Find how to sell on Instagram. Here we share the steps, tips, and tricks to build an engaged following to increase your sales on Instagram. Learn how to use this simple photo-sharing app to grow your business.

By reading this guide, you can learn:

  • How selling on Instagram works
  • How to build a bot-free audience through proper targeting and ads
  • The best Instagram marketing strategies to sell on Instagram

But first, let us find out why it makes sense to use Instagram, a social media app, as a sales channel for your business.

Why you should sell on Instagram

According to the stats on Instagram, there are over a billion users on Instagram, and more than 80% of them follow at least one business account. And, according to Hootsuite, 73% of U.S businesses will start using Instagram by the end of 2020. Also, according to the same source, the potential paid ad reach on Instagram is nearly 850 million users.

That data is more than enough for a sensible entrepreneur to make up their mind to start selling on Instagram right away. That is why in this guide we are going to teach you how to tap that gold mine and make more sales for your business.

What are the best selling products and services on Instagram

Not every product or service will work well on Instagram selling. Instagram is all about engagement through visual content. So, if the product or the service that you offer can create great visual content, like stunning photos and videos, you can have a better chance of making more sales from Instagram. Below you can find a list of the best selling product types on Instagram.

  • Fashion – Clothes, footwear
  • Beauty – Makeup, skincare products
  • Jewelry – Rings, necklaces
  • Travel – Travel gear, services
  • Sportswear and sports equipment
  • Pet products
  • Arts and crafts

How to sell on Instagram

There are five stages to sell on Instagram, or on any other sales channel.

  1. Awareness
  2. Activation
  3. Revenue
  4. Retention
  5. Referral

When you are trying to reach a new customer, you are creating awareness in your Instagram selling strategy. Next, when you are getting your customers to follow you, that brings them to the activation stage. Then, you can start publishing Instagram shopping posts, stories with links, and more to get them to the revenue stage. Here is where you actually make a sale. Next, rather than going through the above process from the beginning, you have to keep your existing customers engaged in your business. That is what we call the retention stage. Finally, you can translate your loyal customers to your brand ambassadors to make more sales on Instagram through referral.

Here is how to use Instagram shopping features to sell on Instagram

Well that looks pretty straightforward, isn’t it? But, there is a lot more going behind the screen to get your selling strategy to that level. So, in this guide we are going to talk about these “behind the screen” stuff about selling on Instagram.

“Selling” is only the tip of the iceberg of your Instagram selling strategy. So, keep in mind that the key to selling on Instagram is audience building. Using the selling features on Instagram is something that anyone can do. So, next, we are going to find out how to build an engaged audience for your business on Instagram.

How to build an engaged following on Instagram

Before you go ahead and read about audience building strategies, you should have to understand how Instagram decides the order of the posts that you see when you are scrolling down the Insta feed. By knowing this algorithm, you can increase your chances of creating posts to buoy up on your follower’s feeds. Below you can find a common list of factors that Instagram uses to rank your content on your follower’s feeds.

How Instagram ranks content to show on feeds

  • Post engagement – Likes, comments, and shares count
  • Relationships – Your posts will be visible to those who you engaged with most frequently
  • Relevance – Which type of categories, hashtags, or accounts that they follow most
  • Timeliness – Is your content up-to-date, does it cover the latest affairs?
  • Time spent – How much time your followers spent on your posts, and how often the check up on you.

How to get 1000 engaged followers on Instagram for free

Getting your first 1000 followers on instagram is the real deal. But, what if you can get 1000 instagram followers for free?

  • Do not buy followers –
    Most of the paid following is generated through click-farms and bots, which do not create any value for your business.
  • Use the right hashtags
    Hashtags play a significant role in organic reach. So, use the right hashtags to find your target audience.
  • Be consistent
    Post regularly and more frequently. Publishing 20 posts in a day and staying silent throughout the next few weeks will not do any good for your game.
  • Mix it up to spice it up –
    Use a mix of photos, videos, and reposts to create engagement
  • Viral content –
    Be active on Instagram to pick viral content. Then, repost it.
  • Use call-to-action –
    Tell what to do next. Ask them to follow you, tag a friend, or comment

Finally, needless to say, the quality of your content is also vital to get an engaged following on Instagram. After all, Instagram is a content-driven platform. That means you need beautiful photos and videos to get followers (customers). So, next, we are going to learn how to create powerful content that helps you to sell on Instagram.

How to create Instagram content that can sell

It is not easy to constantly create content that can build the following and get sales from Instagram. However, you can follow these Instagram content creation tips to step up your game to sell on Instagram.

Use high contrast images with bright colors

You got less than a sec to get the attention of a potential customer to your Instagram post. So, your photo or the video thumbnail should be bright, colorful, and eye-catching. Therefore, use a good photo editing app on your phone or the computer to give a few touchups to make it perfect. If you are serious about your Instagram selling strategy, it is worth investing in a tool like Adobe Lightroom to edit your photos.

Use the right filters

Instagram also has some in-built image filters that can make your images to pop-out if chose properly. However, you have to be extremely cautious when using the filters as well. Sometimes, your perfect capture can get ruined by using a wrong filter on top of it.

Engaging captions

Not only the visual creative but also the elements on your caption can influence your audience to take action. Therefore, the caption space on Instagram posts is also a valuable real-estate that can make you money. When you write captions, do not fill it up with hashtags. Write a conscious copy, add the right amount of emojis, add proper mentions, and a maximum of five hashtags to your captions.

Add locations, tag people, and tag products

Adding a location is not compulsory, but if the location info can create value it is worth mentioning in. Similarly, tag people or events to give shoutouts, and tag products if you are using Instagram shopping feature to bring in more engagement to what you share.

NOTE! If you are planning to use the smartphone to take product videos and photos, it is worth investing around $25 and buy a good light-box (or a product photo shooting tent) to boost the quality of your content.

Use a photo shooting tent to take amazing product photos and videos

Take stunning, clean, and pro photos and videos using a good quality photo shooting tent.

Four ways to create Instagram posts to get more likes

As we have mentioned earlier, to maintain an engaged following on Instagram, you must have to keep posting content frequently and consistently. So, how to keep producing that much photos and videos every day? And, sometimes the most time-consuming part of the whole process is to brainstorm content ideas everyday. Therefore, you can use these four strategies to speed up your content creation work.

1. Share inspirational quotes

People love sharing inspirational quotes. So, start sharing empowering quotes for your target audience to reach new customers and to keep them engaged in your Instagram account.

2. Sharing user generated content

Let your loyal customers be your brand ambassadors. Start sharing their photos featuring your products on your feed to gain social proof for your business on Instagram.

3. Weekly content series

Create a content plan a well ahead of your week. For example, content series like “The quote of the day” or “The top product pick” campaigns save your brainstorming time.

4. Content curation

Start reposting viral content on your Instagram account. When you do so, make sure to credit the original creator mentioning or tagging them with your post.

Save Time – Hire a Freelancer

Save your time and hire a freelancer to create engaging Instagram posts for you.

How to start creating videos for your Instagram marketing strategy

Publishing videos on Instagram is an essential part of your Instagram marketing mix. According to the statistics, more than 90% of the buyers on Instagram get their purchasing influence through video content. Also, more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic is generated for videos. That means it is worth investing in video content, along with your Instagram marketing strategy.

However, even though it is important to have videos to start selling on Instagram, it can be a tedious and costly task for a small business owner to create them. The good news is, there are a lot of fast and free (al least low-cost) ways to create videos to promote your products on Instagram. So, here we are going to discuss how to create stunning yet inexpensive videos for Instagram.

Use royality-free stock footage and music

You can start composing videos using the free stock videos and music available on platforms like Pexels, Pixabay, Videvo, and Freesound. Since professional videographers create these clips, you can use them to create your own videos without having to compromise the quality. However, when you do so, pay close attention to the attribution requirements of these stock videos. Sometimes you will have to credit the original creator when using free content. If it is required, by all means, do so.

Use your smartphone to create videos for Instagram

Having to use expensive cameras, lighting gear, and staged scripts to create Instagram videos is long gone. Instagram is a social media platform. So, why can’t we keep it social? Take good use of your smartphone by creating videos of your products using your phone. Then there are many free video editing apps available to polish them up in no time.

Three ways to add shopping features to your Instagram content

Now that we have discussed how to create content for your Instagram selling strategy, here we are going to show you three methods to add shopping features to your Instagram content. In a nutshell, here is how to show the purchasing links to your followers on Instagram.

1. Instagram shopping

Instagram shopping is ideal for tagging and linking to the products you sell right on your posts. So, your followers can directly go to the purchasing links from the Instagram posts. This gives a frictionless purchasing experience for your customers. To have Instagram shopping enabled, you need to start a business account, and must sell physical products in your business.

2. Adding a link to the bio

Unless you opt in for Instagram shopping, there is only one place to add an external link to your Instagram account. That is the one link in the bio. So, businesses also use this location to link their storefronts. Then, if someone wants to buy that product, they can go to your account bio and click on that link.

3. Creating links in stories

If you have a verified account or more than 10k followers, you can start adding links to your Instagram stories. So, you can start promoting your products and services through stories and let your followers find the purchasing link right on the stories you publish. Stories last on Instagram for 24 hours, giving you a wide window to showcase your products to your followers.

How to sell on Instagram using influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is an integral part of a successful Instagram marketing strategy. More than 90% of marketers love influencer marketing due to its higher ROI. So, it is worth vetting the process behind developing a strong and successful influencer marketing strategy for Instagram. The good news is now you can start an influencer marketing campaign for your business with micro-influencers on a budget. Let’s have a look.

Start an Influencer marketing strategy on a budget

Learn how to find and work with micro-influencers to build a strong influencer marketing strategy for your business.

Instagram influencer marketing

Instagram is the most common influencer marketing platform. Since there are a lot of people who uses Instagram to make money as influencers, you can easily find someone to work with you on your budget.

Instagram influencer marketing works well with almost all the steps of your Instagram marketing strategy. For example, from creating brand awareness to driving traffic to your product listings, influencers can do a great job for your business. Influencers can provide your business with endorsements and shoutouts to build social proof for your products. This increases the trustworthiness of your brand, which is one of the top purchasing influences for online buyers.

Sell on Instagram – Summary

Having a strong marketing strategy on Instagram is a great way to increase your online sales. From creating brand awareness, making sales, building an audience, and creating affiliate sales, Instagram offers a perfect platform for your business to thrive. So, in this guide, we have discussed how to conquer and piggyback this versatile social media platform by creating an effective Instagram marketing strategy,

A good Instagram marketing strategy starts with audience building. To build an engaged following on Instagram, you have to create content that can attract your target customers. Then, you can start posting shopping links on your posts to sell on Instagram. And, to support your Instagram marketing strategy, you can launch an influencer marketing campaign on side. Here we have discussed the tips, tricks, tools, and services to do all these under a tight budget.

So, we hope that guide will give you an overall idea of how to sell on Instagram. If so, do not forget to share this to spread the word. Also, do not forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch.

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