Are you using an Automated Instagram Sales Funnel in your marketing efforts? In this article, we will explain how to sell your brand’s products and services on Instagram by creating, using and automating a sales funnel.

Social media platforms have become hubs for digital entrepreneurship. They are creating new opportunities for small businesses, new brands and also for consolidated companies.

Having an organized sales funnel is always helpful, it’s a great method for organizing and controlling this process from end to end.

What’s a sales funnel? and Why is it Important?

A funnel is nothing more than a metaphor applied to digital marketing. The sales funnel describes the process in which potential customers become actual buyers.

By using a sales funnel you can control the process from start to finish. With an effective conversion funnel, you can easily take prospects through various steps until they become buyers.

Why Instagram?

Social media is crucial for expanding your brand online.  And, we believe Instagram is one of the best and most complete platforms for distributing and selling a product.

It has become the social network for new businesses due to its simplicity, its preference for visual content and the huge audience it has. With Instagram, your brand can instantly reach anyone, anywhere.

What Are The Steps That Make Up A Sales Funnel?

Many authors and websites have written about this. Some consider other steps within the sales funnel or name them differently. In this article, we use the classic AIDA model  to structure our buyer’s journey.

AIDA is an acronym that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Anyway, this is not always linear, people can visit your website or your Instagram account in any of these stages.

AIDA model Instagram Sales Funnel

Instagram Sales funnel – AIDA model

Now, we’ll explain each of the stages/steps that make up a sales funnel. You can adapt this info to your own online marketing strategy.

Stage 1 – Attention: First Impression

The Attention Stage, is the first contact with a potential customer who didn’t know the brand or the product.

Here, you’ll make a first impression by having great content and putting it in front of many people through your website or social media profiles.

At this stage, you’re a complete stranger to your market potential. The users you manage to reach are simply visitors, viewers, readers or spectators. They are only looking for information or being entertained by the content you share.

Stage 2 – Interest: Looking for more info

At this point, people start to get interested in the features and benefits of the different solutions out there.

Now the potential customers are “suspects”. They might be interested in acquiring a product or service like the ones you offer, but they are not 100% sure.

Stage 3 – Desire: Favorable disposition towards the brand

Anyone who has clearly stated to be interested in YOUR product or service is in this stage and can be called “Prospect”.

This demonstration of interest can be slight or indirect: they visit your site, review prices, comment on publications, subscribe to the website, etc.

Help them make this decision with a risk-free trial or a discount.

Stage 4 – Action: Purchase intention.

Hurrah! At this stage, they finally become “customers”. Here they engage in a trial or try to purchase your product /service!

This stage focuses on the practical aspects of the product implementation such as availability, delivery , customer service and support.

Now you have to make sure your customers are 100% satisfied.

Using Instagram in your Sales Funnel.

Now, how can we apply this Conversion Funnel methodology to Instagram?

It’s easy; you just have to do identify the specific tactics, task, goals, and tools related to each phase.

Awareness: How to turn Strangers into Viewers on Instagram

On Instagram, the first step in the funnel happens when you turn complete strangers into new viewers.

It’s all about breaking through the noise and catching people’s attention.

You can do this by posting frequently and using hashtags. That way you’ll get exposure through Instagram’s search results.

Another way to get exposure is by Contacting Micro-Influencers and Crowdsourcing Accounts to get publicity on their profiles and increase your brand’s awareness through their audiences.

There are some other quick techniques to achieve awareness, we discussed them in our post: Basic Tactics to gain more Exposure for your Business Brand on Instagram. These are:

  • Following Your Target Users
  • Liking a Lot Of Posts
  • Commenting On Other People’s Photos

Basically you take a step ahead and make that first contact so people can see your Instagram account for the first time.

The best about these tactics is that you can easily delegate them by hiring a pro service such as Riotly Social Media Growth Plan in which their team perform all these tasks and your account can get hundreds or thousands of new followers monthly for an incredibly low price.

Interest: How to turn your your viewers on Instragram into followers.

Viewers usually show their first signs of interest by following, liking and commenting your media.

You can generate interest and convert viewers into followers by having good quality posts in our account.

In one of our past articles, we talked about How to gain more Instagram Followers for your Business. And there we encouraged you to:

  • Run Insta-Contests
  • Post Frequently
  • Publish Great Visual Content
  • And more…

The “interest” step doesn’t happen automatically in the minds of the viewers. Sometimes viewers have to see your posts or interact with your brand many times before they show any sign of interest even if they like what you’re offering and the info you’re sharing.

The focus should be in reaching as many people as possible in the previous step  with the tactics we mentioned and eventually some of them will be interested.

Desire: How to Take your Instagram followers to your site

You don’t want your followers to stay on Instagram Only. Once they have shown they’re interested you’d probably like them to buy from your e-commerce site.

Actually, there are only a few ways to send traffic to your website from Instagram. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t get traffic out of it. In fact, for some brands, Instagram is the #1 traffic source.

Here we show you how:

Profile Bio

BBC instagram Sales funnel profile link

Sample BIO link: The English Mass Media account BBC News. Has only a few words in the Bio: “The world’s newsroom”. And then a link: BBC.com/news that takes you directly to the website.

One of the main options to generate traffic is to place the URL on your profile biography.

To do this go to your Instagram account and click: “Edit profile”. You will see that there is a box that says “Website”, you must insert the URL there.

You can also add a precise and striking call-to-action in your profile description inviting the users to click.

IG stories

Instagram stories are the best place to add your website’s Links.

With this new option, you can insert links and your followers can click on them by swiping up!

This feature has been available on Instagram Stories since November (of 2016) but only for Verified accounts.

Now, we have seen that many un-verified business accounts have unlocked this feature after having more than 10.000 followers (It also depends on your location no all countries have it yet).

This is a great opportunity to rock Instagram Stories and drive traffic to your site!

If your profile is personal you’ll need to have it verified. And if you have a business profile but you don’t have enough followers we recommend that you hire a pro service such as Riotly Social Media Elite plan. This way you can quickly get all the followers you need to start adding links on your stories and drive more traffic from Instagram.

Don’t miss this opportunity to turn your Instagram into a traffic generation machine! Use stories like a pro inside your Online Conversion Funnel.

IG DM

The third best way to direct traffic from Instagram to your website is sending links on Instagram Direct Messages (DMs).

There are three ways you can fuel your conversion funnel with Instagram DMs.

  1. Invite your followers and viewers to DM you every time they have a questions or comment, this way you’ll have a chance to send them links and convert them into sales.
  2. Invite your followers and viewers to send you a DM directly from your Instagram stories with a call-to-action. Then send them the links in private.
  3. Be proactive! And send Direct Messages to all your existing followers with promos and discounts! It really works! Although, this is a tedious and time consuming task it’s totally worth it. And again, if you don’t have time you can outsource it, Riotly Social Media has an Auto Direct Messaging add-on to help you with this too.

Facebook ADS on Instagram

Instagram Ads have the call-to-action option in which you can send traffic directly to your website. You can also link directly or to the Appstore or Play Store.

This option is not available on regular posts. Obviously, Instagram Ads have their own benefits; they are a lot more flexible and include other powerful tools.

Facebook ads are an interesting way to increase the engagement of your existing followers. If you have a lot of followers but your engagement is low try using Instagram/FB ads to reach your audience again.

Direct Traffic

Although, Instagram still doesn’t allow placing links in the posts, you can still add a call-to-action on every single post you make.

For example, if you wrote a new article on your blog, you can publish an Instagram post about it inviting your followers to read it.

Ask your fans to visit the link on your bio. Also, adding your website domain on your posts will help your branding in the long run, even though the link is not clickable.

Instagram Comments

Instagram comments are not the best place to get traffic from, but if you’re interacting with your followers you can always ask them to visit the link on your profile or take the conversation private with DMs.

Action: Buying! (finally)

Once you get traffic to your website it will depend on the products you have and the quality of your ecommerce.

So the previous steps are crucial, you can’t just force people to buy you can make it easier for them, just show them the way to your website so they can visit and purchase.  

Once there, you can follow up with your prospects using a lot of advanced tactics such as:

  • Re-targeting ads: With Facebook pixels and Google Adwords.
  • Email Newsletters: To share new offers and keep in touch.
  • Email Reminder: For Abandoned Shopping Carts.
  • Cold Calls: If you’re working with an expensive high-end product or service this might be worth a shot.
  • Live Chat: To answer all your customers’ questions and help them through the buying process.
  • Webinars: A great way to sell and guide your prospects to the next step.

How To Measure Your Instagram Sales Funnel Performance:

You’ll probably wonder, how will I know if I’m moving forward?

Don’t worry. In the world of digital marketing, everything can be measured. First, we will describe the tools you need to measure the performance of each step of your Instagram sales funnel and then we will show you how to put it all together.

How to measure “Awareness” on your Instagram sales funnel:

There’s a way to measure this with Instagram’s native business analytics, unfortunately this tool doesn’t show the metrics across time and you can’t track your progress properly. This tool only allows you to see your metrics for the past week.These are the metrics that would be related to the awareness stage:

  • Reach: the number of users who have seen your posts on Instagram analytics. This considers the amount of user only, it doesn’t matter if they see the posts many times.
  • Profile views: the number of people who have seen your profile.

How to measure “Interest” on your Instagram sales funnel:

Remember, audiences show Interest by following, commenting and liking your content before they actually buy. So, if you want to measure interest on Instagram  you have to track these metrics:

  • Number of new followers
  • Engagement of all your posts (Likes + Comments)

You can easily use Minter.io to measure these along with other interesting data.

How to measure “Desire” on your Instagram sales funnel:

The next 3 tools serve the same purpose. They help you analyze the traffic moving from your Instagram to your site.

Tool 1: Create UTM CODES for your links, UTM codes help you track where’s your traffic coming from. You can create different UTM links for different campaign sources, mediums, company names, keywords used, and even different campaign messages. You can easily do this with Google analytics campaign URL builder.

Tool 2: Shorten your URLs with BIT.LY Also, remember to customize your URL so it looks cooler and performs better. If you acquire the enterprise version you can even use custom domains on your shortened URLs for a better branding.

Tool 3: Use Google Analytics to track all traffic coming from websites, blogs, and social networks. Google Analytics provides custom reports with info about all the traffic coming to your website

With google analytics you can understand your audience, how did you acquire it, what’s their behavior and how the conversions are happening on the website.

Google Analytics provides such as:

  • Number of visits:To know how many people are going to your website.
  • Traffic sources: You can know exactly how many users are coming from Instagram.
  • Behavior: You can see how the users navigate your website, what pages do they visit and in what order.

How to measure “Action” on your Instagram sales funnel:

This is pretty obvious, just ask yourself: what’s the action I want my audience to perform? It could be any of the following:

  • Subscriptions
  • Inquiries on your website
  • Number of purchases

Usually, you want to measure the number of purchases.

How To Measure The Conversion Rate On Each Step Of Your Instagram Sales Funnel

OK, now that you have your tools it’s time to measure the number of users on each step of the funnel. This is the formula:

Conversion Rate = The number of Users in the next step / The number of users in the current step 

Conversion Rate calculation on an instagram sales funnel

It is very easy, you can also turn this number into a percentage or a fraction if you feel like it.

If you measure each step of the funnel you can know exactly where are you failing or where you can improve. If for some reason you’re not getting the goals you want, you just have to see which step of the funnel is underperforming and fix it. That’s it!

instagram sales funnel sample

Sample Instagram sales funnel considering a 10% conversion rate on each step (these numbers are hypothetical, for educational purposes only).

When you have identified your average conversion rates you can easily predict the revenue you’re going to get when you invest on ads, Influencer Marketing or with a professional service such as Riotly Social Media Growth Plan.

Conclusion:

Although it’s really easy to set up a sales funnel based on Instagram, most people don’t know how to do it. And the main reason is that most marketers have no idea how to control the first steps of the funnel. Or in other words, most marketers and entrepreneurs don’t know how to maintain a steady growth of viewers, followers, and likes on Instagram to fuel their Sales Funnel every month.

You can bend over backwards trying to grow on Instagram or you can just hire the team in Riotly Social Media so the first two steps of the funnel are taken care of and you enjoy a measurable, predictable and reliable growth in auto pilot.

Thanks for reading! Hope to see you at the comment section below.