You may want to add your Instagram photos and videos to your WordPress website using an Instagram widget for different reasons. For instance, if you are setting up a WordPress website, you may want to provide visual content for your website to attract more traffic. Moreover, you may want to lead your website visitors to your Instagram account to grow its engagement.
When you have an active Instagram account, it can mean that you have a reasonable number of photos and videos. Showing this valuable source of content on your website can positively affect your website appearance and provide good content for it. For instance, if you are an eCommerce company or a brand and you want to organize a website, you can add Instagram posts related to your products to your website.
So, let’s introduce the WordPress widget and its difference with a WordPress plugin first. Then, we will teach you how to add an Instagram widget to your website. After that, you will get to know with 5 free Instagram plugins with which you can add widgets. Finally, we will introduce some Instagram hacks through which you can grow your engagement organically.
What Is a WordPress Widget?
A WordPress widget is an element that can be added to your website for different purposes. It enables you to add different functions to your sidebar, header, or footer without any need for coding.
For instance, if you have a WordPress website and an Instagram account, you can easily use WordPress Instagram widgets to add your content into the sidebar, header, or footer of your website. WordPress developers can use these powerful and flexible tools to create innovative websites.
What is the Difference between a Widget and a Plugin on WordPress?
Both widgets and plugins function similarly. But they are different when it comes to their roles on a website. A plugin differs from a widget in terms of its much greater role. While plugins insert some functions that are not normally there on a website by default, widgets have a smaller role and they provide specific and certain features.
Widgets differ from theme to theme. If your theme does not have an Instagram widget available, you will need to use a plugin for that.
How To Add an Instagram Widget or Plugin to WordPress Website?
Here we will tell you how to put your Instagram photos and videos on display on your website using the Instagram widget.
Widgets can be installed in 2 ways in WordPress.
- In your Dashboard, go to Appearance-> Widgets. You’ll now see all the widgets made available by your theme.
If you want to activate one, just drag it to the right-hand side area, and choose your location: footer, header, sidebar (it depends on the options your theme has.
2. Install widgets using the Customizer (my favorite one!)
From the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance->Customize. Inside the Customizer, on the left-hand side, scroll until you reach “Widgets”.
The same thing as above applies, the widgets are limited to your theme’s offering.
3. If there’s no Instagram Widget available go ahead and install one of the plugins we recommend in the next section!
What Are the 5 Best Free Instagram Widgets and Plugins?
In the following, we introduce the top 5 Instagram widgets for your WordPress website:
#1 Smash Balloon
Probably the most popular Instagram plugin is Smash Balloon. You can create several Instagram feeds on your website which means you can import the content of multiple accounts. The size and the number of photos of the feed that you want to import. One good feature of Smash Balloon is its Load More button that allows your visitors to load more content. The plugin is also mobile responsive and fits your website on any device.
Using Enjoy, you can embed an Instagram feed to your website for free. It gives you a photo grid and carousel options. Enjoy enables you to embed your hashtag search results and the content of Instagram business accounts. In addition, there is a Lightbox effect that lets your visitors see a bigger version of the content that you have imported.
WPZOOM is a free Instagram plugin that gives you an Instagram widget on WordPress with so many features. The widget can be added to the sidebar, footer, posts, and pages on your WordPress website. You can choose the layout of the Instagram feed that you want to import in the form of one to three columns. The full-width mode makes it possible for you to add a horizontal banner on your website which displays Instagram content. In addition, you can choose the number of photos, their size, and your desired spacing between the photos in the widget.
#4 Feed Them Social
Feed Them Social is capable of importing from a range of social media such as Facebook Pages, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. So, in addition to Instagram, you can share the content of your other social media on your WordPress website.
Another free Instagram plugin for WordPress is Spotlight. Using the Spotlight plugin, you can design the appearance of your Instagram feed and embed it on your WordPress website. The grid layout by which your Instagram content is shown is responsive. So, it can customize itself on devices other than PC. The photos on the layout are clickable thanks to its hover effect.
Top 8 Instagram Hacks in 2020 to Get More Website Traffic
As there are over one billion active users on Instagram, the importance of leading a portion of this huge traffic to your Instagram account comes to the light. The first step is to learn some strategies to enhance your Instagram account. Here are some hacks for Instagram that help you get your Instagram working. Hacks are some strategies that have been proven to be effective through time and testing and are based on facts and metrics.
#1 Use Instagram Analytics
Instagram analytics is your lighthouse on the way to your Instagram marketing strategies. They can define which strategies that you have applied to your posts are doing well. Moreover, they can tell you what day or time is the best for posting. To access analytics, you need to switch to a business account.
#2 Find Inspirational Ideas
In addition to viral trends, you can follow the ideas of your competitors in your niche for inspiration. However, it does not mean that you should copy their ideas. It is great if you add your own creativity to their ideas and build up a new concept for your posts. Here is a list of factors that you should consider while checking other ideas:
- The category of posts that are receiving the most likes
- The date and time of uploading
- Their captions and designs
#3 Use Call-to-Action Phrases
You can increase your engagement by simply asking your followers to like, comment, and share your post. In other words, using a call-to-action phrase can simply convince your audience to double tap on your post, leave a comment, or share it. Some CTA phrases can be ‘double tap if you liked’, ‘leave a Like’, ‘leave your opinion as a comment’, ‘Comment your thoughts below’, ‘share this post to a friend’. This is how you can get additional likes, comments, and shares just by asking your audience to take action toward your post. You can include your CTA phrase either in your captions or stories. Here are other effective and more natural CTAs:
- “Tag three of your friends in this post for a chance to be featured!”
- “Tag a friend who does this!”
- “How are you feeling today?”
- “What have you been up to?”
- “Find the recipe in the link in bio!”
- “Going to Rome tomorrow – where can I get an awesome dish of Carbonara?”
Here are some examples:
The screenshots show that using CTA phrases and directly asking your followers to take action is very common among popular brands, businesses, and celebrities worldwide. So, setting them as a role model can highly affect your strategies too.
#4 Use Hashtags
One way to show your posts to your non-followers is to use hashtags. Think about the keywords that people who are interested in your niche might search for as hashtags. Using these hashtags gives your posts the opportunity to be shown to those who search them.
Remember not to use very popular or unpopular hashtags because the result you get will be the opposite of what you expect. Choose a hashtag with a reasonable number of usage and enjoy the results.
Here is an example of hashtag use by TripAdvisor:
#5 Post at the Right Time
When deciding what posts to show to people, Instagram considers how recently a post was uploaded. Here comes the importance of posting at the right time. If your audience is online at 5 p.m. every day but you upload at 8 a.m., you are leaving seven hours to the other accounts that your audience follows to upload their posts. Consequently, your post gets pushed down the feed by more recent posts.
As already mentioned, Instagram analytics can tell you when your audience is online. Find it out and use it for your postings to reduce the risk of getting pushed down by the other posts. This also helps to get traffic on both your Instagram account and the WordPress website. Using the right Instagram widget on WordPress, you get the chance to share your Instagram content on your blog as well. Hence, sharing it at the right time on Instagram and updating your widget on WordPress when a vast number of people are online, you will double up the traffic on both sides.
#6 Use Instagram Marketing Tools
Not having enough time to manage your Instagram account(s)? Well, that is not a big deal really because there is a solution for almost anything in our modern era. The solution here is to resort to Instagram marketing tools. Many of these tools are not bots but are Instagram experts that take any necessary actions to grow your Instagram account.
#7 Keep on Posting Daily
Invest in creating good content. Always work on your designs and captions. Try to develop ideas by constantly searching through Instagram and other social media. You can also add content from your other social media to Instagram. For instance, you can share your YouTube videos on Instagram easily.
In addition to regular posts on your feed, you should also share your content as stories, Live streams, and IGTV. They are just as popular as regular posts. So, if your posts are missed, your stories are up there in your followers’ feed to still engage them with your content. Therefore, it is wise if you make use of all Instagram features for better engagement.
#8 Update Yourself in Terms of New Features
When you are unaware of the new features on Instagram, chances of missing the features that can help grow your likes and comments can get remarkably low. Search constantly to see what are the new features added to Instagram stories, or what options are added to Instagram settings, how live streams or IGTV features have changed, etc.
One way to grow your Instagram engagement is to use Instagram widgets on your WordPress website. The visitors of your website can find their way to your Instagram account if they find the photos and videos that you have added to your website interesting. On the other hand, adding an Instagram widget to your WordPress website also helps you to have access to your content source on Instagram. If you are looking to grow your Instagram engagement, another way is to follow the Instagram hacks above in your daily activities on Instagram.
Now, before jumping into an Instagram strategy you must ask yourself if your audience is there or not. Are there any other channels that are more important? What is your competition doing? Where does it communicate? Don’t go in blindly.
That’s a wrap!
Parichehr Parsi is a freelance copywriter in the fields of travel, fashion, and Instagram marketing. She currently writes for SocialPros and online magazines in Italy.