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How to Develop an Instagram Sales Funnel

  • Post category:Social Media
  • Reading time:11 mins read

: Everyone and their grandmother have heard of Facebook Marketplace and how brands use the platform to enhance their sales campaigns. However, did you know that you can also use Instagram to boost your sales and revenue? An Instagram sales funnel is one of the most effective eCommerce tactics for increasing revenue and swiftly scaling an online store. With Instagram, you can reach a large audience and strongly encourage them to make a purchase. In other words, it’s a near-perfect advertising avenue for eCommerce businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Instagram is home to over one billion monthly active users and the social platform continues to rapidly expand. Even though Instagram started off as a place for trendsetters to share their favorite images, the platform has evolved into one of the world’s most lucrative online marketplaces.

Why Promote on Instagram

In short, it’s crazy easy to advertise and share your products on Instagram. Just take a photo, add a catchy caption and post it. You can take your Instagram game to the next level and promote your posts. This is a phenomenal way to get more eyes on your content.

Promoted posts are just like regular posts. However, you pay a nominal price to get your content in front of a very targeted group of users. It’s worth noting that all promoted content includes a “sponsored” tag, which informs users that you’ve paid to have your content featured in their feed.

Promoting on the Instagram platform is as simple as tapping a few icons:

  • Go to your business profile in the Instagram app.
  • Click the “promote” button beneath the post you wish to promote.
  • Fill in the details.
  • Tap “create promotion.” If your post meets the policies set forth by Instagram, your promotion will be up and running in no time flat.

Instagram Sales Funnel-Promote on Instagram

So you now know how to promote a post on Instagram, but the big question looming on the horizon – why should you bother?

Here’s why.

Develop Your Instagram Sales Funnel by Reaching a Broader Audience

Promoting a post is one way to increase your Instagram reach, connect with new users, and grow your following.

When you promote your content, you can choose one of two options when it comes to audience targeting. First, you can customize your audience manually. Second, you can let Instagram’s algorithm take over and build one out based on your answers to a few questions. If you opt for the second option, you can also target users who are similar to your following. This is a great option if your current following already reflects your target audience. Furthermore, you also save a ton of time on research and analysis if you hand the reins over to Instagram’s algorithm and we all know that time is money…right?

The Call to Action Button Helps Fill Your Instagram Sales Funnel

You cannot link your standard Instagram posts to your website. However, this isn’t the case when you promote your content. Promoted posts feature a call-to-action (CTA) button. The CTA button is located right under the image or video, which means that it’s highly visible.

You have several options when it comes to what you want your CTA button to do. You can invite users to visit your website, view a product on your eCommerce site, follow you, or message you. Naturally, you’ll want to select the CTA function that best aligns with your marketing goals.

Sales Funnel Basics

In order to convert your Instagram following into customers, you need to create an effective Instagram sales funnel.

Sales Funnel

The standard sales funnel consists of five clear stages:

  1. Awareness: This is when you aim to attract potential customers who are not aware of your brand.
  2. Consideration: The second phase is when you make your brand stand out from your competition and entice new leads to dig deeper.
  3. Action: At this point, it’s all about convincing your audience to take action and purchase your product or service.
  4. Engagement: You want to remain in touch with your customer base post-sale and develop deeper relationships.
  5. Advocacy: After you’ve built a solid rapport with your customers you can take the leap of faith and ask them to recommend and promote your brand.

Naturally, the division between each stage is blurry for most sales funnels and your Instagram sales funnel is no exception. This lack of definition allows you to bypass certain steps of your social media funnel and convert visitors into customers in a matter of minutes. A finely tuned Instagram sales funnel also has the potential to increase inbound traffic to your site too.

How to Develop Your Instagram Sales Funnel

So…how do you create an effective Instagram sales funnel that converts? In this section, we’re going to explore seven different ways you can tailor your Instagram sales funnel to succeed at each phase of the generic sales funnel we just discussed.

Target Buyer Personas with Instagram Ads

A buyer persona is a detailed profile of a fictional individual who embodies one of your ideal market segments. A well-defined buyer persona helps you understand your audience’s priorities, pain points, and purchasing tendencies. This information enables you to develop customized marketing campaigns that will help you create an income stream via Instagram.

When you develop a buyer persona, you accomplish two important tasks:

  1. You put yourself in the customer’s shoes. This helps you look at your brand through the eyes of your customer. Doing so will help you identify what you can do differently to increase engagement.
  2. A well-thought-out buyer persona will help you improve your overall social media advertising.

Promoted content is less effective if you don’t know much about the audience you want to reach. You can remedy this issue by creating a buyer persona, which in turn helps you better target your promoted content.

Add a CTA to Your Bio

It’s critical that you put your best foot forward in the bio section of your profile. That being said, you should definitely add some sort of CTA. You don’t have a ton of space in your Instagram profile for text or links, so you need to get creative.

If you have fewer than 10,000 followers, adding a CTA to your profile is a rare chance to promote your website. If your goal is to increase your click-through rate and in turn improve your conversion rate, then you should most certainly include a CTA of some sort.

Instagram Sales Funnel-Call to Action

Collaborate with Influencers

Collaborating with Instagram influencers is a great way to broaden your audience and generate more leads. You reach a whole new dimension of potential customers when an influencer posts about your brand. Furthermore, the influencer’s followers will likely engage with your brand since they genuinely trust the influencer in most cases.

Instagram influencer marketing generates more than $2 billion per year. Large brands pay thousands of dollars for influencers to promote their products and services. Thankfully, your business doesn’t have to be a multi-million dollar brand to get into the Instagram influencer marketing game. Micro-influencers (users with a few thousand followers) don’t charge as much. In fact, you can collaborate with a micro-influencer for as little as $300 per post.

When you engage with an influence, micro or otherwise, it is critical that you ensure that the influencer and your brand share the same target market. If you’re trying to engage with a new market, the influencer you’re about to potentially partner with should have a firm foothold in said industry.

Include a Link in Your Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories provides the means to share content for a brief 24 hour period. This content caters to consumers at the top of your Instagram sales funnel. Since you set a deadline for your audience to view the content and act on the CTA, you will likely see a brief increase in traffic to your website, or wherever the CTA takes your audience. Directing your audience to product pages via a CTA in your Instagram Stories is also a great way to increase sales.

In addition to connecting with your current followers, you can also reach out to new audiences by incorporating branded hashtags. Adding hashtags to your Instagram stories lets new users find both your content and your account, which, in turn, provides them with an opportunity to visit your eCommerce store via the CTA feature. While niche hashtags may not have an extensive search volume, they’re more likely to impact your conversion rate since they have a more focused audience.

Leverage User-Generated Content

Instagram Sales Funnel-User Generated Content

User-generated content can take a variety of formats, including text and video. User-generated content on Instagram helps other potential customers see themselves using your products. This is a great way to introduce new potential customers to your Instagram sales funnel. User-generated content is also a phenomenal way to develop brand trust, which, in turn, eventually boosts your bottom line.

Here are a couple of methods to encourage your audience to publish user-generated content:

  • Hashtag Trends: Encourage your followers to include a specific hashtag when they share images of themselves using your products.
  • Ask a Question: Simply asking a question is a great way to invite your followers to stage you in any content that they share with their own audience.
  • Sponsor a Contest: Seriously, any type of contest will suffice here. Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?

With user-generated content, you can promote brand discovery and work towards building an online community. User-generated content also provides the means for your brand to engage with your followers. If done correctly, these engagements can eventually convert longtime customers into brand advocates.

Sell via Your Instagram Account

It is critical that you provide quick solutions to customer problems. One way you can provide an instantaneous solution is to give customers immediate access to your products. This is also a great way to fill your Instagram sales funnel and increase your Instagram sales.

Instagram is still in the early stages of developing its eCommerce functionality. However, this doesn’t stop many brands from putting in as much work to their Instagram accounts as they’re putting into their actual eCommerce sites.

Convert Your Personal Profile into a Business Account

Converting your personal Instagram account over to a business account is simple. All you need to do is click the gear icon in the upper right corner, then scroll down to the “Switch to Business Profile” option. Once you’ve converted your account to a business profile, you have the ability to connect it to your Facebook page.

Here are a few of the benefits of converting your personal Instagram account to a business profile:

  • Instagram Metrics: Instagram provides a well-rounded suite of platform metrics. A few of the metrics that Instagram provides include clicks, scope, and impressions. These three metrics are found under the activity tab.
  • CTA Button: This feature appears under your bio at the top of your profile. This feature allows people to call, email, or get directions to your business.
  • Story Links: The ability to include links in your Instagram stories allows you to guide your followers to different products and landing pages on your website.
  • Alignment with Facebook: This feature lets you link your Business Manager to your Facebook business page and start running ads.

Boost Organic Campaigns with Hashtag Analysis

Instagram Sales Funnel-Hashtag Analysis

When you switch your profile over to a business account you gain the ability to see how many views come from the hashtags you include in your posts. You also gain insights into how many new accounts viewed your content that wasn’t following you.

Hashtag research can help you discover trends that your brand can capitalize on. Keyword research is pretty simple. In the most basic sense, all you need to do is tap over to Discover > Search > Tags. You will then see how many posts have used the hashtag of your choosing.

When you partake in hashtag marketing, use a mixture of hashtags with high and low posting volumes. The less “popular” hashtags can sometimes be just as, if not more, meaningful. Using these less popular hashtags can also increase your chances of being seen by users with high intent.

Use Instagram Shopping

With Instagram shopping, you can tag your products in your images. Clicking on the details will take users to a product page and a CTA button that links to the checkout page on your eCommerce website.

Use an Analytics Tool to Improve Your Instagram Sales Funnel

An Instagram analytics tool not only helps measure performance but also helps identify where you have room for improvement. If you don’t use an analytics tool, it’s next to impossible to know if you should be doing more to engage with your audience.

While Instagram does provide a basic analytics tool, it is just that – basic. You can only view insights for Stories for twenty-four hours and access the last two years’ worth of data. Furthermore, you can only view analytics for content you’ve published after you’ve made the switch to a business profile. Due to these limitations, the majority of Instagram marketers use 3rd party tools to access more advanced analytics.

Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is a Digital Consultant at Shift Digital. He is also pursuing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University

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