Attracting and keeping authentic Instagram followers to a page can seem mysterious. In a sea of content, how can you possibly make your brand and its products stand out?
Luckily, there are a few ways to build a loyal audience on Instagram and make customers buy from your page. You can present your brand as a reliable, attractive resource that will have customers coming back again and again. It’s possible by using the site’s in-built engagement driving features, such as branding tools and advertising, as well as boosting your followers and engagement numbers.
Here’s what you need to know about how to make customers buy from your Instagram page.
Why Choose Instagram?
Anyone can tell you that how your brand presents in the digital space can make or break your business, especially in the social media world. Social media is a goldmine of lead generation and branding, and nowhere is that truer than Instagram. However, it takes a lot of patience and persistence to get your brand really seen in the crowd of competitors.
The site, launched in 2010 and currently owned by Facebook, has more than 1.4 billion active users worldwide, with its biggest markets – at 140 million users each – in the United States and India.
It has some of the most engaged users as well, as 500 million Stories and 95 million posts are made on the app every day as of 2016 (though the current number is likely far higher), and more than 60% of the user base logging in every single day. It’s estimated that users’ engagement with branded content is ten times higher on Instagram than on similar social media sites.
On top of that, Instagram was recently updated to focus more on brands and the app’s shopping features. Though this update was faced with controversy (especially over its “Show Best Content First” addition), it still offers many valuable tools for businesses wishing to break into the Instagram market. It is well worth the company’s attention – users are overwhelmingly likely to follow brands they enjoy and discover new products they are likely to purchase.
How Instagram for Businesses Works
Instagram is relatively easy to set up. Anyone can create a business account by simply converting a personal page (all you need is an email address) and selecting the category that suits your business best. These categories indicate the industry you’re a part of and can help automatically recommend your page to users with similar interests.
You’ll be required to verify your business’s contact information as well as be prompted to set a profile picture, bio, and website link if you haven’t already done so.
Facebook Business Suite
Since Instagram is a subsidiary of Facebook, it can be managed through the Facebook Business Suite. This tool allows you to view and respond to all of your updates (comments, likes, shares, mentions, etc.) in one centralized hub. It also has tools for creating and scheduling content to post on one or both platforms, in either the main feed or each platform’s Stories feature.
The suite offers valuable insights such as audience demographics and engagement levels and allows you to set growth goals for your profiles. It contains an ad program that runs on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger simultaneously and can offer impressive results quickly and cheaply.
Instagram Shopping Storefronts
As mentioned, Instagram recently focused on the shopping aspect of the user experience, introducing a slew of new tools for brands and shoppers alike, the biggest and most impactful of which was the storefront.
An Instagram Shopping storefront is a tab on your profile that allows you to list and sell specific products from within the platform itself. The product catalog can be sorted into collections for easier perusing, and the products themselves can be tagged in feed posts and Stories for easy shopping.
Products in the storefront can either be purchased by driving traffic to your website or through the app itself, though the latter is a relatively new feature that is still rolling out. In-app purchasing is available to US businesses and customers only.
How to Make Customers Buy from Your Instagram Page
Attracting customers to your Instagram page can mean an influx of temporary business and a sales jump, and new loyal supporters of your brand who will be more than willing to make multiple purchases and help your brand’s reputation. Here’s how to make customers buy from your Instagram page.
- Post Interesting Content Consistently
The first and most crucial step in generating sales from Instagram is the content you’re creating. Instagram content is extremely visually-based. Your images need to be eye-catching and colorful; your videos need to be well-edited and punchy, and your Stories need to be easy to digest in the short seconds-long span they appear in your customers’ feeds.
Remember these tips for good Instagram sales content:
- Understanding your audience is incredibly important. Research precisely who it is that will be engaging with your posts by exploring relevant hashtags and popular accounts to get a feel for the style of popular content. This may include structured product photos, shots of models in action, quotes or statistics in clever graphics, or memes about your industry.
- Using customizable templates from design websites like Canva or Venngage can quickly help you create high-quality, consistent content. These programs may also allow you to set and save specific fonts, color palettes, and graphic arrangements that, when used repeatedly, develops your brand’s recognizability.
- Remember that the photos and videos you use need to be high resolution. It’s recommended that static photos be 1080 x1080 px, and that videos be in 1080 x1350 px. This ensures that all details are clear and easy to see on smaller screens like phones and tablets.
- Post a variety of content to avoid appearing too “salesy” or unapproachable. Intersperse your product photos with process videos, or include relevant industry news or jokes.
Posting quality content is only half of the battle, however. Keeping a consistent schedule can make it easier for your audience to keep you in mind and become excited about your next post. Use the Business Suite’s content calendar or third-party apps to batch schedule content for streamlined management.
Remember to check your strategy over time and adjust for your growing audience’s interests. Watch your analytics to see which posts perform well and create more content in that style while maintaining a variety. Consider testing specific content ratios (one product post for every three general interest pieces) to see what works best for your brand.
- Organize and Advertise Your Storefront
A well-organized storefront can mean the difference between being seen as a legitimate brand and being passed over as low quality or, at worst, a potential scam.
Make sure that all of the products you list have fully completed details, including the price, an attractive name and description, and multiple photos if possible. You’ll also want to sort your products into appropriately named and frequently updated catalogs. This prevents scroll fatigue and makes it easier for customers to find exactly what they wish to without manually sorting through a large selection.
Once your storefront is organized, use it! Whenever you post content relating to a specific product, tag it in the image to allow users to navigate to the page if they are interested quickly. You can link the storefront directly in your Stories using the “Support Small Businesses” sticker. Linking directly to your products streamlines your sales funnel and makes buying easier.
You can also make specific content advertising your storefront during sales and other promotions, such as posts, Stories, or Reels showing off a range of products and inviting viewers to “check out our store for more.”
- Engage with Your Community
Though you may schedule content well ahead of time, you can’t simply set and forget your Instagram page and expect it to succeed. The key to a productive social media strategy is engaging with your community. This engagement builds a loyal follower base that is more likely to convert directly into sales.
Some great ways to engage with your Instagram community are:
- Using appropriate hashtags and mentions to give your posts a more comprehensive audience.
- Commenting on your publications with a further question or comment.
- Replying to comments and messages quickly and personally.
- Liking and interacting on community-created content outside of your page.
- Posting frequent, relevant polls and questions (both for you to answer and for your audience to submit answers to) in your Stories.
- Hosting regular Instagram Live events such as question and answer sessions or behind the scenes content.
- Offering incentives to follow and support the page, such as with a giveaway or contest.
This engagement is vital to your brand’s presence on the site. It both keeps your business in the minds of your audience and allows you to directly gather feedback that you can use to help influence your marketing strategy and troubleshoot any problems with products that might otherwise go unnoticed.
- Advertise and Work with Influencers
Instagram has a relatively inexpensive and effective advertising program that can be accessed directly in the app from the “Promote” tab on your profile or through the Business Suite. You can save tailored audiences to use with multiple campaigns and choose to promote either a single post, a product, your page, or your website across Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook Messenger.
Additionally, Instagram includes branded content features that allow popular influencers to work directly with brands in a more streamlined and transparent way. Contact influencers in your field about promoting your brand through sponsored posts. This helps build trust in your brand with not only their audience but the community in general.
Instagram for Business FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about driving sales on Instagram.
Do you need a certain number of followers to open an Instagram Shopping storefront?
As of right now, there is no follower minimum for the Instagram Shopping storefront. Anyone with a business account can open a storefront as long as they meet eligibility requirements.
- The products sold must not violate the app’s Commerce Eligibility Requirements.
- The business must have its website domain.
- The business must be run in a supported market.
Will Instagram Shopping drive traffic to my website?
This depends mainly on the checkout method you choose. If you choose to have users redirected to your website to complete their purchase, then it’s likely you’ll see a spike in website traffic after creating and managing your Instagram Shopping storefront for some time.
What products sell the best on Instagram?
Unsurprisingly, very visual products, such as those that can be modeled and have physical representations, are the best-selling products across the platform.
According to current data, the most popular brands on Instagram are in the fashion industry, taking home a whopping 25% of all brand interactions. Other popular products include beauty products such as makeup and skincare, jewelry, and home décor.
How many followers do I need to get my brand account verified on Instagram?
There are no specific follower requirements to be verified on Instagram. However, your profile must be demonstrably “notable,” meaning that it has a high engagement rate and is frequently discussed within the app. Instagram considers the age of your account, your most viral content, and, of course, follower numbers.
It means that having authentic Instagram followers is just as important as having quality content if you’re attempting to be seen as a legitimate brand.
Instagram is a giant when it comes to promotion. Not only does the site’s wide variety of users and international audience hold appeal to otherwise limited local business, but it also allows more prominent brands to interact with and engage their customers more personally than ever before.
Used correctly, Instagram can be your business’s secret weapon for driving conversion and brand awareness worldwide through well-composed original content.