. Use a Linkable Instagram Gallery App.
As mentioned above there are a few services that offer tools for building a linkable Instagram gallery.
With VENNDY, you’re not only adding multiple links to realted photos of Instagram, but you can also set up a virtual shop of your recommendations and promoted items (products and any webpage). By gathering all your commerce-related links into a shop-like format you can, in minutes, build your own Insta'nt Shop.
You’re not selling your own products, but rather, build a destination that takes your audience to your personalized Instagram gallery.
If you have a website/blog you can add a linkable gallery that matches your Instagram feed to your blog. The one link on Instagram bio can, therefore, be linked to this page on your website.
But, even if you don't have a website, your own VENNDY URL is a permanent link you put in your bio and then once people click on it, they are directed to your own profile with clickable Instagram posts leading them to your affiliate links, whenever used.
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN SHOP-TAB
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO TURN IT TO AN INSTA'NT SHOP TO MATCH YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED
Check out the following examples for a Shop-Tab vs. an Insta'nt Shop view.
VENNDY’s gallery has a designated view for mobile and for PC. For mobile, it looks like Instagram's view for mobile, and on PC it shows a similar view to the one Instagram has for PC.
This way you can make your Instagram posts shoppable, no matter the niche, thus creating your own visual gallery, a shop-like collection of all your favorite and recommended products.
These don’t have to be only physical products; they can be digital products, services, places – anything with a web presence that you can forward your followers to.
If you are new to using Instagram for growing your business, to help you along, we have created a free guide with 10 non-obvious Instagram Mistakes You're Probably Making, and How to Fix Them.
GRAB OUR FREE HOW TO FIX 10 NON-OBVIOUS INSTAGRAM MISTAKES AND START USING AFFILIATE MARKETING ON INSTAGRAM
Should you monetize your Instagram content?
To recap: you do not need to be a merchant or sell your own products in order to monetize your content with Instagram.
The creative economy includes not only people selling their crafts on ETSY, but also YouTubers, Instagrammers, influencers and bloggers who make money from creating digital content with value for their audiences.
Using a shoppable Instagram feed you too, when done right, can turn your content to a stream of income through referrals. It requires however to create a win-win-win for 3 parties: creators, businesses and consumers.
It can help you grow a side hustle with passive income as a creator
You have probably been using the products of many different affiliate programs without even knowing that you could turn them into a stream of income:
- For travel bloggers, this could be hotels, flights, travel clothes, accessories, tours, things to do, and adventures;
- For wellness or fitness influencers, it could be courses, outfits, retreats, books, and lectures.
- For finance advice, it could be insurance, student loans, budget apps, investment apps and more. The list is endless as these days everything can be booked or ordered online.
It can help you help businesses you love and who in need of your support
Your recommendations could be priceless for small and medium businesses, especially in times such as in 2020 when the world is facing a global economic crisis. The help of creators such as yourself could make the difference between their commercial life and death!
Being able to pay a sales only commission rather than having marketing expenses with no proven results can be a big hurdle for such businesses. Who’s better than a happy-creative-customer to give a recommendation and send them high quality, targeted traffic?
It can help your audience make better consumption decision
Maybe most of all, your audience can always browse through your favorite products, articles, services from anywhere, at their own time.
This way you don’t miss out on the opportunity of suggesting that your followers interact further with your creative content.
To read more about how to use VENNDY’s tools for implementing an Instagram shop tab on your website you can check out this page. You can also check out some general guidelines to help you evaluate if you are ready to join your first affiliate network.
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