Over the years, Instagram has radically evolved into a full-blown sales platform. Brands globally are using it to reach out to new, unique audiences and market their products and services.
So, just how do you go about converting visitors into customers on this social platform. As an image- and video-based platform, many companies simply do not know how to maximize it to generate leads. So, we thought that we would take a look at the way some of the most successful brands are using Instagram and how they are increasing sales.
Create a Community
The social platforms have changed immensely over the years, and so have the metrics that go with them. It is no longer enough to have a large number of Instagram followers, it is about the quality of those followers. Or, more precisely, it all comes down to creating a community of followers who are engaged and genuinely interested in your content and brand and who are likely to convert.
So you need to start thinking about how to get more followers on Instagram who are real and relevant. You want a community of followers who are engaged, who are responsive and who are likely to convert. So, build content around your demographic, and follow accounts that you want in your community. It could also be worth your while to watch what your followers are posting. If you see some trends popping up, you can mimic that content and appeal directly to their interests and behaviors.
Map Out Your Content Plan
In order to attract the right audience, you will need to create and post the right content. In order to do this, you will need to conduct research to find out what resonates with your audience. Usually, users want to see informative, educational, and entertaining content. So, take a look at your post descriptions, how much information are you providing the customer.
You will want to concentrate your efforts on writing product descriptions that actually sell. So, place as much information in the posts as you can. Keep it simple, be aware of what your customer will want to know about the product. Predict the questions that they might ask. If you add all of this in a simple and entertaining way, you will be more likely to convert your followers to customers.
Have a Budget Ready
While Instagram is great for advertising to your current followers and building up followers organically, sponsored content helps increase your visibility. In order to reach a wider audience, and create targeted content for potential buyers outside of your community, you will need to pay for ads every once in a while.
The great thing about these sponsored ads is that you can actually choose your budget. So, if you want a specific ad to run for a specific amount of time, you can determine this with the budget. You are also able to map out your audience so you can advertise to potential followers who might be interested in your brand and who share similar demographics.
Form Mutually Beneficial Partnerships
Let’s face it, Instagram is all about who is doing what, where and wearing what. Influencers are a great way for you to expand the reach of your brand to highly defined audiences. But you need to be careful when choosing one.
By influencers, we don’t mean macro-influencers like the Kardashians, or high-flying celebrities, we mean micro-influencers. These are the accounts with a few thousand followers and who post very specific, curated content to a very engaged audience. So, look for someone who is familiar with your industry already, create content together highlighting your brand and get that partnership going. You will know that this content is actually being seen by an audience who is interested in your brand.
Make Full Use of Instagram
Instagram has multiple elements for you to capitalize on. From the standard posts, to stories to the shopping option, you are able to fully utilize the platform. It is also in your best interest to mix things up with a variety of content types. Add videos as well as images. Consider well curated and well-shot videos and pictures for some of your content, and add simple, informal content to make your brand relatable.
Stories are a great option for the more informal content. Live videos featuring a product in a lifestyle setting are a great way to make your brand relatable. If you are a fashion retailer, a video of how to style an outfit, or even wearing it could resonate with your customer base who are looking for ideas.
It is also worth your while to add your customers’ stories to your stories. They will feel engaged, included and continue posting about your brand, increasing your visibility to their audiences.
The Bottom Line
Instagram, although resource-intensive, can be highly rewarding, especially when you want to engage with highly targeted audiences. Keep track of what is trending generally and with your competitors. Keep an eye on what your customer base is posting and what hashtags they are following. The more you know about their behaviors and interests, the more you can curate content around that. Lastly, measure everything that you post to know how successful it is and adjust accordingly.