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How to Build an Instagram Lead Nurturing Campaign From Scratch

October 30, 2019

If you’re having trouble getting started with lead nurturing on Instagram, you’re not alone. 

Many marketers find it challenging to see ROI from Instagram. 

But there’s good news — running a successful Instagram lead nurturing campaign is entirely possible if you go about it the right way. Here, we’ll list tried-and-true tactics to increase your reach, actually capture leads from Instagram, and then nurture those leads into sales.

Instagram lead nurturing campaign

That’s just the overview. Now we’re going to dive into how to execute each step in the process. Here’s how to build an Instagram lead nurturing campaign from bottom to top and end up with more sales.

1. Identify your audience

Before you can launch your campaign, there are a few things you need to do. First of all, you need to define your target audience. Who are the leads you want to nurture? That’s the question you need to answer before you can start doing the heavy work.

Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to buy your product, or utilize your services because they need and/or want it. An easy way to start figuring this out is to look at your current customers.

What age are they and where do they live? What are their interests? Where are they financially? Questions like these will make a big difference. One easy way to do this is by looking at the analytics tab on your Instagram Business account to find the average age and gender of your followers.

instagram insights

Photo credit: Falcon.io

After you’ve taken a hard look at your current customers, you also need to think carefully about your product. Nail down details such as the value your product provides, and how people can benefit from it. By thinking about your current customers and the benefits of your product, you can establish a pretty specific idea of your target audience.

You’ll want to revisit this about once a year, as your ideal audience might shift over time, and you’ll likely be rolling out new products. But for now, you’re ready to continue with your Instagram lead nurturing campaign.

TIP: Don't wait, get started today! Learn how to create a customer profile and download our free audience persona template. 

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2. Grow your Instagram following

The next step toward creating a lead nurturing campaign is to grow your following on Instagram. The more followers you have, the more leads you’ll be able to capture — and getting more Instagram followers has a lot of other benefits, such as giving you more credibility and “unlocking” features like adding a link in your Instagram stories.

If you need more followers fast, you might be tempted to use an unsavory Instagram service, one that tells you that you should buy followers or promises explosive growth overnight. While that might seem tempting it’s not recommended. Instagram has recently begun shadow banning accounts they see violating their rules and you’ll lose all your hard work if you get caught.

TIP: Learn how to harness the power of hashtags to build your Instagram following

3. Create Instagram-specific landing page and capture email

The next step in your lead nurturing campaign is creating a landing page that’s just for your Instagram followers. One of your primary goals during this campaign should be to obtain email addresses so you can reach leads through email marketing. You can ask for emails by offering a gated piece of content on your Instagram-specific landing page.

Email is a very direct way to communicate with leads, and by getting their email through content offered on social media, you can add them to your email list and reach them through email in addition to social. On your Instagram-specific landing page, offer something that your followers can download or receive access to by entering their email address.

A few examples of a lead magnet your team can utilize are: 

  • An ebook
  • Downloadable PDF
  • Video training
  • Mini course
  • Free trial of a software or program

Lead magnets benefit both you and your followers: Your followers get a valuable piece of free content, and you get their email address. On the landing page where you offer the lead magnet, you might also want to include testimonials or videos to help convince your Instagram followers to download the offer. Once your landing page is ready, you can start sending your followers to that page.

4. Send followers to landing page

There are two ways to send your Instagram followers to your specific landing page. Any Instagram account can add a link in their bio. If you have several links you want to include, use a tool such as Linktree to add them all.

You may want to include your website, other social media pages, a blog (if you have one), news from third-party websites about your brand, etc. In addition to these links, add your Instagram-specific landing page for your lead magnet. If that page has a free PDF download, title the page as “Download Your Free PDF.”

linktree example


For a link in your bio, send your followers there via regular posts in your feed, including a CTA in the caption that encourages them to visit your profile and click the link in your bio. You can also post Instagram Stories that do the same thing — mention the special offer at the link in your bio.

If you have a business account and at least 10,000 followers, you have access to Instagram’s swipe-up feature. This feature allows you to add a link to your Instagram Story that viewers can visit.

The process of adding this link is simple. When you create an Instagram Story, tap the hyperlink button at the top. Then select the option to add a URL and paste the link you want to include. When you upload your story, viewers will be able to swipe up and see the webpage. Make sure to include a CTA in your story that directs their attention to the swipe-up feature.

5. Employ Instagram retargeting ads

Instagram retargeting ads can play an important role in your lead nurturing campaign. Retargeting ads are a type of advertisement that targets customers who have interacted with your brand online in the past. These ads can help win more conversions, and plus, they’re huge for brand awareness.

You can track your audience using Facebook tools such as Facebook Custom Audience and Facebook Pixel. Using Facebook’s ad manager or a third-party website with an ad manager, set up an advertisement and segment your audience. For example, you could exclude converters so the only people who see these ads are people who haven’t yet made a purchase.

As you create your ads, try to make them look like normal posts. When someone is scrolling through their Instagram feed, they’ll be more likely to stop and look. You can run A/B testing on your ads by dividing your audience into two groups, showing each one a slightly different advertisement, and analyzing which one performs best. This is a great way to find the Instagram retargeting ads that work best to help you nurture leads.

6. Use Instagram best practices

Your lead nurturing campaign doesn’t end there. You can continue capturing valuable leads by following Instagram marketing best practices to engage your customers. Take advantage of every feature Instagram offers so you can market your business effectively both now and down the road.

Instagram polls

One way to drive engagement is by using Instagram Story features such as polls. Trivia is a fun way to interact with your audience and help them learn more about your brand. You can also learn more about what your audience wants by creating polls that help you determine what products to create next.

Instagram giveaways

Giveaways and contests are another popular way to not only engage with your current followers, but add some new ones too. Ask your followers to follow you and tag a few friends in order to enter the contest; winners could receive a free product or a gift card. Since Instagram contests and giveaways get 3.5 more likes and 64 more comments than the average Instagram post, they’re an excellent way to nurture leads.

Exclusive offers

Offering a free product trial can also be helpful, as it provides a way for people to interact with your product at no obligation. Product trials can help you get more email addresses and often end up converting someone into a customer.

And as you plan out your Instagram posts and the type of content you want to share, storytelling is an effective tool to use; sharing the story of your business or a story from your customers helps draw more leads in, letting them imagine how you can be part of their story, too.

Turning social media into a lead-generating machine

Although lead nurturing on Instagram might seem complicated, it’s entirely possible — and by following these steps, you can run an Instagram lead nurturing campaign that succeeds in giving you more conversions. Use tactics such as retargeting ads, a lead magnet specifically for your Instagram followers, and giveaways to help reach more leads and ultimately get them to convert.

Don't stop now. There's so much more to learn! Check out these 10 Instagram tips for businessesAnd before you forget, make sure to leave a review of the social image sharing platform to help other users make more informed Instagram marketing decisions! 

Use Instagram for your business? Share your expertise! Write a Review →

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