Instagram is one of the most widely used Social Media platforms of our time. Over one billion people actively use Instagram and data suggests that the platform will only grow wildly more popular in the predictable future. In fact, experts guess that Instagram will continue to grow and is not in any jeopardy of losing popularity any time soon.
However, this means that businesses who choose to promote using Instagram’s platform will see no decrease in their monthly spending any time soon. In fact, predictions show that rates will only increase for those wanting to use Instagram as a platform for advertising goods and services. There was an almost two-hundred per cent increase in the amount of money spent in the second quarter of 2019 on advertisements on Instagram.
This trend shows that companies are spending astronomical amounts of money to use the Instagram platform and they are not likely to stop any time soon. Competition is only growing on the platform daily.
Considering that Instagram has over one billion active users, the actual percentage of users who pay for advertising is relatively small. Around two million businesses use Instagram to produce advertising profits each month. It is also important to note that not every one of Instagram’s active users is looking for Instagram for products and services. However, Instagram is a wealth of opportunity for advertising your business. Consider the wild popularity and potential for growth in the next few years, you simply cannot choose not to advertise on Instagram. It is necessary for your business.
This article is going to walk you through five specific steps for making sales on Instagram. If you can follow directions, then you will soon be making a huge profit using Instagram as a platform for selling your goods and services.
Step 1: Create the Right Profile
Instagram has a specific type of account that is exclusive to business owners. This is not complicated, but for some reason, many people who want to sell on Instagram have no idea that this step is necessary. Utilizing the business on profile is critical for accessing the tools that Instagram provides to optimize your selling.
By converting your regular profile to a business profile, you will have access to reports and selling options that regular profiles do not have. Let’s take a look at how you can change your profile before we talk about the benefits of the business profile.
- After logging into your account, select the settings button
- Click on ‘Account’
- Select “Switch to Business Profile”
A few notes about changing to a business profile. First, you will need to connect to a Facebook account in order to do this. You will also need to ensure that your account is set to public. Private accounts are not allowed to create business accounts.
Voila! You have a business account now. You will be able to change your account back to a personal one if you should ever decide that you are not a fan of the business account.
Let’s take a look at the useful features that you will have access to now that you have a business account!
Insights: Gaining valuable information about your followers is far more complicated on Instagram that it is on other social media sites. So, with the Instagram Insights feature, you will have access to this information without having to spend hours doing tedious research.
The data that you have access to in Insights is extremely valuable for the business owner. Luckily, you can access all of this information through the app installed on your mobile device so it is easily accessible anywhere you are. You will find information about who visits your profile, how many links are clicks, number of people your posts have reached, and how many of those people interacted with that. Further, if you click on the “content” tab then you can see even more information. This tab shows you information about specific content posted to your Instagram feed. The last tab is the one labeled “Audience.” This tab helps you locate where your followers come from, their age range, and their genders. Further it tracks the most active days and times on your Instagram feed.
CTA Button: Again, this feature is only available for business accounts. This feature places a button underneath your bio on your profile page. This allows users to contact you or get directions to your business directly from Instagram.
Story Links: Instagram has strict rules about link sharing on content posted to their platform. However, with a business account you are able to add links to your stories, this is monumental for driving business to specific products or content on your Instagram page. Your audience will be able to follow a link directly to what it is you are sharing about.
Facebook Connection: As I mentioned earlier, you have to link to a Facebook account to be able to sign up for Instagram business. This is beneficial for you in the long run because you can merge all of your advertisement spending between the two platforms. You can streamline your ad manager and your business manager. We will talk more about this later on.
Step 2: Use Hashtags Wisely and to Your Advantage
If you are clueless about reaching the maximum amount of Instagram users, then you are not alone. Most of the businesses who are researching Instagram sales are desperate to learn about optimizing their sales because they are clueless about how all of this works. Unfortunately for them, many Businesses boycott the hashtag because they do not understand Instagram culture. However, Hashtags are crucial to creating an authentic traffic for your Instagram advertisements.
One of the major benefits of making the switch to an Instagram business account is that you are able to view how many of your post engagements are the result of a clever hashtag. Further, insights will break this down for you by each individual post. You can even see if you’ve reached new accounts because of a hashtag you created. Chances are, if you are using hashtags correctly, then the answer will be yes.
Researching hashtags is extremely similar to researching keywords for SEO optimization. If you have been in this business for any time at all, then you understand the power of search terms. Think about hashtags like keywords. From your Instagram account, visit the discover tab. Search for terms that are relevant to your industry. You will see hashtags that are popular within that industry and this will give you an idea of how to hashtag your posts. Including hashtags in your post also guarantees that you will be viewed in the discover tab when other people search for those keywords.
Be smart with your hashtag use. Combine highly used hashtags with less popular hashtags to optimize your viewing ability. People who are very specific with their searches tend to be closer to buying a product than those who search for general terms. Research shows that those people use less popular keywords in their searches. Using these less popular hashtags will give you an advantage.
Instagram has excellent advertising potential and will put you in front of a unique audience. Just be sure to do your research on your hashtags and make them do the work to make you a successful business on Instagram.
Step 3: Spend Money to Make Money
Step three is the fun part, start running an ad. Many business owners want to avoid spending money on advertisement and they worry that this knocks them out of the running for a successful campaign on Instagram. This simply is not true, however. Instagram is budget friendly and can have a huge pay-off in the long run. This will earn you enough money to boost your budget next time you are running a campaign.
Many business owners make the mistake of using the “promote” button Instagram when publishing a post within the app on their smartphone. Because of a limited budget, you may have limited ability to target certain demographics. Further, the app limits your ability to make these decisions as well. Instead, you can wait and use Ad manager on a desktop to make sure your money stretches as far as it can during an Instagram campaign.
If you really want to make a splash, run Instagram ads simultaneously with Facebook ads. You can do this through Ad manager. Running them solely on Instagram is an effective decision, too, if you decide not to run Facebook at the same time.
Using Ad manager will give you access to much more insight through Facebook’s targeting options. You will also be able to select a specific type of campaign to more selectively target your goals. The “Reach” and “Brand Awareness” campaigns are both effective, but they give you more targeted reach. These are also super affordable methods for reaching users.
Step 4: Does Your Business Sell a Tangible Product?
If your business sells a tangible product direct to consumer then you will want to utilize Instagram Shopping. However, it is not available to services at this time. If you are a business who only offers services, you will want to skip step four and head straight to step 5. However, if you sell tangible products, then you do not want to miss this information.
In short, Instagram shopping allows you to create posts on Instagram that look authentic. However, users have the option to look at the product names and prices by selecting “more info” when they see a post. It really is a genius idea.
Once users have taken the time to look at product names and prices, they are given the option to see the tags that accompany the post. They are able to click on various links to get more information about the product and brand. They can also make a decision to purchase right there on Instagram. It is a gold mine.
Instagram shopping requires you to have a functional catalogue of products already imported into your connected Facebook account. You will need to make sure that you have enabled the ability to tag products. If you need a tutorial on doing this, check out one of the many articles that detail Facebook catalogues on the internet.
Running one of these shopping posts gives you an amazing combination of numbers and targeting that only a company like Instagram can come up with. These targeting techniques allow you to hyper-control the audience that sees your Instagram Shopping posts. This allows you to make sure you get your money’s worth out of these ads you decide to run on Instagram. Further, those same specs allow you to drive your content only to those who are likely highly interested in buying it.
Instagram recently rolled out a new channel in the Instagram Explore section of the app. This means that your Shopping posts will be added to that channel creating even more potential for users to engage with your product.
Step 5: Build Influential Partnerships
You have probably heard about how effective building partnerships can be for your business. But were you aware that Instagram has become a huge platform for which these partnerships begin to blossom? Influencers on Instagram are extremely important. Using an influencer to promote your product gives your product credibility in the eyes of an audience who otherwise may have never heard of you.
Instagram has a ton of influencers who have been using the app since they were basically toddlers. These people understand Instagram in ways that the average user does not, they know how to create a following of loyal people who are interested in what they have to say. These people are getting more than their fifteen minutes of fame, and they are a great resource for driving traffic to your product. Their followers become your new following.
For the most part, influencers charge by their number of followers and usually charge between $5 and $10 for every 1,000 they have following their page. This can be an extremely budget-friendly option for the business owner. Further, it yields really great results. These Instagram influencers have built huge followings, and for whatever reason, the people who follow them have placed their trust there. This strategy can really get you some major traffic.
Using Instagram to Sell is a Process but Can be Lucrative
Using Instagram as a platform to sell products and services can be extremely lucrative. However, you really need to make sure you are thorough in doing your research and creating campaigns that will make a difference. Instagram advertising requires a little bit of work, but so does a normal day job. Make the commitment to see a big difference in your profit.