With more than two billion users, Instagram a powerful platform to build your brand, grow a community online, and get more sales.
But to tap into this potential, you need to follow certain strategies. There’s no shortcut to get more customers from Instagram. You need to create quality content and engage consistently.
Read on for 25 proven ways to increase sales on Instagram and build a strong brand, along with plenty of examples.
1. Post unique high-quality photos
Increasing sales on Instagram starts with catching the attention of your potential customer.
Your product needs to be visually pleasing on your social feed. Learn how to take good product photographs using only your phone. This is the best way to stand out, build a strong presence on Instagram, and make more sales. Get creative and let customers see how attractive your products are.
View this post on Instagram
2. Nail your captions
Yes, Instagram users still read captions.
Use the caption to give more details of your product and mention how someone interested can make a purchase. Nudge your followers to take an action. Ask them to:
- Check out your online store from the link in bio
- Tag a friend in the comments
- DM for more details
You can use these call to actions (CTAs) according to its relevance. The captions are also a good place to engage your followers and make them interested about your brand.
View this post on Instagram
Captions are also a place to add hashtags. More on this in the coming section.
3. Customer photos and reviews
You see a brand for the first time. You like their product. But, something is preventing you from making the purchase: is this business legit?
A study by Business Wire reveals that 85% more buyers are influenced by UGC. So, to get more sales on Instagram, let your audience know how your customers love you. Here are some ways to promote UGC on your Instagram business page:
- Screenshots of positive customer messages
- Screenshots of reviews on your online store
- Ask customers to tag you on their posts and re-share it
Reviews are especially important when you are a new business and have less number of followers.
You can post UGC as various content formats – stories, static posts, reels, and videos.
Pro tip: Add reviews and other UGC on a dedicated story highlight.
Here’s a list of Instagram content ideas for small businesses to grow on Instagram.
4. Use Instagram stories to actually tell a story
Use Instagram stories to consistently show up on the platform and let your audience know about your brand.
How can you use Instagram Stories to increase sales?
Create one Story which leads to another, and another, and another — tell a story, hook your audience, and then get them to make a purchase.
The last Story will then have a call to action and lead back to your online store. For this, you will need to create an online store. Here’s a short video on how to start one with Instamojo:
5. Put coupons and offers on Stories
Coupons and discounts are the way to your followers’ hearts and convert them into customers.
Occasionally post Instagram Stories with a discount code, especially during festive seasons. Make it a limited-time offer, and then link to the product page on your online store through your Instagram Stories.
With an Instamojo online store, you can easily create promotional coupons, share them on Instagram, and get more customers.
6. Post new or featured products
Apart from behind the scenes content, talk more about your products on Stories. Highlight your most popular products and let them know about how to use it.
Pro tip: Posting Instagram Stories regularly is a great way to beat the Instagram algorithm. It helps your account stay at the top of Instagram users’ feeds.
Related read: How to sell better on Instagram: Tips and tricks
7. Create ‘shoppable’ Instagram stories
If you’ve got an Instagram Shop set up, you can create shoppable Instagram Stories. To do this, all you need to do is add your product tags to your Instagram Stories.
When Instagram users see your Stories, they can tap on the product and be directed straight to your store. From here they can purchase the product without even leaving the app.
This is a great way to leverage Instagram stories to directly boost your sales.
Want to learn more about how you can grow your small business brand on Instagram from scratch? Sign up for this FREE mojoVersity course.
8. Use relevant product-related hashtags
Using hashtags is an excellent way to reach a wider audience who will be interested in making a purchase from your business.
To find the hashtags suitable for your business, checkout the hashtags your competitors use. Here’s an example from the Souled Store:
There are mainly two kinds of hashtags: local hashtags and product related hashtags. To find local hashtags, look up posts from other local businesses or local business publications. Use them to drive engagement to your posts and get sales.
Pro tip: Just because a hashtag is popular, it doesn’t mean that it is going to be helpful to you. Sometimes a trending hashtag may not be suitable for your brand image.
9. Create a branded hashtag
To increase sales from Instagram, using an interactive brand hashtag helps.
Every time someone posts a photo using the tag, they’re exposing your brand to more users.
If you already have a popular brand slogan or phrase, consider making that your branded hashtag. For example, the feminine hygiene brand Nua woman successfully accomplished this with their hashtag, #GoWithYourFlow.
10. Respond to comments
As a small business looking to grow its following and get more sales, respond to every (real) comment you get. This will help you build personal relationships with both potential and existing customers.
Genuine comments make your brand feel more personal and connect you more strongly with your target audience. And building connections make all the difference when it comes to making a sale online. So, make sure to reply to new and old comments on your post.
11. Get the conversation going
Never forget the social element when it comes to growing your business on Instagram: engagement.
Responding to questions and comments is great; getting out there and starting conversations of your own on other posts and pages is even better. Find pages that have the same topics and themes as yours and engage with it. Eventually, you’ll get noticed and people will start buying from your brand. Leave genuine comments on other people’s posts
Influencer marketing and other partnerships
12. Partner with influencers
Influencers have a growing influence on eCommerce shopping trends, according to a recent report.
Trust is a major factor in making sales on Instagram, and with the help of the right influencers, this aspect is easier for brands. For a small business owner, the best way is to partner with micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers provide a smaller reach, but their audience is highly niched and targeted. In fact, 82% of customers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a micro-influencer.
Related Read: How to create a successful influencer marketing campaign
13. Partner with other brands
Product collaborations are a great way to grow your brand both on social and otherwise.
To increase sales from Instagram, consider partnering with other brands whose products complement your own. Preferably, this brand should have a good engagement rate on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
For example, Noto, a healthy Icecream comapny, partnered with Sleepy Owl, a coffee brand. This collaboration may have opened up opportunities for them across niches.
Partnering with other brands can also be as simple as organising contests and giveaways together.
14. Reach out to local Instagram accounts
There are a many Instagram accounts that post content specifically on a single city or state. In addition to photos of popular local spots, they also feature experiences or businesses as well.
For example, Whatshotbangalore is an Instagram page that features places in Bangalore. They also occasionally feature local restaurants and other businesses as well.
Local accounts are an awesome way for small businesses to reach their target markets on Instagram and make sales.
Identify the accounts in your area that have large followings, and reach out to them to review your product or visit your business and create a post about it. Or it can be as simple as a story share.
15. Host contests on Instagram
Contests with attractive prizes or discounts can draw attention to your brand and products. Big and small brands alike run contests on Instagram, the most popular one being giveaways.
The idea is to reach more potential customers with the help of your existing customers. here are some popular Instagram contests that can help you increase overall sales:
- Like and comment to win.
- Tag friends
- Photo caption contest
- Trivia contest
View this post on Instagram
16. Optimise your business profile
Make sure that your Instagram business profile is updated and ready to attract sales.
Here’s how to optimise your profile:
- Craft a unique bio
- Add a proper profile photo
- Link to your online store
17. Add strong calls to action
Want more sales from your posts? Sometimes, it just comes down to asking properly.
Encourage your readers to take action by subscribing or checking out your store. Use strong action words and create an urgency for customers to buy from you.
18. Run ads on your Instagram account
Instagram ads can help you reach your target audience faster and get more sales. According to Retail Touchpoints, 72% of Instagram users have purchased a product after seeing it on the app.
Put money behind posts and content that you already know perform well organically. Test everything to see what performs best, and dedicate most of your ad spend to that. Also, measure your ad success and take note of anything that didn’t do well.
Here’s a guide on how to create high conversion ads for your D2C brand.
19. Cross promote your Instagram account
Get your Instagram handle out there in the world everywhere you can: share it in your Twitter bio, include it in your newsletter, and throw it in the footer of your website.
The more you can point people towards the platform, the more followers you’ll get and more customers will make sales.
Want to create your own online store? Get started on Instamojo for free!
20. Instagram story highlights
Instagram Story highlights covers can make a big difference to your Instagram bio. You can use highlight covers to talk more about your brand and preserve your best Stories.
If you use this properly, your Instagram bio will be able to offer a lot more information to your audience, and convert them faster. For example, you can add highlights on all the reviews stories you have posted.
21. Post at the right time
You could have an amazing Instagram content strategy, but if you’re posting when nobody’s online, you won’t get much engagement nor sales.
The best time to post should depend on your audience and your industry. For this, you can use an Instagram analytics tool to know more about your audience’s behaviour.
Get free business advice delivered to your inbox and stay ahead of your eCommerce game. Sign up for the Instamojo blog digest.
22. Rank your post on Google
Yes, you heard that right. You can rank your posts on Google and get customers directly from the search engine results page. Here’s how you can achieve this:
- Add keywords in your profile
- Use alt text on posts
- Use keywords in caption
- Utilize hashtags
23. Slide into your customers’ DMs
Sending your followers a ‘buy my product’ message is a sure-fire way of how NOT to sell on Instagram.
But, you can use direct messages to engage with someone in private, start a genuine conversation, and lead to a sale without feeling like an icky, slimy salesperson.
Here’s how you can use Instagram DMs to make sales without being to sale-sy:
- Reach out to people who left a comment
- Interact with customers who responded to your polls in Stories
- Detach from the outcome: Always go into a DM conversation without the intent to pitch your products or services.
24. Create custom stickers and filters
Though this will not lead directly to sales, creating custom stickers enables you to strengthen your brand identity and get more sales in the long run.
Here’s a quick guide on how to create interactive stickers and filters.
25. Create an online store
Eventually, the best way to lead customers to make a purchase is through an online store.
According to a survey by ICRIER, small business owners claim that they get more repeat customers through online stores. This means that an eCommerce website will help you stand out from other brands on Instagram and make you appear more legit.
Get more sales today!
With these 25 ways to make more sales on Instagram, you can get your first (or next) orders from Instagram. It all starts with understanding your audience and targeting a pain point of theirs.
Not sure where to begin? Start by creating an eCommerce website for your business. You can create it within 5 minutes and lead your Instagram audience to make a purchase. With Instamojo, create an online store for free. Check out the features your online store will get.