Most business owners create their Instagram feeling like they’re at the base of a mountain, looking up at this tall hill they have to climb-
Marketing on Instagram can be such a beast for small business owners starting out. It’s overwhelming!
And sometimes you put all this work into it just to find that you’re still at the bottom of the mountain.
If that’s you and you’re feeling deflated or stuck, here’s a 3 step Instagram sales funnel you can use to move people from follower to customer.
The Ideal Sales Funnel
If you’ve read any of our other posts on sales funnels before, the basic principles are the same.
If not, here’s our ultimate guide about sales funnels and how to make a Facebook ad funnel that you can read next.
Your funnel either looks like an actual funnel OR an upside-down pyramid.
Either way, you want a wide mouth at the top to capture as many people within your audience as possible
And then as you move further down the funnel, the wrong people will fall off, and the right people will continue on until they become a customer.
Now we’ve seen people stretch this funnel out to have like 6 or 7 stages, we’ve seen it condensed to 3.
The reality is you can put however many stages in your funnel you want to whatever makes sense for your business.
But if you strip away all the extra stuff, it ultimately comes down to 3 parts: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
- Awareness is at the top.
People can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist. So you gotta make them AWARE of your brand.
- Consideration is in the middle.
This is often the part that can get stretched into like 3 or 5 different stages. But ultimately, it just means they know your brand exists, and they’re thinking about you.
- And then you’ve got conversion.
The part where they convert from a potential customer to an actual customer.
And again, some people add steps after this to their funnel about how existing customers are ready for the upsell, or steps to maintain the relationship after the initial conversion etc.
For the sake of this post, we’re gonna keep it simple with 3 because we’re about to make this funnel an Instagram sales funnel.
3-step Instagram Sales Funnel
Step #1: Awareness Phase
These are some Instagram-specific tools you can use to garner awareness on the app.
The best Instagram ads are run through Facebook Ads Manager.
We’ve said this before but just as a quick refresher, we don’t like boosting posts or running ads directly through the Instagram app.
That’s because it doesn’t give you as many targeting options among other things.
So when you run Instagram ads through Facebook’s Ads Manager, you can choose from their list of objectives.
Under the awareness and engagement objectives, you can boost your post engagement, video views, and even DM’s.
So with this route, you’re paying Instagram to show your content to a specific audience that you select (which would be your target audience).
That way, you’re getting targeted awareness coming in at the top of your sales funnel.
If you’ve never run Instagram ads before but want to learn how to create Instagram ads, read this post next.
And if you want to go the organic out, we have two other things you can do to garner awareness.
Posting Instagram Reels
Reels can garner reach better than static images sometimes because a Reel by nature has more avenues for people to find you.
For instance, if you’re using a trending song on your Reel, people may find your Reel from the song.
If they’ve liked another reel with that song, Instagram is likely to show them other Reels using that song.
If you select up to 3 relevant topics on the end screen before publishing, people may find you.
That’s because they often engage with the topics you selected, and therefore, Instagram pushes your Reel to them.
If you’re putting hashtags in the caption, people may see your Reel in their feed because they follow one of those hashtags.
I, for example, love following independently owned bookstores. I love visiting bookstores whenever I travel, it’s just a thing.
So because I follow the hashtag “indiebookstore” on Instagram and I like a lot of bookstores’ posts, Instagram often serves bookstore content to me.
That is how I randomly found Parnassus Books, which is a bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee.
I was organically served one of their Reels one day, and I’ve followed them and engaged with their content ever since.
The reason is that their Reels are awesome if you love books.
They have different little Reels series like “New to You” where they share older books but if you haven’t read them then they’re “new to you.”
They have another series where they share upcoming author events, newly published books, picks of the month, and so on.
I’ve added several books to my TBR pile from watching their entertaining recommendations on Reels, and I’m planning to visit their store one day soon!
So that’s a real-life example of Reels garnering targeted attention or awareness in action.
And then the last tool for the Awareness phase in this 3-step Instagram sales funnel is your bio.
Having all of your information filled out (especially if you’re a brick-and-mortar) can play a huge role in whether people find you organically on Instagram or not.
Let’s get into another quick storytime. My cousin is also a fellow book lover, and recently, we planned a day to go bookstore hopping around Chattanooga Tennessee.
I wasn’t kidding when I said I really do love bookstores.
So in order to make the most of our day, I went on Instagram, typed in “chattanooga bookstores”, and tapped on the INSTAGRAM map.
This is a feature that you would definitely know about if you read all of our social media update videos!
Looking at the local shops in that area that have an Instagram presence is how we found The Book & Cover.
We could see their address, their hours, and get a sense of the vibes- because you know it’s a double-win if it’s a CUTE bookstore.
But listen to this, not only did we find it on Instagram, but we VISITED IT, POSTED ABOUT IT, and purchased books from them!
How’s that for an Instagram sales funnel from start to finish? Awareness to consideration to conversion all in one story.
But here’s the thing, we never would’ve found them if they didn’t have a) a strong Instagram presence and b) completed an optimized bio.
Now before we get to the next phase in creating your Instagram sales funnel…
…if you’d rather have a credible Instagram marketing agency handle all of your social media marketing for you from top to bottom, we do that for small businesses every single day.
This is so that you don’t have to fuss with it yourself and you can just watch results roll in!
Schedule a meeting with our team if you want a free, custom marketing proposal and quote to go with it.
Step #2: Consideration Phase
So at this point of your Instagram sales funnel, people have seen or heard of your brand before, they know you exist.
But if you don’t engage them, they’re going to forget about you.
So here are the Instagram tools you can use to engage your top-of-funnel followers.
It is probably the most well-known and easiest to get started with.
People who follow you will see that you’re posting Stories at the top of their newsfeed. It’s a great way to cut through the noise of the feed posts and Reels.
Plus, once they’re watching your Stories, you can engage them with Story features like polls, quizzes, multiple-choice questions, ask-me-anything boxes, etc.
Doing this not only strengthens your brand recall with them, but it also gives YOU a valuable pulse on the type of content your followers care about most.
You can see a direct correlation in terms of what they engage with most in your Stories!
We’ll also add here that you can put a poll, a sliding bar, an add yours sticker, and more on Reels too, not just Stories!
Now, we have a whole post on how to use Instagram Subscriptions for your business, so we won’t rehash everything here.
Basically, “Instagram Subscriptions allow you to monetize by offering exclusive content and benefits to your most engaged followers at a monthly fee.
Your followers can subscribe through an in-app purchase on their mobile device, and you can manage your subscriptions in the Instagram App.”
So this is an account that we think uses Instagram Subscriptions beautifully. The username is @curlvision and it’s a hair stylist that specializes in curly hair.
You can see any accounts’ subscriptions here under the crown if you’re subscribed, if not it’ll look like this.
This account’s Reels consist of consultations of what they talk about with curly-haired clients when they come in…
…the process of how they’re going to achieve their hair goals, etc.
But if you want to know the EXACT products they’re using or a step by step process of what they do to the hair, you have to subscribe and pay a $5 monthly fee.
So basically, Subscriptions allow you to draw people in with your public Reels. And then, gatekeep the REALLY good value for a fee that they can pay for.
This not only gets you some extra cash on the side, but it also gets your followers further invested in your brand.
This can then be saved as permanent videos in your feed.
Many businesses use Lives to answer FAQs or show how something works or show behind the scenes, all of which get viewers more invested in your brand.
Honey company Savannah Bee Co. does a great job of this.
They do Lives sharing all the ways you can prepare their honey and spreads in meals or for snacks, or they educate their audience on the importance of bees, and so on.
When you start putting faces to the brand name or seeing all the ways the product or service can be incorporated into your life, it strengthens the brand-consumer relationship.
“Instagram gifts is a feature that allows you to earn money from your audience. Followers and non-followers can show their appreciation for creators by sending virtual gifts on their reels.”
So, similar to Subscriptions, this tool allows followers to show their support for you and get more invested while you earn a little cash on the side.
Step #3: Conversion Phase
The last stage in your Instagram sales funnel is the Conversion phase.
You’ve captured their attention, you’ve engaged with them, and built a relationship, it’s time to ask for the sale.
There are 3 main tools to do that.
The first one is to run Instagram ads again.
But this time, select the Sales campaign if you’re looking for direct sales on your website.
Or, the leads campaign if you’re looking for contact conversions on your website.
And you’ll want to specifically retarget all of the views and engagement you’ve received up to this point.
You can technically target a cold audience too with these types of ads, but targeting a warm audience is going to convert better every time.
If you sell products, you can specifically set up your Instagram Shop so that people can buy your products right there within the Instagram app.
This is something we showed you how to do in our Instagram Shop full beginners guide.
And then lastly you can select a CTA, or call to action, in your bio that makes the most sense for you.
You can use “View Shop” to look at your Instagram Shop and start perusing,
Or Contact us to prompt them to schedule a meeting with you.
All of your efforts up to this point should make asking for the sale here in the bottom of your Instagram sales funnel easy and profitable.