Instagram usage is still on the rise, with over 1.1 billion of us using the app daily.
That’s a lot lotta eyeballs! 2.2 billion, roughly. 👀
So if you’re a business not currently using it, or not using it properly, you’re in the right place to learn how to increase sales with Instagram. Because ultimately, that’s what businesses are here to do, right? Otherwise, we may as well all go home.
1. Think Creatively. 🎨
Look, that might sound vague. And it is: creativity is broad, it can’t fit into a box. When you’re dreaming up content for such a visual platform, you should take time to really consider how your brand can come to life on the platform.
Product shot with a link? Well, OK. There’s a time and a place for that. But it won’t get you many followers if all you’re posting is product shots and links.
Thinking creatively doesn’t need to mean spending hours on a photoshoot or editing video. Sometimes, it can be super simple.Creativity doesn't have to mean big budgets and advanced editing skills. Sometimes, the simplest idea can deliver the biggest impact. Click To Tweet
These examples from ASOS are peppered throughout their more traditional, editorial-style content, showcasing their fun and playful side, using user-generated content, or photographs from their archive.
2. Pre-schedule your Instagram content. 👌
Pre-planning your content has so many benefits. Not only will you not have to worry about it each day, but you’ll have a greater oversight of content opportunities.
A tool like SmarterQueue‘s Visual Instagram Planner enables you to visually plan and rearrange your Instagram grid, identifying opportunities for content and seeing how it all works together visually.
By having your content queued up and ready to go, you’ll naturally create more sales because your content will be more organised, and therefore, more regular. Trust us.
3. Run Instagram Ads. 📸
Once you’ve got a really compelling piece of content, ensure you promote it to get the most mileage out of it.
Go back to basics. Who is your target customer? What are they interested in? What will they respond well to?
Smoovall is a brand who thinks outside the box with its advertising. The product? It’s an anti-chafing spray. Their ads are creative, playful and engaging, with each one being tailored towards the audience age. For example, this Instagram Story ad was geared towards young people who experience chafing: note the language used, the creative wordplay and music. All in 10 seconds.
You might be forgiven for thinking you couldn’t make chafing a fun topic, but here’s where taking the time to think creatively comes in. There’s always a way!
This is another example of a longer advert, catering towards a female audience heading to a festival. The brand decided to recreate a WhatsApp conversation, using eye-catching imagery that subtly – but not too subtly – recommends Smoovall as the solution.
4. Use Dynamic Instagram Ads (Retargeting) 🔁
Retargeting allows you to reach customers who have already visited your website: so the barrier to have an impact is lower. They’ve already expressed an interest in your product. They’re warm to what you’re selling.
Dynamic Instagram Ads promote specific products to people who have visited those product pages on your website. While these are less creative options than other types of campaign – they work to remind the shopper of exactly what they were looking at, rather than needing a story-led narrative. They also save advertisers time on dreaming up creative and targeting for every product they offer.
5. Reply to Every Comment. 💬
This ad from Original Stretchy Food Lids is great – in a lot of ways. First off, the name of the product is instantly memorable. It didn’t take me long to remember it when I thought about this example for this article.
I’d seen this ad in my Instagram news feed, embedded here on its Facebook link:
It’s a lighthearted, warm and friendly demonstration of the product, and it really works to make it look effective and tempting to purchase.
The problem? There was an unattended comments section on the Instagram ad. It can be easy to miss comments on ads, especially if you’re not monitoring them with a social media management tool.
One thing that can minimise the chance of increasing sales with Instagram is if someone posts a comments beneath the ad, undermining the quality of the product. Even worse is if it’s left unattended. There will always be naysayers, so it’s all about how the brand responds.Running Instagram Ads? Never forget the golden rule: ALWAYS monitor the comments and reply as fast as you possibly can. Click To Tweet
One person saying, “I ordered this and it’s rubbish. Doesn’t stick at all, don’t waste your money,” is enough to completely change someone’s mind about purchasing. People hate being lied to. Anyone can advertise on Instagram, and audiences are wise to this. They are discerning.
Here’s the sort of response that works to minimise the damage:
Hey Samantha, oh no! We’re so sorry to hear you had a less than ideal experience with our stretchy lids. This is not what we expect from our product at all, and we’re wondering what went wrong. We’d like to make amends and send you a replacement. Could you DM us with your order number and we’ll get one sent out right away?Thank you – Lucie x
6. Shout About Your Glowing Reviews. 🎺
We all know not to blow our own trumpets too much on social media. But what about if you’ve got other credible publications doing it for you?
People trust reviews and press more than they trust the word of the brand itself. Instead of relying on your potential customers seeing these mentions, package them up into something engaging, quick and shareable, using the publication logos to give the reviews instant recognition.
This short animation from Heist was used as an Instagram ad, and is simple and engaging enough to catch your eye in the feed.
Are you using any of these methods to increase sales with Instagram? Any more to recommend? If you’d like to learn more engagement techniques, try this: 11 Things You Can Do This Week to Maximise Your Instagram Engagement.