Driving sales through Instagram is a tough proposition.
Not only is it flooded with competition, but users also don’t typically leave the platform to purchase goods and services (like they do on Facebook).
Luckily, there’s still a few marketing tactics and techniques you can do to generate immediate revenue on Instagram.
So without further ado, here’s a list of the five best things you can do to make money on Instagram…today!
DM Your Biggest Fans
Direct message your most loyal followers and formally ask if they’d like to be brand ambassadors.
Joe loves your brand.
He always tags his friends in the comments section of your posts.
He also hasn’t purchased any of your products yet, which you found out after conducting a simply search in your CRM and order database.
It’s time to send Joe a DM and ask him to represent your brand.
If he accepts, provide him with a steep discount on your products (an actually great discount, not something you give out to potential customers anyway), and snag an order or two!
It’s the ultimate win-win.
Your longtime fan gets a few of your products on the cheap, while you add a new customer and arm your walking billboard with marketing materials.
As long as you’re breaking face on the transaction (don’t forget your operating expenses), use this whenever you’re in need of a quick buck.
The revenue is clear as day.
It’s Promo Time
Create a promotional post that involves people tagging their friends in the comments.
This is a surefire way to get a couple more sales right now.
It takes some followers years to visit websites of their favorite brands on Instagram, but you can speed the process up with a well-orchestrated, nonintrusive promotion.
Here’s an example.
As you can see, bon puf used a partnership with a similarly branded company to run a giveaway for followers willing tag their friends in the comments.
The results are twofold.
First, expect to grow your follower base on Instagram.
When your followers include their friends in the comments section of your posts, they are giving you a massive endorsement.
In fact, friends of followers have a 15%-20% chance of becoming new followers of your brand if tagged in one of your posts.
That means bon puf could have added over 50 highly-qualified followers from this post alone!
Second, and more importantly, you’ll push many existing followers to your website.
This is where you’ll see the revenue.
When you center a promotional post around one or two of your own products, your followers — and the friends they tag — will have a great excuse to visit your website.
Much more so than when you simply direct followers to your website with a standard sales-centric post (i.e. “Check out our new t-shirts!”), because you’re offering more value.
Remember: value drives value.
The more value you provide to your followers (like a fairly simple and easily-winnable promotion), the more your followers will reward you with their business.
It’s a two-way street!
Influencers Are Key
Contact influencers and ask them to make a post about your brand in exchange for goods and services.
There’s an ongoing debate in the Instagram advertising community about what’s more effective: sponsored posts or influencer posts.
Although I tend to think the former, sponsored posts, I’ve seen many companies have huge success with influencer marketing.
So much so, they’ve actually built products lines around their respective influencers!
That will take years, of course, but with only a few hours, you can get started creating your first influencer relationship.
To begin, log on to your Instagram account and search for a “mainstream influencer” (people who have many followers and are influential in their space), you think embodies your brand.
For example, if you sell flashy menswear, head over to Russell Westbrook’s Instagram page.
From there, click to see all the people your mainstream influencer follows.
You now have an exceptional list of smaller influencers you can actually contact right now.
Sidenote: there are a number of “influencer finders” — organizations that find influencers for your brand at a cost — but nothing is more effective than digging yourself. After all, no one knows your audience better than you!
Once you’ve found the perfect influencer,pay close attention to the number of followers they have compared to the average number of likes they receive on each post.
For the most part, the average Instagram influencer should generate 1 likes for every 10 active followers on most posts.
If your influencer doesn’t have relatively similar proportions on their posts, they may have purchased some of their followers.
Now that you’ve verified your target influencer, it’s time for first contact.
Like your employees, Instagram influencers typically don’t work for free.
However, some may be willing to post about your brand in exchange for the products you sell.
So long as you take your operating margins into account, this can be a cheap, effective way to get your brand in front of tens of thousands of people.
Just remember to maintain reasonable expectations on sales from influencer posts.
If you’re like most brands, you should have a 0.0001% conversation rate from the followers of highly-suited influencers. So for every 10,000 followers of a particular influencer, you should expect 1 sale.
If you’re not getting this sort of return, you may want to take a deeper look into the mass appeal of your products on Instagram.
At the very least, revisit your influencer’s posts and make sure they were a good fit for your brand.
Update the Link In Your Bio
Change the link in your bio to a webinar, article, blog post, or some other lead magnet tailored to engage your followers…and make a post about it.
This strategy is super effective for content publishers, but there’s no reason it can’t work for you too.
Your Instagram bio is useful for several reasons, including describing what your business does, your location(s), and more.
But perhaps most importantly, your bio is the only place on your profile where you can drive organic conversions.
This makes it the ideal place to push followers to take action.
So long as you know how to engage your follower base…
Check out how the following companies use their respective bio links.
HubSpot uses its link to promote an upcoming webinar, whereas CBRE uses its link to simply push followers straight to its website’s homepage.
Let’s focus on HubSpot.
By utilizing their link space to promote a webinar on inbound marketing funnels — coupled with a post notifying followers to “click the link in bio for more” — HubSpot is taking advantage of a tendency many of its prospects have: an urge to grow their business.
These followers are likely to take up HubSpot’s free webinar offer and register immediately, possibly producing a sale within the end of the day. Or at worst, an email.
No one wants to visit your website from Instagram.
Unless your website contains something interesting.
Then they’ll visit.
Here’s another example from Michael Kors.
A savvy Instagram marketer knows that the link space in their bio is arguably the most important thing on their entire page.
The best of the best freshen their profile’s URL up weekly (sometimes daily) to engage, entertain, and inform their followers, pushing them beyond Instagram’s linear platform.
If you can do the same, you’ll notice an immediate uptick in conversions.
Run Some Ads
Running sponsored posts on Instagram through Facebook Ads targeted to your website visitors will provide you an immediate boost in sales.
OK, so this one isn’t really all that creative, but hey, it’s really effective.
Your website visitors are your best leads.
It’s that simple.
They just have to engaged to take the final action you’re hoping for, be it a conversion on your ecommerce website or a phone number for future contact.
Assuming you’re familiar with Facebook Ads, creating an ad set targeting your website visitors isn’t all that difficult.
To create your audience, you’ll need to install a custom pixel, which Facebook can help you with here.
From there, you’ll create a custom audience centered around your website visitors.
You can create a variety of audience sizes.
For the purpose of something like this, I’d advise that you create a standard 30-day path.
Now it’s time to build out your offer on Instagram.
Making sure your campaign is optimized for Instagram is easy, so long as you have an excellent image to share with your best leads that pushes them back to your website with a link under the post.
Here’s an example of a several excellent sponsored posts taken from Instagram’s business blog.
Every one of these examples does an excellent job capturing its viewers’ attention on the platform, all while giving a clear and concise call-to-action (purchasing products, installing apps, etc.).
Facebook Ads can seem daunting, but when you’re targeting your website visitors, it’ll feel a whole lot easier.
Not to mention be a whole lot more profitable!
Remember: these are tactics, not strategies. There’s a difference
Strategies are long-term operations designed to bring back recurring revenue.
Tactics are short-term operations designed to bring in immediate revenue.
There’s a reason why you can’t go out and make millions today on Instagram: it’s hard!
If making money on these platforms were easy, we wouldn’t exist.
So give us a call today and learn more about our Facebook and Instagram advertising services for a more complete solution. We’ve helped hundreds of brands grow through social advertising and would love to work with you too!