Marketing 4 MIN READ

How to Get More Instagram Traffic for Your Online Courses

With Instagram amongst the fastest-growing social networks, comprising nearly 1/4th of Facebook’s ad revenue and boasting 1 billion active users as of last year, it’s become a go-to for brands online.

Approximately 80% of all Instagram users follow a business on the platform. With promising statistics like this, why not take a stab at driving traffic to your online course this way? Here’s how to get started.

Set the groundwork for your campaign

The key to Instagram marketing success is an organized plan. The first step to crafting a social media strategy is to define goals that address your challenges. Keep these measurable and, most importantly, attainable at the point in time you make them. Don’t expect instant success!

More important information to obtain is research. Research your target audience, their demographics, behavior, and interests, and how they engage with the topic you aim to educate them about. Research competitors as well—both close competitors talking about the same topic you are and those further away from your industry. This will bring ideas for the best approach to Instagram activities.

Once you have the basics behind your strategy to guide decisions, do these three key things:

1Optimize your profile

From what angle are you approaching your Instagram profile? If thought leadership and communicating personal expertise, build your profile like a personal account. Use a clear photo of yourself as a profile image and explain who you are in the bio. Then mention your online course and keep its link in the space provided. If you’d rather develop a business account for the course, use its logo as the profile image and switch keywords to those associated with your topic.

instagram profile description examples
Source: Instagram, @ericosiu & @growth_everywhere

2Plan your content calendar around themes

Look at the bigger picture when planning posts. Aim to follow themes—noting that timeliness is always a factor on social media. Regularly promote one piece of content throughout a set time period if you want viewership to increase for certain lessons. You should always adjust seasonally, as well. Summer approaching? Tailor your visuals to match.

instagram post example
Source: Instagram, @powtoon

3Measure your success

Check Instagram analytics regularly to see if what you’re doing has been working. If it has, good! Keep at it. If not, then identify what posts and scheduling setups haven’t been performing and improve on it for next time.

Use Instagram Stories and IGTV

Instagram Stories is a staple for any user, brand or individual. With some creativity, you can use it to supplement and promote your online course, enticing viewers to avail full lessons. IGTV, on the other hand, caters specifically to long-form video with a separate “channel.” Here are a few ways to use these features:

1Share bite-sized lessons on Stories

Use screenshots from your videos and Instagram Stories’ basic editing tools to take full advantage of the swipe-right-to-next-Story feature. You can create a full mini-slideshow on your Stories, so long as you have all the assets ready for upload. Use this to explain basic keywords and concepts—and don’t forget to leave a mention of your full site in the last slide.

instagram story examples from social media today
Source: Instagram, @socialmediatoday

2Polls and Q&As to communicate your expertise

Announce a Stories Q&A on your feed, and go live on schedule to answer questions from your followers. You can clarify what’s in course material, explore related concepts, or even go the “Ask Me Anything” route. Polls are useful to feel out what your audience would like in future content.

3Sneak peeks and video snippets

Viewers may be curious about what goes on behind the scenes. They may also want a glimpse of what you can offer before they dive into availing your full course. Share sneak peeks, making-of clips, and scenes from editing to Stories to let followers get involved more personally.

instagram story examples from scishow
Source: Instagram, @scishow

4Keep a collection of mini-VODs on IGTV

Build your brand with IGTV. While effective use still relies on experimentation, one key point to remember is that IGTV’s optimized for mobile. Convert horizontal videos into vertical ones at 16:9 aspect ratio. But don’t just repost and be done with it—you need to share something unique. Use this opportunity to insert additional commentary or provide supplementary details about course content.

Give your posts some variety – but stay close to your core

When scheduling content to Instagram feed, make your online course easier to access by using shoppable posts to embed the link directly into images talking about a specific lesson. Note each link in your content calendar to prevent any mix-ups that might occur.

These efforts won’t work unless you create them as part of a wider strategy. Never stray from the foundation of it all—your course and personal mission and vision. Instagram trends may come and go, but brands should stay steadfast.

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Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize ( – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the apps various social platforms is ready to go.