Oh, Instagram. Love it or hate it, it’s an important and effective way of building your brand.
But how can food bloggers successfully use Instagram as a part of their traffic and brand strategy? Let’s discuss:
Why Instagram is Important for Food Bloggers
Instagram is a unique social media platform because it’s not all-that great for driving traffic back to your blog. You can add links in your profile or to your Instagram Stories, but it’s tough to actually get people from Instagram to your blog.
And I know what you’re thinking, “Hold up. Why would I spend time and promote my content on Instagram if it won’t result in pageviews on my blog?”
And that’s a really good question. Whenever we talk about social media, we’re almost always talking in terms of traffic to your site.
But Instagram is a little different. It’s a great place to build engagement, and in turn, strengthen your brand’s recognition and loyalty.
Instagram’s goal is to keep people on Instagram (that’s why you still can’t leave clickable links in your Instagram captions 🙄), so we encourage you to post engaging content for your audience on Instagram, rather than trying to get them to go somewhere else all the time.
Here’s a really great example of building engagement on Instagram from Pinch of Yum:
View this post on Instagram
This naturally sweet breakfast dessert splendorsnack is just the thing we need to make mornings worth it again. Exquisite clusters of almonds, flax, oats and coconut flakes so golden and caramelized that you feel like you’re abandoning your New Year’s resolutions, but you’re not. This is fuel for your day…or night…or nap…or Netflix binge…whenever. This wholesome treat has GOT YOU.⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Mix together in a bowl:⠀⠀ 3 cups rolled oats⠀⠀ 1 heaping cup flaked unsweetened coconut⠀⠀ 1 heaping cup sliced almonds⠀⠀ 1 cup chopped pistachios⠀⠀ 1/4 cup flax seeds⠀⠀ 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted⠀⠀ 2 tablespoons honey⠀⠀ 2 tablespoons real maple syrup⠀⠀ 1 teaspoon cinnamon⠀⠀ 1 teaspoon salt⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Spread on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Stir in 1/2 cup of golden raisins, and bake for another 15 minutes. Let it chill out on the pan for about 15 mins (clusters!) then EAT.⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #granola #snackfood #snackattack #breakfast #healthyrecipeshare #cleaneating #eatclean #realfood #eatrealfood
Instead of leaving a link to the recipe on Pinch of Yum, the recipe is included within the caption, so their followers don’t need to click anywhere else to get the recipe.
When you do ask them to go somewhere else – to a post, to a sales page, to an opt-in page – you want to be intentional with that ask and strategically direct them to the place you want them to go. But more on that in a bit.
Using Instagram to Promote Your Content
The Instagram algorithm changes constantly, so instead of focusing on beating the algorithm, we encourage you to utilize some of these strategies to help get your content in front of more followers:
Much like posting on your blog, consistent posting will help you on Instagram; if your followers expect you to be there, be there.
You can post as often or as little as you want, just make sure that the captions are helpful and descriptive and your photos are on-brand.
Hashtags are an important and effective way to get your content seen by non-followers. Instagram users can follow hashtags or look through hashtag feeds (like this!), so we encourage you use hashtags in your Instagram captions.
You can keep track of common hashtags that you use in a tool like Planoly or in a notes app so that you always have that list with you. Then, when you’re ready to post, you can check out your list and pull the hashtags that are relevant to that content.
And to find those hashtags, check out what your fellow bloggers are using, ask a community of bloggers, or create your own branded hashtag (like #yourblogname) so that you can encourage your followers to use it.
This is a pretty important concept in the wonderful world of Instagram, so be sure to check out this post for more information about using hashtags.
Spend all of five seconds on Instagram, and you’ll see that the content that performs best looks a little different than the content that performs best on other social media platforms. Instagram is all about that high-quality content, so we encourage you to make sure your Instagram posts are eye-catching, engaging, and beautiful.
When planning your Insta content, you can consider the season, time of the week, or any upcoming holidays. And to make your post even more engaging, try adding tips or a full recipe in the caption to encourage comments or post saves.
If you want to take your Instagram strategy one step further, try tying your posts and Instagram Stories together. For example, you could share a photo of your new recipe on your feed, and in the caption say something like, “Be sure to hop over to my Stories to see me making this recipe! You won’t believe how easy it is.”
It’s a way to cross-promote your content on the same platform.
How to Generate Traffic From Instagram
So we’ve said that Instagram isn’t the best social media platform for getting traffic to your site, but there are some strategies that you can use to get your followers to the content on your blog.
Optimize Profile Links
Sharing links on Instagram isn’t always the easiest because there’s only one place in your Instagram profile where you can actually have a link:
Luckily, there are some low-cost tools that you can use to get your followers to your content:
- Link in Profile: We like this tool because you can add links to your Instagram feed content
- Tap Bio: From the makers of Link in Profile; similar idea with some different functionalities
- Linktree: A simple linking tool that lets you link to your most important content
- Smart.Bio: From the makers of Tailwind and free
When you’re using one of these tools, make sure to keep it updated and link to some of your most popular posts so new followers can get to know you and your brand.
Swipe Up in Stories
If you have a business account and have 10,000 followers or more, then you have the “swipe up” feature in your Instagram Stories. If you’re talking about a post, a product, or a link in your Instagram Stories, this feature will allow you to add a link that your followers can easily access by “swiping up” on your Story. It’s pretty slick!
Food bloggers can use the “swipe up” feature in a ton of different ways. You could preview a recipe in your Stories and add a link to the recipe on your blog. You could talk about a new ebook and add a link to the purchase page. You could talk about your email list and add a link to a signup page. There are so many effective ways to use this feature!
To add a link to your Stories, click the link button and paste your link. Simple as that!
Bonus: You can save those Stories to your highlights so that new followers can also access that linked-to content!
Instagram is an incredibly beneficial social media platform for food bloggers, and while it’s not necessarily a mega traffic-driver, it’s helpful for increasing brand awareness, building your audience, and fostering engagement.
🎉 And if you’re interested in really hunkering down on solidifying your Instagram strategy, Food Blogger Pro members get access to our Instagram for Food Bloggers course where Lindsay and Bjork chat through Pinch of Yum’s Instagram Playbook and the decisions they make before posting any content on Instagram. 🎉
So now we’re curious: How do you use Instagram for your brand? Do you find that you generate a good bit of traffic from it, or do you use it in different ways?