With over a billion people logging into Instagram every month, it truly is a gold mine of potential customers. But, can this platform really make a difference to your brand? The short answer is yes. The long answer is the engagement rates on this platform beat all other social media channels and can do the same for you.
However, it’s not always butterflies and unicorns – it takes real work. Simply, pumping out more images doesn’t work on Instagram. A typical user misses out on more than 70% of the posts uploaded by the accounts they follow, so you need to find a way to stand out.
It’s also not only about increasing your follower count. Success on Instagram comes from a combination of both great content and an engaged audience. Professional social media marketers might make this look easy, but that is only because they are experts in their field and they know exactly which buttons they should be pressing. So for those of you who are just starting out in this crazy world of Instagram sales, here are a few steps that will help you become successful.
Set and stick to your ideal buyer persona
A clearly defined buyer persona is something you need to stick to for an effective Instagram sales process. Determine exactly who is your target audience before you target them. Make sure that you’re not reaching out to an overly broad audience with content that doesn’t appeal to them. This spray-and-pray tactic is inefficient and does not produce the desired results.
You need to know the audience you are selling to and why you are selling to them.
Pro tip: Giving your followers content that is relevant to their interests as well as actionable is a good way to get your content shared and draw in more followers.
Get authentic followers
Buying authentic followers today has become easier than ever. There are platforms where you can purchase genuine followers and likes, which increases credibility for your page. A page that has more followers is considered more reliable and also builds a better social presence than competing pages that have a lower follower count.
In such a case, iDigic is a great choice as a platform, because the results are immediate and you can also rest assure that you are getting value for the money spent.
Pro tip: Rather than waiting for your follower number to build, buying followers from trusted sources is a dependable and quick option to increased brand awareness.
Follow key performance metrics
An advantage that social media marketing has over traditional marketing methods is everything that goes on with the campaign can be tracked. Instagram has several unique KPIs that marketers should know about –
Follower Growth – This number measures how much followers you are gaining (or losing) over a period of time. This is a great indicator of campaign effectiveness especially when Instagram accounts of different sizes are compared.
Instagram Interactions – Engagement is fast becoming the key metric for a majority of the campaigns and finding out the number of interactions a post has is critical. Analyzing this number can give a marketer answers to several pertinent questions like “what content type got more hits – image or video?”, “which hashtag generated the most buzz?”, and “what’s the best time to post for this niche?” just to quote a few.
Engagements per Follower – Drawing high engagement numbers is great for a brand, but you need to know where they are coming from. Most likely, there are a specific number of people contributing to that engagement rate. What Engagements per Follower helps narrow down is the number of people who are not contributing to this. You can analyze why you aren’t getting through to these people and work on a different strategy that can engage them as well.
Pro tip: Measuring and recording appropriate KPIs can give marketers the right picture of the current status of the marketing campaign as well as making effective changes for improved results.
Maintain a customer-centric approach
One key attribute all marketers need to cultivate is the ability to “understand” their target demographic. When we say understand, we mean they need to figure out several things that can help them sell – preferences, location, active times, age are a few of them to keep in mind. Your audience has access to vast amounts of information, and there’s no fooling them. You need to know what you are selling, gain their trust and showcase your product as something that adds value to their life.
A customer-centric approach can pay off big time. This means personalized messages, content, and products that address their needs. 90% of all consumers feel that personalization appeals to them. When marketers get it right, they create consumers who are loyal to the brand and loyal customers are worth 10 times their first purchase!
Brands that have been customer-centric have great results to show when it comes to growth as well as sales. Let’s take the example of Nike’s Instagram feed.
Nike is known to be really creative and they connect well with their audience. One of their more popular campaigns was the My Crazy Dream series on IGTV which has seen a tremendously positive response. They were able to achieve success and engagement on Instagram because they are in touch with their demographic – and their campaigns are always customer-centric.
Pro tip: We find the old adage “the customer is always right” holds truer than ever. The way to guaranteed sales numbers is to pay attention to your customers. Do more of what they like and less of what they don’t.
Create images that sell
Being a visual platform, you are allowed to have photos of your product. In fact, users want to see photos of your products. According to stats, 65% of the top-performing Instagram posts are product photos. Your posts need to appeal to the audience which helps grow your followers and reach ultimately increasing engagement.
Resist the urge to post pictures that aren’t clear. Instead, opt for professional-looking, attractive photos.
If you don’t know what your audience likes, experiment, try different styles and see what your audience responds to.
Pro tip: Make sure that your product images combine elements and themes from pictures that have been most popular with your audience.
Always include a Call-to-Action (CTA)
When users complete reading your caption, are they aware of what they need to do next? Adding a simple CTA can do wonders! Things like ‘click the link in our bio’, ‘swipe up’, ‘double tap if you agree’, ‘watch our Instagram Story for more details’ or ‘leave a comment below’. This urges users to take action and go to your website, visit your store and maybe even make a purchase. Plus, if they like what they see, not only will you get more engagement but they will keep coming back for more!
The perfect example of a CTA is Forever21 which simply states ‘shop our insta feed.’ This kind of CTA encourages viewers to browse through your products which boosts traffic and sales.
Pro tip: CTAs are important for generating interest with your customers but you need to make sure that they get value from it like an e-book on a related topic or a discount on products or services that you sell.
Try an influencer marketing strategy
Influencers are like everyday consumers, and people trust them. Their advice and opinion are a lot more genuine than a celebrity endorsing your product. Those who work with influencers know they gain trust and engage their target audience. Through influencer marketing, Instagram has seen an increased rate of marketing campaigns on the app, which has also attracted more brands to get active on it.
Honest reviews by influencers, even if they contain a few negative points are fine. What you as a brand can do is make sure that you address the negative points they have cited in the reviews professionally. 89% of marketers say that the ROI from influencer marketing is on par with or better than other marketing channels.
For example, Adri, a beauty influencer frequently posts about her experiences with beauty products on Instagram and the reviews are both positive and negative. She talks about each product’s results and if they are in line with what the product claims to do.
Pro tip: Influencer marketing is the way to go for brands both big and small. When you put a trusted face on your campaign instead of just another brand, people are bound to respond positively. Check out this great article and learn how you can build solid relationships with influencers that can boost your brand
Offer a discount or giveaway
One of the easiest and best ways to boost Instagram sales is with giveaways and discounts. It’s a cost-effective method to increase your sales and promote your products. It’s also a great way to increase awareness of your brand. By incentivizing your followers to share offers with their own followers and friends, you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your social feed or brand webpage and increase your engagement rate.
When people begin following your page, you can acknowledge this and offer them a discount or a freebie. Once they try your product, they naturally go on to buy more of your product or service. Once they love for your product peaks, they will start being vocal about it – tell friends and family, followers and anyone they know. Such loyal customers can get further discounts and rewards like a VIP discount or a one-year membership, etc.
A British clothing brand, FatFace offered massive discounts on their clothing line which they announced on Instagram. This got their followers interested, and that particular post garnered more than 6000 views.
Pro tip: You just can’t go wrong with promotional ideas like giveaways and contests because people like free stuff! The key is to make it interesting for the participants and not overdo it.
Instagram is a platform meant for socializing virtually and not for buying and selling. So don’t be extra salesy or pushy.
Utilize what Instagram offers to generate sales subtly and creatively. You need to provide engaging and valuable content. Share imagines of real-life customers using your product, post tips using your product, etc.
Instagram, like other social media platforms, is constantly evolving. These steps should make you a sales guru on Instagram.