12 Effortless Ways to Skyrocket Sales on Instagram Today
Instagram has over 700 million active daily users.
It’s one of the most widely used social media platforms in the world, and as a result, people’s attention is there.
As a marketer, you’re trading for attention.
Everything you do in marketing is dependent on getting the attention of your audience.
Only when you have their attention, you can try to convince them that your brand is the best.
Being a marketer that trades for attention, you’ll be happy to hear that Instagram has tons of it.
With more than 700 active daily users – many of which log in to the platform several times a day, I can promise you that there is no shortage of attention on Instagram.
The challenge is grabbing their attention – and when you have, convincing them to buy from you.
The good news is that people are friendly towards brands on Instagram, and there’s a clear interest in brands on the platform. In fact, 68% of Instagram followers engage regularly with brands.
That’s quite a lot.
And better yet, 60% of Instagram users say that they have learned about a product or service on the platform.
What’s more, 53% of Instagram users follow at least one business.
The bottom line?
Instagram has an incredible potential to drive sales, and by using it strategically, you can skyrocket the number of sales you receive from the platform.
Ready to increase your sales?
Well, then, let’s not waste any time!
1. Focus on creating incredible content
Content is the foundation to success on virtually all social platforms.
Think about it: if you don’t share any content, you’ll just have an empty profile, and how will people find you then?
There’s a big catch though. Instagram users share an average of 80 million photos per day.
What does this mean?
It means that the competition of getting your content seen is tougher than ever, and this also means that average content just won’t cut it anymore.
In 2016, a huge change came to Instagram. In fact, it might just have been the biggest and most impactful update to date.
I’m obviously talking about the Instagram algorithm.
Instagram co-founder and CEO, Kevin Systrom said this:
“On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram profile feeds”
, when they introduced the algorithm.
The thing was, and still is, that more content than what can be consumed is being put out on Instagram, and this goes for Facebook, Twitter, and many other social platforms that have accumulated a huge following.
This means that the organic reach of your posts is decreasing. Just look at how Facebook’s organic reach has declined:
The result of the fact that more content is being produced than what can be consumed?
Obviously, people only have time to consume 30% of the content, and previously, 100% of the content from the people you followed was presented in your feed, however, now, Instagram’s very own algorithm decides what it thinks that you will find most appealing, and then it presents that content in your feed.
In other words, quality is the word when it comes to content on Instagram.
While Instagram has the highest engagement rate among the top social platforms, it is slowly but surely decreasing, and in order to keep your engagement and organic reach high, you need to put great focus in creating insanely valuable and high-quality content.
But what should you post?
Well, Instagram is a visually driven platform which means that your focus should be on visual content in the form of photos and videos.
And that’s good news considering these facts that show how powerful and convincing visual content is in marketing:
Creating amazing visual content is an art, but I strongly recommend that you take a look at this content strategy guide that’ll help you develop a strategy for your high-quality content.
When you’re posting content on a social platform where everyone is fighting for the attention of the audience, you need to stand out with the content you share. It needs to be eye-catching and attention-grabbing, as well as unique and high-quality.
I know, there’s a lot to think about when creating successful content, but it is absolutely necessary if you want to drive sales with your efforts.
If you want to promote a product in your post, you need to integrate it in a seamless and fun way rather than shoving it down your followers’ throats. If your post comes off as too promotive, there’s a great risk that people will run away from you.
The simple reason is that there is endless of content to consume, and most users on Instagram don’t want to be sold to. They want to have a good time and be entertained, and if you as a brand can give that to them through your content, you’ll soon have the leverage as you are the one who provides them with value.
Eventually, they’ll feel obligated to buy from you to return the favor, but also because your brand will be on top of their mind when they are ready to buy.
It is also essential that you develop a visual theme that you’re going to follow. This will allow people to instantly distinguish your brand from others, as well as strengthen your brand’s reputation.
The visual them you decide to go for should follow your brand’s personality. The reason is that you’ve probably developed a brand personality and a brand voice, based on your audience. If your target audience consists of teens, hopefully, you haven’t decided to have a personality that’s boring and conservative.
Why do I say that?
Because it won’t resonate with them!
Therefore, it is crucial that you have identified your target audience, know what they are all about and what appeals to them, and have then developed a content strategy as well as a brand personality that matches your target audience’s preferences and personalities.
A common misconception is that you need an expert camera to take amazing photos, but the truth is that most modern smartphones have cameras that are more than great. When you have the camera, what matters is how you take the photo or record the video because it will have a huge effect on the result.
If you’re uncertain about how you’re going to take photos, or are just starting out, you can read these 29 Instagram hacks to take better photos, published by Huffington Post.
A quick summary of some of their most important tips are:
Don’t satisfy with one or two pictures – take loads! Doing so will give you the opportunity to practice, as well as have a bigger selection to choose from.
- Follow a certain theme (as mentioned)
- Don’t go overboard with editing but learn how to use an editing program to enhance your images
- Post consistently.
- Focus on quality rather than quantity
- Don’t photograph with bad lightning. Most of the time, the flash isn’t something you should use.
2. Run contests
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of contests on Instagram, I just want to sort out a misconception of contests on social media.
People often use the terms giveaway and contest like they have the same meaning, but the thing is that they’re not equal.
I am in no way no word police when it comes to this type of pickiness. I just want to spare you the trouble of any confusion or misconceptions, that might come with using the different words like they have the same meaning.
A giveaway is when you give something away without asking your audience for much counter performance. Of course, it can be a little confusing when it comes to giveaways on Instagram because obviously, you have to have done something to join a contest, unless you just give away something to one of your followers, however, that would still mean that people need to follow you, and the giveaway wouldn’t drive a lot of results because well, most people who see that you have a contest already follow you.
Then there’s the contest. You already know what the word means, but when put into Instagram context, it has been used in so many different cases that, in theory, it would have all kinds of meanings right now.
In order for it to be a contest, there have to be contestants that contribute and compete with something by providing some kind of counter-performance. In other words, for it to be a contest, there have to be contestants that compete with a submission of some form, and the best contribution should win.
Therefore, a giveaway where you ask people to tag their friend isn’t a contest because everyone has the same chance of winning. In that case, it’s not about skill. It’s about luck.
Okay, now that we got that out of the way, we can start looking at how giveaways and contests can help you drive more sales on Instagram.
To some, it might sound weird that you give away things and hope people will buy from you, but the truth is that it works tremendously well. Just look at some of the top brands! There are tons of examples of how they have run giveaways on social media and gained huge traction from it.
The idea with contests and giveaways is to drive more sales, but if you wind it back a notch, the reason you arrange giveaways is to gain more traction, in other words, more attention towards your brand. And when you have that attention, you can work to convince your audience that they need your product.
If they don’t drive sales immediately, at least they will help you build your audience, brand-awareness, as well as increase your engagement, and all of those things are tremendously valuable in the long run.
There are tons of ways you can set up an Instagram contest on, and it all depends on your preference. Different types of contests will help you achieve different objectives, and since you’re here, I am assuming that your goal is to drive more sales. Then obviously, you should set up your contest to generate more sales!
To get started with your Instagram contest, I highly suggest that you take a look at this Instagram contest guide that’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Here are some forms of giveaways/contests you can arrange:
1.Tag a friend
This is one of the most common forms of giveaways. The reason is that it allows you to quickly gain traction. If a friend tags two friends, those two friends might tag two others, and in turn, those people will tag two new friends and so on. As you can imagine, you can gain traction quite quickly with the help of this method without having to do a lot.
2.Compete with a submission
This is the way contests work. In order to join your contest and have a chance of winning, they need to share a contribution. It’s important that you set up clear guidelines for how this contest should work and what they need to do to join. A submission might be that they have to post a photo of themselves using your products. The clever thing here is that if your price is good, but you have to be an existing customer of yours to join, it can convince them to buy from you just to join your contest!
3.Ask for a like
While I wouldn’t classify this as the most effective contest/giveaway form, it is one that some brands are using. All people need to do is like your post. That’s it!
This means that you’ll have a lot of entries to your giveaway because the process of joining is so simple.
4.Sign up for your newsletter to join
This is one of my favorites when it comes to setting up a giveaway on Instagram, but that’s because I know it works so well.
As a brand. increasing your newsletter subscribers should be high up on your priority list.
Sure, email marketing isn’t as effective as it used to be due to the simple fact that there are a lot more marketers using it today, however, that is not to say that it isn’t effective.
The great thing about getting your contestants’ emails is that you can reach them over and over again.
The majority of people who join your contest won’t win. That’s just the way it works. But since they joined your contest, they had some sort of interest in the thing you gave away, which I personally hope is a product from your own brand, because that increases the interest in your products in general.
That’s where the strategic outreach comes in. Once your giveaway has ended, some people will probably be bummed out because they didn’t win – but the good news is that they can buy the product at a discounted price after the giveaway has ended, and that’s exactly what you are going to tell them in the email you send to them!
You have their contacts, you know they showed interest in a particular product of yours, the only thing you need to do is convince them to buy it. And often times, a simple discount is all it takes.
Obviously, there are a lot more ways to set up a contest on Instagram on, but these are some of the most common ones.
When arranging a contest/giveaway on Instagram, there’s one thing you should know: the better prices, the greater reach, and more contestants have. Now, I am not saying that just because you give away a Lamborghini doesn’t mean that you’ll get an ROI that compensates you for the price you just gave away, however, I think you can agree with me that you’ll have more people join and a greater success with your contest if you give away 10 thousand in cash rather than a chocolate bar.
If the incentive is greater, more people will bother to join.
3. Respond to your audience
There are so many reasons to why you should respond to your audience so I don’t know where to start, but here we go:
First off, social media is social. Do you know what that means?
Of course, you do!
Then be social!
It surprises me how many brands forget the social part about social media, which, in fact, is the most important part. Instead, they only focus on ”me” ”me” ”me” and throw ads in their followers’ face day in and day out.
But the catch is that it isn’t a long-term strategy that’ll give you the most success.
I’ve said it so many times before, but I’ll say it again:
The key to driving sales is trust. If your audience doesn’t trust you, they won’t buy from you!
Comments are a huge part of your customer interactions on social media. At least they should be.
What’s more, building relationships means building trust, and we all now know what trust leads to, don’t we?
As a brand who realize the importance of engaging your audience, you might feel the need to go out and hunt your target audience and engage with them, however, there’s no need to start hunting when many from your target audience are right in your backyard.
I am of course talking about your comment sections.
The foundation to engaging with your audience is responding to your audience’s comments, yet still, there are so many people and brands that are missing out on that valuable opportunity.
The thing is:
If you don’t respond to your audience, there’s a risk that they’ll get tired and go somewhere else where they are listened to and get answers to their questions.
That ”somewhere else” might be your competitor.
And we don’t want that, do we?
Customers often ask questions about your brand, products and everything in between, but it shouldn’t just stop there.
You should respond to every single comment you receive. It doesn’t matter if it’s an endorsement, complain, question, or a suggestion.
Because when you respond to your audience, they’ll feel acknowledged, and this increases the chance of them commenting again – thus giving you more opportunities to engage with them, which, in other words, means more opportunities for you to strengthen your relationship with them and establish trust.
Speed is also crucial on social media.
A study by Sproutsocial found that people expect brands to respond within 4 hours, but the sad truth is that the average response time is 10 hours.
Now, I do understand that responding within 4 hours at all times is close to impossible because it demands quite the resources – resources that many brands don’t have.
However, strive to answer your customers as quickly as possible.
The issue with not responding quickly is that they might feel like you aren’t prioritizing them, or paying attention to them. What’s more, they might also decide to go to your competitor in the hopes of getting a response quicker. And if they do, there’s a risk that you have lost them forever.
Responding to a comment might be the difference between an order and an abandoned cart. A person might wonder which size you have available, and when they get the response, they’ll buy. But what if you don’t respond to them?
Then you probably just missed out on a customer.
The bottom line is that you should put great effort into responding and engaging with your audience quickly and often. Because the more you do, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you.
Oh, and one more thing:
Social media gives you a ton of information about your audience that you can use to provide them with better service. The more personal you are, the easier it will be for you to build a deep relationship with them. Therefore, you want to take a look at their profile and see what they have shared and what their passions are before responding so that you can get closer to them and build better and more personal relationships.
5. Use hashtags
Hashtags are the fuel of your Instagram reach. In fact, there is no other social media platform than Instagram where hashtags are so effective.
In theory, the more hashtags you use, the more engagement you get. This differs a lot from many other platforms where using more than two hashtags actually decrease your engagement.
I know that there are some split opinions about ”the ideal number of hashtags” on Instagram, and the truth is that all studies indicate differently.
Some say that the ideal number of hashtags is 8 while others say that you should use all 30.
But from my 5+ years of using Instagram, I can say that I’ve had the most success from taking advantage of all 30 hashtags.
Because think about it:
Will you get the greatest reach by having your post displayed in 5 places or 30?
Obviously the latter!
However, what I would say is more important than the number of hashtags you use is what hashtags you use.
The ideal hashtags differ from brand to brand, and person to person, but this guide: The ultimate Instagram hashtag guide will tell you everything you need to know for finding the hashtags that help you get the best results for your post.
While hashtags in themselves won’t increase the number of sales, they will help you get your posts, as well as brand and products in front of people who are interested in your industry, in other words, your target audience.
And this increased exposure and reach to your potential customers, can, in turn, lead to more sales.
6. Add a link to your website
Quite obvious, but I am surprised at how many brands are missing out on it.
If you’re not linking to your website in your bio, you’re missing out on great opportunities. Especially considering the fact that the number of places where you can share clickable links on Instagram is highly limited.
Therefore, you want to take advantage of every link you can, and your bio is one of them.
With a link in your bio, people have a direct way to get to your shop and buy from you. In order to drive sales, you need to make the process of buying from you simple. If people have to look all over the web for your website, and the place where they can buy the product that they got inspired by from your Instagram, you’re missing the point.
Something that is limiting for brands is that you cannot add clickable links in your caption of a post, but there are, however, a trick to that that I’ll go more into detail in the next post.
7. Use shoppable posts (if you can)
Shoppable posts on Instagram was introduced just recently, and this feature allows you to add a tag to your products, just like you do when you tag someone in your image. The only difference is that you tag your product which people then can tap and get directed to your shop where they can instantly buy it.
This feature is a complete game changer for shopping on Instagram and for brands, to say the least, as it creates a seamless shopping experience for their customers.
If someone sees a product in a post that they like, they have to click the link in your bio (provided that you have one), try to find the product they just saw and then order it.
With shoppable tags, people can just tap the product tag that belongs to the product they found appealing and ordering – without ever having to leave the app.
Sounds awesome, right?
So why isn’t everyone using it?
Well, there’s a catch.
At first, only a limited number of selected brands got access to the feature.
And then, Instagram announced a partnership with Shopify where 30,000 brands got access to the feature. To get access to the feature, you had to apply. Unfortunately, the applications are currently closed.
We’re still waiting for Instagram to start rolling out the feature for everyone, and once it does, a completely new world of selling on Instagram will be opened up, and then, you need to hop on it as soon as you can.
8. Partner with influencers
Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity over the years.
And really, it’s not strange considering the incredible results it brings.
- Influencer marketing content delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. (TapInfluence study with Nielsen Catalina Solutions, 2016)
- 6 in 10 follow advice from their favorite creator on what to buy over recommendations from celebrities.
- 49 percent of consumers rely on influencer recommendations.
- 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from peers on social media above all other forms of advertising.
- Influencer marketing campaigns generate $6.5 in earned media value for every $1.00 invested.
- 13 percent of brands generate $20 in revenue for every dollar invested in influencer marketing.
Okay, I think you get the point now.
Influencer marketing has a tremendous convincing and marketing power, and if you aren’t using it, you’re missing out.
It’s easy to fall for the incredible statistics that I just presented, but unless you have a clear strategy and set up your influencer campaign in the right way, you’ll have a hard time reaching those results yourself.
Therefore, it is essential that you know the recipe for setting up a well-performing influencer campaign.
You need to know exactly how to set up a successful influencer campaign from start to finish before investing a dollar in it.
Therefore, I highly suggest that you read the complete guide to influencer marketing.
I have spoken briefly about building trust, but the thing is that no matter how hard you try, yo’ll never have as much trust as influencers have.
Because people know that brands have one goal:
To sell more.
And to do so, they will angle everything to there benefit.
But if you can partner with trusted influencers who are known to work for their audience’s best, and that is known to say no to any partnership deals which they feel won’t benefit their audience, you’ll have someone who spreads your brand message but are trusted and listened to.
People turn to influencer for buying advice, recommendations, and tips, and if you can get influencers to talk about your brand, the recommendation will come off as far more genuine and trusted than if you yourself would stand there and preach about how awesome your product is.
The best part about influencer marketing is that they have built a strong and loyal audience that trust them. What’s more, they have built an engaged audience of people who are within your target audience.
This is also the reason to why you should only partner with influencers who are authorities in your own industries.
Becuase ultimately, you want to reach your target audience and no-one else.
Luckily, the influencer has gathered lots of people who fall into the category of being in your target audience in on place.
Believe it or not but the way you reach success with influencer marketing, and the way the influencer’s promotion will be most trusted is when they give their honest opinion about your product – even if they find some flaws.
If the influencer just stand there and talk about how great the product is, what they say will come off as less credible, and the promotion will have less effect.
Of course, if they are completely roasting your product, it won’t be very successful. But therefore, ideally, you want to try and find influencers who are already using your products without being paid for it. That way, you can get an influencer who is already super excited about your brand to taök about their own personal experience with their brand, and talk from the heart.
9. Invest in Instagram ads
There’s nothing wrong with working with only organic reach on Instagram and trying to leverage it to your advantage, but ads can also be super effective as well if set up in the right way.
Working organically is extremely time-consuming, but with ads, you can make your money work for you instead.
The best part is that Instagram’s advertising is set up through Facebook since Facebook now owns Instagram, which means that you set up ads through an ad manager that has been developed for years and that allow laser-targeted ads that reach your target audience.
You can create different types of ads on Instagram, as well as select different targeting criteria on how you’re going to reach your ideal audience.
Once you’ve found the group that generates the best results, you can turn up your budget a notch and watch the results roll in.
Instagram ads add a ”shop now” button to your post, which allows users to effortlessly click and shop from you.
This works as a paid substitute for Instagram shoppable posts that makes the shopping experience for your audience better and more seamless.
10. Set up retargeting ads
If you’re familiar with retargeting, it means that you are targeting the people who have shown interest in your brand previously with ads.
For example, if someone is browsing a pair of shoes on your website but then leaves your website, you can show those shoes in your retargeting ads for them and remind them about the awesome shoes they are missing out on.
Another strategy that many brands use is to lower the price of the product they just left to further convince them to buy.
Retargeting ads have shown to be incredibly effective since they are presented to people who have already shown an interest in your brand.
And Instagram ads allow you to set up retargeting ads. Retargeting ads were first introduced on Facebook in 2015 but were then introduced on Instagram in 2016.
11. Use selling tools
I talked about adding a link to your website in your profile bio, but that’s not the only link you can add to your bio.
In fact, there are other choices that might allow you to sell more through the link you display.
Did you, for example, know that there are tools that can help you improve the click-through rates on your links and that can convince your followers to buy from you?
Instagram shoppable post feature is great because it gives a seamless experience for your audience, but if you haven’t gained access to that feature yet, there are third-party tools you can use to create a similar shopping experience for your followers.
Like2Buy is one example. What this tool helps you do is create shippable images, just like Instagram’s built-in tool. When people click the link in your bio to your Like2Buy page, they’ll be taken to a recreation of your Instagram feed containing all the product that you displayed in those posts. The fact that you can make it look exactly like your Instagram feed and add shop tags will make your audience feel familiar and more comfortable shopping from a third-party website (which ultimately leads back to your website).
I admit that Like2Buy isn’t as good as Instagram’s own tool, but if you don’t have access to it yet, you just have t make the best of the situation. And it is usually better than just adding your own website link, as it will be more difficult for people to find what they are looking for, compared to if they are scrolling a recreating of your Instagram feed where they can quicköy identify the product they inspired and then tap a button to shop it.
12. Share user-generated content
User-generated content holds a lot of marketing power, and unfortunately, it isn’t used as much as I think it should.
In other words, marketers aren’t taking advantage of the power UGC has – even if it presented right in front of their nose.
A brand that has realized the power of UGC is Daniel Wellington.
Not only do they have their hashtag #DWpickoftheday where they share one piece of user-generated content daily, but they also have a section on their website where they present UGC content from their fans and customers that have been shared on social media under the hashtag #DWMOMENTS.
So why is user-generated content so good and powerful?
Well, first off, by reposting your customers’ content on social media, you show that you acknowledge them and appreciate their support.
This makes them more loyal and more likely to share more content related to your brand on social media.
And when they do, they share your brand with the rest of with their peers and followers. And considering the fact that 92% of people trust peer recommendations, it’s tremendously valuable exposure for your brand – even if they only have a few hundred followers.
What’s more, since people trust peers more than brands, using the UGC content in your own marketing instead of only using professionally created content will have more convincing power.
By sharing content from your existing customers and showing how satisfied they are, you can inspire your potential customers while also gaining more trust in what it is you are saying since you’re just retelling what the person you are reposting from, said.
Like that wasn’t convincing enough, take a look at these statistics about user-generated content:
- UGC-based ads get 4x higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click than average.
- Brand engagement increases an average of 28% when users are exposed to a combination of user created product videos and professional content.
- 93% of consumers find UGC to be helpful when making a purchasing decision.
- User-generated content is 20% more influential than any other type of media when it comes to influencing Millennial purchases.
- 71% of consumers feel more comfortable buying a product after researching user-generated reviews.
Instagram has an incredible power to drive more sales, but in order for it to help you do that, you need to use the true and tested strategies on Instagram that are known to lead to more sales.
These 12 ways will allow you to see a noticeable difference in the sales you are able to drive as a result of your Instagram efforts.
How are you working with Instagram?
Have you driven any sales with the hep of it?
Let me know in the comment section below!