Instagram Sales

All about Selling on Instagram

In this section, we tell you how to sell on Instagram. We open up over all the steps, vital
strategies and best free, and paid tools known to man.

What questions are covered?

  1. Why does your business urgently need Instagram?
  2. Who succeed on Instagram: popular niches
  3. 5 mistakes that kill your Instagram sales
  4. How to sell services or visually unattractive goods?
  5. How to interact with clients and deal with complaints?
  6. CRM alternatives: customer management with Google Sheets and Ingramer
  7. How to message for direct sales and strengthen your sales funnel
  8. Strategies of offering discounts and special offers for sales boost
  9. How to Solve People’s Problems with Your Goods or Services and Sell Better?
  10. Analytics for sales

What tools are described?

These are the basic support tools that help you sell more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Instagram Bot

Automated likes and Stories views for the target audience.

Widgets for Websites

Engagement links on your website that drive traffic to your Social Media accounts.

Hot Clients

Facilitated search for Target audience by hashtags and locations.

Instagram Search for Influencers

Fast search for Creators by names, phone numbers, emails, bios, etc.

Hashtag Generator

Easy search for relevant hashtags by photo, URL, and keywords.

Bulk Messaging

Quality auto messenger to all new followers, all followers or custom base.

Instagram Chat – CRM

Convenient Instagram chat with CRM features with access from any device.

Instagram Profile Analyzer

Precise analysis of any Instagram account: engagement, publication time, etc.

Why Does Your Business Urgently Need Instagram?

Instagram provides a great opportunity for brands to present themselves and to humanize
your brand, as well as generate social proof. We know X reasons for you to use Instagram
for brand sake.

1. Instagram is a huge user base with a high level of engagement

Take a look at statistics:

  • Instagram is used worldwide;
  • The number of monthly active Instagram users is 1 billion;
  • More than 95,000,000 photos / videos are uploaded daily on Instagram;
  • Instagram engagement continues to grow: post engagement increased by 53% over the previous year.
  • 90 of the top 100 global brands have an Instagram account.
  • Over 80% of them publish on social networks at least once a week.
Instagram users statistics

2. Instagram allows engaging the target audience in the brand philosophy

The Instagram account does not work only on direct sales, but on engagement with the brand. The company communicates with the audience and tries to convey its concept and philosophy to it. Such a promotion goal is relevant, first of all, for entertainment, catering,  and for any other companies whose product cannot be bought directly through a social network.

3. It’s easy to search for new customers through Instagram

The generation of leads — calls, requests, and orders, is a natural and understandable desire of small business owners who start their promotion on Instagram.

Instagram account is a gold mine for the beauty industry and small online stores of clothes and accessories. 

Users literally flock to Instagram. According to a study, more than half of all millennials log into Instagram daily. The global gender composition of Instagram users is almost the same: 51% of men and 49% of women. 
Of course, customers will not come to you without a well-thought-out strategy and well-targeted advertising. Learn about all promotion techniques on Instagram.

4. You can create a loyal community around your company

To form a community around the brand —  it’s for this purpose Instagram is used by giant companies. 

However, it is also important for small brands to gather an interested audience around the brand: communicate with followers, discuss their lives, answer questions, and help with advice. 

“All interaction in one way or another affects sales, but nevertheless, the basis of such promotion is the desire to bring together as many people with the same interests in the ‘space’ of the brand.” — Bigbangram team

5. Getting leads for B2C business with a long transaction cycle is easier

In some niches of the business, customers come only on the recommendation of friends. These are the niches where the price list is high, so it is important for the customer to be sure that the service will be performed efficiently and on time—for example, apartment renovation. 

However, some examples prove that for such companies, Instagram can become, if not the main, but an additional indirect source of leads.

6. Instagram allows access to an extremely narrow target audience

If an experienced SMM specialist or a quality web service takes up the matter, you can reach out to a very specific target audience — down to the smallest detail.

7. Instagram can replace your brand’s website when you only start

Instagram profile may be the only platform for communication with customers, at least at the beginning of the promotion of the business, while the official site is not ready yet.

It has the same functionality — presents of goods/services, provides your contacts for communication, allows running promotion campaigns, etc.

8. You can expect the increase in average spend

Sometimes beautiful pictures of your products can convince the customer to buy more than he/she originally planned.

Plus, you can expect an additional boost in sales during peak seasons. Instagram can be a good sales catalyst for a seasonal product. For example, sales of exclusive Christmas tree decorations from November to December.

What are the most popular niches for business on Instagram?

We develop the theme in the next question. Please, read on.

Should I create an account if I sell something not so attractive? Taps, for example.

Sure, you should. There are hundreds of successful brands on Instagram that sell stuff absolutely not ‘visual’. 

Examples are @farrowandball (sells paint cans), @wakitgrinders (sells Electric ball and chain grinds).

For more information, go to question #4.

Who Succeed on Instagram: Popular Niches

What is great to sell on Instagram? 

We disclose the most popular Instagram niches in 2020.

Instagram is a unique platform for promoting and selling brands and services. Various courses and seminars are in demand here, original handmade things, entertainment programs, and many more.

However, the competition is rough here. It is not easy to stand out among millions of accounts. And before choosing a niche, you should ask yourself how you want to monetize your Instagram account.

Common monetization methods include:

  • Sale of advertising for other brands;
  • Attracting traffic to the product and receiving commissions. Also known as affiliate marketing;
  • Selling your own product, perhaps through a direct delivery or digital product, such as an online course or an e-book.

If you have not decided on a niche yet, we present to your attention the top 50 niches on Instagram:

1. Infopreneurship, both online and offline:

  • foreign languages;
  • playing musical instruments;
  • creating photo/video;
  • oratory;
  • culinary master classes;
  • design of clothes and toys;
  • fashion illustration;
  • makeup lessons;
  • business education.
Instagram profile of a business mentor

2. Freelance and new jobs:

  • life coach;
  • time manager;
  • organization of space;
  • stylist, analysis of the outfit;
  • copywriting;
  • targeted and contextual advertising;
  • social network administrator (Instagram);
  • SMM;
  • producer of information business;
  • cryptocurrency.
Instagram profile of a speaker and coach of Nadine Reader

3. Most trendy niches/goods:

  • astrology (mapping souls, practices, candles, amulets);
  • psychology (family, personality);
  • sexology (intimate goods, courses);
  • dietetics + sport (nutritional psychology);
  • new generation gadgets (wireless headphones, wifi sockets, phone holders, portable projectors);
  • beauty products (patches, serums for face / eyebrows / eyelashes, silicone sponges, lamps for manicure, cosmetics for professionals, mats for washing brushes for makeup, masks for sleeping);
  • fashion-goods (massive sneakers, waist bags, slippers with fur, backpacks, watches);
  • sport-goods (fitness gum, sportswear, fitness underwear, water bottles);
  • interior products (tablecloths, bedding, lamps with the effect of fire, rugs).
Instagram account devoted to astrology

Final word

It doesn’t matter which niche you choose. You can make money on anything with the right mindset. The key point is that you will occupy a niche for a long period of time, and do not abandon this the day after the start. Instagram is not about success overnight. This game is long term and requires dedication.

Even if you sell something completely unattractive, you still have a chance. We disclose the matter in question #4.

Can a business that is not listed above succeed on Instagram?

Sure, it can. But only in case you know how to present it in an attractive and touching way.

5 Mistakes That Kill Your Instagram Sales

“I’ll create a profile, upload all my pictures from the site, and sales will come,” the
entrepreneur believes. He or she is deeply mistaken.
We tell what mistakes business people make on Instagram most often, and give instructions
on how to fix them and start getting customers.

1. Half-baked visual

We start with the visual aspect as it remains to be the most important feature of Instagram as a sales channel.

  • Photos from your website. That’s not that they cannot be used at all. But to make your Instagram profile a copy of your website is not worth it. It does not sell.
  • Poor quality photos. Bad light, grainy, or blurred photo. They won’t sell your product or service.
  • Photo from photo stocks. Uniqueness rules on Instagram. Photos from stocks have already been used hundreds of times. However, it’s Ok to use such photos for some posts but not often and not from popular stocks like Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash. 

How to fix the issue?

1. Shoots for Instagram 

Though Instagram is considered to be for entertainment, treat it seriously. Do you put low-quality photos from your phone on the site? Doubtedly. 

Your best decision is a special photo and video shoots, regular ones. They won’t cost you a fortune, but they can bring more customers than amateur photos.

Take a look at the accounts of competitors and popular bloggers. There, certain angles, colors, locations come in well. Find a photographer who knows how to shoot for Instagram.

Here is how a sports nutrition store arranges the Instagram gallery:

2. User-generated content

Another option is to fill in the profile with photos that users make. 

User photos can be collected by branded #.

You will get a unique profile in which each photo proves that your product is needed, that many people use it. But again, pick up only quality content.

3. IG-designer

Such a specialist can be contacted if there is no content at all, or you feel that yours is bad. Social media designers usually mix photos from photo stocks and use graphic design to create illustrations. Such specialists can be found directly on Instagram by the tag #designinstagram or through Search.

They will make your profile look like this:

Read more about designing your business profile in the Content section.

2. Not well-developed marketing

“We sell everything for everyone. Central Asia residents of megalopolises aged 20-55 years. USP is “we have the highest quality”

Even by purchasing advertising for $10 000, you won’t get a good result. It will be a waste of time if you do not know the answers to the following questions:

  • What is your product?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is your USP?
  • Why should a person follow you?
  • How will your profile be interesting for your TA?

Do not skip this step, please. It’s 10 minutes of reflection.

Let’s consider an example: a girl wants to buy a dress for her birthday party, she enters ‘Cocktail dress” and goes to Instagram to get inspired and see your posts “Cocktail dress 101649, blue, size M” Her reaction — “meh, don’t want it”.

Catch her attention with an interesting topic, an unusual caption, and the image of the girl she wants to look like.

And if you don’t know what she is dreaming of, whom she wants to turn into, then you will never catch her as a target audience.

How to fix the issue:

  • Puzzle it out. We wrote about TA search and analysis in the Promotion section.
  • Hire an SMM specialist or agency. It’s a more expensive option, but professional.
  • You can also order reviews of your audience, competitors, etc. on the services of freelancers. Choose them by reviews and ratings.

3. You do not sell

Instagram is a place for content marketing.

Followers need to be engaged and entertained. Do not abuse selling post. But their complete absence will lead to zero sales.

How to fix the issue:

Include sales posts in your content plan — 1-2 per week.

What could be a selling post:

  • Customer feedback;
  • Cool story (personal or customer’s);
  • Special offer;
  • A selection of your products – collections for certain use cases and events).
  • Ideas for using your product.
  • Your cases;

You can think up something else. Sell beautifully. 

Do you know how a selling post differs from any ordinary one? By prices and a call to action. Do not forget to add them to any of your selling posts, even to customers’ stories.

4. You direct to the website

Or to your showroom. Or to call. Or to write on WhatsApp.

Instagram users are terribly lazy and closed on this social network. They do not want to bother themselves and leave the network just to go to your website, dial your number, or, oh, God forbid, get you into WhatsApp contacts.

How to fix the issue?

1. Sell directly on Instagram.

Be wherever your user wants. Mostly, they want to contact you via Direct. 

If you really need to direct traffic to the site, add links in Stories. But do not send to the site if the person wrote to you in the comments. He will not click the link, you will lose the client.

2. Use a single link using the services like Linktree™

They allow you to create several buttons at once under a single link (which is only one on Instagram – in the profile header, in comments or in the post itself).

You can make buttons on different pages of your site (for example, sales, about us, the catalog), put links to the main instant messengers.

5. Responding to comments late or ignoring DMs

Do not underestimate Instagram, dedicate time to regular monitoring of comments and DMs. 

How to fix the issue:

  • Make sure you turned on Instagram notifications;
  • Answer within half an hour or an hour.
  • Do not leave the client alone, always end the dialogue.
  • Request a contact and call the customer.
  • If there’s no time for all this, hire a sales manager specifically for Instagram. Seriously, so many businesses already do.
  • Use a Direct-based CRM system to have better control over interaction with customers. We tell how to use such service in question #7.

How to Sell Services or Visually Unattractive Goods?

To present visually pleasant things like beauty products or clothes is easy. We tell you how
to sell something you can not touch and something people consider not attractive.

Today, few people can be surprised at the promotion and sale of cosmetics, jewelry, clothes, accessories and other “photogenic” products on Instagram. 

Yes, it’s not as simple as it seems at first glance, but, in any case, the algorithm is more or less clear: you put on stream the production of high-quality photos of your product, you find the stars with the appropriate target audience and buy ads from them, you get more followers, generate an attractive commercial offer for them and just sell. 

But what about a business with a product that is difficult to visualize? We’ve prepared 10 rules for this case. 

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1. Do not focus on showing the product, sell emotions and feelings

Farrow & Ball sells eco-friendly water based paint and handcrafted wallpapers. Do they publish cans of paints? No, they sell the dream, the feeling of comfort and beauty of own houses:

Farrow & Ball Instagram gallery

2. Show the functionality of a product

Description for this block. Use this space for describing your block. Any text will do. Description for this block. You can use this space for Adobe (Lightroom, Photoshop), GoPro are the first examples that came to mind. Lightroom and  Photoshop  fill their profiles with the work of designers working with their tools. 

GoPro collects pictures from action cameras. You won’t confuse their style with any other content. 

Pay attention, the companies does not spend money and time on creating content — users create post and tag the profiles:

Instagram post of Lightroom that shows the functionality of its photo editor.
user-generated post on Photoshop's official Instagram account
Go Pro's post on Instagram

And let’s take an even more inventive profile — Pilot pen. They sell pens. What would you post? These guys publish handwriting and have more than 88K followers.

Pilot pen's creative Instagram concept

3. Sell the brand message

It’s not necessary to populate your account with snapshots directly of your product. Come up with a vivid story, mood, message of your brand. 

Red Bull was one of the first to do this. You won’t find a single tin can with an energy drink there. The profile is filled with stunning pictures of extreme sports that are found by hashtags and tags. Again, it’s UGC.

Red Bull's Instagram gallery with a focus on extreme sport

4. Create and liven your mascot

Mascot is a character/animal/something else that represents your brand. It can be a monkey, a panda or any other creature. 

Android does it sometimes. Take a look:

The Instagram gallery of Android with a official mascot

5. Tell about people

You can tell both about your customers and about your team.
General Electric publishes first-person posts (photo and video) of the employees.

the Instagram gallery of General Electric

This account selling turbines has 424K followers.

6. Show how you work

If you sell services being any kind of agency, it’s a good idea to show users the BTS. 

One of the most amazing examples is the Grey Advertising concept.

the official Instagram account of Grey Advertising company.

Sticking to a single black-and-white style, the profile looks perfect:

Grey Advertising Instagram gallery

Extra Ideas

  • Modify your product (just for a photoshoot)

If the product itself is not very interesting to visualize, let your imagination run wild. Create something interesting with it: draw paws, tails and eyes to it and so on. 

  • Think up a story with your product

It can be something entertaining and educational. 

  • Share the views of your audience

In most cases, they will be similar to your views. Don’t forget to put your service/product in context. For example, a logistics company, knowing that most of the likes are grabbed by travel photos, street bows and architecture, can publish such content more often. 

How to come up with ideas for a profile concept?

Get inspired by your competitors, random users, friends and customers. 

Ask to share their ideas in Stories or comments. It will increase engagement and bring new ideas.

How to Interact with Clients and Deal with Complaints?

Communication with customers and building relationships should be your prime focus.

1. How to communicate?

Be easy-to-find. That’s the prime rule. It includes understandable username and clear description of services, always relevant hashtags in captions. Only in this case, you can attract and interact with your TA.

Read about how to fill up the profile info. 

To find the relevant hashtags for posts, use Hashtag Generator.

Always be polite. Do not allow obscene expressions, insults and rudeness on your vocabulary. Be friendly and calm. 

Always greet and address the person by name. Writing an extra “please” and “thank you” will not be difficult for you, but a follower/visitor will be pleased. And being personal creates an additional touch. 

Think over your corporate style of communication. The main thing is that it is understandable to users. It’s especially important if there are a couple of managers that run your account. And try to be human and not turn into a robot.

Timely. Don’t make your followers wait for your response. Always respond to inquiries within an hour or, what is preferable, immediately.

Show initiative. Make the first step — like, comment on and follow your existing and potential clients. Showing them your interest will raise their interest. That’s a consistent pattern. 

The best option will be to streamline the process with automation tools.

And don’t forget to post UGC — user generated content. It increases loyalty and nurtures regular clients.
Surprise a little. Being a little bit extra is Ok on Instagram. It can be a little giveaway or a personal postcard with shipping, or an additional guide on your services/products.

2. Where to communicate?

There are two options:

In comments. Comment on and respond to comments. It increases activity, engagement on your profile, brings more clients to you and builds loyalty.

In Direct. Instagram algorithm recognizes whether a person is popular by his activity in Direct. Try to communicate more. Use convenient Instagram chat to communicate from your laptop or PC.

3. How to deal with objections? Creating customer advocate base

If in the past consumers felt powerless to confront business alone, today social networks have given them the opportunity to share their stories and engage the public in resolving the problem. Sometimes one minor incident, covered in social networks, entails thousands of reposts, memes, comments and hashtags.

Brands must constantly, qualitatively and unconditionally respond to any problems, regardless of their scale. And when a company makes a mistake, the need for honesty and transparency is greater than ever.

  • 46% of consumers use social networks to express dissatisfaction.
  • 4 out of 5 people believe that social networks increase the level of responsibility of companies.
  • 55% of users turn to a brand online to get an answer or solve a problem.
  • the likelihood that millennials will appeal to the brand on social networks is 43% more (compared to other generations).
  • 3 out of 5 consumers say that brand dishonesty is a good reason to express dissatisfaction.

Many brands find it best to ignore, deny, or even twist a customer’s complaint. But acknowledging a mistake and accepting responsibility is the only right way out.

Undoubtedly, negative customer experience can damage the brand’s reputation. But there is a downside. After the outbreak of public conflict, all eyes are on the company. Most people want to see how the brand reacts.

This means that even with such a seemingly disadvantageous position, the right behavior will allow you to regain control of the situation and even stay in the gain.

How to come up with ideas for a profile concept?

Get inspired by your competitors, random users, friends and customers. 

Ask to share their ideas in Stories or comments. It will increase engagement and bring new ideas.

CRM Alternatives: Customer Management with Google Sheets and Ingramer

DeIn today’s competitive environment, it is very important to
find the right approach to customers. But in a large flow of information, it is quite difficult to please everyone. For this,
modern CRM systems were created.

1. What are CRM systems?

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a business management program that helps increase profits, reduce costs and speed up application processing.

It is needed to build a competent dialogue with the client: it allows you to avoid mistakes and, as a result, the client can order more products.

CRM includes programs that collect customer data, manage transactions, give control over managers, provide analytics and forecasting.

In essence, CRM is an Excel spreadsheet with a gigantic customer base. In the system, you can listen to calls, see the purchase history, send emails and sms, set tasks for employees.

In simple words, CRM means to work not from memory, but using a systematic approach, where all processes are automatically configured.

Ultimately, CRM helps to improve the quality of customer service, increase sales and improve the reputation in the market as a whole. CRM also saves the manager’s time, since he spends significantly less time monitoring employees and the overall sales plan.

Now there are many CRM systems on the market that differ in a set of functions, the ability to integrate with other services, and the flexibility of settings : Bitrix24, amoCRM, WireCRM, retailCRM, EnvyCRM, Eadesk, SalesForce and others.

Small businesses do not need all the functionality, plus, usually, the prices are quite high. That’s why SME tend to seek alternatives.

We know 2 of them: simple Google Sheets and Ingramer.

2. How to manage customer relations in Google Sheets?

You don’t even have to create tables from scratch. In Google Sheets Template Gallery, you can find ready-made templates for any purpose.

Google Sheets templates for work, invoice and tracking purchase order.

For Instagram sales, the most suitable ones are Customer relationship management by Copper or Project tracking by Smartsheet

They look like this:

Customer relationship management with Google Sheets

Or like this:

Project tracking template by Google Sheets

Though, they look scary, it’s not difficult to manage your sales that way. Besides, some of templates profive instructions.

3. Instagram Direct Chat-CRM by Ingramer

It’s a system which integrates Instagram Direct and CRM. It’s the most convenient and cost-effective solution for small and medium businesses which operate on Instagram.

Instagram chat with CRM features by Ingramer

You can connect several accounts and give access to them to an unlimited number of managers. 

Plus, you create labels and put them for certain chats. Thus, you can categorize your clients and the services/products you offer to them. 

You can leave notes for every profile  and fill out the contact info if every user. 

In addition, you can send fast replies for better customer service by creating special templates. 

In brief, it’s still your Direct but with cool perks. 

The price is $29 per month. 

Read more about customer management

Bigbangram Team Opinion

The following tools will help to manage relationships with clients and increase sales.

How to Use Messaging for Direct Sales and Strengthen Your Sales Funnel

We tell how to reach the satisfying conversion rate and build up a working sales funnel with the help of Instagram Direct

1. Engaging followers immediately

Des

Even a one simple message can engage a follower and make him or her a potential client. Send a welcoming message to all newcomers, say how you appreciate they joined you. The better half of them will respond. 

Also, consider texting to all the rest of the users if you haven’t been doing it before. It should be a slightly different message, however. 

And here the sky’s the limit for your business. 

Set up an automatic messaging campaign to all new and existing followers. We show how to do that with Ingramer:

  1. From your Cabinet, go to the Direct and then Bulk Messaging section;
  2. Click New message;
  3. Enter the text of the message. Preferably, in spintax format — randomizing phrases to avoid spamming. 
The process of creation of auto messaging campaign on Instagram

If it is a text to ‘old followers’ make it relevant and a little bit catching:

“Hi, It’s [Name] from [Brand]! You are with me for quite a while and I haven’t said thank you. Every member of our community is precious so I would like to offer a 10% discount for my new collection of candles. 

Let me know if you are interested! Love, [Name]”

2. Leveraging sales scripts

Since you already know how to establish the contact with the audience, it’s time to think how you will sell right in Direct.

Yes, sales scripts are needed not only for cold calls. Sales scripts make you and your managers organized and sell more provided that they were made up correctly. 

While creating sales scripts remember, first, show the value, then name the price. 

It works always and everywhere, including Instagram sales. For example, a clothes brand can sell value and demonstrate benefits first: where to go in this outfit, what to combine with, in what weather to wear, whether it will suit a person. 

Instagram chat, the dialogue between customer and buyer

3. Putting Push scripts into action

One of the main problems on Instagram is that clients can stop responding to messages at some point. This is normal. The main thing is to find out what was wrong, i.e. identify the objection and work it out.

To solve this problem, create a push script for clients. Managers write to those who have not previously responded and raised objections. This information is very valuable — you will understand why a lead does not buy.

Having heard the objections, be able to adjust the sales scripts. For example, if the lead “disappeared” after the price was announced, managers should start to offer similar options, but cheaper.

Another plus of push-messages —  some leads after such texting do buy. 

4. What to pay attention to?

  • The speed of replies

The speed of replies matters a lot, it’s a 50% of your success. Answer to comments and DMs within an hour, better if you do that immediately. 

The issue arises because purchases are an impulsive decision in most cases.

To solve the issue and help to react timely, use Instagram Auto-Replies and Quick Replies

With Auto-Replies, you can respond to most repeated questions automatically. You need to fix the keywords and the related messages. 

As for Quick Replies, it’s as easy as Auto-replies, but you can modify messages before sending them, for example customizing them (adding names and other personal info).

  • Constant control

Control is an integral part of the selling process, especially, if you have several managers.

Based on our experience working with clients, we can claim that the success of any change implementation is continuous monitoring. The strict standard of compliance with the sales script should be monitored by you and your team constantly. 

Managers do not need to invent something new, they already have a prepared answer template for any question. This increases the efficiency of each manager and the speed of work.

Read more about messaging on Instagram

How to use Instagram Stories in your Sales Funnel

Bigbangram Team Opinion

The tools for messaging are extremely important for sales as they help reach out to the potential customers directly. 

Selling on Instagram becomes fast and convenient.

  1. Bulk Instagram Messenger
  2. Instagram chat-CRM with Quick Replies function
  3. Auto Instagram Replies

Strategies of Offering Discounts and Special Offers For Sales Boost

Discounts, sales, coupons, promotions – once any online store owner has to deal with these concepts in order to decide whether to use special offers to increase sales, how to do it and, finally, how much can be “thrown off” so as not to sell at a loss.

To help those who have not yet organized promotions in their store, we will talk about the main types of special offers and several effective methods for using them.

1. Plusses and minuses of discounts

Discounts and special offers are a powerful weapon in the arsenal of an Internet marketer. But their unsystematic use can cause serious damage to your brand or even worse, make the business unprofitable. Consider all the pros and cons, as well as the basic strategies for using special offers.

+

  • Easy and quick to implement
  • Easy to track
  • Increase traffic
  • Increase conversion
  • Increase customer loyalty

  • Reduce profits and profitability
  • Reduce sales of the main period (buyers are waiting for discounts and postpone the order)
  • Reduce average bill
  • May cause distrust of the brand.

2. Types of discounts and special offers

There are several main types of discounts and special offers that you can use to increase sales in your store:

  • Percent discount

Perhaps the most commonly used type of discount. Interest discounts – a flexible tool to attract customers and increase sales. Small discounts of 5 – 7% will be a pleasant bonus for those who first make a purchase from you, and serious price reductions of 50 – 70% will help to sell off the remaining stock.

  • Fixed discount

This type of discount can be successfully positioned as a “partial refund” of money for the purchase. Many people will not be able to resist the offer “Buy a thousand rubles, and we will refund you two hundred”, although at first they planned to spend a little less.

  • Free shipping

Shipping costs quite often can cause a refusal to purchase. Free shipping paired with a minimum order size will help solve the problem, and at the same time increase the average purchase price.

  • A gift to order

A free gift is a good way to increase customer loyalty, and also to free the warehouse from not too popular positions.

example of discounts on Instagram
example of discounts on Instagram
example of discounts on Instagram

3. 10 best strategies for using discounts

1. Weekly/monthly promotions, the purpose of which is to achieve the planned profit indicators. Many companies offer discounts for a week, a month or even a quarter — at a time when sales are expected to decline.

2. “Preliminary” proposal. If you have not yet launched your project, but are already at the finish line, use promotions to increase interest in the product before starting sales.

3. Seasonal/holiday offers. Black Friday, New Year, Christmas, the onset of summer — you can schedule a price reduction for any suitable occasion.

4. Bonus for repost or following. Providing customers with an incentive to tell friends about the company, you are launching a word of mouth, which may work well.

5. Discount for friends. People will buy from you more willingly if they have previously received a recommendation from colleagues, friends, or acquaintances. Use this to your advantage by organizing a kind of referral system — encourage those who bring you customers, as well as directly new users.

6. Discount on the first purchase. To make a new user your customer, offer him a small bonus.

7. Bonus for orders with a value higher than X is an effective upselling strategy that increases the average check and conversion of your online store. In order to use it, calculate the average order value for the previous month and add 10-20%. For purchases more expensive than the resulting amount, offer free shipping or a discount.

8. Exclusive offers for active followers is one of the ways to build strong relationships with those who follow you, as well as increase the number of followers.

9. Loyalty program for regular customers — providing discounts, bonuses, accumulative points system for those who regularly make purchases. It is urged to “tie” the user to a specific online store as much as possible.

10. An offer from celebrities or bloggers. You can increase brand awareness and reach with the help of public people with a wide audience.

The discount combined with the recommendation of a public person is a great incentive to buy. And the uniqueness of the code helped to track which of the bloggers worked most efficiently.

Good examples of how to announce special offers and discounts on Instagram:

examples of how to announce special offers and discounts on Instagram
examples of how to announce special offers and discounts on Instagram
examples of how to announce special offers and discounts on Instagram

Do I need to lower prices to increase the competitiveness of my business?

Not necessarily. Most buyers do not name low prices as the main incentive to close a deal.

But it should depend on your business, your competitors and the market situation.

Read more about discounts and special offers

Can wrong discount policy kill your sales?

Do you need discounts in B2B?

10 ways to increase the value of an offer in the eyes of the client instead of giving a discount.

How to Adjust Your Marketing to Trends and People’s Acute Problems?

“What helps people, helps business.” – Leo Burnett

To be able to sell, you must be able to follow the trends and solve the problems of a potential buyer.
We explain how it works on Instagram.

You can sell more if you are on trend right here right now. It’s especially vital when you sell on Instagram — a place where acute topics come first.

1. Situational marketing

Situational marketingSituational marketing is a new term that does not yet have an exact scientific definition. It’s brand activities that are based not on long-term planning, as when creating a classic advertising campaign, but on prompt response to an informational occasion. 

Often the brand itself practically does not spend resources on such promotion, as it uses someone else’s fame, and the content is distributed by users of social networks on the principle of viral marketing.

To create a successful situational marketing, it is important to follow a few rules:

  • Prompt response. If you are among the first to respond to the event – this is your possible success, but if you are among the latter, then this may be a failure.
  • The audience. Your target audience should be similar to the event audience. Events relevant to youth, it makes no sense to use to promote goods for senior citizens.
  • Community. The situation should not contradict the idea of ​​the brand. At the same time, situational marketing does not require that the news occasion be at least somehow connected with the brand.

Cases of situational marketing:

TM “OREO”. In February 2013, over half of the stadium suddenly turned off during a football championship in the United States. The game was suspended and most of those present switched to smartphones and social networks, in which the incident was hotly discussed. At this time, Oreo’s marketers tweeted: “Oreo can be dunked in the dark.”

Situational marketing “with loss of face”. Ms. Justin Sacco, PR director of InterActiveCorp (IAC), an Internet company from the United States, went on vacation so relaxed that she posted a “quirky” farewell post on her Twitter account: “Going to Africa. I hope I don’t get AIDS there. Just kidding! I’m white! ” The result was not long in coming —  the manager was fired for not understanding that the brand name is more important than any situational marketing.

Good situational marketing  is when:

  • The image of the event has a positive effect and even forms the image of the subject of marketing;
  • In addition to transmitting information, any marketing communication conveys emotions;
  • The style and tonality of situational marketing, in any case, should be according to the brand book;
  • Marketing goals are not canceled, they do not change only because you have the opportunity to get your name on screens and somehow situationally;
  • Simplicity and clarity in situational communication is the key to understanding it (tediousness or boredom are unnecessary here);
  • Avoid political, disruptive, negative, religious, racial motives;
  • Think. No matter how stunning popularity your event has received among your TA, caution is important: “What is permissible for Jupiter is not permissible for a bull”;
  • Situationally does not mean “not think out” at all. Remember — if you can be misunderstood – you will be misunderstood. 

2. How to sell a solution?

Any business person knows — he/she should sell not services, not goods, but solutions for people’s problems.

Your potential buyers may know about these problems, or you can help them to notice them. These problems may either already exist at present or appear in the future.

The most successful sellers are those who are able to identify problems of concern to the buyer, determine the priorities of the buyer regarding the solution of these problems, and help customers solve these problems in the most convenient, efficient, innovative and timely way at an affordable price for the buyer. 

Such a marketing method should be used in B2B and B2G sectors. You need to sell solutions where strong customization of the products and services you offer is required. For example, the company offers cloud storage platforms complete with support and an information security system. With a probability of 99%, she has to make unique combinations for each client. The role of the seller in this case is to understand the amount of data the client is operating with, how many devices will have access to the cloud, and so on.

How to sell in this style? Perhaps the best way to follow this pattern is:

  • Identify the main pain points;
  • Create a “questionnaire”;
  • Try to sell value highlighting the differences from your competitors. Present your service\ product as a must-have, not a it-would-be-nice-to-have.

All that can be easily done on Instagram as a place where brands and customers are equal.

3. Marketing during coronavirus.

Very soon, the market will be redistributed, and far-sighted will win. Here are the last four tips for surviving a corona crisis.

Complete everything that you did not have time before

If there are few clients, but a lot of time, finally do away with all unfinished business. Put things in order in your CRM, sort through the documents, read the list of books, watch pending webinars. The crisis will end and you will be able to return to work at a good pace with a fresh mind.

Set up end-to-end analytics and return funnel

It’s time to optimize the sales funnel. If the flow of leads is reduced, you can’t lose them. Analyze all the points where the leads “fall off” on the road to purchase, and be sure to set up a return funnel — it’s much cheaper to sell to existing customers than to spend money on attracting new ones.

Look for customers who are growing

The crisis has played into the hands of some: the delivery of goods, pharmaceuticals, and online education are growing. If you can, switch to companies from these areas. Or try to agree on cooperation with those who plan to resume work after quarantine.

Make anti-crisis offers

You and your customers are in the same boat, if they go broke, you will not have anyone to work with. Make relief for the time of crisis. Develop package services with a minimum of necessary work — or example, setting up a site and analytics, training in SEO marketing, technical tasks for content. Something that helps customers hold out at a minimum cost.

For example, we at Bigbangram offer our 24 widgets for free during two months as a support action. 

Read more about trends and marketingRead more about trends and marketing

Analysing Your Instagram Marketing

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1. Calculate conversion

Conversion is a metric that shows the relationship of all people who are interested in your product / service on Instagram (went to the site, liked, asked a question) to those who bought the product.

Instagram sales funnel
(Instagram sales funnel)

This is how Instagram sales funnel looks. You need to calculate the conversion on every step of it to see where your weak points are.

Let’s consider an example:

  • saw — 2,000 people;
  • started following — 250
  • asked a question about the product / left a request – 80 people,
  • bought – 19 people.

Note: you can find all the figures except ‘bought’  in your Instagram Insights. 

We divide each index by the previous one, and here is what we get:

table for Instagram conversion tracking

From this example, we see that the weakness is attracting people. They do not want to follow the brand. All you have to do is to figure out why. Maybe the reason lies in your profile and gallery design. 

If the percentage of people contacting you is low, review your offer.

If the percentage of people buying your product is low, review the communication style and pricing policy.

2. Find out the follower growth rate

Having high numbers in Followers is great, but you need to know the dynamics of follower base growth.

For that, use Google Sheet. Fill out the number of followers each month, calculate new followers for each month, and you will see how your audience grows, when your promotion strategy worked out and when not.

table for Instagram follower base growth tracking

You can calculate the percentage of growth if your numbers are high enough and you can’t estimate the progress. 

If you see that growth is slow and not satisfying, find out what slows it down — maybe a poor promotion or poor content strategy.

3. Monitor engagement 

Engagement is one of the core indexes of genuine popularity. It shows whether your audience is active and if you are close enough. 

It is your likes, comments and DMs.

Another important fact, the higher the engagement on your page, the better Instagram promotes your posts and shows to people.
Instagram Profile Analyzer is a free tool which will provide you with such info as general engagement (for the last 100 posts:

 the analysis of instagram account by uploads, engagement, followers and average users activity

And engagement by days of the week:

 the analysis of Engagement by weekdays by Ingramer

You can fix the information in your Spreadsheets and track the dynamics as well. 

Thus, you have 3 indexes to monitor and analyze. Doing it regularly, you get the chance to be consistent in making progress and growing on Instagram.

What engagement rate is considered good?

Less than 1% is a low ER. 1% – 3.5% is an average/good ER. 3.5% – 6% is the high ER.

Read more about Instagram analytics

Bigbangram Team Opinion

A great tool that provides the analyses of most important profile metrics both for own accounts and for competitors’ accounts.