As it works wonders for connecting people from all around the world, it’s not surprising that social media is the ideal tool to use for connecting businesses with their potential customers. That’s precisely why social media marketing became such a lucrative opportunity for small and large brands alike.

But while many companies consider Facebook to be the go-to platform for lead generation, and rightfully so, it’s not your only option.

Instagram is quickly becoming one of the best social media networks for businesses. With over 1 billion monthly active users, the platform would be significantly expanding your reach as soon as you join it.

Why Is Instagram So Popular as a Lead Generation Platform

The primary reason why lead generation on Instagram is so popular is that it has such a vast number of users. Of course, the numbers wouldn’t mean so much if those users didn’t interact with businesses. Luckily, they do.

Well over 90% of all users follow at least one brand on the platform. So, whether you’re running a small local business or a large international corporation, you stand to benefit from focusing on Instagram lead generation.

An added benefit of using a business Insta account for lead generation is that you’ll unlock many features that can make it easier for you to attract more followers and prospective clients and customers:

  • You can access analytics and Instagram Insights
  • Include links in your stories
  • Use shoppable posts and tag your products
  • Schedule your posts beforehand
  • Add your contact information to your profile
  • Use a secondary inbox
  • Get ranked requests

With so much activity on the platform and so many options that help you to connect with wider audiences for free, there’s no reason not to join Instagram and start reaping its benefits.

Examples of Successful Brands on Instagram

It’s estimated that around 71% of US businesses use Instagram, and the number will just keep on growing. But although the platform’s becoming increasingly popular among brands, not all of them are using it to its full potential.

So, let’s check out a few brands that have mastered the art of Instagram lead generation.

Sephora

Sephora is a renowned beauty brand with countless loyal customers. It’s amassed its 20.1 million followers by displaying its products on Insta in unique ways with fun props and colorful backgrounds that draw attention.

Its account managers have also done a fantastic job of showcasing the brand persona that’s playful and feminine through engaging captions and funny images featuring relatable text.

With its target audience being young adults, Sephora’s Instagram content is trendy, modern, and engaging.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Freddy’s is a chain restaurant whose Insta is killing it. While it doesn’t boast followers in the millions just yet, it’s account is steadily growing and increasing engagement.

If you take a look at the chain’s profile, you’ll see appealing photos of their food, which is always a must for any restaurant. However, the chain draws attention by sharing pictures of satisfied customers, lovable dogs enjoying their meals, and by focusing on the owner, Freddy.

Even in story highlights, you’ll see a section dedicated solely to Freddy.

This is a perfect example of how you can use Instagram to tell the world about your brand’s values and your focus on customer relationships.

Onnit

Onnit is a supplement company with an Instagram account that boasts over 800,000 followers. The brand has a very clear aesthetic, with sharp contrasting images and black & white graphics.

Its Instagram content isn’t purely designed to showcase products. The intent is to educate, inform, and inspire. So, you’ll often see health and fitness quotes, helpful tips, and informational videos on Onnit’s account.

That’s exactly what attracts so many potential customers and boosts the brand’s lead generation on Instagram.

Chipotle

Chipotle has about a million followers on Insta and a highly successful lead generation tactic. The brand’s posts are often hilarious; you’ll come across relatable memes, screenshots of their sarcastic Tweets, and more.

What’s important is that you’ll also see that the fast food chain publicly stands up for the causes it supports.

What businesses can learn from this is that you can have fun and engage your audiences by being unique and quirky, but you can also take a more serious approach when needed and share a well-rounded brand persona with the world.

Matt Adlard

Matt Adlard first drew attention as the Topless Baker on Instagram – something you don’t see often. What’s helped him generate leads and followers, however, is that he remains transparent on his account.

When you scroll through his feed, you’ll see pictures and videos of perfectly-made sweet goods, but if you check out his stories, you’ll see all the struggles he went through to make them.

This behind-the-scenes insight is very effective in attracting wider audiences as today’s consumers are always interested in finding out more about what’s going on in the background. They don’t only want to know what the end-product is but also how you got to create it.

Lush

Lush is another beauty brand with millions of followers. While its products are appealing in and of themselves, what separates them is that they’re eco-friendly and sustainable.

The brand stays consistent in its eco-friendly approach, always broadcasts charities and organizations that it supports, and shares tips on how to be more ecologically conscious.

Consumers want brands to accept their social and environmental responsibility and do what’s in their power to promote a better world and help local and global movements. So, use Instagram to stand up for what you believe in!

Tips and Best Practices

Now that you’ve seen some of the most innovative brands on Instagram, let’s take a look at a few things you can do on the platform to increase engagement and boost your lead generation.

1. Take Care of Your Bio First

A vast majority of Instagram users will check out your account when they come across an interesting post you shared in their news feed. What they see in the first few seconds will determine whether they’ll start following you and come one step closer to being your loyal customer or not.

What this means is that you need to make a good impression right off the bat. The best way to do so is to take care of your bio and optimize it.

Keep your bio short and to the point, and provide a hint to your brand persona.

You can only include a single link in your Insta bio, so make it count. Whether you want your leads to sign up to your newsletter, complete your survey, or visit your website, include a CTA before the link to make it clear what you want your audience to do.

2. Create a Content Plan

While you might be using your personal Instagram for random selfies and pictures of your pet, your business account must be well-planned.

You need to prepare your content beforehand and create a cohesive appearance once you start rolling out pictures and videos. Otherwise, your account will look disorganized and even boring if you accidentally upload several similar pictures one right after another.

Since you’ll be posting a few times a week, and maybe even a few times a day, it will be much easier for you to stay on top of everything if you have a well-thought-out plan of what gets uploaded and when.

Remember to diversify your content a little. Switch from product images to staff images, videos, and textual content to keep things interesting.

3. Create a Schedule (And Stick to It)

If you want to stay relevant on Instagram and boost your lead generation, you should develop a posting schedule. You don’t want to spam your followers with a hundred posts a day, but you don’t want to wait between uploads and have your followers forget about you either. It’s a delicate balance.

A couple of daily posts should do the trick. For the best effect, you should upload at approximately the same time each day as your followers will know when to expect news from you.

The best time to post is when your followers are online. As a general rule of thumb, that’s around lunchtime, aka between 11 am and 1 pm, and in the evening between 7 and 9 pm. However, this depends entirely on your target audience, and you might want to tweak your schedule a bit as you go.

4. Native Lead Generation Ads

Of course, the easiest way to get noticed on Instagram is by relying on its native lead generation ads. To get started, you’ll need a business account and a linked Facebook page. You’ll create your ads through Facebook’s Ads Manager. Then, just follow the steps:

  • Choose your objective
  • Define your audience
  • Choose automatic ad placement
  • Select your ad format
  • And create the lead form

These ads are ideal for collecting information about your customers such as their emails, phone numbers, and more.

You can then use the information you collect to expand your reach by fine-tuning your demographics and optimizing your direct marketing tactics.

5. Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are the key to generating more leads and boosting your follower base. They’re perfect for sharing behind-the-scenes stories, introducing your team members, teasing new products, and more. Over 500 million users use Stories on a daily basis, so it’s a great feature for attracting wider audiences.

If you have over 10,000 followers, you’ll unlock the Swipe Up feature, enabling you to embed a link in your story that the viewers can visit by simply swiping up.

Your best stories can be included as Highlights in your profile, so instead of disappearing after 24 hours, they’ll always be visible to your visitors.

6. Instagram Live

There’s nothing more engaging than live-streaming with your followers. With Instagram Live, your followers can be notified every time you start a live video, and they can react, send likes, and post comments that you’ll see in real-time.

You can respond to these comments and enter an engaging conversation with your viewers. The feature is ideal for Q&A sessions and informational content such as tutorials and behind-the-scenes videos.

Just remember to pin the topic of your live video so that your viewers can tune in late and still know what’s going on.

7. Analytics Are Essential

If you want to know how your business Instagram account is performing and how you can improve it, you need to enable Instagram Insights. It’s an analytics tool that will keep you informed about all the key performance metrics.

These analytics are detailed and can keep you informed about:

  • Number of profile visits
  • Number of users who clicked on the link in your bio
  • Number of times your posts were seen by other users
  • Number of unique users who saw your posts
  • Number of comments
  • Number of unique likes, comments, and saved posts
  • The age, gender, and location of your audience
  • When your followers are the most active

That’s just a fraction of all the information you’ll receive through Instagram Insights, and all of it can help you optimize your lead generation tactics and boost performance.

8. Engaging with the Audience

Finally, the best practice for improving lead generation on Instagram is by engaging with your audience. You can achieve this in several different ways:

  • Reply to comments
  • Be responsive in your DMs
  • Use engaging captions and include questions
  • Host live Q&As
  • Promote tagged posts from your customers
  • Offer informational content

Instagram is a social platform – you need to stay connected, responsive, and engaging if you want to stay relevant. So, treat your followers as real people and start a conversation with them in all your posts and uploads.

Useful Tools to Help Generate Leads on Instagram

You can use a number of third-party tools to capture attention and help generate more leads on Instagram. Some of the most useful ones include:

  • Buffer – for scheduling your posts
  • VSCO – for photo editing
  • SproutSocial – for analyzing your performance and improving your CRM
  • Hootsuite – for social media listening
  • Brandwatch – for competitor analysis

Investing in reliable third-party tools will help you save time and money and allow you to focus on core business tasks. You can test out most of these tools for free to see whether they suit your needs.

Conclusion

Boosting your lead generation on Instagram can help you take your business to the next level. What’s important to understand, however, is that it takes time until your tactics yield results.

You need to stay committed and persistent to truly improve your performance, and you need to be constantly optimizing your approach.