How to sell on Instagram: 5 tips every business should know
Instagram is a match made in heaven for innovative ecommerce businesses. Sure, there’s the platform’s more than 1 billion active monthly users to sell to, but it’s Instagram’s visual nature and niche culture that makes it the perfect fit for brands looking to build engaged communities.
1. Complete your business profile
An incomplete business profile can hurt your Instagram game. It’s your opportunity to funnel leads to your website, so your profile needs to be complete and on point. Optimising your Instagram business profile can also help you appear in Instagram searches, which can connect you with a new customer base.
Be sure to select an engaging brand image for your profile photo, and don’t get too fancy with your bio. Rather, clearly express your brand values and what you offer, and include any branded hashtags you’d like customers to use. And don’t forget to include a link to your website. It’s the only clickable link you can publish on Instagram (for free), so you might even want to create a unique landing page targeted to Instagram shoppers.
2. Tag your images
You can tag the products featured in your Instagram images to send users to the purchase page on your website. This turns your Instagram posts into a direct sales driver, but there are few things you can do to optimise product tags.
For starters, be sure to tag multiple products if more than one is featured in a lifestyle image you use. But be careful that it’s clear which tag goes with which product. You also want to ensure that you’re sending people to the specific product page on your website. Don’t send them to your general homepage and expect them to find the product again.
3. Sell with a story
Instagram Stories has exploded in popularity with more than 500 million daily users. That’s a huge audience you can tap into with some creative content creation. You can use video to capture your product in use, share tips and re-post collections for your images or other posts.
You can also add captions — including hashtags and account addresses — as well as music or audio to capture attention. There’s also a paid option you can use to increase the reach of your Instagram Stories.
4. Connect with micro influencers to sell more to your target demographic
You don’t need the budget required to get your product in the hands of a big-name celebrity to make an impact on Instagram. Micro influencers tend to be regular people who have built a loyal audience in a specific niche. While they might only have a few thousand followers, their endorsement holds a lot of weight in these tight-knit groups.
The key is to find micro influencers who specialise in a niche that is relevant to what you’re selling. Follow them first, like and comment on their posts, and get a good feel for what they’re all about. Then, if you decide to approach them about a potential partnership, be direct and clear about what you’re offering them and what you expect from them in return.
5. Place an Instagram ad
While social media certainly gives your content a chance to go viral, the only guaranteed way to get your Instagram posts in front of the right people is through placing a paid ad. Paying to promote posts you’ve already published is a good way to start. Simply click the ‘promote’ button on a post you want to share, and Instagram makes it easy to create a highly targeted audience (based on interests, age range and gender) that will connect you with the people most likely to buy what you’re selling.
The good news is that you don’t need a huge advertising budget. You can set a modest limit for your campaign to test out how it’s performing, then increase the budget if you’re seeing good results. You can also pay agencies and specialist freelancers to look after your paid ads – these experts will be able to provide advice on growing your business with social media marketing.
Building a business is all well and good, but if your customers aren’t receiving your goods, it’s all for naught.
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