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Actionable Ways to Boost Your Instagram Sales

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  • Actionable Ways to Boost Your Instagram Sales

You probably already know the power of Instagram. With over a billion monthly active users and an audience that’s ready to shop, it comes as no surprise that many businesses choose Instagram as their main account. But it’s precisely for that reason that many small businesses may struggle to stand out in such a crowded marketplace.

Whether you’re new to the platform or you’ve reached a standstill, we’ve listed actionable ways you can boost your Instagram sales and grow your following:

Engage with Your Current Audience

It doesn’t matter if you have 200 or 2,000 followers, each and every one of those people chose to follow your account because they like your content and/or your products. Before you decide to reach more people, it’s important to treat the ones you already have like VIPs.

Thankfully, Instagram has provided businesses with more tools to easily engage with their followers including the interactive stickers on Stories.

Use poll or “ask me a question” stickers to get to know your audience. Find out what type of content or products they would like to see more of, and use their answers to help you brainstorm for your content calendar and next product releases.

Social media marketing has changed the way people shop. In a platform like Instagram, people don’t want to be sold to, it has to feel like a natural conversation between brand and consumer. Make sure to continue the conversation through comments and direct messages.

Instagram sales

Image source: https://www.instagram.com/bathandbodyworks/

Despite having over 6.6 million followers, Bath and Body Works (@bathandbodyworks) tries its best to reply to relevant comments. The brand’s responsiveness helps promote brand loyalty, which in turn increases conversions and sales.

To further engage with your current followers, you can launch follower-exclusive deals, referral codes, and content. This will encourage your audience to keep their eyes on your profile and convince others to hit the follow button.

Establish a Unique Identity

With millions of businesses already on the platform, it’s so easy to get lost in the crowd. You need a brand identity that’s unique and eye-catching. Your identity doesn’t stop with your signature logo and brand colors, it extends to the type of content you post and the way you sound or talk to your audience.

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Image source: https://www.instagram.com/takearecess/

Sparkling water and lifestyle brand Recess (@takereccess) uses its signature gradient packaging design as an accent in most of its Instagram content.

The brand’s fun and incredibly relaxed vibe is also translated in its captions (the absence of proper punctuation and capitalization) as well as its use of memes to market its products.

While a unique brand identity alone cannot translate to sales, it can be used as a hook to get noticed and spark the curiosity of your audience. Without a unique brand identity, there’s no differentiating you from the next business with the same products.

Pro-tip: Use photo and video editing apps like Instasize to help you produce content that’s not only visually stunning, but unique as well. Combine different filters and effects to create something unmistakably yours in just a few taps on your smartphone.

Always Include a Strong Call-to-Action

Your followers likely follow all kinds of brands and personalities on Instagram. You’re competing with hundreds, if not thousands of other accounts. One way to make sure you’re noticed is a strong call-to-action (CTA).

If you don’t tell your audience what you want them to do after seeing your post, you’ll probably get a double-tap at best. Our golden rule? If you don’t ask, don’t expect.

There are many places you can add a CTA on Instagram:

  1. Your bio
  2. Action buttons
  3. Shop buttons
  4. Photo/video caption on feed
  5. Instagram story (swipe up or in-image/video caption)
  6. IGTV & Reels
  7. Instagram ads

If you’re signed up for Instagram shopping, anyone who views your profile can tap on the “View Shop” CTA right under your Instagram bio.

Pro-tip: CTAs don’t have to be the repetitive “link in bio” spiel, getting creative can help persuade your audience more. For example, if you have an ongoing sale, you have to give your audience a sense of urgency. Words like “hurry” or “limited” may help. You can easily use these CTAs in email newsletters or SMS marketing campaigns.

Sign up for Instagram Shopping

Instagram is now more than just a place to showcase your products. Now, your customers can browse your storefront and complete their purchases without having to leave the app.

Instagram Shopping creates a more user-friendly and seamless shopping experience for your customers. Having to visit another app or website may be a barrier for customers — now they don’t have to!

One of the best features of Instagram Shopping is the Product Tags. These tags set your post apart from other lifestyle posts, the shopping symbol on the lower left is a simple indicator that you are selling something.

By clicking on the shopping post, customers can learn more about the product and see more images that feature it.

Having an Instagram Shop also includes a valuable CTA button, “View on website”, that redirects your customers to your main page where they can continue shopping and pay for their orders. Instagram Shopping also allows you to categorize your products by collections for easy browsing.

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Image source: https://www.instagram.com/madewell/

Clothing brand, Madewell (@madewell) uses Instagram Shopping to encourage its followers to shop while browsing its feed.

Instagram Shopping allows you to tag products on Stories, videos, and ads.

Retarget Website Visitors

Ever feel like a product just keeps following you on the internet until you give in and push through with the purchase? Yes, it could feel annoying as a regular consumer but you can’t deny that it works!

Run a retargeting campaign to reengage customers who have already visited your personalized website to view a product. According to research, retargeting ads can increase abandoned cart conversions by a whopping 297%! Not to mention, it can lead to an increase in branded search by 1067%.

Unlike your regular Instagram ad, a retargeting campaign reaches people who are already interested in your product. The ad may just be the final nudge your customer needs to convince them.

You can even use email marketing software to retarget your customers. Many email marketing software can integrate with most of the popular social media apps and can help you automate your retargeting efforts.

Consider Live Selling

Live shopping has been making waves in countries like China (we’re talking $100+ billions in revenue). And while other countries are a little behind on the trend, it’s safe to predict that it’s going to be the next big thing.

With Live Shopping now possible on Instagram, you should hop on it before it becomes too busy.

There are many advantages to live selling on Instagram:

  1. All Instagram Live videos are highlighted on top of your follower’s feeds (ahead of all regular Instagram Stories).
  2. All your followers who have their notifications switched on will get notified whenever you go live.
  3. It gives you the opportunity to engage with your followers and answer all their questions about your products. It is important for you to ask the right questions as a seller as well.
  4. Give a live product demonstration — particularly useful for technical products or things like cosmetic and clothing items.
  5. Add a face to your brand and let your customers get to know the people behind your products.
  6. It helps increase trust as customers can put a human face to your brand.

Pro-tip: Make live selling a special event. If you do it too often, people will lose excitement. It’s a good idea to use the Instagram Live feature to announce a product launch and allow your audience to shop on the spot.

Show Your Products Being Used

While it’s always great to have studio-shot photos and videos of your products, this type of content isn’t exactly relatable. Your customers would appreciate more content of your products actually being used or experienced in real life.

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Image source: https://www.instagram.com/hydroflask/?hl=en

For example, Hydro Flask (@hydroflask), a brand that’s famous for its insulated water containers, promotes its products by showing them being used in various terrain and weather. Instead of focusing on close-up product shots, the brand shows how its products can be your companion in all kinds of adventures.

Showing your products in action can help your customers visualize how to include them in their lifestyles.

Post Frequently and Regularly

One of the simplest and perhaps most obvious ways to increase your Instagram sales is to post content consistently. Experts recommend posting at least once per day or no more than three times in 24 hours. The advised frequency may change as your follower count grows.

It’s important, however, to discover the best times for posting which may be unique to your audience. Remember that the Instagram algorithm will typically only show your latest post so make sure not to flood your feed.

Keeping your account inactive for too long may cause your followers to forget about you. Posting more often will increase your engagement and reach which in turn will up the chances of getting more conversions.

Get Active on Instagram Stories

Did you know that ⅓ of Instagram Stories with the most views come from businesses? And 1 out of 5 organic stories get a direct message. So, if you’re looking for the best playing field to increase sales for your brand, Instagram Stories just might be it.

One of the best things about Instagram Stories is that you can post as much as you want. Unlike posting directly on your feed, there’s no repercussions for posting “too often”. In fact, each new story can put you ahead of everyone else.

Instagram Story’s vertical nature makes it more immersive and a great platform for posting how-to videos of your products. Since the platform already comes with its own editing tools, you don’t need outside software to produce stunning content. Besides, Instagram Stories is the place where you can let loose and post “unpolished” content.

If you have 10,000 followers or more, the Swipe Up feature can be used to lead your customers to your online store or use a landing page builder to create a sale landing page. If you haven’t unlocked the Swipe Up feature just yet, Instagram recently released a link sticker that finally allows you to add clickable links to your Stories.

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Image source: https://www.instagram.com/westelm/

Furniture brand West Elm (@westelm) uses Instagram Stories to post beautiful snapshots of its table settings. The images serves as a hook to get customers interested, while a subtle yet strong CTA followed by a link can convince them to push through with the purchase.

Have a Regular Pool of Influencers

The term “influencer” might get you a couple of eye rolls, but nobody can deny the power of influencer marketing. There’s a reason why certain personalities have thousands of followers, their audience can relate to them and most importantly, listen to their recommendations.

You don’t even have to tap the most famous celebrity to get your product out there. There are now micro and nano influencers that you can partner with who have proven results and cost a fraction of what you would typically pay a celebrity.

Influencer marketing has become so popular because customers have become more discerning and wary of ads and direct brand communication. People are on social media primarily for content and that’s what influencers are good at. With great content from influencers, a boost in your Instagram sales will follow.

Instead of the regular “post-a-photo-with-my-product” direction, you can ask your partner influencer to post an honest review about your product or a how-to video.

Many brands have come under fire for the obviously staged photos by influencers, so it’s important to make people believe that your partner influencer really uses your products.

Pro-tip: Don’t be overly controlling about the way your influencer executes their branded posts. Give them directions but allow them to add their own spin on it. Their followers will be able to tell if their content is off-brand.

Wrap Up

The internet and social media are constantly changing. Trends may come and go and new features come up almost every other week — always be on top of them.

Keep in mind that selling on Instagram is an art; you can’t go straight to your sales pitch. Use the platform to tell your brand story and focus on building relationships with your customers. The sales will follow.

With the above tips in your pocket and a lot of persistence, you can turn your followers into customers sooner than later.

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