More Than Followers and Hashtags: How to Drive Sales with Instagram

You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of generating good engagement on your Business’s Instagram account. Of course, engagement is indeed important, but there’s more to Instagram than just gaining followers and likes.

It may look like the innocent Social Media sweetheart, but behind the carefully crafted photos and glossy quote posts, Instagram is a powerful Digital Marketing strategy that can dramatically increase sales for your Business.

Now, you may be wondering how you’re going to do that. Well, here we’ve listed some of the best ways that you can use the power of Instagram to drive sales straight to your Small Business.

DonÆt Go Straight for the Hard Sell

Don’t Go Straight for the Hard Sell

People don’t typically go on Instagram to buy or purchase. It’s a Social Sharing app that was made for building relationships, stimulating engagement and sharing visuals. For this reason, never go directly for the hard sell on your Instagram posts, your audience won’t appreciate it!

Though you may indeed be attempting to persuade your viewers to buy, never push them too hard. Instead, gently influence their purchasing decisions by taking a more neutral, gentle approach. Post “lifestyle” photos that help people imagine how it feels to own your product. This will enable them to see how their life can be improved when possessing what you’re offering.

When you post photos, make sure they seem authentic, and not like some staged cheesy sales shoot. You want people to associate your Business with a culture they want to be a part of, which will encourage them to engage and interact with you more frequently, and likely purchase from you in the future. Once you connect with people and gain their trust through your authenticity, they’ll feel that buying your product is a great investment.

Invest in Instagram Ads

Advertising may sound intimidating, especially for a Small Businesses Owner who’s never dabbled in paid Digital Marketing, but if done correctly, it is likely to be an incredible investment.

If you’re not sure how Instagram Ads work, you can read our blog post where you can find all the answers to your questions. But, in a nutshell, Instagram Ads look very similar to regular posts, except that they contain the small word “Sponsored” in the top corner, and you can select a specific Call-to-Action (CTA) button to include. This allows people to carry out their desired action, such as “Buy Now” or “Shop the Sale Today”. While this is technically directly selling to the audience, the aesthetic post positions the Ad in such a way that users hardly notice the sell. Pair the post with a catchy, attention-grabbing caption and you have yourself a winner!

Maximise the Use of Instagram Retargeting Feature

Retargeting, for those who aren’t familiar, is basically Advertising that specifically targets those who have visited your Website, but didn’t make a purchase or convert in the way you were hoping. Although there are different targeting options to choose from, this one could be the most effective, as these people have already expressed a level of interest in your Business.

When using the retargeting feature on Instagram, your Ads will literally “follow” these people who have visited your Site before around the internet. This will mean that your Business will be regularly placed in their line of focus, increasing their awareness of your brand. So, the next time they desire a product like the one you sell, it’s your Business that will be at the top of their mind.

Build Friendships with Instagram Influencers

Don’t get us wrong, Instagram is a great place to strengthen your relationship with your followers. But it’s also a great platform on where you can build up your bond with Industry Influencers who can help increase your exposure and authority on the Platform.

These Industry Influencers are people who display or review your products or services on their own Instagram feed, sharing your Business with their own followers.This means you’ll reach a wider audience, strengthen your reputation and have the backing of someone who’s already well-respected within your Industry.

Nowadays, a lot of brands have taken advantage of the benefits that Instagram Influencers can provide to their Business. When choosing Influencers to work with, do your research first. Find people who have a strong following, aren’t already endorsing too many brands and receive lots of engagement on their posts.

Ask for Honest Reviews from Influencers

Although they are known to promote products, people trust Instagram Influencers because they are still regular consumers of products, who typically provide honest opinions. In other words, they are much more believable than a cheesy actor in a TV commercial, as they are relatable and have developed a relationship with their audience.

Let’s be real, all products have their advantages and disadvantages, and all customers know that. Ask your Influencers to post an honest review about your product and don’t force them to say anything they don’t believe in, as this could also sour your relationship with them. Grab the chance to be featured by someone who is credible and trusted in the eyes of many.

Customer-Generated Content

Much like Instagram Influencers, your existing customers can also significantly contribute to your sales success on Instagram by promoting your products on their own Instagram accounts.

This is different to Instagram Influencers however, as your audience will know for certain that these people are simply sharing your Business with their Instagram followers purely because, well, they really like your brand, products and services! This will add HUGE credibility and authority to your Business, and on Instagram, reputation means everything when it comes to selling. It will also extend your reach, allowing your Business to be promoted to more people beyond your own followers. So, you have happy customers and more promotion for your Small Business – it’s a win-win!

Instagram has a lot to offer when it comes to selling, so don’t wave it off as simply a photo-sharing platform. Because, in reality, it can offer your Business so much more. Be creative with your Ad content, build rapport with your customers, strengthen your branding and grow your reputation; soon you’ll not only start to see your number of followers increasing, but also your sales!