As the “click to buy” feature continues to be refined on Instagram, what is one easy way that social content teams can move their audience to action upon viewing one of their posts on the platform?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Insert a Bio Link
Despite the complex user experience, directing users to click the link in your bio can be an effective way to drive qualified traffic down the funnel. The best way to do this is to use visually curious images or have them preview a piece of the content available through the URL. Then, mention in the post that they should visit the bio link to gain full access. Leverage users’ curiosity to get them to click.
2. Provide Everything Needed to Make a Purchase Decision
Provide all the critical information that potential customers need to make a purchase as concisely as possible within the required medium or format. This includes pricing and shipping information along with listing key features/benefits of the product being sold. A good visual of the actual product that covers all important angles is also important.
3. Offer an Instagram-Exclusive Deal
This is a tried and true method. Offer an exclusive deal through Instagram. An added bonus is that an exclusive deal helps to track how many leads Instagram is generating.
4. Offer Influencers to Close the Deal
Influencers can help convince your audience to take action and buy as they tout how they use your product or service and what it does for them. Since your audience may look up to and admire these influencers, it can help close the deal by getting them to go to your website regardless of not having a click-to-buy feature ready on Instagram.
5. Let Them Know Which Friends Already Bought
If they know their friends recently bought a product or accepted a special offer on Instagram from your company, that may incentivize them to buy. Social media has a lot to do with what our peers do that then influences our own decisions. When they see that many actually bought or redeemed an offer, they will too out of social acceptance or validation the product is good.
6. Create Urgency in the Caption
The caption is the best place to create that urgency and interest for the product. You have about three seconds before they scroll down to the next post, so write something quick and witty that will catch their eye and keep their engagement.
7. Give Timely Deadlines
It’s proven that people act when things are scarce, so using time-based scarcity in your call to action will increase the chances of success in your campaigns. Offer a discount, coupon, extra bonus or something that will incentivize the audience to act today.
8. Create Posts With Subtle “Hero Shots”
The product needs to be featured prominently enough to stand out while not looking like an ad in Google Shopping or Amazon. Try editing the photo so the product is clearly visible from the background without looking overly transactional. Segment your posts and images by demographic to make sure the person using or wearing the product matches the demo you are targeting.
9. Add a Call-to-Action Button to Your Images
The click-to-buy function may not be familiar to your Instagram followers, especially since it’s a new feature. You can add a call-to-action button somewhere in your image to give them further instruction on how to make a purchase. For example, a small green button that directs them to the purchase option could make the option more apparent.
10. Think Visually
Emojis are excellent tools in short posts. You can use the “hand” emojis to point the viewer to the focal link or content. When thinking Instagram, although the links in your posts can’t be hyperlinked (unless you make it into an ad), you can change the link in your bio and refer to it in the description or comments.
11. Offer a Deep Discount
People love to save money, especially on products and services they love. The key to leveraging Instagram’s click-to-buy feature is by offering up a deep discount. I don’t mean 10 percent — more like 50 percent off or more. The deeper the discount, the more likely people will respond. Note you don’t have to give away the farm; provide a discount on high-margin products or include restrictions.
12. Produce Audience-Appropriate Content
I see a lot of businesses — even enterprise-focused businesses — using the same formulaic desaturated lifestyle images in Instagram advertising. A better approach is to cultivate a deep understanding of your audience and their cultural interests. Create images and content that hook into those cultural interests, rather than following the dominant trends and aesthetics of the platform.
13. Embrace Testing
One of my favorite things about social media is it’s so easy to try new things and pivot quickly. As I’ve been playing around quite a bit with my golf site’s Instagram account I’ve been able to notch wins. Experiment with the types and styles of images you’re taking, change your profile link frequently, add quick and snappy calls to action, and focus on increasing engagement with your viewers.