Part 2: Using Instagram To Drive Downloads

by Alexandra Uren . February 2, 2017

Welcome to part 2 of our app launch series, containing all our little tips and tricks to make sure your app launch is a success! Last time, we looked at app store optimisation and the reason it is so important, alongside some nifty tricks to make your app stand out from the rest.

This week, we are moving onto the use of Instagram when it comes to promoting your app. The social platform which began as somewhere that millennials could post pictures of their avocado toast has now become a vital ingredient in your mixing pot of marketing techniques – although the avocado toast days are far from over.

Instagram is a reliable and effective business tool. Whether it’s a start up looking to market their latest digital product or an already established brand reaching out to their loyal customers, Instagram can do wonders for your business.

Here’s our top tips for using your Instagram page to connect with users, drive downloads and increase website traffic.

Tone Of Voice

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, consistency is key. If your app development company are also doing your branding for you then the tone of voice will be something that crops up time and time again. However, Instagram is a different sort of platform and, in our experience, the kind of copy that you may use on platforms like LinkedIn may not go down quite as well on Instagram.

If your app or product is generally fun, playful and entertaining, then there’s no need to change what you’re doing. Make sure your Instagram description and bio mirror this.

If the nature of your product is more formal, serious or professional however, then we recommend taking this opportunity to show off a more personal side to your business. Instagram works best when it is used to showcase the personalities behind your brand or a sneak-peak into the day-to-day life of your product and employees; allowing your users to feel that they can connect with you personally. Adapt your voice to suit the tone of the platform, personal, light-hearted and relaxed.

Hashtags

Hashtags can do wonders for the engagement on your pictures, as without them there’s very little to actually help users discover you! Your hashtags will allow potential users to stumble across pages which they otherwise wouldn’t have seen. However, like all good things, there is always the temptation to overdo it.

The hashtags you use on Instagram need to be relevant to your app. While it may get you a few more followers or likes to continually hashtag your posts with #followforfollow or #likeforlike, it’s not going to attract the right sort of people – aka potential users. Plus, for anyone who is genuinely interested in your app, an excess of irrelevant hashtags can look spammy and cheap which may put them off exploring your Instagram or product further.

Using relevant hashtags that will appeal to people who are looking for a product just like yours is the best way to effectively utilise them. Pay attention to other hashtags that are being used on similar products to yours, as this will help you appeal to the right people and stay on top of the competition.

Captions

Instagram will cut off your caption after 3-4 lines of text, so it is best to chuck the important stuff at your users before they have to click ‘more’. Pop the hashtags, mentions and any extra information at the end of your captions, they are there to help users discover your page and, unless your hashtags are used humorously, won’t add anything extra for people who have already discovered your images.

The four lines the user can see should be enticing, engaging and make them want to read more. And remember, if the link to your product is in your bio, you should tell your followers! ‘Link in bio’ is all that’s needed at the end of your caption, that way your users know where to go to get the product you’re talking about.

Including a call to action is another great technique when it comes to writing your captions. If you have a large following it can be a great way to get people to engage with your photos, but it’s worth doing even if you’re just starting out.

Examples of using calls to actions to increase engagement are, ‘share your story in the comments’, ‘double tap if you agree’ or, ‘we’d love to know what you think’. Instagram also now allows users to ‘like’ and reply to comments, so you can even engage with user’s reactions to your images. Remember, Instagram is personal. It’s rarely about the hard-sell and instead should be used as a way to engage with your users, explore other pages and showcase your creativity.

Bio

Currently, Instagram does not allow users to post links in their descriptions which, to be honest, is one of the things we love about it. It may not be as effective for startups and brands trying to promote their website, product or app, but for now we’re just going to have to work with what we’ve got.

Of course, you should include your main link in your bio. Alongside a short description of what your product actually is, we recommend a call to action, encouraging any potential users or followers to get cracking with the download. Users should feel like they need your app, that it is the answer they’ve been looking for or that it will fill a gaping void in their lives. If you are struggling to make your app sound like a necessary, engaging or useful product then, well, why did you bother developing it?

Users need to be convinced in those few lines that you will add something substantial to their Instagram feeds. But remember that Instagram is a community in which you should connect with your followers on a personal level. Your bio should pop with a bit of personality. No one likes a bore on Instagram, that’s what LinkedIn is for.

The Actual Images

We can talk about hashtags, descriptions and captions until the cows come home, but at the end of the day, Instagram is a predominantly visual platform. Spending hours putting together an engaging description explaining why followers should download your app is all very well, but if the image accompanying this creative masterpiece is low quality or irrelevant, you’re not going to get very far.

For this reason, it is essential that you spend some time working on the images posted in your Instagram feed. Not only do the pictures have to relevant to your product, eye catching and high quality, it is worth noting how the images fit together on your ‘grid’. You can easily use your camera role to put a collection of photos together and see how they look. Although it’s not essential, we recommend sticking to a similar ‘theme’ throughout your feed. This ensures that, collectively, your feed is aesthetically pleasing and showcases something that is of a high quality. Consistency in colour schemes and themes will attract followers and hopefully drive visits to your website or further downloads.

That’s it for part 2 of our app launch series, check back in next week for more!

More like this