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The 1-2-3-4 Content Strategy to Drive Leads From Instagram Marketing


When I first signed up for Instagram, I had no clue how to use it. I just created an account and let it sit there for more than a year. I never thought I could use it to build an audience.

Then I came across a blog post describing how an online publication drove leads and built a multimillion-dollar business from Instagram.

Within a few months, I learned how they did it – and how I could replicate the strategy for my clients.

I’m going to explain, step by step, how you can gain leads and clients using Instagram, too. (Note: I don’t have any business relationship with Foundr Magazine, I just admire its Instagram success.)

1. Optimize your Instagram bio for lead generation

Instagram presents a huge problem for brands. It doesn’t let you add clickable links in post descriptions or comments the way other social networks do. You’re only allowed one link from the bio on your profile page.

Since you only get one, you need to use that bio link effectively. Plan these three elements carefully to create a compelling bio:

  • The content
  • The link
  • The profile image

The bio content or text is the most important element. You can drive a flood of leads with a relevant and enticing call to action like this one from an earlier version of Foundr’s profile (“Get Our Free Instagram Marketing 101 Issue!”).


The bio link is also important. Instagram only allows you to add one clickable link, so you’ll want to optimize it to get the most clicks.

Optimize bio link, offer, and landing page to drive leads with #InstagramMarketing, says @zorzini. Click To Tweet

In the example above, Foundr makes it clear they’re offering a free lead magnet. Try including the word “free” in your URL.

The profile image doesn’t necessarily play a major role. Still, it makes sense to brand your profile with a clear and attractive logo.

2. Create an Instagram-specific landing page

Another crucial element of Foundr Magazine’s strategy is to use a landing page optimized for Instagram traffic.


Notice how the lead magnet and landing page are laser-targeted to attract leads from Instagram? That explains why Foundr now has a whopping 1.2 million followers on Instagram.


Foundr receives more than 10,000 opt-ins a month through its Instagram-specific landing page. Drip email campaigns nurture those visitors into paid subscribers.

To do this for your brand, you can easily set up a landing page like Foundr’s using a tool like Leadpages. (Paid version after free trial)

Use a tool like @Leadpages to create an #Instagram-specific landing page, says @zorzini. #tools Click To Tweet

As for the drip email campaigns, you can use email marketing tools like MailChimp (free and paid versions) or Constant Contact. (Paid version after free trial)

3. Create and share great content

You might be surprised to learn that Foundr built the bulk of its follower base by sharing inspiring quotes for entrepreneurs and business owners (its target audience).

If you take a look at its Instagram profile, you can see that this is the most common content type.


The Instagram platform is great for caption images; that’s why inspirational, motivational, and thought-provoking quotes work so well.

.@foundr magazine built 1 million+ #Instagram following with motivational quotes. @Zorzini shares how. Click To Tweet

And quote posts are easy to put together. All you need are tools like Word Swag (free version), an app you can use to add text and fonts to free images. You can also use some of the more robust options like Canva. (Free and paid versions)

Feel-good content also performs well. You may have come across some of the Instagram videos from the nonprofit organization Shining Hope for Communities. These videos attract a lot of attention and engagement, simply because they make people feel good.

4. Engage and promote

The final step in engaging effectively with your audience is to post the right way.

Rather than going with the “post it and they will come” strategy, try one of these proven ways to drive engagement to your post:

Post it and they will come doesn’t work for #InstagramMarketing says @zorzini. Here’s what does. Read more >> Click To Tweet


Using the right hashtags (those relevant to your business or messages) can get you hits and “likes,” and even sales.

The free TagsforLikes app helps you find popular hashtags that can drive traffic and engagement.

The free @tagsforlikes app helps you find popular #Instagram hashtags that can drive traffic, says @zorzini. Click To Tweet

Compelling calls to action

Clear calls to action can mean the difference between posts that get buried in feeds and posts that go viral. You need to add a mix of CTAs driving to your lead magnet opt-in, CTAs for engagement, and promotional CTAs.

Let’s take a look at some of the CTAs Foundr uses.

Lead-magnet CTA: This example shows how Foundr sends people to its lead magnet. Notice that it directs people back to the clickable link in its bio.


CTA for engagement: In this example of an engagement CTA, notice how Foundr prompts users to double tap (gesture for like) the image if they agree with the quote. Simple, yet effective. The post had 3,762 “likes” as I wrote this article.


Promotional CTA: Now let’s take a look at a CTA Foundr uses for promotional posts.


Notice how it’s subtly trying to send visitors to the page for its new issue?


Contests and giveaways are a proven way to drive leads and followers. Contests can be organized for cash prizes or for free products. Online marketing veteran Neil Patel acquired 143,000 followers on Instagram using contests and giveaways.

Share for shares

Doing a share-for-share campaign is a super simple way to tap into the follower base of other brands on Instagram. You’d simply email a relevant brand and ask if it would like to do a share-for-a-share. If the brand’s team agrees, you share their posts first, and they’ll reciprocate.

A time-tested social strategy

An optimized bio, Instagram-specific landing page, motivational content, and engagement efforts can take you a long way in building a huge follower base on Instagram. As always, one of the best strategies to drive followers for your account is simply to build real relationships with influencers and communities.

Are you finding success on Instagram? What techniques work for you? Let me know in the comments.

Please note:  All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team.  No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).

What better place to build relationships with other content marketers than Content Marketing Word 2018. Register today and use code BLOG100 to save $100. 

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute