Instagram is a force to be reckoned with in the world of social media, with more than 700 million monthly active users and more than 200 million daily active users on Instagram Stories.
As your business endeavors to leverage this population and increase sales, you need to find a balance between posting authentic content and jumping on sales opportunities when they appear. At the end of the day, though, it’s important to recognize that social media is a place for people to consume interesting content and not to view advertisements.
Just as people change the channel when commercials come on the television and radio, they do not like to see advertisements on social media. That being said, if you utilize the platform properly, it can be an effective means of showcasing your product and slyly displaying advertisements to targeted consumers.
If you create high-quality advertisements and use these important selling tactics, you will be able to effectively sell your product over Instagram.
1. Create shopable content.
One of the best options for selling via Instagram is Instagram Shopping, which now allows you to link products to your images for people to buy. This means that you can simply publish high-quality content. Members of your audience who are not interested in purchasing the items will be able to enjoy the content for its aesthetic value.
Those who are interested in the product can explore further and purchase it if they desire. The best part? Currently, Instagram does not charge any service fees on these transactions!
2. Leverage Instagram ads.
Through the Facebook Ads channel, you are able to promote posts on Instagram both to drive more engagement and to suggest they click through to your website. Both of these can be effective means of increasing product awareness.
The second option can be particularly useful in driving traffic to your website. You can use a tool like Owlmetrics to track how much traffic you are driving to your website by adding a trackable link in your Instagram bio.
Two of the biggest variables when trying to sell on Instagram are the size of your audience and the rate of converting them to visit your site. Instagram Ads can be effective for boosting both of these variables.
High-quality ads still function as high-quality content, though. Once a user’s interest is captured, you need a strong call to action to either convince them to follow you or click through to your website.
3. Share user-generated content.
Too frequently, companies post ads that aim to sell products, but do not take the time to reassure consumers that they will enjoy the product. If you are scrolling on Instagram and see an ad, you will likely have some hesitation about the quality.
This is where user-generated content can help you convey a sense of trust for the purchase. UGC seems more authentic and lessens the perceived risk of buying a product online. Sixty-three percent of young people said they would rather see a real person in an advertisement than a celebrity.
Knowing someone else had a pleasant experience with the purchase encourages them to think they will also have a pleasant experience, especially since this third party is hypothetically unbiased.
4. Work with influencers.
Instagram offers a large number of influencers who have enormous audiences. These influencers can help you gain access to the right audience for your product or service.
One of the benefits of influencer collaborations is that you can do a better job of positioning your advertisements in a non-spammy way. The first, and often easiest, method of working with influencers is to simply pay for a post and have them include a call to action that leads to your website. This can work, but for the greatest effectiveness there should be a strong alignment between the influencer’s audience and your brand.
Next, you can do contests in which you and the influencer post a picture offering a giveaway if people follow both you and the influencer, like both of your pictures and tag three friends in the comments. This allows you to convert the influencer’s following to your audience, and you can then push stronger monetization on them. Contests boost your engagement and promote buy-in from the users.
Finally, you can run a partnership with the influencer in which they push a link for sales and get a percentage of the sales they drive. Each of these can lead to sales if done correctly.
5. Use all of Instagram’s features.
As a constantly evolving platform, Instagram rolls out new features every so often, and these usually offer unique sales opportunities. For instance, Instagram Stories is still a fairly new part of the platform but already has 200 million active daily users. This means you will be missing out on the chance to interact with a huge audience if you ignore it.
Also, with every feature launch, the pricing is typically lower. Instagram Shopping currently does not charge any service fees, but it’s likely that down the line it will start taking a commission. Note that Facebook Ads have seen a gradual rise in pricing as the platform has grown in prominence.
Getting in early and leveraging every opportunity you have for interacting with users, building an audience and getting your product out there will help you grow your social media sales funnel.
Whether you are selling online courses or fidget spinners, Instagram can be a great platform to convert your audience and potential customers into real sales. Utilizing your opportunities for user engagement and product promotion in natural ways is crucial for selling effectively, and if done correctly can convert your platform into a multimillion-dollar business.