Instagram strategies– building followers and how to generate revenue.
Of course, monetizing any digital channel requires some planning and a well-executed strategy.
But Instagram is different.
Instagram only allows you to link to 1 website or page in your profile’s description.
This really changes the playing field and limits a brand’s opportunities to promote the sale.
It’s a gradual process. In fact, when it’s the talk of brands, 50 percent of Instagrammers follow at least 1 business, but only 5 percent of them take action, shopping for example, after being inspired by a post.
The platform is great for generating sales.
It can even account for as much as 80 percent of a brand’s sales.
It’s just that Instagram has its own quirks, and it takes a while for the money to flow in.
Selling to your followers can be a big challenge, especially when the impact of the content you post is decreasing.
But, it’s possible to see a decent influx of sales , and that requires using Instagram strategically.
There are a few different measures that you can take to encourage your followers to buy from your brand.
We know that selling is partially a numbers game. So obviously, your follower numbers will impact your sales numbers. But when it comes to profitability, it’s all about the conversion power you generate.
So, how do you make your followers stop mid-scroll on their feeds and notice your product or service?
Let’s find out.
Establish a Personal Connection Using Instagram Direct
Instagram Direct, or DM as it is popularly known, gives you an opportunity to connect with consumers personally through private messaging.
You can access this feature by clicking the arrow icon in the top-right corner of your Instagram account.
It will then give you the option to send text and multimedia messages by displaying a message thread. You can send messages to 15 followers at a time.
There’s also an option to give a certain name to the group of followers you’re sending the message to
If you want to reference a specific follower’s name or shopping preferences, the DM needs to be sent to each follower individually.
Now that you’re familiar with Instagram Direct, here’s how you can use it to drive sales.
Tactic #1: Offer a promo code
Send a product image to your followers and share a promo code in your message. Instagram Direct doesn’t allow you embed clickable links, so send any links as their own individual message.
You can also announce that this promo code is exclusive to your Instagram followers to encourage them to use it and make a purchase.
Another thing you can do is to add a time limit to the promo to incite a quicker response.
Tactic #2: Host a contest right before a sale
A good idea is to host one right before putting your product or service on sale.
Use Instagram Direct to spice things up. For instance, you can post a contest photo and announce that the first 15 people to comment will receive a DM from you on how to participate.
The prize should be a product that you’re going to offer in the sale.
Here’s why: By offering the product in the contest, you’ve piqued the interest of those who participated. While they wanted it for free (who doesn’t?), the sale price might be an extra push of encouragement to buy.
That’s really good nurturing at work.
Tactic #3: Conduct Q&A sessions
Instagram Direct supports threaded conversations, so use this as an opportunity to find out if your followers have specific questions about your products.
You can also invite them for a one-on-one Q&A session.
This is a great way to learn about their preferences and educate them about your products.
To make Instagram Direct really pay off, try segmenting your followers into different groups based on engagement.
For instance, those who engage more with your content can be put in the group that displays the “highest brand loyalty.”
Make Buying Easy with Shoppable Instagram
While creating an e-commerce-like experience on Instagram sounds like a pipe dream, it’s possible with shoppable Instagram tools.
The right tools can transform your feed into an immersive shopping experience. Your followers can explore the unique features of your products and buy with a few easy clicks when they’re ready.
And since you’re only allowed to promote a single link in your bio, these tools are also super handy for avoiding that clumsy and distracting “visit link in bio” image caption that we’ve all seen.
So let’s harness the great functionality of these tools to make your Instagram feed shoppable.
Here are your options.
Tool #1 – Like2Buy
This tool allows you to link photos from your Instagram account to the product or service available on your website.
Using your Like2Buy link in the bio section of your Instagram account, followers are able to open up a gallery of shoppable Instagram photos and click through to buy products on your website.
Because the tool incorporates the same photos on the Like2Buy page as on your Instagram account, followers don’t feel they’re leaving Instagram.
Tool #2 – Like2Have.it
This tool enables you to create an embeddable feed and includes links that refer followers to relevant product pages.
You can also feature the images of your existing customers demonstrating how to use your product or service in the embeddable feed.
The user-generated feed works well on product pages by giving followers social proof and gently encouraging them to add products to their shopping carts.
Tool #3 Linkin.bio
Apart from Like2Buy and Like2Have.it, you can look into Linkin.bio, a part of Later’s – an Instagram scheduling tool – premium plan.
Linkin.bio is a landing page that looks similar to your Instagram feed and shows your images as clickable pictures.
When any follower visits that page, they can click on your Instagram post to go to the product page that the image is about.
Piggyback on Influencers to Inspire Followers to Shop
There are over 40,000 influencers on Instagram covering all verticals including fashion, beauty, health and wellness, home décor, food and more. With tens of thousands to millions of followers, influencers are trusted for their opinions and they can add credibility to the products they promote.
Therefore, influencers can do much more than just drive sales on your Instagram account. Because your followers will relate to them and value their opinion, they can establish brand equity.
So, with all that in consideration, let’s look at the tactics for using Instagram influencers effectively.
Step #1 Get Relevant Influencers On Board
It’s important to get as targeted as possible when it comes to choosing the influencers you’ll work with.
For instance, if you’re selling handbags, you’ll want to work with influencers who possess knowledge on the subject, such as personal style Instagrammers who talk about handbags and demonstrate different ways to carry them.
The hard part is finding targeted influencers. You’ll have to sift through hundreds of accounts to see who is relevant to your business and if they have influence over the type of people you have as your followers.
One way to cut the research hours is to discover the top hashtags in your particular niche and see what posts are trending.
Often, the “Most Liked” section on Instagram will include posts from influencers.
For the hashtag #conversionrateoptimization, the top post in the “Most Liked” section for this hashtag is from Unbounce.
I recommend using IconoSquare to speed things up. The tool allows you to find hashtags based on popularity, growth, engagement and more.
Still, you’d have to spend time comparing different profiles when you take this approach.
Fortunately, there are a variety of tools out there that can automate the process of analyzing several profiles and detecting suitable influencers for you.
Called influencer marketing tools, they give you accurate results on each influencer’s reach, relevance, and authority. Here are some options:
Tool 1: Ninja Outreach
The company has over 2 million Instagram influencers in its database and growing.
You just have to type in a keyword inside the Ninja Outreach dashboard to discover thousands of relevant influencers based on the keywords you’re targeting in your niche.
The tool enables you to filter influencers by tags as well as follower count. In addition, it gives you additional data about each influencer such as their website address and contact information.
Tool 2: Ifluenz
Ifluenz is straightforward to use. You just have to create an account, select the campaign criteria, and wait for influencers to make your product or service popular on Instagram.
You can choose to run either a regular campaign or a personalized campaign using this tool.
Tool 3: InfluencerDB
InfluencerDB’s database contains influencers from every channel on Instagram. You are able to apply filters to discover channels based on languages used, their KPIs, or the location they post from.
The Engaged Influencers section in InfluencerDB’s dashboard shows influencers who engage the most with a particular channel.
You can then use the tool’s Influencer Analysis features to analyze their profile, where their followers come from, and how they behave on Instagram.
What’s unique about InfluencerDB is that it goes real deep into finding insights about an influencer’s authority. For instance, it shows media value per post and the comments per post for each influencer.
Step #2: Work with Your Influencers to Encourage Purchases
After choosing the influencers you want to work with, how do you make them your brand’s catalyst in sales generation? Here are some ideas:
Tactic 1: Promote discounts or giveaways through Influencers
Influencers have the ability to instill a sense of motivation to try a product. When you allow them to give a discount, they give followers a more compelling reason to check out your offer.
Tactic 2: Get Them to Demonstrate Unique Ways of Using Your Product
Placing products in an enticing setting can work great for sponsored content. But it’s more effective when influencers put the daily life use of your product or service into perspective.
Give influencers some freedom when you take this approach. You’d be surprised to see them come up with unique ways of using your product.
For instance, fashion Instagrammers often create new looks when showing clothing or accessories in action.
Also, influencers can provide tips on how Instagram followers can use the product in the same manner.
Ensure that you repost the content published by your hand-picked influencers. This can inspire your followers to try out your product.
Tactic 3: Host an Instagram Takeover
Pass over your Instagram content strategy to your influencers by inviting them to post directly to your account as well as engage with your followers in real time.
Even though there may not be a discount or any sort of perk, because the takeover is momentary, it sparks an instant reaction to the discussion at hand such as commenting or even buying products.
Typically, before the takeover, the brand and the content creator should hype their collaboration.
The revenue you generate from social commerce is just as important as the income you generate from your website, and Instagram can be an invaluable tool to boost your social media sales.
The three tactics I mentioned in the article will leave your followers with a positive sentiment about your product or service. They’ll also help you navigate the unique obstacles of the platform – especially the one-link limit for each account.
Soon, your followers will be moving through the buying process as you build a good relationship with them and make it easy to shop on Instagram.
Expect your brand’s influencers to reduce the time your followers spend on making a decision.