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Selling on Instagram: 6 Steps to Make Money and Move Units

Most people have noticed that selling on Instagram is a hot trend. Instagram is the most popular social media platform for advertising...

Written by Kelly Madison · 3 min read >

Most people have noticed that selling on Instagram is a hot trend. Instagram is the most popular social media platform for advertising and e-commerce marketing because of its continuing growth. The platform has billions of monthly active users and more join every month.

Experts predict Instagram ad revenue will almost triple by 2020, reaching about $4.65 billion. In the last nine years, e-commerce brands have turned to Instagram as their primary source of advertising. Each month, approximately two million advertisers use Instagram to promote and sell their goods.

If you are a business owner looking for a way to reach a huge audience, Instagram can help. Getting started can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. These six steps will help you launch a successful Instagram marketing plan and make the most of this opportunity.

Step 1. Setting Up Your Instagram Business Profile

Your first step is to create a presence for your business on Instagram. Some sellers started with a personal account and now need to convert it to a business account. Others are starting fresh and should create a business account.

Business accounts provide access to insight and analysis, so you’re able to see how your posts are performing.

Once your account is up and running, you’ll want to keep a careful eye on the demographic data you’ll receive with each post. Instagram shows you website clicks and profile visits, and you’ll be able to analyze the performance of every story and post. The audience tab even lets you track your followers’ ages, genders, locations, and most active time and days.

In addition to setting up a business account, you’ll also want to create a bio for your Instagram profile.

Great bio sections attract more followers to your profile. Make sure you are clear about what your business offers and include a call-to-action on top of the profile inviting people to call, direct message (DM), or email you for more information.

Step 2. Use Hashtags to Gain Followers

One of the goals of having your business on Instagram is to gain followers. The more followers you have, the more potential customers there are seeing your products. Accounts with higher follower numbers also tend to do better with SEO.

You can increase your follower count by using hashtags. Hashtags should be chosen carefully when posting. You want a blend of unique hashtags for your business, as well as popular hashtags that are being searched by your target audience members. Invest a bit of time in building a “hashtag library” you can turn to each time you post, and that add extra hashtags to each post based on its specific content.

Step 3. Use the Expanded Instagram Promotion Options

There was a time when Instagram was simply a platform to post static photos and share that specific moment in time with followers. Instagram has added the option of promoting and highlighting posts. Instagram Stories is one example of this. They also incorporated the ability to post videos onto Instagram with the Instagram Live feature.

Instagram’s “Promote” button can help you create posts and target specific audiences with specific content. Often, trial and error is the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t work for your particular products and services.

Some of the things you can do with the expanded marketing options on Instagram include:

  • Providing  product launch details via graphics or portrait-view mode videos 
  • Using Instagram Live feature for behind the scenes of newly launched items and product promotions
  • Socializing with your customers by the using questions, polls, GIFS, and location in Instagram stories

Step 4: Use Instagram Shopping

Instagram Shopping is very beneficial for e-commerce businesses.

It was added in March 2018, and it encourages users to click on products for details like names, brands, and prices. Shopping posts look just like the ordinary posts, but when users tap on the product tags that pop up, they’re able to click through to the product description page and CTA (call-to-action).

Instagram Shopping is only available to business accounts and the app used must be the latest version. Business manager association with Instagram or an admin Facebook page is also required to sell on Instagram.

Account owners are also able to sell only physical products through Instagram Shopping, so if you’re a service provider, you won’t be able to use it. Running ads can also give you access to a Facebook audience and Google Smart Shopping. Another gain is that Shopping posts reach more users on new shopping channels with the help of Instagram Explore.

Step 5: Use Instagram Influencers to Increase Your Sales

Influencer advertising and promotions have exploded in recent years, especially on Instagram.

Influencers with high follower counts can help you increase the popularity and sales of your product. Potential customers see influencers using your products or giving reviews on the product on their in their posts. They’re also able to cross-post to other social media platforms and their blogs and YouTube channels providing you with maximum exposure

Influencers are a powerful tool for business owners because they can reach potential customers on such a personal level. Many of these people have established long-term relationships with their followers and are trusted by these people. Influencer marketing is based on the same theories as using celebrities to sell products, but today, the most popular internet influencers are even more powerful than TV and movie stars.

Step 6. Use Contests and Giveaways

Highlight your latest or upcoming products by announcing giveaways to customers who use suggested hashtags or interact with your Instagram account. Contests can offer free products or other prizes to one or more lucky winners, while at the same time generating attention for your brand and promoting your Instagram account, so you gain more followers.

The marketing opportunities on Instagram are endless and if you haven’t started using this platform for your business, now is the time.

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