Over the last decade, Instagram has evolved from a simple photo-sharing app for communication with friends and family into an effective marketing tool for business promotion to increase Instagram sales.
It’s one of the fastest-growing social media networks with a community of 2 billion monthly active users. It’s no wonder that businesses of all sizes and niches see potential in this platform and use it to raise brand awareness, market products, and establish connections with target audiences.
Plus, Instagram shopping is blooming, so it can be a great place to drive sales if you know how to turn your business Instagram into a sales machine.
But first, let’s learn more about its importance.
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The Importance of Instagram as a Sales Machine
People spend a considerable amount of time on Instagram, so it has affected the consumer decision-making process. Today, users want to connect with brands in-app, discover their products, and even buy from them.
According to Instagram statistics, the social media network has great potential for businesses as 90% of Instagrammers follow at least one business on the platform, 87% of users take action after seeing a product on the platform, and 67% of people watch branded Stories.
What is more, it’s easier to monetize your account as people have a strong interest in shopping in-app. Meta’s own data shows that 83% of people discover new products, 81% do research, and 80% decide whether to buy this product after seeing it on Instagram.
If you’re still not convinced that Instagram has great sales potential, here are three reasons to use it for driving sales.
- Instagram has a large and engaged user base. Instagram has grown to 2 billion users, 90% of whom follow at least one business account on the platform. For brands of all niches and sizes, it’s no longer a problem to gain followers and turn them into customers as people are open to it.
- People discover and buy products in-app. For online shoppers, it’s more comfortable to make purchase decisions once they see a product. With the understanding of buyer behavior, it’s no longer a secret that Instagrammers use the platform to discover, research, and buy products.
- Instagram has in-app features for sales. Since users have a great interest in Instagram shopping, the platform has rolled out features to help businesses and customers improve their customer journey. From product tags and stickers to the in-app checkout, users can make a purchase on Instagram with ease.
So, wouldn’t it be great if you could turn your business Instagram into a sales machine?
This article will walk you through seven essential steps you need to take. Pay close attention to these tips and draw inspiration from real-life examples. Let’s dive in!
7 Steps to Turn Your Business Instagram into a Sales Machine
1. Turn Your Instagram Profile into a Storefront
When it comes to Instagram, users are online shoppers who buy with their eyes first. Since people don’t have an opportunity to touch items or try them on, they rely on products’ visuals and characteristics.
That’s why you need to turn your Instagram into a storefront to make it a sales machine.
Instagram offers businesses all features to increase product discovery and turn followers into paying customers. Back in 2020, Instagram introduced shops on the platform–curated collections of products with details and prices to help interested users make a purchase without leaving the app.
If you have a business Instagram profile and driving sales is high on your list, you can set up an Instagram shop for free. It can allow you to market your products and increase customers’ interest which leads to more sales, over the long haul.
Here’s an example of an Instagram Shop by H&M Home:
Having a shop on Instagram is one of the most crucial steps in making a storefront on your profile. However, there are several more tips and tricks that can help to turn your profile into a storefront:
- Publish eye-catching product images
- Show off products from various angles with carousel posts
- Consider branding for your Instagram Shop
- Repost influencer endorsements and UGC
- Write strong captions that describe the benefits of your products
2. Optimize Your Account for In-App Shopping
If your business’s Instagram sparks customers’ interest in products, that’s great. But if you help customers to shop your brand’s photos and videos, not only does it influence purchase intent, but it also helps to turn followers into paying customers.
Simply put, your Instagram becomes a sales machine when you help interested followers make purchases once they see products. Thus, it’s important to optimize your account for in-app shopping.
Let’s take a look at Calvin Klein. The company realizes that its customer base uses Instagram for shopping, so its business profile is optimized for the customer journey:
Not only does Calvin Klein have an Instagram shop with various collections, but it also adds product tags and stickers, just like in the example below:
The best thing about product tags? You can up to 10 items in a single image so that interested users can tap on selected items and find out more about their product descriptions or even make an in-app purchase. It leads to faster checkout results which mean impulse buyers are more likely to complete a purchase.
3. Provide Followers with Social Proof
With the popularity of social media, when common customers can share their customer stories with their followers and profile visitors, the importance of social proof has grown.
Now, potential customers can do research and find out what other people think about selected items before buying them. And when they see that existing customers are happy with the purchase, Instagrammers are more likely to buy your product in-app.
To turn your business Instagram into a sales machine, you need to provide followers with social proof.
Here are several content ideas on how to provide social proof on Instagram:
- Customer reviews
- User-generated content
- Case studies
- Product reviews
The easiest way is to find brand mentions and take screenshots to turn them into customer reviews. Here’s an example of this strategy from Taco Bell.
And if you need to come up with creative captions for customer reviews, it can be a good idea to make good use of AI-powered text generators as it’s a great way to scale content production and save time to focus on things that matter most.
4. Share Time-Limited Discounts and Offers
With the choice overload, when customers have too many options on the market, they are more likely to experience regret and they try to find the best deals that help to make the right purchase choice.
In other words, when customers see brands that share discounts and offers, it drives conversions as people want to save money when buying nearly the same products on the market.
When it comes to Instagram, sharing discounts and offers is just another proven tactic to turn your Instagram into a sales machine. And if your offers are time-limited, it encourages potential customers to make a purchase right now.
Whether you offer seasonal deals or one-day coupons, you give your Instagram followers another solid reason to make a purchase with the opportunity to get something they would like to try for a more reasonable price.
Check out how BaliBody Skin uses its Instagram to announce its time-limited sale:
What is more, this strategy can also help to generate leads if you write about your sale in advance and encourage interested followers to sign up for an email list where they can get early access to the sale.
5. Promote Your Instagram Storefront in All Ways
No matter how hard you try, not all of your potential customers follow your business on Instagram. The more people know about your Instagram storefront, the more potential customers it can attract.
Thus, it’s a must to reach a wider audience if you want to make it a sales machine and you need to promote your store in all ways.
Let’s take a look at Lulu’s. The company realizes the power of influencer marketing, so Lulus teams up with fashion influencers who promote the store on their profiles, just like in the example below:
Instagram Sales Campaigns
And if you have the budget to cut through the noise and reach the right audience on Instagram, consider creating paid ad campaigns as it’s one of the most effective ways to promote your Instagram storefront that drives results.
For instance, Bobbi Brown tested Instagram ads to reach new customers and drive sales. The campaign attracted 75% of new customers and got a 7x faster sell-through rate.
Here are several more ways to promote your Instagram storefront:
- Spread the word about your Instagram on other social media channels
- Create an email campaign dedicated to your Instagram profile
- Encourage your customers to tag your business Instagram account
- Sponsor Instagram contests and giveaways
6. Build a Loyal Community of Followers
Having an Instagram presence, it’s important to build a loyal community of followers as these people are more likely to become your profile fans who pay close attention to your products and consider your recommendations as options.
What is more, brand loyalty influences purchase intent and encourages customers to make a purchase and recommend your product or services to their friends and family. As specified in the latest report by Zippia, 97% of US consumers are loyal to at least one brand, 60% of loyal customers buy more frequently, and 86% of loyal customers will recommend your products.
To build a loyal community of followers, you need to put them first and provide value.
One of the fastest ways to boost loyalty is to run Instagram giveaways that give your followers an opportunity to win something valuable from your company. Check out an example from Dr.Jart+:
7. Be Ready for Customer Requests
When Instagrammers discover and buy products on the platform, they walk through at least five stages. The customer journey is a complex process, so it’s no wonder that potential and existing customers may have questions or concerns about your products during each stage of the customer journey.
That is whether they just become aware of your company, complete a purchase, or share customer experiences with others on social media.
If you sell on Instagram and you want to turn your business Instagram into a sales machine, you need to be ready for customer requests as worried customers may want to ask questions about your product. You want to have your direct messages set up for quick responses as well.
The faster you handle customer requests, the better. When it takes hours, days, or even weeks to hear back from your brand, customers lose interest in your company which ruins your brand reputation. Thus, you need to provide outstanding customer service.
First, monitor the comment section and reply to questions:
Second, you should also slide into direct messages and check out whether you have requests from customers. It would be great if you could set up quick replies and create canned responses to frequently asked questions as it increases response time.
Lastly, remember that you can also use alternative customer service channels if you can’t afford to hire a dedicated customer support team for your Instagram.
For example, you can optimize your Instagram bio for customer support and add your phone number so that worried customers could connect with your call center. However, don’t forget to make good use of call tracking as it’s your chance to get insights on calls and understand your audience better.If you sell on Instagram and you want to turn your business #Instagram into a sales machine, you need to be ready for customer requests. Click To Tweet
Conclusion of Instagram Sales
Consumer behaviour has changed in the last decade and people want to discover and buy products on channels they use daily. As one of the most popular social media networks, Instagram has great sales potential, so you can turn it into a sales machine that converts followers into paying customers.
Obviously, both big and small businesses want to sell on Instagram which means you may face competition in-app. However, take the above-mentioned steps to optimize your business profile for shopping and turn it into a sales machine that drives results.
Have we left something off the list? Let us know what helps you sell more on Instagram!
- How to Turn Your Business Instagram into a Sales Machine - July 24, 2023