6 Tactics to Affect the Buying Decision Process on Instagram

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buying decision process on instagram

Wouldn’t it be great if you could sell on Instagram?

As one of the fastest growing communities has rapidly grown to 800 million monthly users, the lucrativeness of using Instagram for eCommerce has increased as well. More and more companies opt for building their businesses on Instagram.

Any proof needed?

And the best part: if you want to convince your potential customers to buy your product on Instagram, here’s the list of tactics you should try.

1. Sell solutions, not products

No matter how good your product is, it’s not enough to make your potential customers want to buy it. Customers don’t care about your brand or product until it can solve their problems. If you want to boost sales, you need to communicate the benefits of using your product rather than the features it possesses.

There’s a tweet by Rand Fishkin that states:

When you use emotional decision-making in marketing, you focus on a human experience while your products play second fiddle. Yes, showing off your product is important but it doesn’t cause emotions. Thus, some brands use lifestyle photos to attract potential customers, and a great example is Lululemon:

Lululemon knows that Instagram is about selling a lifestyle, not a product. Thus, their feed is full of lifestyle photos that grab and hold customers’ attention which means promoting their brand on Instagram.

Here’s what you can learn:

When marketers lay a bet on lifestyle photography, they can bring an authentic narrative for the audience to follow and, therefore, humanize the brand.

  • Use the power of lifestyle shots: product images don’t cause emotions while lifestyle images can inspire your customers as such photos help to engage with consumers through images.
  • Write short stories: if your story represents something familiar to your target audience, they will feel more connected to your brand and, therefore, trust you more.
  • Include information about a featured product: if you want to sell on Instagram, you need to show your followers how to find a product that they might want to buy.

Sell solutions as it hints at what consumers can expect after buying your product.

2. Create a sense of urgency

There’s no better way to affect the buying decision process on Instagram than creating a sense of urgency.

A company that helps people set and maintain their personal goals, Passion Planner, sells on Instagram actively. Looking through its Instagram feed, you can find lots of time-sensitive posts that provoke followers to take an action and get a benefit immediately.

Here’s what you can learn:

Creating a sense of urgency is a proven way to improve the decision-making process, but you also should know how to write a caption that sells.

  • Overlay the sale details in your photo: the first thing Instagrammers pay attention to is the image, so you need to grab their attention with it to make subscribers want to read your offer.
  • Create a deadline: when you set time frames for your sale, you motivate your customers to make their decision in time.
  • Update your post once the sale is over: customers value honesty, and you should keep them up-to-date to avoid embarrassing situations. Thus, you’d better write that sale has ended at the beginning of your offer once it’s over.

When you create a sense of urgency, you prompt their customers to take action which means boosting sales.

3. Post user-generated content (UGC)

Nothing kills sales like appearing untrustworthy.

Here comes the brutal truth: most customers don’t trust your online business due to lack of credibility. Stating your credibility isn’t enough; you need to demonstrate and prove that people rely on you and choose your product.

The solution? UGC!

Posting user-generated content is a genius way to generate social proof without spending much money. Just imagine: 93% of online shoppers claim that UGC is helpful in the decision-making process.

More and more brands embrace UGC as a part of the marketing strategy, and GoPro encourages followers to create original photos to feature on their feed:

The days when brand content could capture audience’s attention are long gone. People don’t trust overly polished professional pictures that seem too good to be true, so brands like GoPro try to post user-generated content.

Here’s what you can learn:

  • Like and comment on all brand mentions: it’s in our nature to crave for recognition. Thus, we love receiving likes and comments, and it makes the heart beats faster when your favorite brand interacts with a customer online. Rewarding fans with likes and comments doesn’t take much time or effort.
  • Tag a photo author: if you use someone’s photo with your brand mention, don’t forget to tag an author. The scheme is simple: people promote your brand and you promote them. It’s a cross-promotion, and it motivates other customers to create content for you.
  • Collaborate with influencers: people trust opinion leaders as they follow people whose views and tastes they share. Influencer marketing isn’t new, and collaboration with thought leaders gives results.

Bonus tips

It’s always beneficial to encourage user-generated content, and here are some ways how to do it:

  • Reward customers: motivation drives the process. If you can hook customers and make them want to share content created for your brand, that’s a personal win. Send a sample and ask for a photo/video proof.
  • Run contests: most marketers know that contests help to engage customers and build brand awareness. However, they also help to encourage UGC creation.
  • Offer offline bonuses: you don’t have to contact every customer online to ask them for user-generated content. Some businesses like retails and restaurants can combine offline and online promotion, offering bonuses and discount to their customers for sharing content online. It works well as people want to get benefits.
  • Create a custom hashtag: if you want to find user-generated content with ease, use your creativity to make and implement a custom hashtag. It will make it easier to find and connect with your target audience, so you create a unique hashtag for UGC.

4. Optimize for ecommerce

First things first: your customers want to buy on Instagram.

Any proof needed? 30% of online shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase from a social media network like Instagram. Thus, building a better shopping experience on Instagram is a must.

When you make the shopping process easier, you help customers make their purchase decisions faster. It means you fuel sales growth on Instagram if your customers don’t have to spend much time to understand how to buy what they want.

A good example of this tactic is JackThreads. Instagram has become their important marketing tool as they’ve boosted sales here not just only because they offer high-quality products but also because they take care of their potential customers and they value their time.

No matter what you sell on Instagram, you need to optimize your business account for eCommerce to affect the buying decision process.

Here’s what you can learn:

  • Use shoppable tags

As a visual site, it’s easier to grab potential customers’ attention with the help of photos. And what is more, now US retailers can use shoppable tags to add description and prices on the platform to make it easier for followers to discover more about items they like.

Shoppable tags allow customers to buy the exact product featured in an Instagram post with ease, and it affects the buying decision process.

  • Make the most out of stories highlights

Instagram has rolled out an update that allows users to highlight their favorite stories and make them appear on a separate feed below the bio section. It helps visitors get an access to the most important information faster as they don’t have to scroll the whole feed to find what they are looking for. For example, you can create a separate circle to showcase new releases.

It’s a way to keep all important information about your product in one place that is easy to find and investigate. Help your customers save time on searching for useful information, and they will never forget you.

  • Add links to insta stories

If you have 10k+ followers, don’t miss a chance to drive more traffic to your website by promoting your products with the help of Insta stories. Business accounts can add clickable links to stories and it helps to make it easier for customers to explore products they have liked. Plus, you can create a collection to show off items on sale.

However, you need to gain a big following first as this feature is available for business accounts with 10k+ followers.

5. Reach your target audience with instagram ads

As Instagram gives more and more opportunities for marketers to grow businesses, 70.7% of US companies use Instagram for marketing purposes. Thus, it means you’re promoting in a competitive environment.

How to beat your competitors?

The solution is simple: find an effective defense against competition. No matter how big your social media budget is, get ready to invest your marketing dollars in advertising on Instagram to reach people who matter most to your brand.

And what is more, you can easily integrate Shopify and sell your products instantly with the help of Instagram advertising. Let’s take a look at Tophattr:

Tophattr is a unique eCommerce service that offers shoppers to win deals of up to 80% off different items, and they try to reach potential clients with the help of advertising on Instagram. With over 74k views, their ad proves that Instagram returns the best results.

Here’s what you can learn:

  • Use call-to-action (CTA) buttons: Depending on your product, you can select the most relevant action button (Learn More, Shop Now, Watch More, Contact Us, Book Now, or Sign Up) to encourage Instagrammers to take an action.
  • Keep your text brief: writing an Instagram ad copy, keep your message short and clear as your potential clients don’t have much time to read a lot.

And truth to be told: most people opt to skip ads, so try to keep a focus on offering a solution to a specific problem instead of showing off your product.

6. Run a contest or giveaway

One does not simply create a big following on Instagram and expect huge sales.

If you want your followers to turn into clients, you need to interact with them and encourage them to get interested in your product. Thus, running a contest or giveaway is an actionable way to bring your business the attention it deserves and raise brand awareness.

For instance, let’s take a look at a contest by CamillaWithLove. The combination of a lifestyle image and a great prize grabs and holds Instagrammers’ attention:

People are greedy for free stuff, so running a contest/giveaway allows marketers to reach more potential customers, build brand awareness, and influence the decision-making process.

Here’s what you can learn:

  • collaborate with other brands: the more lucrative your prize is, the more chances you have to expand your reach (and the number of potential clients).
  • update your bio link: instead of writing all details about your contest in a caption, inform your followers that you’ve updated the link in a bio so that they can find more info on your website.
  • announce your new product: grab customers’ attention to your brand when you host giveaways to promote a new product.
  • offer branded freebies: when you give your stuff away, you can expect your target audience to enter a contest.

If you don’t have much budget to spend on contests, you can offer a discount for your followers which can help to increase sales as it’s in our nature to buy more when we can save money.

Where should you start?

To unlock your sales potential on Instagram, you’d better ensure that you have made a great customer shopping experience by answering several questions.

So, can your visitors:

  • understand what do you sell within 3 seconds?
  • trust your brand?
  • buy products without leaving the app?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all the above-mentioned questions, you’re on the right track. Once your Instagram account is optimized for eCommerce, it’s high time to use actionable tactics to affect the buying decision process and see your business grows on Instagram.


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