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How to increase ROI with Instagram content

How to increase ROI with Instagram content

Home Blog Digital Marketing Content Marketing How to increase ROI with Instagram content

Think Instagram is a platform just for Gen Z teens? Perhaps you’re struggling to understand the value of organic and paid Instagram content when it comes to ROI?

Then keep reading.

We already know that people spend a lot of time on Instagram, but that doesn’t always mean what they are scrolling through is your branded content. With research by Similar Web showing people spend at least 53 minutes per day on Instagram, it still poses difficult to ensure your brand is pushed to the feed of someone’s daily scroll. 

The good news for marketers is that more time spent on Instagram, means more potential exposure to your brand’s content and ads. This increased ad exposure helps lead to more click-throughs, to eventually boost sales. The key challenge for marketers is making that connection from engagement to click-through to a sale. 

Let’s break things down.

Table of Contents:

4 Data-based Reasons Instagram Marketing Is A Must

Before we evaluate Instagram’s marketing ROI, maybe you are asking yourself a crucial question: does Instagram have tangible marketing potential?

Can the platform give you a substantial return on investment to warrant making it a part of your marketing mix? It’s a valid question. No marketer wants to waste precious company resources on an unprofitable channel.

An infographic by Social Tradia revealed some data-based reasons you must grow your brand on Instagram today rather than later:

  • 78% of influencers say Instagram is their number one channel for brand collaborations so your influencer marketing campaigns can take off there. 
  • 72% of users have purchased products after seeing them on the platform, therefore some of your potential customers are waiting for you on Instagram.
  • 68% of people on Instagram engage with companies frequently, compared to only 32% on Facebook.
  • 90% of Instagram users follow one or more brands on the platform, so people love doing business on the channel.

Given these encouraging numbers, I’m sure you agree Instagram marketing is worth a shot.

How To Measure Instagram Marketing ROI

Calculating social media return on investment or ROI can be tricky.

Let’s admit it. Not everything you do on social media translates into immediate sales—yes, even with shoppable videos and buy now buttons. Asking for the sale straight away on social doesn’t always yield results.

You must play the long game. Social media is a superb place to grow your brand recognition and penetration. Eventually, this will lead to sales, the ultimate business metric every company wants to boost. But getting to the sale via social takes a series of mini-steps. 

You must stop your audience from scrolling, engage them, and get them to click-through to your landing page or store. Depending on how your funnel works, you can then nurture the leads via email until they are ready to buy.

While these non-monetary metrics seem insignificant, they are crucial in getting people’s attention, pulling them into your funnel, which finally leads to sales.

  • Audience reach: the total number of people who see your content.
  • Audience engagement: the number of people who interact with your content by liking, sharing, or commenting.
  • Audience growth rate: the rate at which your audience grows.
  • Conversion rate: the number of people who take the desired action e.g. click-through to a landing page, subscribe to a newsletter, or download a resource.

Tracking these metrics isn’t enough. The metrics only become useful when you align them to your goals. So the next step is to determine your social campaign goal. Is it:

For instance, if your goal is brand awareness, audience growth rate becomes a vital metric for you. Once you’ve dialed in your key metric and matched it to your goal, determining ROI becomes easier. From there you simply set up social traffic conversion goals on Google Analytics.

You can also use social media ROI calculators.

5 Instagram Marketing Tips To Maximize Returns (With Case Studies)

No matter the marketing channel you are using, scaling the creation of quality content is the mainstay. Instagram is no different. You must establish your brand as a respected value-provider by consistently producing remarkable content so people trust you.

Once you have a strong content foundation, use these five proven tactics to get maximum value from your Instagram campaigns.

Tip #1: Leverage Influencer Marketing

Done well, influencer marketing can supercharge your Instagram campaigns. 

A survey by the Influencer Marketing Hub showed businesses make $5.20 per $1 spent on influencer marketing. Top performers earn as high as $20 or more. Up to 97% of influencers prefer Instagram over other channels.

Want to know why?

It’s because Instagram has impressive engagement rates across the board, from nano-influencer to celebrities:

  • 7.2% for influencers with less than 1k followers
  • 5.3% for influencers with 5k or fewer followers
  • 3.7% for influencers with 10k or fewer followers
  • 2.1% for influencers with 100k or fewer followers 

To get the best value for your investment, choose the right influencers to partner with. Hook up with influencers whose audience matches yours. This will ensure your content resonates. Next, only collaborate with influencers who have engaged audiences. Folks who consistently like, comment, and reshare content published by the influencer. Such followers are more likely to engage with your content, too.

Another cool tip that can help you maximize results is to let the influencer own the narrative. These days, people can smell an ad from a mile away. So if you let the influencer contextualize and present the content their way, it’ll sound more authentic. Authenticity will significantly boost your engagement rates—and ultimately, your earnings from the campaign. 

Instagram Influencer Marketing Case Study: WeWoreWhat

Fashion brand, WeWoreWhat, is an excellent example of a well-done influencer campaign.

Source: Instagram
Why this works
  • Product in use: the video doesn’t feature the influencer talking about the product. Instead, she uses the product. Big difference. A demonstration has a greater and deeper psychological impact than mere talk.
  • Influencer-audience fit: Danielle Bernstein equals class and luxury. She promotes famous brands like Virgin Hotels, Avion Tequila, Fiat, and Fiji Water. So recommending luxury candles is a perfect fit for her classy audience.
  • Timeliness: Danielle’s post mentions that the candles are handmade by a Black-woman owned business. In a year when America and the world are more race-conscious than ever because of the Black Lives Matter and We Can’t Breathe movement, people are more likely to support a marginalized race as shown by the almost 4k likes the post got in two days.

Like WeWoreWhat, link your influencer campaigns to trendy topics for higher engagement.

Tip #2: User-generated Content

In an age of the scourge of fake news, people value brand authenticity. In particular, folks are wary of glossed social media posts. Studies show a massive 90% of customers support authentic brands. 

No authenticity. No engagement. No sales.

That’s where user-generated content (UGC) comes in handy. By allowing users to share raw, unedited content about your brand or product you:

  • Become more authentic
  • Create new channels to share your marketing message
  • Discover your audience likes/dislikes
  • Produce never-seen-before content
  • Save on content creation costs

But does UGC work in the real world?

Instagram User-generated Content Case Study: Aerie

Clothing brand Aerie knows how to do result-getting UGC perfectly. They encourage their customers to post genuine, unpolished shots of themselves in Aerie clothing.

Source: Instagram
Why this works
  • Original: customers take and post the shots on their own without the help of pro photographers or resorting to silky editing software to touch them up. You can’t get more original than that. As a result, people believe in the brand’s sincerity.
  • Inclusive: there are no limits on who can join the UGC campaign. So ladies of distinct races, religions, or body types join in. This fosters a feeling of family and inclusivity, which makes it more likely for other ladies to embrace the brand.
  • Natural language: unlike most company social media posts which are dry, boring formal style, real customers use regular language everybody gets and loves. Expressions like ‘slow Sunday’, ‘a walk with my mama’, and ‘waiting for the Seahawks game’ make it easy for people to understand the message.

Aerie’s 4.561 likes and 380 comments show the power of UGC.

Tip #3: Craft Mouthwatering IGTV Videos

Video marketing is all the rage now, and for good reason.

Google noted that six out of ten people prefer watching online videos to television. Another study by Cisco says by 2022, 82% of internet traffic will come from online videos.

Sensing the stratospheric rise in video marketing, Instagram launched Instagram TV (IGTV) back in 2018 to challenge YouTube. While they have made no serious inroads in their bid to go toe to toe with YouTube, brands with a smart strategy have found traction on IGTV. 

IGTV Marketing Case Study: Sephora

Personal care and beauty brand Sephora provides a magnificent case study on how to do effective IGTV marketing.

Source: Instagram
Why this works
  • Step-by-step guide: the video gives detailed one step at a time instructions on how to do makeup. Because people appreciate comprehensive guidance, the video was very popular and generated 206,131 views plus 83 comments.
  • Partnership: for this campaign, Sephora partnered with their counterparts Milk Makeup who presented the tips. The joint campaign bore fruit because it tapped readers from both audiences, thus attracting more eyeballs to the content.
  • Powerful presenter: your video is only as good as the presenter. Sephora didn’t disappoint. The dynamic presenter had a strong on-camera presence and wowed the audience from the get-go. One even commented, “She is so confident and connects so well with the camera!”

Give IGTV marketing a try who knows you might succeed at it like Sephora.

Tip #4: Tell Fascinating Instagram Stories

Want your target audience to eat out of the palm of your hand?

Want them to click on your content’s CTAs or ads, follow you to your website, and convert into solid leads? 

Tell mesmerizing Instagram Stories. 

According to AdExpresso, companies report 2-3x higher engagement from Instagram Stories than with standard content. The best part? Instagram claims one out of five stories gets a direct message response. This is invaluable because it allows businesses to have direct, intimate one-on-one conversations with prospects. Plus, one-third of the most-viewed stories come from companies.

Instagram Stories Case Study: Daily Harvest

An outstanding example of Stories for business is the food brand Daily Harvest.

Source: Instagram
Why this works
  • Incentive: their offer isn’t plain-they include a $25 coupon to entice people to buy. This motivates more potential customers to consider their offer. After all, who doesn’t love a good discount? 
  • Chatty style: they use an intimate, casual style suited for social media, not a stilted corporate tone people ignore. This approach connects easily with folks relaxing on social media e.g. if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but we always remember our roots, because 2 is better than 1, etc.
  • Visual appeal: on Instagram, your content can live or die based on the quality of the visuals. They used a high-quality image that showcases all the fine details of the meal.

Learn from Daily Harvest: use stunning pics. You can leverage content-creation tools to produce and publish engaging visuals, speak in an informal conversational style, and add an incentive to your Stories.

Tip #5: Smart Remarketing

Contemporary customers are a sophisticated mobile bunch. 

They don’t follow the traditional linear customer journey. Instead, they zigzag their way to the buying finish line. They make many stopovers on their journey to becoming customers:

Retargeting, on Instagram in this case, allows you to follow them along and help them pick up where they left off on their conversion journey. This way you provide a seamless experience for them, no matter the channel they are on.

Whether it’s through video remarketing, retargeting based on a person’s interaction with an Instagram or Facebook page, or using dynamic ads, you give prospects a personalized marketing experience. According to Invespcro, website visitors who see a retargeting ad are 70% more likely to convert.

With such high prospects for success, it makes perfect sense to invest in precise Instagram retargeting.

Instagram Retargeting Case Study: Rover

Rover uses carousel ads to win back customers who have shown interest in their products on another page.

Source: Ad Espresso
Why this works
  • Striking images: they used dazzling moving images to stop customers in their tracks. Carousels lure customers to take action better than still images. So if you have several products in the same category, you can woo back customers through carousel ads.
  • Minimal text: they let the pics do the talking instead of using text-heavy ads. This works best for visual brands like dog sitters and walkers such as Rover.
  • Responsive: the ad has large and responsive CTAs such as ‘stay with Eric’ or ‘contact this sitter’. This makes it super easy for prospects to convert.

Like Rover, use personalized retargeting ads to tempt customers back to your site.

Boost Social Media ROI Using Instagram Marketing

Indeed, Instagram provides a good ROI. 

As long as you know how to maximize the platform, your business can get back way more money than you put in. In summary, use these five proven tactics tin big on Instagram:

  • Leverage influencer marketing
  • Try user-generated content
  • Make fabulous IGTV videos
  • Share appealing Instagram stories
  • Remarket with laser-precision

It’s time to up your Instagram marketing game. Trust me, you will get a bang for your buck.

Check out our massive Instagram Engagement Report and discover the best time to post on Instagram.

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Wesley Cherisien

Wesley Cherisien is a speaker, trainer, entrepreneur and tech investor who has penned hundreds of articles, books and training guides for organizations in the Fortune 500, consultants and authors spanning across multiple industries. Chief Editor of, Wesley is a creative and highly innovative thinker with 10+ years of experience writing for online publications.

Guest Blogger @Mention