Your Travel Blog Deserves More Instagram Traffic
Boosting Instagram traffic seems to be a huge question mark for travel bloggers, but it really boils down to 4 elements.
Reading time: 5 minutes
Travel bloggers seem to have things figured out when it comes to using YouTube and Facebook to get eyes on their website, but Instagram? Most of you are clueless, no offense! Actually, this doesn't just apply to travel bloggers, businesses in general aren't as experienced at building Instagram traffic as they are elsewhere. If you do a quick Google search for ways to build traffic with Facebook or Twitter, you'll yield about 20 million results. Instagram? Less than half that. Why is nobody talking about Instagram? It might be because their advertising platform is so fresh that even big brands look like amateurs, but I think it's just a lack of experimentation.
The 4 elements I'll be covering in this article are done extremely well by my good friend, Reid Valmestad, so I'll be using him as an example here.
1. Make sure your content is A+ material.
It should go without saying by this point but being selective about the content you put out is a major key to building Instagram traffic. Without strong content, your fans won't care about a word you say, much less going to your website. Much easier said than done, though. Sometimes you can turn people off by having an incredibly polished feed. They'll unfollow you. There's a million reasons you'll get unfollowed on Instagram, but don't let it get to you. It'll happen.
Add a personal touch to your Instagram content.
When you're posting professional content, people want to relate to it in some way. Your photos and videos should tap into the heads of visitors. Maybe it's posting a smartphone photo every now and then, maybe it's crafting your captions to make them more relatable. Find what works best for you with some testing, otherwise you'll end up giving this impression:
overly curated instagram profiles like this are boring to me pic.twitter.com/tEATwq3mfe
— skylar bergl (@skylarbergl) October 10, 2015
Reid's captions are often very light-hearted, making them easy to digest - and he doesn't skip a beat in his self-promotion game.
2. Keep the link on your profile fresh.
I can't count the number of times I've seen bloggers leave a link to a new article in the caption of their photos. Take this as a wakeup call if you're guilty of it: Hyperlinks don't work on Instagram anywhere but the website field of your profile. Instead of trying to get your fans to remember a URL to type into their browser manually, just update your profile link and direct them there.
"New blog article, link is on my profile" - something along the lines of that will suffice as a caption on new photos (though you should sell them harder than that!). The problem here lies in the fact that the human attention span is worse than a goldfish, but who cares? The people that actually click through are likely to convert to email signups or sales and that's all that matters, right?
An alternative is to use a bitly link with a custom short URL that's easy to remember. I'm not a huge fan of this since you can't directly track that the traffic is coming from your Instagram in Google Analytics, but many influencers use this method when building Instagram traffic.
3. Hashtag the shit out of your photos.
It's the easiest way to get discovered since you'll appear in extra search queries. Buffer has reported that the highest interaction posts on Instagram are those with 11+ hashtags. This can look annoying to many, but there are simple solutions to prevent yourself from annoying your core fanbase. Typically, I'll only use 2-3 hashtags in a post's caption and then leave a list of hashtags as a second comment that I can delete later on. If you're going after the right hashtags, people using bots will hit you up with auto-comments. You only need 2 auto-comments to make your 2nd comment with your list of hashtags disappear from immediate view, but there's an even simpler solution. Before you get into this tactic, make sure to do proper hashtag research.
Long comments are automatically hidden from view on Instagram so that your feed doesn't get too ugly, so you can abuse this by adding several lines of filler text like Reid does here to hide your hashtags from your fans' view. Notice that he also does this in a second comment rather than the original caption as well. The only other thing to note here is to make sure the hashtags you're using fit your niche and are very targeted. For a better idea of how to choose hashtags, check out my comprehensive Instagram marketing guide.