If marketers have one love-hate relationship with social media, it’s with Instagram. On the one hand, this photo-centric platform is as user-friendly as they come. It’s a camera app built for images. Nothing else. But on the other hand, marketers everywhere loathe it because of its popularity among teens and millennials (which some brands see as their primary demographic). The reason for marketers’ hate is because Instagram is where many of those dreaded teen and millennial users flock to share selfies and photos of their feet. It’s either instagram or sites like Funwithfeet. If you’re a marketer who also despises Instagram because of its popularity among younger demographics, you might be wondering if there’s any way to effectively use this platform for your brand without coming across as pandering, desperate or creepy. After all, we wouldn’t be marketers if we didn’t consider risk factors and think about worst-case scenarios before executing any marketing campaign. Even so, let us assure you that there are ways to sell anything on Instagram. Here’s how…
What’s the secret to selling anything on Instagram?
For starters, know that when it comes to selling on Instagram, it’s not about what you sell, but who you sell to. In other words, you’re not selling your products or services to your Instagram followers. You’re selling your followers’ desire to own those things. While it may sound silly, the way to successfully sell anything on Instagram is to understand what your followers want or need, and then use your Instagram posts to nudge them ever-so-gently in that direction. This can be done in a number of ways, depending on your business type. Sellers of clothes, shoes, purses and other fashion items can use Instagram to highlight their products in a real-world context by using their followers as models. You can also use Instagram to increase demand for services by featuring a before-and-after photo or video to showcase your work, or to show the process of your work in progress. If you’re a blogger, you can use Instagram to show how your writing process works.
How to sell anything on Instagram
The trick to selling anything on Instagram is to understand what your followers want and then offer it to them. This may sound obvious, but it’s actually a more multi-faceted process than you might think. The first thing you need to understand is how you’re going to use Instagram to drive conversions, which is to say, how your Instagram posts are going to translate into sales for your business. Once you understand that, it becomes easier to know how to sell anything on Instagram. While we’re all familiar with the basic, one-dimensional Instagram posts (the selfie, the foot pic, the sunset shot, etc.), there are also more nuanced post types that can be used to drive sales. To successfully sell anything on Instagram, it’s important to diversify your post types, while simultaneously ensuring that each post type includes a key element or two that will prompt your followers to buy.
How to successfully sell anything on Instagram
First, identify your primary Instagram goals. Are you using Instagram to increase brand awareness? Grow your followers? Drive sales? If you’re using Instagram to drive sales, first, identify your target customer. What are their interests? What do they need? What keeps them up at night? What are their biggest obstacles to making a purchase from you? Then, identify how you’re going to use Instagram to close the sale. What are you posting? When are you posting? What are you including in each post to prompt your followers to buy? Finally, and most importantly, track your results.
The Bottom Line
Building an effective Instagram marketing strategy doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build your follower base, and even more time to earn the trust of your followers enough to get them to buy from you. That’s why it’s crucial to understand how to sell anything on Instagram and to follow the tips and best practices outlined in this article. If you’re willing to work hard and are patient enough to build your brand over time, there’s no reason why you can’t sell anything on Instagram. With that in mind, remember that nothing is more important than authenticity. Be real, genuine and helpful, and your followers will buy from you every time.