Growth Marketer Academy: Episode 13 – 5 Instagram Marketing Secrets

Instagram marketing is now more popular than ever.

In its early days, Instagram was the darling of filter-obsessed adolescents.

Since then, Instagram’s user base has swelled to over 600 million and the platform has become a robust
visual marketing tool that brands simply can’t afford to overlook.

If used correctly, Instagram can help build your brand image and win you, new customers.

We’ll reveal 5 secrets that successful brands use to grow their following and convert the
toughest of leads to scale their business to new heights.

Link Out To a Customized Page for Your Audience

Most social platforms allow clickable-links or ‘hyperlinks’

Instagram does NOT allow clickable links anywhere but in your brand’s profile section

Don’t try to cheat:

Adding a link to photo caption or comment areas looks spammy.

With only one chance, make it good:

A link to your site’s homepage could break context and cause confusion

Option 1: A landing page dedicated to Instagram-content

Provide relevant information and context related to images

eCommerce sites: Create a page where shoppers can quickly purchase items.

Madewell Instagram and landing pages

Option 2: Long-form content

Direct purchases from Instagram are rare.

Target-audiences require lead nurturing.

Clickable-link should lead to long-form content:

Provide value rather than selling service.

Host Contests (That Incentivize Action)

This right here is Instagram marketing gold.

Contests accelerate the pace at which users interact with your brand.

Science Reason:

The allure of a ‘prize’ taps into people’s competitive drive

Simultaneously triggers loss aversion instinct –  psychologically more powerful than gain.

Contests drive engagement and generate ‘buzz’ around your brand.

Option 1: Like to Win

Requires visitors to follow your brand and ‘like’ a post during a given time-frame in order to enter.

You select a winner at random from this pool entrants.

Why these contests work:

Downside = Quality of entrants is low

Many will ‘like’ to win a prize without any real interest in your brand.

Run these contests periodically.

Option 2: User-Generated Content Contests

Gets your customers to promote your brand.

How to do it:

Create a unique hashtag for your contest

Entrants post a photo of themselves using your product to enter.

Starbucks #WhiteCupContest did a great job with this

People decorated a white cup and the winning selection was printed as a limited-edition cup.

Starbucks white cup contest top Instagram posts

Why these contests work:


Tip: have the public choose a winner.

This leads to contestants promoting the contest for you in order to garner votes.

Option 3: Mention A Friend

Requires users to tag a friend in order to enter.

Intent: get the tagged individual to become a follower.

Why these contests work:


Most people will only tag 1-2 people

Caps your reach

Run Multiple Highly-Targeted Accounts

Most brands have multiple buyer-personas to appease.

Create multiple Instagram accounts to

Examples of content to host on different accounts:

  1. Highlight different uses of your product

Example: Beauty care giant L’Oreal has separate Instagram accounts for




  1. Target geographical spread

Create separate Instagram accounts to target regional and international variations.

Example: Whole Foods has different accounts for different cities

Serve Up Exclusive Content

Foster this feeling of belonging

Make your audience feel special.

This will motivate engagement.

Option 1: Offer special discounts

Instagram-exclusive discounts:

Encourages followers to keep coming back.

Dedicated flash sales: makes followers feel as if they have an opportunity that others don’t.

Option 2: Provide sneak peeks

Show your audience a product before it hits the market.

Builds curiosity, hype, and demand


Provide a behind-the-scenes look at everyday life in your company.

Formstack HQ Instagram post


Partner Up With Supporters Who Champion Your Brand

Option 1: Partner with Influencers

Influencers are authoritative-individuals with a significant following.

Partnering with influencers to promote your business introduces your brand to new audiences

A “shout-out” to your brand from an influencer impacts conversions.


Buyers trust influencers more than a brand “tooting its own horn.”

How to find influencers in your niche:

Analytics tools:

Narrow down a list of targets

Send out a free version (or trial) of your product.

Ask influencers to organically mention your brand in a post if they like your product.

Instagram gold:

When the mention of your product appears like an original and honest review of a loved-product.

Not like paid-promotion.

Option 2: partner with charities

Millennial consumers are socially aware

they like to associate with brands that are socially responsible or have a positive environmental impact.

Donating to a campaign or cause that aligns with your customer’s values and mission:

Goal = win public goodwill and sway opinions.

Don’t try to measure engagement or ROI or you’ll seem disingenuous.

Not officially associated with a charity?

Update your followers with images.


Toyota USA Gave $50 to Boys and Girls Club of America every time a follower posted a selfie with #selflessie hashtag.

Toyota hashtag selflessie Instagram post


Instagram marketing can be confusing and challenging, but with the right focus and long-term dedication, you
can comfortably convert visitors into followers and customers.

Instagram offers unique challenges

But also unique opportunities for engagement.