The end goal of Instagram is to drive your audience through each step of the process and convert it into buyers, driving revenue. But how do you cultivate a healthy sales funnel?
Insta Stories, Polls, Influencers
After you built your Instagram account it is very important to drive traffic to your site. For this, you have to post amazing images that will drive engagement. Among these images, once out of five posts, you can post product shots, behind the scenes images, photos featuring your work or what we like to call bridge images. Choose your most compelling product images and the super strong captions or call to actions. Don’t forget to include “link in bio” so the users will know how to access your site or landing page.
We said earlier in a post that we’ll also tell you how to drive traffic using Instagram Stories, since lots of brands are sharing their new products, lead magnets or sales through them. Now it’s the time to show you how you can drive sales using these stories.
More real-time than normal posts, the Insta Stories allow you to also add a live link within them so you can bridge more effectively the gap between the Instagram account and your website. The only thing is that you need at least 10.000 followers to access this “swipe up link” feature that allows the users to access your site and check out your landing page. As long as the CTA is interesting enough to make them click, you’re all set for driving conversions.
Another tool to drive traffic on Instagram is the polling feature. You can find it in the stickers section and it allows you to make a poll providing 2 customizable answers. You can check out the results of the poll in the same way you can see who viewed your story, by swiping up on the image/video.
If you want to expose your products to a new audience, collaborating with influencers is what you should do. Being highly connected, they can promote your products as if they are the brand’s spokesman, increasing your level of fame and offering word of mouth recommendation. Honest recommendations are a powerful marketing tool that manage to drive your users from the Instagram account directly to your website.
But how much do these influencers cost? It depends on the influencer. Nevertheless, depending on the number of followers that they have and the engagement they can drive, the rates can be pretty high. For example, for influencers that have more than 150.000 followers, you can pay from $400 to $1,000. There are also influencers that accept products instead of cash so it’s up to you how the negotiation goes.
If you can’t afford these amounts, you can all the time choose more smaller accounts that have an audience of 1000 to 10.000 followers and a good engagement rate (anything from 3% to 10%). In the end, the important thing is the follower quality and the authenticity of the discussions they can drive through their posts which will translate to more engagement and sales for you.
What Should Influencers Post?
Before discussing with the influencers about what you need them to post for you, make sure you have a talk about metrics so you will know your posts will perform well. They have the creative freedom in terms or design and content but you must let them know for what products or services there’s need for more exposure or a little push.
If you don’t know exactly what to promote, get inspired by the influencer’s page and thematic. Make sure he will also be compliant with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines so they won’t shut down your posts. Your consumers deserve transparency, so remind the influencers to place the #ad or #sponsored in the caption.
Using influencers as a marketing strategy can lead to more traffic on your website but also an increased email list that will spark engagement and lead to a valuable sales funnel. But is that enough?
Drive Traffic via Shoppable Images
Since last year, you can also post shoppable images on Instagram that allow your users to click on the image and be directed to the marketplace. So, if you have an Instagram Business Profile connected to your Facebook Shop Catalog and you’re located in one of these countries US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, or Brazil, your posts will become instantly shoppable.
All you need to do is go to your settings, click continue on products and select a catalog to connect with your business profile. Start tagging your products in there and create nice carousel posts with up to 20 products displayed. This feature will transform your Instagram feed into a digital look book, so take advantage of it to convert your followers into paid customers.
Measure your Instagram Activity
After you built your marketing strategy posting and engaging followers, you need to make sure that your tactic works, so track your results and measure your progress. Check out Instagram’s Insights Dashboard, measure your impressions for the last week, look at the most popular post statistics, investigate your follower demographics, improve your posts and retest.
There are also lots of tools that can help you with more insights. Here are the ones we recommend:
Foundr or example can help you diversify your data, digging a bit deeper so you can make educated decisions regarding your content, the time of posting, hashtags and so on.
Instagram Insights works very well and it’s also available for Business Profiles. Simple and free to use, this app will measure your views linking each post’s insights to the image, so you can see easier the number of likes, shares, comments, impressions from followers and new users. Explaining in the same time what each metric means, Insights is an excellent analytic tool that is basically build right into the platform.
Social Blade (Free) will help you understand which posts will lead you to more revenue, comparing your daily activity and summarizing your growth statistics.
Command for Instagram (Paid, iOS) is mostly designed for influencers and brand and it tracks also the competition activity, giving you a complete report that measures your performance against industry standards.
Keyhole will help you discover and create hashtags opportunities for more engaging content.
Union Metrics (Paid with Some Free Tools) offers competitor analysis as well, for you to better understand their audience and their goals, tracking the meaning of each comment and like.
Iconosquare (Paid with 14-Day Trial) is important to understand when your users are more engaged.
All in all, depending on your needs, you can make an idea about your account, audience and activity and find the best approach to convert your followers into buyers.
Take your Instagram account to the next level
In order to create amazing content and grow your Instagram account and business, you’ll might find useful some apps that will make your newsfeed stand out in the crowd.
VSCO (Free, iOS & Android) for example, a photo editing app, will offer you the possibility to enhance your images with filters, color correction options, lighting, composition and so on.
A Color Story (Free, iOS & Android) on the other hand will make your feed explode with color, creating personality for your account by using some simple photoshop features.
Foodie (Free, iOS & Android) will ensure you the best food shots, coming with special designed filters for cuisine.
LINE Camera (Free, iOS & Android) perfect to optimize each selfie, it’s the best option for bloggers, fashionista, makeup artist or Instagram personalities.
Stocksnap.io will provide you with HQ images made by professional photographers so you can use them for your quotes, flyers or any other marketing material.
Over (Free, iOS) for customizable layouts, it will allow you to add stickers, text and it comes with thousands of templates for your product announcements, events etc.
Layout from Instagram (Free, iOS & Android) for nice collage combinations.
Hyperlapse from Instagram (Free, iOS) to create amazing timelapses that meet Instagram’s video guidelines and standards.
Boomerang from Instagram (Free, iOS & Android) one of the most popular aps that allows you to play your video forwards and backwards for a few second so you can diversify your content and increase the frequency of your posts.
Later (Paid, iOS & Android) will help you schedule your content (except videos, carousel images and location tags) so you can do your Instagram strategy in advance
Repost for Instagram (Free, iOS & Android) it makes simple to share other’s content to your newsfeed. Very good for reposting users’ testimonials.
Track Links tracks your promotional posts and measures the conversion rates.
PrettyLink allows you to create short links from your own URL.
As we were mentioning before, in order to succeed on Instagram, it is not enough to communicate and engage with your followers, but you also must network and work together with your competitors and industry partners. That’s where these apps come in handy.
Cultivating a social media community can be easy if you focus on each strategy at a time, if you prepare, strategize and post constantly. You might even try having fun while doing it and we promise you that once you begin seeing engagement, conversions and revenue increasing, you’ll see that it’s all worth the trouble.