How to Sell on Instagram
In this section, we show you how to sell on Instagram. We open up about all the steps, the vital strategies and the best free and paid tools known to man.
What questions are covered?
What tools are described?
These are the basic support tools that help you sell more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Bot for Instagram
Automated likes and Stories views for the target audience.
Widgets for Websites
Engagement links on your website that drive traffic to your Social Media accounts.
Facilitated search for Target audience by hashtags and locations.
Quality auto messenger to all new followers, all followers or custom base.
Easy search for relevant hashtags by photo, URL, and keywords.
Search for Instagram for Influencers
Fast search for Creators by names, phone numbers, emails, bios, etc.
Chat for Instagram – CRM
Convenient Instagram chat with CRM features with access from any device.
Profile Analyzer for Instagram
Precise analysis of any Instagram account: engagement, publication time, etc.
Why Does Your Business Urgently Need Instagram?
Instagram provides a great opportunity to present your brand and to humanize it, as well as generate social proof. We know 8 reasons why you should use Instagram for your brand’s development.
1. Instagram has a huge user base with a high level of engagement
Take a look at the statistics:
- Instagram is used worldwide.
- The number of monthly active Instagram users is 1 billion.
- More than 95,000,000 photos/videos are uploaded daily on Instagram.
- Instagram engagement continues to grow: post engagement increased by 53% over the previous year.
- 90 of the top 100 global brands have an Instagram account.
- Over 80% of them publish on social networks at least once a week.
2. Instagram allows you to engage with your target audience about your brand philosophy
The Instagram account does not work only for direct sales, but also for engagement with the brand. The company communicates with the audience and tries to convey its concept and philosophy to them. This kind of brand promotion is relevant in particular, for any company whose product cannot be bought directly through a social network.
3. It’s easy to search for new customers through Instagram
The generation of leads – calls, requests, and orders – is a natural and understandable desire of small business owners who start their promotion on Instagram.
Instagram account is a gold mine of leads for the beauty industry, small online clothing and accessories stores, and many other niches.
Users literally flock to Instagram. According to one study, more than half of all millennials log into Instagram daily. The global gender composition of Instagram users is almost stable at 52% women and 48% of men.
Of course, customers will not come to you without a well-thought-out strategy and well-targeted advertising. Learn about all promotion techniques on Instagram.
4. You can create a loyal community around your company
Instagram is used by giant companies — to build a community around their brand.
However, it is also important for small brands to gather an interested audience around the brand: communicate with followers, discuss their lives, answer questions, and help them with advice.
All interaction in one way or another affects sales, but nevertheless, the basis of such promotion is the desire to bring together as many people with the same interests in the ‘space’ of the brand
5. Getting leads for a B2C business with a long transaction cycle is easier
In some niches of business, customers come only on the recommendation of friends. These are the niches where the price list is high, so it is important for the customer to be sure that the service will be performed efficiently and on time—for example, apartment renovation.
However, the evidence proves that for such companies, Instagram can become, if not the main source, an additional indirect source of leads.
6. Instagram allows access to an extremely narrow target audience
In the hands of an experienced SMM specialist or a quality web service , it’s possible using Instagram to reach out to a very specific target audience — down to the smallest detail.
7. Instagram can replace your brand’s website when you’re just starting out
When you’re just starting to promote a business, an Instagram profile may be the only platform for communication with customers, at least while the official website is not ready yet.
It has the same functionality: it presents your goods/services, provides a point of contact for communication, allows you to run promotion campaigns, etc.
8. You can expect an increase in average spend by customers
Sometimes beautiful pictures of your products can convince customers to buy more than they originally planned.
Plus, you can expect an additional boost in sales during peak seasons. Instagram can be a good sales catalyst for a seasonal product. For example, sales of exclusive Christmas tree decorations from November to December.
Should I create an account if I sell something that's not so attractive? Taps, for example.
You definitely should. There are hundreds of successful brands on Instagram that sell things that are absolutely not ‘visual’.
For more information, go to question #4.
What are the most popular niches for business on Instagram?
We develop this theme in the next question. Please, read on.
Who Succeed on Instagram: Popular Niches
What is great to sell on Instagram? We disclose the most popular Instagram niches in 2020.
Instagram is a unique platform for promoting and selling brands and services. Various courses and seminars are in demand here, original handmade things, entertainment programs, and many more.
However, the competition is rough. It is not easy to stand out among millions of accounts. And before choosing a niche, you should ask yourself how you want to monetize your Instagram account.
Common monetization methods include:
- Sale of advertising for other brands.
- Attracting traffic to the product and receiving commissions – also known as affiliate marketing.
- Selling your own product, perhaps through a direct delivery or digital product – such as an online course or an e-book.
If you have not decided on a niche yet, consider these top 50 niches on Instagram:
1. Infopreneurship, both online and offline:
- foreign languages
- playing musical instruments
- creating photo/video
- culinary master classes
- design of clothes and toys
- fashion illustration
- makeup lessons
- business education
2. Freelance and new jobs:
- life coach
- time manager
- organization of space
- stylist, analysis of outfits;
- targeted and contextual advertising
- social network administrator (Instagram)
- producer of information business
3. Most trendy niches/goods:
- astrology (mapping souls, practices, candles, amulets)
- psychology (family, personality)
- sexology (intimate goods, courses)
- dietetics + sport (nutritional psychology)
- new generation gadgets (wireless headphones, wifi sockets, phone holders, portable projectors)
- beauty products (patches, serums for face / eyebrows / eyelashes, silicone sponges, lamps for manicure, cosmetics for professionals, mats for washing brushes for makeup, masks for sleeping)
- fashion goods (massive sneakers, waist bags, slippers with fur, backpacks, watches)
- sport goods (fitness gum, sportswear, fitness underwear, water bottles)
- interior products (tablecloths, bedding, lamps with the effect of fire, rugs)
It doesn't matter which niche you choose.
You can make money on anything with the right mindset.
The key point is that you will occupy a niche for a long period of time, and do not abandon it the day after you start. Instagram is not about success overnight.
This game is long term and requires dedication.
Even if you sell something completely unattractive, you still have a chance. We will explain further in question #4.
Can a business that is not listed above succeed on Instagram?
Sure, it can. But only if you know how to present it in an attractive and touching way.
5 Mistakes That Kill Your Instagram Sales
“I’ll create a profile, upload all my pictures from the site, and sales will come,” the entrepreneur believes. And is deeply mistaken. We'll tell you what mistakes business people most often make on Instagram, and give you instructions on how to fix them and start getting customers.
1. Half-baked visual
We start with the visual aspect as it remains the most important feature of Instagram as a sales channel.
- Photos from your website. It’s not that they cannot be used at all. But to make your Instagram profile a copy of your website is not worth it. It does not sell.
- Poor quality photos. Bad light, grainy, or blurred photo. They won’t sell your product or service.
- Photo from photo stocks. Uniqueness rules on Instagram. Photos from stocks have already been used hundreds of times. It’s OK to use such photos for some posts but not often and not from popular stocks like Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash.
How to fix the issue?
1. Shoots for Instagram
Though Instagram is considered to be for entertainment, treat it seriously. Do you put low-quality photos from your phone on the site? We doubt it.
Your best decision is special photo and video shoots, regularly. They won’t cost you a fortune, but they can bring more customers than amateur photos.
Take a look at the accounts of competitors and popular bloggers. Notice how certain angles, colors and locations come into play to make a striking image. Find a photographer who knows how to shoot for Instagram.
Here is how a sports nutrition store arranges their Instagram gallery:
2. User-generated content
Another option is to fill in the profile with photos that users make.
User photos can be collected by branded #.
You will get a unique profile in which each photo proves that your product is needed, that many people use it. But again, pick up only quality content.
A specialist in Instagram design can be contacted if you have no content at all, or you feel that yours is bad. Social media designers usually mix photos from photo stocks and use graphic design to create illustrations. Such specialists can be found directly on Instagram by the tag #designinstagram or through Search.
They will make your profile look like this:
2. Poorly-developed marketing
“We sell everything for everyone. Central Asia residents of megalopolises aged 20-55 years. USP is “we have the highest quality”
With a message and target like that, even by purchasing $10,000 of advertising you won’t get a good result. It will be a waste of time if you do not know the answers to the following questions:
- What is your product?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your USP?
- Why should a person follow you?
- How will your profile be interesting for your target audience?
Do not skip this step, please. It’s 10 minutes of reflection.
Let’s consider an example: A girl wants to buy a dress for her birthday party. She enters ‘cocktail dress” and goes to Instagram to get inspired. She sees your post “Cocktail dress 101649, blue, size M.” Her reaction: “meh, don’t want it.”
Catch her attention with an interesting topic, an unusual caption, and the image of the girl she wants to look like.
And if you don’t know what she is dreaming of, who she wants to turn into, then you will never catch her as a target audience.
How to fix the issue:
- Puzzle it out. We wrote about TA (target audience) search and analysis in the Promotion section.
- Hire an SMM specialist or agency. It's a more expensive option, but professional.
- You can also order reviews of your audience, competitors, etc. from freelancers. Choose them by reviews and ratings.
Or you can think up something else. Sell beautifully!
Do you know how a selling post differs from any ordinary one? By prices and a call to action. Do not forget to add them to any of your selling posts, even to customers’ stories.
3. You do not sell
Instagram is a place for content marketing.
Followers need to be engaged and entertained. Do not abuse selling post. However, their complete absence will lead to zero sales.
How to fix the issue:
Include sales posts in your content plan — 1-2 per week.
What could be a selling post:
- Customer feedback
- Cool story (personal or customer’s)
- Special offer
- A selection of your products – collections for certain use cases and events)
- Ideas for using your product
- Your cases
4. You direct to the website
Or to your showroom. Or to call. Or to write on WhatsApp.
Instagram users are terribly lazy and closed on this social network. They do not want to bother themselves and leave the network just to go to your website, dial your number, or (God forbid) get you into WhatsApp contacts.
How to fix the issue?
1. Sell directly on Instagram.
Be wherever your user wants. Mostly, they want to contact you via Direct.
If you really need to direct traffic to the site, add links in Stories. But do not send to the site if the person wrote to you in the comments. He will not click the link, you will lose the client.
2. Use a single link using services like Linktree™
These services allow you to create several buttons at once under a single link (as opposed to only one on Instagram – in the profile header, in comments or in the post itself).
You can make buttons for different pages of your site (for example, sales, about us, the catalog), or add links to the main instant messengers.
Thus, you can kill two birds with one stone.
5. Responding to comments late or ignoring DMs
Do not underestimate the time required for Instagram.
Dedicate time to regular monitoring of comments and DMs.
How to fix the issue:
- Make sure you’ve turned on Instagram notifications.
- Answer all messages within half an hour or an hour.
- Do not leave the client alone; always end the dialogue.
- Request contact and call the customer.
- If there’s no time for all this, hire a sales manager specifically for Instagram. Seriously, so many businesses already do.
- Use a Direct-based CRM system to have better control over interaction with customers. We tell you how to use such a service in question #7.
How to respond to DMs and comments quickly?
First, switch on the notifications. Second, use Auto-Replies.
How to Sell Services or Visually Unattractive Goods
To present visually pleasant things like beauty products or clothes is easy. Here we tell you how to sell something you can not touch, or something people don’t consider attractive.
Today, few people would be surprised at the promotion and sale of cosmetics, jewelry, clothes, accessories, and other “photogenic” products on Instagram.
Ok, it's not as simple as it seems at first glance, but the algorithm is more or less clear: you put on stream the production of high-quality photos of your product, you find the stars with the appropriate target audience and you buy ads from them. Then you get more followers, generate an attractive commercial offer for them, and just sell.
But what about a business with a product that is difficult to visualize? We’ve prepared 10 rules for this case.
1. Do not focus on showing the product, sell emotions and feelings
Farrow & Ball sells eco-friendly water-based paint and handcrafted wallpapers. Do they publish images of cans of paints? No, they sell the dream, the feeling of comfort and beauty of your own house:
2. Show the functionality of a product
Adobe (Lightroom, Photoshop), GoPro are the first examples that came to mind. Lightroom and Photoshop fill their profiles with the work of designers working with their tools.
GoPro collects pictures from action cameras. You won’t confuse their style with any other content.
Pay attention, the companies does not spend money and time on creating content — users create post and tag the profiles:
And let’s take an even more inventive profile — Pilot pen. They sell pens. What would you post? These guys publish handwriting and have more than 88K followers.
3. Sell the brand message
It’s not necessary to populate your account with snapshots directly of your product. Come up with a vivid story, mood, message of your brand.
Red Bull was one of the first to do this. You won’t find a single tin can with an energy drink there. The profile is filled with stunning pictures of extreme sports that are found by hashtags and tags. Again, it’s UGC (user generated content).
4. Create and enliven your mascot
Mascot is a character/animal/something else that represents your brand. It can be a monkey, a panda or any other creature.
Android does it sometimes. Take a look:
5. Talk about people
You can talk both about your customers and about your team.
General Electric publishes first-person posts (photo and video) of the employees.
This account selling turbines has 424K followers.
6. Show how you work
If you sell services being any kind of agency, it’s a good idea to show users the BTS (behind-the-scenes) view.
One of the most amazing examples is the Grey Advertising concept.
Sticking to a single black-and-white style, the profile looks perfect:
- Modify your product (just for a photo shoot)
If the product itself is not very interesting to visualize, let your imagination run wild. Create something interesting with it: draw paws, tails, and eyes on it, and so on.
- Think up a story with your product
It can be something entertaining and educational.
- Share the views of your audience
In most cases, they will be similar to your views. Don’t forget to put your service/product in context. For example, a logistics company, knowing that most of the likes are grabbed by travel photos, , and architecture, can publish this kind of content more often.
How to come up with ideas for a profile concept?
Get inspired by your competitors, random users, friends and customers.
Ask people to share their ideas in Stories or comments. It will increase engagement and bring new ideas.
How to Interact with Clients and Deal with Complaints
Communication with customers and building relationships should be your prime focus.
1. How to communicate
Be easy to find. That’s the prime rule. It includes an understandable username and clear description of services, always relevant hashtags in captions. Only in this case, you can attract and interact with your TA.
Read about how to fill out your profile info. To find the relevant hashtags for posts, use Hashtag Generator.
Always be polite. Do not allow obscene expressions, insults, or rudeness in your vocabulary. Be friendly and calm.
Always greet and address the person by name. Writing an extra “please” and “thank you” will not be difficult for you, but a follower/visitor will be pleased. And using someone’s name creates an additional personal touch.
Re-think your corporate style of communication. The main thing is that it is understandable to users. It’s especially important if there are a couple of managers that run your account. And try to be human and not turn into a robot.
Timely. Don’t make your followers wait for your response. Always respond to inquiries within an hour or, preferably, immediately.
Show initiative. Make the first step — like, comment on and follow your existing and potential clients. Showing them your interest will raise their interest. That’s a consistent pattern.
The best option will be to streamline the process with automation tools.
And don’t forget to post UGC — user generated content. It increases loyalty and nurtures regular clients.
Surprise a little. Doing a little bit extra is OK on Instagram. It can be a little giveaway or a personal postcard with shipping, or an additional guide on your services/products.
2. Where to communicate
There are two options:
In comments. Comment on and respond to comments. It increases activity and engagement on your profile, brings more clients to you, and builds loyalty.
In Direct. The Instagram algorithm recognizes whether a person is favored by their activity in Direct. Try to communicate more. Use a convenient Instagram chat to communicate from your laptop or PC.
3. How to deal with objections: creating a customer advocate base
If, in the past, consumers felt powerless to confront businesses alone, today social networks have given them the opportunity to share their stories and engage the public in resolving their problems. Sometimes one minor incident, covered in social networks, entails thousands of reposts, memes, comments, and hashtags.
Brands must constantly, qualitatively and unconditionally respond to any problems, regardless of their scale. And when a company makes a mistake, the need for honesty and transparency is greater than ever.
- 46% of consumers use social networks to express dissatisfaction.
- 4 out of 5 people believe that social networks increase the level of responsibility of companies.
- 55% of users turn to a brand online to get an answer or solve a problem.
- the likelihood that millennials will appeal to the brand on social networks is 43% more (compared to other generations).
- 3 out of 5 consumers say that brand dishonesty is a good reason to express dissatisfaction.
Many brands find it best to ignore, deny, or even twist a customer’s complaint. But acknowledging a mistake and accepting responsibility is the only right way out.
Undoubtedly, negative customer experience can damage a brand’s reputation. But there is a downside. After the outbreak of public conflict, all eyes are on the company. Most people want to see how the brand reacts.
This means that even though it may seem disadvantageous, the right behavior will allow you to regain control of the situation and even come out ahead.
So why is communication so important?
It creates activity on your page, general engagement and followers’ loyalty.
CRM Alternatives: Customer Management with Google Sheets
DeIn today's competitive environment, it is very important to find the right approach to customers. But in a large flow of information, it is quite difficult to please everyone. For this reason, modern CRM systems were created.
1. What are CRM systems?
CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a business management program that helps increase profits, reduce costs and speed up application processing.
It is needed to build a competent dialogue with the client: it allows you to avoid mistakes and, as a result, your clients can order more products.
CRM includes programs that collect customer data, manage transactions, give control over managers, provide analytics, and do forecasting.
In essence, CRM is like a giant Excel spreadsheet that tracks your information about, and interactions with, your customer base. In the system, you can listen to calls, see the purchase history, send emails and SMS, and set tasks for employees.
A CRM means you don’t depend on your memory, but rather you use a systematic approach where all processes are automatically configured.
Ultimately, CRM helps to improve customer service quality, increase sales, and improve a brand's reputation in the market as a whole. CRM also saves managers' time since they spends significantly less time monitoring employees and the sales operations.
Now there are many CRM systems on the market that differ in their set of functions, their ability to integrate with other services, and their flexibility of settings: Bitrix24, amoCRM, WireCRM, retailCRM, EnvyCRM, Eadesk, SalesForce, are some examples.
Small businesses do not need all the functionality these systems offer. Plus, the prices are usually quite high. That's why SMEs tend to seek alternatives.
2. How to manage customer relations in Google Sheets?
You don’t even have to create tables from scratch. In Google Sheets Template Gallery, you can find ready-made templates for any purpose.
For Instagram sales, the most suitable ones are Customer relationship management by Copper or Project tracking by Smartsheet
They look like this:
Or like this:
Though they look scary, it's not difficult to manage your sales this way. Some of the templates also provide instructions.
How to Use Messaging for Direct Sales and Strengthen Your Sales Funnel
We tell you how to achieve a good conversion rate and build up a working sales funnel with the help of Instagram Direct.
1. Engaging followers immediately
Even one simple message can engage a follower and make him or her a potential client. Send a welcoming message for all newcomers – say how you appreciate that they joined you. Better than half of them will respond.
Also, consider texting to all the rest of your users if you haven’t been doing it before. It should be a slightly different message, however.
And here the sky's the limit for your business.
Set up an automatic messaging campaign to all new and existing followers
If it is a text to ‘old followers’ make it relevant and a little bit catchy:
“Hi, It’s [Name] from [Brand]! You’ve been with me for quite a while, and I haven't said thank you. Every member of our community is precious, so I would like to offer a 10% discount for my new collection of candles.
Let me know if you are interested! Love, [Name]”
2. Leveraging sales scripts
Since you already know how to establish the contact with the audience, it’s time to think how you will sell right in Direct.
Yes, sales scripts are needed, not for cold calls only. Sales scripts help you and your managers stay organized and sell more, provided that they were made up correctly.
While creating sales scripts, remember: first show the value, then name the price.
It works always and everywhere, including Instagram sales. For example, a clothing brand can sell value and demonstrate benefits first: where to go in this outfit, what to combine it with, in what weather to wear it, what kind of person it’s suited for.
3. Putting Push scripts into action
One of the main problems on Instagram is that clients can stop responding to messages at some point. This is normal. The main thing is to find out what was wrong, i.e. identify the objection and work it out.
To solve this problem, create a push script for clients. Managers write to those who have not previously responded and raised objections. This information is very valuable — you will understand why a lead does not buy.
Having heard the objections, you are now able to adjust the sales scripts. For example, if the lead “disappeared” after the price was announced, managers should start to offer similar options, but cheaper.
Another plus of push-messages — after this kind of texting, some leads do buy.
4. What to pay attention to
- The speed of replies
The speed of replies matters a lot. It's 50% of your success. Answer to comments and DMs within an hour, or better still, do it immediately.
The issue is that purchases are impulsive decisions in most cases, and if you don’t respond quickly the impulse disappears.
To solve the issue and help you react timely, use Instagram Auto-Replies and Quick Replies.
With Auto-Replies, you can respond to most repeated questions automatically. You need to set the keywords and the related messages.
As for Quick Replies, it’s as easy as Auto-replies, but you can modify messages before sending them, for example customizing them (adding names and other personal info).
- Constant control
Control is an integral part of the selling process, especially, if you have several managers.
Based on our experience working with clients, we can claim that the success of any change implementation is continuous monitoring. The strict standard of compliance with the sales script should be monitored by you and your team constantly.
Managers do not need to invent something new, they already have a prepared answer template for any question. This increases the efficiency of each manager and the speed of work.
Do I engage users only by my DMs?
No, of course not. You can engage users with all your activities: posts and captions, comments and Stories.
Strategies for Offering Discounts and Special Offers to Boost Sales
Discounts, sales, coupons, promotions – any online store owner has to deal with these concepts. You must decide whether and when to use special offers to increase sales, how to do it and, finally, how much can be “thrown off” so as not to hurt profits.
To help those who have not yet organized promotions in their store, we will talk about the main types of special offers and several effective methods for using them.
1. Plusses and minuses of discounts
Discounts and special offers are a powerful weapon in the arsenal of an internet marketer. But their unsystematic use can cause serious damage to your brand or, even worse, make the business unprofitable. Consider all the pros and cons, as well as the basic strategies for using special offers.
- Easy and quick to implement
- Easy to track
- Increases traffic
- Increases conversion
- Increases customer loyalty
- Reduces profits and profitability
- Reduces sales during non-promotion period (buyers wait for discounts and postpone their purchase)
- Reduces the average sale amount
- May cause distrust of the brand
2. Types of discounts and special offers
There are several main types of discounts and special offers that you can use to increase sales in your store:
- Percent discount
This is perhaps the most commonly used type of discount. “Interest discounts” are a flexible tool to attract customers and increase sales. Small discounts of 5 – 7% will be a pleasant bonus for those who first make a purchase from you, and serious price reductions of 50 – 70% will help to sell off the remaining stock.
- Fixed discount
This type of discount can be successfully positioned as a “partial refund” of money. Many people will not be able to resist the offer “Spend a thousand dollars, and we will refund you two hundred,” even though at first they planned to spend less.
- Free shipping
Shipping costs quite often can cause a refusal to purchase. Free shipping paired with a minimum order size will help solve the problem, and at the same time increase the average purchase amount.
- A gift for ordering
A gift is an excellent way to increase customer loyalty and free the e-store from a not-too-popular position.
3. 10 best strategies for using discounts
1. Weekly/monthly promotions. The purpose is to achieve the planned profit targets during the period. Many companies offer discounts for a week, a month, or even a quarter at a time when sales are expected to decline.
2. “Preliminary” proposal. If you have not yet launched your project, but are already at the finish line, use promotions to increase interest in the product before starting sales.
3. Seasonal/holiday offers. Black Friday, New Year, Christmas, the onset of summer — you can schedule a price reduction for any suitable occasion.
4. Bonus for repost or follow. By providing customers with an incentive to tell friends about the company, you are launching word-of-mouth promotion, which can work very well.
5. Discount for friends. People will buy from you more willingly if they have previously received a recommendation from colleagues, friends, or acquaintances. Use this to your advantage by organizing a kind of referral system — encourage those who bring you customers.
6. Discount on the first purchase. To make a new user your customer, offer them a small bonus on their first purchase.
7. Bonus for orders with a value higher than X. This is an effective upselling strategy that increases the average sale and conversion of your online store. In order to use it, calculate the average order value for the previous month, and add 10-20%. For purchases more expensive than the resulting amount, offer free shipping or a discount.
8. Exclusive offers for active followers. This is one of the ways to build strong relationships with those who follow you, as well as increase the number of followers.
9. Loyalty program for regular customers. Loyalty programs provide discounts, bonuses, or cumulative points for those who regularly make purchases. It is used to “tie” the user to a specific online store as much as possible.
10. An offer from celebrities or bloggers. You can increase brand awareness and reach with the help of public personalities with a wide audience.
The discount combined with the recommendation of a well-known person. Is a great incentive to buy. And the uniqueness of the code helps to track which of the bloggers worked most efficiently.
Good examples of how to announce special offers and discounts on Instagram:
Do I need to lower prices to increase the competitiveness of my business?
Not necessarily. Most buyers do not name low prices as the main incentive to close a deal.
But it will depend on your business, your competitors and the market situation.
How to Adjust Your Marketing for Trends and People’s Acute Problems
“What helps people, helps business.” – Leo Burnett
To be able to sell, you must be able to follow the trends and solve the problems of a potential buyer.
We explain how it works on Instagram.
You can sell more if you are on trend right here right now. It’s especially vital when you sell on Instagram — a place where acute topics come first.
1. Situational marketing
Situational marketing is a new term that does not yet have an exact scientific definition. It’s brand activities that are based not on long-term planning, as when creating a classic advertising campaign, but on prompt response to an informational occasion.
Often the brand itself spends practically no resources on such promotions, as it uses someone else’s fame, and the content is distributed by users of social networks on the principle of viral marketing.
It is important to follow a few rules to create successful situational marketing:
- Prompt response. If you are among the first to respond to the event, it may be a success for you; but if you are among the latter, this may be a failure.
- The audience. Your target audience should be similar to the event audience. For events relevant to youth, it makes no sense to use them to promote goods for senior citizens.
- Community. The situation should not contradict the idea of the brand. At the same time, situational marketing does not require that the news occasion be in any way connected with the brand.
Cases of situational marketing:
TM “OREO”. In February 2013, over half of the stadium suddenly turned off during a football championship in the United States. The game was suspended and most of those present switched to smartphones and social networks, in which the incident was hotly discussed. At this time, Oreo’s marketers tweeted: “Oreo can be dunked in the dark.”
Situational marketing “with loss of face”. When Justine Sacco, PR director of InterActiveCorp (IAC), an Internet company from the United States, went on vacation, she was feeling so relaxed that she posted a “quirky” farewell post on her Twitter account: “Going to Africa. I hope I don’t get AIDS there. Just kidding! I'm white! ” The result was not long in coming — the manager was fired for not understanding that the brand name is more important than any situational marketing.
Features of good situational marketing:
- The image of the event has a positive effect and even forms the image of your brand or product.
- In addition to transmitting information, the marketing communication conveys emotions.
- The style and tonality are in accordance with the brand book.
- Marketing goals are not canceled – these do not change only because you have the situational opportunity to get your name on screens.
- Simplicity and clarity are key in situational communication.
- Avoid political, disruptive, negative, religious, or racial themes.
- It is well thought out. No matter how popular an event may be among your TA, caution is important: there are ideas that individuals may express that companies should not. Remember – if you can be misunderstood, you will be.
2. How to sell a solution
Any business person knows — that they should sell not goods or services, but solutions for people’s problems.
Your potential buyers may know about these problems, or you can help them to notice them. These problems may either already exist at present or appear in the future.
The most successful sellers are those who are able to identify problems of concern to the buyer, determine the priorities of the buyer regarding the solution of these problems, and help customers solve these problems in the most convenient, efficient, innovative and timely way at an affordable price.
This kind of solution-based marketing method should be used especially in the B2B and B2G sectors. You need to sell solutions where heavy customization of the products and services you offer is required. For example, if a company offers cloud storage platforms complete with support and an information security system. They likely have to make unique combinations for each client. The role of the seller in this case is to understand the amount of data the client is operating with, how many devices will have access to the cloud, and so on.
How do you sell in this style? Perhaps the best way is to follow this pattern:
- Identify the main pain points
- Create a “questionnaire”
- Try to sell value highlighting the differences from your competitors. Present your service/product as a must-have, not a it-would-be-nice-to-have.
All that can be easily done on Instagram as a place where brands and customers are equal.
3. Marketing during coronavirus.
Very soon, the market will be redistributed, and far-sighted will win. Here are the last four tips for surviving the coronavirus crisis.
Complete everything that you did not have time to do before
If there are few clients, but a lot of time, finally do away with all unfinished business. Put things in order in your CRM, sort through the documents, read the list of books, watch pending webinars. The crisis will end and you will be able to return to work at a good pace with a fresh mind.
Set up end-to-end analytics and a return funnel
It's time to optimize the sales funnel. If the flow of leads is reduced, you can’t lose them. Analyze all the points where the leads “fall off” on the road to purchase, and be sure to set up a return funnel — it’s much cheaper to sell to existing customers than to spend money on attracting new ones.
Look for customers who are growing
The crisis has played into the hands of some: the delivery of goods, pharmaceuticals, and online education are growing. If you can, switch to companies from these areas. Or try to agree on cooperation with those who plan to resume work after quarantine.
Make anti-crisis offers
You and your customers are in the same boat, if they go broke, you will not have anyone to work with. Make an offer of relief for the time of crisis. Develop package services with a minimum of necessary work — for example, setting up a site and analytics, training in SEO marketing, technical tasks for content. Something that helps customers hold out at a minimum cost.
Analysing Your Instagram Marketing
What metrics are the most vital for businesses on Instagram? How can you measure the efficiency of your Instagram activity?
1. Calculate conversion rate
Conversion rate is a metric that shows the relationship of all people who are interested in your product / service on Instagram (e. g. went to the site, liked, asked a question) compared to those who actually bought the product/service..
This is how an Instagram sales funnel looks. You need to calculate the conversion rate on every step of it to see where your weak points are.
Let’s consider an example:
- saw — 2,000 people
- started following — 250 people
- asked a question about the product / left a request – 80 people
- bought – 19 people
Note: you can find all the figures except ‘bought’ – in your Instagram Insights.
We divide each index by the previous one, and here is what we get:
From this example, we see that the weakness is attracting people. They do not want to follow the brand. All you have to do is to figure out why. Maybe the reason lies in your profile and gallery design.
If the percentage of people contacting you is low, review your offer.
If the percentage of people buying your product is low, review the communication style and pricing policy.
2. Find out the follower growth rate
Having high numbers in Followers is great, but you need to know the dynamics of follower base growth.
For that, use a Google Sheet. Fill out the number of followers each month, calculate new followers for each month, and you will see how your audience grows, when your promotion strategy worked out and when it did not.
You can calculate the percentage of growth if your numbers are high enough and you can’t estimate the progress.
If you see that growth is slow and not satisfying, find out what slows it down — maybe a poor promotion or poor content strategy.
3. Monitor engagement
Engagement is one of the core indexes of genuine popularity. It shows whether your audience is active and if you are close enough.
It is your likes, comments and DMs.
Another important fact is that the higher the engagement on your page, the better Instagram promotes your posts and shows it to people.
Instagram Profile Analyzer is a free tool which will provide you with such info as general engagement (for the last 100 posts):
And engagement by days of the week:
You can set up the information in your Spreadsheets and track the dynamics as well.
Thus, you have 3 indexes to monitor and analyze. By doing it regularly, you get the chance to consistently make progress and grow on Instagram.
What engagement rate is considered good?
Less than 1% is a low ER. 1% – 3.5% is an average/good ER. 3.5% – 6% is a high ER.