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How to Make Your Next Sale Through Instagram (Even If You’ve Never Been on the Network Before)

What if every lead you brought in was worth $44.60 to you? And you didn’t have to pay anything to get them?
Some get-rich-quick scheme?
Just one of the last organic options when it comes to traffic, and you’ve probably heard of it. It’s called Instagram.
Of course, Instagram has a bad rap. Most think it is just for posting pictures of food, mermaid tails, and inspirational quotes.
Instagram inspirational quote
But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
"Instagram has become a serious platform for driving leads and sales for business." ~Kim Walsh-PhillipsInstagram has become a serious platform for driving leads and sales for business.
Still not convinced?
My business used a five-step organic Instagram strategy that generated $7,182 — making each lead it created worth $44.60 — in 21 days!
And then we used paid ads on Instagram for a client and that resulted in a 1,000% return on investment (ROI) in 13 days.

Today, I’m going to share with you that same Instagram strategy that has led to our success and how you can make your next sale using Instagram.
But first, let’s quickly look at why you should be paying attention to Instagram in the first place…

Why Marketers Should Pay Attention to Instagram

Consider the facts:

  • Consumer Usage: Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times HIGHER than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.
  • Businesses are spending money on Instagram: Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues are expected to close in on nearly $3 billion by the end of 2017. That figure would account for OVER 10% of its parent company Facebook’s revenues.
  • Consumers are purchasing through Instagram: (My fav fact!) Nearly a third of online shoppers (31%) say they are using social media channels to browse for new items to buy.
  • Consumers trust brands more because they saw them on Instagram: (This is a good one, too.) A majority of millennials surveyed – 70% – value non-celebrity endorsements, particularly from influencers they consider as peers.

Instagram is becoming a heavy hitter, and if you’re not putting it to use, you could be leaving money on the table.
Let’s change that, shall we? 🙂
Here’s how you can put my Instagram strategy to work for you.

Organic Instagram Traffic Campaign Results

My journey started with Instagram about a year ago when my firm, Elite Digital Group, started testing the strategies I was researching for my latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business.
We tested and experimented and determined what worked and what didn’t.

"What we discovered that did work, blew us away."By the way, one thing that didn’t work was using an “exact number” of hashtags.
There are more articles on how many hashtags to use than there are hashtags! 😉
And we found there is no exact number – the more hashtags we used, the more reach we got.
What we discovered that did work, blew us away.
We found we can drive organic traffic from our Instagram page into a sales funnel that converts by including a call-to-action (CTA) and link WITHIN the Instagram bio.
Including a CTA within Instagram bio
Here are the results from the most recent Lead Magnet offer we included in my business’ Instagram bio:

  1. We collected a total of 161 new leads from a report
  2. Total orders from these new leads: $7,182
  3. Average value of a new lead: $44.60
  4. Of those 161 leads, a total of 23 people ordered 54 products, so a buyer became worth an average of $312.26

All from organic (aka FREE!) traffic in 21 days.
How does it work? I’m glad you asked.

The Five-Step Instagram Strategy that Generated $7,182 

Over time, we have developed a model that works well on all social media channels, and Instagram is no exception.
Specifically, on Instagram, we:

  • Attract traffic through the use of hashtags
  • Get their contact information through a Lead Magnet offer in the bio
  • Then follow up via email on a series of messages all tied into the original topic in the Lead Magnet

"This system allows sales, in essence, to close themselves."The method I’m about to detail is like handing a remedy to someone who said they’re in pain – they told you what their issue was when they downloaded the Lead Magnet and now you are offering a solution to their problem.
This system allows sales, in essence, to close themselves…

Organic Instagram Strategy Step One

The first step of this system is to decide on the primary focus for your Instagram page, as in, the big idea you’ll post about.
For example:

  • A fitness guru might focus on 15-minute workouts you can do from the road
  • A real estate investor about creating success for your family
  • A business coach on getting more sales

It should go without saying, but keep in mind, the focus of your Instagram page should RELATE and ALIGN with your business.
For instance, the focus of my page, @KWalshPhillips, is how to get more clients in your professional practice and includes posts like this…
Example of Kim Walsh-Phillips Instagram post
Once you decide the primary focus of your Instagram page, develop an offer that is the next logical step from your page and that resonates with your audience, which moves us to the next step.

Organic Instagram Strategy Step Two

Step Two is to put the CTA and Lead Magnet in your Instagram bio.
We developed a free giveaway offer, a Lead Magnet, that was congruent with my Instagram page called the “Client Attraction Blueprint.”
We then linked to the Client Attraction Blueprint within my Instagram bio:
Client Attraction Blueprint CTA
When someone clicked on the Bitly above, they were taken to this landing page:
“Client Attraction Blueprint” landing page
Where they could then opt in:
“Client Attraction Blueprint” opt-in
The next steps focus on the Instagram posts you will create in your campaign.

(RELATED: [DOWNLOAD] The 15-Point Landing Page Audit)

Organic Instagram Strategy Step Three

Step Three is to identify hashtags to use in your posts that will attract your perfect prospects.
You can do this by visiting 10 pages in your niche and check out the hashtags of their most popular posts. Make a list of these popular hashtags and then use those hashtags on all of your posts.
And like I said earlier, we found the more relevant hashtags we used, the better our reach on Instagram.

Organic Instagram Strategy Step Four

Step Four is to post daily using all the identified hashtags from the previous step.
This is my approach when making Instagram posts…
My favorite app for creating Instagram posts is WordSwag.
It lets you create posts like this…
Examples of Instagram posts you can make with WordSwag
I batch up a bunch of designs at one time, and then post them once a day, using the same hashtags I’ve collected during Step Three.
I save all the hashtags I’m going to use for a campaign in my phone’s “notes.” Then, I copy and paste the hashtags from my phone’s “notes” to that day’s Instagram post.
We find our reach is better when we directly post to Instagram than when scheduling on a post scheduler like Hootsuite and Meet Edgar (but use what you need to get the job done).

Organic Instagram Strategy Step Five

Step Five is to put the lead into the sales funnel that makes sense with the topic of the first Lead Magnet.
"Keep focusing on what you already know your prospect wants to talk about."The secret is to make your funnel congruent.
Keep focusing on what you already know your prospect wants to talk about.
For instance, your Instagram sales funnel may follow this path:

  • You attract your lead in with the hashtag
  • Get them interested using your Instagram post
  • Get their contact information using your Lead Magnet
  • And follow up with engagement and sales marketing emails to turn them from a lead to a customer

(RELATED: The Ultimate Guide To eCommerce Email Marketing (Online Retailers, This One’s For You…))

For example, people who came in through The Client Attraction Blueprint Lead Magnet were added to a weekly email series.
This email series includes…

  • content
  • weekly promotions
  • webinars

…all meant to drive the lead from prospect to buyer.
For example, we used this email to promote a webinar:
Webinar email promotion
Then, during the webinar, we made two offers to attendees and directed attendees to that offer’s respective landing page.
The first offer was for our Facebook Profit Power course, an introductory “how to use Facebook to get more clients” course that focuses on generating traffic.
Here’s its landing page:
Facebook Profit Power Course Landing Page
The second offer was our Facebook Profit Power course, users are offered a chance to join our Powerful Professionals program. Each month, those in the program get a traffic strategy, four email templates to send to prospects and clients, and sales strategies:
Here’s the landing page for the Facebook Profit Power course:
Facebook Profit Power Course Landing Page
And that’s the organic Instagram sales funnel strategy we used to generate $7,182 in sales and 161 leads in 21 days.
You can use these same fives steps in your business to organically generate sales on Instagram.
But organic traffic can take time. What if you don’t want to wait? "You can use the same five steps in your business to organically generate sales on Instagram."
You can put some money behind it. 🙂
Now we’re going to talk about how we used Instagram ads to generate 1,000% ROI for a client.
(NOTE: Are you ready to tap into Instagram’s booming network of 600 million viable customers? Get Kim Walsh-Phillips’ Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business to get the tools you need to drive sales directly from Instagram and grow your business.)
Get the Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business by Kim Walsh-Phillips

Paying for Quicker Results: Instagram Ads Strategy

Of course, if you want to speed things up and get quicker results, then you can utilize Instagram ads.
If you’ve never run Instagram ads, you can learn more about setting them up here.
We ran a campaign for one of our private clients, Phelan Dental, and they had great results… all WITHOUT having an Instagram page!
The goal of this campaign was to drive dentists to register for an online, evergreen webinar.
Here are the top two performing Instagram ads we ran:
Paid Instagram Ad #1:
Phelan Dental Paid Instagram Ad #1
Paid Instagram Ad #2:
Phelan Dental Paid Instagram Ad #2
Notice the “more” within the copy of the ad.
Instagram ads run with “more” to get users to click on the ad. It piques curiosity and it works in your favor.
But it also means your ad copy will be truncated within two sentences, so you need to give the user a reason to click in the first line of your ad!

All in all, our client spent $207.99 on this campaign and it generated:

  • Total registrations: 25
  • Total sales $3,000

That’s more than 1000% ROI! That’ll buy a lot of food, shoes, and mermaid tails. (And with increased leads, you’ll soon be driving more than just traffic!)
I’m going to detail exactly how we achieved these results, but first, I want to share our Instagram Ads strategy in general…

Our Approach to Instagram Ads

When going into a new platform/audience/market, we ALWAYS test multiple images.
By testing multiple images at once, we quickly learn what the market responds to and can eliminate the ads that do not perform well"You need to give the user a reason to click in the first line of your ad!"
Then, after launching an ad or ad set, we give the ad(s) three days before we decide to shut it down or keep it.
Historically, we have seen it take three days for ads to ramp up and gain enough conversions for Facebook’s algorithm to take hold.
Now, if the campaign takes off right out of the gate and we have lots of data to assess in the first 48 hours, we can make some early calls as to what is working and what is not.
To determine if an ad is worth keeping, we look at three main categories:

  • Results to cost
  • Link click-through rate (LCTR)
  • Positive and negative feedback

The cost per result is always relative to our objective at the time, while we look for a LCTR of 1% or higher.
Throughout the campaign, we keep a close eye on the positive and negative feedback the ad is getting.
If the ad or ad set sits at a high negative and low positive for more than two weeks, the ad will not get a high delivery rate and the account is at risk of being shut down.
And I would advise you do the same:

  • Give your ads three days before determining which to pause and which to scale.
  • Test multiple images at once to quickly see what your market responds to and what doesn’t resonate with them.

Now that you understand how we view Instagram ads, we can dive into how we produced 1000% ROI in 13 days:

The Instagram Paid Traffic Strategy that Generated 1000% ROI

Prior to going over to Instagram, this campaign for Phelan Dental had run via Facebook, so we had data on the copy and images that had been performing well.
We took our top images and best copy and opened up the distribution to Instagram to see what the reaction would be from dentists on the Instagram platform.
We ran two ad sets:

  • One was a Lookalike of those who had registered in the past
  • The other was a stacked job title and national dental associations group

We also excluded all those who had already registered or had already been added to Phelan Dental’s list.
Both ads depicted in the article ran at the same time and within the same ad set for the full 13 days.
For the budget, we selected for Facebook to distribute the daily ad spend automatically between Instagram and Facebook.
Even though we knew from past data what images performed well on Facebook, we still tested multiple images.
We utilized the proven ad copy and images to push users to a landing page that asked them to sign up for a dental training webinar.
Here’s an excerpt of the webinar’s landing page:
Phelan Dental Training Webinar Landing Page
Phelan Dental’s webinar presentation focused heavily on the training and used high-quality cameras and production that, in turn, provided an extremely high value to the attendees.
At the end of the webinar, attendees were made an offer to purchase membership and training programs to learn a new form of dentistry they could incorporate into their practices, which would allow the user to expand their service and make more money.
Those who opted in but didn’t attend the webinar along with attendees who didn’t purchase the offer were placed into long-term follow-up email sequences to nurture them into a sale down the line.

Starting with…
Phelan Dental Email Campaign #1
Followed by…
Phelan Dental Email Campaign #2
And continued with…
Phelan Dental Email Campaign #3
And then finally…
Phelan Dental Email Campaign #4
Which concludes the paid Instagram strategy!
While this paid Instagram strategy did not rely on the Organic Method described earlier, the paid strategy is similar to the Organic Strategy with a few variations…

Using Organic Strategies to Run Paid Instagram Ads

When using Facebooks Ads Manager to place ads in Instagram, you want to keep Step 1 of the Organic Method in mind and define your focus.
Ads that are too broad and try to speak to too many people or pain points at one time will get lost in the shuffle.
By defining a clear focus of who you want to attract and delivering a concise message, you capture the attention of those who could benefit from your offer the most.
Then, just like you want a CTA in your Instagram bio, you also need to have a CTA in your ads because the CTA gives users direction, which is critical to get them to take the next step.
Your CTA can be as simple as…

  • “Get your…”
  • “Register now”
  • “Claim yours today!”

A majority of ads today miss the CTA altogether and don’t give the user the next step.
If you want them to take action, you need to tell them what action to take. "Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook." ~Kim Walsh-Phillips
With your Instagram ads, instead of identifying hashtags, you want to identify targeting groups.
Jump into Ads Manager and start searching out targeting groups relative to who you want to target. You can look for job titles, behaviors, and interests, etc.
As I said earlier, for Phelan Dental’s ads, we stacked dentist job titles and national associations together to create a targeting audience.
And keep in mind with your Instagram ads, much like Steps 4 and 5 from the Organic Strategy, it’s about staying in front of those who did not buy and building more trust over time.
At a minimum, it can take 5-7 touch points after an initial interaction with a user to get them to commit to a purchase.
Also, the higher your price point is, the longer your follow up and nurture series up will need to be.
With the Five-Step Organic Instagram Strategy and the Paid Instagram Strategy, you are now armed with proven Instagram marketing strategies that you can put to use — both organically and paid — to generate leads and move people through your sales funnel and towards a conversion.
Use this as inspiration for your business and see how Instagram can drive sales at your company.
(NOTE: Are you ready to tap into Instagram’s booming network of 600 million viable customers? Get Kim Walsh-Phillips’ Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business to get the tools you need to drive sales directly from Instagram and grow your business.)
Get the Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business by Kim Walsh-Phillips

Kim Walsh Phillips

Kim Walsh Phillips

Kim Walsh Phillips is the world's #1 expert at direct response (meaning results, rule, period) social media. She is an award-winning Speaker, Author, Podcaster, and CEO of Elite Digital Group, a direct-response social media agency. Kim has brought in more than a billion dollars online with her laser focus on increasing revenue through direct response marketing. She is the author of The No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing with Dan Kennedy, The Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business, and Game Changer: How to Get 10,000 Fans in 72 Hours and Turn Them Into Your Next Cash Paying Customers. She co-hosts the top-ranked podcast, Morning Coffee Marketer.

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