Instagram is a social media app that was released in 2010 “to capture and share the world’s moments” according to their mission statement. Although, it is more than just a place to post pictures of your last meal or your birthday celebrations. As an entrepreneur or business, you can utilize Instagram to market and promote your services and products. You may be wondering how to sell on Instagram. Or perhaps you may be wondering if your specific product is suitable to sell there at all.
Luckily, Instagram is suitable for a wide range of products and services if you are utilizing it to its best abilities. As well, with zero to low costs, Instagram can be an affordable tool to incorporate into your marketing plan. With the growth in the digital marketing world as well as an increase in online shopping, it’s easy to see how selling your products on Instagram could be a good business strategy.
Before You Sell on Instagram
Before you dive in, there are a few things that you’ll need to do. You must choose a product or service, have an appropriate Instagram account, and integrate a digital store.
When considering the product you’re trying to sell on Instagram, keep in mind Instagram is primarily a visual app. So in order to be successful, you will have to provide a lot of visuals for whatever product you sell. Even if the product is not tangible like consulting services, for example, filling your page with pictures and videos will do well. Although some products do better than others, you can sell just about anything. Products that have a lot of visuals such as tangible products, art, and digital courses will tend to be more profitable.
However, you are only limited by your creativity. Choosing to sell a coaching service could mean posting a short clip of life advice. Promoting a spiritual wellness service could look like pictures of your dedicated workspace. Selling a marketing plan could mean a few slideshows showcasing your results. The goal is to visually captivate your audience.
Business vs. Personal Account
Once you have considered or settled on a product, you need to have a proper business account set up. Unfortunately, this is the only way to sell on Instagram. You can either change an existing account to a business account or start a new one and create a shop. There are a couple of things to consider for each, but in the end, it boils down to personal preference. Another thing you will need is a business page on Facebook regardless of which option you choose. It may seem like a lot of work, but it will add a layer of legitimacy to your business. Luckily, it only takes minutes to set up a Facebook business page.
If you already have an established Instagram account, you may be considering using it to sell products or services. It only takes a few minutes to convert a personal account to a business one in order to sell on Instagram. Simply connect it to your Facebook business page and after some verification, you are good to go. With an established audience, marketing can be easier. You’ll have people who already follow and support you see your products and services. This may be an easier option. However, please consider the types of things you have posted prior to changing the account. If you use your personal account for things you may not want your potential customers to see, this may not be a good option for you.
If you choose to create a new business account, you get the benefit of starting from scratch. As a business or entrepreneur, you have an image to maintain. At least, if you want to be viewed positively in the public eye. However, please consider that when starting with a new account, you will have to do additional work by building your audience from the ground up. It can also make things simpler when collecting data when selling on Instagram. Though this option may include more work upfront, it may be better in the long run. By keeping your business and personal accounts separate, you have more control of your professional image.
Using Your Instagram Bio to Sell on Instagram
One of the limitations of Instagram is that you are only allowed to have one website included in your bio. If you have a variety of blogs, websites, and social media accounts for your business, this may be a bit frustrating. However, utilizing the character count and the link feature can help you when selling on Instagram. Regardless of where you are selling your products or services, providing a link of some sort will help your potential clients.
Create a captivating blurb for your bio. Putting your mission statement, for example, can provide your audience with insight into what your business is about. Using linked.bio can offer more flexibility because you can link to any store. You have more flexibility for linking specific products to your site and this can prove useful if you have lots of products to sell. It is a feature offered through Later, a third-party service that helps you schedule your posts in advance. If you don’t know where to start or you have a problem with consistency, it can be a valuable source to you.
Connecting an Online Store
Shopify is another tool that you can utilize to sell your products. Shopify has a partnership with Instagram. Due to this, users will discover a seamless integration of their two accounts. If you are new to Shopify, that’s okay. They offer a user-friendly guide to getting your store set up. Although, it is best for larger stores with a lot of inventory. If you are a smaller business, other online commerce platforms may be better suited.
Using Visuals to Sell on Instagram
Although you could have a page full of white text on a black background, the types of posts that do well on Instagram are pictures and videos. Creating highly visual content is the key to selling on Instagram. As well, having a good mix of still images and videos will also keep your audience engaged. Regardless of your product or service, you will benefit from having a lot of visuals. Whether it’s pictures of an actual product, a colorful infographic, or an engaging slideshow, having something for your audience to look at is important. If you lack physical products, you can create visually appealing content in places like Canva, Photoshop, and InDesign. Though there may be a learning curve, being able to produce or hire someone to create visuals for your business is invaluable.
Marketing Tips for Selling on Instagram
Marketing your business can at times be more work than producing your service or product. However, having strong marketing skills can make all the difference in getting exposure.
Over-focusing on one form of social media will limit your growth potential. Utilizing more than one platform is more comprehensive and will help your marketing efforts. Choosing the right platforms is dependent on what you are providing. Anything that is heavily reliant on videos will do better on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok more than others. For example, if you have an educational course you’re trying to sell on Instagram, you might find YouTube a good place to connect your Instagram account to.
Utilize Instagram ads in order to reach a broader audience is a great way to gain exposure. Similar to Facebook ads, Instagram ads will target the audience of your choosing and put your posts at the forefront of their experience. By doing so, you increase the chances of being seen. Although it is a paid option, it is a valuable investment as you can see an increase in followers and even sales within a couple of weeks.
Depending on the type of service or product you provide, Instagram has many challenges you can take part in to increase your visibility and connect with others. This can prove to be a valuable marketing tool. If you are a writer, for example, participating in a monthly challenge can increase your following. As well, it can provide you with more connections in the writing community.
Using a schedule like Later or Hootsuite can help you with consistency. If you are a smaller business or an entrepreneur, being able to provide consistency as well as a high-quality product may be challenging. Utilizing a scheduling app may be in your best interest as it can give your audience the consistency that will oftentimes keep them engaged.
Selling your products on Instagram may prove to be a profitable option for you. With so many tools at your disposal, there are many pathways to your goals. Assuming you have a great product or service, consistency and exposure will ensure your continued success.
- What types of products should I sell on Instagram?
- Can you use more than one link in your Instagram bio?
- How do you link a Shopify store to your Instagram?
- What are the best products to sell on Instagram?
- How much does it cost to create a business Instagram account?