How To Turn Instagram Exposure Into Audience Retention

By Manish Dudharejia / 15 January 2019

Many businesses want a successful social media strategy, but they aren’t sure where to start. This article will discuss the most valuable techniques to convert your Instagram exposure into audience retention. 

Instagram’s visual platform is a great way to engage with users on a visceral level. Unfortunately, as with any social media platform, an Instagram following is still somewhat fickle in nature. Users usually follow a large number of influencers, but it's rare they will see every post published by everyone they follow.

You need to have your audience on a platform where they will see your content and communication. This means either signing up for push notifications or emails.

We, at E2M Solutions Inc., understand the difficulty of curating a loyal customer base using Instagram. How then do you convince your Instagram followers to sign up for direct communications?

Here are 3 ways you can accomplish this. 

Craft a Great Lead Magnet

The purpose of campaigns trying to convert Instagram followers into leads is to expose them to a lead magnet or offer so tempting they would be willing to share their contact information to access it.

A lead magnet exchanges downloadable content for a customer's email address. In doing so, the user agrees to receive other marketing messages from your business, which should ultimately convert them into customers.

Since you are targeting potential leads on Instagram, your lead magnet should be highly visual or interactive.

Some examples include:

  • Series of exclusive photographs not available on your Instagram page
  • Instructional video
  • Series of video classes on a topic
  • Infographic or “instructographic” designed with your target audience in mind
  • Coupon book or other special deal
  • Comic
  • Interactive web app
  • Game
  • Calendar
  • Planner
  • Recipe
  • E-book
  • Coaching session
  • Personality quiz, survey, or similar test
  • Desktop or phone wallpapers
  • Catalog

The lead magnet you decide to create should fit your Instagram audience’s interests. It should be their natural first step towards buying one of your products or paying for your services. This means that your lead magnet will generally be targeting leads somewhere near the “middle” of your purchasing funnel.

The leads you are pursuing have presumably expressed an interest in topics that are relevant to your product by following your Instagram account, but it is unlikely that they are aware enough of your product’s benefits to make a purchase yet.

The goal of your lead magnet should be to address a different, but related, problem that a large number of your Instagram followers are likely to have.

Below, Trello offers a three board template in exchange for the visitor’s email and name. 

Trello Lead Magnet


Trello recognizes that users are interested in organizing their content cycle and teams, but they don’t quite know how Trello works. The company gives users a chance to easily try out its templates while gaining email addresses it will use to send more targeted advertising. 

While creating your lead magnet, you should have researched similar lead magnets and identified how those lead magnets may have been improved.

You can identify how to create a more effective lead magnet and develop a landing page for your lead magnet that addresses those types of concerns, reassuring your leads that they won’t be wasting their time by downloading the content.

Create Instagram Posts That Funnel Visitors to Your Lead Magnet

Transferring followers from Instagram to your lead magnet will require you to create Instagram posts that fit the medium and also entice users to seek out your lead magnet. 

This is not a simple task to achieve, in part because Instagram does not allow links within image captions. A simple image, featuring stylized text that notifies users of the lead magnet, can be effective in some circumstances, but generally isn’t a good fit for Instagram. These types of images are also unlikely to get shared on the platform.

The types of posts most likely to entice your followers to seek out the lead magnet will usually be some sort of “sneak peak” of what they can expect to find when they download the lead magnet.

For example, this template offers viewers an exclusive look at new watch features. This information can only be found if you follow the brand on Instagram, demonstrating the value of sharing your profile with the business. 

Easil Instagram Story Ideas


The advertisement uses language like “tap to reveal” and “who’s ready” to build up suspense and motivate users to click on the content. 

Another example occurs if the lead magnet is a recipe or instructographic. The first half of the recipe or instructographic will serve to capture their attention, while the caption can tell them what to search for to see the rest. 

Likewise, a video snippet from a longer video, a partially censored image from an exclusive collection, the first panels of a comic strip, or an image of a web app in motion should give viewers an idea of what to expect from your lead magnet, enticing them to download it.

You can also choose a unique name for your lead magnet so it can be found easily with a search. If it shows up in the top position of the search, users will be more likely to click on it. Finally, in the Instagram caption, tell your users the exact phrase to search for so that they can find your lead magnet without issue.

Use Hashtags

To increase your posts' visibility on Instagram, you will want to include relevant hashtags within your image captions.

Shopify recommends searching for similar products on Instagram and looking at what hashtags your competitors are using. We recommend a similar approach for your lead magnets. It may be more difficult to identify lead magnet-related posts specifically on Instagram, but you can search for images similar to yours. 

You can then plug these hashtags into IconoSquare or Webstagram to identify related popular hashtags to include in your captions.

You can include up to 30 hashtags in each post, but, in most cases, this would be overkill and might overwhelm the reader. Instead, aim to include an appropriate number of hashtags so that relevant users will be able to find your posts.

You can add hashtags to the comments on the post if you forgot to include hashtags in previous posts that were used to promote your lead asset. While this isn’t quite as effective as including it in the caption, it still boosts your visibility.

Make Your Instagram Benefit Your Business

To turn an Instagram following into business results, you will need to move your followers from your social media to a more direct platform. If you want expert insight into your Instagram potential, hire a knowledgeable Instagram advertising agency

Turning exposure into audience retention requires the use of a lead magnet appropriate for the platform. 

Instagram posts that entice users to check out the lead magnet will increase your sales and improve your marketing success. Put this advice to use and start building your leads.


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