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Instagram ROI. The Science and The Art

Instagram ROI. The Science and The Art

With nearly 400 million active users, cool street cred, and visual storytelling Instagram is the place to be for brands to find new clients. However, many people wonder about Instagram’s interest for business because the pictures are not clickable. Especially since many ROI ad models are built on per 1000 clicks model (CPM), they incorrectly assume “no link, no provable ROI.” Fear not, there is a way to prove return on investment on Instagram.

Unlike on other platforms where clickable advertising could be placed in the hopes of clicks, on Instagram a brand needs to invest in finding a niche and building and audience first, before that audience could become clients. (Learn how to build your niche with the fashion brands that have mastered Instagram) It is indeed more upfront effort.

But how can a brand justify the time and resources invested on Instagram. Is there a way to be sure that the resources won’t be wasted? Because, let’s be frank, there is no point on spending even a minute on any business activity if it’s not aligned for results.


1. The Art of ROI on IG

I see the lack of links, besides the only link in your bio, as a strength and differentiator for IG and I am not the only one. Many users and even marketers have confessed to me this is what makes Instagram so attractive. Getting your followers where you want them to be is more of an art than a science, and I love that. It is an art that asks for value, focus, community and strategy. All of these look great on your business. Investing in these four pillars will clearly enhance your business performance, no matter the platform.

If your brand is able to drive your followers to the links or actions you want them to click or display on IG you can be sure they are good qualified leads, for the simple fact that their intention has to be stronger to go through all the steps.


So how do you achieve ROI on Instagram?

First you need to know how does ROI look like for your business. This question is tied up to your business goals. This is the reason why following someone else’s strategies may not get you any closer to your goals.

Let me explain with an example. Imagine a company that rent dresses for special occasions. (If you have strong feelings about spending money on a dress you are going to wear only once or twice you will love this service). This year one of its yearly business goals is to double sales. What kind of social media content can support this goal?

  • Content that helps them to position their business: How do they want their clients to feel? What are they making possible for their clients? A new dress to every party, money savvy, sustainable, conscious, and fun are some examples.
  • Content that offers information about the service to lower all possible barriers their followers might have about hiring them: insurance, fitting, returning.
  • Contests to build following, community and get followers subscribing to their email list where they can nurture the relationship.
  • Promotions before annual prom season, wedding season or any other party season.

With all these ideas this brand can build a great content schedule. Every piece should reflect the brand’s personality, values and message. It builds consistency (you know, one of my favourite topics). They have to inspire and preside every piece of the brand’s content, content that has to be about the brands clients. Having this content schedule will help your brand to be strategic and save time too.

Get more inspiration about creating great social media goals with this post.


 2. The Science of ROI on IG

How do you measure Instagram ROI  then? Because it requires some kind of system to track customer behaviour leading up to a sale, many companies prefer to track more simple data, like engagement and impressions. Here are a few examples of data showing return on investment:

  • ROI may be subscribers on the list from Instagram (to measure it you only have to create a specific landing page for this or have a UTM code to identify)
  • ROI may be the number of people who use a specific #instacode for your promotions, one you only share on IG
  • ROI may be the amount of clients who share their picture with your hashtag on their IG account


Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 16.57.01
@renttherunway must be really pleased with this number


Don’t forget that to lead your followers to display all this actions you need to build community first, around your personality, principles and message. If your community is not engaged in your value proposition they will difficult take actions towards your ideas. Building a raving community within your niche, with fans that adore your brand’s ideas, comment on your media and share it with their friends, should be your first goal.


Investing time in getting all this clear it might not get you direct ROI but the pillars of a solid and perdurable business.


Thank you for reading. If you found this post useful, why not follow the blog for weekly musings on how to win on Instagram. Or get in touch at if you have further questions.

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