Are you wondering how to turn followers into customers? Are you looking for a guide to help you build a sales funnel on Instagram?
In this article, discover how to get more out of your Instagram marketing at every stage of the customer journey.
How Does an Instagram Sales Funnel Work?
A typical sales funnel includes four stages: awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty. Even if generating revenue is your main priority, your Instagram strategy should address all four stages. After all, you have to attract and cultivate potential customers before they convert—and then encourage them to become repeat buyers.
Although you don’t necessarily need an advertising budget to create a successful Instagram funnel, it certainly helps. With paid campaigns, you can expand your audience and retarget interested customers so you can amplify results.
Instagram Sales Funnel: Awareness Stage
First, you have to attract potential customers and introduce them to your business. Let’s look at four ways to target Instagram users at the awareness stage.
#1: Optimize Your Instagram Bio With an Easy Path to Purchase
Think of your Instagram bio as the home page for your business. It’s where potential customers go to learn everything from what your company does to how to contact your team.
Some of the most important elements of your Instagram bio include:
- Concise introduction that tells customers what your business is all about
- Link to your company’s website where customers can shop or learn more
- Hashtags or tags that customers can use to be featured in your Instagram content
- Contact details for your business such as an email or phone button
- Story highlights that showcase your latest news or product collections
- Shop button that lets customers browse and buy on Instagram
For example, the @prana Instagram bio below outlines the clothing brand’s mission and shares instructions for getting featured. The bio also includes a View Shop button, neatly organized story highlights, and a link to a landing page that lets customers tap to learn more about each Instagram post.
#2: Publish Helpful or Entertaining Content
To capture potential customers’ interest at the awareness stage, publish content that educates or entertains your target audience. Here are a few Instagram content ideas for the awareness stage:
- Posts that answer common questions your customers have
- Stories that tease your new products
- Reels that give followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business
For example, this @cooksillustrated Instagram post includes a cheat sheet for sous vide cooking. The graphic illustrates the necessary equipment and the copy includes a call to action (CTA) urging followers to learn more by tapping the link in the cooking magazine’s bio.
After publishing awareness-focused content, use your Instagram Insights to identify the top-performing posts, reels, and stories. To reach more people, you can boost your best content from the Instagram app or add it to an awareness campaign in Facebook Ads Manager.
#3: Drive Discovery by Adding Hashtags to Instagram Content
Instagram also offers great options for expanding your audience organically. By adding hashtags to your content, you can drive discovery and improve awareness.
Instagram allows up to 30 tags per post or reel and up to 10 per story. Start by adding unique branded hashtags for your business and campaign hashtags for special promotions. You can also add location, descriptive, industry, viral, and other types of Instagram hashtags.
To find hashtags, use Instagram’s search function. Type terms into the search bar to gauge popularity and get ideas for other related hashtags to add to your content.
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#4: Partner With Relatable Instagram Influencers
To expand your audience further, build relationships with Instagram influencers. By partnering with influential figures in your niche or industry, you can put your business on more people’s radar.
You might ask influencers to create content that highlights your product line, shares ideas for styling your products, or shows how to cook with your products. To get even more out of an influencer partnership, think about incorporating a contest or giveaway. This type of content can grow your audience and increase awareness exponentially.
For example, the @dashboardliving Instagram post below features a giveaway in partnership with @saltwreck. The post introduces a map art maker that’s likely to appeal to the travel ambassadors’ audience and encourages users to follow and engage with both accounts to enter the contest.
Instagram Sales Funnel: Consideration Stage
After increasing awareness, the next step is encouraging people to trust your business and think seriously about the solutions you offer. That means creating more in-depth content packed with the information prospects need to make a decision.
#5: Share Expert Advice to Build Credibility
Before prospects buy from your business, they typically need a reason to trust you. Sharing expert tips for free is an excellent way to boost your credibility. Once prospects realize the value you provide and have confidence in the solutions you share, they’re more likely to pay for what you offer.
For example, this @theigtribe reel advises how to choose the best camera for creating short-form video. The caption explains why quality is so important for Reels and mentions an expert tip for producing better content—both of which are ideal for the social media marketing brand’s entrepreneurial audience.
#6: Create a Tutorial to Demonstrate How Your Product Works
In the consideration stage, people often want to get a better sense of how your product works or how it can help them. By creating how-to posts and tutorial videos, you can give prospects the insights they’re seeking.
This @misfitsmarket reel features a video demonstrating how to enjoy pomegranates. The short-form video is designed to appeal to the online grocer’s foodie audience and may convince new shoppers to try the service.
The @getweave reel below is a short tutorial that explains how the company’s customer engagement platform can leverage missed calls. It’s part of the Weave 101 series, which helps users get more out of the platform and may persuade prospects to start using it.
#7: Let Customers Test Drive Your Product for Free
Even if prospects are still researching solutions, the right Instagram content can prompt them to consider your business more seriously—or even bump it to the top of the list. By helping users get started for free, you let them test your product and make it easier for them to convert.
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#8: Run Traffic and Lead Generation Campaigns
Do you want to get more potential customers to consider buying from your business? If you have a budget for paid campaigns, you can run Instagram ads to encourage consideration.
With the traffic objective, you can get your target audience to visit your website to learn about your offer or try a free tool. Then you can add these prospects to a remarketing audience for a conversion-focused campaign.
With the lead generation objective, you can collect prospects’ contact details in exchange for something of value. For example, you might offer a detailed guide, a case study, or industry research to generate leads.
Instagram Sales Funnel: Conversion Stage
At the conversion stage, it’s time to get prospects to act. That means giving potential customers opportunities to sign up or make a purchase, sometimes without leaving the Instagram app.
#9: Leverage Instagram Shopping for In-App Storefronts and Checkout
If you process orders or sell products through your website, then getting prospects to visit is critical. Although Instagram doesn’t allow links in posts or reels, it’s easier than you might think to send customers to your site.
If you sell physical products, you can use Instagram’s native shopping tools to drive conversions. With Instagram Shopping, you can create an in-app storefront for your business, complete with collections and product listings. You can offer in-app checkout or direct customers to your website to make purchases.
For example, the @greats Instagram shop pictured below features dozens of styles offered by the sneaker retailer. Customers can tap to see pricing and product specs in the app, and then they can tap through to complete a purchase on the company’s website.
Once you set up Instagram Shopping tools, you can also tag products in your content. Customers can tap the products or the banner in your post to go right to your shop.
For example, the @nomad Instagram post below features a shoppable product with a multicolored badge indicating in-app checkout is available. Customers can tap the post to shop and buy without leaving the app.
If you can’t or don’t use Instagram Shopping, you can still use the link in your bio to get sales and conversions. Rather than linking to your website, use a third-party Instagram landing page tool. That way, you can essentially add a tappable link to every post.
#10: Create Limited-Time Offers
To drive more sales on Instagram, use conversion tactics like limited-time offers, special pricing, or reduced quantities. By creating a sense of urgency, you can get potential customers to take action and make a purchase.
For example, the @away Instagram post below highlights a seasonal sale. The caption prompts customers to get details by visiting the travel brand’s stories—the perfect place to promote a temporary event.
#11: Generate Buzz With Product Drops and Live Shopping
You can also use built-in Instagram tools to increase interest in your products. With Instagram Drops, you can announce upcoming products days or weeks before you plan to launch. Customers can opt into reminders to save items to their wish lists and get notifications when the product launches.
For example, the @langehair drop below features a new hairbrush set for an exclusive price. Users can tap to save the product, share via direct messages, or get a reminder. Once the product launches, customers can buy directly on Instagram.
To give customers a more personalized look at your products, you can also host live shopping events on Instagram. You can add featured products to the video before going live so followers can browse and shop throughout the event. Then you can save the video to your Instagram profile so it continues to drive conversions.
#12: Run Conversions and Catalog Sales Campaigns
To get more eyes on your products and increase sales, use conversion-focused objectives in Ads Manager. The conversions objective is ideal for getting sales and subscriptions on your site, while the catalog sales objective lets you promote your eCommerce catalog.
You can use remarketing audiences to advertise to prospects who have already engaged with your business. For example, you can remarket to people who have interacted with your Instagram content, visited your website, or browsed items in your shop.
Instagram Sales Funnel: Loyalty Stage
Finally, you can target the loyalty stage of the Instagram sales funnel. That means inviting customers to make repeat purchases and become part of your business’ valued community.
#13: Show Your Brand’s Gratitude
No matter the size of your business, your customers are among your most important assets. By showing appreciation, you can make it clear just how much you value your customer base.
If your clientele has helped your business reach a new milestone, you can also express how much they’ve contributed to your growth. When you make customers feel like part of your company’s community, they may be more likely to buy again.
The @chada.co.official reel below celebrates one of the creator’s biggest days in business. The reel shows behind-the-scenes footage of the busy day, while the caption thanks customers for their support. The caption also tabulates the number of sales, providing a sort of social proof that may drive additional conversions.
#14: Share Customer Success Stories
If your business has helped customers succeed, sharing their stories is a great way to inspire loyalty. Spotlighting customers can prove the results your products can generate and highlighting clients’ wins can reflect your company’s investment in their success. A compelling video or case study can help you attract lifelong customers.
#15: Highlight Your Customers’ UGC
Do your customers create content featuring your brand? With permission, you can share user-generated content (UGC) on your Instagram profile. By reposting UGC, you can thank creators for their contributions and emphasize their roles as valued customers.
To collect high-quality UGC regularly and give customers frequent opportunities to contribute, make an event out of it. You can create themed or time-sensitive campaigns to encourage frequent contributions.
For example, this @chewy post promotes its annual Halloween costume contest, asking users to tag @chewy and use the hashtag #HairyNotScary to enter.
#16: Run Remarketing Campaigns to Existing Customers
To advertise to existing customers on Instagram, leverage your remarketing lists. Using Ads Manager, you can build custom audiences of people who have already bought from your Instagram shop or your website. By upselling, cross-selling, or creating special offers for current customers, you can successfully turn one-time buyers into loyal fans.
When you want to use Instagram to build your business, a funnel is essential. By creating organic and paid content for all four stages of the sales funnel, you can continuously grow your audience, generate leads and conversions, and cultivate happy customers.
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