Do you want to engage more of your audience? 

Who wouldn’t?

When it comes to consumer engagement, Instagram beats Facebook

To get that kind of engagement, you’ll have to have the best Instagram for sales.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. To help you get a jump start on this long-haul process to engage more customers, we’ve created this guide. Continue below to find out our top tips to create the best Instagram to create sales. 

To help you get a jump start on this long-haul process to engage more customers, we’ve created this guide.

Continue below to find out our top tips to create the best Instagram to create sales. 

Why Use Instagram?

Instagram is emerging as the new Facebook when it comes to online sales and marketing. Over half of the internet population under 30 use it and 50% of users follow brands on the platform.

As if that’s not the only good news! Instagram is still an untapped market and can out perform Facebook if you set up your profile right.

Instagram itself provides business tools to help marketers using it. It can track engagement, link users to your website and create a direct clickable call to actions in your captions. 

To learn how to use tools and maximize your profile, read on below.

How to Use Instagram for Sales

Set Your Goal

Instagram is not as straight forward as Facebook or other ad-based marketing platforms. These customers are looking to engage and get to know your brand, not shop from it.

That’s not to say it doesn’t drive sales, but it shouldn’t come off as your number one priority. 

Before starting Instagram, sit down with your marketing or leadership team. Talk about what you want your business to get out of having an Instagram account (other than sales).

  • Are you looking to expand your audience? 
  • Build brand loyalty? 
  • Create an identifiable brand? 
  • How will you display yourself on Instagram so that you stand out from the other 95 million users?

Pick one or two goals to start out with. Then, plan your content.

Create Your Content

Once you know your purpose for Instagram, you need to think about how you will use photos to achieve it.

For the sake of example, let’s say you are going to use Instagram for sales with your goal to build brand awareness. You will need to pick content that is different from your competitors and is unique to you.

As you should make your posts using a similar content theme each time. Doing so, your followers will begin to equate your style to your brand. 

They will become familiar with it and associate it with you. People will then see you as a personality on their timeline and not something to scroll by. 

As soon as you build brand awareness, you can start introducing your products (slowly). When you become established, you can begin to sell, but keep it informal and educational.

Using Instagram for Sales is a much more passive pursuit than marketing on Facebook. Your audience needs to see you are there to give them quality content first. In that respect, it is not much different that a blog post. 

You will find it most effective when your audience values your content first. Then perceives that selling products or services, is something you do on the side.

Learn Your Audience

Now that you have a strategy for what you are using Instagram for and what you’re going to post, you need an audience. 

To start, see who is following your competitors. It seems petty, but it’s the best way to find people interested in your niche.

Go to your competitions profile and click on “followers” and “following”. Then, start engaging with and following the people you find. 

We can’t stress the engagement part of this process enough. In real estate, the motto is “location, location, location”. On Instagram, your motto must be “engage, engage, engage!”

That means liking or commenting on their pictures and letting them know you are a brand with a voice. By taking the time to like their photos, you and view their content, you get to show your audience how much you like them.

You should avoid commenting on anything related to your business when you engage. Something as simple as “great post!” or “cool shot!” will be enough to spark their interest in you and they’ll click over to your page.

Following Instagram users works the same way. These folks will get a notification that “Bob’s Instagram” followed them. In return, they will click over to your page out of curiosity. 

It’s up to you and your content to keep them engaged once they’re there.

Another way to find your audience is to search industry or niche related hashtags. 

For example, a shoe company using Instagram to get sales could search #iloveshoes. You could then engage with the people who use that hashtag and look for similar ones.

Using Instagram for sales just makes sense, because the audience does a lot of the work for you. – And that’s great! You can see what the people you’re following engage with and learn more about them and their habits.

It’s like having an analytical team built in, but with heart-shaped clicks instead of numbers.

Add a Shop Now Button

Once you have a quality profile that has an engaged and active audience you can begin to think about sales. Slowly and consistently introduce your products to your profile, but do so in a creative way.

The #1 thing you want to avoid is doing a hard sell. Instagram users don’t come to the platform to have a commercial experience. But, brands have been successful selling products on Instagram by using unique perspectives.

Some brands offer a behind-the-scenes look at how their products are made. This is a subtle way to promote the product while delivering interesting content to the user. Get the idea?

Using Instagram tools, you can add a “shop now” button to posts including your products.

The Instagram shop now button links directly to your product’s or services page and costs very little to install. 

Just starting out with new products? Start with a giveaway (a loss leader) to get people excited about your brand.

How about a contest giveaway?

You could post a product captioned: “for every 100 likes, we’re giving away a <product-name>“. 

It’s a more subtle, soft selling way to offer your audience value with out “selling” them. 

Be sure to not over use the giveaway technique. Your audience is smart. Over use will become obvious and they’ll see right through it.

Wrapping Up

Using Instagram for sales can seem complicated because of its passive social nature. It takes time to build the right Instagram feed before you see an increase in sales. 

But remember: every avenue you tap will bring about success in a comprehensive way.

Be patient and do the work. Once you have built your audience, the sales will come.

Need help with other online marketing topics? We’re here to help. Start attracting leads today!

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About Gregory Falicia

I’m a writer, instructor, and a technically savvy marketer…
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