Do you have a product or service and you want to increase sales through Instagram?
First things first, you need to work out if Instagram is right for your business.
See if you don’t have a very visual brand, and your target market is hanging out on LinkedIn rather than Instagram, working to increase sales through Instagram could really just be setting yourself up for heartache.
However, if you have done your niche market research and you know it’s the platform for you, let’s carry on…
How to increase sales on Instagram
Instagram is primarily a photo and video app. You can (and should) exploit this trait to maximise your sales. A high-resolution photo will go a long way in enticing your audience to take positive action.
Remember that visual images create a bigger impression and will be remembered longer than a graphic with text.
Like many other social media platforms, Instagram allows you to sell directly on the platform without the customers having to leave the platform.
This makes the buying process convenient for customers, giving you a better chance of getting the sale.
Set up an Instagram business account
Make a new business account
Keep your business Instagram account separate from your personal Instagram account. Customers are not interested in your personal life and photos or videos.
Instead, create a business account that will promote your brand story, company values, and your products.
Your account name and profile image should be consistent with your brand
Choose a name that is either the same as your business or is related. It will help if the name is the same across other social media platforms.
Your profile image should be consistent with your brand as well. Make sure that it is professional and instantly recognisable as representing your brand.
Include a link to increase engagement
Include a link to your website as the only opportunity you get on Instagram is the place in your bio and directly under your name.
You can change your bio as often as you want. That allows you to change the link every time you post an image, if you want to.
You can include a link to a targeted landing page when you are posting a new image or promoting a product or an event.
Create an impressive bio to attract followers
Entice your audience to like you through an interesting and informative bio. To follow you they have to do it on your profile page and go through your bio.
Keep your bio light. Give a brief outline of your business and let people know what your business is about. Talk about the value your business will bring to the person reading your bio.
The best way to get people to follow you is to show, don’t tell, so keep your messaging consistent across platforms and in your posts.
Post high quality photos/videos that make people want to follow
Let your visuals do the selling for you
Given Instagram is a photo/video app, you can influence your audience with your visuals. Visuals give the audience independence to decide on the product without any pressure.
Knowing that visuals can convey more than a bunch of words, make your play on that. Be sure that your visuals are consistent with your brand image.
Use professional photos for posting and be creative
Engage a professional to photograph your products. A detailed image is more likely to convert a passive shopper into a devoted customer.
Create images that reflect your brand’s ethos while highlighting your product. Distinguish your image from millions that are posted on Instagram every day.
If possible, take the photographs outdoors. Photos taken outdoors have more vivacity than those taken with a camera flash.
As much as possible, take photos of your product in the surroundings it is meant for. An image like that will give the audience a feeling of having used the product personally. For example, if you sell backpacks, take photos of people hiking with them in the bush.
Post photographs that suit the Instagram format shape
The Instagram format automatically formats your images to a square shape. A rectangular end up cropping out the most important part of your shot.
The size of the photo displayed on Instagram is 612×612 pixels. Considering a square image is a better option than seeing a cropped photo and going back to the drawing board.
A better option is to size your image to 1024×1024 pixels. When resized to Instagrams dimensions, your image will be clearer and crisper.
Use Instagrams editing tools to make your post stand out
To attract attention among the millions of images posted on Instagram each day, your image has to be something special.
Use the filters and tools that the Instagram photo editor gives you to make your photos more appealing.
Analysis shows that lighter and brighter photos generate more engagement than darker photos. Photos with single bright colours also catch the eye more often.
Again, at the risk of repetition, stay true to the theme of your brand in your presentation. The image should immediately be identified with the brand.
Offer discounts and promotions
You can offer bonuses, special offers and exclusive announcements on your post with text overlays.
You can use one of the many free apps to announce discounts and sales offers conveniently in your post and to suit the square image displayed on Instagram.
You can choose the fonts and position your message over your image in any position you like to make your promotion eye-catching and informative.
Promote events by geo-tagging your image
A geo-tag above the image post allows you to add your location to it. Adding your street, state and country is a great way to let your followers know where your business is located physically.
Besides letting your prospective customers know where they can try and buy your products, you can also invite followers in your locality to participate in community events your business is promoting.
This is an opportunity to promote your brand among your followers, as well as the localion you are in. It also gives your followers an opportunity to engage in person with your business.
Use hashtags to engage with a larger audience
Intelligent use of hashtags can make your posts more relevant and increase their visibility for a longer duration.
Research the keywords and phrases relevant to your brand and your products. Use one of them as your business hashtag and include it on all your posts.
Hashtags are a good way to increase your following and prolong the shelf life of your posts.
You can also use hashtags to find potential clients in your niche, and engage with their accounts through ‘likes’ and thoughtful comments (never use a bot for this).
Make a schedule for posting on Instagram. Posting, interacting and following up on Instagram takes a lot of time. Prepare a schedule that will suit you as well as your followers.
Big brands, on average, post five to six images a week. Posting in the evening tends to result in greater engagement, but use a tool like Creator Studio to work out when your followers are online.
Posting too many images per day is considered as shouting out loud on Instagram. If you have more to share, such as ‘behind the scenes’ content and short videos that are informative but not visually spectacular, use the Instagram Story functionality. Post stories multiple times a day, there is no limit here!
How to increase sales on Instagram – The Conclusion
Posting good quality and informative images or videos and sticking to best practices helps increase sales on Instagram.
The most important thing to remember about Instagram, or any social media, is the primary goal should be to improve the life of the person who sees your post – even if it’s just for that one moment.
If you can genuinely help people to solve the problem they have, and help them get the result they want in the fastest possible timeframe with your engaging content, then the sales will flow naturally from there.