8 Ways to Use Instagram Stories to Increase Sales (With Brand Examples)
And while it’s one of the main reasons companies use this platform, what’s more, important is that one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses.
There’s great potential, then, for your business to raise sales and awareness.
So, without further ado, let's dive into eight ways you can boost your sales using Instagram.
1. Get To Know Your Customers
Knowing who your target audience is should always be a priority, but it’s even more important with social media.
According to Good Firm’s Research, 79.37% of people unfollow brands due to lost interest.
To prevent this from happening, you need to understand what content keeps your customers from leaving. Instagram has a perfect way to do so.
If your brand is verified by Instagram, or you have 10,000 followers, adding a link to your story can help you to redirect potential customers to a survey page.
Showcasing several outfits and asking for honest feedback makes a customer feel important. It’s like going to a store with a friend. In fact, 77% of consumers view brands more favorably if they apply the feedback, so remember to do that, too.
If you want to go a step further you can always add a link to a survey or an online quiz. The more information, the better.
Showpo knows its target audience loves pop-stars, especially Ariana Grande. So they make an entertaining post about her greatest moments.
The brand provides engaging content that it knows their followers love and in doing so, attracts more sales,due to connecting better with its audience.
As a result, you can see genuine interest in the company's product throughout their instagram page.
2. Let Visitors Decide
Now that you know more about your target audience, you should understand that Instagram is a place where users want to feel part of a community.
You can use that to your advantage by using the Poll function in your stories.
That way, you can give control to your potential customers and let them decide which product goes on sale or what color fits the product the most.
Beginning Boutique uses this technique in their Instagram stories:
The brand doesn’t necessarily give away its control, but it does ask its followers to decide whether they feel like they love or need the upcoming product.
It might seem like these options are similar, but pressing “Love” indicates that they like the products, while “Need” indicates a stronger buying intent.
The company can directly target people who say that they need this top, since they can see who voted for it and offer a discount or an exclusive offer in DM’s.
It also helps to see what percentage of your followers are willing to buy, which is a valuable insight in any case scenario.
With a simple question, you can get valuable insights and grow your sales in a non-intrusive, not scary way. With visitors willingly giving you their opinion that you can use.
3. Engage With A Quiz
Depending on the industry you’re in, it might be hard to adjust to Instagrams informal approach. But there are ways to humanize your brand without leaving your comfort zone.
Take Walt Disney Pictures, for instance. We all grew up with their stories, but have you ever noticed that the company talks through their characters, rather than employees or their company name?
Instead of doing polls that are mentioned above, they compliment their Instagram strategy by adding fun and small quizzes that are based on their animation characters.
Disney gives a quiz that makes you feel like a superfan and raises fond memories which gives you a feeling of success and satisfaction.
With quizzes, you don’t have to talk as a person or as a company; all you need to do is ask questions on your products behalf.
What is great about this approach is that after the quiz the person who passed well, already got that boost of dopamine, which leads to a better mood and willingness to proceed. That way, at the end of the quiz you can easily offer a discount for a subscription, product or a service.
4. Feature Influencers
Today, influencers are widely used throughout different platforms. With a click of a button, you can easily find people who are willing to showcase your product to their audience for a low price or a sample.
Since influencers already have a huge following, you can expose your product to thousands and potentially boost sales.
Wigs company EvaHair, uses influencers not only for most of their posts, but also for their stories and highlights.
And when they have a sale, the company makes sure to feature it in a sharable video.
This is a brilliant idea as it has a dance that anyone can easily repeat. More, it’s shareable and incorporates one of the biggest new platforms in a mix.
Using this strategy, the company gets more exposure and significantly increases their possibility of selling.
Be aware, however, that not all influencers are a great match for your brand. So choose carefully who represents you.
5. Showcase Your Best Sellers
Your bestsellers are best for a reason. That’s why it is a must to showcase them on your instagram page.
One way to do that is to share weekly bestsellers, one by one:
Another is to highlight your all time customer favorites on your Instagram panel.
It’s also a good idea to combine sharing weekly favorites and having a highlighted category contributed to bestsellers.
That way you expose your followers to what your customers already love and chances are, that they will be interested in the product too.
Lastly, remember to add that swipe up link for convenience.
6. Use GIFs to Highlight CTA’s
Visitor’s have five seconds to absorb all the information in a Storie’s slide.
If you add pictures and text, that becomes the focus of your story and an added CTA can wash away to the background.
To prevent that from happening, you could center the CTA, but you don’t want to seem like that one company who wants to push their product no matter what.
That is why you can bring attention to your call-to-action by highlighting it with a GIF. Subtle and effective.
Jubilee Media does that when selling their brand “Humangood”:
Moving pieces of the story catch your attention, but you also have enough time to see what is in the center of the screen. If you are interested in buying their product, it’s easier to notice that there’s a swipe up link added.
What is great about Jubilee is that most of their stories include GIFs:
Since the brand used GIFs before, adding them to highlight its call-to-action works like a charm without changing the format of their content or seeming salesy.
7. Share User-Generated Content
You’ve likely read about customer appreciation emails before and I am sure you heard that it works. And that is exactly what the Instagram community likes, being appreciated.
Being featured in a brand’s Instagram is one of the goals of upcoming influencers. That means that they are willing to buy products if there is a possibility to get featured in your page afterwards.
The best part about this strategy is you don’t have to promise anything. It’s the followers choice whether they decide to buy from your company or not and you are nowhere near obligated to feature them.
You don’t have to feature everyone, but you might want to feature people that deserve it.
Especially since, featuring user generated content is a great way to boost sales and show appreciation to your existing customers, while at the same time attracting new audiences.
Here is an example from Daniel Wellington:
They highlight “Top 5 Pictures Of The Week” that tag their products. It is a great way to connect with your audience and let them know you appreciate their loyalty and dedication.
This strategy let’s you create a better sense of community within your audience and gives you an opportunity to create a hashtag dedicated to your company's loyal followers.
That is exactly what Peppermayo did with their “PM Babes”:
Show your followers and customers that they are important and they will do the same. It is a two-way street.
8. Have Fun and Show Off Your Brand Personality
Your company is made up of people and the best way to humanize your brand is to showcase that.
Showpo loves to do that in their stories:
They did that through the corona period more than ever before.
Give your employees a chance to steal the company's Instagram account for a day or two and you will see engagement grow.
Remember that in some customers' minds a company is something that wants you to buy and that is not necessarily wrong, but it is also there to make people feel comfortable and solve problems.
Don’t forget to emphasise that, just like Chubbies does:
List benefits and advantages that your products have, after all that is the main reason why your followers should buy.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun. Strategies are great, but they are worth nothing if it seems ungenuine and forced.
Make it relatable like Showpo:
Or hilarious and genuine as Chubbies:
The key to boosting sales lies in the ability to personalize your brand. One step is never enough, but each brings you closer to the goal.
Make sure to know who your customers are, and let them decide - it will make you relatable. Use influencers and user-generated content to reach bigger audiences and show appreciation.
Customers don’t want to buy from the company, they want to buy from people and that is explicitly true to content-driven platforms. Be subtle when highlighting CTA’s and bestsellers, but don’t forget to have fun.
Engage your followers with quizzes and questionnaires and implement what you learn.
Creating traffic through Instagram might take time, but the result is absolutely worth it.
What is your next step towards sales growth? Comment down below.
About the Author
Aiste Macyte is a content marketer at Sleeknote: a company that helps e-commerce brands engage their site visitors—without hurting the user experience. You can find her on LinkedIn being amazing.