Optimizing your Instagram channel for direct sales will lead to enormous rewards.
At Intentional Marketer University, we have taught business owners around the world how to use Instagram for their direct sales marketing business.
The purpose of this article is to show you how to turn your Instagram account into an income opportunity.
By ignoring the fundamentals of marketing on Instagram, you allow the competition to succeed.
Marketing on Instagram grows your website traffic and number of views per month. Yes, Instagram is just that powerful!
Below I give you the top tips for all affiliate marketers. If you are trying to sell your direct sales products using Instagram you need to keep reading.
#1: Tell People What to Do
Take a look at Dollar Shave Club’s Instagram profile above. What is one thing that sticks out to you about their profile. They tell you, in no uncertain terms, exactly what they want you to do. They want you to try the club!
Nothing will grow your business faster than telling your audience what you want them to do. This is a Call to Action.
It works, it is time tested, and it is true. In the fast paced world of social media, you must show your audience how you can help them. Then you immediately tell them where to go for that help. In fact you audience will appreciate the “straight to the point” tactic.
From our first-hand experience, Instagram is a unique social media channel in this respect. A typical person on Instagram will to look at a picture, check the description, and follow the call to action. Simple as that. To earn sales on Instagram you must give a call to action “Click the link in profile if you want to learn more!”
From experience, when the call to action precedes the amazing offer you get more leads.
Is a “call to action” a new concept for you? If so, or you need to brush up on your strategy take advantage of Intentional Marketer University’s “Lead Magnet Guide” here: http://courses.intentionalmarketeruniversity.com/courses/create-your-first-lead-magnet-guide
Sounds amazing right? Well guess what? It works.
There are many ways to entice your audience. It all begins with putting the right images and calls to action out there. This leads to tip #2.
#2. Identify Your Audience’s Preference
Images that appeal to the customer’s preference is the most important step for monetizing business on Instagram.
Finding, targeting, and staying relevant to your audience is the critical factor. And whether you make the most income from this platform.
Identifying your audience’s preference is a huge topic. I have seen what happens when business owners post the wrong content to the desired audience. Let’s just say it isn’t pretty!
Luckily, you are reading this with some understanding of your audience’s preferences. So this should be simple. Take a look back through your Instagram feed and check out the popular posts. What has received comments, shares and likes? Your audience will have the same tastes and preferences you do. Start each Instagram post with the question “Would this image pique my interest?” “Would I buy this?” If you answer yes, then you have found great content.
Consider going to your competitor’s pages as well. Check out their popular posts and images. As you find images your niche audience is interacting with, make similar ones for your page.
Once you’ve established your audience’s preferences, it is time to move onto tip #3.
#3 Identify the Profit Locations
Your monetization options on Instagram stay limited when you represent a direct sales company. Most direct sales companies do not allow their affiliates to take out advertising space. Read the fine print on your affiliate membership. Chances are good that paid advertising is not allowed.
So what are you supposed to do?
Do you remember tip #1? The call to action? Your affiliate situation demands that you use a powerful call to action to a profit location.
But wait. Do not post your affiliate link in this location, create an intriguing freebie instead. Your goal is to lead the audience to content. You can post this freebie link on Instagram and any social network. This link will collect email leads from people who want more information.
Take a look at this example from MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York).
MoMA is even promoting the clickable link! They are not aggressively pushing ticket sales, or exhibit promotions, but instead softly telling you about the value they will enrich your life with (creativity, igniting minds, inspiring!). Then they present the perfect clickable link and lead you off Instagram onto their content rich website.
What is content? Content is information your niche audience wants. If you represent the make-up industry then maybe a freebie on how to contour is a good option. If you represent the health and wellness industry, then low fat recipes would work.
The purpose of these profit locations is to take your Instagram audience and turn them into leads. Give a call to action to “Click the Link in the Profile” in the description. This is your profit location. Next you move from the profit location to a sales funnel. Keep reading for tip #4.
#4: Educate, Give Variety and Repeat
After you have led your audience to the profit location you need to have a plan of action. Take the leads who wanted your freebie and turn them into a product sale.
We suggest an approach that uses three different features.
Start with education.
A lead who wants your freebie is a “freebie-seeker’. Until you follow up with education about your valuable products they will never buy.
Give them information they need and start building trust.
Give your leads variety.
A fundamental of bridging the lead into a sale is to have a multistep follow-up sequence in place. Create a marketing plan that incorporates email marketing, discounts, and valuable “how to” graphics. Think of infographics that teach them a new technique with your products. Variety also means including invitations to webinars or other live events hosted by you. This is the key to moving them through to the sale, what works for some people will not work for others. You must have enough variety to capture sales from many different personalities.
Humans need to hear the same message an average of 12 times before it finally kicks in. You may feel exhausted at repeating your information about your products over and over. Understandable. But you must realize that your customers did not hear you the first time. They have not heard you the second or third or fourth time!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your one “before and after” image on Instagram is going to get you a sale. The purpose of Instagram marketing leads the prospect into a sales environment. It is here where you talk to them over and over again. If your audience heard the sales pitch the first time, you would have already had thousands of sales.
Since that is not the case, then chances are, they have not heard your pitch. Take them off of the social media channel with a call to action. Direct them to a ‘profit location’. Put in place a variable marketing campaign and talk to them again, and again, and again.
#5 Analysis & Optimization
Finally, analysis & optimization must be a large part of your Instagram strategy. There are two different analysis techniques you need to understand. Quantitative (measurement) and Qualitative (non-measurement).
Here is where you can measure the engagement with each image / post. Create (or use an analysis app) where you can calculate the interaction from each post.
Your desired measurement is going to be the number of clicks to your link in profile.
You will want to measure how many of those clicks converted to a lead (they gave you an email). Quantitative measurement shows you revenue potential. When each of those leads follows your marketing campaign (tip #4) you have a good starting point.
Your goal is to make effective Instagram campaigns. So the more data you can add to this analysis, the more effective you’ll be.
- Day / time of day posted
- Content type – link, photo, video etc.
- Ratio of link clicks to lead captures.
Use this strategy to build a picture of which efforts are profitable, and which are a waste of time.
Qualitative analysis is looking at the aspects of your marketing that is not numbers. Your qualitative analysis will cover the aesthetics of your business. Here are some questions to get started with.
- Am I providing enough information? Does my content support my efforts (giving people enough call’s to action)?
- Does my freebie link work well for the Instagram platform?
- Given all that I know about marketing, do I come across as a “spammer”?
- Am I offering true value to my target audience?
These qualitative measurements should be one of the most important considerations. Are you paying enough attention to the service that you offer or are you just trying to make a buck? Believe us. People know the difference between a sales person and someone who leads with value.
The only way you will make sales is by being the value leader first through qualitative analysis. The more value you give away the more success you will experience.
This process is a long one.
It may feel safe to aggressively promote your direct sales products on social media. Again, trust us. Take the time to represent yourself as the value leader and you will earn greater profit in the long run.
You have just read 5 tips to monetize your direct sales business using Instagram.
- Tell people what to do
- Identify your audience’s preferences
- Identify the profit location
- Educate, variety, and repetition
- Analysis and optimization
Follow these steps and you will be head and shoulders above your industry competition. Direct sales is profitable on social media. But you must prove that you are beneficial to your audience first.
Now you know what thousands of people will never understand! Put it into action today, you will be thankful you did.
Simply reading a dozen different blog articles on how to be successful on Instagram will not do the trick. Now that you know the basics, it is time to step it up a notch. Learn from IMU founders Anne DiVitto and Meredith Dale. We teach you the exact strategies to grow your Instagram account while selling product and creating income.