Since the COVID-19 lockdown, the emergence of online businesses has increased exponentially. Brands now turn to online marketing to grab customers’ attention. Instagram is a platform that has been gaining popularity amongst social media marketers. The process of running a business is to build a community, attract consumers with your content, and have them trust you. This will eventually lead to a sale if you know how to market your brand.
This isn’t just hollow words, as over the 200 million business accounts on Instagram also feel this way. This is not surprising because over 2 billion active users are lying in wait that is yet to be stimulated with your brand’s content. This audience pool is continuously growing as the platform is the most downloaded social media app. They even surpassed Tiktok as of last year. Instagram is also continuously releasing updates that make it easier for brands and content creators to curate content for their audience.
With the emerging audience bracket being young people from the Gen Z and Millennials generation, grabbing their attention is ideal for gaining followers. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only thing that matters anymore. Over 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business account. Younger audiences want to hear what businesses say, but making them buy your products might require you to use a different strategy. The key is to direct consumers from your Instagram account to your product landing pages on your website or through the platform’s buying feature. This blog will explore how you can turn your followers into paying customers.
The following ways are:
Do Your Research About Your Followers
To truly convert your followers into customers, you must first figure out what drives them to engage with a brand and eventually buy from them. Creating the right social media marketing strategy requires you to implement tools and review data to understand your audience. When you focus on this aspect of your overall marketing strategy, creating a customer profile on which you can base campaigns and posts is easier. This would improve the way you are perceived as a brand and how you communicate with your audience.
For example, a swimming costume brand would be best suited to target younger people and middle-aged consumers to market their products. The idea isn’t to get a large following of a mixed bag of consumers but to get the right consumers to follow you. The right kind of follower is more likely to convert into a customer. Therefore, it is essential to target the right consumers effectively and not spam them. Paying attention to consumption patterns, behaviors, and wants can further enhance your understanding. This data is found on third-party apps or in your Instagram account’s analytics section. Once you know your audience, persuading them to buy your products/services and become loyal customers will be easy.
Build A Community
Building a community and not just gaining followers is essential on a social media platform like Instagram. The difference between the two is how your consumer reacts to your content. You will find that when you put up a post, your reactions are not just limited to a like or a comment. Users will start a conversation with you directly about the content, make remixes of your posts, tag you in them, and post stickers relating to your content. This is one reason why Instagram rises above all the other platforms in terms of engagement. Unlike platforms like Youtube or Tiktok, where user engagement is limited to likes, comments and shares.
The content variety you have on Instagram is numerous. For example, you can include photos, videos, and reels into your feed. They also have specialized features to edit your content in terms of AR lenses and special effects. This capability would assist you in creating fresh content to bring in new followers and further grow your online community. In addition, when your content has a variety, you have more engagement with consumers and have a better opportunity to convert them into customers. This also would mean you can target consumers at different stages of the buyer journey.
To build a community, you also need to be seen. Instagram has been recognized as a platform that would give your profile and content a good exposure ratio if you put out quality posts. Youtube is known for not showing your content even if you are an official page, while Tiktok aims to give new creators exposure. So starting on Tiktok might be helpful if you are trying to gain quick exposure, but you are at a disadvantage because users won’t be able to see your content even if your account is being followed. So it is vital to choose the right platform to grow and maintain your community.
Diversify Your Content
Keeping followers might be manageable by posting repetitive content with little variety, but gaining customers might need a bit more zing. An important reminder to give yourself is that you aren’t the only business account most users follow and to stand out, you need to have eye-popping content. This does not have to be immediate, but you need to evolve your content to grow your community over time. To build your relationship with your consumers, you need to engage them to keep them wanting more continuously. For example, you might have a friend you like to spend time with, but if you have the same conversation repeatedly, it might deter you from meeting that friend. So the same kind of principle is applied to your business content.
Some brands make the mistake of sticking to one form and trying to make it their primary marketing source. An excellent example of this was the introduction of reels. This Instagram feature was a hit in the community and many businesses took this feature by storm to try and market their brand to users. A strategy like this could have worked initially, but it will soon be saturated. The ideal content strategy to utilize is a mix of different formats. As mentioned earlier, your content needs to appeal to consumers at different levels of the marketing funnel. For example, a carousel post would be perfect to showcase products and run consumers through the process of service. At the same time, an Instagram reel is ideal for increasing your brand reach and making first contact with potential customers.
Similarly, using the stories feature on Instagram quickly and effectively engages your audience without being intrusive. You can also post polls and surveys on your story to get a better feel of what kind of content your followers like. Stories are an excellent way to give users a sneak peek at what your business is doing and can create the right kind of hype for your brand before a big launch or campaign. This kind of strategy aims to keep your followers engaged with your content. When users are consistently engaged through different content channels, you have a better chance of turning them into customers and directing them to your product landing pages.
Optimize Your Instagram Bio
A customer’s journey to view and like content is relatively simple. The previous section talked about optimizing your content. Once a consumer views and likes your content that has popped up on their feed, the next step in the customer journey is viewing your profile. The first thing a user sees after your profile picture is the Instagram bio. So it is essential to ensure the content you fill up in that section is appealing. The idea is to positively impact the consumer’s perception of your brand right from the bio. Finally, it would help if you created a catchy bio that captures the essence of your brand and what your brand stands for.
Spend time decorating and designing your Instagram profile to stand out and be informed about the products and services you provide. Story highlights can be incorporated into your account as a focus update on what your business has done and what they provide. In addition, many third-party apps like Canva, Bannersnack and Adobe Spark will provide you assistance in creating aesthetically pleasing posts. Another vital tip to remember is always to add your website link or product page link on your Instagram bio.
Some business accounts in various regions do not yet have access to the click-to-buy posts feature. So this is an excellent way to encourage consumers to visit your website through the link. Instagram only allows one link at a time, so prioritize what landing page you want your consumers to see. For example, if you have a product launch, it would be ideal to have that specific product link on your bio for promotional purposes. However, if you wish to add multiple links to your bio, you can use third-party apps like LinkTree to have multiple links on one URL.
Be Authentic And Build Trust
Social media has become the perfect medium for marketers to reach audiences. But what you need to remember is that to remember that to be successful on Instagram, you need to be social and interact with your users consistently. You won’t get very far if you use the platform only to sell products and not be social as a brand. What users appeal to is when they see the human side of a business, it could be through sharing your thoughts on topics, putting a face to the brand and employees or even reaching out directly to consumers to start conversations. The deeper you tap into the human element of consumers, the further you will reach with their trust. When consumers trust a brand, they are more likely to convert into paying customers.
To achieve this human element in your business, the first step is not to make all your content about products and services. When consumers visit your profile and see post after post about what you’re trying to sell them, they are likely to exit the page without even following it. You can also get feedback from users about the posts you upload to make them feel like they are included in the creation process. Encouraging users to share their brand experiences in the form of comments or reposts is an excellent way to portray your brand looks beyond just sales and is more attuned to customer satisfaction.
It would be best if you also looked towards optimizing your customer service interactions on your profile. Consumers feel appreciated if their queries or complaints are attended to in a timely fashion. This helps you retain your current customer base and paints you in a good light in front of potential customers. If your DM’s are being answered quickly and effectively, you are more likely to recommend the brand to your friends or family, which would grow your customer base. Being transparent about your business and original with your content is the best starting point to gain consumer trust, translating to more conversions.
Contests and Giveaways
An exciting way to keep your consumers engaged and have them more invested in your brand is to make them compete in a contest or a giveaway. Consumers love competing for something of value, and you need to use it to your advantage as a brand. Instagram is a platform that will help you utilize this content idea to the fullest. This strategy can be implemented to find new consumers or to turn your existing followers into customers.
The contest idea is to encourage consumers to engage with your content. It can involve liking a post, commenting or sharing it, tagging your friends and even posting a picture to tag the brand. To some extent, even emails are shared to build an email list you can use for an email marketing strategy. Tangible gifts or services would be the preferred reward so consumers can get a good feel for what your brand has to offer. When you pick a winner for your contest or giveaway, you can ask them to post their reaction or review their reward. A video or photo response to these products or services would positively impact the brand in the consumer’s eyes. This would also act as a form of advertising for your products, leading to more consumers venturing onto your product page and buying them in response to a positive reward review.
Post Content Consistently
The last thing you should remember about turning followers into customers is to be consistent about posting your content. You could have incredible content ideas, but if it only shows up once in a while on consumers’ feeds, it might not have the same effect as content posted at a steady stream. So the general rule is to post on Instagram at least once or twice a day. This way, you are not overloading your followers with your content and are still relevant on their feeds. On the other hand, if you are present on consumers’ feeds and have an established online presence, the likelihood of those consumers turning into customers is much higher.
It is vital to remember that if you post content daily on Instagram, ensure that this high-quality content adds value to the consumers’ lives and not just spamming their feeds. If you post much unrelatable content, users will unfollow you. If posting all your content manually is challenging, you can always look to third-party programs like Hootsuite and Sprout to automate your posting and scheduling.
With these following ways in mind, you now have the step-by-step process by which you can start turning those followers into customers. Some tips might be hard to implement in your industry, but Instagram is constantly releasing updates that are making different kinds of content creators feel more included. So keep an eye on these updates and have a head start on your competition. Do not forget to keep experimenting with different variations of strategies and incorporate third-party apps that will ease the whole process for you.