How to use Instagram to drive sales

Adding Instagram into your sales and marketing strategy is a must.

With 90% of profiles following business accounts, Instagram is the perfect platform to drive sales.

Instagram has over 1 billion active users every month, so it’s a no brainer for businesses to use this free platform to market their products and services.

The capabilities of Instagram are continually growing and its development of features has been to help businesses succeed. The aim of the game is to build Instagram into the go-to place for people to discover and shop their favourite products and brands.

So let’s get started with some helpful tips you might want to add into your strategy to drive sales using Instagram.

How to use Instagram to drive sales
Image Source: Instagram

Set up a business account

First thing’s first, make sure your account has been set up as a business profile. Don’t worry, if you have already set up your account, you can switch it from a personal account to a business account in your settings.

To engage new followers, make sure your branding is consistent throughout the profile. To optimise your profile, choosing the right image as your profile picture is key to making a memorable first impression, so what better profile picture to use than a high resolution image (110 x 110 pixels) of your brand logo. 

Make sure you complete as much of your profile as possible to increase your chances of discoverability to potential customers to drive Instagram sales and this includes adding your website where people can be directed to.

When new visitors land on your profile, they will want to get to know you a little bit more so writing a captivating bio will help encourage a follow. Find out more about writing a great Instagram bio here.

Know your audience

Understanding who your target audience is, is key to developing a successful marketing strategy. It will drive the production of visual and written content to be able to communicate with your target market effectively.

Use Instagram to do your market research and look for trends across your posts and stories to understand what your audience engages most with. Your Instagram insights is a great tool to give you this information and having a hashtag strategy is great way to research your market but also put your brand in front of potential customers.

Once you understand your audience, you will understand their habits which will help you maximise the use of Instagram’s functionalities to build a community and drive sales. Understanding your audience can help you save time, for example, it can help determine the best way to present a call to action and even the effectiveness of your posts and stories. 

Use Instagram’s shopping feature

It’s all about solving a problem and Instagram has done just that. The shopping feature has made it all that much easier for the customer to shop for products and services. Having all the information available instantaneously can increase your chances of a successful sale because providing a seamless shopping experience directly affects the customers’ satisfaction.

To maximise the use of this feature and drive sales is to tag your products and don’t be afraid to tag more than one product on a post. Tell your audience that they can shop directly from your Instagram account because if they don’t know about it, they won’t know there is this function available.

To activate the shopping feature you will have set up your business account on Instagram connected to a Facebook catalog.

How to use Instagram to drive sales
Image Source: Facebook

Format your grid

Just like how you are more likely to enter a physical store that is visually appealing, this concept is not too different on Instagram. Visual content is at the core of the platform and as much as it is important to post intriguing and thoughtful content, it’s just as important to have a tidy store (and that means your grid).

Our brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than written content and the viewer would most likely decide whether they will follow your business based on the visual aesthetic of your profile. 

A survey has found that 83% of users discover new products and services on Instagram through the discovery page or through sponsored ads. This would then encourage interested users to find out more and having a visually appealing grid will increase your chances of engagement.

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Use location tagging (Geotagging)

Just like using hashtags can increase your discoverability, location tagging is much the same. Tagging your location will add your content on the discovery page of those places and will help you reach new audiences. You can also utilise this feature to discover and engage with your local community and help with market research. 

Create meaningful stories

Consistently posting is one thing but posting content that adds value to your audience directly adds value to your brand. It will not only encourage people to stay longer on your profile but increase your chances of them joining your community and being a fan. 

There is so much content on Instagram today, so creating meaningful content can help beat the scroll and people are looking for purpose and meaning, so give it to them. Being able to provide insight and enhance the life of your audience will be more favourable than creating content that is obviously sales driven. Sharing your businesses’ vision and values will connect with people who believe in those same values and once they are a fan, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.

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Image Source: Sprout Social

Leverage User-generated Content

Have you ever felt that excitement when a business shares your personal content? It’s fun and makes you feel part of their community. Instagram is a platform where people come together, it is a platform for people to be a part of a community to engage and share content. And leveraging user-generated content as part of your marketing strategy will build a positive community that increases business credibility.

User-generated content not only bulks up your content library but it is essentially an authentic customer review for your brand and an inexpensive marketing activity that works like ‘word of mouth’. It can build trust in your brand, increase engagement and increase your visibility reaching new audiences. There are so many benefits to use user-generated content so don’t forget to add it as part of your strategy.

Driving sales through Instagram has become increasingly seamless and integrated so make sure to get the most out of your Instagram business profile and check out our Instagram Marketing Masterclass.

Louisa is from Copenhagen, Denmark and graduated from the University of Manchester, UK. She is currently working in the tourism and hospitality sector in Perth as an Events and Marketing Manager. Louisa contributes towards Coffey & Tea's social media platforms and to Social Media Perth.