Every marketer wants to drive sales on Instagram. If you’ve set your business up on Instagram, congratulations — it is, to date, one of the best available channels for advertising, marketing, and online selling. There are currently one billion monthly users on the platform, and being able to successfully target even just a fraction of that market will surely give you great returns.
But what if your brand has been on the social medium for quite some time, and you constantly find yourself putting in so much effort, without any return? Is it time to throw in the towel and take your business elsewhere? Or perhaps it’s time to learn about 8 simple truths that could help you revamp your social media strategy.
1. Your Content Isn’t Shoppable
Great content should engage and inspire – but where’s the call-to-action? Instagram content might be one of the most engaging forms of content in modern marketing, but if your customers aren’t directed to a reasonable CTA, you’re missing out on sales. Luckily, Instagram has taken steps to ensure better conversion with the shoppable feature. But there are so many other opportunities to make Instagram content shoppable.
Brands like Zebra Pens are utilizing their Instagram content on their product pages to drive direct sales from the posts. This provides social proof for their product and generates direct ROI from their Instagram posts.
2. You’re Not Being Creative Enough
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this cannot be any more true for Instagram. Visuals are everything on this platform — posting the right one can spell the difference between a sale and a scroll by.
So when it comes to planning your visual content, always try to figure out how you’ll stand out from everyone else. Try to study what both big brands are doing, and see how you can steal some of their tricks while making them uniquely yours. They don’t even have to be your competitors, let alone be in the same exact field as you.
Coming up with creative content doesn’t always mean you have to rely on a photographer and a graphic designer. Of course, having both at your disposal will always be helpful, but in today’s world where every person can become a decent content creator, you have to learn how to do things on your own.
Another thing you can do to spruce up your images is to edit them before sharing. Running your visuals through a filter sounds like a fix that’s too good to be true, but trust us — it can definitely change the look and vibe of your photo with a tap of a finger. Try playing around with Instagram’s editing tools and checking out the app’s default filters. Or if you’re looking to get even more creative, you can download a photo-editing like Instasize.
3. You’re Not Targeting the Right Audience
When it comes to marketing, nailing your target audience is half the battle. And when it comes to doing business on Instagram, it could very well guarantee you a sale with less effort.
So before you invest in your content, get back to the drawing board and make sure you’re targeting the right people. Is your brand currently drowning in an industry saturated with others just like you? Listen to what your customers are saying and gain their trust, they’ll help you understand how to attract others similar to them.
4. You’re Not Engaging with Your Audience
Making your audience feel heard is a big part of running a business on Instagram — it’s a social medium, after all.
One great way to engage with your followers is to share user-generated content. Doing so makes them feel appreciated, which in turn, could help improve their loyalty to your brand. Tagging your followers in your posts also allows you to reach their own followers, thus increasing your reach.
And of course, it goes without saying that sourcing content from your followers allows you to worry less about having something to post. Just don’t forget to ask for permission before sharing.
5. Your Content Feels Forced
Again, Instagram is a social medium, and most people are on the platform to be social and connect with others. So if you keep creating content that’s all product push, people are bound to scroll on by. Featuring user-generated content in your Instagram feed and on your website helps keep any product-focused content relatable and less overtly promotional.
Instead of just trying to sell your products or services, think about selling your brand, too. People tend to buy into a brand’s image and how it associates with theirs. So when it comes to creating content, leave space for lifestyle posts that tell your brand story.
6. You’re Not Making use of Instagram Stories
Did you know that 25% of Millennials and Gen Z-ers rely on Stories to learn more about the products they want to buy? This means that if you’re relying solely on your posts to market your brand, you’re missing out.
Unlike the rest of your content, Instagram Stories are gone after 24 hours — making it the perfect venue to post and share candidly and on the fly. Got a new product coming up? Share a teaser on your Stories. Want to improve engagement with your audience? Give them a behind-the-scenes look of your brand. Need to get rid of inventory quickly? Run a flash 24-hour sale.
7. You’re Not Set Up for Business – Yet
Some smaller-scale businesses run their shops on Instagram using a personal account. And while it’s definitely possible to do so, it’s also definitely not recommended — especially since having a business account means having access to analytics and insights.
Having a business account lets you promote your posts or turn them into ads. It lets you monitor the impressions of each post you publish, and study which ones are working best for your brand. And last but not the least, it allows you to target exactly who you want to reach.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that turning your personal account into a business one is free and easy. All you have to do is head to your Settings, tap on Account, then at the bottom, select Switch to Business Profile.
8. You’re not Listening to Community Feedback
Social media is, at its core, a conversation. This means when your customers and fans speak, it’s important to listen. Instagram can be a great channel to get customer feedback on new products and content. Your audience is following your account because they care about your brand. Help them feel more connected to your brand by showing that you’re on the listening end of that conversation.
Brands like HYLETE even use their reviews and product feedback as a part of their marketing strategy, which helps add extra social proof to their brand.
A Social Strategy to Sell
Good Instagram marketers convey two things: they convince people to become new champions of your brand, and in turn, encourages them to share your brand with their friends.
Once you get the right tools and tactics in place, you’ll be on the road to Instagram success.
Denise Langenegger is part of the team at Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile.