6 Ways to Turn Your Instagram Into A Lively Sales Funnel
A Instagram accounts for only about 10% of total eCommerce revenue coming through social channels (Facebook leads the pack at over 60%). This sounds like bad news if you’re trying to sell through Instagram but here’s a better perspective: 10% of total eCommerce revenue through social channels is about $300 million and the survey sample was about 500 retailers.
Instagram is still a fantastic place to build your brand and sell your products. If you’re someone like Ashley of , you could be making upwards of just through Instagram. Not only this but Instagram’s average value per sale is one of industry’s highest at about $65. That means people who purchase through Instagram are more eager / willing to spend a higher value than people who purchase through Facebook or Twitter.
[Tweet “Converting #Instagram into a sales funnel is all about #branding your #eCommerce store and cultivating that image”]
But selling on Instagram is unlike other channels. Unless you’re using paid posts, you can’t add a link (much less a ‘buy’ link) to your Instagram posts.
Converting Instagram into a sales funnel is all about “branding”, cultivating and nurturing a brand image through your Instagram profile.
Here’s how to do that without spending an insane amount of time on Instagram.
#1. Engage Daily
Make Instagram your daily routine. This doesn’t mean you have to post something every day (which is good, by the way). You just have to open Instagram, like a few posts from your feed, follow some sellers and other people, comment on something you like. That’s it.
A few minutes of this every single day will automatically increase “engagement”. You may not get a ton of followers or visitors to your shop yet, but you will definitely make your profile be active and engaged. Your profile gets noticed frequently.
[Tweet “Engage on Instagram every day – five to ten minutes – to get people to notice your #eCommerce brand!”]
#2. Don’t Post Product Photos Only
Instagram is not your product catalog. Even if your Instagram account is for your eCommerce store, there’s no rule that says you can’t post something that is not your product.
sells jewelry for girls (their tagline is interesting: meaningful jewelry for the modern goddess) but take a look at their Instagram profile. You’ll find not just “meaningful jewelry” but a ton of other photos / images with inspiring quotes.
Incidentally, all the quotation images get as much love (read: engagement) as their other posts.
Engagement is often followed by re-shares/re-posts which increase your brand visibility. That means you get more followers.
[Tweet “Don’t post just your product photos on #Instagram. Share inspirational quotes, scenic photos – personalize! #eCommerce”]
#3. Involve People In Your Photos
If you sell something that can be worn (jewelry, apparel etc.) or can be held (bags) or which people interact with (a toy, a coloring book), show people in your photos wearing / holding the item.
Yes, it is important to post photos of the products sans all the “effects”. But it’s also important to involve people in . When you post the product in its “natural” habitat – that is, with people in it – you give your followers a taste of how the product looks, works, feels when it’s held or worn.
[Tweet “#eCommerce product #photography tip: No time/budget for models in product photos? Become your own model!”]
You’re saying, “All that’s fine but where do I get models to do that? And it takes time too, doesn’t it?” You can do what Marc and Grace did: become your own models. is not a popular Instagram profile, but their approach to product photography with people can be easily implemented. No models to hunt for, no extra time to spend.
#4. Get Personal
One of the traps that new sellers subconsciously fall into is assuming that the brand excludes the “personal.” That’s not how shopping in the 21st-century works. Especially, when it comes to Instagram, brands are expected to be personal.
People – your potential customers – care about the story behind your work, they care about what you do, they care about how you do it and they care about your life if you share glimpses of it.
[Tweet “#Branding does not exclude the personal. Get personal with your #Instagram branding and social strategy.”]
is an outstanding example of this. Her Instagram is a mixture of her knitwear/crochet products, a ton of WIPs (work in progress) with a lot of them having a cup of coffee, random personal photos, more coffee, and so on. As her follower, you are treated not just to the products but taken into a part of her life.
#5. Offer Sneak Peeks, Show Works-In-Progress
Part of getting personal is to show how you make things. It adds a story to your product, to your shop even. Many sellers do this by sharing photos of works-in-progress, a sneak peek into what’s being done.
One of my favorite examples is who almost exclusively shares a ton of sneak peeks and posts short videos of how she makes the accessories and bags.
Offering sneak peeks builds some excitement among your followers. It piques people’s interest and many times gains their attention.
[Tweet “Share sneak-peeks and works-in-progress to pique people’s interests and sustain engagement #Instagram #eCommerce”]
#6. Use Instagram To Offer A Discount, A Coupon, A Sale!
Instagram can be a great place to kickstart . All you need is an image with a call to action with details of the discount (% off, promo code/coupon, buy 1 get 1 free etc.) Here’s an example from .
It doesn’t even have to be too fancy. Notice how simply wrote the discount code on paper, photographed it and posted it:
You Are Your Shop
Some sellers look at social media as “oh another thing I have to do to sell my products”. This becomes “work” and that makes it hard to do without getting bored or fatigued.
Others look at social media as an extension of their creative work. That’s when social media stops being a marketing tool. It’s an extension of your shop, your craft and yourself ultimately. It is these sellers that make Instagram (and other social channels) work wonders for their shops and brands.
You are your shop. Exude your personality through your shop – through your social channels. All it takes is a few minutes of your day. And that’s about all it takes to convert Instagram into a funnel that drives sales to your shop.