Instagram has transitioned from a social platform to a business platform, thanks to a booming activity of influencers, brands, and social users.
With roughly one billion active users, Instagram is an ideal platform to advertise your business, engage potential customers and generate more sales across your market industry.
But without a solid structure to leverage these resources to your advantage, these figures won’t matter. An effective Instagram sales funnel would help you create a pathway that guides your buyer’s journey towards making a sale with you.
That said, how do you create an effective Instagram sales funnel? Let’s discuss that in this article.
1. Create Buyer Personas
It’s important to know who your target audience is so you can build a sales funnel.
A buyer persona is a comprehensive description of your ideal audience. Albeit fictional, your buyer persona is built off of your existing audience. To create a buyer persona, you’ll need to compile audience data from your Instagram analytics, customer database, and even Google analytics to narrow down specific details such as;
- Pain points and challenges your ideal customers face.
As you identify these points, you’ll understand your audience better and what makes them tick—priorities and preferences.
An effective buyer persona will enable you to create customized marketing campaigns on social media that target your ideal audience through content.
And don’t forget that the content you create matters. Check out these tips for creating a curated Instagram feed.
2. Partner With the Right Influencers
At least six out of ten people trust influencers over brand ads. Why? Because influencer marketing incorporates marketing tactics such as word of mouth and social proof to win customers over.
In other words, you can say it makes marketing personal.
Partnering with the right influencers can shorten your buyer’s journey and help you generate more leads and sales. It also helps you broaden your audience and ensure you reach a relevant market in your niche.
That said, the influencer you engage must share the same target market as your brand.
Fashion Nova Curve partners with plus-size women worldwide, like ms_leon based in Africa, to promote their brand. That ensures they reach their ideal market.
Target market aside, you should be careful. Not every influencer in your niche is a perfect choice because of a high follower count—their audience might be bought or, worse, plagued with docile bots. That doesn’t satisfy Instagram’s algorithm.
Do your due diligence using tools like Social Blade to see some of their analytics. Watch out for sharp peaks and lows, as this might indicate they bought followers. But if there’s a gradual increase or decrease, their audience is likely organic.
Also, consider these factors when seeking out the right influencers for your Instagram sales funnel:
It’s in your best interest to partner with influencers with a good track record. People will easily trust an influencer with an honest, stellar record.
Credible influencers are authority figures on social media, and it shows in how they’re upfront with what they promote. This characteristic is excellent for your sales funnel because it attracts high-quality leads to your page.
Since you’re trying to generate more leads for your Instagram sales funnel, it only makes sense that you partner with influencers with reasonable engagement on their page. It doesn’t necessarily mean you must collaborate with high-end celebrities; micro-influencers can work too.
Just ensure there are enough engagements in likes and comments, as this would translate to more click-throughs and traffic for your business.
Depending on the industry, creative and original content would go a long way in convincing your ideal customers. Influencers who create original content can quickly develop ways to highlight your products and expand your audience. For instance, this content could be a contest or giveaway that encourages users to follow your account to participate.
3. Add User-Generated Content to Your Account
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by your target audience. It can come in various formats: text, images, videos, and audio. Though, most UGC on Instagram takes a video or image format.
UGCs are honest testimonials or reviews given by your current customers. You know how quality guest posts can help you create a good brand reputation? Well, UGC content does the same and helps you convince people to buy from you.
They serve to convince potential customers of the value of your products while using them themselves. Since customers who generate this content are generally not paid to do so, it’ll help convince potential customers to try the products out for themselves, thus joining your Instagram sales funnel.
Some ways to gather UGC are to;
- Start a customized #hashtag trend for your campaign
- Create a poll or survey and ask for tags from followers
- Join a trending global cause that relates to your brand
- Collaborate with an influencer to sponsor a contest
As we mentioned, partnering with the right influencers with a relevant target audience will make this easy for you.
Here’s how makeup brand HUDAbeauty leverages UGC to promote their new lipstick—Perfectionist—for women with a darker skin tone.
Source: Huda Beauty Instagram
Using video-based UGC on your page is okay. Just avoid UGC mistakes like posting them without permission. Alternatively, you can promote this content as ads on Facebook and Instagram to increase organic reach.
4. Include Product Links to Instagram Stories
Although Instagram stories are a common feature, including links in these stories is not, This feature is only available to business pages with a large following of 10,000 or more followers.
The link-in-Instagram stories feature is great because it creates a sense of urgency. That’s perfect for getting leads to the top of your Instagram sales funnel.
The regular Instagram stories last for 24 hours only. Imagine running a sales campaign on your stories that leverages that limited time to create a sense of urgency? You’ll get more sales and drive more traffic to your online shop.
Source: Sheinofficial Instagram
Pro tip: You can optimize your stories for reach by embedding a hashtag to your Insta-story. The hashtag must be relevant to your brand and niche audience and placed behind the image for it not to look tacky.
This hack will ensure you reach a wider audience via Explore and drive new leads to the top of your Instagram sales funnel. However, aim to use niche hashtags with lesser uses to reduce competition. Go for something between 50,000 to 500,000 uses to gain visibility between all the noise.
5. Add a CTA Button to Your Bio
Think of your Instagram bio as the entrance to your shop.
You’ll need to put your best foot forward to make an impression. In addition to having a catchy bio, you must add a Call to Action (CTA) that directs customers to your online store.
Already, Instagram uses customizable CTA buttons on business pages. But yours shouldn’t stop there. Optimize your bio with shortened CTA links to promote a new product line or current promo campaign ongoing at your website.
Here’s a superb example of what we mean:
Source: Lowe’s Instagram
Adding a CTA to your bio maximizes your chances of promoting your brand and generating sales and leads for your Instagram sales funnel.
You can also use this as a way to get more email subscribers and integrate your Instagram marketing with your email marketing.
6. Turn Your Personal Instagram Account into a Business Account
An Instagram business account upgrades the regular features in your personal account. It removes the restrictions and allows you to position yourself as a seller on Instagram. Moreover, setting up an Instagram business account helps you beat the Instagram algorithm and provides your business more visibility.
An Instagram business account gives you access to features like Instagram insights and analytics, which helps you track specific performance metrics that keep you going. You’ll also have access to Instagram Highlights and a CTA button to showcase your brand and drive traffic to your eCommerce store.
You can only run ads on an Instagram business page. By linking your business page to your Facebook page, you use Facebook Business Manager to run ads and reach a wider audience.
Creating an Instagram sales funnel can help you engage your audience and generate sales in your business. Since your target audiences are potential buyers, give no room for leaks in your sales funnel by tackling several touchpoints that affect them.
Ensure you understand your buyer personas and optimize your Instagram ads to people who fit them. Follow up with Instagram analytics and Insights to know where you can improve, and partner with the right influencers to get the word about your brand out there.
The thing is, some of these tactics—like influencer marketing—will give you faster results, but tactics like adding CTAs to your bio and adding links to stories will take some time before they deliver what you want.
Experiment with as many strategies as you can. Keep at it, and you’ll find the perfect combination that works for you!
Daryl Bush is the Business Development Manager at Authority.Builders. The company helps businesses acquire more customers through improved online search rankings. He has extensive knowledge of SEO and business development.